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DATE News (chronologically)
Latest F1 news in brief Thursday
  • Press angry after Ferrari team orders verdict
  • Decision paves road to team orders ban axe
  • Ferrari issued radio message to 'motivate' Massa
  • Alonso puts Contador cycling team plans on ice
  • Vettel vows to keep attacking amid criticism
  • Chandhok needs cockpit before 2011 Indian GP
  • 13th entry 'not only way' to enter F1 - Epsilon Euskadi
  • Rain at Monza but dry F1 weekend expected
  • F1 prospects improve for Hartley, Grosjean
  • Bahrain hopes to keep role as first race beyond 2011
  • Williams' Parr tours US GP host in Texas
  • Williams' Parr would be 'proud' to be FOTA chairman
  • Law firm sues HRT for unpaid fees

Press angry after Ferrari team orders verdict
(GMM)  Sections of the international media were angry after the FIA controversially decided not to further penalize Ferrari for imposing team orders at Hockenheim.

The full reasons for the decision have not yet been released, but the Daily Express in Britain said upholding the $100,000 stewards fine and ordering the paying of costs amounted to a "slap on the wrist".

"It was like giving a 40 (pound) parking ticket to a supercar owner who finds it easier to break the law by parking outside Harrods than find a legal spot," said the newspaper.

Moreover, the team orders ban has been referred back to the Sporting Working Group for review, moving the Daily Mail to muse that F1 has decided to "rip up its own rule book".

One photograph, published at Brazil's Globo website, depicted a Ferrari with a large FIA sponsor decal on its otherwise blank engine cover.

The Maranello based team, whose drivers were available for testimony by video link but ultimately not called upon, reacted officially to Wednesday's verdict by expressing its "appreciation" to the FIA.

"People used to think the FIA stood for Ferrari International Assistance," remarked an angry Eddie Jordan.  "Ferrari are important, but they must treat everybody with respect."

Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport said the events in Paris, ahead of the grand prix at Monza, was Ferrari's "first victory of the week".

Indeed, 'Ferrari International Assistance' became a major trending topic on Twitter as the news broke, and BBC anchor Jake Humphrey said his feedback from fans was "not positive".

Decision paves road to team orders ban axe
(GMM)  Whilst many commentators and fans are angry at the outcome of Wednesday's disciplinary hearing, others say the time is right to axe the ban on team orders.

The Telegraph observed that if the sport's governing body is reluctant to harshly punish a "blatant" rules breach like Ferrari's at Hockenheim, then "the rule really does need reviewing".

"By removing it, at least the hypocrisy of teams who practice it yet preach something else entirely would be removed," added the broadsheet.

The Guardian agrees that "most teams" pay only "lip service" to the ban that is "largely unworkable".

It is rumored that the FIA considered imposing a 5 second time penalty to winner Fernando Alonso, which would have installed the subordinate Felipe Massa as the official winner.

But the Council decided against it, meaning this verdict "is a precedent that will likely allow team orders to be continued to be used in the sport", a New York Times blogger wrote.

Brazilian columnist Livio Oricchio said the next step should be the axing of the ban, so "there is less theatre and more truth in formula one".

Germany's Bild agreed: "Either team orders are punished brutally, or they are officially allowed once again."

Said F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone: "The rules need to be looked at again.

"If you swapped your drivers around with a few laps left, that is bringing the sport into disrepute.  But if you do it earlier, I don't have a problem with team orders."

Enrico Gelpi, president of the Italian sanctioning body ACI and a FIA member, said: "The rule will be reviewed.

"For us it would be a good idea to remove it completely.  The general attitude in the FIA towards this change is favorable."

He said the topic would be discussed at the next World Motor Sport Council meeting in November.

Ferrari issued radio message to 'motivate' Massa
(GMM)  Ferrari argued on Wednesday that Felipe Massa decided to let Fernando Alonso pass him for the race lead at Hockenheim because the Brazilian was angry.

As was rumored before the World Motor Sport Council's disciplinary sitting in Paris, the Maranello based team rejected the charge that it imposed an illegal team order that deprived Massa of the German GP victory.

Carlos Gracia, president of Spain's motor racing federation, was present for the hearing, and later revealed the apparent thrust of Ferrari's argument to Spanish radio Cadena SER.

"Massa was told that he was slower than Alonso to motivate him," said Gracia.

"Angered by the message, Massa decided to slow down, and this led to the suspicions (about team orders)," he added.

Gracia also revealed that he has spoken to Alonso, who knows "nothing" about the imposition of a team order.

Alonso puts Contador cycling team plans on ice
(GMM)  Fernando Alonso has put on ice his plans for a professional cycling team.

Last year, the Ferrari driver said he wanted to establish a Tour de France team featuring his friend and prominent rider Alberto Contador.

But Contador has now signed a two-year deal with Team Saxo Bank.

"Last year I was very close to creating a team with Contador," Alonso revealed in an interview with Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"Contador has now signed for another team.  For the future, who knows -- never say never."

Meanwhile, the Spaniard - although still mathematically in the chase for the 2010 title - threw his support behind his friend Mark Webber.

"At the beginning of the year everyone was talking about Vettel," said Alonso, "and I only want to say that Webber is at the same level."

And he admitted that he has made some mistakes in 2010.

"Yes, but even last year I made 2 or 3 mistakes, it's just that everything you do at Ferrari is worth double," said Alonso.

He also dismissively compared the ongoing furor surrounding the Hockenheim team orders saga with Michael Schumacher's dangerous driving against Rubens Barrichello in Hungary.

"Important incidents are always forgotten, while small cases become as big as mountains," insisted Alonso.

Vettel vows to keep attacking amid criticism
(GMM)  Sebastian Vettel has vowed to keep attacking in 2010, despite the wave of criticism about his rate of errors in recent races.

The 23-year-old German's most recent gaffe was his crash into fellow championship challenger Jenson Button at Spa, earning McLaren's rebuke that he has become F1's "crash kid".

But Vettel told German language Speedweek that he is not now going to drive more cautiously as a result.

"Racing is not a coffee break," said the Red Bull driver.

"I go to the grid to win if it is possible.  But you have to attack, you can't just wait for it to happen."

Vettel admits his Spa-Francorchamps maneuver on Button went badly wrong, and phoned his British rival to apologize.

But he will be racing with an unchanged attitude this weekend at Monza.

"I always try to attack, so in that way nothing is going to change.  You always have your head switched on and everyone weighs up the risks.

"I know that both myself and my car are fast enough to win," added the German.

Chandhok needs cockpit before 2011 Indian GP
(GMM)  Karun Chandhok is excited about his home country hosting a grand prix next year, but first must secure a 2011 race cockpit.

The Indian rookie is currently under contract to HRT, but unlikely to reappear for the struggling Spanish team in 2010 due to Sakon Yamamoto wielding more powerful sponsors.

But that could be set to change, after the FIA on Wednesday confirmed that Delhi will host its inaugural formula one race next October.

"Almost all commercial partners involved with formula one see India as a key market and this is a great way to bring them into our country," Chandhok is quoted by the DNA news agency.

"To be the first Indian driver on the grid at the Indian GP will be a huge thing to have on my CV and we're all working hard to secure the best option for 2011," he said.

Previously, the 26-year-old has said he is unlikely to team up with his countryman and billionaire Vijay Mallya, who heads the Force India team.

But Chandhok is now sounding more bullish, with the team's Adrian Sutil linked with a move elsewhere.

"At the moment it's still a bit early to say," remarked Chandhok to indiancarsbikes.in.  "I'm still contracted to HRT and we'll see what the future holds."

13th entry 'not only way' to enter F1 - Epsilon Euskadi
(GMM)  Joan Villadelprat insists he is not giving up on bringing his Spanish Le Mans team Epsilon Euskadi into formula one.

After the FIA said on Wednesday it has decided to leave the 13th team entry vacant for now, Jacques Villeneuve said his partnership with Italian outfit Durango will now try to enter the sport by buying into an existing team.

Villadelprat, boss of the only other applicant, has adopted a similar stance.

"The 13th license was one way but not the only way to get into formula one," he said.

Villadelprat admitted recently that it had not managed to accrue a full financial package for his F1 team.

"Without this capital it would be unfeasible to carry out the F1 project that we want," he acknowledged on Wednesday.

"We have the ideal facilities and workforce for formula one and we will keep working to get there sooner or later," he added.

Rain at Monza but dry F1 weekend expected
(GMM)  Rain appears unlikely to affect this weekend's running of the Italian grand prix.

Arriving separately in the region near Milan late on Wednesday, Mark Webber and Heikki Kovalainen commented on heavy rain.

"It's raining in Monza big time and thundering as well, hope it stays like this all weekend," enthused Lotus driver Kovalainen.

It appears the Finn's wishes will not come true.

A spell of mild, dry and sunny weather is forecast across all three days of the grand prix weekend, with only a low chance of a light shower on Friday.

And according to the forecast early on Thursday, the chance of rain for Saturday and Sunday diminishes to less than 5 per cent on both decisive days.

F1 prospects improve for Hartley, Grosjean
(GMM)  The career prospects of two hopeful drivers have taken a step back towards formula one.

Romain Grosjean's F1 aspirations have been dwindling since he lost his Renault race seat last year, and former joint reserve driver Brendon Hartley recently lost the support of Red Bull's junior program.

But New Zealander Hartley, 20, has been signed with the help of three new sponsors by the Coloni team for the last two rounds of the GP2 series, beginning this weekend at Monza.

"We face a really big task at Monza as Brendon has never driven a GP2 car," admitted Paulo Coloni, "but he has great experience in high-powered cars."

And Swiss-born Frenchman Grosjean has been signed up by Gravity Sport, the management arm of Renault team owner Gerard Lopez's Genii organization.

Like Hartley, he will be on the GP2 grid this weekend, in the DAMS car normally occupied by injured Renault F1 reserve driver Ho-Pin Tung.

"Such a partner will enable me to concentrate on my return to top-level single-seater racing, and I hope to attain my main aim, which is still formula one," said the 24-year-old.

Bahrain hopes to keep role as first race beyond 2011
(GMM)  Organizers of Bahrain's grand prix have welcomed confirmation that the Sakhir circuit will once again host the F1 season opener next year.

The venue hosted the first race of the 2010 season in March, which was panned by critics as a less than exciting spectacle.

But the FIA announced on Wednesday that Bahrain will also open the 2011 championship, with the March 13 race to be run on the traditional layout rather than the extended one used this season.

Melbourne, traditionally the season opener dating back to 1996, will once again host the second race on the calendar.

"We are very honored to have been given the first race once again for next year," acting chief executive of the Sakhir circuit Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa told Gulf Daily News.

"Being the hosts of the season opening grand prix is a privilege, and we are looking forward to staging another grand event.

"We like having the first race here, and we hope to keep this position on the calendar every year," he added.

The other Middle Eastern race, in Abu Dhabi, has closed the last two F1 calendars, but for 2011 it will revert to the penultimate race date.

Williams' Parr tours US GP host in Texas
(GMM)  While the eyes of the F1 world were on Paris on Wednesday, the chairman of the British team Williams was touring Austin.

According to the local American-Statesman newspaper, Adam Parr was meeting government officials, business leaders and educators.

"One of the reasons I'm here is that I'd like Williams, as a team, to be at the forefront of bringing formula one successfully to the US," he said.

A long-term contract for the United States grand prix to be held on a bespoke circuit in the Texan capital is set to begin in 2012.

The last F1 race in America was at Indianapolis in 2007.

"It is absolutely essential for this sport to have a race in America and not any race, to have an absolutely fantastic event," insisted Parr.

He said Williams looked after promoter Tavo Hellmund and other US GP officials when they visited the British grand prix in July.

"They actually ended up essentially being our guests for the weekend.  We looked after the Texan delegation," Parr revealed.

Williams' Parr would be 'proud' to be FOTA chairman
(GMM)  Adam Parr has admitted the possibility of becoming the next chairman of the formula one teams association FOTA.

Last month it was rumored that Parr, the chairman of the independent British team Williams, was lined up to succeed FOTA's current chairman Martin Whitmarsh.

McLaren boss Whitmarsh responded to the reports by insisting his mandate runs until the very end of 2010.

But Parr, a qualified barrister who has also worked at Barclays Bank and mining giant Rio Tinto, hinted it is possible he will be the next FOTA chairman.

"Ah, yes, it is a rumor," he told the American-Statesman newspaper whilst touring 2012 US GP host Austin on Wednesday.

"It's something that we would be very proud to do as a team," said Parr.

"I think there's a lot of work to be done and if we're given that opportunity, we'll take it on with a lot of energy and quite a high degree of humility as well, because it's a big challenge."

Whitmarsh said recently that he would not like to see the F1 calendar grow to more than 20 races, but Parr hinted that the schedule is set to keep expanding.

The FIA on Wednesday published the official calendar for 2011, featuring an unprecedented 20 races and the inaugural Indian grand prix.

"The year after we'll be coming to the States," Parr said, "so assuming we don't lose any races, we'll have 21 races in 20 countries.

"But we won't have a race in France and we won't have a race in Russia, and I would have thought at the very least we need to be in those two countries," he added.

But Parr played down expectations that F1 could soon have two American races.

"I think we have to take one step at a time," he said.  "It's possible in the future but I don't think that should be part of the plan for the foreseeable future," he said.

Law firm sues HRT for unpaid fees
(GMM)  A law firm has commenced legal action against formula one team HRT.

According to Sport Business, the major international firm DLA Piper is pursuing the struggling Spanish outfit for unpaid legal fees dating back more than a year.

"Despite frequent reminders, Hispania Racing have failed to pay," said the firm's John Everett.

"They have given us no reason for non-payment," he added.  "We are forced to the conclusion that they are unable to pay and hence are commencing such proceedings."

HRT boss Colin Kolles said a few days ago that HRT has managed to secure some more sponsors.

"The situation is improving," he confirmed.  "In F1 you need a lot of support and this is what we are trying to achieve."

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