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Latest F1 news in brief - 2
  • Webber backs gearbox change over conspiracy theories
  • Brawn denies blocking Red Bull from Mercedes power
  • Kubica not supportive of 'proximity wing' proposal
  • Sauber will not use BMW KERS system in 2011
  • Bigger Lotus salaries led to Force India exodus

Webber backs gearbox change over conspiracy theories
(GMM)  Mark Webber is not promoting any of the conspiracy theories after losing his championship lead in Canada last week.

After their infamous Turkey crash, the Australian qualified ahead of his Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel in Montreal.

But he had to move back five grid places after a precautionary gearbox change.

Some pundits joked that Dr Helmut Marko, who allegedly favors Vettel, must have taken a crowbar to Webber's transmission.

"I would also have changed the gearbox," the 33-year-old is quoted as saying by Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

"It's better to lose a few places but still get to the finish line.  In my situation, I need every point," said Webber.

Webber's problem was not the only one for Red Bull on Sunday; Vettel was also asked to slow down with what team boss Christian Horner confirms was a "gearbox-related issue".

At least the Istanbul saga seems now to be in the past.  On Wednesday evening in Canada, Webber and Vettel jointly shouted the entire race team to dinner.

"I ordered the most expensive meal on the menu, because I know how hard it is to separate drivers from their money," laughed Horner.

Brawn denies blocking Red Bull from Mercedes power
(GMM)  Ross Brawn claims he was mistranslated in suggesting Mercedes should not supply engines to Red Bull next year.

The Italian magazine Autosprint quoted Brawn, Mercedes GP's team principal, as saying the German marque should think "long and hard" before adding another customer team to its 2011 stable.

The comments were interpreted as Brawn not wanting the best engine in the field to be mated to Red Bull's arguably best chassis.

"I was asked by an Italian journalist whether Mercedes could cope with a fourth team," Brawn explained to Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

"I replied that Cosworth should supply any vacancies, because that's the way it was planned by the FIA -- that they (Cosworth) should be in business so that in an emergency there is not the reliance on the manufacturers.

"In the translation from Italian into English someone has added one and one together and come up with Red Bull."

However, competition director Norbert Haug told German reporters in Turkey that it would be "definitely very difficult" for Mercedes to supply a fourth team with engines in 2011.

Kubica not supportive of 'proximity wing' proposal
(GMM)  Robert Kubica is the first formula one personality to oppose plans for 'proximity wings' in 2011.

After a meeting in Canada last weekend, teams agreed that drivers should next year be able to adjust their rear wings when they are following a car, in order to boost their chances of overtaking.

"I think that could be quite exciting," said FOTA chairman Martin Whitmarsh, insisting that drivers will not be able to use the straight-line speed-boosting system to defend position.

FOTA's technical chairman Ross Brawn added: "It's going to be an enhanced F-duct, where the car that is following will be allowed to reduce its drag to attack the car in front.

"I think that will give a lot more opportunity for overtaking."

But Renault driver Kubica insists that grands prix have been exciting enough in 2010 without the radical innovation.

"And secondly," he told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport, "why it is only now that people are noticing that overtaking is difficult?

"I watched my first formula one race in 1997, and there was not much overtaking then," noted the Pole.

Sauber will not use BMW KERS system in 2011
(GMM)  Sauber will not use the technology that already exists at its Hinwil headquarters when KERS systems return to formula one next year.

At a meeting of technical bosses last weekend in Canada, it was reinforced that the FOTA group's voluntary ban on the energy recovery technology is set to lapse in 2011.

But even though Sauber's former owner BMW successfully developed and raced at huge expense an electronic KERS system last year, new boss Peter Sauber has revealed that it will not reappear next year.

Germany's Auto Motor und Sport claims that if Sauber runs a KERS system, it will be purchased from Ferrari for one million euros.

When asked why Sauber will not use BMW's KERS, Peter Sauber answered: "It was an air-cooled system, with far too many disadvantages."

Bigger Lotus salaries led to Force India exodus
(GMM)  The promise of more money motivated a swathe of key people to defect to Lotus.

That is the claim of Otmar Szafnauer, chief operating officer of the Force India team.

Shortly after Force India promoted Mark Smith to replace the Sauber-bound technical director James Key, Lotus announced that Smith will move to the new Malaysian-backed team next year.

Force India's Lewis Butler (chief designer) and Marianne Hinson (head of aerodynamics) are also defecting to Lotus.

"Lotus has double the salary," Szafnauer is quoted by Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

"So you either have to pay more or look for an alternative."

Third in line after Key and Smith for Force India's top technical job is reportedly Andy Green.

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