F1 news update: Nasr, Massa, Schumacher, Bahrain, Ecclestone

A roundup of F1 briefs.

Feb.22 (GMM) Brazilian Felipe Nasr, and his sponsor Banco do Brasil, have joined Williams.

GP2 frontrunner Nasr, 22, is the British team's new reserve driver, and Williams said he will take part in five Friday morning practice sessions this year.

In a separate media statement, it was announced that the logos of Banco do Brasil, the largest bank in Latin America, will appear on the FW36's engine cover.

"I can't wait to get behind the wheel of a Formula One car for the first time in Bahrain," said Nasr.

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Nasr's surname rhymes with that of his countryman Felipe Massa, the new Williams race driver, who revealed he recently visited his former Ferrari teammate Michael Schumacher in the Grenoble hospital.

"He looks normal," Massa said at the Bahrain test, "and he also gave some reactions with the mouth and everything.

"I'm not a doctor, but when I saw him, for me, it looked very positive."

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Massa managed a healthy 60 laps in the FW36 on Friday, as the third day of Bahrain testing took place.

His pace was bettered only by fellow Mercedes-powered runners Jenson Button (McLaren) and Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), as the German carmaker continues to dominate early in the new V6 era.

Renault-powered Red Bull, meanwhile, continues to struggle, with Daniel Ricciardo managing just 28 laps on Friday until yet another mechanical problem.

But Australian Ricciardo insisted: "The car is definitely making progress. It's coming together bit by bit."

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McLaren driver Button has announced his engagement to his long-term model girlfriend, Japanese Jessica Michibata.

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F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone on Friday played down reports the sport's board, led by owner CVC's Donald Mackenzie, is preparing to oust him in the wake of a British judge finding he indeed paid a "bribe".

"I've spoken to Donald," 83-year-old Ecclestone told the Telegraph. "It was nothing of any importance.

"They (the board) can't understand how the judge has reached his conclusion. My lawyers can't either. They have been through it all and they can't find where I lied."

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About this article
Series F1
Article type Breaking news
Tags f1, gmm, bahrain, testing, bernie ecclestone, felipe massa, michael schumacher, felipe nasr

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