Mike Stevens | Mar 12, 2010

BERNIE ECCLESTONE has given his personal assurance that Rome is not set to replace historic Monza on the formula one calendar.

"Don't worry: the grand prix of Italy is staying at Monza," Enrico Gelpi, president of the Italian sanctioning body ACI, is quoted as saying by Il Messaggero.

Gelpi sought out Ecclestone, the F1 chief executive, at the meeting of the World Motor Sport Council in Bahrain on Thursday.

His informal meeting followed news that Ecclestone, 79, is set to add a Rome street race to the calendar in 2013, with the Italian capital rumoured to be willing to pay significantly more than Monza for the hosting rights.

"Ecclestone's assurance, as we have repeatedly confirmed, is that there has never existed the possibility to separate Monza from the Italian grand prix," said Gelpi.

Rome mayor Gianni Alemanno said: "Ecclestone's clarification confirms what we have said for some time. There is no competition between the two races (Monza and Rome)."

(GMM)

 

Horner Says McLaren Wing Legality Protest Unlikely

After McLaren's 2010 car was declared legal by the FIA, official protests from rival teams are now unlikely.

"It looks like it's legal so we will look at developing our own version," Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said in Bahrain.

"Engineers are creative people. I'm sure ours will find another way of doing it," he said.

It is believed direct copies of the McLaren system, with airflow into a cockpit inlet controlled to the rear wing by the movement of the driver, are unlikely for two reasons.

Firstly, the 2010 monocoques are homologated, making significant alterations difficult, and it is believed that rival teams do not yet fully understand McLaren's ingenious solution.

"From what I understand, there are no grounds for a protest," said McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh. "I don't think everyone yet understands the nature of the systems that are on our car.

"So if they put a protest in, it would potentially be on a wrong set of assumptions as to what we've got. We will see," he is quoted as saying by the Telegraph.

Whitmarsh, who is also chairman of the F1 teams' association FOTA, cheekily suggested that rival teams might copy the inlet on the upper left surface of the monocoque for the purposes of "cooling their drivers".

He said the unnamed engineer responsible for the idea will be outed within time.

"Secrets in F1 have a remarkably short shelf-life and we will make sure that, in due course, the individual gets quite a lot of credit," said Whitmarsh.

(GMM)

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