Latest F1 news in brief

  • Korea takes another step towards F1 race
  • Singapore plays down crash-gate scandal link
  • Piquet ready to launch court action against Briatore
  • 2010 Canada GP saga: one more false start
  • Massa aims for kart race return in December

Korea takes another step towards F1 race
(GMM) South Korea has taken another step towards hosting a round of the formula one world championship.

Earlier in September, the organizers Korea Auto Valley Operation (KAVO) said they had lined up nearly half of the necessary funding for building and operating the circuit, which is already under construction south of Seoul.

More good news emerged this week from the South Jeolla province's National Assembly this week, in the form of a government bill to provide support, according to the JoongAng daily.

KAVO said the news is important because it means legislators "have finally reached consensus over the impact" of the F1 race.

The bill reportedly provides the funds ($73 million) and the necessary legislation to complete the track and organize the event.

South Korea did not appear on the leaked provisional 2010 F1 calendar that was doing the rounds at last month's Belgian grand prix.

Singapore plays down crash-gate scandal link
(GMM) A Singapore government minister has played down the link between the Asian city-state and what is arguably the worst example of cheating in the history of motor racing and sport.

Renault's two most senior chiefs have departed over the scandal, which erupted when Nelson Piquet informed the FIA that his crash during F1's inaugural night race last year had been deliberate so that his teammate Fernando Alonso could win the race with an unusual strategy.

"From what I understand from the experts, this is really about more a particular team's tactics and so on, not a comment about the venue," trade and industry senior minister of state S.Iswaran told reporters.

"So I don't think it has any particular impact on Singapore. This is really a matter between the FIA and the teams," he added.

It also emerged this week that 90 per cent of all the tickets for the second Singapore grand prix, to be held at the Marina Bay circuit next weekend that has a daily capacity of 85,000, have been sold.

There have also been reports about visible smoke haze above Singapore, due to fires in Indonesia, that will still be present when the F1 circus begins congregating next week.

"As for the … safety and impact on (the race due to) the haze situation -– it will be a decision taken by the FIA, so we'll leave it in their good hands," S.Iswaran added.

He admitted that government cautions or health advisories may be necessary.

Piquet ready to launch court action against Briatore
(GMM) Nelson Piquet Snr may hit back at Flavio Briatore with his own court action depending on the outcome of Monday's World Motor Sport Council.

Before departing as Renault's team boss, Briatore and the French team said at Monza that criminal proceedings for false allegations and blackmail will be pursued against the triple world champion and his son.

But with Renault not planning to contest the conspiracy charges before the FIA's Paris hearing on Monday, Piquet Snr has indicated he is prepared to return fire with his own legal action.

Piquet's son Nelson Piquet Jr, despite being ousted by Briatore after July's Hungarian grand prix, remains under management contract to the Italian's company FFBB.

The contract ensures that a percentage of Piquet's earnings for years to come will go to 59-year-old Briatore.

"If the FIA World Council confirms the case, I will have a hold for going to court," Piquet Snr told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

Interestingly, the previously-powerful Briatore's departure from formula one has opened the floodgates to open criticism of the flamboyant former Renault boss.

Jean Alesi, who drove under Briatore for Benetton in the 90s, is quoted by Bild newspaper as describing the Italian as an "obscene human being", while the Frenchman's manager Mario Miakawa likened him to "a Mafioso".

Former Renault test driver Frank Montagny, meanwhile, said it is necessary to separate the actions of rogue team management from the actual sporting ethos of Renault.

"That Flavio Briatore is involved in this cheating does not surprise me much," the Frenchman, who also revealed that he was made to sign a FFBB management contract before signing for Renault some years ago, told RMC radio.

2010 Canada GP saga: one more false start
(GMM) The likely return to the F1 calendar of the Canadian grand prix continues to confuse, after yet another day of confirmation swiftly followed by denial.

Raymond Bachand, the relevant minister of the regional Quebec government, told French language television LCN on Thursday that formula one will race at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve next June 6 after an agreement with Bernie Ecclestone was reached.

According to, Bachand revealed that the agreement involves the transfer of $15 million per year to Ecclestone, the F1 chief executive.

However, in the evening, Montreal mayor Gerald Tremblay dismissed Bachand's interview, insisting the deal has "not been finalized" but that "everyone is optimistic" about a positive outcome.

He said an announcement will only be made after all the documentation has been signed.

Massa aims for kart race return in December
(GMM) Felipe Massa has revealed he is hoping to make his competitive racing return at the famous Brazilian Granja Viana endurance kart race in Sao Paulo late this year.

The famous 500-mile event is scheduled for early December; more than four months after the Ferrari driver began his recovery from serious head injuries sustained during qualifying for July's Hungarian grand prix.

But Massa, 28, told Brazil's UOL Esporte that he will only be trackside "if the doctors give me permission".

He told Italian Sky TV earlier this week that his condition continues to improve but he has not yet been given clearance to resume any physical training.

"I wish I could be on the track tomorrow because I'm bored," joked Massa, who only recently had skull surgery to repair the area on his forehead damaged when it was struck by a flying suspension spring in Budapest.

"It's not for me to say when, but rather the doctors and the FIA. Actually I could drive already; everything is as it was before (the crash), including the vision.

"The problem is safety, because of the risk of having another accident," he added.

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has said Massa will certainly be racing at the season opener of the 2010 world championship.

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