Latest F1 news in brief

  • Surtees' son dies after F2 crash
  • Concorde Agreement to be signed this week
  • Struggling teams can't 'do a Brawn' for 2010
  • Australian sponsors not interested in Webber
  • Hamilton eyes Le Mans with Mercedes return
  • Fate of Hockenheim's F1 race still 'open'
  • Cosworth works hard to prepare engine for F1
  • New teammate makes 'no difference' – Buemi
  • Toro Rosso confirms Alguersuari

Surtees' son dies after F2 crash
(GMM) Henry Surtees, the 18-year-old son of 1964 world champion John Surtees, died after an accident in the Formula Two race at Brands Hatch on Sunday.

The Briton, who finished the previous day's F2 race in third position, was struck on the head by the flying rear wheel of a competitor's car following a crash.

Surtees lost consciousness immediately and crashed into the barriers at the next corner without lifting his foot off the throttle.

After being stabilized trackside and at the Kent circuit's medical centre, he was airlifted by helicopter to the Royal London Hospital where he later died.

A hospital spokesman confirmed the death.

His father John Surtees, 75, won six grands prix and was also a motorcycle world champion and formula one constructor.

Concorde Agreement to be signed this week
(GMM) Formula one's political crisis is tipped to end in the middle of this week.

It is said that a new Concorde Agreement, to bind the teams and the commercial rights holders to the FIA until the end of 2012, is ready to be given the final green light by Max Mosley and the 26 World Motor Sport Council members.

An addendum to the agreement is the separate so-called Cost Regulation Document, which was discussed and was close to completion after the 13 teams for 2010 met last week at FOTA's Geneva headquarters.

Germany's Auto Motor und Sport reports that Williams' chief executive Adam Parr has been tasked with ensuring that the FOTA teams' undertakings to reduce their budgets to 1990s levels are understood and accepted by the non-FOTA independent teams.

"There have been very long negotiations and now it is time for the conclusion," Hermann Tomczyk, the German club ADAC sport president and an FIA official, told the SID news agency.

Struggling teams can't 'do a Brawn' for 2010
(GMM) Simply throwing away development of this year's car is not a route back to contention in formula one, according to Nick Heidfeld.

Faced with the Hinwil based team's lack of competitiveness this season, it is often suggested that one possible solution might be to 'do a Brawn' and focus very early on the next championship campaign.

But with the rules to remain fairly stable this winter, 32-year-old Heidfeld said of the proposal: "In my opinion that is possible only for the first year of new regulations."

Indeed, team boss Mario Theissen announced last Friday that development of the 2009 car will continue "flat-out", and it is believed the next steps may involve the F1.09's suspension.

"What we are learning from our present car will flow virtually 1:1 into the concept for the (2010 car) F1.10," he said.

To Germany's Der Spiegel, Heidfeld clarified that the realistic objective is not to catch up with frontrunners Red Bull and Brawn.

"The top cars are too far away," he insisted. As for his own future, Heidfeld is looking at his options for 2010 and insists that his only desire is to sit in "a car that wins".

Australian sponsors not interested in Webber
(GMM) While the Australian media hailed compatriot Mark Webber's breakthrough win last week, the 32-year-old did so without taking any local companies along for the ride.

The Red Bull driver's manager and partner Ann Neal told The Australian newspaper that while Webber had some Australian sponsors in the past, none of them wanted to stay with him in formula one.

"In regards to locally based companies supporting Mark, we haven't had any of those for a number of years now, and more's the pity," she said, adding that Australia's lack of corporate interest has been a "great frustration".

The sport is difficult for sports fans to follow in Australia, with most races taking place in the dead of night and until this year not even shown live on television.

While Webber is now a household name in the country, companies eyeing corporate tie-ups with the Australian driver "put it in the too-hard basket", Neal added.

Australia's last grand prix winner, 1980 world champion Alan Jones, said: "(Australian) companies are incredibly naive when it comes to this sport.

"There are lots of examples in the past of (domestic) sponsors getting behind drivers. For example, in Brazil, local sponsors have gotten behind drivers such as Ayrton Senna and Rubens Barrichello and have gotten a lot out of it," he added.

Hamilton eyes Le Mans with Mercedes return
(GMM) Lewis Hamilton has said he would contest the famous Le Mans endurance sports car race with Mercedes-Benz.

Mercedes' Le Mans history is littered with success and failure: after the 1955 Le Mans disaster the German marque withdrew for decades, returning with some success with Sauber in the late 80s.

Another return in the late 90s culminated in another withdrawal after Mercedes' cars, one of them driven by new grand prix winner Mark Webber, repeatedly flipped at the 1999 Le Mans 24 hours.

"If Mercedes-Benz want to go to Le Mans one day and take me, I'll do that," the reigning formula one world champion, who drives with works Mercedes power for McLaren, told Britain's Sun newspaper.

Briton Hamilton, 24, said he is also interested in trying other forms of premier motor sport.

"I'd love to try a MotoGP bike but not particularly race one. I would love to try one of Malcolm Wilson's rally cars — and one day I might try a NASCAR," he added.

He said he is not interested in America's premier Indy 500 race.

"To do the Indy 500 you have to be going at it. It would be unreasonable for me to expect to get in the car and go and win it.

"You have to have a good season in that kind of thing so I don't have any particular desire to do that," said Hamilton.

Fate of Hockenheim's F1 race still 'open'
(GMM) Hockenheim's exit from the formula one calendar is not yet for certain, the prime minister of the local Baden-Wurttemberg region insists.

The circuit has said next year's race will be called off if a solution to race losses of multiple millions of euros is not found.

PM Gunther Oettinger was due to meet with F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone about the situation last weekend at the Nurburgring, but amid the Hitler interview controversy another official instead stepped in.

Since then, the Nurburgring has said it is not willing to host the German grand prix every year, also for financial reasons, meaning Germany could be missing from the 2010 calendar.

Despite appearances the fate of next year's race is sealed, Oettinger insists there is still "movement" in the situation.

On a visit to the ATP tennis tournament the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart, he added that the negotiations will be concluded within "the next four to six weeks".

He said the outcome is not a foregone conclusion. "The result is completely open," Oettinger said.

Cosworth works hard to prepare engine for F1
(GMM) Cosworth is reportedly working hard to re-tune its 2010 formula one engine in order to compete with F1's other manufacturers.

The British engine maker was recently at the centre of the political crisis, with the FIA wanting next year's Cosworths to be exempt from the mandatory 18,000 rev limit.

The FIA president's argument was that because the 2010 Cosworth will be based on the engine used by Williams in 2006, the new teams Campos, USF1 and Manor would otherwise be massively off the pace.

Patrick Head said that even when running 20,000rpm next year, the Cosworths would be disadvantaged in the area of weight and tire wear because they use "clearly more fuel than the current engines".

Ultimately, however, FOTA won the argument and Cosworth must adhere to the regular engine regulations next year.

Only one month ago, Mosley said the British firm had "neither the time nor the resources to retune for 2010".

Spain's Diario AS reports that Campos is finding the 18,000rpm-limited Cosworth a "disaster". "The British firm is working on an evolution to fit the current regulations," the newspaper added.

New teammate makes 'no difference' – Buemi
(GMM) Toro Rosso is expected to announce on Monday morning that Spanish teenager Jaime Alguersuari will make his formula one debut alongside fellow rookie Sebastien Buemi in Hungary this weekend.

Buemi, 20, told Switzerland's Blick newspaper that last Thursday's news of the departure of his 2009 teammate Sebastien Bourdais has not shaken him.

"Actually it makes no difference to me who I drive with," the Swiss youngster, who scored 1 more point than Frenchman Bourdais in the opening nine races of the season, said.

"My job is to drive the car as quickly as possible," Buemi added.

It is rumored that Alguersuari will not be confirmed for the whole of the rest of the 2009 season, with rally world champion Sebastien Loeb linked with the seat for November's Abu Dhabi finale.

Toro Rosso confirms Alguersuari
(GMM) As expected on Monday morning, Toro Rosso announced that 19-year-old Spanish rookie Jaime Alguersuari will replace Sebastien Bourdais "as from this weekend's Hungarian grand prix".

Team boss Franz Tost said the total ban on-season testing will make his debut, to make history as the youngest ever grand prix competitor, even more difficult.

"I do not expect anything from him for at least his first three races, during which he has to get used to the car, the team and to the formula one environment," he said.

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