F1: Force India to continue with Mercedes engines
The Sport Review’s round-up of all of the latest news from the world of Formula 1.
Linkin Park have confirmed their appearance at a concert celebrating Formula 1’s season-finale in Abu Dhabi on 14 November.
Hugo Hakkinen, son of two-time world champion Mika, made his karting debut at a WSK Master Series event in Siena, Italy. The nine-year-old was watched by his father, who said: “Hugo is making good progress, but it takes a little bit of time to develop.”
Petronas has extended its title sponsorship of the Malaysian Grand Prix until 2015, allowing it unrivalled advertising, branding and promotional benefits. From 2011 the race will be known as the ‘Formula 1 Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix’.
Force India will continue to be powered by Mercedes engines despite recent speculation suggesting the deal could be cancelled. The contract still has two years to run, and Mercedes vice president Norbert Haug confirmed that the independent team always pays its bills on time and Mercedes has “no plans to change our customers”.
Neil Martin, currently chief strategist at the Red Bull and with years of previous experience with McLaren, is eyeing a similar role with Ferrari, with a massive technical shake up rumoured to be taking place at Maranello in the coming months.
Former Ferrari and Benetton driver Gerhard Berger has denied he has agreed a deal with Peter Sauber to share ownership of Sauber. Sauber bought back his team following BMW’s decision to pull out of F1 in 2009, but so far the Hinwil-based team have struggled to find sponsorship and have limited resources compared to the years with BMW backing. Sauber have also been linked with Nicholas Todt’s ART, currently racing in GP2, but Sauber insists his team is not for sale.
Pirelli have confirmed they will not supply tyres to the World Rally Championship in 2011, preferring instead concentrating on F1. The Italian manufacturer, who won a three-year deal to become the sole supplier in F1 from next year, failed to submit an application before Wednesday night’s deadline citing instability in the sport as the basis for their decision.
Renault SA have used social media website Twitter to deny they are planning to buy back their F1 team following rumours that the French manufacturer could claw back the 85 percent stake believed to have been sold last year following the ‘Crashgate’ scandal. Renault said on Twitter: “Rumor mill in overdrive with some creative stories on the web.” While RF1paddockpass added: “For the record, Renault are very happy with the Genii partnership, great visibility and a good relationship. No plans to change.”