F1 news round-up: Webber questions ‘fake rain’ proposal

The Sport Review brings you a round-up of all of the latest news from the world of Formula 1

By Gareth Llewellyn
mark webber
Mark Webber is not impressed by Bernie Ecclestone's radical idea Photo: Red Bull

mark webber

Mark Webber has rubbished Bernie Ecclestone’s proposal to introduce artificial rain during races in a bid to provide more entertainment.

F1 supremo Ecclestone has suggested sprinklers could be used at random points during a race but his ideas have been met with criticism from both drivers and teams so far.

The 2011 Bahrain Grand Prix could still be rescheduled for November as organisers, FOM and the FIA, consider rescheduling the race in the island kingdom. Ecclestone is determined to host the race this year once the protests and civil unrest have ended.

He has, however, dismissed rumours suggesting it would take place during the height of summer in August, with the end of November between races in Abu Dhabi and Brazil believed to be the preferred choice.

A decision is expected this week after the World Motor Sport Council meets in Paris.

Pedro de la Rosa believes he could remain in F1 for another three years and is convinced he can still compete at the top level despite being dropped by Sauber during last year’s championship.

The Spaniard also claims he was contacted by Renault with a view to replacing the injured Robert Kubica, but Nick Heidfeld, who replaced De la Rosa at Sauber last season, was chosen to test the R31 before being awarded the race seat.

Swiss bank UBS will sponsor this year’s Chinese Grand Prix if the circuit passes an FIA inspection. The race last had a title sponsor back in 2008 before Sinopec withdrew its funding.

Ten races are still without confirmed sponsors in 2011 following the withdrawal of Spanish telecommunication giant Téléfonica – the firm that had sponsored the Spanish and European grands prix in Barcelona and Valencia.

Hispania Racing will make a late decision over their second race seat as speculation continues over their ability to finance another season in F1.

Former Jordan driver Narain Karthikeyan is the only confirmed driver but he has been outpaced by both former Force India driver Tonio Liuzzi, and one-time Midland F1 reserve driver Giorgio Mondini during pre-season testing.

The Spanish team are expected to unleash the F111 car at testing in Barcelona this week meaning their second driver could experience the car for the first time in free practice in Melbourne ahead of the first race of the season.

Tickets for the inaugural Indian Grand Prix near Delhi in October are understood to be set to go on sale by the end of March. Organisers will make tickets available through an online booking system, with prices due to be announced soon.

And finally…

Ferrari’s 2011 Formula 1 car has been renamed again, this time following a legal dispute with the Ford Motor Company.

The Italian car, originally named the F150, and later the Ferrari 150th Italia after Ford filed papers for trademark infringement, will now be called the Ferrari 150° Italia so as to avoid any confusion in the US.

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