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DATE News (chronologically)
Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday
  • Singapore
    Singapore set for hazy grand prix
  • Stewards missed 'blatant' Schumacher block - Daly
  • Whitmarsh confirms teams eyeing F1 stake
  • Boullier admits 'plan B' talks with Cosworth
  • Marko says 'too early' to decide Toro Rosso lineup
  • De la Rosa happy at McLaren for 'coming years'

Singapore set for hazy grand prix
(GMM)  Singapore looks set for a hazy formula one race next weekend.

In July, it emerged that the city-state was worried that forest fires in Indonesia would affect the floodlit skyline when the F1 circus comes to town in late September.

"They are afraid it will disturb the running of the grand prix," said an Indonesian official.

Now, just days ahead of the 2011 race, the Indonesian government has turned down help to ease the fires, according to the Jakarta Globe.

Singapore environment minister Vivian Balakrishan told Channel News Asia that help, including fire extinguishing aircraft, has been offered to Indonesia.

"We have a team on standby to help with putting out fires", he said.

But Balakrishan's Indonesian counterpart Arif Yuwono responded: "We don't need any help because we already have our own standard procedures for handling disasters."

Stewards missed 'blatant' Schumacher block - Daly
(GMM)  Stewards failed to notice an incident that should have seen Michael Schumacher penalized during the Italian grand prix.

That is the claim of former F1 driver Derek Daly, who was the third official in the stewards' room at Monza.

Since last weekend's race, many F1 commentators and figures have suggested Schumacher should have been penalized for his antics during a scrap with Lewis Hamilton.

Irishman Daly, 58, said the stewards were too busy.

"Race director Charlie Whiting asked the stewards to look at an incident between Massa and Trulli at the second chicane," he is quoted by the Mirror.

"While looking at the slow motion, I missed the Schumacher/Hamilton incident."

Daly is quoted by The Sun as describing the move, when he finally saw it on television at home, as a "blatant double-block".

"Schumacher was warned repeatedly and should have been given a drive through penalty," he said.  "We let Charlie down with this one."

Whitmarsh confirms teams eyeing F1 stake
(GMM)  Martin Whitmarsh has confirmed a move by formula one teams to buy a stake in formula one.

According to The Independent newspaper, the McLaren and FOTA chief confirmed that DC Advisory Partners has been appointed by the teams association ahead of the forthcoming negotiations for the next Concorde Agreement.

F1's commercial rights are currently owned by private equity company CVC, and reports earlier this year suggested Rupert Murdoch's News Corp and the Ferrari-linked Exor were considering a bid.

"At the end of the day, formula one is owned by venture capitalists (CVC) and one would suspect that they can't hold the sport in their funds ad infinitum," said Whitmarsh.

Boullier admits 'plan B' talks with Cosworth
(GMM)  Eric Boullier has confirmed reports that the Genii-owned formula one team, currently known as Renault, held recent talks with independent engine supplier Cosworth.

Seemingly confirming rumors that the Enstone based team will soon drop the Renault moniker in deference to main sponsor Group Lotus, the Frenchman told ITV that Cosworth power would be a "B plan".

Currently, the team uses Renault engines, but it is Red Bull who are now considered the French carmaker's works team.

Boss Boullier said the team is "very close" to inking a new engine supply deal with Renault Sport F1.

"You obviously always have to have a B plan and a C plan and, yes, we have been approached by Cosworth because they have lost customers and they are talking to everybody in the pitlane I guess, or nearly everybody," he said.

"But there are no plans (to switch to Cosworth)."

Asked if Renault is very much the team's A-plan, he insisted: "Of course.  We have a historical package.

"We still have some very close technical relationship and there is (sponsor) Total mixed in the middle of this as well, so there is some commercial reason why we should stick with Renault," added Boullier.

Marko says 'too early' to decide Toro Rosso lineup
(GMM)  Jaime Alguersuari has this week admitted he has no idea if he will be kept by Toro Rosso for the 2012 season.

But as he launched his debut electronic music single in Barcelona, he told the sports daily AS: "I'm not nervous as it has always worked out for me.

"From the age of 15 I have never known what I will be doing (the following year) until the end."

The Spaniard admits, however, to frustration that Red Bull re-signed 35-year-old Australian Mark Webber to be Sebastian Vettel's teammate at the premier team.

"I have nothing against him but it closes the doors at Red Bull and also stops the flow from the junior team," said the 21-year-old.

That is not entirely true, given that Dr Helmut Marko is reportedly considering simply dropping either Alguersuari or Sebastien Buemi, or both, and promoting Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne.

But Alguersuari thinks Marko should keep both him and Swiss Buemi for 2012.

He describes Buemi as "one of the best teammates I have ever had in my life.  He deserves to be there."

Alguersuari told El Mundo newspaper: "So far I have no place for next year, I haven't spoken to anyone at Toro Rosso about next season".

"What I want is a car that allows me to be in front and winning races because I think I deserve it.  I don't like fighting to be sixteenth.  I don't make excuses but Vettel can brake 20 meters later with his car."

22-year-old Buemi is also waiting to know his fate for 2012.  "I have learned to live with the pressure for three years," he is quoted by the Swiss newspaper Blick.

Red Bull driver manager Marko insisted: "It is too early to have any serious thoughts (about 2012)."

De la Rosa happy at McLaren for 'coming years'
(GMM)  Pedro de la Rosa has revealed he plans to remain McLaren's full-time reserve driver for a few more years.

After a long time in the backup role, the Spanish veteran finally made his return to racing last year with Sauber, but he was ultimately dropped and spent the rest of the season testing tires for new supplier Pirelli.

For 2011, he is back in his old McLaren role at grands prix, where he is prepared at any moment to step in for Jenson Button or Lewis Hamilton -- or Sauber's Sergio Perez as he did this year after the Mexican's Monaco crash.

De la Rosa, 40, said the downside is that a dedicated reserve driver cannot afford to commit even part-time to another racing series.

"You can't have one foot here and one foot there," he insisted.  "You would end up doing both categories at 80 per cent and run out of motivation and lose your contract.

"So when people ask me if I would like to race as well then of course I would, but is it the right thing to do?  The answer is always the same, that I'm not willing to jeopardize my future in F1.

"Right now it's the only thing that interests me, so I am quite proud to be here and calm and I have no intention to change strategy in the coming years," he added.

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