Toro Rosso s new car, the STR3, has made it s track debut. The Newey-designed car was shaken down on the Vairano circuit in Italy by Red Bull junior driver Brendon Hartley. Ordinarily, either of Toro Rosso s F1 drivers of Sebastien Vettel or Sebastien Bourdais would have driven the car, however both are preparing for the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Hartley hails from New Zealand and is one of the biggest talents currently in Red Bull s junior program. The 18 year old was the youngest ever winner of the Formula Renault 2.0 Euro Cup, and he currently races in British F3.
The STR3 was painted in a dark blue with none of the normal red and blue colours associated with Toro Rosso s standard livery.
Despite not finishing the Malaysian Grand Prix, Ferrari have hinted that Brazilian driver Felipe Massa may not have his engine changed ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Massa span during the race in Sepang after a driver error, leading to his retirement from the race. His retirement now allows Ferrari to fit a new engine to the car. However, as the engine did not complete the full race weekend, the Ferrari team are contemplating using the engine for a further race weekend.
“We will continue to keep a close eye on reliability, especially on the engine side,â€ Ferrari s technical director Aldo Costa explained. “On this front at the moment, we will probably run Massa with the same engine that he used in Malaysia, even though we could change it, as he failed to finish the race.â€
Costa also revealed that the F2008 will have new aerodynamic parts fitted to it for the race in Sakhir. “The plan for this year is that we should have continuous updates throughout the season,â€ Costa explained. “We aim to improve the package step by step, with changes coming for almost every race – and in Bahrain we will run some new aero parts.â€
Pressure is mounting on FIA president Max Mosley with many people calling on him to resign.
Most recently, Mosley has hit the headlines for allegedly taking part in a Nazi-style orgy. He has also courted controversy by labelling Jackie Stewart as a halfwit , and has also been criticised for the FIA s handling of 2007 s espionage saga.
Jackie Stewart is being cautious with his words but has hinted that the FIA president needs to carefully consider his current position. Talking to the Gulf Daily News Stewart said, “Frankly, I don t think it is for me to comment I would rather hear what he has to say. I think he just has to look very carefully at it and address his future.â€
Martin Brundle, ex-F1 driver and F1 commentator for British broadcaster ITV isn t mincing his words over the recent scandal. “It is not appropriate behaviour for the head of any global body,â€ he said.
Jody Scheckter, 1979 F1 world champion, is in agreement with Brundle. “You can t have somebody like this running the sport, or any other sport come to that,â€ he said in an interview with British newspaper the Guardian. “I really think he ought to go and I would like to see the press having a concerted campaign to persuade him to do just that.â€
Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone believes that Mosley should keep a low profile in the coming weeks.
“He should go shouldn t he?â€ Ecclestone said in an interview with British newspaper The Times when asked if Mosley should attend the Bahrain Grand Prix. “The problem is he would take all the ink away from the race and put in on something which, honestly and truly, is nobody else s business anyway.”
An anonymous source who claims to work with Mosley appears to have summed up what many people are thinking, “The trouble is that Max will try and treat things as business as usual. He knows that it he brazens it out, there is a good chance he will survive. But this time he may have pushed things just a little too far.â€
Pedro de la Rosa s wife, Maria, has given birth to the couple s third child. De la Rosa, a test driver for McLaren, was not present at the Malaysian Grand Prix with Gary Paffett taking his place, as he was with his wife at the time.
The couple have named their third-born Luna. They already have two daughters Georgina and Olivia.