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Just four days ahead of the first launch of the season (Ferrari), this week Williams, Red Bull and Virgin revealed when their 2011 contenders will first be shown to the public. [font="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica"][size="2"][color="#000000"][font="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica"] [/font][/color][/size][/font]While we await news of when the new Hispania will see the light of day, the Spanish outfit surely deserves some sort of recognition after it announced that it has secured the services of a - wait for it - "vehicle concept designer" whose brief is to come up with a new corporate image for the team.

Words fail me. [font="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica"][size="2"][color="#000000"][font="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica"] [/font][/color][/size][/font]Hopefully, the rather silly battle over naming rights between the two Lotus teams could be on its way to being sorted this week, with the case being heard in the High Court in London on Monday. Let's hope that this silliness is done and done with before the teams line up on the grid in Bahrain. [font="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica"][size="2"][color="#000000"][font="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica"] [/font][/color][/size][/font]Friday was a somewhat interesting day. On Thursday we heard talk of things happening at Williams, and sure enough it was subsequently announced that team owner Frank Williams is considering floating the company on the stock market. [font="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica"][size="2"][color="#000000"][font="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica"] [/font][/color][/size][/font]

What seems strange is the fact that he admits he is only considering floating the company rather than saying outright that it will happen. If one was sceptical one might think the wily old fox is attempting to bluff a would-be buyer. [font="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica"][size="2"][color="#000000"][font="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica"] [/font][/color][/size][/font]Of course, it is pure coincidence that on the day Frank says he might float the team, the official F1 website releases figures revealing that TV audiences were up on 2009, just the sort of news potential investors want to hear. Then again, when one actually takes the time to look at the figures a little more closely it is clear the increase isn't as spectacular as some would have us believe, far from it. [font="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica"][size="2"][color="#000000"][font="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica"] [/font][/color][/size][/font]The Williams float and TV figures weren't the only story breaking on Friday, for in Europe the tale of banker Gerhard Gribkowsky took a new and interesting twist. As we have said before, this one has legs. [font="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica"][size="2"][color="#000000"][font="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica"] [/font][/color][/size][/font]

As Rome appears to give up hope of hosting a round of the world championship, the Lord Mayor of Melbourne has said that it is time for the city to turn its back on F1, fearing that losses on the event could soon reach $70m AUD (£42m). [font="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica"][size="2"][color="#000000"][font="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica"] [/font][/color][/size][/font]Finally, do take the time to check out Mike Lawrence's latest piece, while I am sure that many of you will find my chat with Julian Cottam a good read. Don't know who Julian is? Well check out the article and all will soon become clear. [font="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica"][size="2"][color="#000000"][font="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica"] [/font][/color][/size][/font]Don't forget, Ferrari launches on Friday, pictures and details will appear on the site as soon as they are available while we will also send out a special 'hot news' newsletter. [email="editor@pitpass.com?Subject=pitpass_newsletter"]Chris Balfe[/email][font="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica"][size="2"][color="#000000"][font="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica"] [/font][/color][/size][/font]

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[img]http://photos.gpupdate.net/newsnew/168547.jpg[/img]

[b]'Confused' Lotus court case begins in London[/b]
[url="http://www.gpupdate.net/en/news-archives/1/2011/01/24/"]24 January 2011[/url] The next development in the argument over the ‘Lotus’ name continues on Monday, with Tony Fernandes’ Team Lotus set to face the Proton-owned Group Lotus car company in the London High Court. However, the gathering is not expected to resolve the issue – a source of much confusion during the current off-season.

With Fernandes’ 1Malaysia squad having reintroduced the historic name to Formula 1 last year, perplexity levels have continued to rise since the separate Group Lotus sports car manufacturer – owned by Malaysia’s Proton – bought 25 percent of the Renault F1 Team shares from the French car company.

However, although at present F1 is set to see ‘Team Lotus’ and ‘Lotus Renault GP’ battle on-track in 2011, the off-track wrangling continues in the British capital city.

[i]‘Many confused about case today,’[/i] Fernandes posted via his personal [i]Twitter[/i] account on Monday morning. [i]‘It’s not about Team Lotus name (and) who owns it, which is in November. We brought that case to prove once and for all.

Today’s case is a desperate attempt to use their one-way unlawful termination of license agreement of Lotus Racing. Saying 1Malaysia can't use Lotus. Part of post termination clauses. So nothing changes on Team Lotus.’ [/i]

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If you look at the picture on the snout of the car you will notice the new team principle...TW Steel. I wondered why he wanted some time away from Chicane. At least, common sense will prevail!
Tim, please sort them out
Regards
CAM

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