Latest F1 news in brief
- Slow track may host fast win - BMW's Kubica
- Ferrari may not use 'hole nose' at every race
- Sutil 'better than Glock' - Colin Kolles
- Jones backs Mosley amid sex scandal
- Sato 'surprised' by Istanbul lockout
- Toro Rosso to delay new car
Slow track may host fast win - BMW's Kubica
(GMM) BMW-Sauber's first sniff of a maiden grand prix victory could come in Monaco or Hungary this year, the team's Polish driver Robert Kubica says.
While now believed to be consistently on or near McLaren's pace with its 2008 contender, the Hinwil based team is yet to truly challenge current pacesetter Ferrari.
BMW wants to secure its first win at the pinnacle of motor racing this season, and 23-year-old Kubica - already with a pole position and two podiums under his belt in 2008 - admits that the feat is getting close.
He thinks the slower circuits, such as Monaco and Hungary, will be particularly competitive for the F1.08.
"We are always very strong in slow corners and slow sectors ... so I think we can be stronger in slow tracks like Monaco and Budapest, the kind of tracks where there are no long straights and many corners," Kubica is quoted as saying by the news agency Reuters.
"Maybe there we will have some chance. But a lot will depend on how quick we develop compared to the others," he added.
Even Norbert Haug, Mercedes-Benz's competition boss, admits that Ferrari is currently fielding the quickest car, as proved by perhaps the first true "yardstick" of performance for this year, the Circuit de Catalunya.
The German said McLaren's MP4-23 was simply not fast enough to win the Spanish grand prix there.
"Our aim is to improve further over the next few races, however it is possible the Turkish grand prix might be a challenging race for the team," he conceded.
Ferrari may not use 'hole nose' at every race
(GMM) As rival teams frantically assess the benefits of Ferrari's 'hose nose' that debuted at Barcelona, the Italian outfit has hinted that it may not use the innovation at every race.
Maranello based Ferrari were pleased with the performance of the aerodynamic feature at the Spanish grand prix, where Kimi Raikkonen took pole and led his teammate Felipe Massa home for the dominant win.
BMW-Sauber's technical boss Willy Rampf has already indicated that his crew will assess a similar concept in the Hinwil wind tunnel.
But the Swiss publication Motorsport Aktuell reports that Ferrari may not even be intending to run the 'hole nose' - christened the 'shark mouth' by Massa at the pre-Barcelona test - everywhere this season.
"We are going to Istanbul with basically the same package that we used in Spain," team boss Stefano Domenicali said.
"But we also have other solutions," he added.
Ferrari currently fields the fastest car on the 2008 grid, and the omens are similarly good for the team's driver lineup ahead of the Turkish grand prix.
In 2005, Istanbul's debut on the F1 calendar, Raikkonen - then driving for McLaren - won the race. In 2006 and 2007, driving for Ferrari, Massa was the first past the checkered flag.
Sutil 'better than Glock' - Colin Kolles
(GMM) The two chiefs of Force India have dismissed persistent speculation that Adrian Sutil's race seat is in doubt following his difficult start to the 2008 season.
While both team boss Colin Kolles and owner Vijay Mallya have already fended off the rumors, the paddock gossip concerning Sutil continued again after the Spanish grand prix, where the 25-year-old was roundly blamed for causing the first lap crash.
Kolles, however, insists that the German's Barcelona pace relative to his impressive veteran teammate Giancarlo Fisichella was good, and denied that he is facing intense internal pressure to up his game.
"That is all nonsense," Kolles told the Swiss publication Motorsport Aktuell, rejecting claims that Sutil's Barcelona shunt was the final straw and that Force India is now seriously considering replacing him with test driver Vitantonio Liuzzi in the near future.
Kolles added: "What do you expect when you are starting from positions 19 and 20? Of course they tried to get a good start; one managed it, and unfortunately Adrian ended on the curb.
"This is something that can always happen when you are at the back.
"The pressure instead comes from the outside, because of these things that journalists write," he said.
"The boy is strong and fast. He is better than (Timo) Glock. On tracks like Spa, Monte Carlo and Fuji he will show how good he really is."
Team co-owner Mallya, meanwhile, insists that Sutil's "luck will turn" sooner or later.
"I think he can do a good job for us," the Indian billionaire said.
"What we have to remember is that Giancarlo is approaching his 200th grand prix, Adrian has competed in just over 20, that's a tenth of the number of his teammate.
"We cannot reasonably expect him to know everything Giancarlo does, but the benefit of having Giancarlo there is that Adrian can learn and, in turn, grow and develop into a very valuable asset in the future," Mallya added.
Jones backs Mosley amid sex scandal
(GMM) 1980 world champion Alan Jones has backed Max Mosley's reluctance to resign as FIA president over the sex scandal.
The 61-year-old Australian, who is now involved in the A1 GP series, told Eurosport that what Mosley does in his private life "is his business".
"I care more about what he does in the office than what he's doing in the bed -- I don't know that even the majority of people would frown upon what he did.
"The only crime he committed was being caught," Jones said.
The former Williams driver also thinks Mosley, who is 68, was set up.
Sato 'surprised' by Istanbul lockout
(GMM) Takuma Sato on Monday said he is "very surprised" that his formula one team has been locked out of the Istanbul paddock just days ahead of the Turkish grand prix.
As the struggling team's chief Aguri Suzuki prepares to put Weigl's last-minute rescue package to the Honda board in Tokyo on Tuesday, Japanese driver Sato revealed that he does not know if he will be able to race this weekend.
With crucial Honda support, Super Aguri was put together ahead of the 2006 season, largely to accommodate the hugely popular in Japan Sato, 31, who had been dropped by the manufacturer's works team.
He said he doesn't know why his teammates have been prevented from entering the Otodrom venue.
"I understood that no decision has been made by Honda yet and that a decision will be made in the next few days about whether we will be able to race or not," Sato explained.
He confirmed speculation that, following the collapse of the Magma deal, the Leafield based team had only been able to compete at Barcelona with Honda's "great support".
Sato admitted: "For Aguri-san and the rest of the team management to try to find a new solution in a week is almost impossible."
He however urged the Honda board to accept Weigl Group's alternative proposal, despite Honda F1 CEO Nick Fry's apparent reluctance about the deal.
"I met them at the Spanish GP and they have the great passion to get the team over the current difficulties," Sato said.
"They do not seem to be scared by the challenge and in that way I would say that they fit our philosophy well and it would be a great partner for the team."
He admitted that Honda, Super Aguri's creditor and supplier that is reportedly owed about $100m by the team, has been put in a "difficult position" by the Magma collapse.
"But I hope they will be able to continue the fighting spirit and give the team some more time to get the new investment in place," Sato continued.
"We have shown over the past two years how efficient we can be as a very little team and given the chance and support I believe we can be very competitive.
"We need Honda support more then ever now and I am just hoping that they will be able to find a satisfactory solution. Honda are famous for their Racing Spirit and I am sure this will not desert them now," Sato said.
Toro Rosso to delay new car
(GMM) A spokeswoman for the formula one team Toro Rosso on Monday confirmed that its 2008 car, the STR3, will not be making its grand prix debut in Turkey this weekend.
The Faenza based squad had hoped to begin racing the Ferrari-powered car, which is based on Red Bull Racing's RB4, at Istanbul, after development of its 2007 single seater was ceased.
The spokeswoman said the delay is because the team has not had enough time to produce adequate spare parts for Turkey, following Sebastien Bourdais' crash with a prototype model at the pre-Barcelona group test.
The next race after Sunday's Turkish grand prix is in Monaco late this month, but it has been suggested that it might be unwise to debut a new car on the Armco-lined street circuit.
The STR3's debut may therefore have to wait until the subsequent Canadian grand prix, in June..