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DATE News (chronologically)
Latest F1 news in brief - Saturday
  • Coughlan promoted to Williams tech director
  • F1 would welcome Raikkonen back says Williams' Parr
  • Red Bull's Marko hits back at latest cheating charges
  • Webber 'not satisfied' with push for second place
  • Brundle leaving BBC for Sky says Eddie Jordan
  • Indian fans riot after no-show at F1 concert
  • India is Tilke's 'best track' - Rosberg
  • Sutil eyes Force India news in 'two to three weeks'
  • Grosjean to drive Renault in Abu Dhabi, Brazil practice
  • Sparking Ferrari wing raises eyebrows in India

Coughlan promoted to Williams tech director
(GMM)  Williams has promoted the former 'spygate' engineer Mike Coughlan.

The former McLaren chief designer was sacked and also banned after receiving secret Ferrari information in 2007.

He went to NASCAR but in June returned to F1 with the famous British team Williams, whose technical director Sam Michael has just departed.

Coughlan initially joined as chief engineer.

"We have just confirmed (Coughlan) as our new technical director," team chairman Adam Parr told reporters in India.

Mark Gillan joined Williams last month as chief operations engineer.

"In terms of how they are going I think it has been a very positive step for us," added Parr.

Williams is the lowest-placed team in the 2011 constructors' championship except for newcomers Lotus, Virgin and HRT.

"There are some areas where we need to invest a little bit and we are doing that as fast as we can to really try and take a big step forward for next year," said Parr.

F1 would welcome Raikkonen back says Williams' Parr
(GMM)  A hot topic in India this weekend is the rumored return to formula one next year of 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen.

Reports suggest the 32-year-old Finn, who left Ferrari to try his hand at world rallying and NASCAR two seasons ago, could come back in 2012 with the beleaguered Williams team.

The famous British squad's chairman Adam Parr was asked directly about the speculation in India on Friday by Finnish journalist Heikki Kulta.

"I am afraid there is only one answer to that question, which is that our race drivers are Pastor Maldonado and Rubens Barrichello and if, and when, that changes we will make an appropriate announcement," he answered.

Parr was later asked a nearly identical question in the Buddh paddock by MTV3, Finland's television broadcaster.

"Kimi has been one of the most competent drivers in the last few years," acknowledged Parr, "and I think everyone would like to see him back in F1."

The Former McLaren driver is notoriously unforthcoming with the media, but German-language reports this week have quoted Raikkonen as responding to a question about a hypothetical return to F1.

"Of course you always want a winning car," he said, "but as we have seen this year, there is only one team that really has that."

Red Bull's Marko hits back at latest cheating charges
(GMM)  Red Bull has fended off the latest round of speculation, as tales of cheating and overspending refuse to go away.

Germany's Bild newspaper said the culprits of the renewed allegations about the back to back world champions are McLaren and Ferrari, reportedly concerned that the FOTA cost-limiting agreement has not been honored.

"Ludicrous," Dr Helmut Marko, Red Bull's motor racing consultant, hit back.

"It is the jealously of poor losers, throwing mud and hoping something sticks."

The major German daily on Saturday published some previously unknown details of the accusations.

The first is that Red Bull has engaged more than the allowed 350 staff for the direct design, construction and development of the car.

"That's not true," said Marko.  "The other top teams simply need to realize that we work more efficiently than they do."

The second accusation is that Red Bull has operated its wind tunnel longer than the allowable hours according to the resource restriction agreement (RRA).

"Our wind tunnel is an antique, 80 years old and three times bigger than a modern one.  It just takes longer to get going, and so only when it is (running) do we begin to measure (the time)," explained Marko.

Another charge is that Red Bull has refused to let inspectors check the team's adherence to the RRA during inspections.

Marko insisted: "We have provided the information that we had to and nothing more."

Webber 'not satisfied' with push for second place
(GMM)  Red Bull has set its sights on powering Mark Webber to second place in the drivers' standings, but the Australian has revealed he is not overly interested.

The achievement will complete a perfect clean sweep for the energy drink-owned team in 2011, comprising the constructors' championship and first and second places in the separate drivers' standings.

But Webber, currently fourth, admitted to Die Welt newspaper: "I'm more interested in victories than the overall standings.

"If I have not won a race and at the end of the season I'm second (overall), I won't be satisfied," added the 35-year-old.

Separately, France's L'Equipe reportedly suggested that team boss Christian Horner's eagerness to help Webber in the last races of 2011 has come "late".

"We will see how the next races go," he responded.  "I have not answered your question!"

The implication is that Red Bull is happy to see him fall in line behind Sebastian Vettel, but the Australian denies he has a bad relationship with his German teammate.

Welt said evidence of their frosty friendship was the missing congratulations after Vettel wrapped up his drivers' title in Japan.

"That's not right," insisted Webber.  "On the night he won the title I sent him a text that said 'Well done, you deserve it'.

"He answered it the next morning, and I thought it was amazing that after the night he had he could still move his fingers," joked the winner of 6 grands prix.

Brundle leaving BBC for Sky says Eddie Jordan
(GMM)  The BBC's television punditry team looks set to break up at the end of the season.

Former McLaren driver and lead BBC commentator Martin Brundle earlier this week denied a report in London's Telegraph that said he is poised to accept a $1.6 million offer to switch full-time to Sky in 2012.

The BBC and pay-channel Sky will share the British hosting rights next year, with the public broadcaster to televise only a handful of grands prix.

French commentator Jean-Louis Moncet revealed in his Auto Plus column that he sat down for breakfast in the Buddh circuit paddock with Eddie Jordan, an expert pundit on the BBC coverage.

"He swallowed a few spoons of soup and then told me Martin Brundle is leaving for Sky next year," revealed Moncet.

"And he (Jordan) doesn't want to continue if, as expected, the BBC transmits only half the races," added Moncet.

Moncet, who calls races for France's TF1, quoted the former team owner Jordan as saying: "I will do everything or nothing."

Indian fans riot after no-show at F1 concert
(GMM)  Indian race-goers showed an ugly side late on Friday after American heavy-metal band Metallica cancelled its appearance at the 'F1 Rocks' music concert.

The band, in New Delhi for the inaugural formula one event - as is Lady Gaga - called off the concert due to safety concerns relating to audience barriers.

"Our first and foremost concern is always for the safety of you, the fans," Metallica said in a statement.

But the audience did not take the news well, smashing through barriers to mount the stage whilst ripping off their shirts, hurling chairs at security guards and the LED screens and damaging technical equipment.

"The crowd went berserk," an audience member confirmed.

India is Tilke's 'best track' - Rosberg
(GMM)  F1 circuit designer Hermann Tilke received a pat on the back on Friday after drivers enjoyed his latest effort.

The German engineer has been criticized for the 'boring' layouts at many of his latest formula one venues, including those in Bahrain, Valencia and Abu Dhabi.

"You are always nervous, there is no routine," Tilke told DPA news agency when he arrived in India this week ahead of the brand new Buddh track's first ever race.

But when Nico Rosberg emerged from his Mercedes at the end of the first practice session in Delhi, he immediately sought out Tilke to say 'well done' in person.

"This is the best track Hermann has ever built," Rosberg confirmed.

Sutil eyes Force India news in 'two to three weeks'
(GMM)  Adrian Sutil is expecting to know within weeks if he has a race seat at Force India next year.

Amid reports team boss Vijay Mallya has already signed Nico Hulkenberg to replace him next year, German Sutil hit out at the scheduled plans to only announce the 2012 lineup in mid December.

"I can't wait until December," said the 28-year-old early this week.

Mallya responded on Friday: "If he wants an early decision I will give (it to) him."

Sutil explained to F1's official website: "The announcement can be done in December, but as a driver I need a decision before that as I want to secure my future in formula one.

"That is why I am trying to get a decision in the next two to three weeks, to make sure that I am also racing in formula one in 2012."

Grosjean to drive Renault in Abu Dhabi, Brazil practice
(GMM)  Romain Grosjean will get a new chance to prove his talents to the F1 world before the 2011 season is out.

The Swiss-born Frenchman made an abortive formula one debut in 2009 amid the 'crashgate' scandal but was replaced at the end of the year.

The 25-year-old, now managed by Renault team owner Genii, switched to GP2 this year and recently wrapped up the title.

Grosjean will drive the R31 in Friday morning practice in Abu Dhabi and Brazil, the Lotus-sponsored team announced in India on Saturday morning.

He will drive Bruno Senna's car in Abu Dhabi, and Vitaly Petrov's at the season finale.

"Since 2009, he has improved in every area and I'm sure he'll do a good job for us," said team boss Eric Boullier.

Sparking Ferrari wing raises eyebrows in India
(GMM)  Ferrari's front wing has been causing a stir in India.

The team has recently been experimenting at the front of its current car ahead of the 2012 season, but it was at the Buddh circuit that heads really began to turn.

A wing fitted to Felipe Massa's car has been seen violently oscillating and flexing towards the ground at high speed, attracting the attention of FIA technical boss Jo Bauer.

"I can't see how the FIA is going to be satisfied with this situation," said BBC pit reporter Ted Kravitz during the radio coverage of Saturday morning's practice session.

"It is the amount of flex, not the sparks, that will raise the suspicions of other teams."

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