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DATE News (chronologically)
Latest F1 news in brief - Monday
  • Lotus name dispute 'embarrassing' - Trulli
  • Renault issue means Kubica to sit out rally
  • Big team spending threatens FOTA unity
  • Rome mayor says Monza more important to F1
  • New Red Bull heading for 1 February debut – Marko
  • Ferrari tried to poach more Red Bull people - Marko
  • Vettel 'stupid' to make Ferrari switch now - Marko

Lotus name dispute 'embarrassing' - Trulli
(GMM) Jarno Trulli has denounced as "embarrassing" the F1 naming dispute between his employer and the carmaker Lotus.

The lack of an official or amicable resolution before the start of the 2011 season means the Italian 36-year-old is set to compete this year with Team Lotus against the newly-rebranded Lotus Renault GP.

"Which is the real one? We don't know, it's embarrassing, surreal," Trulli, a former Toyota driver and race-winner with Renault, told Sunday's Gazzetta Sportiva newspaper.

Renault issue means Kubica to sit out rally
(GMM) Robert Kubica will be forced to sit out the famous Monte Carlo rally for the second year in succession.

Last year, the Pole's Renault Clio suffered an engine failure after just 4km.

Rally enthusiast Kubica, 26, wanted to return in 2011, and had even signaled his intention with organizers to contest the January 18-22 event.

But according to German language speedweek.de, he has had to withdraw due to wanting to take part in the S2000 category with a car other than a Renault.

Kubica's F1 employer Lotus Renault GP reportedly did not give him permission to drive a rival carmaker's car.

Big team spending threatens FOTA unity
(GMM) HRT's logo has been removed from the website of the formula one teams association FOTA.

There are varying accounts of why the back-of-the-grid Spanish team has left the body, including some claims that FOTA simply suspended Hispania because it had not paid its EUR 100,000 membership fee.

Another explanation is that HRT is no longer supportive of F1's big teams, particularly with Red Bull reportedly breaching the Resource Restriction Agreement (RRA) in 2010 by some EUR 60 million, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

It is also rumored that Mercedes is unlikely to meet the RRA restrictions on the development of KERS.

The Spanish news agency EFE claims that HRT's departure could trigger more teams to split with FOTA, thus undermining the power of the body ahead of crucial commercial negotiations with Bernie Ecclestone.

Rome mayor says Monza more important to F1
(GMM) Rome mayor Gianni Alemanno has pledged only conditional support to plans for a formula one street race in the Italian capital.

There is fierce opposition to promoter Maurizio Flammini's plans for the race in the EUR district including from Ferrari, who insist that there is only room in F1 for one grand prix per country.

Mayor Alemanno has now declared that if that is true, then Monza and not Rome should represent Italy in F1.

"If it comes down to a choice between Monza or Rome, then we (the city) will step back because the Italian grand prix is at Monza," he is quoted by Rai.

But Alemanno added that he does think there is "room" in F1 for two Italian races.

"A circuit race and a street race are different and we think the two will support one another," he said.

When asked why many people – including EUR residents – oppose the Rome grand prix project, Alemanno said it is due to their "little knowledge" of the plans.

"I think it's worth it because it will increase the tourist flow and the international attention of the whole of Italy," he added.

New Red Bull heading for 1 February debut – Marko
(GMM) Red Bull is pushing hard to prepare its 2011 car for the first day of winter testing next month.

The energy drink company's motor sport consultant Dr Helmut Marko confirmed world champion Sebastian Vettel's recent claim that the RB7 is on schedule to make its track debut on 1 February at Valencia.

"We are going right to the limit in the build-time of the new car," Austrian Marko, 67, told German newspaper Bild.

"We will need every minute until the first of February in Valencia," he added.

Marko hailed Red Bull's car designer Adrian Newey as a "genius" and said his 2011 car is an "evolution not a revolution" of the title-winning RB6.

"What I have seen of the car so far makes me optimistic," he said.

"Last year Sebastian lost 66 points because of technical defects and we gave almost all of them to Fernando Alonso.

"If we can get rid of the bad luck and mistakes of this year, we will defend the title," said Marko.

Ferrari tried to poach more Red Bull people - Marko
(GMM) Strategy chief Neil Martin was not Ferrari's only target at the 2010 championship winning Red Bull team.

That is the claim of Helmut Marko, the right-hand man of Red Bull team owner Dietrich Mateschitz.

He is referring to Ferrari's recent announcement that Briton Martin, 38, has switched from Red Bull for 2011.

"Ferrari have made massive efforts to get our people," Marko told Bild newspaper.

"But everyone has stayed in the boat," he said. "This is important, because we have an unique spirit in the team and I get the feeling Ferrari wants to have it," he added.

Vettel 'stupid' to make Ferrari switch now - Marko
(GMM) Sebastian Vettel would be "stupid" to switch to Ferrari if he knows Red Bull can supply a quicker car.

That is the view of Helmut Marko, the energy drink company Red Bull's motor racing right-hand man for team owner Dietrich Mateschitz.

Austrian Marko, 67, is known to be close to fellow German speaker and new world champion Vettel, but the 23-year-old has recently been musing about a future switch to Ferrari.

"It's only natural for a race driver to dream of Ferrari, and for Ferrari to want a great driver like Sebastian," he told Bild newspaper.

But Marko is not worried that Vettel will make the switch any time soon.

"Sebastian won't leave us just because of the Ferrari legend," he insisted. "He is smart enough to know that the time would have to be right for him.

"He would have to be stupid to go there with Fernando Alonso.

"We are the world championship team, and as long as we offer Sebastian a package that is better than the others, he's not going to leave just because of a mythical history," added Marko.

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