Latest F1 news in brief

  • Montezemolo clarifies 2008 car launch date
  • Domenicali reveals 2008 qualifying tweaks
  • Valencia GP hits potential snag
  • Parente to test Renault at Jerez
  • Schumacher to earn 35m until 2014

Montezemolo clarifies 2008 car launch date
(GMM) Ferrari will launch its 2008 car on 6 January, the Italian marque's president Luca di Montezemolo revealed on Wednesday.

2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen let slip recently that the car will be unveiled for the first time in the early days of the new year, but he did not say where the presentation would take place.

La Gazzetta dello Sport quotes Montezemolo, the Ferrari president, as saying the 2008 car will be launched on January 6 at Fiorano, the team's private test track.

It will reportedly then be tested fully for the first time at Jerez a week later, incidentally at the same time as Red Bull's new RB4.

Montezemolo also revealed that the English photocopy shop employee, who alerted Ferrari about confidential information in McLaren's possession, has been invited to the team's Maranello factory.

"Without him, we would have known nothing," the Italian said. "That's why we have invited him to Mugello and to the factory."

Domenicali reveals 2008 qualifying tweaks
(GMM) More detail about the tweaks to F1's knockout qualifying format for 2008 have emerged.

It was revealed in September that the F1 'Sporting Working Group' had agreed to rid the sport of the controversial fuel-burning phenomenon, chiefly by reducing the time for the 'Q3' format from 15 minutes.

La Gazzetta dello Sport now quotes Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali as revealing more about the new format, which is believed to have been recently ratified by the World Motor Sport Council.

He said Q1 will now last for "20 minutes instead of 15", while Q2 remains at 15 minutes.

"Q3 becomes 10 minutes, instead of 15," Domenicali added, explaining that competitors will no longer be allowed to add fuel to their cars before the grand prix.

Valencia GP hits potential snag
(GMM) Planning for next year's inaugural grand prix on the streets of Valencia has hit a snag.

The European Commission (EC) has confirmed as admissible a formal objection to the project, lodged late last month by the environmental group Formula Verda.

The group is requesting that the construction of the circuit in the Spanish port city not go ahead because a sufficient environmental impact study was not done.

According to Spanish newspapers, the group has requested urgent action "given the obvious risk that the European Commission is faced with a fait accompli".

The group claims that going ahead with the grand prix without an appropriate study would be a "clear violation" of European directives. It is also claimed that land for the circuit was taken from a protected "green area".

Another group, called Ecologistes en Accio, similarly objects to the project, and some local residents fear that their homes will be affected, after early construction affected the flow of the Turia river.

Parente to test Renault at Jerez
(GMM) Alvaro Parente will make his formula one test debut with Renault in early 2008.

Like his predecessors Robert Kubica and Alx Danielsson, the 23-year-old Portuguese has earned a one-off test for becoming the Renault World Series champion.

Parente's test is scheduled for January 17 at Jerez.

"It's a very important moment in my career," he said. "I'm going to step up my physical training program so that I'm 100 per cent ready."

Schumacher to earn 35m until 2014
(GMM) Despite no longer featuring on the formula one grid, Michael Schumacher has ensured his financial security for the years ahead.

The German daily Bild-Zeitung reports that a raft of sponsorship deals guarantee the retired seven time world champion a 35 million euros income over the next seven years.

At the recent Race of Champions event in London, Schumacher for the first time wore a bespoke black and white overalls design, following years with the familiar Ferrari red.

Featured on the overalls are several sponsor logos, with the deals negotiated by the German's manager, Willi Weber.

The logo of long time personal sponsor 'Deutsche Vermogensberatung', for example, is valued at 2m euros per year, while Schumacher has also secured the ongoing personal backing of watchmaker Omega, and Shell.

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