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Latest F1 news in brief - Monday
  • Giedo van der Garde
    F1 cars would suit me better than GP2 - van der Garde
  • Bahrain paid fee for cancelled 2011 race - Ecclestone
  • Half of all Germans advise Schumacher to retire
  • Football's Klinsmann more impressed with F1 fitness
  • Red Bull's secret plans for Singapore celebration
  • 'Killer' Vettel 'not a points hoarder' - Lauda
  • New floor for Lotus
  • More on teams wanting a piece of F1 pie

F1 cars would suit me better than GP2 - van der Garde
(GMM)  According to Giedo van der Garde, success in feeder category GP2 is no guide as to whether a driver will succeed in formula one.

The management of the 26-year-old Dutchman, who reportedly has sponsorship in tow, recently revealed talks about 2012 with three F1 teams.

Van der Garde has, however, finished just fifth in this year's GP2 championship after a poor final two rounds in Belgium and Italy.

He wrote in his formule1.nl column that he will not be returning to the series in 2012.

"What now?  That's the big question.  It will not be another season in GP2, I am now 26 and need to be realistic.  It is formula one or nothing," said van der Garde.

"My results in GP2 do not say anything about my skills as a driver.  Look at Kobayashi and d'Ambrosio, two drivers who are doing well in formula one, but in GP2 they were nowhere.

"I am ready for formula one and would love the chance to show what I can do in those cars.  They are much better for me than GP2," said van der Garde, who has been a F1 test driver with Spyker.

"These (GP2 cars) are sometimes like a rally car, with F1 cars requiring a much more refined style.  That's my style and I hope I can prove it," he added.

Bahrain paid fee for cancelled 2011 race - Ecclestone
(GMM)  Bahrain paid its race sanctioning fee for 2011 despite not hosting a grand prix this year.

Amid the island Kingdom's troubles earlier this year, Bernie Ecclestone revealed that he would not charge the government the reportedly more than $40 million fee.

"The fee that is normally being paid for the event is not being paid," the F1 chief executive said at the time.  "I am not charging them for a race they are not getting."

But according to The Independent, Ecclestone said the fact Bahrain ultimately paid the 2011 fee means that the sport's revenue and profit will not reverse this year.

"I don't think turnover will be down this year.  I think it will be flat because we were paid for Bahrain.  I said we will give them the money back and they said don't bother," said the 80-year-old.

Bahrain is scheduled to return to the F1 calendar next late April.

"I spoke to the Bahrainis yesterday and they said everything is going to be fine.  I hope they are right for their sake, not ours," said Ecclestone.

If Bahrain does not come back, the diminutive Briton already has plans for F1's likely next destinations.

"After Russia I would like to go to South Africa and Mexico.  Both countries are trying to do something," said Ecclestone.  "Greece are also trying to do a formula one race."

On Greece's economic problems, he quipped: "The Germans will lend them some money".

Half of all Germans advise Schumacher to retire
(GMM)  Nearly half of all German sports fans think Michael Schumacher should return to retirement, according to a survey.

Citing the German market research company Promit, SID news agency said 47.2 per cent of respondents would advise the seven time world champion against signing a new agreement to stay in formula one beyond his 2012 contract.

In contrast, just 32.2 per cent said the Mercedes driver should stay in 2013, with 8.5 per cent advising a move to the German touring car series DTM to reunite with his brother Ralf.

As for the 42-year-old German himself, Schumacher insists he has not decided what to do.

"I will definitely be here (in F1) next year," the German is quoted by the Kleine Zeitung newspaper.

"Then we will see what happens."

Meanwhile, 62.7 per cent of those surveyed tipped Sebastian Vettel to wrap up the 2011 title before the last grand prix of the season in November.

Football's Klinsmann more impressed with F1 fitness
(GMM)  A prominent figure in international football has revealed he is more impressed with the fitness of formula one drivers.

Jurgen Klinsmann, formerly the German national coach and a player on the World Cup-winning team of 1990, is currently in charge of the American team.

But he admitted to Germany's Bild newspaper that he is more impressed by F1 drivers like world champion Sebastian Vettel.

"It's phenomenal when you look into the work of a formula one driver," said Klinsmann.  "The training regime compared to football does not compare.

"Football can learn something from their (F1 drivers') intense discipline, incredible focus and concentration on the essentials."

The report said a top driver like Vettel spends up to 35 hours per week in training, compared with about ten hours per week for professional footballers.

Red Bull's secret plans for Singapore celebration
(GMM)  A German newspaper has contradicted Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel's claims that they are not planning to celebrate the world championship this weekend.

Most of the 24-year-old's rivals think Vettel is heading to a certain title victory, and it could theoretically happen as soon as the checkered flag in Singapore.

But the German driver insists: "I think it's wrong to plan before something happens.  First you have to win the lottery and then you worry about what to do with the winnings."

Red Bull chiefs Christian Horner and Dr Helmut Marko have also denied there are any celebrations being planned for Singapore.

But the Sunday newspaper Bild am Sonntag said Red Bull has arranged for 80 special '2011 world champion' caps - one for every member of the travelling team - to be shipped to the Asian city-state in case Vettel wraps up the title.

And the team's marketing department is reportedly ready to unleash a spontaneous championship-winning party at the Swisshotel Stamford late on Sunday night.

'Killer' Vettel 'not a points hoarder' - Lauda
(GMM)  Triple world champion Niki Lauda has hailed Sebastian Vettel for refusing to follow his example.

Writing in the Swiss newspaper Blick, the red-capped Austrian great revealed that with Vettel's 100-point lead at Monza recently, he would not have driven so attacking a race.

Referring to the German's overtaking pass on Fernando Alonso en route to victory, Lauda said: "Any other driver would have tackled this race strategically with the championship standings constantly in mind.

"'Many points without risk' -- that is the all-too-logical motto that I have used in similar situations," added the 62-year-old.

"But, no, Vettel has proved with his killer instinct and aggressiveness that he is a true racer, not a points-hoarder."

Whether Vettel can or is prepared to go wheel-to-wheel with his rivals has been, for some, the final question mark over the Red Bull driver's talents.

The team's Helmut Marko insists Monza was a "masterpiece" and that Vettel is prepared to keep attacking in 2011 rather than cruise and collect.

And the same is true of Red Bull, he added.  "Driving safe races is not our philosophy.  We are always on full attack and new parts are already going out to Singapore," Marko told F1's official website.

New floor for Lotus
Tech director Mike Gascoyne is targeting a step forward in Singapore as Team Lotus introduce a new floor and diffuser at F1's night race.

With six races remaining this season, Team Lotus are leading the battle of the newcomers, ahead of Virgin Racing by virtue of their three P13s.

And although their first World Championship point may still be some way off, Gascoyne reckons the team can have a good race in Singapore despite the high humidity and late hour.

"We approach Singapore in much the same way we do Monaco. We will be running with a maximum downforce package with a new floor and diffuser and bigger front brake ducts to cope with the brake cooling demands," said the Team Lotus chief technical officer.

"The numbers from the wind-tunnel look pretty promising for the update to the floor so we will see what we have found when we get out on track.

"Because the track surface is very bumpy we have to run the cars at almost the highest ride-height settings of the season whilst also focusing on braking stability and maximizing traction to generate the quickest lap times.

"As Singapore is a street circuit the track surface is very green when we first run on Friday, but it has high evolution throughout the weekend and by Sunday the grip levels have improved dramatically.

"Pirelli are bringing the soft and super soft compounds to Singapore and it will be interesting to see how teams deal with the degradation rates of both, especially in qualifying and in the race itself."

More on teams wanting piece of F1 pie
McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh told Britain's Independent newspaper that DC Advisory Partners had been asked to evaluate the relative risk and reward of the teams approaching commercial rights owner CVC in order to cement their involvement in the future of the sport. The company, which operates Europe-wide, will also assess other options for FOTA over the next few months, amid speculation that Rupert Murdoch's disgraced News International operation could be interested in taking over the commercial side of the sport.

CVC maintains that it is not interested in selling any of the rights it acquired in 2006, but Whitmarsh remains convinced that the time will come when the investment company will look to offload its investment..

"At the end of the day, F1 is owned by venture capitalists and one would suspect that they can't hold the sport in their funds ad infinitum," he said, before admitting that the majority of those involved in running the teams were not best placed to advise on the rights and wrongs of taking control of the sport itself.

FOTA is expected to make a bid for greater control of both the running and revenue of the sport when it comes to agreeing terms on a new Concorde Agreement at the end of next year. The suggestion that it may look to acquire at least a portion of CVC's stake was first mooted by Williams chairman Adam Parr earlier this year.

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