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Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday
  • Austin track under construction
    New US GP date to affect funding approval timing
  • Team Lotus' Trulli and Gascoyne eye 2012
  • No 2013 talks yet but Massa not worried
  • Other F1 chiefs 'like bank clerks' - Kolles
  • All three Force India drivers racing for 2012 seats
  • F1 figures react to London riots
  • Indian farmers threaten to 'dismantle' F1 track
  • Villeneuve says Raikkonen was lucky to win title

New US GP date to affect funding approval timing
(GMM)  Organizers of the 2012 US grand prix have admitted that the proposed race date change will affect the timing of the approval of state funding.

After Bernie Ecclestone said the inaugural Austin event will move from June to November on next year's calendar, promoter Tavo Hellmund confirmed it was the date "I have been hoping for".

But a side-effect of the change is that, due to the wording of the Texas legislation, the $25 million state funding for the project can only be released one year before the event takes place.

The Circuit of the Americas however has already applied for the funding on the basis of the June date.

"While we have not fully analyzed the implications of a potential change in race dates, we believe that any such change, if implemented by FIA, will not affect the eligibility of the formula one event for the Major Event Trust Fund, but would merely affect the timing," said circuit organizing committee board member Wayne Hollingsworth in a statement.

"And if the event date does in fact change, per the statutory requirements, we will update our application based on the new date and look forward to receiving approval later this year," he added.

Team Lotus' Trulli and Gascoyne eye 2012
(GMM)  Jarno Trulli has indicated that "an announcement" about his future will be made in the coming weeks.

After the Italian veteran struggled with Team Lotus' 2011 car, he was much happier with the new power steering system that debuted in Hungary.

The 37-year-old sat out the previous German grand prix in deference to Karun Chandhok, but team boss Tony Fernandes at the time hinted that Trulli is in line for a new contract.

"I'm not worried about my future," the 2004 Monaco grand prix winner is quoted by France's autohebdo.fr.  "I just want to improve myself.

"The announcement will likely be made in the coming weeks.  For now, I am satisfied with my situation and concentrating on my work with the team," said Trulli.

He said his goal for the rest of the year is to enjoy the races.

"I want to enjoy what I do because it was not fun before (Hungary)," said Trulli.  "Silverstone was the most difficult; I was completely lost and I wondered if it was me."

Meanwhile, according to Brazil's globoesporte.com, technical boss Mike Gascoyne said he is confident Team Lotus will drive into the midfield in 2012.

"Unlike this year's car, which was almost all new compared to 2010, next year will be an evolution of this year.  Same gearbox, same team, same engine.

"We can focus on the parts that really make you go faster instead of doing it all again," he said.

No 2013 talks yet but Massa not worried
(GMM)  Felipe Massa insists he is not worried despite admitting that talks with Ferrari about 2013 have not yet begun.

With 30-year-old Brazilian's contract running out at the end of next year, team boss Stefano Domenicali hinted that Massa's eventual successor will be an up-and-coming youngster.

But Massa insists he is used to the constant speculation about his seat.

"Did you not follow my first year at Ferrari?  It was always like this, so nothing has changed, but it doesn't worry me," he told Programa do Jo television.

Domenicali also said that Massa needs to up his race consistency, but the driver insists it is too early to start looking beyond his current contract.

"We have not talked as there is still a season and a half in front.  What I have to do now is concentrate and try to do a better job," said Massa.

Other F1 chiefs 'like bank clerks' - Kolles
(GMM)  Colin Kolles insists he is quite happy with his image in the formula one paddock.

The HRT team boss, who has in the past also headed F1's Silverstone based team in its Jordan/Midland/Spyker/Force India guises, told motorline.cc that he is aware some of his colleagues think he is "crazy".

"But I think I have the respect of Bernie Ecclestone, and he knows how much I respect him.  That's what counts," said the Romanian-born former dentist.

Asked why some of the other team principals think he is "crazy", however, the German replied: "Because I have balls.

"Because I say and do what I think.  Many of these gentlemen are just administrators -- they're like bank clerks," added Kolles.

"That's the difference," he explained.  "And for that I'm a madman or a lunatic, whatever.  But I have a very clear path that I follow."

All three Force India drivers racing for 2012 seats
(GMM)  All three of the drivers currently under contract to Force India are in the running for the two race seats next year.

That is the claim of the Silverstone based team's chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer, referring to current racers Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta as well as the German reserve and Friday driver Nico Hulkenberg.

Told by Auto Motor und Sport that having three fast drivers in contention for two seats is a problem for Force India, Szafnauer insisted: "It's a good problem."

He admitted that Sutil, di Resta and Hulkenberg are all "so close together" in terms of lap time.

"Shall we toss a coin?  At the end of the year we will do an accurate analysis of the three and then take our decision," said Szafnauer.

Meanwhile, he said he is happy with the team's technical collaboration with McLaren, where Force India buys the complete gearbox and hydraulics.

"With those parts you cannot win a race, but you can lose a race.  So it (the collaboration) means we can concentrate on the aerodynamics, where there is the greatest benefit," said Szafnauer.

"If I'm asked how much energy we use talking about the gearbox or the hydraulics, I answer 'never'.  That is up to McLaren."

F1 figures react to London riots
(GMM)  As the F1 world slumbers in August, some of the sport's figures have reacted in horror to the situation on the streets of London.

Swarms of English youths this week have been violently rioting, vandalizing and looting, triggering Pirelli boss Paul Hembery to call for a "tough" response.

"It's overwhelming the level of anger and disgust from so many people irrespective of race, religion or class.  Everyone wants tough action," he said on Twitter.

Also angry is former McLaren driver Mark Blundell.

"Why - if these people are so tough and riot and thieve - do they cover their faces?  It's because they are cowards of the first order.  Shame on them!" he said.

F1's BBC anchor Jake Humphrey told his Twitter followers: "Keep your heads down, stay safe and remember it's a minority.  Most people are decent."

F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone, meanwhile - an owner of the London football club Queens Park Rangers - is concerned the riots will affect the beginning of the Premier League season.

"It (postponing matches) would send a terrible message to the rest of the world," he said.

"The Premier League is watched everywhere I travel.  I always see Manchester United on the TV wherever I am.  So it's a very bad message for England, and we're going to have the Olympics soon."

Indian farmers threaten to 'dismantle' F1 track
(GMM)  Hundreds of angry Indian farmers have threatened to sabotage the new Buddh circuit.

With the New Delhi venue scheduled to host the inaugural Indian grand prix in October, over 300 farmers on Wednesday staged a protest near the site.

DNA India said they are angry at how their lands were acquired to make room for the project.

Calling themselves the Bhartiya Kisan Union, they are threatening to "dismantle the racing track with force if necessary" if their demands are not met.

They reportedly drafted a letter to authorities demanding money, educational placements and the establishment of industries to generate employment.

"We are warning you that if our demands are taken casually, we will be forced to launch an agitation," the farmers wrote.

Villeneuve says Raikkonen was lucky to win title
(PVM) Jacques Villeneuve has declared that Kimi Raikkonen was lucky to win the 2007 Formula 1 world championship with ferrari and that Felipe Massa was more deserving of the title that year.

The Canadian was interviewed by TotalRace website while making a guest appearance in the ‘Corrida do Milhão’ stockcar race at Interlagos. He said, “Kimi won the championship, he was lucky, because he didn’t deserve it.”

The 1997 world champion said, “Felipe [Massa] deserved it a lot more. He was always more capable than Kimi and it was easy to beat him.”

Villeneuve said he was mystified by the criticism director at Massa in the wake of Fernando Alonso’s arrival at Maranello

“Alonso arrived and quickly became powerful inside Ferrari, which created the problem. Alonso is energized and motivated in the team. It seems that, if the car wins, it will be with him and it creates a difficult situation for the other driver,” observed Villeneuve.

Villeneuve added, “Felipe has the speed. He is capable of driving strongly, working in the car. I don’t have any doubt about that. But he needs to do even more now, because it has become Alonso’s team, which is normal, given that he is a double world champion.”

“The logic is if your team mate is a two times world champion, the team will focus on him which is normal. He [Massa] has won races and almost a championship or two. He is a great driver and right now he is driving strongly for Ferrari. I don’t understand people who criticize him.”

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