F1 news: Ferrari and Red Bull confirm 2011 driver line-ups

By Gareth Llewellyn
webber and vettel

Red Bull have extended the contracts of Webber and Vettel (Photo: Red Bull Italy)

With the Formula 1 circus in Montréal this weekend for the Canadian Grand Prix, The Sport Review’s weekly F1 round-up comes to you a day early.

Ferrari and Red Bull confirmed their driver line-ups for 2011 by extending the contracts of Felipe Massa and Mark Webber respectively.

Massa signed a two-year deal to keep him and team-mate Fernando Alonso at the Scuderia until 2012, while Webber signed a new one-year deal. Ferrari also signed 11-year-old Canadian Lance Stroll to their Driving Academy.

Williams are pushing for KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) to be mandatory to enhance the sport’s green credentials. The system is not being used in 2010 despite several teams using it in 2009, although Williams have developed a unique fly-wheel version rather than use a battery, and Ferrari and Renault agree that a KERS could be developed and shared by all teams.

Mercedes boss Ross Brawn has said that teams are starting to copy some of Red Bull’s unique designs as the season progresses. The Adrian Newey-designed car has taken poll in all seven races to date this year, with driver error and reliability issues preventing Red Bull from running away with the championship.

Brawn believes their exhaust system is being watched closely by rivals, and that they can still be beaten, as shown by McLaren’s recent success.

Do not be surprised if you hear an Aussie or two at the inaugural Korean Grand Prix in October. The Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS) will provide organisational, operational and officials training to support the Koreans in a three-year partnership.

Yung Cho Chung, of the Korea Automobile Racing Association, said, “CAMS has demonstrated knowledge and expertise that will not only assist us in building our long term capability and motor sport culture in Korea, but will ensure that we deliver the inaugural Formula 1 Korean Grand Prix in the only acceptable manner – the best!”

Two-time Formula One world champion Emerson Fittipaldi becomes the seventh experienced racing driver to become a steward this year as he takes the new role for the Canadian Grand Prix. The other stewards for the race are Sweden’s Lars Österlind, Venezuela’s Enzo Spano and Canada’s Roger Peart.

Finally, the Russian Grand Prix has been pencilled in for the autumn of the 2014 season, with Sochi—the host of the 2014 Winter Olympics—as the favoured host city.

Yuri Reilyan, Russia’s Deputy Regional Development Minister, refused to be drawn on a budget for the circuit. Russia will be yet another new market for F1 following the Korean Grand Prix in 2010, and the Indian Grand Prix in 2012.

F1 will also return to the United States from 2012 as Chief Bernie Ecclestone looks to increase the race season to 24 races.

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