* The FIA has agreed to allow Renault to make some modifications to its engine in order to bring it in line with its rivals. Team boss Flavio Briatore had pointed out that other manufacturers made a bigger step last winter when there was a brief window for limited development before the engine freeze was imposed.
* The BBC has finally confirmed that Martin Brundle and David Coulthard will be key members of its 2009 F1 team. Brundle will share race commentary duties with former BBC radio F1 man Jonathan Legard, while Eddie Jordan will join DC as an expert pundit. Aside from Brundle the only other survivor from the ITV crew is pit reporter Ted Kravitz.
* Donington chief executive Simon Gillett is reportedly planning to ban spectators from driving to the 2010 GP. The only way to reach the circuit will be by public transport, or by flying to East Midlands Airport. Planning permission for revisions to the circuit and its infrastructure is due to be ruled on by the local council on January 8.
* McLaren pulled off a coup in winter testing at Barcelona when long-time tester Pedro de la Rosa spent a day in a Force India – and was thus given a unique insight into the Ferrari engine the team used until signing a deal with Mercedes. Ironically de la Rosa was at the centre of 2007’s spy scandal…
* Bulgaria has emerged as an unlikely candidate to host an F1 race at a new track that is being developed. A stronger dollar has made life difficult for European venues, since their agreements with Bernie Ecclestone are in that currency. A Hockenheim official has indicated that the track is unlikely to host the 2010 German GP unless it gets government backing.
* GP2 star Bruno Senna has been left in the lurch by Honda’s F1 withdrawal. The Brazilian had turned down testing offers while he awaited an opportunity that might lead to a race seat, and put his faith in Honda, which liked the idea of being reunited with his famous name. Senna showed well in a Barcelona test.