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Saturday, November 29, 2008

F1 news in brief – 11/29/08

F1 Nov 2008

Many changes in the regulations are being looked at as potential "shaker-uppers" for 2009, from Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS) to slicks to aero changes.

Jenson Button is confident Honda can use those changes to their advantage, and challenge for race wins in 2009.

"I've already seen what is happening with the car for next year, and it looks very positive," Planet F1 quotes Button at last week's "Honda Racing Thanks Day." "It feels more like 2006, when I got three podiums and I won my first race. So it's all very positive, and I'm hoping to get some more wins next year."


Williams' Nico Rosberg is also hoping the shake-up works to his benefit, hinging his future on the team's fortunes.

"I am not asking for a World Championship-winning car, just a car that gives me the opportunity to finish in the points consistently - and a couple of podiums would be the icing on the cake," Fox quotes Rosberg. "The chances are there, for sure. Should '09 not turn out as I hope it will, then naturally I have to re-think my position for 2010."


McLaren’s engineering boss Paddy Lowe thinks KERS will shake things up on a race-by race basis.

"Certainly, the variation from circuit to circuit will be different," he told McLaren’s official website. "Also KERS will have more authority at some tracks than at others – so the pecking order from circuit to circuit may change a little bit."

Lowe also believes the nature of the system will result in continued development over the course of the year.

"There will definitely be constant development of the KERS device through the year," he said. "One thing to bear in mind is that the ultimate idealised performance benefit of KERS is capped – because it’s limited in power and energy. So assuming you’ve delivered to that cap, you’re looking more into the domains of doing it for less weight or doing it more efficiently or more reliably."

Why do I think it will still be Ferraris and McLarens up front?

A trio of drivers talk future

Fans of Fernando Alonso can rest assured their champion will not be leaving the sport without winning a third championship.

"I'm more or less convinced about not leaving F1 without becoming world champion again," F1 Live reports he told the Spanish radio network Cadena SER.

Alonso returns to Renault in 2009, but Satander's confirmation they are moving to Ferrari in 2010 has rekindle speculation the Spaniard will be moving to The Prancing Horse.

"A quick answer to that question would not be the right answer," he said.


While Honda continues to test young drivers, Rubens Barrichello has turned his attention to the empty seats at Toro Rosso.

The Brazilian maintains he is not ready for retirement.

"I am very proud of everything I have accomplished," he said on his Web site. "I am saying this because it seems like I still want to race because I have to prove myself, but this is not why I want to stay in F1. I want to keep going simply because I love it and I still have a lot of energy. I have a chance of going to two very competitive teams: Honda or Toro Rosso. This is what motivates me right now."

Motivated or not, Sebastien Buemi and Takuma Sato would seem to have the inside line on the Toro Rosso seats, especially in the wake of Dietrich Mateschitz's reacquisition of Gerhard Berger's half of the team.

And with Barrichello publicly reopening Austria 2002, one wonders how smooth things are with Ross Brawn at the moment.


Meanwhile, Giancarlo Fisichella is telling anyone who will listen his seat at Force India is safe.

"The line-up has been announced in China in October by Vijay, and I trust people who trust me," Fisichella told the official F1 website. "I originally signed a two-year contract which was reviewed in September to incorporate the McLaren deal. In a few words, the team offered me a better car and a different package."

Team owner Vijay Mallya confirmed his lineup before then end of the 2008 season. McLaren test driver Pedro de la Rosa's appearance earlier this month in Barcelona raised some eyebrows, however, and brought the futures of Fisichella and teammate Adrian Sutil into question.

Fisichella said he wasn't surprised.

"The only thing I know is that in September we were told that Pedro could test and we could not say before it was made official so I was not at all surprised," he added.

Loose ends

James Allen discusses a new star born at Ferrari.

F1 Fanatic
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