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DATE News (chronologically)
11/01/10
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Monday
  • Bernie Ecclestone (R) has no plans to take F1 public
    No public floatation for F1 - Ecclestone
  • F1's new team 'cripples' are 'an embarrassment' - Ecclestone
  • Alonso can use low-mileage engine in Abu Dhabi
  • Herbert to make third steward appearance in Brazil
  • HRT's Senna reveals talks with 'other teams'
  • Massa will not have to be no.2 in 2011 - Domenicali
  • Sponsors must decide on 2011 F1 seat - Aleshin
  • Heidfeld rules out 'slow team' switch for 2011
  • Baguette no longer looking for F1 seat

No public floatation for F1 - Ecclestone
(GMM)  Bernie Ecclestone has played down suggestions formula one might be sold to the public.

A few years ago, the F1 chief executive said an initial public offering "would probably be the right way to go" for the sport.

But he has now told the Financial Times: "There's no way I would sit in front of a load of shareholders.

"It wouldn't float under me," insisted the 80-year-old.

F1 is currently majority owned by private equity investor CVC Capital Partners, with Ecclestone holding 5.3 per cent.

The report said the Briton values the organization at $6 or $7 billion, but he is not worried about who will run F1 in his stead.

"Somebody will emerge when I'm not there," said Ecclestone.  "I think two or three people may come out the woodwork but I don't think it could be carried on in the same way as it has."

He said there is "no truth" to the rumors Flavio Briatore is a leading candidate.

Ecclestone also admitted that he would like Red Bull's Mark Webber or Sebastian Vettel to win the 2010 title, so that there are five active world champions on the grid in 2011.

F1's new team 'cripples' are 'an embarrassment' - Ecclestone
(GMM)  F1's three new teams have been "an embarrassment" for the sport in 2010, according to chief executive Bernie Ecclestone.

Through additional financial incentives, the 80-year-old Briton actively enticed new entrants into pitlane this year.

But he has told the Financial Times that Virgin, Lotus and HRT have ultimately added no value to F1 because of their lack of competitiveness.

"They do nothing for us, they are an embarrassment," said Ecclestone.  "We need to get rid of a few of those cripples."

He clarified that the Malaysian team Lotus is worth keeping in F1 beyond 2010, and called for Sir Richard Branson to put some serious money into Virgin.

"Richard should put some money in there shouldn't he?  He could do what (Red Bull chief Dietrich Mateschitz) has done and put some money in."

Fernando Alonso
Alonso can use low-mileage engine in Abu Dhabi
(GMM)  Fernando Alonso's engine situation is not as dire as it appears on paper, according to a German publication.

On the face of it, the championship leader is well into his allocation of eight engines for 2010, facing a ten-position grid penalty if he needs to use a ninth unit before the finale.

In fact, this weekend's Brazilian race will be the last the Ferrari driver will have to tackle with a high-mileage engine, Auto Motor und Sport explained.

One of Alonso's eight engines has very low mileage, but has been unable to be used because it was replaced after qualifying at the Bahrain season opener.

The rules prevented Ferrari from re-deploying this engine for anything other than free practice sessions, after it was replaced in Bahrain as a precaution due to the F60 almost overheating.

But because Abu Dhabi is the season finale, Alonso is allowed to use any engine in his allocation there, and the Bahrain qualifying unit is extremely low on mileage.

Herbert to make third steward appearance in Brazil
(GMM)  Johnny Herbert will make his third appearance in 2010 as a formula one steward this weekend.

The 46-year-old Briton, who won three grands prix during his career spanning 165 races until 2000, debuted in the role in Malaysia and then wore an FIA shirt again in Turkey.

A spokesman for the Brazilian grand prix confirmed to O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper that Herbert will be the driver representative on the stewards' panel at Interlagos.

He raced in F1 for Benetton, Tyrrell, Ligier, Sauber, Stewart and Jaguar.

His best finish at Interlagos, an event he contested nine times, was fourth in 1993 at the wheel of a Lotus.

HRT's Senna reveals talks with 'other teams'
(GMM)  Bruno Senna has admitted it would be "great" to return to Interlagos in the future with a chance of a good result.

The Brazilian rookie, whose uncle Ayrton was revered by the local Interlagos crowd and is buried in nearby Morumbi, will contest his first grand prix at the circuit this weekend in the uncompetitive HRT car.

Recent reports have indicated the 27-year-old is in talks with other teams about 2011, perhaps Lotus where he could be test driver next year before returning to the grid in 2012.

"It would be great to fight for better positions," he said in a Portuguese language Reuters news report.

Senna's debut F1 season has been difficult, but he said he is focused on the positive aspects.

"I have learned a lot, I have gained experience in many ways, and I have the opportunity to fight for a place for next year.

"So it's been a year of learning and growing and it's giving me the chance to be in formula one next year," he added.

Senna confirmed there are talks ongoing with other teams about 2011.

"We are talking with other teams and we are opening some doors that were maybe not open before ... the prospects are good," he added.

Massa will not have to be no.2 in 2011 - Domenicali
(GMM)  Even if Fernando Alonso wins the 2010 world championship, his Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa will not be relegated to a full-time supportive role next year.

That is the claim of the famous Italian team's boss Stefano Domenicali, even though Brazilian Massa was playing a subordinate role to Alonso's title push even before his own title chances were mathematically over for this season.

Domenicali said Ferrari drivers race primarily in the interests of the Maranello based team.

"Our drivers have to know what is in the interest of the team," he said in an interview with the Folha de S.Paulo newspaper.

"I can confirm that Felipe will be able to start from scratch in 2011, but always knowing that Ferrari is the most important," added Domenicali.

He denied that Massa's problems have only been about Bridgestone's tires in 2010.

"I trust him completely and want to make clear that he is a great team player and a great driver," said the Italian.

"I think that when you do not have a perfect season, you have to look at yourself and react.  Felipe knows that the team is with him.  He knows we are here to make him the best driver he can be.

"I don't think his performance is related only to the tires.  We have to put all the pieces together and try to understand the reasons for him not having the best possible season," added Domenicali.

Mikhail Aleshin
Sponsors must decide on 2011 F1 seat - Aleshin
(GMM)  Mikhail Aleshin is a contender to make his F1 debut next year with Force India, according to Finland's Turun Sanomat.

His father and manager Peter revealed last month he is in talks with Vijay Mallya's Silverstone based team as well as Lotus and Virgin about 2011.

The 23-year-old, who would be the second Russian in F1 after countryman Vitaly Petrov, recently secured the Renault World Series title and a test with the Renault team in Abu Dhabi later this month.

But he told the Sovetsky Sport newspaper that he does not have the full EUR 10-15 million in sponsorship that he needs to buy a seat for 2011.

"Now it's the sponsors' turn to decide," said Aleshin, who is already backed by state-owned Gazprom and the tire company Cordiant.

Heidfeld rules out 'slow team' switch for 2011
(GMM)  Nick Heidfeld has ruled out turning to a "slow team" to rescue his formula one career for 2011.

The German, who began the season as a test driver, will lose his current Sauber race seat after Abu Dhabi, and is hoping to switch either to Renault or Force India next year.

"Yes, there have been talks for a long time.  And it looks good," he is quoted by Switzerland's Blick.

"I am definitely got going to go to a slow team in 2011," added the 33-year-old, who is surely referring to the new outfits Lotus, Virgin and HRT.

"I'm not mentioning names!" Heidfeld insisted.

Bertrand Baquette drove for the Conquest IndyCar team in 2010
Baguette no longer looking for F1 seat
(GMM)  Bertrand Baguette has revealed he is no longer on the market for a formula one seat.

As the new Renault World Series champion, the 24-year-old Belgian tested with the Renault team and also Sauber late last year.

But after failing to secure a role for 2010, he accepted a seat in the US-based IndyCar series.

"I have received offers to participate in the upcoming test in Abu Dhabi, but I don't care to spend our budget on a program that I suspect will not lead to anything," Baguette is quoted by the Belga news agency.

"Instead, I am focused on IndyCar, where I have the feeling I can build a career.

"I don't want to spend any more of my time looking for an opening in F1, where a driver who has proved himself in the lower categories is not given a chance," he added.

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