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Page last updated at 17:44 GMT, Friday, 11 February 2011

Formula 1 gossip and rumours from international media

BBC Sport brings you a regular round-up of the gossip in newspapers and on specialist websites around the world.

Nick Heidfeld
Heidfeld will test for Renault in Jerez to try and earn a drive

German driver Nick Heidfeld is confident that he will deliver a strong enough performance in testing at Jerez to earn a race drive with Renault as Robert Kubica's replacement for the start of the season. He said: "I'm very confident that I can deliver. The test here is the first and most important step for me to have the chance to race."
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Meanwhile, Renault team boss Eric Boullier will continue to let his drivers pursue potentially dangerous activities outside of racing, despite Robert Kubica injuring himself on a rally. Boullier said: "Everybody can have an opinion on this. At the end of the day we do what we believe is best for the team and the driver."
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Lewis Hamilton is confident that McLaren has made a step forward with the team's new car, the MP4-26, following his first full day of testing with the car at Jerez on Thursday. The 2008 world champion said: "It is definitely a step forward. I haven't yet identified if that's down to an aero or mechanical step forward, but my initial response was that it felt comfortable to drive."
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Australian Grand Prix chief Ron Walker has warned Melbourne that Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone will not hesitate to kill off their race as the debate over its future rages on. Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle questioned the value of the race to the city, which led to Ecclestone more recently stating the season "doesn't need" an Australian leg.
Full story: espnF1

Mercedes insist they are now on top of the hydraulic problems that have blighted the W02 in early testing after Nico Rosberg's track time was cut short on the first day of the second test by the same problem that limited the Mercedes running at Valencia last week.
Full story: espnF1

Williams say technical problems were responsible for halting the progress of their car on the opening day of testing at Jerez. Newly signed Pastor Maldonado was only able to complete 14 laps at the Spanish circuit, after an early-morning issue with the rear wing on the team's new FW33 caused problems throughout the day.
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Kamui Kobayashi believes that Sauber can score World Championship points in all races this season. The Japanese driver said: "It is not a dream - it's a target, to be consistent. Scoring points at every race is possible, from the beginning until the very last race."
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Red Bull's driver manager Helmut Marko is refusing to rule out a change of driver line-up for Red Bull's second team, Toro Rosso, this season. Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari are starting the year at the wheel of the Ferrari-powered STR5, but Marko says reserve drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne are both "outstanding talents" who will challenge the Buemi and Alguersuari.
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This story will be updated throughout the day

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see also
Thursday's F1 gossip column
10 Feb 11 |  Formula 1
Wednesday's F1 gossip column
09 Feb 11 |  Formula 1
Tuesday's F1 gossip column
08 Feb 11 |  Formula 1

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