Mercedes will not rule out helping former Honda team

Mercedes will not rule out helping former Honda team Stuttgart  - German car manufacturer Mercedes will not rule out helping the former Honda team participate in this season's Formula One season.

Honda last month announced that they were pulling out of Formula One, leaving the English team without an engine maker backing them.

Mercedes motorsport director Norbert Haug on Tuesday is quoted on the autosport. com website as saying that they would not rule out helping the team.

Ferrari and McLaren prepare for a costcutting 2009 F1 season

Stuttgart  - Ferrari will launch its new F2009 car for the 2009 Formula One season in Mugello Monday while main championship rival McLaren-Mercedes presents its car four days later in Woking.

Snow and sub-zero temperatures have forced Ferrari to switch its launch from Fiorano further south to Mugello and the cold winds of the global financial crisis are also being felt in the sport with costcutting now top of the agenda.

Earlier this week, the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) unanimously agreed to a set of measures designed to reduce costs for this season by up to 30 per cent, making savings somewhere in the region of a billion euros (1.35 billion dollars).

Swiss driver Sebastian Buemi gets Toro Rosso ride

Swiss driver Sebastian Buemi gets Toro Rosso ride Stuttgart  - Swiss driver Sebastian Buemi is to drive for Toro Rosso this season, the team announced on Friday.

The 20-year-old will take over from Sebastian Vettel, who sensationally become the youngest-ever Grand Prix winner last year when he won in Monaco.

The German has moved to the Red Bull team.

Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost said that they had been impressed with former GP2 driver Buemi. "Out engineers were impressed with his speed in the car and his ability to learn and to develop."

VW shares up after Porsche takes majority stake

Porsche-Volkswagen LogoStuttgart - Volkswagen shares rose sharply on Tuesday, a day after sports carmaker Porsche announced it had acquired a majority stake in its German rival.

VW shares climbed to 287.09 euros (384 dollars) on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, up 12.7 per cent from Monday when Porsche disclosed it had increased its stake in Europe's biggest carmaker to 50.76 per cent.

The move gives Porsche a controlling say in Swedish commercial vehicles maker Scania and obliges it to make a takeover offer for the company.

Schuster a candidate for Stuttgart coaching job

Bernd SchusterStuttgart - Bernd Schuster is a candidate for the VfB Stuttgart coaching post as current incumbent Markus Babbel can only continue in his role until the end of the season as he hasn't got a coaching licence, the Sport-Bild reported Wednesday.

Stuttgart denied the report that Schuster, who was sacked as Real Madrid coach last week, was being considered for the job and refused to comment further on the situation.

The German football federation (DFB) and German football league (DFL) announced Tuesday that Babbel must obtain a full German coaching licence if he wants to be in charge of VfB Stuttgart beyond the end of the season.

Stealthy electric cars are set to get noisier

Stuttgart, Germany  - It is a common scene wherever today's pioneering electric vehicles whirr through inner city streets - startled pedestrians leap aside and cyclists start to wobble.

For electric cars are not only clean, but virtually silent too and there's the rub. The noise of a conventional car engine warns people that a vehicle is approaching. Pure electric cars and diesel electrics are powered by electric motor at low speeds or in traffic, making it harder to hear them coming.

Silent running makes for a calmer panorama in the city but critics see pedestrian safety at risk. Several manufacturers have come up with innovative, technical solutions to the problem.