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Latest F1 news in brief - Tuesday
  • FOTA says HRT did not pay 2010 fees
  • Returning Karthikeyan vows to 'catch up' on F1
  • Trulli not ready to 'suffer' in F1 beyond 2011
  • Barrichello to debut 2011 Williams on February1st
  • Santander ups Ferrari presence with cap deal
  • HRT to race 'upgraded' 2010 car this season
  • BBC set to confirm Coulthard as race commentator
  • Patrick Head: We’ve built an adventurous car
  • Ferrari recruit Martin won't travel to races
  • Ferrari's Vroom meting gets underway

FOTA says HRT did not pay 2010 fees
(GMM)  HRT left the F1 teams association FOTA because it did not pay last year's membership fees.

That is the claim of Simone Perillo, despite an HRT spokeswoman earlier insisting that the departure was the Spanish team's decision due to FOTA being "more for the big teams than the small ones".

"For our interests it is better not to be there," the HRT spokeswoman said.

But Perillo, Swiss-based FOTA's general secretary, confirmed that HRT did not pay the full EUR 100,000 membership fee for last year.

"I can confirm that (the team) did not fulfill their 2010 FOTA membership fee obligations," he told the Reuters news agency.

The logos of the other eleven F1 teams are still showing on the FOTA website.

McLaren's Martin Whitmarsh, with Stefano Domenicali as his vice-chairman, is expected to retain the chairmanship in 2011, despite earlier expectations that Williams' Adam Parr might be appointed.

Returning Karthikeyan vows to 'catch up' on F1
(GMM)  Narain Karthikeyan has vowed to "catch up" with formula one after spending much of 2010 racing a NASCAR Truck in America.

The newly-signed HRT driver revealed on Twitter that among his first jobs in preparation for 2011 is to buy the 2010 F1 Season Review on DVD.

"Missed loads of races while racing in the US, need to catch up!" said the Indian, who turns 34 this week.

Karthikeyan has not raced in F1 since his debut season in 2005, and quotes attributed to him in the Deccan Herald newspaper suggest that he is struggling even with the very short history of his new employer.

When asked if he expects HRT to have a better season this year than in 2010, Karthikeyan answered: "The car that they had last year was really bad in terms of the engine they used."

HRT used the Cosworth engine in 2010 and intend to stay with the Northamptonshire marque this year.

"They (HRT) have a lot of promising plans drawn out for the 2011 season and I'm hoping that it all materializes," added Karthikeyan.

Another problem for Karthikeyan might be his physical condition, given that he revealed that only "10 days ago" he "almost signed up" for another NASCAR Truck season.

Team boss Kolles admitted that when he was in charge at Jordan in 2005, Karthikeyan's "biggest negative point" was his fitness.

"But his physical fitness during the Le Mans races, which are very long, was very good," added the HRT chief.

Karthikeyan admitted recently that leaving NASCAR for a seat with a small team in F1 was a "big risk".

"In 10 months, I will know if it was the right or wrong decision," he told the Times of India on Monday.

Trulli not ready to 'suffer' in F1 beyond 2011
(GMM)  Jarno Trulli has said he can imagine racing in a different series once his formula one career is over.

The Italian veteran has admitted he did not enjoy the 2010 season with the new Lotus team and is not prepared to stay forever at the back of the grid.

"One year I can suffer, another one no," he told the Gazzetta Sportiva newspaper.

The 36-year-old is signed up for another season but is quoted by La Gazzetta dello Sport as saying that racing in other series might be interesting.

"NASCAR could be an interesting experience," said Trulli, who tested a Sprint Cup car at the end of the 2009 season.

"It is a completely different concept that could give me new motivation -- just like DTM or long-distance racing," he added.

The former Renault and Toyota driver admitted he thinks F1 has taken "an ugly turn" in the last couple of years.

"Contracts are worth less and less.  The only thing that interests is the big money brought by various 'little' drivers," he said.

"Only four teams can guarantee excellent drivers.  As for the rest, the level is extremely poor," added Trulli.

Barrichello to debut 2011 Williams on February 1st
(GMM)  Rubens Barrichello will give Williams' 2011 car its track debut at Valencia on 1 February, a spokeswoman for the Oxfordshire based team has confirmed.

She told Dutch website f1today.nl that although veteran Barrichello will be driving on the first day, the Brazilian's new teammate Pastor Maldonado will take over half-way through the second day as the pair equally share all the pre-season testing.

The spokeswoman also said Williams has not decided whether the 1 February debut will coincide with a conventional "launch".

"The FW33 will be in action at the first test in Valencia," she said.

The team's engineering boss and co-owner Patrick Head wrote in his new column for Motorsport magazine that the FW33 is "more adventurous" than Williams' 2010 car.

"Rubens told the media that he thought the car looked radical, but I think it is just more adventurous than our 2010 car, and to move upwards in team order, it will need to be," said the Briton.

Head admitted it is "unfortunate" Nico Hulkenberg was not retained for 2011 even though he thinks the young German "deserves a seat on merit".

He insists that Venezuelan Maldonado, who in 2010 succeeded Hulkenberg as the new GP2 champion and "comes with some financial support", also "deserves" the seat.

Santander ups Ferrari presence with cap deal
(GMM)  Spanish bank Santander has upped its sponsorship of the Ferrari team to include signage on the front of the team's official cap.

The cap, making its debut on Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa's heads at the Madonna di Campiglio media ski event in the Italian Dolomites on Monday, replaces the 2010 edition that featured signage of the Abu Dhabi-owned Mubadala company.

It is expected that Santander's sponsorship of McLaren could now end, despite the logo still featuring on the corporate partner page of the British team's website.

A report by Europa Press claims Santander will continue to be the title sponsor of the British, German and Italian grands prix in 2011, whilst also having a significant brand presence in Spain, Valencia and Brazil.

HRT to race 'upgraded' 2010 car this season
(GMM)  Narain Karthikeyan has confirmed reports that HRT will not race an entirely new car in 2011.

The struggling Spanish team with its car designer Dallara in 2010, and a new partnership for this year with Toyota Motorsport GmbH also foundered.

It recently emerged that HRT would begin pre-season testing at Valencia next month with the 2010 car, but a report by the Indian news agency PTI claimed that an "upgraded version" of the F110 will in fact contest the 2011 season.

"They (HRT) will participate with an upgraded version of their 2010 chassis, mated to the Cosworth engine, and a gearbox sourced from the Williams team," 2011 driver Karthikeyan is quoted on Tuesday by sport360.com.

BBC set to confirm Coulthard as race commentator
(GMM)  British F1 broadcaster the BBC is poised to announce officially that David Coulthard is moving into the race commentary box for 2011.

He will join his former manager and fellow former McLaren driver Martin Brundle, as the often-criticized Jonathan Legard has been dropped.

"Life moves on," Legard said on Twitter on Tuesday morning.  "Ask Nick Heidfeld or Narain Karthikeyan.  You never know what's next.

"To the critical and the complimentary, thanks for the company," he added.

The Telegraph's Tom Cary said Brundle will continue his famous grid walk even though he is now the lead commentator, while Coulthard will continue to appear alongside fellow pundit Eddie Jordan "where possible".

Also early on Tuesday, it emerged that Sir Richard Branson might have to pull out of his appearance as an AirAsia stewardess on a London to Kuala Lumpur flight on 21 February.

The billionaire lost a bet with fellow airline owner Tony Fernandes because Branson's Virgin Racing finished behind Lotus in 2010.

"(There) may be a delay as Richard injured himself skiing," said Lotus team boss Fernandes.  "Will call him today.  So that's why no announcement yet."

Patrick Head: We’ve built an adventurous car
(PVM) According to AT&T Williams director of engineering Patrick Head, the Williams FW33 is a more adventurous package, built in an effort to challenge the pace setting Formula 1 teams in 2011 and to mix it at the front.
Head, writing for Motorsport magazine, said, “With just over two months until the Formula 1 season starts again in Bahrain, we are pretty busy in Grove, working on the Williams FW33. Most of the supporting research has been done, and now we are designing the outer elements. The core chassis, suspension and transmission were designed months ago and are either complete or in manufacture.”

He added, “Rubens Barrichello told the media that he thought the car looked radical, but I think it is just more adventurous than our 2010 car, and to move upwards in team order, it will need to be. All of us at Williams, and I think many of our loyal supporters, want to see Williams mixing it at the front again.”

The 65 year old who has been technical director of Williams since 1977 believes the team has a solid package, “We will be running an entirely Williams-developed KERS system, with a battery storage cell. This is no reflection upon a flywheel system, such as we developed in 2008 for 2009, but it is difficult to package a flywheel system in a Formula 1 car with a 150+kg fuel tank. An F1 capacity battery pack is made up of a number of small lithium-ion cells, and they can be packaged into a shape which is convenient, usually positioned under the centre of the fuel tank.”

Head is also confident that Cosworth can deliver, “I have been asked whether we can win with a Cosworth engine, and my view is positive. The core engine is excellent, the only failure we had was in practice in the last race in Abu Dhabi, when a fixing in the trumpet tray became loose and was ingested.”

As for looking into the future Head is cautious, “It is a dangerous step to make predictions before the season, but I expect that Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari will continue to be strong, so it will be a question of which other teams can mix it with them.”

Ferrari recruit Martin won't travel to races
(GMM)  Ferrari's high profile new recruit Neil Martin will not travel to grands prix in 2011.

The information emerged from the Madonna di Campiglio ski resort as team sponsor Marlboro's annual 'Wrooom' media event jointly staged with Ducati started in earnest.

200 members of the specialist media are reporting from the scene in the Italian Dolomites this week, where the details of Ferrari's revamped team structure for 2011 will be made clearer.

Martin, a 38-year-old Briton who was a chief strategist at Red Bull, is heading the team's new operations research department, so is expected to stay at Maranello when the race team travels to races.

Australian Chris Dyer, whose new "redefined" role will also be clarified this week, has lost his job as head of race track engineering after calling the strategy that cost Fernando Alonso the 2010 drivers' title.

Martin is to head the remote operations unit where a dozen engineers will work and analyse decisions away from the noise and stress of the pitlane and feed their conclusions to the pitwall, the news agency Sapa reported based on information from Italian media sources.

Ferrari's Vroom meting gets underway
The entire Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro driver line-up arrived in the mountains of Madonna di Campiglio this evening, to take part in the twenty first edition of Wrooom, the media event organised by Philip Morris International to kick off the new seasons in Formula 1 and Moto GP. 144 journalists and photographers arrived in the region from no less than eighteen different countries, representing around one hundred different media.

The opening ceremony which should have taken place at the Canale Miramonti, had to be cancelled because of bad weather. This evening, Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso, Giancarlo Fisichella, Jules Bianchi and Marc Gene, are attending the welcome dinner at the famous Salone Hofer. The Ferrari drivers, along with the riders from the Ducati Marlboro Team will welcome the guests at the press meeting which marks the official start of the amazing Wrooom week.

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