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DATE News (chronologically)
04/05/11
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Tuesday  
  • Buemi not getting along with Toro Rosso teammate
    Renault pair to wear gold overalls in Malaysia
  • Todt wants 'correct' F1 revenue for FIA
  • Toro Rosso pair share 'silence' on Malaysia flight
  • Calls for safety tweak after Interlagos fatality
  • Renault to bring upgrades to Sepang
  • Changes hopefully fixed Webber's car

Renault pair to wear gold overalls in Malaysia
(GMM)  Nick Heidfeld and Vitaly Petrov will not be wearing their regular black overalls in Malaysia this weekend.

Instead, in the usually punishing Sepang heat and humidity, the pair will wear "sparking golden" suits at the wheel of the Lotus-sponsored black and gold Renault, German driver Heidfeld confirmed.

"We hope to reduce the (heat) absorption and stay a bit cooler," he said.

At present, forecasters are predicting a chance of rain throughout the grand prix weekend.

Todt wants 'correct' F1 revenue for FIA
(GMM)  The latest interview given by Jean Todt has revealed more about apparently rising tension between the FIA and F1's chief executive Bernie Ecclestone.

When Ecclestone admitted recently he is "at loggerheads" with FIA president Todt about the 2013 engine rules, some insiders said the real dispute is actually about money.

Frenchman Todt, 65, confirmed to the Financial Times that he is seeking a better commercial deal for the FIA in the next Concorde Agreement, with the current contract set to expire at the end of next year.

He indicated he is not happy with his predecessor Max Mosley's handing over ten years ago of the 100-year commercial rights lease to Ecclestone for a reported $360 million, but admitted the deal "is what we have".

But as for the next Concorde, Todt insisted "things have changed" in recent years.

"Technology has changed.  Evolution has a price.  I must make sure that the funding for the FIA is correct," said Todt.

Toro Rosso pair share 'silence' on Malaysia flight
(GMM)  Sebastien Buemi has hinted that a frosty edge has grown on his relationship with Toro Rosso teammate Jaime Alguersuari.

Before the start of the season, with Daniel Ricciardo expected to take one of their seats for 2012, Spaniard Alguersuari admitted 2011 will be "war" with Buemi.

In Australia, 22-year-old Buemi reacted angrily when the sister STR6 collided with him at the start, only for Alguersuari to then reveal it had been his teammate at fault for the mysterious clash with Nick Heidfeld.

The correspondent for Blick newspaper reveals that on the Frankfurt-Kuala Lumpur flight this week, Buemi sat directly in front of Alguersuari but they endured "over 12 hours of silence".

"We spoke after his foul in Melbourne," Buemi revealed.  "We both had a different opinion.  I hope he does the right thing now and respects me.

"I don't want to say any more about it," he added.

Meanwhile, Swiss Buemi benefitted from the disqualification of Switzerland's F1 team Sauber in Australia, moving up two places in the lower points.

"I feel sorry for the Swiss team," he admitted, "but they are fast enough that they will succeed again soon.

"I think that in 2011 we will have a good fight with Sauber and also Williams," continued Buemi.

Calls for safety tweak after Interlagos fatality
(GMM)  Leading Brazilian touring car driver Caca Bueno is calling for urgent safety improvements at the Interlagos formula one circuit.

At the wet Sao Paulo venue on Sunday, stock car driver Gustavo Sondermann lost control near the end of the lap at the Curva do Cafe corner that in recent times has been unofficially dubbed 'Tamburello de Interlagos'.

'Tamburello' is a reference to Imola's notorious sweeping corner that was radically reprofiled after Ayrton Senna was killed there in 1994.

At the fast-left Curva do Cafe in 2007, Rafael Sperafico was killed after he bounced off the wall and into the path of a competitor, and in February a motorcycle rider also died at the corner.

Now, Sondermann has succumbed to his injuries after an almost identical crash to Sperafico's.

"The circuit is very good, the best in the country and internationally approved, but we have a serious problem there," Bueno said in an interview with TV Globo.

"We need to make a change and the ideal one would be an escape area," he added.

Former F1 driver Luciano Burti, a Sao Paulo native, agrees.

"We need to find the room for that, like bringing down the bleachers for some run-off.  Safety must come first.

"The solution exists and we need unity to make the changes before the next thing happens there," he told SporTV.

Renault to bring upgrades to Sepang
Renault is adding upgrades worth "several tenths of a second" to the car in Malaysia.

"It was a fine effort by Vitaly and an encouraging start for the R31," Technical director James Allison said. "However, we will need to add a lot more performance to the car over the coming races if we want to keep up our early momentum. I can say that we will bring a moderate upgrade package to Malaysia worth several tenths of a second. We will be making changes to the front and rear wing in addition to several items of bodywork."

"It reflected the order in Australia, to be honest," Team principal Eric Boullier said. "Today's development rate is important and the capacity for the technical team to deliver a new package to the car is crucial in the fight for the championship. I think in Malaysia the order will be different, and for the race after that there will be another new order, so it's not representative for the whole season."

"I think it should have a bigger impact there," Nick Heidfeld said. "Overtaking has always been easier in Malaysia because of the circuit design. You have long straights followed by slow apex corners and we should see more action."

Changes Hopefully fixed Webber's car
Red Bull Racing have made a number of modifications to Mark Webber’s car ahead of this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix. The Australian endured a poor start to the season in Melbourne, qualifying eight tenths of a second off team-mate Sebastian Vettel’s leading pace before finishing fifth and 38 seconds behind in Sunday’s race.

“In a post-mortem of the event we’ve found a few things on Mark's car which, setup-wise, certainly wouldn't have helped,” Team Principal Christian Horner explained to reporters in a media gathering at Silverstone on Monday.

“All of those elements have been changed for Malaysia, where we expect the two cars to be much closer together.”

When asked to isolate specific changes, Horner replied:

“There was no single issue that we could finger-point, but there were elements which weren't right and the difference between the drivers over the course of the weekend was bigger than it's ever been – that’s not right so, for sure, those issues would have contributed.”

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