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Latest F1 news in brief
  • Ferrari running through 2010 engine allocation
  • Team orders are not allowed - Horner
  • Hamilton 'riding his luck' to title lead - Horner
  • 2011 will be learning year for 'show' compromise - Pirelli
  • Liuzzi, Kobayashi to stay with current teams in 2011
  • Renault's Boullier denies Red Bull/Mercedes reports

Ferrari running through 2010 engine allocation
(GMM)  As well as improving the F10's pace and fending off the World Council's wrath next month, another headache for Ferrari could be in the engine department.

The next race, Monza, is among the toughest on engines, and at Spa-Francorchamps on Sunday, the newly-installed Ferrari engine in Pedro de la Rosa's Sauber had to be replaced.

With seven races to go, the unscheduled change tipped the Spaniard over his allocation of eight engines for the season, resulting in a grid penalty.

And a cursory look at the allocations of F1's other cars at Spa shows that while most drivers are now on their fifth new engine, Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa have used six.

"I see no reason to worry," said Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali.

Team orders are not allowed - Horner
(GMM)  As Lewis Hamilton and Mark Webber pulled out a championship lead on Sunday, F1's attention turned once again towards the specter of "team orders".

The pair are now 31 and 28 points respectively ahead of nearest title challenger Sebastian Vettel, causing Webber to suggest that the time may be nearing for Red Bull to back him over his young German teammate.

McLaren figures trotted out the party line about driver equality, with Hamilton insisting that he will not receive "any preferential treatment" over Jenson Button.

"I think it's too early, but maybe there's a different strategy compared to McLaren," said Webber.

"It's still too early at the moment but not far away, I would say," added the Australian.

However, when team boss Christian Horner was asked if Vettel is now going to play second fiddle to Webber, he answered: "That would be team orders.  And those are not allowed!"

Vettel told Auto Motor und Sport: "There are still some races to go and we have seen how quickly things change.

"Monza will be hard for us and today we should at least have been on the podium, but everything is still in it.  Head up, we move on."

Interestingly, the specter of team orders could actually deliver Red Bull some points if the World Motor Sport Council decides to penalize the Ferrari drivers at its disciplinary hearing.

Vettel finished behind both position-swapping Ferraris at Hockenheim, moving Red Bull's Helmut Marko to observe on Sunday to Auto Motor und Sport: "On September 8 there could be ten more points for Sebastian."

Hockenheim winner Fernando Alonso told Spanish reporters on Sunday: "No, I don't think so, we're relaxed."

Hamilton 'riding his luck' to title lead - Horner
(GMM)  With six and possibly just five races to go in 2010, the psychological games are now well and truly in play by the main players.

After the Belgian GP on Sunday, McLaren's Martin Whitmarsh denounced Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel as a "crash kid" for his "junior formula" crash into Jenson Button.

But fingers were also pointing in the other direction.

"Button braked early, Seb wanted to avoid him and lost it on a bump," Whitmarsh's Red Bull counterpart Christian Horner is quoted by Auto Motor und Sport.

Helmut Marko described Button as driving "so slow" at the time of the incident, but the reigning world champion hit back by insisting he "certainly didn't brake any earlier than usual".

Marko added: "He (Vettel) could not just sit behind Jenson.  He was so slow that Sebastian was losing one second per lap to Hamilton."

Horner also said Hamilton was the "luckiest man in Belgium" for managing to drive out of a gravel trap prior to winning the race.

"Sometimes you ride your luck and he's had a bit of that this year," said the Briton.

It is also increasingly rumored that the world championship could be curtailed to just 18 races, with South Korea only now laying the asphalt for the track surface.

Now 41 points behind the championship lead, a five-race run to the season finale would be a blow for Fernando Alonso.

"Our intention is to race in Korea," he told Spanish reporters on Sunday.  "I have no information to the contrary so we should be there."

2011 will be learning year for 'show' compromise - Pirelli
(GMM)  Pirelli wants to contribute to the "show" as the new tire supplier, but acknowledges that 2011 will be a learning year.

The quality of F1's spectacle is often blamed on aerodynamics and braking distances, but on several occasions this year, it is the allocation and performance of Bridgestone's tire compounds that have spiced up the action.

Incoming sole supplier Pirelli has already vowed to attempt to contribute to the "show" in the design and supply of its products.

"We will seek to do this, alongside the needs of the teams," the marque's racing chief Paul Hembery said in an interview with O Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper.

"To produce durable and high performance tires is not a problem," explained Hembery.

"The challenge is to find the right compromise between lifespan and durability, with regards to the show."

Pirelli has already begun its on-track 2011 tire development program, with a schedule through to November including Mugello, Paul Ricard, Jerez, Monza and Abu Dhabi.

Said Hembery: "It could be that because we cannot test at all the (grand prix) circuits that we need to be more conservative at some places, so that the tires can survive but the show doesn't benefit as everyone would want.

"It must be understood that 2011 is our first year," he added.

Liuzzi, Kobayashi to stay with current teams in 2011
(GMM)  Two more race cockpits for the 2011 season are locked out, according to reports.

Germany's Auto Motor und Sport claims that Vitantonio Liuzzi is already under contract with Force India for next season, while Kamui Kobayashi is set to stay at Sauber due to the existence of a 2011 deal.

The existence of Japanese rookie Kobayashi's ongoing contract was also reported recently by Finland's Turun Sanomat.

It is a different story, however, with the other Sauber seat, currently occupied by Pedro de la Rosa.

The Spanish veteran had an awful weekend at Spa-Francorchamps, crashing into the barriers during qualifying and then losing a points-scoring position with another incident in the race.

In the post-race statement, Peter Sauber did not even mention the 39-year-old.

It is rumored that former BMW-Sauber driver Nick Heidfeld is a candidate for the 2011 place, and his attractiveness for next year has been boosted by his new Pirelli testing role.

The German was not seen in the Spa paddock at the weekend, and it is believed he has been asked by Pirelli not to speak to the media in the midst of the 2011 tires' development.

Renault's Boullier denies Red Bull/Mercedes reports
(GMM)  Renault's formula one team has rubbished rumors suggesting the pacesetting Red Bull Racing is set to switch engine suppliers for 2011.

The rumor has already been denied by Force India, who were apparently to the be the recipient of the Renault power plant next year while Red Bull moved to Mercedes.

Enstone based Renault is now majority owned by Genii Capital and essentially separate to the French carmaker, but team boss Eric Boullier nonetheless said those engine rumors are "nonsense".

The rumors have also been played down by Mercedes, as well as McLaren, who have the contractual right to veto a Red Bull/Mercedes deal.

Meanwhile, Boullier told the La Libre newspaper that Belgian GP2 driver Jerome d'Ambrosio, already with a relationship with Renault, is likely to test the F1 car in Abu Dhabi in November.

It is also reported that d'Ambrosio could test another car - possibly the Virgin - at the young driver test.

"He has shown lately that he deserves it.  Let's say it is a good option," said Boullier, also admitting that Czech driver Jan Charouz is a contender for the young driver test.

The team's French boss also indicated that changes will be made to Renault's young driver program for 2011.

"It will continue but in another form.  We are considering an academy, a bit like Ferrari's, with young drivers able to test a (2009 F1 car) R29," said Boullier.

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