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GP Week : Issue 90
JAPAN'S Sakon Yamamoto raced in his first Formula One Grand Prix in three seasons at the weekend, after taking over Bruno Senna's Hispania Racing seat in a surprise last-minute move by the team. Rumours broke out in the paddock on Thursday evening that Senna had lost his drive to Sakon and the news was confirmed to GPWEEK by Hispania's team principal Colin Kolles later that night. A war or words had reportedly broken out between the camps and intense discussions were understood to then have taken place between Hispania and Senna's management with a view to reinstating the Brazilian. Confirmation then came on Friday afternoon that he would indeed race for the rest of the season from the forthcoming German Grand Prix. Hispania's statement added that the team had "decided to give an opportunity to one of its four drivers, Sakon Yamamoto, for the British Grand Prix" despite Austria's Christian Klien having more F1 experience and more miles in the team's F110 car. Understandably Yamamoto's significant financial backing had its part to play, with the team currently in need of funds to pay for a future car upgrade. GPWEEK understands that Yamamoto paid £1.6m (US$2.4m) for his Silverstone drive, and admirably brought his car to the finish to help record Hispania's fourth double finish of the year. Yamamoto takes over from Senna F1 NEWS >> ROBERT Kubica will remain at Renault until the end of the 2012 season at the earliest after signing two-year contract extention last week. The Pole has been one of the stand-out performers of the season having moved from BMW Sauber during the winter and had hoped to move to Ferrari until Massa's contract was extended. Interestingly, Kubica's new deal matches that of Massa's. Having taken two podium finishes in the first six races, Kubica said the decision to renew was simple: "It was a straightforward decision for me to continue with a team where I feel at home. I think we have already achieved a lot together, and I believe that with plenty of effort, time and the right approach, we can move even further forward. "That is certainly our target, so we will keep working hard and pushing on every front, not just for the rest of this season but also for next year when there are more big rule changes on the way. I am really looking forward to the challenge." Kubica re-signs For your daily dose of Formula 1 news ... Team principal Eric Boullier was delighted with the news: "We are delighted that Robert will remain with us for the next two seasons and I would like to thank him for the faith he has shown in this team. Our clear goal is to become title contenders over the next two years." 9