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Latest F1 news in brief
  • Tester di Resta to sit out Hockenheim practice
  • Schumacher still committed to F1 through 2012
  • Vettel urges German crowd to 'respect' Webber
  • Car improvements for Mercedes and Ferrari
  • Smaller teams opposed to easing F1 test ban

Tester di Resta to sit out Hockenheim practice
(GMM)  Paul di Resta will not be driving the Force India during Friday morning practice at Hockenheim.

The team announced that the decision to sit out its reserve driver in Germany is due to the extreme allocation of Bridgestone's hardest and softest tire compounds.

"It's a shame but I completely understand the decision," said the rookie Scot.

"It's a decision that's been taken relatively late but it's better to err on the side of caution at such a crucial stage in the season," added di Resta, 24.

Force India is currently sixth in the constructors' world championship, 42 points behind Renault and just 16 points ahead of the improving Williams team.

"I'll be back in the car in Hungary, replacing Tonio for free practice 1," di Resta revealed.

Schumacher still committed to F1 through 2012
(GMM)  Michael Schumacher has confirmed reports he is still committed to his formula one return with Mercedes.

After a three year retirement, the seven time world champion's performances this year have disappointed some, but team official Norbert Haug insists the German marque is not reconsidering its 2011 lineup.

"I am still motivated to achieve my goals in the three years," Schumacher, 41, told German reporters on Wednesday.  "There's nothing to add.

"I'm not entirely happy with the results, but I didn't expect to drive everyone into the ground.  Basically, I'm feeling good and having a lot of fun," added the record winner of 91 grands prix.

Schumacher admitted that qualifying is his most obvious weakness so far.  "We're working on it," he said.

His younger teammate Nico Rosberg backed Schumacher as "without doubt the strongest teammate I've had in F1".

"I can say the same," Schumacher replied.

The German's former Ferrari teammate Eddie Irvine, however, has a different view about Schumacher's return.

"Michael took his gamble (to return) but it's backfired," the Ulsterman told the Sun newspaper.

"Ross Brawn was running the team, Mercedes were coming back so every box was ticked.  Except the new car was shit," said Irvine.

Vettel urges German crowd to 'respect' Webber
(GMM)  Sebastian Vettel has urged his German supporters against booing Mark Webber this weekend at Hockenheim.

After their Istanbul crash and the Silverstone front wing furor, the pair are sharing a tense relationship at present.

But German Vettel, 23, told Cologne's Express tabloid that he would not like to see his Australian teammate heckled by partisan spectators.

"I hope that at Hockenheim all the drivers are welcomed with respect," said the Red Bull driver.

"I know that I will never lose respect for other people.  We are all sportsmen and should be treated in such a way," added Vettel.

Championship leader Lewis Hamilton, acknowledging that his McLaren is not as fast as the RB6, said he hopes the discord at Red Bull works to his advantage.

"They have the best car and Hockenheim should suit them," the Briton told Bild newspaper.  "But they also have a problem with their drivers, which can only be good for us."

Car improvements for Mercedes and Ferrari
(GMM)  Mercedes and Ferrari will have improvements to their respective 2010 cars at Hockenheim this weekend.

According to German reports, the W01 is set to feature a development of its switchable F-duct system, as well as a refined blown exhaust.

"We have worked hard," confirmed competition director Norbert Haug.  "We have sorted out many of the problems we've seen in the last two races."

Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn is cautious.  "Unfortunately the wind tunnel can't simulate everything, like the impact of hot exhaust gases at high speed.

"But if everything works as planned, we can be confident," he is quoted by Auto Motor und Sport.

Also primarily in the area of the blown diffuser, Hockenheim is another step in Ferrari's developments that began at Valencia.

"On Friday we'll see if it brings the effects we hope for," confirmed Fernando Alonso.

Renault's Robert Kubica is predicting a difficult German grand prix.

"Most of the teams we are racing now have both the F-duct and the blown floor, so I think it could be quite a tough weekend," said the Pole.

Italy's Autosprint reports that, after the August break, another wave of major improvements will be added to the Ferrari.

Smaller teams opposed to easing F1 test ban
(GMM)  Half of F1's competing teams are opposed to proposals to relax the current ban on in-season testing.

Germany's Auto Motor und Sport reports that while the opposition of low-budget newcomers Lotus, Virgin and HRT was expected, also Force India, Sauber and Williams want the current restrictions to remain in place.

"We would have to re-establish a separate test team," said Peter Sauber, "which is an unnecessary expense."

Williams' technical director Sam Michael added: "The current system guarantees equality of opportunity."

And Force India's Otmar Szafnauer confirmed: "We are opposed to changing the current test rules."

He said the F-duct and the blown diffuser are examples of the test restrictions equalizing the race for development in today's formula one.

"Formerly the test teams would have run frantically and within two races been on the same level as the teams that invented the technology.

"Now, the season is half gone and Ferrari and Red Bull are still not as good as McLaren with the F-duct.

"But our system works at least as well as the others.  This was possible only because there is virtually no opportunity for testing.  It's about the quality of the engineers," added Szafnauer, Force India's chief operating officer.

He denied the big teams' claims that the ban has simply shifted resources from the test track to expensive simulation technology.

"They (simulators) are tools that you either have or you can survive without.  Everyone has a wind tunnel, CFD and chassis test benches."

And Szafnauer also rejects the big teams' argument that more testing is needed for the development of young drivers.

"Whoever wants to test young drivers can do the same as Force India," he said, referring to the use of Scottish rookie Paul di Resta in some Friday practice sessions.

"Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren could also sacrifice Friday practice as we do, if it is so important to them to give opportunities to young drivers," added Szafnauer.

Mercedes' Ross Brawn said he is not in favor of a return to the days of endless testing.

"We have to find a good balance," said the Briton.  "For example, we should not go back to having extra teams for testing."

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