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GP Week : Issue 105
n Jarno Trulli’s retirement from the Korean Grand Prix marked Lotus Racing’s tenth DNF due to hydraulics this year. And Heikki Kovalainen only just made it across the line after experiencing similar problems. The team has already announced it is dumping technical partner X-Trac. Tony Fernandes tweeted the tie-up has been “a disaster.” n Abu Dhabi is set to host a musical extravaganza on GP weekend even bigger than last year. Prince will headline the event on Sunday night while Linkin Park and Kanye West will take to the Ferrari World stage in the run up to the race. Anyone with a race ticket can go. In addition there will be free concerts on the Corniche by acts including Sean Paul and Kelis, and the Yas Hotel is hosting intimate gigs by Gabrielle, Corrine Bailey Rae and The Sugababes. n Hublot has held a special event in Korea to showcase the F1 King Power - the official watch of Formula One. Featuring the F1 logo, it’s been created to epitomise the cutting- edge technology, high per formance, glamour and precision of the sport itself. But, at £13,000, the expense is eye -watering! Short Straights MERCEDES GP team boss Ross Brawn has admitted that the team’s 2009 successes came at the cost of developing a leading car for Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher this season. Brawn’s eponymous team won both titles last year with a car developed during the cash-rich Honda era, but with the Japanese company’s sudden withdrawal Brawn was forced to lay off several hundred staff, and the 55-year old admitted that reduction in resources heavily impacted the team’s capabilities. “With the restrictions we had, in late 2009 we couldn’t chase the title and build a competitive car for this year at the same time,” he said. “When the time came to design the 2010 car, our design office wasn’t well organised. What came out of it is a scarcely ambitious car, in fact too conservative. But we couldn’t do otherwise, because resources were not sufficient,” added Brawn. “For 2011 we have a group of young engineers who want to show their worth, so we are ambitious again.” Brawn also pinpointed 2011 as a time at which Mercedes can look to close the gap on F1’s front- running teams as the cost-cutting drive required under the Resource Restriction Agreement will provide a more level playing field. “From 2011, because of the cost reduction process, this will become the norm for everyone - even though I don’t believe that teams like Ferrari and McLaren will have to compromise too much,” he said. Brawn responded to reports that he may be looking to step back from the team. “I am totally committed for the next few years and I want this team to succeed,” he said. “I hope it can and also in a way do what I did at Ferrari.” Brawn: title tilt compromised 2010 car Our exclusive partnership with Vodafone McLaren Mercedes means you can stay in the centre of the F1 action when you book a Grand Prix weekend package. For more information or to book, please visit hiltonracing.com Click here to book your 10