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GP Week : Issue 66
n It is looking increasingly likely that the unanimous agreement needed to alter the Concorde Agreement to allow the running of a 14th team in Formula 1 in 2010 will not occur. Williams is known to be heavily against such a concept, as 26 cars has always been the limit in F1. There are also reservations within F1 circles as to the credentials of BMW's new owners. n Lewis Hamilton has shrugged off comments made by Felipe Massa that in light of Renault's guilt in the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix scandal, the Brazilian feels he was robbed of the 2008 World Driver's Championship. n Should Kimi Raikkonen link up with either Lewis Hamilton at McLaren or the potential 2009 championship-winning Jenson Button at Brawn in 2010, it would see Formula 1's first pairing of world champion drivers since Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna were team-mates at McLaren in 1989. n USF1 has signed former Cosworth F1 boss Bernard Fergusson. This news comes in spite of claims from Bernie Ecclestone that the team remains in serious doubt for 2010. n Talented Japanese drivers spotted over the Japanese GP weekend -- Takuma Sato match-fit and ready to race, looking for a 2010 F1 seat; Hiroki Yoshimoto talking to paddock types to drum up support for a return to European-based racing (GP2/LMS/DTM); Sakon Yamamoto in a karaoke bar in Tokyo ... Short Straights hor Stra Sor r ho tr r o t h S S St Sh Sh S S S MOTORING clubs attending the Amman Extraordinary Motoring Conference have called for an independent body to monitor the FIA Presidential election on October 23, after a 'Letter of Fear' was sent from FIA President Max Mosley to HRH Prince Feisal Al Hussein of Jordan. Mosley's letter, which declined an invitation to speak to the Conference, warned FIA Presidential candidate Ari Vatanen's supporters that he would "lose the election and lose badly," and stated that anybody who maintained their support for the Finn risked damaging the FIA. "The more Vatanen criticises these policies [of the FIA] and the more insulting and untrue his claims, the more he damages the interests of those associated with him. The FIA membership will naturally assume that his supporters fully endorse his statements. "Any thought that, after the election, everyone can unite and work together can now be forgotten. It is not possible to make outrageous and divisive statements like Vatanen's and then expect the victims of insults and untruths to forget what has been said. "The simple fact is that Vatanen will lose the election and lose badly, not least because he chose to denigrate the FIA and those currently in office rather than run a constructive and civilised campaign." The letter, leaked late last week, has received almost universal condemnation and is believed by many in the Formula 1 paddock to hint at Mosley's desperation to see Todt win an election battle which over the last week has seemed, for the first real time, to be slipping from his grip. Vatanen is now believed to have over 50 percent of the support of the FIA member clubs, and the influential Prince Feisal called upon his fellow FIA members to not be swayed by the tactics of "fear and intimidation" he says are being employed by the Todt camp in its electoral campaign. "Jordan has always maintained a strong relationship with our President, so I am deeply disappointed by the content and the insinuations of his letter which have raised serious questions as to the credibility of the upcoming elections, especially as Max is strongly supporting the campaign of one of the candidates, Jean Todt," he wrote. "Voting should be done with your hearts and your conscience, and not out of fear and intimidation. Now is the time to become one harmonious governing body, not to face a future of division and uncertainty due to decisions made during a democratic process. "In the interests of democracy, transparency and integrity, we must be sure that this election is held in a fair and open environment through a secret ballot and under close third party supervision." The differing statements between the two opposing candidates' supporters has now spelt out a very clear divide in what the FIA member clubs can expect from either future President. 'Letter of Fear' turns tide for Vatanen 6