Mike Stevens | Mar 23, 2010

RENAULT HAS PLAYED DOWN reports the French marque has been permitted to make new changes to its formula one engine.

It was reported recently that Renault, supported stridently and openly by its F1 customer Red Bull, had lobbied the FIA to be allowed to catch up with Mercedes' arguably best engine on the grid.

Red Bull's Christian Horner said last month: "It would be a disaster to lose another engine manufacturer at the end of the year because they cannot compete with the others."

But amid suggestions that none of the permitted changes involved improving either performance or fuel efficiency, a Renault source clarified on Monday that the news is not even new.

Rather, the source said the FIA's approved changes have not "just been green-lighted" but were rather all implemented in the winter pre-season.

Moreover, the changes were all in accordance with the rules allowing modifications on grounds of cost reduction and reliability, and the source said "every engine manufacturer" is in dialogue with the FIA on the same basis.



Stefan GP Confirms End Of Toyota Deal

STEFAN GP CONFIRMED on Monday that its relationship with Toyota has ended for now.

With an office at the Japanese marque's former F1 headquarters in Cologne, Stefan GP intended to race this year with the 2010 Toyota car/engine package.

But we reported earlier on Monday that, with no official entry, the Stefan/Toyota had almost certainly lapsed, as Toyota reverted to a new era offering external support to other motor sport clients.

Germany's motorsport-total.com added that Stefan GP had also made deals with the failed American outfit USF1 that have also now ended.

Referring to the agreement with Toyota Motorsport GmbH, Stefan GP chief Zoran Stefanovich said: "For 2010 it is no longer feasible.

"We already have another plan in mind, but we'll see what we can do."

The Serbian businessman also said a decision about whether to apply for the vacant team entry for 2011 has not yet been taken.

The official Stefan GP website says it is "under reconstruction".



Bridgestone still intends to quit F1 in 2010

BRIDGESTONE IS NOT reconsidering its decision to pull out of formula one at the end of 2010.

We reported earlier this month that both Bernie Ecclestone and FIA president Jean Todt, supported by many of the leading teams, were pushing the Japanese company to stay.

Its three year contract as the sport's sole tyre supplier runs out at the end of 2010, and despite new suppliers needing significant lead-time to prepare a project, the FIA has not yet instigated a new tender process.

"We could certainly find a replacement," said F1 chief executive Ecclestone, "but I hope that they will rethink their decision. We are working on it."

And Todt speculated that Bridgestone decided to quit because F1 is not seen to regard "sustainability, environment and climate change".

"So, will they change their mind in light of what we are trying to implement? I don't know," said the Frenchman.

Upon request on Monday, a spokeswoman for UK-based Bridgestone Motorsport provided the answer.

"I can confirm that our position has not changed," she said, when also confronted with suggestions that Bridgestone might stay if costs are offset by teams paying for their tyres.


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