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GP Week : Issue 109
n In the build-up to the race, Karun Chandhok was announced as Team Lotus’s third driver. But the Indian’s first day on the job turned into a nightmare when, just three corners into his installation lap in FP1, he lost the car and clattered into the barriers. “I put my hands up to it and totally accept it was a combination of a slippery track and less grip than I expected from the tyres that combined to put me out so early,” he said. “I’m just pleased the guys could get Jarno out in the afternoon session.” n Mark Webber has confirmed the return of his Tasmania Challenge. The Australian was badly injured the last time the adventure racing event was held but, after a three-year hiatus, it’s set to happen again this December, on the 7-11 . The grueling event takes in some of the world’s most stunning scenery. Just keep your eyes on the road this time, Mark. n F1’s favourite DJ, Sakon Yamamoto, was back in the paddock again at Albert Park, this time wearing Virgin threads. The Japanese has been announced as the team’s third driver, so Virgin parties should be the best of the year. n Lewis Hamilton is set to play himself in the upcoming animated movie Cars 2. The all-star cast, led by Owen Wilson and Michael Caine, will include NASCAR racers Jeff Gordon and Darrell Walltrip. It’s set for release this summer. The first Cars movie featured the voice of Michael Schumacher. n Sebastian Vettel has bought himself a present to celebrate his first world title – a Waltz Hardcore motorcycle. Based around the 120bhp Avalanche model, Vettel’s will be custom made and worth 100,000 Euros. He was egged on to buy it by Kimi Raikkonen, who happens to own two himself. The pair will soon be tearing up the Swiss roads together, no doubt. But which one’s Dennis Hopper and which one’s Peter Fonda? It’s obvious, isn’t it? Short Straights Bernie lashes out at the FIA “The FIA is a joke,” Bernie Ecclestone told the Daily Express last week, which does nothing to extinguish a long running rumour that Mr E and Max Mosley are gunning for the head of the incumbent president, Jean Todt. Friction is increasing between Formula One Management and the FIA on a number of issues, with the sports commercial rights holder saying it and the teams should be responsible for deciding the rules, and that the governing body should simply enforce them. “ We should write the rules with the teams,” he said. “ The competitors have got to race and have got a big investment. We have got a big investment. We should write the rules, give them to the FIA and they should make sure they are followed.” Ecclestone is against the FIA’s proposal to mandate a four- cylinder turbo formula from 2013 onwards as part of its efforts to make the sport a shop window for fuel efficient technologies, citing that fans love the noise of F1 cars and that smaller engines will rid the sport of its audio spectacle. “Already I hear about the noise, but that’s evolution,” Todt told the Sydney Morning Herald on Thursday. “ Two decades ago, you had a 12-cylinder engine, now you have only 2.4 -litre V8... I think it’s very important that F1, being the pinnacle of motor racing, takes on board the evolution of society. It will be definitely greener, with the introduction of more technologies in the future.” Meanwhile, the FIA has introduced its registration system for senior team personnel in an effort to ensure cheats are held accountable, following the 2008 ‘crashgate’ scandal. 10