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GP Week : Issue 141
n According to Managing Director Robin Brundle, Lola Cars are open to the idea of an F1 return, should the FIA open applications for a 13th team. “ We’re ready and waiting,” Brundle told Autoweek. “Motorsport is a third of our business, and we’re happy to expand in any direction. We’re on schedule to hit a turnover of [$40 million] this year, and within five years, we expect to top [$77 million]. But a Formula One program will take us up by tens of millions. We’ve retained the capability. We can do everything in one building, and we’re hopeful that, if the FIA bring back the 13th license, we can bid for it. We’d need to finalise an engine partner so we can design the back of the car when the new engine regulations come, but we’re ready for it.” n The F1 rumour mill is currently spinning with the news that Ferrari are lining up Nico Rosberg to replace Felipe Massa, who has had two disappointing seasons with the Scuderia. Neither Ferrari nor Rosberg have confirmed the rumours, and Massa is under contract to the Italian marque for 2012, but over the weekend the German driver was forced to deny rumours that he had made secret visits to Maranello. “ This is all nonsense,” the DAPD news agency quote Rosberg as saying. “ I was not at Maranello. My dream is to win with the Silver Arrows.” n Following the surprise departure of John Wickham, Renault have appointed a new team manager. Paul Seaby, who was previously the Enstone -based team’s engineering coordinator, announced the promotion on his Twitter feed. “My new job started! Team Manager of LRGP and very proud of it!,” he wrote. Renault have yet to comment on Seaby’s new role. n According to Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport, Robert Kubica is gearing up for more surgery. The Polish racer, who was injured in a rally crash in February, has spent the year undergoing numerous operations while the paddock waits with bated breath for his return. Igor Rossello, Kubica’s hand surgeon, said that his patient had already driven a car. “ The mobility of Kubica’s right hand is satisfactory,” Rossello said. “Robert has told me that he has already driven a car. This a miracle of his will.” Renault are waiting for news of Kubica’s recovery before confirming their 2012 driver line-up, but time is running out for the Pole. Short Straights THE success of the Indian Grand Prix has seen some local commentators reflect on the event, and what it means to modern India. After the Commonwealth Games proved to be a PR disaster for India, with arriving athletes confronted with half- finished building work and numerous hygiene and safety issues, hopes were high that Formula One’s international profile could improve the country’s image with a successful grand prix. And so it proved. But the success of Formula One has now sparked a debate about public versus private on the subcontinent. Writing in First Post India, Rajdeep Sardesai spoke highly of the public-private partnership needed to pull off an event on the scale of a Formula One Grand Prix, with local government assisting in permits while private enterprise supplied the funding. “Can this private-public partnership work in other sports, or indeed, other sectors beyond sport?” he asked. “ The success of Formula One offers a glimpse at both the strengths and weaknesses of new India. At one level, it showcases the dynamism of a nation on the fast track, a country whose soaring ambitions cross-geographical boundaries. That the Formula One boss, Bernie Ecclestone was desperately keen for India to be on the grand prix map is a tribute to India’s growing global importance. But at another level, the craze for international recognition through a Formula One event reveals a certain lack of self-esteem which is sought to be compensated through a heady mix of ersatz glamour and big money. “If Greater Noida is at one end of UP [Uttar Pradesh], at the other end of the vast state is Gorakhpur where almost 500 children have died of encephalitis because of poor healthcare facilities. When will we see a private-public partnership that builds hospitals in remote corners of UP with the same enthusiasm as a Formula One event is organised?” Indians reflect on success of GP 10