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Latest F1 news in brief
  • Buemi denies signing 2011 Toro Rosso deal
  • Webber's conspiracy theory 'on wrong track' - Marko
  • Brawn at factory, not on fishing holiday - Mercedes
  • Promoter admits 2013 delay possible for US GP
  • Signs grow that Raikkonen to keep rallying
  • Teams clarify ban to prevent new component testing

Buemi denies signing 2011 Toro Rosso deal
(GMM)  Sebastien Buemi has denied he has signed a contract to remain at Toro Rosso in 2011.

In a team-distributed interview on Thursday, boss Franz Tost said 21-year-old Swiss Buemi as well as Jaime Alguersuari are "both confirmed" for next year.

But Buemi told Blick newspaper: "I haven't signed yet.

"There are some details missing and the driver market is still open," he added.

At Silverstone last weekend, Renault chief Eric Boullier said Buemi "is on our list" of potential replacements for the Russian pay-driver Vitaly Petrov.

And Red Bull's driver consultant Helmut Marko said the energy drink company "might consider placing him (Buemi) in the Red Bull (Racing) team in 2012."

Webber's conspiracy theory 'on wrong track' - Marko
(GMM)  Dr Helmut Marko has rubbished Mark Webber's intimation that his teammate is being favored by Red Bull management.

Although Australian Webber's statement on Thursday suggested the air has been cleared after Silverstone, team consultant Marko has weighed into the front wing saga.

"If Mark imagines there is a conspiracy between us and (Sebastian) Vettel against him, then he is on the wrong track," the Austrian and former grand prix driver is quoted by Auto Motor und Sport.

"If I was Vettel, then I would suspect the opposite.  Which car has constantly had problems?  Did Mark have a defective spark plug, a loose wheel, a broken brake, a defective chassis, a gearbox problem and the broken nose?

"In comparison, Webber has come out with only a black eye.

"Mark is having a great season, and he has improved big team, but he should not forget that he owes a lot to this team.  Where was he two years ago?  He could not even dream of grand prix wins," said Marko.

"For us, it really does not matter who is champion, the main thing is that he is sitting in a Red Bull."

Earlier, Marko defended the decision to give Vettel the newer specification wing that in the pre-qualifying practice session had been fitted to Webber's car.

"I don't know what Webber wants," he is quoted by Auto Bild.

"The driver who got the new wing was ahead in the championship and faster in the third timed practice.  It was a very logical decision," added Marko.

Brawn at factory, not on fishing holiday - Mercedes
(GMM)  Mercedes has denied reports that, while more than 150 points behind in the constructors' championship, its F1 team boss is missing in action.

The Cologne tabloid Express reported this week that while Michael Schumacher has been testing motorcycles with friends in France, team principal Ross Brawn is on a four-day fishing trip with Jacques Laffite in Norway.

But a source at the Brackley based team said the report is incorrect.

"Ross has been at the factory this week," the source said.

Promoter admits 2013 delay possible for US GP
(GMM)  Tavo Hellmund has played down skepticism about the 2012 US grand prix, but admits that failing to get the circuit built in time is a possibility.

Before FIA president Jean Todt said the confirmed race in Austin, Texas, is "just a project", F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone warned promoter Hellmund that penalties will apply if the event does not take place until 2013.

"Well yeah, but we don't want to do that," Hellmund said in an interview with GP Week.  "That wouldn't be financially beneficial.

"We have a contract that says we need to have a grand prix in 2012," he added.

Hellmund denied rumors that, with work on the site needing to begin imminently, land has not even been acquired.

"There hasn't needed to be any progress on the land because we already have the land," he insisted.

"I know people have been digging around to find my names.  Well, I wasn't a rookie and everything was put in holding names.  The land is exciting and the (Hermann) Tilke folks have been coming non-stop."

He also addressed reports that, apart from the State of Texas' funding, the identity of Hellmund's financial backers is still unknown.

"Why is that anybody's business?" Hellmund replied.  "I've got a big group put together that is world class, well known, and a lot of them are going to want to stay anonymous.

"The only two groups that I have to satisfy outside of our group is Formula One Management, who ask for your bank statements, and the State of Texas for passing the legislation that will allow us to be included in the major events trust fund."

As for whether the project is moving forwards, Hellmund said "we can't spend money any faster than we already are".

"Tilke and the general contractors have been working on this for a while and everyone's saying we can do it.

"If not, that doesn't mean we're not going to have a grand prix.  We'll pay whatever penalty we need to pay.  We're not doing this to have a one-off race.  We want to have the US grand prix here for the next 40 years," he added.

Signs grow that Raikkonen to keep rallying
(GMM)  The signs are growing that Kimi Raikkonen will keep rallying next year rather than return to formula one.

The 2007 world champion has been linked with both Renault and Mercedes for 2011, but reports on Thursday said Raikkonen, 30, is close to agreeing a new deal with the Red Bull-sponsored world rally team Citroen.

At the same time, Raikkonen's current co-driver Kaj Lindstrom has told Turun Sanomat newspaper that the Finn has all the necessary talents and "only lacks experience".

"The hard work is now beginning to pay off," he added.

Teams clarify ban to prevent new component testing
(GMM)  The wording of F1's ban on in-season testing has been clarified.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner recently said Ferrari's use of a filming and promotional track day to test updates for the F10 car was "naughty" and breached the "spirit" of the agreement.

And FOTA chairman Martin Whitmarsh suggested that other teams including Mercedes and Renault have also made "some arguable decisions" with regards to the rules about in-season testing.

"If people want to be more comfortable then I know there are discussions in order to tidy up the wording, and I have no problem with that," said Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali.

Italy's Autosprint reports that during a meeting at Silverstone last week, the teams drafted new wording to prevent the testing of new components during promotional or filming days.

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