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GP Week : Issue 43
Short Straights n Bridgestone has announced the tyre specifications it will bring to the next four Grands Prix. Monaco will feature super soft sans softs, while the Turkish and British Grands Prix will be run on softs and hards. The German Grand Prix will feature the super soft and medium compound Bridgestone Potenza slick tyres. n The F1 rumour mill swung back into effect in Bahrain over the destination of Fernando Alonso in 2010 as former Toro Rosso owner Gerhard Berger suggested that he knew the Spaniard was off to Ferrari next season, a fact he discovered while negotiating with the driver in a bid to lure him to STR in 2009. n Bernie Ecclestone gave the fans at the Bahrain Grand Prix a treat by flying his impressive collection of historic Grand Prix cars to the race weekend. Housed in an impressive tent in the main fan area, it is hoped by many that this will become a regular feature at other F1 races in 2009. n Bruno Senna will not join Mercedes for their 2009 DTM campaign. Rumours surround the Brazilian and a move to Formula 1, potentially replacing Rubens Barrichello at Brawn or the under-performing Sebastien Bourdais at Toro Rosso. n Former F1 racer Gianni Morbidelli sealed the 2009 Speedcar championship over the Bahrain GP weekend. The Italian pipped inaugural champion Johnny Herbert to the $500,000 championship prize, for which he received a cheeky smash from the English driver on the slow down lap at the end of the final race. Ecclestone: British GP in BERNIE Ecclestone has moved to clear up any confusion over the future of the British Grand Prix in an exclusive chat with GPWeek. Following revelations that F1 supremo confirms that Donington problems threaten traditional rac “Really?”he asked GPWeek. “No lawyers have instructed DVLtd CEO Simon Gillett that his lease of the track has been forfeit. Ecclestone has gone on the Donington Ventures Ltd had been handed a lawsuit claiming nearly £2.5 million in unpaid rent by Donington Park owner Tom Wheatcroft, the future of the British Grand Prix has been cast into fresh doubt. Not only does the lawsuit add further weight to the alleged financial worries facing the 2010 British GP project, but Wheatcroft’s record in the past to insist that the British Grand Prix will be held at Donington Park in 2010 or not at all, but over the weekend of the Bahrain Grand Prix BRDC President Damon Hill claimed that Ecclestone was still talking to the Silverstone owners about the potential for the race to be run at the Northamptonshire circuit – which came as news to the F1 supremo: I’m, not talking to them.” Reports in the press at the weekend suggested that Ecclestone himself might come to the rescue of the race either through a financial aid package or by taking over the running of the event, but he told GPWeek that such stories were untrue: “I didn’t say that,”he confirmed. “I have thought about it, but I’m not going to.” Ecclestone confirmed that the only real chance the race had of going ahead lay with the British government, whose inaction