- Haug denies Mercedes quitting F1
- Sainz jr on track for Toro Rosso future
- McLaren tested higher nose at Mugello
- Only Red Bull teams stick with Abu Dhabi test plans
- Webber hits back at Petrov's Mugello jibe
Haug denies Mercedes quitting F1
Norbert Haug has denied reports Mercedes is on the verge of quitting F1.
London newspaper The Times F1 correspondent Kevin Eason reported that the German carmaker has conducted a study into how the withdrawal could be effected.
He said the reason for Mercedes pulling out would be because, unlike Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull, the Stuttgart marque has not been offered a place on F1's post-floatation board.
When asked about Eason's report, Mercedes' competition vice-president Haug insisted to Germany's Auto Motor und Sport: "There is absolutely no truth to that."
The report said negotiations between Mercedes and F1 bosses over the next Concorde Agreement are ongoing.
First as an engine supplier only, Mercedes has been in F1 in the modern era since 1993.
Sainz jr on track for Toro Rosso future
Carlos Sainz jr is on course for a future in F1.
The 17-year-old Spaniard is the son of Carlos Sainz, the former two-time world rally champion.
Sainz jr, however, has pursued a career in open wheelers, and - now that Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne have stepped up - he is the new cream of energy drink Red Bull's junior driver programme.
And another direct link to the world of formula one for Sainz jr is his new sponsorship deal with Cepsa, the Spanish oil company that is also Red Bull-owned Toro Rosso's main backer.
Sainz jr's new Cepsa deal is for his participation this year in the British and Euroseries F3 categories, but "Our intention is to continue (beyond 2012)," Cepsa co-chairman Santiago Bergareche is quoted by Marca newspaper.
"Hopefully everything goes well and Carlos will be in that world (F1) one day," added Cepsa chairman Alfonso Escamez.
He said the deal does not guarantee Sainz jr a future in f1.
"The sponsors have no say on the teams of the drivers. We can try to influence, to give our opinion, but we are not (able to decide) on that side.
"We hope that it does happen, but it will not necessarily."
McLaren tested higher nose at Mugello
McLaren tested a higher front nose at the Mugello test last week.
Backmarker Marussia aside, the famous British team is the only team in 2012 to have resisted the temptation of running a high 'step' nose, in the wake of new safety regulations.
McLaren was the early frontrunner this season with its MP4-27 car, but Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton struggled notably last time out in Bahrain.
Germany's Auto Motor und Sport said the team quietly tested the significant nose development on the final day of Mugello testing last Thursday, with test driver Oliver Turvey at the wheel.
The report also speculated that McLaren experimented with an adjustable brake duct system at Mugello, which might be used to regulate tyre temperature for the finicky 2012 Pirellis.
The system would have to be adjusted by the mechanics during a pitstop.
Only Red Bull teams stick with Abu Dhabi test plans
Red Bull's two teams look set to test alone in Abu Dhabi later this season.
Until recently, the now-traditional young drivers' test - giving inexperienced drivers the chance to drive current F1 cars amid the sport's strict testing limits - was scheduled to take place as per usual at the Yas Marina circuit in November.
But those plans were reconsidered due to this year's congested calendar.
India takes place just one week before Abu Dhabi, the young driver test is scheduled for the week after and then the races in the US and Brazil happening back-to-back next.
In the light of that arduous schedule, reports in March said the teams were keener on having the young driver test at Silverstone.
"It's a long season as it is and there are a lot of back-to-back races this year, so it's tough for them (the teams)," Abu Dhabi circuit boss Richard Cregan conceded.
The German-language Speed Week reports in its May 2 edition that the majority of teams want to test instead at Silverstone, in July.
But the magazine said Red Bull's two teams - Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso - are sticking with the original Abu Dhabi plan.
The report also said other teams might cancel Silverstone at the last minute and join Red Bull in Abu Dhabi, should weather reports indicate the British weather would likely affect the July test.
Webber hits back at Petrov's Mugello jibe
Mark Webber has hit out at F1 rival Vitaly Petrov.
Last week, as the sport tested at Mugello, Russian driver Petrov suggested the high-speed Ferrari-owned layout is too dangerous for modern grand prix cars.
"You get very close to the walls and it's maybe a bit small for the cars now," said the Caterham driver.
Australian Webber, however, had raved about Mugello, likening 10 laps there as akin to 1000 tours of Abu Dhabi's heavily-criticised Yas Marina layout.
Posting a photo on Twitter of Jim Clark driving unprotected past houses at the Aintree circuit in 1962, Webber remarked: "I wonder if V Petrov was there".