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DATE News (chronologically)
09/08/10
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Wednesday - 2  Fittipaldi returns as steward, Monza alters curbs
FIA confirms no 13th team, 20 races in 2011
Ferrari figures arrive for team orders hearing
Pundits split over Vettel's title chances
Webber almost quit F1 during Williams days

Fittipaldi returns as steward, Monza alters curbs
(GMM)  Emerson Fittipaldi is resuming his role as a special formula one steward at this weekend's Italian grand prix.

The 63-year-old double world champion kicked off his FIA duties in the fourth steward role at Montreal in June.

Also confirmed by F1's governing body ahead of the Monza event are reported changes to the chicanes.

The FIA, meeting for a World Motor Sport Council meeting in Paris on Wednesday, said the areas behind the apex curbs at turns 1 and 4 have been laid with a ramped concrete section.

The sections will ensure that the chances of a car becoming airborne after running over the curbs are minimized.

FIA confirms no 13th team, 20 races in 2011
(GMM)  The FIA has confirmed reports that formula one will not feature a 13th team in 2011.

The rumors about the governing body's decision emerged on Tuesday, but Jacques Villeneuve - bidding to launch a team in partnership with Durango - said the media had jumped the gun.

It is also believed Spain's Epsilon Euskadi was still in the running for the final entry.

But after a World Motor Sport Council meeting in Paris on Wednesday, the FIA said "none of the candidates met the requirements" to debut next season.

Also in Wednesday's meeting, preceding the Ferrari team orders hearing in the rainy French capital, an unprecedented 20-race calendar for 2011 was ratified.

There are four back to back races, an inaugural Indian grand prix in October, and Brazil takes over as the venue of the season finale, with an unusually late November date.

The FIA also confirmed that, in addition to drivers needing super licenses, also requiring a F1 license in future will be team bosses, managers, technical directors and race engineers.

The move is a response to the 2009 crashgate scandal, when the FIA found its powers limited to sanction team chiefs Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds.

Another decision is that drivers will lose their F1 seats if they lose their road drivers license, and could be disciplined if "involved in a serious road traffic offence".

This move is undoubtedly in reaction to Lewis Hamilton's 'hoon' antics in Melbourne earlier this year.

Ferrari figures arrive for team orders hearing
(GMM)  Boss Stefano Domenicali, spokesman Luca Colajanni and a lawyer arrived at Paris' Place de la Concorde on Wednesday for what has become known as the 'team orders hearing'.

The disciplinary meeting of the World Motor Sport Council is currently taking place in the rainy French capital at the FIA's headquarters.

It was reported a decision would be made on Wednesday evening, but it is now rumored that the outcome may not be known publicly until Thursday -- when the F1 world will be congregated at Monza ahead of the Italian grand prix.

Former Renault boss Flavio Briatore thinks the Italian team should escape further penalty, having already been fined $100,000 immediately after Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso controversially swapped positions at Hockenheim in July.

"If there is common sense and consistency, Ferrari should not be punished any more by the FIA," he told La Repubblica newspaper.

Briatore, banned by the FIA last year for the crashgate scandal, likened the situation to a "witch hunt" and insisted it is a "political issue".

"In the past with similar cases, nothing at all was done (in reaction)," Briatore said.

Pundits split over Vettel's title chances
(GMM)  Hans-Joachim Stuck does not think Sebastian Vettel will win the 2010 world championship.

The young Red Bull driver has made a series of mistakes recently and is now 31 points behind championship leader Lewis Hamilton.

"Theoretically he can still do it, practically I don't think so," Stuck, former grand prix driver and now VW motor sport representative, is quoted by the German news agency SID.

Even team boss Christian Horner acknowledges that Vettel is still learning, and Stuck agrees that the time may not be ripe for him to succeed.

"Sebastian needs to show whether he can also work under pressure, making no mistakes in those circumstances," he said.

Ten-time grand prix winner Gerhard Berger, boss at Toro Rosso when Vettel sensationally won the Italian grand prix in his rookie season, is more confident.

"31 points is possible to catch up," said the Austrian.  "Sebastian has the advantage of the best car.

"He has to learn to settle sometimes for second and third, striking when he can but not at any cost," acknowledged Berger.

F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone is equally bullish.

"31 points behind Lewis (Hamilton) is not too much, and he has the talent to do it.  He only has to not do anything crazy," added the Briton.

Webber almost quit F1 during Williams days
(GMM)  Now considered a favorite for the 2010 world championship, Mark Webber has revealed he almost quit formula one several years ago.

Having impressed at Minardi and Jaguar, the Australian was signed for 2005 by grandee Williams, but the famous British team had concurrently begun its slide from the sport's pinnacle.

"I got pretty low during my time with Williams," admitted the 34-year-old, who subsequently switched to Red Bull, where he is now mere points from leading the drivers' standings from Lewis Hamilton.

"I think most people at this level have similar levels of talent and you have to be the one who wants it the most.  There was a stage when I didn't," said Webber.

He said his struggle with Williams went beyond a normal period of feeling burned out.

"I think a lot of people may want to throw the towel in at times," said Webber.  "But I considered it during my Williams days.  That was very tough.

"I lost my motivation for about six months," he explained.  "I mean it is not like you are in other sports, where you can take some time off, maybe pick and choose your events."

Even in 2010, winning more grands prix than any of his highly rated competitors like Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and teammate Sebastian Vettel, the Herald Sun newspaper said Webber is still enduring a tough time with pain from the leg he badly broke in late 2008.

"I have had a few niggles and dramas, but I won't go into it too much," he confirmed.  "No, it is fine."

Webber is signed up with Red Bull for the 2011 season, insisting he does not want to commit further in case the "fire" burns out.

"If I win that world championship, well, that may do me.  I'd be a very content man."

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