Mike Stevens | Mar 11, 2010

France is not on this year's F1 calendar and the situation is unlikely to change in 2011.

That is the admission of Nicolas Deschaux, president of the country's motor racing sanctioning body FFSA (Federation Francaise du Sport Automobile).

Following the demise of the Magny Cours event and then proposed alternative hosts, he blames French politics.

"There is a time for sponsorships of the government," he is quoted as saying by the L'Equipe sports daily.

"When I see (Russian prime minister Vladimir) Putin announcing the support of (Vitaly) Petrov with Lada, I see the gap is huge compared to what happens in France.

"The (French) government has a view on this subject that is distorted by electoral considerations under the heading of the environment," Deschaux added.

He said Magny Cours, Paul Ricard, and the Sarcelles project are the three possible venues for a reinstated French grand prix.

"I am awaiting clarification of the financial feasibility of Sarcelles," said Deschaux, who also said he is in "very regular contact" with FIA president Jean Todt.

"But I cannot predict the year of the next grand prix of France. It would be unrealistic to think it will be 2011," he added.

(GMM)

 

Sauber Not Ready To Change Team Name

Sauber has still not decided when to officially drop 'BMW' from the official name of its Swiss formula one team.

The Hinwil based squad is still officially known as BMW Sauber F1 Team, despite the total withdrawal of the German carmaker.

The name has been retained so as not to jeopardise the commercial rewards due from Sauber's participation in the 2009 world championship, resulting in sixth place in the title.

But with no ongoing involvement from BMW, the situation means Sauber's chassis this year is awkwardly known officially as the BMW Sauber Ferrari, due to the use of a Ferrari customer engine.

In its most recent media communique, Sauber revealed a new red logo and name (Sauber Motorsport) that indicated an official change is due soon.

But when asked why 'BMW' is still part of Sauber's official name, boss Peter Sauber told Switzerland's 20 Minuten: "It's very simple.

"We enrolled last summer with that (BMW) name for the 2010 season and it is still our name.

"We have not yet made an application to change it, and the timing of that is still open," Sauber added.

It has been reported this week that Sauber's new C29 car is perhaps the best of all in terms of tyre wear, but the 66-year-old is not getting carried away in the days before the Bahrain season opener.

"I've said it many times: interpreting the results of testing is like reading tea leaves. After all these years I have become quite cautious," said Sauber.

(GMM)

 

Vettel Has No Problem With Blunt Teammate Webber

Sebastian Vettel insists he gets on well with his outspoken Red Bull teammate Mark Webber.

There were rumours of discord during last season when they shared the competitive RB5, and just a year earlier, following a collision, Australian Webber slammed Vettel for being one of F1's "kids" who "do a good job and then f--k it all up".

This week, 33-year-old Australian Webber again dismissed F1's new generation as not "real men".

"Every now and again - whether it's a Lewis Hamilton or a Sebastian Vettel - they can come in and do a good job," he added.

22-year-old Vettel - who insists he has "never had a problem" with Webber since their Fuji crash - told the Guardian: "You know Mark, he is not afraid of saying what he thinks.

"Of course I want to beat him every time, and he wants to beat me, but we get along well," he added.

(GMM)

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