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Latest F1 news in brief - Tuesday
  • Bernie Ecclestone
    Ecclestone could be sued after bribery trial
  • New York race to be called 'America grand prix'
  • Motor sport not in 'crisis' after deaths - Chandhok
  • Over 80,000 to attend first India GP
  • Sutil warns Force India to speed up driver decision
  • 'Long term' Mercedes talks taking place - Rosberg
  • Leimer paying 'hundreds of thousands' for Sauber test
  • Kubica can drive F1 car again - surgeon Rossello
  • Sepang to look into safety after MotoGP death

Ecclestone could be sued after bribery trial
(GMM)  Bernie Ecclestone could be sued at the conclusion of former F1 banker Gerhard Gribkowsky's corruption trial.

The trial, surrounding a multi million payment from the F1 chief executive to Gribkowsky amid the sport's sale some years ago, began this week in Munich.

According to a British newspaper report, prosecutors say that if Gribkowsky is found guilty, the $44 million must be paid to BayernLB because the Munich bank owned the relevant share in F1's commercial rights.

But as Ecclestone and his family trust have only been called as witnesses, the prosecutors would "have to sue Mr. Ecclestone and the trust to recover the ... shortfall suffered by BayernLB", the Independent said.

But "it is hard see how this could succeed, given that the bank's investigations showed that it agreed to the fee and other board members were aware of it", wrote journalists Christian Sylt and Caroline Reid.

New York race to be called 'American grand prix'
(GMM)  The second US race on the 2013 formula one calendar could be called the American grand prix, it has emerged.

The sport and New Jersey are expected to jointly announce on Tuesday that a street race on the Hudson River, with New York's famous Manhattan skyline in the background, will take place.

The Associated Press cited an unnamed official as revealing that the tentative name for the event is the 'grand prix of America'.

That is because the more familiar United States grand prix title is already assigned to the 2012 event scheduled to take place on a bespoke circuit in Austin, Texas.

"It (the news) is incredible," said West New York mayor Felix Roque, according to the BBC.  "This is going to be an economic boom for this whole region."

The US has been absent from the F1 calendar since Lewis Hamilton won the last race at Indianapolis in 2007.

Motor sport not in 'crisis' after deaths - Chandhok
(GMM)  Karun Chandhok has warned motor racing that danger and risk must not be removed entirely.

The recent IndyCar and MotoGP deaths of Dan Wheldon and Marco Simoncelli respectively has put the spotlight on how to further reduce the danger of premier motor sport.

F1 is regarded as much safer than the aforementioned sports, but Team Lotus reserve driver Chandhok insists no form of racing should be completely safe.

"Enough element of danger is also involved in F1," he told the Press Trust of India.  "But it's an exciting career and the essence of excitement would get lost thinking of too much safety measures.

"You have to take your chances on the track.  No one asked us to join formula one or placed a gun on our head that you have to race.  It's a career we chose," he added.

Chandhok insisted that global motor racing should not be regarded as in "crisis".

"It is not like that," he is quoted by Calcutta's Telegraph.  "What has happened in the last one week is extremely sad but accidents do happen."

Over 80,000 to attend first India GP
(GMM)  Organizers of the inaugural Indian grand prix have sold 80,000 tickets ahead of Sunday's race.

The capacity of the new Buddh circuit is 120,000, the AFP news agency said.

"We have sold close to 80,000 tickets which is pretty encouraging considering that its the first F1 race ever in the country," said a spokesman for race promoter Jaypee.

"Of course we would have been happier had we sold off 90 per cent tickets because ticket sales are the only source of revenue for us.  But there are still a few days to go and we are keeping our fingers crossed," he added.

In a late bid to fill the circuit, tickets are now being sold at a discounted rate.

London's Telegraph correspondent Tom Cary wrote on Tuesday that the Buddh circuit is "rough and almost ready" for Sunday's race.

"But what do you expect?" smiled the country's motor federation president Vicky Chandhok.  "I think people anticipated worse."

This weekend is proof that India, now a major economic player on the global scale, has also arrived in formula one.

"I would not put it past the (race promoter) Jaypee Group to start investing in a formula one team," said Chandhok.  "That may be the next step."

Sutil warns Force India to speed up driver decision
(GMM)  Adrian Sutil on Monday warned he might walk away from Force India before the team has decided its 2012 driver lineup.

Reports in recent days have suggested team boss Vijay Mallya has already settled on pairing Paul di Resta alongside Nico Hulkenberg next season.

That would leave the experienced German Sutil out in the cold, but the 28-year-old has been spotted recently at Williams' Grove headquarters.

Mallya has said Force India's 2012 drivers will not be announced until very late this year.

"I can't wait until December," Indian media reports quote Sutil as saying.

"I will speak to him soon and see what his ideas are.  I don't need to wait so long for a seat.

"I think I know what I can do, so I don't feel insecure," he added.

'Long term' Mercedes talks taking place - Rosberg
(GMM)  Nico Rosberg has hinted strongly that he intends to stay at Mercedes GP beyond the expiry of his current contract.

The German's current deal reportedly runs to the end of next season, but boss Norbert Haug has revealed he intends to keep the current team together beyond 2012.

Asked if the talks are already taking place, Rosberg told Germany's T-Online: "Yes, they are.

"We have talked about a long-term commitment as I feel very comfortable in the team.  It is a great project.  I don't want to go into more detail than that."

When asked if he is also "actively" looking for possible opportunities with other teams, Rosberg insisted: "Actively, no."

Rosberg was also asked about his countryman and new back to back world champion Sebastian Vettel's 2011 season, with the interviewer describing it as "flawless".

"Flawless?  I've had a season like that, too," said the German.  "I have made very, very few mistakes.

"The same as last year.  I have driven very consistently but it's not so obvious because we are driving further behind."

He is also expecting Red Bull to be ahead of the pack in 2012.

"They have a head-start, obviously," said Rosberg.  "We need to catch up and that will take some time."

Finally, he denied that the constant questions about his teammate Michael Schumacher are "annoying".

"That's not the right word.  It's just that I have to talk about it all the time.  They (the questions) always used to be about my father, now they're about Michael Schumacher.

"I'm used to it now," smiled Rosberg.

Leimer paying 'hundreds of thousands' for Sauber test
(GMM)  A young Swiss is paying handsomely to test Sauber's 2011 car next month.

The Hinwil based team announced last week that 22-year-old Fabio Leimer will get a day at the wheel of the Ferrari-powered C30 during mid November's Abu Dhabi young driver test.

"We are pleased we can offer Fabio this opportunity," said team boss Monisha Kaltenborn.

But according to the Swiss newspaper Blick, Sauber might also be pleased to be banking hundreds of thousands of euros.

GP2 driver Leimer was at Sauber's Swiss factory on Monday for a seat fitting.

There, he confirmed: "Yes, we have had to pay for this test.  That's just the way it is in formula one, but first you have to be in the position to do so."

Leimer would not reveal how much the Sauber ride is costing, but Blick said Toro Rosso is selling its Abu Dhabi test day - probably to Frenchman Charles Pic - for EUR 200,000.

"So with Sauber, the amount is probably in the hundreds of thousands," said reporter Stefan Meier.

Kubica can drive F1 car again - surgeon Rossello
(GMM)  One of Robert Kubica's doctors has revealed that the Pole is already driving a road car and preparing to step imminently behind the wheel of a much faster vehicle.

F1's well-known Dr Ricciardo Ceccarelli sparked pessimism about Kubica's 2012 return last week when he said the 26-year-old will have to spend "a few more months" in rehabilitation.

That would likely race him long past Renault's deadline as the team presses ahead with deciding its next driver lineup.

But Kubica's hand surgeon Igor Rossello has told Polish radio Trojce this week that the driver "has recovered; he can move and lift with all his fingers.

"We can now think about getting him back as soon as possible into a car.  Sorry, into a racing car, because he is already in a (road) car.

"His recovery is a miracle but the unknown thing is whether he will be able to be as fast.

"We still have to do a small intervention for improving the mobility of his wrist, as with this type of accident the hand is never as flexible as it was before.  Then it will take a lot of exercise.

"But he will be able to drive his formula one car again and press all the buttons -- we're talking about a racing driver, not a pianist," added Rossello.

"I look at him and I can't stop wondering how well it has all gone; all the breaks and the wounds have healed, the only question is whether he will drive as he did before.

"He will have some limitations; remember that we considered amputation.

"But that (whether he is fast enough) will be assessed by the (F1) specialists.  We have done our job perfectly."

Sepang to look into safety after MotoGP death
(GMM)  Sepang will look into the safety of the Malaysian grand prix venue following Sunday's death of MotoGP rider Marco Simoncelli.

The Italian, whose helmet came off during the incident, died in Malaysia after he partially fell from his Honda and was struck from behind by rivals Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards.

Sepang, built ahead of its 1999 debut, also hosts F1's annual Malaysian round.

Circuit chairman Mokhzani Mahathir told AFP it is a "safe track".

"It is a sad and unfortunate racing accident but the circuit is designed to the highest safety levels," he said.

"(The) accident was beyond anybody's control or expectation."

He added however that officials will look into whether safety can be improved at Sepang.

"We will see from it (the investigation) if there is anything we could have done differently," said Mokhzani.

Also referring to Dan Wheldon's recent death, Force India driver Adrian Sutil told reporters in India on Monday that "everybody knows" MotoGP and IndyCar are more dangerous than F1.

"I can say that formula one is pretty safe and secure," said the German.

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