Latest F1 news in brief

  • USF1 signs agreement with supplier
  • Surname did not help Lucas di Grassi
  • Wurz still interested in USF1 race seat
  • Qadbak's football club deal also collapses
  • Lopez link no guarantee of seat for Tung
  • No McLaren sponsors to switch to Mercedes
  • Yas Marina not confirming Schu comeback test
  • Katayama rescued during Mt Fuji mountain climb

USF1 signs agreement with supplier
(GMM) The new American formula one entry USF1 has signed a long-term agreement with a supplier.

The deal is with Umeco's Oklahoma-based Advanced Composites Group (ACG).

"ACG's composites expertise will be critical for us to meet our goals and expectations in 2010 and beyond," said team principal Ken Anderson.

Of F1's four new teams for 2010, USF1 is the only team yet to announce at least one driver.

Surname did not help Lucas di Grassi
(GMM) Lucas di Grassi has admitted that funding his way through motor racing's lower categories to formula one was difficult.

Like his contemporaries Nelson Piquet and Bruno Senna, the 25-year-old is from Brazil, but was unable to attract sponsors with the assistance of a famous surname.

Di Grassi, a GP2 regular and last year's Renault reserve, has secured his grand prix debut for 2010 with the new Virgin Racing team.

But he told Brazil's Globo: "I have always been competing with drivers with strong last names. It was always difficult to find sponsors."

Wurz still interested in USF1 race seat
(GMM) Despite his recent suggestion to the contrary, Alex Wurz may still be in the running for a race seat at the new American team USF1.

The Austrian veteran last month announced he would not be returning to the grid in 2010, having committed "one hundred per cent" to Peugeot's sports car effort.

But in an interview with the Austrian 'Sportmagazin', the 35-year-old admitted that talks have taken place about Wurz running at Le Mans next year, while a reserve driver fills in for USF1 throughout the clashing Canadian grand prix.

He said USF1 is the "only team" he is interested in.

"That's because of the people, like the sponsor Chad Hurley, one of the new generation who are changing our world completely.

"It would be attractive to cooperate with people like that," Wurz admitted.

Qadbak's football club deal also collapses
(GMM) After the collapse of Sauber's buyout by Qadbak, the mysterious consortium's takeover of an English football team has also been short-lived.

League Two club Notts County has instead been taken over by its management, after the Russell King-fronted Qadbak reportedly failed to deliver promised funds.

Qadbak is understood to have handed over 90 per cent of the club's shares for a single symbolic British pound.

Lopez link no guarantee of seat for Tung
(GMM) A member of Ho-Pin Tung's management team has confirmed reports the Dutch-born Chinese is not guaranteed a race seat at Renault in 2010.

27-year-old Tung tested the R29 recently at Jerez because he is managed by the Gravity Sports company. Closely involved with Gravity is Gerard Lopez, the new majority owner of the Enstone based formula one team.

Tung's manager Bert Winkler has admitted the possibility of a role at Renault for the Superleague and A1 driver.

But Eric Bouiller, a director of Gravity, told the Dutch portal that Tung's link with Lopez is no guarantee of a seat next season.

"Of course we are working hard to get Ho-Pin into formula one," he said, "but it is not automatic.

"It also has to be considered if he is ready, so that what happened with Romain Grosjean does not occur (to Tung)," Bouiller added.

No McLaren sponsors to switch to Mercedes
(GMM) A Mercedes spokesman has played down rumors the former Brawn team might poach key sponsors from McLaren.

After a 15-year works collaboration, McLaren and Mercedes will be rivals from 2010, with Daimler and Aabar recently buying Brawn and renaming it 'Mercedes GP'.

It was rumored in recent weeks that Mercedes might take the oil sponsor Mobil 1 from McLaren, and possibly also the German fashion brand Boss.

But the Mercedes spokesman is quoted as saying by the Cologne newspaper Express: "We cannot take any sponsors from McLaren."

Yas Marina not confirming Schu comeback test
(GMM) A spokesman has refused to confirm reports Michael Schumacher may conduct a forthcoming test in Abu Dhabi.

It was reported this week that the seven time world champion might drive a GP2 car before deciding whether or not to return to formula one in 2010.

But the German news agency DPA quoted a spokesman for the Yas Marina Circuit as saying: "If Michael Schumacher were to drive here, then we would announce it."

Britain's Mirror newspaper said Bahrain was another possible location for the test, which may take place over the course of an entire week.

Katayama rescued during Mt Fuji mountain climb
(GMM) Former F1 driver Ukyo Katayama has been rescued alive after going missing whilst climbing Mt Fuji in his native Japan.

The Yomiuri newspaper on Friday reported that the 46-year-old, a professional mountaineer, called Shizuoka prefecture police after one of his companions died and the other was "in danger" in high winds and freezing temperatures.

Kyodo News later reported that the former Minardi and Tyrrell driver, whose tent had blown away, was found alive on Japan's highest mountain by a rescue team.

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