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Latest F1 news in brief - Wednesday
  • Michael Schumacher
    Schumacher manager slams latest retirement reports
  • Barrichello denies criticizing Williams team
  • Brawn hails F1 hiatus as 'best ever idea'
  • Gilles Simon appointment 'not very correct' - Ecclestone
  • Ecclestone not ruling out split TV rights in other markets
  • Ecclestone confirms November switch for Austin
  • Delhi circuit 'not 100pc ready' for F1 - Mallya

Schumacher manager slams latest retirement reports
(GMM)  Michael Schumacher's manager has slammed reports the seven time world champion is considering returning to retirement at the end of the season.

Italy's Corriere dello Sport this week quoted the Mercedes driver as admitting that despite his 2012 contract, "I do not know if my mindset is right for this team".

But Bild newspaper quotes the seven time world champion's manager Sabine Kehm as dismissing the quotes as "All nonsense".

"Since he returned to F1, Michael has not spoken to anyone from Corriere dello Sport," she insisted.

Kehm clarified that her 42-year-old boss is not about to quit.

"He is full of passion for the project and regards it as an exciting challenge to build something big together with Mercedes.

"That it is sometimes tough only encourages him more," she said.  "Someone who will soon celebrate their 20th anniversary in formula one knows that perseverance is what makes the difference."

Barrichello denies criticizing Williams team
(GMM)  Dismissing reports he is frustrated and highly critical of Williams, Rubens Barrichello has likened his current situation to waiting for a marriage proposal.

Despite the sport now being in its August break, the Brazilian veteran has found himself the subject of intense speculation following some comments reported in the German and Italian media.

Specifically, amid rumors Adrian Sutil or Nico Hulkenberg might replace him, Corriere dello Sport quoted the 39-year-old as insisting: "I don't know if I will continue next year in these conditions."

Barrichello told Brazil's Globo Esporte during a karting day in Sao Paulo that the reports are not right.

"I have never spoken ill of the team," he said.  "This has stemmed from the opinion of a German journalist who was mistranslated by the Italian press and then it's credited to me.

"My interest is just the opposite -- to continue the work we have been doing," added Barrichello.

He admitted however that he is still yet to ink a new contract for 2012 with the Oxfordshire based team.

Barrichello joked that the situation is like waiting for a marriage proposal.

"If Frank Williams wants to call my father to ask for my hand, he will give him the time, you can be sure," laughed the veteran of 318 grands prix who told his Twitter followers this week that he is ready to sign a new two-year deal.

"I believe that my presence on the team in 2012 will be beneficial to everyone," Barrichello continued.  "The team is in a phase of restructuring and my experience can help in this process a lot."

Brawn hails F1 hiatus as 'best ever idea'
(GMM)  Ross Brawn has hailed F1's August hiatus.

In the month-long gap between Hungary and Spa, team factories must close for a mandatory two-week period, with even email systems needing to be shut down.

"It was one of the best ideas we (the teams) have ever had," Mercedes' team boss Brawn is quoted by Der Spiegel, "because everyone has worked flat-out with constant stress and almost constantly travelling since the beginning of the year."

Explained Toro Rosso chief Franz Tost: "Only maintenance is allowed, for example in the wind tunnels, but it has to be done by external companies."

Because the shutdown is not an FIA regulation, however, it is not strictly policed, with the teams instead simply promising to abide the gentleman's agreement.

Der Spiegel speculated that the agreed penalty for breaches is a EUR 2 million donation to the FIA.

Gilles Simon appointment 'not very correct' - Ecclestone
(GMM)  Bernie Ecclestone has admitted F1 engine makers are right to be concerned about Gilles Simon's appointment by the new 2014 supplier Pure.

Pure, headed by former BAR founder Craig Pollock, announced last month that it has signed Frenchman Simon as technical director.

Former Ferrari engine boss Simon's most recent post has been at the FIA, where he has overseen the early stages of the engine suppliers' new rules for the post-V8 period.

Renault Sport F1's Rob White admitted the appointment is a "concern to all of us (suppliers) that in this close relationship with Gilles ... we've given unprecedented access to him".

Asked about the controversy, F1 chief executive Ecclestone started by insisting that Simon can move "if the contract (with the FIA) says he can".

"Of course, it's not very good that he can leave the FIA and go back to working as an engineer when he has in his hands all the information about all the teams.

"No, it's not very correct," the Briton is quoted as saying by La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Ecclestone not ruling out split TV rights in other markets
(GMM)  Bernie Ecclestone has refused to rule out emulating Britain's controversial new split television rights deal in other key F1 markets.

He was asked about the deal - where half of the grands prix from next year will only be shown live in Britain on pay channel Sky - by Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport.

The interviewer wanted to know if the deal could also be rolled out in Italy, despite free-to-air coverage reportedly being guaranteed in key markets by the Concorde Agreement.

"It's true, the races in certain countries should be shown free, but it will be in Britain thanks to the agreement we have reached with the BBC to have the races (shown) at six (o'clock) in the evening."

As for whether it could happen in Italy as well, Ecclestone admitted: "We'll see, but what has happened in Britain is an unique case."

Ecclestone confirms November switch for Austin
(GMM)  Bernie Ecclestone has admitted that next year's inaugural US grand prix will not be held in June as originally scheduled.

Ostensibly, the move to November is to avoid the hot Texas summer, but cynics have also suggested it will give race organizers more time to build the bespoke circuit in Austin.

But an unintended side-effect of the move is a clause in Texas legislation that means state funding for the event can only be released one year in advance of the event.

That could mean real construction cannot begin until much later this year.

"While we have heard rumors on the date change ... we really aren't going to speculate on the course of action for each possible situation," a spokesman for the comptroller said last week.

According to F1 chief executive Ecclestone, however, the new calendar doing the rounds in the Hungary paddock recently was real.

"Before that there was a draft," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.  "They (the FIA) were the ones who published it as if it was the final one.

"We have for example moved Austin to November because it's 40 degrees in the summer (there).  We don't want to have the experience of Dallas again."

The Briton was referring to the 1984 event when drivers tackled searing heat and a crumbling track surface.

Delhi circuit 'not 100pc ready' for F1 - Mallya
(GMM)  Vijay Mallya has admitted the new Buddh circuit in New Delhi might not be completed by the time of October's inaugural Indian grand prix.

But the billionaire, India's FIA representative and also owner and boss of the Force India team, insists the event will go ahead anyway.

It has emerged that the homologation inspection of the venue, originally scheduled for the first week of August, will now take place on September 1.

Indian official Vicky Chandhok insisted the delayed date is for "purely administrative reasons" because Whiting said it made "logical sense" to pair his visit with inspection of the venue in Korea.

Even so, the delay will apparently give the Indian organizers more time to work on the aspects of the circuit that are not complete.

"There is the possibility that the facilities will not be 100 per cent (finished), like the grandstand for the spectators," Mallya is quoted in a Portuguese language report citing ESPN.com.br and Agencia Gazeta Press.

"But the technical areas - the pits, the paddock and of course the track - are practically ready.

"The promoters of the event, who are also the owners of the circuit, are very confident that everything will be ready in time.  Charlie, of course, will have the final word," added Mallya.

Referring again to the grandstand, he continued: "They designed a big stand with a suspended ceiling and all this is taking time to erect.

"Some facilities for the spectators may not be complete, but there is no reason the race will not happen."

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