Here?óÔé¼Ôäós today?óÔé¼Ôäós round-up:
?óÔé¼?ôThe answer came back as quick as a shot. ?óÔé¼?£I?óÔé¼Ôäóm still here!?óÔé¼Ôäó That?óÔé¼Ôäós the headline Formula One Group CEO Bernie Ecclestone wants to see as he readies himself for his 80th birthday at the end of this month. And indeed, he?óÔé¼Ôäós still very much here – so much so in fact that he arrived uncharacteristically late for the interview because he?óÔé¼Ôäód been embroiled in three simultaneous meetings, ?óÔé¼?£trying to solve problems?óÔé¼Ôäó. Ahead of his ninth decade, the indomitable Briton looks back at his successes – and looks ahead to his successor.?óÔé¼?Ø
?óÔé¼?ôThe odds of either Lewis Hamilton or Jenson Button winning next weekend’s inaugural race in Korea and clawing their way back into championship contention in the process are slim, according to the one man to have actually driven the circuit in a Formula One car.?óÔé¼?Ø
?óÔé¼?ôFIA president Jean Todt has stated he cannot see Africa playing host to a Formula One grand prix in the next five years.
?óÔé¼?ôF1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone claimed earlier in the summer that he felt South Africa could be in a position to host a race inside three years, but Todt does not believe it is viable.
?óÔé¼?ô?óÔé¼?£At the moment it’s only some rumours about some interest for some countries in Africa to organise a Formula One event but I don’t see any opportunity in the next three to five years,?óÔé¼Ôäó Todt said.?óÔé¼?Ø
?óÔé¼?ôThis is the final part of the programme undertaken by a group of media and fans recently at the Yas Marina Circuit to understand what it takes to be an F1 driver.?óÔé¼?Ø
?óÔé¼?ôDurango boss Ivone Pinton says that he and Jacques Villeneuve have not yet given up on some kind of F1 involvement in 2011 ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ but could go to NASCAR instead if things don?óÔé¼Ôäót work out.?óÔé¼?Ø
?óÔé¼?ôRobert Kubica has admitted he was disappointed to learn that Kimi Raikkonen had ruled out a potential Formula 1 return with the Renault team.?óÔé¼?Ø
?óÔé¼?ôLewis Hamilton and Jenson Button will deliver under intense pressure in Korea, Martin Whitmarsh has predicted. The Vodafone McLaren team boss said the veterans of two title-winning campaigns both had the ability to deliver when it counted most. And he said McLaren’s rivals wrote the team off at their peril.
?óÔé¼?ô?óÔé¼?£Both drivers have won world championships, they understand the difficulties of such a unique situation and both have learned how to deliver their best under high pressure,” Whitmarsh said.
?óÔé¼?ô?óÔé¼?£They will be ready for this battle. With three races remaining and 75 points on the table for the drivers, it would be unwise to write off Jenson, Lewis or Vodafone McLaren Mercedes.?óÔé¼Ôäó?óÔé¼?Ø
Comment of the day
It seems the majority of you think Felipe Massa should not stay at Ferrari at the end of the season. Steph disagrees:
Yes he should stay. A lot of fanatics will know I?óÔé¼Ôäóm a huge Massa and a complete Ferrari fan but I didn?óÔé¼Ôäót have a single doubt about this poll. I?óÔé¼Ôäóll always say what happened at Hockheinem was wrong and if I thought Massa was better off elsewhere then I would vote for him to go.
Massa has had a fairly bad year compared to Fernando but he is in a fairly unique situation; he?óÔé¼Ôäós come back after serious injury and even Sid Watkins thought he came back too soon, he had eight months out and Brundle commented at Monaco that Felipe was still not as sharp as he was, he?óÔé¼Ôäós got the hardest team mate in the world and he hates the tyres. Should he have worked around those problems? Yes, probably but next year he?óÔé¼Ôäóll be much better prepared. The tyres will be new and the points are back at zero.
Felipe is still good enough to be a Ferrari driver. He?óÔé¼Ôäós shown flashes this year; fastest on the hards in q1 at Monza but then fluffed his q3 strategy, Singapore was a great recovery and Malaysia he made up as many places as Lewis. Hockheinem he showed he could lead a GP again. Bahrain, Turkey and Spa he outqualified Alonso (more down to Fernando?óÔé¼Ôäós errors like in Monaco but he got it right).
This is a great timed poll in a way because everyone seems to be debating about him but for me it?óÔé¼Ôäós premature. Give him one year to see how the Ferrari situation really is when he?óÔé¼Ôäós had some time to get up to speed and the tyres are new and the score board is back at 0.
As much as I want him at Ferrari I won?óÔé¼Ôäót respect him if he settles for a constant number role 2 there. This year there was at least some logic as terrible as it was and next year it could all change.
From the forum
Joao Pedro CQ asks Whether Portugal’s Portimao circuit should hold a Grand Prix?
On this day in F1
Jenson Button clinched the world championship on this day in 2009 at the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Button qualified 14th on the grid but worked his way up to a fifth place finish and an extra four points. This meant he had 89 points ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ to nearest rival Vettel?óÔé¼Ôäós total of 74 ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ and had secured both the drivers?óÔé¼Ôäó and constructors?óÔé¼Ôäó world championship for Brawn.
In the race, Red Bull?óÔé¼Ôäós Mark Webber went from second on the grid to take his second career win, followed by Robert Kubica in second and Lewis Hamilton in third.