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Latest F1 news in brief
  • Renault 'fine' after cash flow 'crisis' - Ecclestone
  • Lauda thinks FIA should punish Ferrari
  • Ferrari staying focused as controversy still rages
  • FIA still considering Ferrari hearing date
  • Alonso didn't demand to be McLaren no.1 - manager
  • Barrichello says he's close to new Williams deal
  • Keeping current drivers over Ricciardo 'logical' - Tost
  • Chandhok hoping to return to HRT seat in Belgium
  • Release of US GP details eases some skepticism

Renault 'fine' after cash flow 'crisis' - Ecclestone
(GMM)  Renault's health is "fine" despite Bernie Ecclestone confirming the Enstone based team requested the early payment of its 2010 commercial revenues.

Team boss Eric Boullier revealed at Hockenheim that even though he asked the F1 chief executive for the loan, the other teams did not agree to the release of the monies.

"All that was was the fact that one of the (Renault) shareholders didn't want to take money from another one of his companies because that would have meant convening a board meeting," Ecclestone said in an interview with the Telegraph.

"But I never gave them the money.  And they got over the crisis so everything is fine," added the 79-year-old Briton.

Lauda thinks FIA should punish Ferrari
(GMM)  Niki Lauda thinks Ferrari should receive a bigger penalty for swapping the order of its cars at the recent German grand prix.

A survey by Autoblog showed that 95 per cent of 15,000 respondents want the World Motor Sport Council to inflict more than just the $100,000 fine imposed by the Hockenheim stewards.

27 per cent said the Italian team should be disqualified.

"With the budgets these teams have, $100,000 is nothing at all," Austrian Lauda said in an interview with RTL.

"If you imagine they have bought themselves a world championship for that, it's the biggest joke of all."

On Austrian 'Servus TV', former driver Marc Surer agrees that the World Motor Sport Council must act.

"If a team knows that a team order costs $100,000, they will take the check to the next race," he said.

But Spanish motor racing chief Carlos Gracia told AS newspaper that even though Massa's order was "obvious", Ferrari has already been punished.

"Nothing will happen (at the World Motor Sport Council)," he said.  "The violation has already been sanctioned, Ferrari declined to appeal, so it's an issue that has been settled.

"You can't be punished twice for one wrongdoing," added Gracia, who said he will push for the FIA to legalize team orders.

Ferrari staying focused as controversy still rages
(GMM)  In their blogs on the official Ferrari website, Felipe Massa said Hockenheim had been a "great team result", while Fernando Alonso said victory was a "great feeling".

They did not even mention the team orders scandal.

Team boss Stefano Domenicali summed up the internal mood - while the F1 world is alight with controversy - by saying he wants Ferrari to "remain focused on our own work, starting in Budapest" this weekend.

But the headline in Brazil's Globo summed up the attitude as 'no remorse', while the Jornal do Brasil published a cartoon of Paulista Massa as a puppet.

In Italy, however, Tuttosport backed Luca di Montezemolo's claim about team order "hypocrisy", accusing Martin Whitmarsh of having "amnesia" when he suggested there are no team orders at McLaren.

The article referred to Hockenheim 2008, when Heikki Kovalainen gave way to Lewis Hamilton.

Other reports have referred to the arguable 'low fuel' messages for Jenson Button and Hamilton recently, with Germany's Auto Motor und Sport claiming the pair received a similar order last Sunday.

Indeed, in La Gazzetta dello Sport, writer Umberto Zapelloni appeared to praise Ferrari for applying its team orders "without subterfuge".

"Massa was not told he was consuming too much fuel or his tires were in crisis, but others have been (told those things) this season," he wrote.

FIA still considering Ferrari hearing date
(GMM)  The FIA is still not ready to set a date for the hearing about the Ferrari team orders affair.

It has been reported this week that the team's one-two finish at Hockenheim will be considered during the regular World Motor Sport Council meeting in Como, Italy, on September 10.

But that date clashes with Friday free practice at Monza.

"The relevant committees are consulting about it (a date for the Ferrari hearing)," a spokesman for the Paris based federation is quoted in the German press.

Alonso didn't demand to be McLaren no.1 - manager
(GMM)  Fernando Alonso's manager has denied reports the Spanish driver pushed to be the undisputed number one driver at McLaren in 2007.

The Mirror newspaper in Britain claims the now Ferrari driver made the demand around the time of that year's Hungarian grand prix, when he was penalized for deliberately holding up teammate Lewis Hamilton in a qualifying pitstop.

"During that phase I remember talking to the drivers and their management and saying what a great driver would want to do is look at himself in the mirror and say 'I have won this world championship on merit' and not by the team leaning one way and giving him an advantage," said team boss Martin Whitmarsh.

The newspaper's revelation comes amid the Hockenheim team orders scandal, with Alonso saying "this is ridiculous" on the radio shortly before Felipe Massa was ordered to move aside for the double world champion.

Alonso's manager, Luis Garcia Abad, was reluctant to comment on the 2007 claims.

"I don't want to talk about it but in any case, it's not true," he said.

Barrichello says he's close to new Williams deal
(GMM)  Rubens Barrichello has confirmed he is close to extending his tenure at Williams.

The Brazilian veteran made the admission whilst contemplating the Hockenheim team orders furor, comparing it to his famous move to let Michael Schumacher win the 2002 Austrian grand prix.

"Many understand now how it was (at Ferrari) in 2002," he is quoted in Spanish and Portuguese language reports.

"They understand why I left Ferrari a year before the end of a contract," added the 38-year-old Brazilian.

Barrichello drove for Ferrari between 2000 and 2005, but claims he is much happier now.

"I may not have been champion in that time, but I was always fair, and now it is past," he said.

"Now I'm at the team I want to be with and am about to extend my contract for another year.  I want to be champion with Williams," said Barrichello.

Keeping current drivers over Ricciardo 'logical' - Tost
(GMM)  It would not have been "logical" to change Toro Rosso's driver lineup for 2011, according to team boss Franz Tost.

With Sebastien Buemi now in his second full season with the Faenza based team, and Jaime Alguersuari not always shining during his 19 races so far, it had been rumored that owner Red Bull was keen to promote its next rising youngster.

Daniel Ricciardo is Red Bull's highly rated F1 reserve driver in 2010, but Tost admits the Australian was not at the top of his list for next season.

"We always intended to keep our two current drivers, based on their current form: it was always part of the plan, as they come from the Red Bull young driver program and doing anything else would not be logical," said the Austrian.

"Both of them, Jaime in particular, are still lacking much formula one experience and therefore, in order to get a true picture of their abilities, it is normal that we should continue with them.

"I also expect them to improve their performance in the second half of the season," added Tost.

However, both Buemi and Alguersuari have made comments recently that seemed to question whether Red Bull was singing from Tost's song sheet.

Indeed, Swiss Buemi, 21, has now confirmed that his contract is with the energy drinks company.

"I have a contract with Red Bull, and Red Bull let me drive at Toro Rosso.  If I do well here then hopefully one day I will jump into the 'big' team," he said.

"Obviously I want to make that jump as soon as possible, this is pretty clear, but they are having a fantastic season and I was having a lot of bad luck at the beginning of the year when they took the decision to retain Mark (Webber)," added Buemi.

"However, I am very optimistic that Toro Rosso will improve next year."

Chandhok hoping to return to HRT seat in Belgium
Karun Chandhok has now turned his eye to next month's Belgian grand prix as he prepares to sit out a second consecutive F1 race.

The Indian rookie will nonetheless travel to Hungary this week, to reprise the British radio commentary duties he had to settle for at Hockenheim last weekend.

Chandhok, 26, was sidelined in Germany due to HRT's Japanese test driver Sakon Yamamoto reportedly having more sponsorship to offer the struggling Spanish team.

Hispania has now confirmed that ride-buying Yamamoto will continue to be fellow ride-buyer Bruno Senna's teammate in Hungary.

"They are going to do what they need to do from their point of view," Chandhok, who at Hockenheim had said he hoped to return to the car for Hungary, told Reuters.

"The long summer break is coming up and we'll have to see what happens for the rest of the season," he added.

HRT insists that Chandhok is still a team member, but strong rumors indicate that ride-buying test driver Christian Klien is expecting a race or two later in 2010.

A team spokesperson said the driver lineup for Spa-Francorchamps and beyond is not finalized (as it depends which ride-buyer comes up with more money).

Release of US GP details eases some skepticism
(GMM)  The site location and the primary investor have been revealed by organizers of the 2012 United States grand prix.

Zak Brown, boss of the company that represents F1 sponsors including LG, Johnnie Walker and Hilton, said he thinks the news will allay some of the recent skepticism about the Austin project.

"A phased approach led a lot of people to wonder, How the hell is this going to come together?" the Just Marketing CEO is quoted by USA Today.

"I think the timetable is the biggest question as opposed to whether it's going to happen," he said.

Ron Dennis, the long-time McLaren chief, agrees.

"The race in Austin is challenging in the time scale, but I think it'll probably happen," he said.  "But we will be in America (somewhere).  We always get to America somehow."

Red McCombs, former owner of American sporting teams San Antonio Spurs, Denver Nuggets and Minnesota Vikings, was revealed as the primary investor.

And promoter Tavo Hellmund confirmed that the track will be built in southeast Austin in an area formerly known as Wandering Creek.

"They've got to start putting shovels in the ground really quick," Brown continued.

Ron Dennis added: "Even if they're one year late, it won't stop the project happening."

A spokesman said the actual track layout, designed by Hermann Tilke, will be released later this summer.

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