Latest F1 News in Brief

  • Ecclestone insists Renault staying in F1
  • Red Bull/Merc deal delay due to 'McLaren problem'
  • Alonso could not cope with equal teammate – Hamilton
  • Webber has to play team role says boss Horner
  • Piquet admits F1 return for son 'difficult'
  • Raining hard before last Brazil practice

Ecclestone insists Renault staying in F1
(GMM) Bernie Ecclestone insists there is "no doubt" Renault is committed to staying in formula one.

The French carmaker's team has been through the mill with the crash-gate affair, losing its boss, technical chief, main sponsor and incurring untold image damage.

But in an interview with the Le Parisien newspaper, F1 chief executive Ecclestone said he cannot understand "all these rumors" about Renault following Honda and BMW through the paddock turnstile.

"There is no doubt" that Renault is staying on the grid, the 78-year-old billionaire added, revealing that he is set to meet with the Renault president this weekend.

He said scandal and controversy is common in formula one.

"And in sport, there is always a certain amount of controversy just to keep people interested," said the Briton. "Everyone knows that you don't talk about happy marriages, only divorces."

Red Bull/Merc deal delay due to 'McLaren problem'
(GMM) Helmut Marko has confirmed that McLaren is vetoing Red Bull Racing's preferred switch to Mercedes power in 2010.

"Mercedes is clearly our preferred partner, but contrary to all assurances that the McLaren problem will be solved long ago, it still is not," the energy drink company's motor sport adviser told Germany's Sport Bild.

Red Bull, dissatisfied with its current engine supplier Renault, wanted to confirm its new partner this weekend in Brazil, but is still assessing its options, Marko said.

"We have four options: Mercedes, Toyota, Renault and Cosworth. We are examining them in detail," said the Austrian former grand prix driver.

Some insiders have expressed surprise that Red Bull, and also Williams, seriously consider Cosworth a viable alternative, but Marko insists that "we would not be considering (it) if the data did not indicate a good package."

Sport Bild also reports that Volkswagen, with the involvement of former F1 team boss Colin Kolles, considered buying into Cosworth's engine operation and entering F1, but baulked at the necessary expenditure of at least 30 million euros.

Alonso could not cope with equal teammate – Hamilton
(GMM) Fernando Alonso suspected McLaren were sabotaging his car in 2007 because he could not accept that his teammate had equal talent, according to Lewis Hamilton.

The reigning world champion was reflecting on his acrimonious tenure alongside the Spaniard two years ago in conversation with Alex Zanardi for a feature in the Italian magazine Sportweek.

Asked about why Alonso, who will be paired with Felipe Massa at Ferrari next year, could not cope at McLaren, Hamilton told Zanardi: "As a driver, and this applies to Fernando as well as myself, you always have to believe that you're the best.

"So when I showed that I was at his level, he thought the problem had to be the car rather than himself," the Briton added.

Webber has to play team role says boss Horner
(GMM) Christian Horner vowed to speak with Mark Webber after the Australian driver indicated he is not willing to play a team role in Brazil this weekend.

Webber is out of the running for the world championship, and his Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel on Thursday indicated that he is sure he will be able to count on the 32-year-old's assistance in the decisive phases of his own title tilt.

But Webber reacted coolly when asked about his supportive role, answering "I doubt it" to whether team orders will come into play, and also indicating that Vettel would not be the worthiest world champion of the trio in contention.

Team boss Horner told Germany's Bild newspaper: "I will have to ask Mark what exactly he meant. It is clear: the whole team wants this title and we will do everything to get it. The same goes for Mark."

Elsewhere, Webber is reported as clarifying his remarks, insisting that "if I can help Red Bull, of course I will".

Piquet admits F1 return for son 'difficult'
(GMM) Nelson Piquet's famous father has admitted it will be "very difficult" to find a formula one seat for his son in 2010.

The triple world champion is at Interlagos this weekend to explore job opportunities for the 23-year-old Brazilian, who was sacked by Renault and then embroiled in the crash-gate scandal this year.

Piquet Jr tested a NASCAR pick-up truck earlier this week and is currently in Monaco for a kart race, but it is reported that his father is willing to invest money to secure a seat at one of F1's new teams for next season.

But when asked how he rates his chances of success, 57-year-old Piquet told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport: "It's going to be very difficult.

"There are reservations about him because of the (Singapore 2008) story.

"But people can also see by looking at (replacement) Grosjean that Nelsinho is not a bad driver," he added.

Raining hard before last Brazil practice
(GMM) Shortly before the final practice session ahead of qualifying at Interlagos, it is raining hard.

The one-hour session is scheduled for 11am Sao Paulo time, three hours before the decisive qualifying hour.

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