Latest F1 News in Brief

  • Massa will not test F2007 this week – Ferrari
  • F1 drivers' body supports Vatanen over Todt
  • Hockenheim solution not new trend – Ecclestone
  • Prost hails Vettel's title push
  • Also Campos objects to 14th 2010 team entry
  • Carlos Sainz's son to join Red Bull junior program
  • F1's priority should be USA, not Korea

Massa will not test F2007 this week – Ferrari
(GMM) Ferrari has put the brakes on claims Felipe Massa could be at the wheel of the two-year-old F2007 as soon as this week.

The Italian team has already dismissed reports the plan is to fast-track the Brazilian's return ahead of his home race at Interlagos.

But Massa, 28, is keen to get back up to speed as soon as possible, arriving at Ferrari's Maranello factory on Monday with his personal trainer for simulator tests.

Following FIA approval, Ferrari also plans to give Massa some running on GP2 rubber in a privately-owned 2007 car at Fiorano, but in a statement the team said that will not happen "this week".

It "has not yet been decided when he will get into the car", Ferrari added.

F1 drivers' body supports Vatanen over Todt
(GMM) After meeting with both FIA presidential candidates, the formula one drivers association GPDA is thought to be most supportive of Ari Vatanen's campaign.

The body met with Vatanen earlier this season, with the Finn an almost constant presence in the paddock since he announced his intention to succeed Max Mosley in this month's elections.

Mosley's preferred successor, Jean Todt, sat down with the GPDA during his recent visit to the Singapore GP, but it is believed Vatanen still holds sway with the majority of the drivers' body.

When the GPDA met at Suzuka last weekend, some of the stalwarts of the alliance discussed issuing a public declaration of support for Vatanen, but on the basis of remaining politically neutral, the idea was sidelined.

Hockenheim solution not new trend – Ecclestone
(GMM) Bernie Ecclestone has warned other grand prix promoters not to expect his assistance to the Hockenheim event to become a new trend.

With the circuit's operators no longer willing to absorb annual multi million euro losses, the F1 chief executive ultimately stepped in and will now share the "business risks" of hosting the event in future and ensuring Germany does not drop off the calendar.

"We wanted to return to Hockenheim, they wanted a race," the Briton told the Stuttgarter Zeitung newspaper.

But when asked if a similar approach could be taken to other struggling European promoters, 78-year-old Ecclestone answered: "Probably not. Hockenheim for us was something special. We've been going there for a long time."

Prost hails Vettel's title push
(GMM) Alain Prost has hailed Sebastian Vettel's ability to rally the full support of his team Red Bull Racing as he continues to push for the 2009 title.

After last month's Italian grand prix, team owner Dietrich Mateschitz wrote off his drivers' chances of winning the world championship.

But with a dominant win at Suzuka last Sunday, 22-year-old Vettel moved closer to the lead of the drivers' title than was Kimi Raikkonen at the same point of his championship season in 2007.

"It was already the case last year at Toro Rosso," Prost said on Europe 1 radio. "It is what made the difference (for Vettel) with Sebastien Bourdais, not only the speed on the track."

In the German media, much was made of Vettel's unshaved stubble as he won in Japan, and it is rumored that the German has promised his mechanics to keep growing the beard until his battle for the title is over.

"Now, this team is really behind him," Prost, the French former four time world champion, added. "A while ago everyone was dejected and saying that the championship was lost, except Vettel who said it was not over and they had to keep fighting.

"In Sao Paulo I see him being very difficult to beat," he added.

Also Campos objects to 14th 2010 team entry
(GMM) Williams may not be the only team holding back its support for a confirmed 14th team entry for BMW-Sauber.

It has emerged that Williams has inserted its veto to expanding the 2010 grid from 13 entries, and now the Swiss newspaper Blick reports that the new Spanish outfit Campos also objects to allowing a 14th team.

"We will ask the FIA to give us clarity as soon as possible," BMW-Sauber team boss Mario Theissen is quoted as saying.

It is argued by some that the issue of a 14th team is likely to be academic, if rumors that one or more of the confirmed 2010 teams ultimately do not race.

But Theissen insists that, even if this is true, BMW-Sauber needs to know now if it will be racing next season.

"We can only negotiate with sponsors, partners and drivers, if our place is certain," he said.

Carlos Sainz's son to join Red Bull junior program
(GMM) The son of two-time world rally champion Carlos Sainz will reportedly become the next youngster in Red Bull's junior driver program.

We reported last year that Carlos 'Carlito' Sainz Jnr had joined a kart team that is co-owned by Michael Schumacher. The Spanish newspaper AS now claims that he is set to sign a five-year developmental contract with Red Bull.

In 2010 he will move into Formula BMW with Red Bull backing, the report added. Toro Rosso's Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastien Buemi are recent graduates of the junior program, as is Sebastian Vettel.

F1's priority should be USA, not Korea
(GMM) F1's teams association FOTA has reportedly expressed doubts about the addition of South Korea to the 2010 calendar, and would prefer instead to be returning to the United States.

"South Korea is a wonderful country and we have no problems with it, but we hear that the track is four or five hours from the nearest major city," McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh is quoted as saying by Germany's Auto Bild.

"There's no infrastructure, no hotels, no good transport. It makes it difficult for the fans and the media," said the Briton.

He indicated that F1's priority should be immediately reinstating an American round of the world championship.

"There shouldn't be any doubts about Montreal. North America is a big market. In the past we've messed around with North America so much that we should go there for free if necessary," said Whitmarsh.

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