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Latest F1 news in brief
  • Full HRT race seat decision due at Silverstone
  • No US GP certainty for 'weeks and months' - Todt
  • Frank Williams not retiring
  • More fine Silverstone weather dawns on Friday
  • Merc must improve F1 simulations - Lauda

Full HRT race seat decision due at Silverstone
(GMM)  It is not yet clear if Bruno Senna has permanently lost his HRT race drive.

The struggling Spanish team's boss Colin Kolles told reporters at Silverstone late on Thursday that reserve Sakon Yamamoto will be regular driver Karun Chandhok's replacement teammate this weekend.

He said no more information will be available until a press release is issued on Friday morning.

But Kolles did tell the BBC that Yamamoto, who turns 28 on Friday, is not guaranteed the seat for the rest of 2010.

"A decision as to who will drive for Hispania for the rest of the season will be taken over the weekend," he said.

With the situation almost certainly related to the drivers' available sponsorship funds, Finland's Turun Sanomat said Japanese Yamamoto is better financed than HRT's other reserve driver Christian Klien.

Senna, the 26-year-old nephew of the great Ayrton Senna, made his debut with HRT this year with the backing of Brazilian companies Banco Cruzeiro do Sul and Embratel.

No US GP certainty for 'weeks and months' - Todt
(GMM)  It will not be known for "weeks and months" whether a United States grand prix will be held in Austin, according to FIA president Jean Todt.

An unnamed official at F1's Paris-based governing body said Todt learned about Bernie Ecclestone's deal with the Texas promoter for an inaugural race in 2012 by reading about it on the internet.

And promoter Tavo Hellmund, whose father has known F1 chief executive Ecclestone for decades, has "ignored or sidestepped" the FIA's "repeated inquiries" about the deal, according to the Austin Business Journal.

Multiple sources said the vague plans could be Ecclestone's ploy to shift pressure from F1's carmakers and sponsors about the lack of an American race.

A spokesman for Hellmund's office said: "Formula One Management is satisfied with our plans to fund and build an Austin track."

But for now, it seems Todt is not.  On a visit to Daytona last weekend, the Frenchman described the deal as "just a project", and to the Speed Channel he said it is a "discussion" and "far too early to conclude anything".

"The coming weeks and months will be able to tell us what is really going to happen," added the FIA president.

Frank Williams not retiring
(GMM)  Sir Frank Williams insists he is not retiring.

The 68-year-old's British team announced at Silverstone that former chief executive Adam Parr is taking over as chairman from founder, boss and co-owner Williams.

Williams remains the team principal, but some figures saw Wednesday's announcement as an indication that his nearly half-century involvement in formula one is nearing an end.

A headline in Spain's El Pais newspaper said Williams, who recently sold some of the Grove based team to Austrian investor Toto Wolff, had 'begun his retirement'.

But the Briton told reporters that, with his long-time business partner Patrick Head also in his advancing sixties, the move is simply another prudent step in a succession plan.

"I wish to emphasize that this is absolutely not notice of my impending retirement," said Williams, who became confined to a wheelchair after a road crash in 1986.

"I love formula one, I have a strong involvement in the company and go to work every day.  When I'm going to retire hasn't crossed my mind," he added.

More fine Silverstone weather dawns on Friday
(GMM)  Another nice day of weather is expected at Silverstone on Friday.

On the morning journey to the British grand prix venue early on Thursday, many members of F1's travelling circus reported low cloud and cold drizzle.

But once at the Northamptonshire circuit, the sun came out and the skies remained clear.

A similarly fine day has dawned early on Friday morning, ahead of the initial three hours of practice, and temperatures in the high 20s are also forecast for Saturday.

Lotus technical boss Mike Gascoyne said there is currently "a risk of rain" for Sunday, but detailed forecasts show the probability is small.

Merc must improve F1 simulations - Lauda
(GMM)  Mercedes' problem in 2010 is not the tires but the team's simulation techniques, according to Niki Lauda.

It has been said the German team is puzzled by the current Bridgestone tires and how they interact with the W01, the successor of last year's championship winning Brawn.

But former triple world champion Lauda thinks the real problem is the new era of reduced track testing and the alternate need to rely on computers and simulators.

"All the teams complain about the tires but it's the same problem for all of them," Lauda is quoted by Bild newspaper.

"The problem with Mercedes is the movement between their simulations and reality.  Who is the best in this area wins, and they are McLaren and Red Bull."

At Silverstone on Wednesday, Michael Schumacher delivered the unsurprising verdict that, with a 93 point deficit in the championship, he is not going to win an eighth title in 2010.

"We try to learn as much as we can and prepare for next year.  That's what I'm fully motivated towards," said the German.

But some wonder how the winner of 91 grands prix and hundreds of millions of euros in salaries and sponsorships can possibly prolong a middling return to his chosen sport.

"I have known Michael a long time.  You would think I'd know if he were about to chuck it in," team boss Ross Brawn told the Telegraph.

The Briton said Schumacher is taking a different approach to his earlier ruthless determination to win races and titles with Benetton and Ferrari.

"He is more interested in the whole Mercedes project," said Brawn.

"He takes a greater interest in the wider aspects of what we are trying to do and is not simply concerned with what happens on the track.  He is enjoying his return more than people think."

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