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GP Week : Issue 136
n Fans of Istanbul Park’s Turn 8, rejoice – there’s a chance you could see F1 cars running there next year. Should the Bahrain Grand Prix be cancelled in 2012, Turkey is rumoured to be on standby as a replacement. The reports, which have yet to be confirmed by the FIA or FOM, originally appeared in Switzerland’s Blick. n Should Formula One not pan out for Jaime Alguersuari, the Spanish driver has a promising second career as a pop star. Organic Life, the double-CD of dance music Alguersuari released in September, is currently riding high on the electronic music charts on iTunes. “I have been working in the studio on lots of tracks and different things. I am bringing it to the market now because I feel it is time to do so,” Alguersuari told Autosport. “It is classic house, the sound of Detroit/Chicago house, and the classic sound from Detroit - but a bit more organic to make it sound a bit easier on everyone’s ears as my kind of music is more underground/techno. I will do an album later on, I need to keep on working on a couple of things – and later on I will do something really cool!” n According to Bernie Ecclestone, the Formula One Teams’ Association is “unnecessary”. In an exclusive interview with the official Formula1.com website, Ecclestone said that FOTA “is an unnecessary association of people who should put their sole emphasis on getting competitive cars on the grid. It’s just more of what they don’t have to think of. I look after that so there are enough financial resources.” Negotiations for the next Concorde Agreement are due to begin at the end of the year, and Ecclestone’s comments have widely been seen as an attempt to destabilise the organisation before the process gets underway. n Despite the popularity of the Singapore Grand Prix, the local government says it is in “no hurry” to extend the current hosting contract, which expires in 2014. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Second Minister for Trade and Industry S. Iswaran said the government “should deliberate and be measured” in the next round of negotiations. Iswaran supports the race in principle, and points to an additional income in “excess of S$400 million in incremental tourism receipts” as a reason to keep it, but acknowledges that a large segment of the Singaporean population finds the race to be an expensive inconvenience. The Singapore Democratic Party last week released a statement deriding the grand prix as a government attempt to turn the country into “a playground for the rich, sacrificing the interests of Singaporeans.” Short Straights oveR the past season, virgin Racing has seen a serious shake-up behind the scenes that has not led to improvements on track. But according to Timo Glock, there will be more to come from Virgin by the middle of next year. The end of the 2010 season saw Russian car manufacturer Marussia take a controlling stake in the team, while the all-CFD design approach of Wir th Research was dropped in June. Both changes are too recent to have hadmuchofanimpact–ifany–onthe 2011 car, but Glock believes that 2012 will be another matter entirely, thanks in no small part to the consultancy work done by former Renault engineering director and Crashgate conspirator Pat Symonds since the summer. A scale model of Virgin’s 2012 car has been designed under Symonds’ guidance, and will begin wind tunnel testing at the end of this month. “I don’t think that by the first race of next year we will make a big jump,” Glock told Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport. “ There just isn’t enough time. But for the start of the European season we are planning a major update.” Elsewhere in the interview, Glock confirmed that Virgin’s plans for 2012 do not include KERS. Virgin not expecting big jump in early 2012 FolloWInG the temporary loss of a cur few ‘joker ’ at the Singapore Grand Prix, Red Bull team principal Christian horner has called for the rules to be tidied up before the next round of regulations are published. The FIA imposed a curfew rule, new for the 2011 season that banned team members from the paddock for a six- hour period each race day. The rule was created with a view to protecting mechanics from excessive working hours, but each team is allowed four ‘jokers’ over the course of a season. During the Singapore weekend, four teams were found to have broken the curfew rule and lost a joker apiece, although three of the teams – including Red Bull – had the jokers reinstated when it was discovered that only marketing staff had entered the paddock before the curfew ended. Speaking to Autosport about the incident, Horner revealed that the loss of a joker had taken him by surprise. “I was surprised more than annoyed,” Horner said. “At the end of the day common sense prevailed, the stewards understood that the temporary pass used was under no control, or not being used by a member, of the team so that joker was handed back. “It is something that needs tidying up under the sporting regulations. I t is clear what the regulations are trying to achieve, but it is impossible to be responsible for everybody that has a pass. “I think the objective is clear and well- intended and it has worked well, but combined with odd working hours in Singapore, what sponsors or marketing or ad agency guys do, we cannot control.” Horner calls for curfew rule change 10