In today’s round-up: Lotus test drivers, Webber’s shoulder and sexism in F1.
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“Davide Valsecchi and Luiz Razia look set to be announced as test drivers for Team Lotus, with both men expected to have a chance to drive on some Friday mornings ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ as Fairuz Fauzy did last year.”
?óÔé¼?ôNick Heidfeld could be on his way out of Formula One after Mercedes revealed they were talking to potential candidates about their reserve driver role.
?óÔé¼?ôHead of marketing Joachim Schmidt admitted they were not looking to appoint a German test driver – with Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher already confirmed as their line-up for the new season.?óÔé¼?Ø
?óÔé¼?ôFormula 1 technical chiefs are to keep a close check on whether drivers are struggling with being asked to operate too many buttons on their steering wheels this year – with Ferrari suggesting the situation could have reached an ‘unacceptable’ level.?óÔé¼?Ø
?óÔé¼?ôFelipe Massa says he?óÔé¼Ôäós confident that the change to Pirelli will work in his favour, after he struggled last season.?óÔé¼?Ø
“I think it will be impossible to replace Bernie. You’d certainly have to approach it with a bit of a team. You’d need a chief executive, but Bernie’s got such a unique skill set that I look around the world and I don’t know if you could pop in and be Bernie overnight. I think that is a concern for the sport because he is 80 so he’s not going to go on forever. He’s still got a bit of a run in him. I don’t think he’s going to retire, he’s going to go until the lights go off, so he could have another 10 years in him.”
?óÔé¼?ôCycling session done this morning now some power work, last tough day before testing starts next week.?óÔé¼?Ø
?óÔé¼?ôJean Todt, president of the International Automobile Federation, the world regulator of motorsport, said today that the FIA was willing to help Malta in road safety initiatives.?óÔé¼?Ø
“Then this week, sexist comments from the football pundits, Andy Gray and Richard Keys, exploded into a scandal, and it all came flooding back: the aggressive tone used by a TV producer telling me I was ‘only brought in because they [at ITV] want a pretty female presenter’; the Mercedes executive who confessed that there were plenty of women good enough to drive in F1 but ‘they are just not feminine’. Or the time former F1 boss Flavio Briatore took me by the arm as I dashed through the paddock and insisted: ‘You have lunch with me today,’ fully expecting me to drop my job and join him at that very moment.”
?óÔé¼?ôThe four-man team which includes former Formula One team-mates Martin Brundle and Mark Blundell qualified ninth on the 49-car grid for the Daytona 24-hour event.?óÔé¼?Ø
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Comment of the day
Spacko is going to the Turkish Grand Prix and has a few questions ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ can you help?
We are looking to get tickets for the race this year and sit in the Silver 8. Does anyone know what Block is the SouthEast side of the seating?
Are you going to the 2011 Turkish Grand Prix? Chat with other F1 fans who are going to the race here: 2011 Turkish Grand Prix discussion
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On this day in F1
With testing for the new season starting in two days’ time, here’s a timely reminder from ten years ago not to take the lap times entirely at face value.
Jean Alesi lowered the Circuit de Catalunya lap record on this day in 2001 at the wheel of his Prost, almsot a second faster than anyone else on the day.
While the team could hope for an improved season having swapped their Peugeot engines for Ferraris, once the season proper began it became clear that the Prost-Acer AP04 was not a front running car. It amassed a mere four points and Alesi jumped ship before the season ended.
Image ?é?® Virgin Racing