Latest F1 news in brief

  • Bridgestone scraps 2009 'gap' policy
  • New hope for Hockenheim after Ecclestone meeting
  • Dennis possible for FIA president – Chandhok
  • Vettel still not Red Bull 'no.1' – boss
  • US GP boss Tony George resigns
  • Vettel to face first Nurburgring home crowd

Bridgestone scraps 2009 'gap' policy
(GMM) Bridgestone has scrapped its policy of leaving a gap between the two types of tire compounds supplied to formula one teams in 2009.

At the remaining rounds of the season following next Sunday's German grand prix, the sport's official tire supplier will instead revert to supplying consecutive compounds.

Fernando Alonso had hit out at the situation earlier this year, slamming the policy as in the interests of a false spectacle while making the drivers look "ridiculous".

"We have made the change to the tire allocation concept based on the data we have collected from races so far this year combined with our knowledge of the tracks we visit for these (next) races," director of tire development Hirohide Hamashima said.

He said continuing the 'gap' policy would have caused problems at the next five races, including the twisty Hungary and Valencia, cool Spa-Francorchamps and Monza in Italy.

New hope for Hockenheim after Ecclestone meeting
(GMM) Bernie Ecclestone may have intervened to save the German grand prix at Hockenheim in 2010 and beyond.

Last week, citing annual losses, the circuit-owning city said it would no longer be the promoter of the event, raising the prospect that F1 will not return to Hockenheim and Germany will be left off next year's calendar.

But mayor Dieter Gummer left the door open to investors or a new promoter, and bookmarked a forthcoming meeting with F1 chief executive Ecclestone.

That meeting took place in London this week, Gummer afterwards telling the Mannheimer Morgen newspaper that he thinks a solution has been found to "keep formula one with us in the next years".

"We discussed the different options," Gummer explained, "and now we as well as Bernie Ecclestone need to do our homework."

The German news agency SID said two solutions are most likely: that Ecclestone becomes the promoter or finds an investor, or that the Briton simply reduces the race promotion fee.

Vettel still not Red Bull 'no.1' – boss
(GMM) Not even a second win of the season has convinced Red Bull's team boss to nominate Sebastian Vettel 'number 1' for the remainder of the 2009 season.

Having also won in China, the 21-year-old German utterly dominated at Silverstone earlier this month but still lies 25 points behind the championship leader Jenson Button.

Complicating the issue is the strong form of Vettel's teammate Mark Webber, who despite not opening his career wins account so far this year is just 3.5 points behind in the drivers' standings.

"There's no no.1 driver," team boss Christian Horner is quoted as saying this week by the AAP news agency.

"Updates are being introduced to the cars equally at every race, and that's the way it will continue for the rest of the season," he said.

Horner admitted that the pair are equally desperate to lead the pace, but amid rumors of increasing tension denied that it is a problem.

"They're both professional drivers, they're both at different stages in their career, but they work for a strong team," the Briton insisted.

"Obviously there is a competitive rivalry, but it's a professional rivalry between the two of them."

US GP boss Tony George resigns
(GMM) Tony George this week resigned as CEO of the former US grand prix venue Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Last month, rumors that he was on the verge of being ousted was reported as a blow to hopes that formula one could soon return to the crucial North American market.

George is credited with earlier this decade bringing F1 back to the US on a novel road course inside the fabled Indy 500 oval, and until recently was keen to pen a new race promotion deal with Bernie Ecclestone.

A media statement in May however said the venue's priority should be the Indy Racing League, with some commentators questioning George's investments in the road course, press tower and other facilities built for F1.

Amid the FOTA-FIA conflict, the rebel teams leaked a theoretical 2010 calendar to the press and it featured both Indianapolis and Montreal, the host of the similarly axed Canadian grand prix.

FOTA chairman Luca di Montezemolo said this week that returning to the American continent is "absolutely crucial" to Ferrari.

"The United States has been our largest market for many, many years and so we will do our best to race there again with formula one," he said.

Vettel to face first Nurburgring home crowd
(GMM) After Jenson Button at Silverstone last month, next weekend it will be Sebastian Vettel's turn to face his home grand prix.

Actually, due to his mid-season Toro Rosso debut in 2007 and the fact that Hockenheim hosted Germany's F1 race last year, it will be the 21-year-old German's first ever formula one event at the Nurburgring.

"I have many beautiful memories of the Nurburgring," the Red Bull driver said in an interview with Motorsport Aktuell.

"I have driven go-karts there, as well as many races in formula BMW, formula 3 and also the Renault world series," said Vettel.

"It is a special place: you need to pack a thick jacket even in the middle of summer!"

He will arrive in the mountainous Eifel region next week as the dominant winner of the most recent British grand prix, but believes his home crowd will give him an extra boost.

"I would say it is similar to football when you have a home game — you always give 100 per cent but the motivation is even higher," said Vettel, whose most formative racing days were spent not far away at Michael Schumacher's Kerpen kart track.

Leave a Reply