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Latest F1 news in brief - Monday
  • Heikki Kovalainen
    Kovalainen unconscious after Race of Champions crash
  • Olympic body worried about 2014 Russian GP plans
  • Ferrari bosses deny heads to roll after title loss
  • Montezemolo calls for 2011 rules clarity
  • Barrichello unsure of Williams teammate for 2011
  • Liuzzi in doubt as Force India eyes candidates
  • Ferrari's Alonso happy without Red Bull

Kovalainen unconscious after Race of Champions crash
(GMM)  Heikki Kovalainen was on Sunday knocked unconscious in a crash at the Race of Champions event in Germany.

"Hardcore shunt with throttle jammed and rear suspension damaged, got knocked out, now some medical checkups," the Finnish driver wrote on Twitter after the crash in an Audi R8 in Dusseldorf.

Kovalainen's British girlfriend Catherine Hyde was seated alongside the Lotus driver, who had already taken the checkered flag to win the race, but she emerged unscathed.

"Catherine is sore and her back is painful, got to look after her now," 29-year-old Kovalainen, who went to a local hospital for checks, added.

He also said on Twitter that, after arriving home to Switzerland, he will have further medical checks on Monday.

"Head's a bit sore, (I) was unconscious for 30 seconds," revealed Kovalainen, a former Race of Champions winner.

Olympic body worried about 2014 Russian GP plans
(GMM)  It will be "impossible" for Russia to host formula one and the Winter Olympics in 2014.

That is the claim of International Olympic Committee (IOC) spokesman Andrew Mitchell, who is concerned that the resort city Sochi is also planning its inaugural grand prix in the same region as the next winter games.

"We want to ensure that both events - the Olympic Winter Games and the formula one race - will be staged on the best conditions for all the parties involved," he told Sovetsky Sport newspaper.

"However, we believe that it is impossible to organize two events of such size in one year," added Mitchell.

The media report said the IOC has requested thorough documentation of the F1 project and its construction schedule.

Russia's Federation of Motor Sports and Tourism vice-president Igor Ermilin said this move is to "understand where and when will be critical moments" of the F1 preparations.

"The IOC wants to make sure that the Olympics won't fail.  That's why they are worried," he added.

Ferrari bosses deny heads to roll after title loss
(GMM)  Luca di Montezemolo and Stefano Domenicali have played down reports that heads will roll as a result of Ferrari's championship loss in 2010.

Italian reports had warned chief engineer Chris Dyer was in the spotlight after the bungled race strategy in Abu Dhabi that cost Fernando Alonso the title.

"Changes within the team?  That is not our philosophy, because for years now we have adopted a policy based on dynamic stability," said president Montezemolo at the marque's end-of-season event at Valencia.

"A few minor adjustments are possible, but no major upheaval," he insisted.

Team boss Domenicali had also been singled out as a potential scapegoat for the 2010 outcome, but Montezemolo said he is "very happy" with the Italian's work.

Domenicali also told Corriere della Sera that the idea of major staff changes has been ruled out.

"I could have followed the emotional wave after Singapore 2008, when the fuel nozzle was left attached to Massa's car.

"But that man was one of the protagonists of the winning pitstop at Monza  this year," insisted Domenicali.

Another touted potential ousting prior to the new campaign in 2011 is Felipe Massa, but Montezemolo said he is "sure" the struggling Brazilian will be back to top form next season.

Massa has singled out Bridgestone's tires as the root of his problems this year, and was pleased with his first taste of the 2011 Pirellis in Abu Dhabi recently.

"First impressions are very positive," he said.  "Sure, there is still work to do, but it was a really good day."

Montezemolo calls for 2011 rules clarity
(GMM)  The 2011 rules are still not set in stone, leaving Luca di Montezemolo calling for "total clarity" ahead of next season.

Next year, along with the return of KERS and the arrival of Pirelli as F1's tire supplier, drivers will be able to adjust their rear wing angle when close to a rival in order to boost their chances of overtaking.

But Williams' co-owner and engineering boss Patrick Head warned recently that the latter innovation is "not set in stone".

Ferrari president Montezemolo said at the team's end-of-season event in Valencia: "I hope we start the season with total clarity as regards the regulations.

"I am not worried about it, but our experience of 2009 still grates," he added, in a reference to the rule loophole that led to the development of so-called 'double diffusers' early last year.

Barrichello unsure of Williams teammate for 2011
(GMM)  Rubens Barrichello has revealed he is not sure who will be his teammate in 2011.

The veteran Brazilian had urged his British employer to also renew Nico Hulkenberg's contract, but Williams has instead cleared the second race seat for next season.

It is widely believed that the team made the decision because it needs the financial input of the new GP2 champion Pastor Maldonado, who brings substantial sponsorship from Venezuela.

But at the Granja Viana kart race in Brazil, Barrichello said: "I really don't know if he is coming or not.

"In my case, they (Williams) made my announcement (about staying in 2011) without telling me.  So I don't know," he insisted.

Barrichello also commented on Red Bull's championship sweep in 2010, admitting he thought the policy of avoiding team orders altogether was a "great example" for other teams.

"There's always a lot that the people outside (the team) don't know, but I think it was cool anyway," he is quoted by Globo Esporte.

"It is the opposite of what Ferrari did in Germany," said Barrichello, who in 2002 was famously ordered to give up victory in Austria to his then Ferrari teammate Michael Schumacher.

He also commented on his recent first taste of the Pirelli tires for 2011.

"I liked how the car adapted to the new tires," said the 38-year-old.  "They felt good.  Until the first race it is impossible to say more, but so far I like it."

Liuzzi in doubt as Force India eyes candidates
(GMM)  Jarno Trulli's place on the 2011 grid is secure, but the same is reportedly not true for Italian countryman Vitantonio Liuzzi.

Reporting on Italy's dwindling presence in formula one, Autosprint magazine recalled 1989, when no fewer than 12 Italians lined up on the grid.

Now, there are just two, and the veteran Trulli is expected to re-sign with Lotus Racing for 2011.

But F1's other Italian driver, Vitantonio Liuzzi - while possessing a contract for 2011 - must reportedly tremble as Force India considers its next lineup.

His 2010 teammate Adrian Sutil says he has agreed to stay next year, while two drivers - Paul di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg - are strongly linked with the other seat.

Hulkenberg's manager Willi Weber has revealed talks with the Vijay Mallya-headed team, and reserve driver di Resta upped his credentials at the weekend by wrapping up his first title in the German touring car series DTM.

"I'm certainly hoping I can get a seat there next year because I'd love to continue a long relationship with them," di Resta is quoted as saying on Monday.

"My dream is to become formula one world champion, and that's the next box in my book I've got to tick off.  I'll keep praying it happens," he added.

Di Resta's Scottish countryman and former Toyota racer Allan McNish also hopes the 24-year-old makes his F1 debut next March.

"If you look at the mistakes Sutil and Liuzzi have made in the past few races, you would have to say Paul has a good case to be out there," he said recently.

"Unfortunately, there is a lot of politics in motor sport and F1 is at the very height of that so it is not just about a driver's performance," added McNish.

Ferrari's Alonso happy without Red Bull
(GMM)  New world champion Sebastian Vettel has admitted again that he sees his future in red.

"No question, it is my wish and goal to drive for Ferrari one day," the Red Bull driver told Sunday's Bild am Sonntag newspaper in Germany.

"Or Mercedes, another legendary brand," added the 23-year-old.  "But right now I'm happy.  I have two more years of contract with Red Bull and we have big plans."

Already at Ferrari, Spaniard Alonso has acknowledged that Vettel's RB6 was the best car of 2010.  But he denies to having envious eyes.

"From the outside it is difficult to imagine the satisfaction of being part of a team as great as Ferrari," he told Marca sports newspaper in Spain.

"Red Bull?  I don't keep it in my fridge because I don't like it," joked Alonso.

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