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DATE News (chronologically)
07/05/10
f1
Latest F1 news in brief
  • Comfortable Kovalainen to stay at Lotus
  • Rear wing idea 'highly dangerous' - Glock
  • Mateschitz confident about winning 2010 titles
  • Hamilton invites father to British GP
  • Alonso's Renault return was a mistake - team boss
  • Team must solve car pace riddle - Sauber
  • F1 to have mandatory weight ratio in 2011
  • Williams making own battery KERS for 2011
  • Lotus eyes 15 more staff for F1 team

Comfortable Kovalainen to stay at Lotus
(GMM)  Heikki Kovalainen has admitted he feels more comfortable at Lotus than he did in the last two seasons with McLaren.

The Finn took a big backwards step down the grid with the new Malaysian backed team in 2010, but he told Holland's formule1.nl magazine that he is not complaining.

"Here at Lotus everything feels better," said the 28-year-old, who in 2008 and 2009 was Lewis Hamilton's teammate.

Kovalainen left McLaren late last year declaring that he was not always treated equally by the famous British team.

"I have much more of a feeling that I have things under control now compared to when I was at McLaren," he explained.

"At virtually every race I am 100 per cent sure what setup I need, and the engineers understand me and believe in me," added Kovalainen.

He would not go into detail about his misgivings with McLaren.

"I don't like to complain, but if I knew then what I know now, I would have done a number of things differently," said the winner of the 2008 Hungarian GP.

It is clear that Lotus will field an unchanged driver lineup next year, with Kovalainen again alongside fellow grand prix winner Jarno Trulli.

Technical boss Mike Gascoyne said Lotus decided to pay for two experienced drivers in the quest to unlock the commercial benefits of finishing the 2010 championship in tenth place.

"If there is a crazy race with a big start crash with rain or something," he said, "then Heikki and Jarno are more likely to score than inexperienced, young drivers," he said.

Rear wing idea 'highly dangerous' - Glock
(GMM)  Timo Glock has joined a group of F1 drivers who think the 'proximity' wing idea is a bad one.

FOTA chairman Martin Whitmarsh has admitted that the proposal, with chasing drivers able to press a button and boost straight-line speed next season, might not see the light of day.

"I think it's highly dangerous," Glock is quoted as saying by the website of the Swiss publication Motorsport Aktuell.

"From the viewpoint of safety, I think it's a wrong decision."

The speed difference between the Lotus and Red Bull cars was arguably the cause of last Sunday's huge crash at Valencia involving Mark Webber.

"We've seen what can happen if the guy behind has significantly more speed," Virgin driver Glock said.

"Mark was just lucky that there was enough run-off and he could just run into the tire barrier," added the German, suggesting that the return of KERS in 2011 could boost the speed differences even more.

"The drivers all have the same opinion; it is clearly too dangerous," said Glock of the adjustable rear wing idea.

"Perhaps the (GPDA) drivers' union can do something.  It should definitely be talked about."

Mateschitz confident about winning 2010 titles
(GMM)  Dietrich Mateschitz is confident about Red Bull's ability to win the 2010 world championship.

But the Austrian billionaire, who owns the famous energy drink as well as the Milton Keynes based team, admitted he is disappointed with the score card so far this season.

With 9 of this year's 19 grands prix now run, the RB6 has usually proved the quickest in the field.

But Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber are only third and fourth in the drivers' standings, while McLaren is also leading the constructors' table.

"I am satisfied with the drivers and the car," Mateschitz told the Salzburger Nachrichten newspaper.

"What I am not satisfied about is the score, because on paper we should have a lead rather than a deficit.

"Now we have to make up lost ground," he added.

Asked if he thought Red Bull was capable of winning the titles, he answered: "Of course, because expecting anything else would be absurd.

"If someone with our potential cannot expect to win the world championship, then who?"

Hamilton invites father to British GP
(GMM)  Lewis Hamilton's father has not yet accepted an invitation to attend his first race since their professional split.

Anthony Hamilton was the McLaren driver's ever-present manager for his first three seasons in formula one, but 25-year-old Hamilton told his father he wanted to go it alone in 2010 and beyond.

Hamilton Snr has therefore stayed away from every race of this season, with Lewis recently revealing they are only now putting their personal relationship back together.

British newspapers reveal that Hamilton has invited his family, including his father, to Silverstone this weekend.

"I think he's coming," he is quoted as saying, confirming that their relationship is "not yet" back to 100 per cent.

"I have invited him.  I've invited all my family.  I think he's going on Saturday night.

"I have got grandstand tickets so I said you can choose whether you want to be in the paddock or you can go in the grandstand.

"He should go into the paddock, but then he should go and experience something different because he has always watched it either from TV or in the paddock," added Hamilton.

But the 2008 world champion said he does not regret seeking a new manager, because being without his father this year has allowed him to develop.

"It really has, it really has," he confirmed.  "I've just grown.  I'm still learning so many things and I'm pretty much managing myself now -- taking the reins and controlling things.

"I feel quite proud that I've not just rushed into this or that (new) management and that I've told people to be patient," said Hamilton.

Alonso's Renault return was a mistake - team boss
(GMM)  Returning to Renault in 2008 was a mistake for Fernando Alonso, according to the team's sporting director Steve Nielsen.

At the end of his tumultuous single season with McLaren in 2007, the Spaniard broke his contract to return to the scene of his championship wins.

But while Alonso battled for the 2007 title, the same season was a difficult one for the French team, and the next two years were similarly barren for Renault until he switched again to Ferrari.

"We know what happened (at McLaren), and he came back," Nielsen is quoted by eurosport.fr.

"I actually think it was probably a mistake -- I don't know if he agrees with me but he knows I love him," said the Briton.

"If I had been his manager at the time, I would have told him 'Listen, you have to stay and beat this guy (Lewis Hamilton)'.

"'Firstly because you have the best car now, secondly because your best chance to be champion next year is to stay at McLaren'," Nielsen added.

Team must solve car pace riddle - Sauber
(GMM)  Sauber must improve its qualifying pace, team boss Peter Sauber insists.

The two C29s qualified poorly at Valencia a week ago, but in the race Kamui Kobayashi featured strongly and his teammate Pedro de la Rosa also finished in the points.

"So the crucial question for our team is: why is the car fast in the race but too slow in qualifying?" Sauber wrote in a column for the Swiss Sunday newspaper Sonntagsblick.

"Our engineers as well as the drivers need to get to the bottom of this as fast as possible," he added.

Sauber said the Ferrari-powered C29 has "much potential" that only works "within a very narrow window".

A new aerodynamic package debuted in Valencia, and de la Rosa thinks the car will work even better at fast Silverstone this weekend.

"I'm very much looking forward to the British grand prix," said the Spaniard.

F1 to have mandatory weight ratio in 2011
(GMM)  For the first time in F1, a mandatory weight distribution ratio will apply in 2011.

Germany's Auto Motor und Sport said the front-to-rear ratio must be 46:54 per cent, due to the arrival of Pirelli as the sport's new exclusive tire supplier.

The teams want to avoid the kinds of surprise problems that arose in 2009, when a pre-season change to the Bridgestone tire design resulted in the need to make expensive changes to the cars' weight distribution.

But if a mandatory weight distribution applies in 2011, all the teams will be in the same boat.

"If the weight distribution remained free, then some would get it right by accident while others get it totally wrong.  That's what we want to avoid," said FOTA's technical boss Ross Brawn.

Williams making own battery KERS for 2011
(GMM)  Williams will run its own battery-powered KERS system in 2011, technical director Sam Michael has announced.

The Grove based outfit runs its own hybrid systems company, and developed an unique flywheel system that is now used by Porsche in GT racing.

But Sir Frank Williams revealed recently that the flywheel system is so big "it would make our (F1) car like a London double-decker".

So in 2011, with KERS returning to formula one, Williams Hybrid Power is working on a more conventional electrical version.

"Everything is being done in-house," Michael confirmed.  "Only the battery cells are being bought from outside."

Lotus eyes 15 more staff for F1 team
(GMM)  Lotus is eyeing a few more staff for its burgeoning formula one team.

An employee joked to Germany's Auto Motor und Sport that the factory in Norfolk is "about as big as the McLaren canteen!".

But it houses 160 staff, with 45 more employees working for Lotus at the Italian Aerolab wind tunnel.

"220 (staff) would be good," said technical boss Mike Gascoyne.

In September 2009, Gascoyne was among the new team's original 4 team members.

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