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F1 News Shorts: Monaco

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F1 News Shorts: Monaco
May 14, 2010, 7:13 AM

The trial of Nigel Stepney started in Sassuolo, Italy this week.

The trial of Nigel Stepney started in Sassuolo, Italy this week. He is accused of trying to sabotage the Ferraris before the 2007 Monaco Grand Prix with white powder. Stepney's lawyers have indicated that they wish to plea bargain, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport. Stepney himself will appear before the court on May 21.

McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh confirmed that designer Pat Fry has left the team. Fry has been with McLaren for 17 years and is one of two designers who takes it in turns to design the F1 cars. He was responsible for last year's car and was in charge of next year's car, the designs for which are now well advanced.

Renault strengthens its business case Renault has made two announcements in the last couple of days, adding a new partner in the form of Tarek Obaid, with whom Renault boss Gerard Lopez has had a long relationship, and a new sponsor in the form of Trina Solar, a Chinese manufaturer of high quality solar panels.

Obaid is also the Co-Founder, Co-Partner and CEO of PetroSaudi International, a private Oil and Gas company, based in Saudi Arabia.

F1 turns 60 Formula 1 as a sport celebrated its 60th birthday yesterday, the anniversary of the first ever F1 Grand Prix 13th May 1950 at Silverstone. The race was won by Nino Farina in an Alfa Romeo. Last night there was a celebration at the Hermitage hotel in Monaco.

Hill among the stewards 1996 world champion Damon Hill is the former driver representative on the FIA steward panel at Monaco this weekend. The initiative of having a former driver helping the three other stewards with decisions on penalties has proved a success, although it is noticeable that there has been some more leniency shown in key decisions than was evident in previous years. Monaco often turns up controversial incidents and with 24 cars in the field and a five to six second gap in qualifying between the fastest and slowest cars, there are likely to be some penalties handed out for blocking.

McLaren has made some major strides this season in its online activity with a new website, a prolific Twitter feed in the name of @thefifthdriver and a Facebook page, which today hit 100,000 followers.

McLaren has invested quite heavily in its online offerings and the website in particular has some unique content, such as the live telemetry updates.

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