Timo Glock is hoping to step into the midfield with Virgin in 2012.
The German was earlier disheartened with the new team's lack of progress after its 2010 debut, questioning Nick Wirth's approach to designing his cars without a wind tunnel.
But Virgin has now split with Wirth and inked a deal to use McLaren's wind tunnel, and the latest indication is that Glock, 29, is staying on board.
"I know it sounds ambitious," he told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport, "but we are already planning to be in the midfield in 2012.
"Then if possible we'll fight at eye-level with Toro Rosso, Force India and co. It won't be easy but I'm optimistic," added Glock.
Nurburgring puts F1 future in Ecclestone's hands
The Nurburgring aims to stay on the Formula One calendar beyond 2011 by renegotiating the financial terms of its contract.
With the Rhineland-Palatinate state now run by a SPD/Green coalition, minister Eveline Lemke on Monday said that despite the contract running through 2016, this weekend's race will be the last one supported financially by the government.
"The conditions at the moment generate high and no longer acceptable losses," DPA news agency quotes circuit operator Jorg Lindner as saying.
"So there will only be a continuation of the great and legendary tradition of Formula One at the Nurburgring if a future contract includes economically and politically acceptable conditions," he added.
And minister Lemke is quoted by the Financial Times Deutschland: "Whether this weekend's race will be the last depends on the demands of Bernie Ecclestone."
Alguersuari aims for low grid position in Germany
A quirk of 2011-style F1 is that Jaime Alguersuari is hoping to qualify poorly for the German Grand Prix.
At the first five Grands Prix of the season, the Toro Rosso driver was always in Q2 and even Q3 but failed to go on to score a single point.
But in Canada, Valencia and Silverstone, 21-year-old Spaniard consecutively failed to progress out of Q1 yet went on to score points on all three occasions.
"I wouldn't mind not going into Q2 and qualifying eighteenth at the Nurburging," he told Radio Nacional de Espana. "That way I keep a set of tyres."
18th is the highest grid position possible without graduating into Q2 and having to use a further set of Pirelli tyres.
"I am sure about it because at first I did the opposite and it was very bad," said Alguersuari. "I'd prefer not to qualify, have a good race car and finish in the points."
Alguersuari, meanwhile, thinks Sebastian Vettel is right on course for the 2011 title.
"For me, the championship is decided already," he said. "This year the Red Bulls don't break down and, compared to us, are in a different galaxy."
New owner already making changes at HRT - report
HRT's new owner is already making changes at the struggling Spanish team.
The sports daily AS reports that the team's former owner is no longer involved in any way, contrary to earlier speculation that Jose Ramon Carabante's son Jose would be installed in a senior management role.
The newspaper also said new owner Thesan Capital, a Madrid-based investment company, has dispensed with the team's media boss Alba Saiz.
And the team name Hispania will no longer be deployed by Thesan in F1, as a new silver logo bearing the words 'HRT Formula One Team' is debuted.
AS said the immediate changes are the result of an analysis carried out by Thesan since early July, involving the visit to Silverstone of former Minardi driver Luis Perez Sala.
The report also said Thesan was upset with the way its takeover was announced by Hispania, such as the claim that the "current team and directors" would be retained.
More changes and the team's new image are expected to become clearer at the Nurburgring this weekend, AS added.
F1 teams discuss relaxing test ban for 2012
F1 teams have discussed the possibility of allowing some in-season circuit testing in 2012.
FIA president Jean Todt said recently that the current blanket ban is "stupid" and teams should be allowed to do a few tests during the season in 2012.
A report at France's autohebdo.fr said the teams, who must agree to the rule change for next year, discussed relaxing the test ban during a meeting at Silverstone.
But the talks "have made little progress", the report said.
Williams technical director Sam Michael is quoted as confirming: "There has not yet been a vote, just some ideas about having a test for young drivers during the season.
"It (testing) was on the table but we had many other things to deal with (at Silverstone)," added the Australian, referring to the V6 engine rules and the blown exhaust saga.
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