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  • Red Bull will not muzzle drivers after wing saga
  • Petrov to hold 2011 Renault talks 'later'
  • Schumacher could appear as witness for Weber
  • De la Rosa delays Sauber talks for September

Red Bull will not muzzle drivers after wing saga
(GMM)  Dietrich Mateschitz has dismissed the Silverstone front wing affair as "much too dramatised", declaring that Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel still have equal chances to win the 2010 world championship.

The energy drink company Red Bull's owner, an Austrian billionaire, insisted to Kleine Zeitung newspaper that German 23-year-old Vettel is not the team's preferred winner this year.

"Once again I say: we do not have a number one and a number two.  Both drivers have cars with exactly the same specification.  The problem with the new wing at Silverstone was the first exception," he said. "Of course, the situation was not pleasant for Mark, but this was a little problem made into a large one. Our management was not diplomatic and perhaps not correct," he admitted, albeit insisting that Webber's 'number 2' comment after winning at Silverstone was also "unnecessary".

"But, on the other side, Mark did nothing wrong.

"We will not make them be quiet.  Everyone can tell the truth; that is one of the highest virtues of Red Bull.  There are no factions, although it is obvious that the two sides have their own driver firstly at heart. We have two drivers going for the world championship.  Actually, it's a luxurious problem that many teams would like to have."

Mateschitz, 66, is confident about Red Bull's chances of winning in 2010.

"If you ask me today who will be champion, I would say 'one of our drivers'.  But the pits must not interfere, because then the problems really begin."

He said appointing a number one is not in accordance with his "philosophy of racing".  "Our drivers know that they first have the beat the other," said Mateschitz.

"I have no preference; as champion each of the two would be equally great to me."

And Mateschitz admitted that letting the drivers fight down to the wire could backfire and hand the title to an opponent.

"I think that is unlikely but I would not rule it out.  And if it should happen, my God, we are talking about racing.  The image of blood, sweat and tears is not by accident."

Petrov to hold 2011 Renault talks 'later'
(GMM)  Vitaly Petrov is currently being left out of talks about being Robert Kubica's Renault teammate in 2011.

Despite being initially labeled little more than a pay-driver, the Russian rookie has been a solid performer this season.

But the Enstone based team's management, targeting a return to the top of the podium in the wake of the crashgate scandal and change of ownership, is openly contemplating its options for next year.

Asked about 2011, Petrov said at an F1 demonstration event alongside Jenson Button in Moscow at the weekend: "Next year is in hand, the talks will be held later."

Several experienced drivers are reportedly being considered for Petrov's seat, including Kimi Raikkonen, Nick Heidfeld, Heikki Kovalainen, Christian Klien and Adrian Sutil.

Germany's Auto Motor und Sport said Sauber rookie Kamui Kobayashi is also on the list.

"Some are fanciful, others are realistic because there are already discussions," boss Eric Boullier is quoted by France's Auto Hebdo when asked about the reported candidates.

Boullier had said Sebastien Buemi was also on the list, but Toro Rosso has now confirmed him for 2011, even though the Swiss youngster was not initially told.

Switzerland's Sonntagsblick newspaper explained the discrepancy by revealing that Toro Rosso had the right to retain Buemi due to his ongoing Red Bull contract.

And the 21-year-old is now quoted as saying he is "very happy" to be staying at the Faenza based team.

Italy's Autosprint is also linking Timo Glock with the Renault seat, even though Virgin's Nick Wirth said the struggling British team wants to retain the German.

Schumacher could appear as witness for Weber
(GMM)  Michael Schumacher is a "potential witness" for the current proceedings of a Stuttgart court, according to his former manager Willi Weber's lawyer.

Weber, who now handles Williams rookie Nico Hulkenberg's career, is defending more charges relating to the company Pole Position Marketing.

The company handled official formula one merchandising for both Schumacher and his younger brother Ralf.

Weber was sentenced to probation and a hefty fine two years ago, so for the latest charges - involving the embezzlement of DUR 1.2 million - he could be jailed.

"Michael Schumacher," said lawyer Barbara Livonius, "would be a potential witness."

De la Rosa delays Sauber talks for September
(GMM)  With half the season now gone, Pedro de la Rosa admits he is not sure what he will be doing in 2011.

"I am trying only to enjoy the moment," said the 39-year-old Spaniard, who returned to the grid this year after a long spell as McLaren's test driver.

Last month, the Sauber driver revealed he is "available" for future employment by other teams.

He has now told the EFE news agency that he is hopeful of being able to demonstrate his value in the remaining races this year.

"Nine races are a lot," said de la Rosa, admitting that a podium is unlikely.

"That would be too much.  My fight is for the top ten.  We have to be realistic about our limitations.

"We have potential and all the ingredients, I'm driving well, but we are developing the car with a limited budget."

Sauber, and particularly the Japanese rookie Kamui Kobayashi, has performed strongly at the last two races, so de la Rosa acknowledges that "the next two races are very important for the team and for myself".

AS newspaper asked the Spaniard if he had heard that countryman Jaime Alguersuari has had his contract with Toro Rosso extended for 2011.

"Yes, I'm happy for him.  For me future, I don't know.  We will speak about it in September.  I've learned not to hurry."

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