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DATE News (chronologically)
Latest F1 news in brief Wednesday - 1
  • FIA would be 'wise' to go easy on Ferrari - Hill
  • Domenicali not ruling out title revival for Ferrari
  • FIA still to decide on 13th team spot - Villeneuve
  • Ferrari not happy with 2013 engine formula
  • Buemi admits targeting Webber's seat for 2012
  • Marko hints preferred status unlikely for Webber
  • Calder Park not eyeing Australian GP
  • Red Bull won't stop Newey from racing - Horner

FIA would be 'wise' to go easy on Ferrari - Hill
(GMM)  The FIA would not be "wise" to severely punish Ferrari at Wednesday's disciplinary hearing.

That is the opinion of 1996 world champion Damon Hill, who at Spa in 1998 won the Belgian grand prix after then team boss Eddie Jordan ordered teammate Ralf Schumacher to hold station.

But that was before F1's governing body banned team orders in 2002, after Ferrari so crudely ordered Rubens Barrichello to give up a deserved win to Michael Schumacher in Austria.

The Italian team imposed a similar order at Hockenheim in July, in the form of Rob Smedley's radio message to Felipe Massa that "Fernando is faster than you".

According to Britain's Daily Express, Ferrari has "spent a lot of time" since Hockenheim quietly explaining that its behavior was not unusual.

The newspaper said McLaren sent a coded message to Lewis Hamilton in one race, informing the British driver that the "cat was out of the house" before he drove past compliant former teammate Heikki Kovalainen.

"Every team in the pitlane gives team orders," David Coulthard is quoted by the Wall Street Journal.  "Anyone who says they don't is lying."

It's for that reason that Hill, speaking to the Telegraph, thinks the World Motor Sport Council should go easy on Ferrari.

"(The FIA) flexing their muscles because they can is not necessarily wise," he said, when considering a severe sporting sanction as the potential outcome of the hearing.

"I don't think a punishment that big would fit this particular crime," added Hill.

Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport is hoping not only that Ferrari escapes Wednesday intact, but that the team order regulation is looked at in order to spare teams from having to sidestep it.

"Perhaps there can be a clarification which overcomes this hypocrisy, so that team orders are allowed as long as they don't harm other competitors," said the sports daily.

Domenicali not ruling out title revival for Ferrari
(GMM)  Ferrari had a tough race at Spa-Francorchamps but could be set for a stronger showing this weekend, according to team boss Stefano Domenicali.

The Italian team, whilst trying to recover its championship deficit, brought updates for its F10 car to Belgium two weeks ago that resulted in a backwards step in terms of competitiveness.

Domenicali has made it clear that one more bad result will mean Ferrari switching its focus to 2011, but he also told Corriere dello Sport that he is hopeful of a strong outing on home territory this weekend at Monza.

"Winning at Monza is not unthinkable, because we have understood where we went wrong with the improvements in Spa.

"We know now how to get the best from these parts," he said.

As part of the last-ditch push for 2010, test driver Giancarlo Fisichella did an astonishing 700 kilometers of straight-line running with the new parts last week at Vairano.

Fernando Alonso, 41 points behind the title leader, admits the situation will mean additional "pressure" in front of the tifosi this weekend.

"It is obvious that this race is very important for us.  There will be some pressure," admitted the Spaniard.

Domenicali concedes that Alonso has been feeling the pressure all season.

"If Fernando has done some mistakes, it is because he wants to show who he is.  Wearing red overalls is very heavy and a lot heavier than what is seen from the outside," said the Italian.

Domenicali is also supportive of the other half of Ferrari's driver lineup, albeit acknowledging that Felipe Massa has things to work on.

"Felipe needs to find the right balance in his relationship with Fernando, and this will happen over time.

"He has grown a lot with Ferrari," added Domenicali.  "He is a driver whose best comes out at crucial times, when the pressure is the highest."

FIA still to decide on 13th team spot - Villeneuve
(GMM)  Jacques Villeneuve is not confirming reports that the FIA intends to leave the 13th team spot vacant for the 2011 season.

The 1997 world champion, in collaboration with Italian racing team Durango, is in the running along with Spain's Epsilon Euskadi for the last place on next year's grid.

But according to reports this week, the governing body has decided to leave the position vacant because neither of the applications has a strong enough combination of engineering and financial resource.

It is believed the news could be announced after Wednesday's meeting of the World Motor Sport Council in Paris, even though the decision was reportedly made a week ago.

But Villeneuve told the French language Canadian publication Rue Frontenac late on Tuesday that he is still hopeful.

"We have had no news - positive or negative - from the FIA," said the 39-year-old.

"All I know is that we are proud of our bid and we followed the process instituted by the FIA.

"We have a budget in place for the next three years, and the design of the car is going very well.  Phase 1 is nearing completion.

"We have submitted our application and we only need the approval of the FIA for the next phase."

Villeneuve said he can understand the FIA's careful deliberations about allowing another new team to compete in formula one.

"The memory of the USF1 debacle is still fresh in their minds," said the winner of 11 grands prix, who competed in F1 most recently in 2006 for BMW.

"They want to be really sure that the group with the 13th spot will be very solid, and that suits us because we are strong," Villeneuve insisted.

"After our meeting, they wanted to do due diligence and that's probably why the announcement is a bit late.

"We look forward to the news but we're not panicking -- far from it," added the French Canadian.

He said Durango owner Ivone Pinton is not panicking either, despite the reports about the FIA deciding not to open F1's door to any more teams for now.

"We have barely discussed it, except to say the media is a bit fast on the trigger!  It's possible the FIA will say no but we have no indication to that effect.

"Their analytical work is ongoing -- that's all we know," added Villeneuve.

Ferrari not happy with 2013 engine formula
(GMM)  Ferrari is not happy with F1's reported plans for a four-cylinder, 1.6 liter turbocharged engine formula for the 2013 season and beyond.

It emerged this week that the broad outline of the sport's future rules has been essentially decided and agreed by the majority of the teams.

According to Italy's Autosprint, the famous Ferrari outfit is not among them.

Instead, the report said the Maranello based team wants formula one to revert to a 1.8 liter V6 engine design, which would be much easier to adapt from the current 2.4 liter V8s.

Ferrari's engine boss Luca Marmorini reportedly insists there is not enough time to design a completely new engine for 2013 "with the necessary reliability to have only four units (per driver), as they would like", he said.

Marmorini also argues that a 4-cylinder design would require a complete overhaul of the chassis designs.

Amid Ferrari's staunch opposition last year to the proposed budget cap rules, the team threatened to quit formula one.

In a new interview with Corriere dello Sport, team boss Stefan Domenicali said anyone who thinks F1 would be the same without Ferrari "is wrong".

He warned that, "depending on how the rules are configured", Ferrari is open to seeking new challenges in "Le Mans or the major American championships".

Buemi admits targeting Webber's seat for 2012
(GMM)  Sebastien Buemi has admitted he is happy to spend another season at Toro Rosso in order to convince Red Bull that he should be paired with Sebastian Vettel in 2012.

The 21-year-old Swiss will spend a third season with the energy drinks company's Italian-based junior team next year, but is hoping Mark Webber will move on from Red Bull Racing once the Australian's 2011 contract expires.

"My goal is to have a seat at Red Bull, to follow in the footsteps of Sebastian Vettel," Buemi told the Swiss newspaper Le Nouvelliste.

"But first I have to convince the bosses.  First of all, it requires good results, because a car like that has to be deserved.

"Today, I am happy to drive a Toro Rosso, with the team that gave me my chance."

He admitted that it is the cockpit currently occupied by championship contender Webber that is in his sights.

"Admittedly he has had a superb season," said Buemi of the Australian.  "But it is a place that could be free for 2012.

"But first it is my task to prove myself," he acknowledged.

Marko hints preferred status unlikely for Webber
(GMM)  The likelihood of imminent 'number 1' status for Mark Webber has taken a backwards step.

After the Australian moved further ahead of Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel in Belgium two weeks ago, he suggested the time might be nearing for the team to put its eggs in the Webber basket.

However, the 34-year-old has a tetchy relationship with team consultant Dr Helmut Marko, particularly after the Silverstone front wing saga and Webber's unhappy boast that he is the "number 2 driver".

So when it was put to Austrian Dr Marko that Webber might now be favored over Vettel, he told Sportwoche: "A few races ago he (Webber) was demanding more equality!"

Marko is also critical of McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh's post-Belgium comments that Vettel has become F1's "crash kid".

"That's not a fair way for them to fight for the championship," he charged.

Calder Park not eyeing Australian GP
(GMM)  A major redevelopment of Melbourne's Calder Park Raceway is taking place, but owner Bob Jane has played down reports the track could be an alternative host for the Australian grand prix.

The plans involve Calder upgrading to FIA standard with some state government backing, sparking rumors the Australian grand prix may no longer be held on the public roads around Albert Park.

"As far as I am concerned, Albert Park is the best venue for the grand prix and I have no plans to have formula one racing out here," Jane, a former touring car driver and now owner of a popular chain of tire outlets, is quoted by the Brimbank Leader.

Jane organized non-championship F1 races at Calder Park between 1980 and 1984, before the world championship moved to Adelaide and subsequently Melbourne.

Red Bull won't stop Newey from racing - Horner
(GMM)  Red Bull will not stop Adrian Newey from contesting amateur motor racing events, team boss Christian Horner has revealed.

Early last month, the team's highly respected designer and technical chief was hospitalized after crashing during a Ginetta support race at Snetterton.

The 51-year-old escaped serious injury but was subject to suggestions that a highly paid and valuable member of a formula one team should not be exposing himself to such high risks.

"Adrian is a keen amateur racing driver -- and a free spirit," Horner said in a German language interview with Sportwoche.

"He is very competent and it's something he will continue to do.

"The more you try to inhibit someone, the more frustration there is," added Horner.

He claims that it is these type of restrictions, particularly in the realm of his actual team work, that means Newey is more comfortable at Red Bull than he was with his former employer.

"Adrian is his own man and needs freedom, and with McLaren he didn't have it," Horner insisted.

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