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GP Week : Issue 118
n Jenson Button is championing the cause of a two-week break before the Monaco Grand Prix, after almost being knocked down by a forklift truck amid frantic preparations in the Monte Carlo paddock on Wednesday. Monaco is the only place on the calendar where free practice takes place on Thursday, meaning the entire paddock has to be assembled by Wednesday for the traditional media day. “I was looking but he wasn’t as he was reversing. It makes it a bit dangerous. Maybe we should be wearing hard hats,” said Button on Wednesday. “It is very busy out there and we are running through a lot of fans and walking through areas not built yet. I would prefer it not to be back-to-back. Because it is such a special event we should have a good space beforehand.” n Lewis Hamilton has hit out at the tactics of the Toro Rosso team at last weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, after claiming his route to victory was blocked by Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastien Buemi in the closing stages of the race as he tracked down Sebastian Vettel. Toro Rosso is Red Bull Racing’s junior team, and Hamilton suggested in Monaco that they had been helping the bigger team. “ That kind of thing shouldn’t happen because they are not really supposed to be a sister team are they? But definitely in the last race there was some of that, all of a sudden moving in my way, causing a bigger gap. “ The gap that I closed to him, I lost. They let him past and then they held me up for the next couple of corners. That wasn’t cool.” Short Straights Poor start for Ferrari costs technical director his job FERRARI’s Aldo Costa has resigned as technical director of the Italian team in the wake of their poor start to the season, just three and a half years after taking the position in late 2007. Costa has been a long-standing member of the Scuderia but has now been moved to take on new, unspecified, responsibilities within Ferrari. Costa took over as technical director of Ferrari on the day that former technical director Ross Brawn announced his appointment as team principal at Honda, ending hopes that he would return following a one-year sabbatical. Since then he has presided over a constructors’ championship win for the team in 2008 and 14 race victories. Last year Fernando Alonso just missed out on the world championship, but the team now lies 110 points behind Red Bull in the constructors’ championship after just five races. Costa’s departure has prompted Ferrari to restructure its technical department in three areas. Director for chassis development is former deputy technical director Pat Fry, Corrado Lanzone is now in charge of production and Luca Marmorini continues as the head of the engine and electronics department. All three report to team principal Stefano Domenicali. The 2011 Formula One season may not conclude until December 11, if efforts to reinstate the Bahrain Grand Prix prove successful next month. The current plan is for the Bahrain race to take the place of the inaugural Indian Grand Prix on October 30, a fortnight prior to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, while the New Delhi race would then become the season finale, a fortnight after the Brazilian Grand Prix. Bernie Ecclestone had originally hoped to rescheduled the Indian Grand Prix for December 4, with Bahrain taking its October 30 slot, but that option has now been ruled out due to the logistical challenge of getting the F1 paddock from Brazil to New Delhi and overcoming any potential issues with customs in India given that it is the first running of the event. The revised plan means teams will be able to conduct their young driver test days in Abu Dhabi following the race, before flying to Brazil and then on to India. However, teams are now concerned that the lengthy calendar could cause burnout among their crews, who will have been working hard since the first pre-season test on February 1. “I think as a team principal who works and has to look after the group of people we have, you have to remember they have been going since the end of January,” said Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn. “ We don’t have testing any more so these guys have been very, very busy since the end of January, and I think to take them through to December and then get them going again at the end of January, we won’t sustain it. We won’t keep the people – they will get fed up, their families will get fed up and it will all prove to be too much. “So, to tell them to carry on through to December and then they can have a few weeks off over Christmas and it starts again is not going to be sustainable.” December 11 GP finale? Aldo Costa replaced by Pat Fry at the Scuderia Indian GP to be moved to facilitiate Bahrain 10