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Page last updated at 12:05 GMT, Thursday, 31 March 2011 13:05 UK

Thursday's F1 gossip column

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

Organisers of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix are willing to move the race to December so they can offer Bahrain their 13 November slot on the 2011 calendar. Bahrain, which is still affected by political unrest, has until 1 May to decide whether it can stage a grand prix.

McLaren's much-improved form in Australia last weekend owed a lot to Red Bull, the Formula One world champions' technical director Adrian Newey. "McLaren made a huge leap forward -- by copying our exhaust, it has to be said," Newey said. "But the bottom line is they still made huge leaps forward. I am sure they will be pushing us hard." Full story: Reuters

Sir David Prosser and Adrian Newey
Newey (right) with Sir David Prosser, chairman of the Royal Automobile Club

Newey was speaking after picking up the Segrave Trophy. The accolade is awarded to a Briton "with 'the Spirit of Adventure' for the most outstanding demonstration of transportation by land, air or water". Previous winners have included former Formula 1 world champions Lewis Hamilton, Damon Hill, Nigel Mansell and Sir Jackie Stewart.

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton believes that Red Bull will have to incorporate the Kers energy-boost device if they want to stay ahead of the rest of the field. Sebastian Vettel won the season-opener at Melbourne without the system but Hamilton believes it may be more of a factor in the second race of 2011 in Malaysia.
Full story: Autosport

Former world champion Kimi Raikkonen is to compete in Nascar with rookie team ICE1 Racing. "I have been following it for a long time. Obviously, it will be very challenging and great fun for me," he said.
Full story: Turun Sanomat (in Finnish)

A breakdown of the tyre strategies used in the Australian Grand Prix shows that Sauber debutant Sergio Perez's impressive conservation of his tyres was matched by a consistent level of pace.
Full story: GP Update

Renault chief Eric Boullier has admitted that it was "not an easy decision" to retain Vitaly Petrov for 2011. The Russian made only four top-10 finishes in 2010 compared to team-mate Robert Kubica's 15 but has started this season with a third-place finish. (Press Association)

Peter Sauber, team principal of his eponymous team, called technical director James Key back to Switzerland to investigate the error that led to drivers Perez and Kamui Koboyashi disqualified from the Australian Grand Prix. He stressed that Key has kept his job but that the quality control department in the team's factory is to be strengthened.
Full story: Blick (in German)

After the success of the street circuit at the Singapore Grand Prix, Malaysian Grand Prix organisers have prepared a demonstration by Lotus on the temporary track in front of Malaysia's Palace of Justice in Putrajaya. Saturday's event precedes the race proper in Sepang on 10 April.
Full story:

Engine supplier Renault are rumoured to have offered a deal to Total that would see the oil company divert its entire F1 budget to its operation. In exchange all Renault-powered teams would carry Total branding.
Full story: Joe Saward's F1 Blog

Fernando Alonso shows it is not just in his Ferrari that he enjoys wet conditions. BBC F1 presenter Jake Humphrey spots him hitting the golf course in a downpour on Australia's Hamilton Island.
Full story: Jake Humphrey's Twitter

Jenson Button will not spend the free weekend between the Australian and Malaysian Grands Prix with his feet up. The McLaren driver will take part in the Waikoloa Lavaman triathlon - consisting of a 1.5km swim, 40km cycle and 10km run - on Sunday.
Full story: Planet F1

Team Lotus team principal Tony Fernandes says he is "extremely humbled" to be made a Commander of the British Empire (CBE). The Malaysian airline entrepreneur received the honour from the Queen on Thursday.

This story will be updated throughout the day

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see also
Wednesday's F1 gossip column
30 Mar 11 |  Formula 1
Tuesday's F1 gossip column
29 Mar 11 |  Formula 1
Monday's F1 gossip column
28 Mar 11 |  Formula 1
Friday's F1 gossip column
25 Mar 11 |  Formula 1

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