Latest F1 news in brief

  • Rosberg skeptical of new teams' 2010 plans
  • Abu Dhabi eyeing 50,000 crowd for first F1 race
  • Frank Williams with Mercedes at DTM
  • Massa will make 'strong' F1 return – doctor
  • Ferrari did not push for Fisichella test
  • Ralf Schumacher, de la Rosa, deny Force India links
  • McLaren/Mercedes collaboration to continue – spokesman

Rosberg skeptical of new teams' 2010 plans
(GMM) Nico Rosberg is a driver on the market for 2010 but he says he has not had any negotiations with formula one's three new teams.

"Really, you don't know whether they will actually bring a car to the track," the 24-year-old German is quoted as saying by Auto Motor und Sport.

"At the moment so much is uncertain (about them)," Rosberg added. "I think probably some surprises are coming."

The new teams attracting some skepticism are USF1, Campos and Manor. Auto Motor und Sport suggested recently that USF1 at present is little more than desks and computers at its Charlotte base.

USF1 sporting director Peter Windsor however hints that it is the other two new teams that should be attracting the most negative speculation.

"From our perspective the other two new teams are very, very quiet, but I suppose I'm the wrong person to ask," he told F1's official website.

The Briton admits that the political goings-on earlier this year have delayed preparations for 2010, but he insists that progress on the actual car is on track.

"We should soon have what Americans call a 'roller' – not a complete car, but basically the chassis, with the suspension and gearbox in place – ready to do some full-scale aero tests," said Windsor.

It is rumored that USF1, backed financially by YouTube's Chad Hurley, will base its European operation at the new Motorland Aragon circuit in Spain.

Abu Dhabi eyeing 50,000 crowd for first F1 race
(GMM) The inaugural Abu Dhabi grand prix day/night race, set to close the 2009 world championship, will be close to a Sunday sellout, according to Richard Cregan.

The former Toyota team manager, an Irishman, is now in charge of the new venue's management company, and he said on Sunday that he has been quite happy so far with ticket sales for the 1 November event.

"We had a good take off when we announced the sale of tickets. They did drop in between which usually happens, but picked up after that. We are almost sold out but not quite.

"There are still some tickets available. We are expecting 50,000 people on race day," said Cregan.

Frank Williams with Mercedes at DTM
(GMM) Sir Frank Williams has set tongues wagging by being a guest of Mercedes-Benz at the Brands Hatch round of the DTM series last weekend.

The Briton is on the lookout for a new supply of customer engines for his famous formula one team next year, but was thought to be closer to securing a deal with Renault.

Another possible reason for his DTM visit is the fact his star driver Nico Rosberg, who is out of contract at the end of the season, is linked strongly with a move to McLaren-Mercedes.

Massa will make 'strong' F1 return – doctor
(GMM) Felipe Massa's personal doctor has played down suggestions the Brazilian may not be able to make a swift return to formula one due to the risk of repeat injuries.

"After his return he will be even stronger than before," Dino Altman is quoted as saying from Sao Paulo by Germany's RTL.

A comeback for 28-year-old Massa this season has already been ruled out, but some reports have hinted the Ferrari driver might also be missing from the grid at the 2010 season opener.

"He is progressing very well, and soon he will begin to prepare physically for his return," said Altman, revealing that the next step for Massa is surgery to repair some skull damage.

Earlier, he had been quoted as suggesting Massa was at "serious risk" if he tried to come back to his cockpit too soon.

"Those comments didn't come from me," Altman insisted. He said the results of the intensive tests in Miami last week were all "normal" and that there is "no risk" posed by an eventual return to F1.

Ferrari did not push for Fisichella test
(GMM) Ferrari did not deem it necessary to push for Giancarlo Fisichella to have a track test before his debut for the Italian team at Monza this weekend.

It is reported that the Roman has been busy in the Ferrari driver simulator, and that other avenues open to the 36-year-old amid the F1 test ban would have been short tests on Bridgestone's promotional tires, or a run in an older single seater.

Italy's La Stampa newspaper said Fisichella has a lot to learn, for example the KERS system he must deploy at his home race this weekend, but that actual track activity was unnecessary "for someone with 14 years of experience" on the F1 grid.

Even Luca Badoer, who struggled so much in Felipe Massa's car number 3 recently, thinks Fisichella is set for a smooth Ferrari debut in the same F60 at Monza.

"He will do better than me because he has been racing for years in F1 and knows the 2009 cars well. He can quickly aim for results," the Ferrari test driver told Sunday's Gazzetta Sportiva.

It is suggested that BMW's Robert Kubica had been another option for Ferrari, but his height (185cm) would have been a complication.

Fisichella, on the other hand, stands at 172cm, which is in between the heights of the F60's intended race drivers Massa and Kimi Raikkonen.

Ralf Schumacher, de la Rosa, deny Force India links
(GMM) Ralf Schumacher has revealed he spoke with his friend Vijay Mallya last week, but denies he is a candidate to replace Giancarlo Fisichella at Force India from this weekend's Italian grand prix.

With the current reserve driver Tonio Liuzzi understood to have a contract to race next year, team boss Mallya will almost certainly also unveil the Italian as Adrian Sutil's new teammate for Monza in the coming hours or days.

Former GP winner and current DTM racer Schumacher, however, was asked by if he might be a candidate for the Mercedes-powered seat, despite being out of F1 since he lost his Toyota drive at the end of 2007.

The 34-year-old answered that it wouldn't make sense "after two years (out of F1) to go to Monza with a car you have never driven".

F1 reserve driver Pedro de la Rosa also ruled out switching to Force India, despite his employer McLaren's strong links with the Silverstone based team.

He told the Spanish sports newspaper Marca: "They have their own test and reserve driver, so no."

McLaren/Mercedes collaboration to continue – spokesman
(GMM) A spokesman for McLaren insists the team's relationship with engine and equity partner Mercedes-Benz is not set to end.

It is reported on Monday that Mercedes, already the supplier of customer engines to Brawn GP, is close to buying into the Brackley based team.

"Both McLaren and Mercedes-Benz remain extremely satisfied with our F1 collaboration, which has netted two drivers' world championships and one constructors' world championship as well as dozens of grand prix victories," the spokesman is quoted as saying in a report by the BBC.

McLaren also said it is "supportive" of Mercedes' engine deals with other teams, amid speculation Red Bull is close to signing a deal for German power in 2010.

The spokesman added: "Mercedes-Benz's engine supply contract with McLaren is a very long-standing one – it's in its 15th consecutive year, in fact – and it will continue to run for many years to come."

However, the BBC report cited 'sources' in suggesting that the Red Bull/Mercedes deal may not be completed if the Brawn reports are true.

Sir Frank Williams is on the lookout for a new engine supplier for its Grove based team, and was believed to be first in line for the Renault deal currently in place for Red Bull.

If Red Bull however stays with Renault, the fourth Mercedes engine deal would become available.

It is reported that Williams was a guest of Mercedes-Benz at the Brands Hatch round of the DTM series last weekend.

Leave a Reply