Latest F1 news in brief

  • Hamilton 'not arrogant' – boss
  • India confirms 2011 GP delay
  • McLaren to launch 2009 car in January
  • F1 racism claims 'nonsense' – Ecclestone
  • Rossi to test Ferrari at Mugello

Hamilton 'not arrogant' – boss
(GMM) Lewis Hamilton's boss has defended the new world champion in the face of claims he is "arrogant".

Many observers acclaim the 23-year-old McLaren driver's talent, but insist his overconfidence is less appealing.

But Ron Dennis, head of the McLaren-Mercedes team, does not agree: "People say Lewis is aggressive, that he's arrogant, but he is not. Definitely not.

"He wants to win and, sometimes, people see that positivity as arrogance — but they're wrong," he told The Sun.

"He is a remarkably level-headed young man and you have to remember he is still maturing," Dennis said.

At a celebratory homecoming at McLaren's Woking headquarters this week, Hamilton reiterated his promise to see out his career with the silver-clad team.

Amid his soaring stock, however, some observers find it hard to believe the Briton could forever resist the lure of Ferrari.

"It's easy," Hamilton answered. "I'm with the team I've always dreamed of being with and, if you have the car of your dreams, why would you leave?

"The day I get in the car and don't have the motivation, maybe that's the time to get out. But I want to see my career out with this team," he said.

India confirms 2011 GP delay
(GMM) Indian grand prix promoter Suresh Kalmadi has confirmed the country's inaugural formula one race has been delayed until 2011.

Bernie Ecclestone said recently New Delhi is not now slated to join the calendar until "probably" a year after its originally scheduled 2010 debut.

"Formula one will be held in India in 2011. Bernie (is) working on this plan," Kalmadi, president of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), is quoted by Indian media as saying.

When asked for the reason for the delay, he answered: "I don't know."

The IOA signed a reportedly ten year grand prix deal in June last year, with a circuit to be designed by Hermann Tilke.

McLaren to launch 2009 car in January
(GMM) A third formula one team has said it expects to unveil its 2009 car in January next year.

Toyota (16 January) and BMW-Sauber (20 January) recently became the first squads to confirm launch dates.

And at McLaren's Woking headquarters this week, team boss Ron Dennis revealed: "We are really well advanced in our new car and we will announce (launch) the car in the latter part of January."

The new Mercedes-powered car, to be called the MP4-24, will carry the number 1, for newly crowned world champion Lewis Hamilton.

F1 racism claims 'nonsense' – Ecclestone
(GMM) Bernie Ecclestone has dismissed as "nonsense" claims formula one has a racism problem.

By the BBC, the F1 chief executive was asked about recent episodes in Spain and Brazil, as well as on the internet, involving fans' dislike of new world champion Lewis Hamilton.

"It's all nonsense," Ecclestone, 78, told the British broadcaster's radio 5.

He said the incidents, including jeers and taunts in Sao Paulo last weekend, and at the notorious Barcelona test earlier this year, were more about fans pushing their allegiances, rather than racist hate.

"In Spain people supported Fernando Alonso and in Brazil they supported Felipe Massa," said Ecclestone.

"I don't think it has anything to do with racism."

He likened the Spanish fans who blacked their faces and screamed obscenities at the Barcelona test to Ferrari's celebrations with "red wigs" a few years ago.

"There were a few people in Spain … and it was probably meant as a joke more than anything abusive. People look and read things into something that is not there.

"People are entitled to support who they want to support.

"When was (Hamilton) insulted? Do you remember the Ferrari guys that wore the red wigs? People are expressing themselves," Bernie said.

Jaime Martin, F1 editor for the Spanish sports newspaper Marca, backs Ecclestone's view that the Barcelona episode was blown out of proportion.

"It's certain that the insults were racist, but if Lewis was bald, the insults would have related to his baldness," he insisted.

Rossi to test Ferrari at Mugello
(GMM) Valentino Rossi's Ferrari test will take place over two days later this month at Mugello.

The Italian daily La Gazzetta dello Sport said the event, in homage to the 29-year-old MotoGP rider's latest title triumph, will be held at the Ferrari-owned circuit on 20 and 21 November.

Rossi tested for the famous Maranello marque several times in 2005 and 2006, as the two sides contemplated joining forces.

In 2008, however, it has been made clear his Ferrari test is for fun only.

Gazzetta said the test has been given the personal approval of Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo.

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