Latest F1 news in brief
- Renault team not in financial trouble - Boullier
- Much more to come from blown floor concept - Whitmarsh
- Webber tips Ferrari's return to winning form
- USF1 chiefs lied and damaged F1 in America - Dennis
- Sunny skies at Hockenheim on Sunday morning
- Manager confirms Hartley's Red Bull ousting 'political'
- Twitter confirms Button's reunion with girlfriend
- Briatore just visiting old F1 'friends'
- Williams set to keep same drivers in 2011 - co-owner
Renault team not in financial trouble - Boullier
(GMM) Team boss Eric Boullier has played down reports that Enstone based Renault is in financial trouble.
Reports this weekend have revealed that the team has asked Bernie Ecclestone to issue commercial payments for 2011 ahead of time.
Some of the other teams refused the request.
Germany's Auto Motor und Sport reports that recent sponsor deals by Renault have not delivered in terms of actual cash, while Russian driver Vitaly Petrov ultimately brought only a million euros to the team.
But Boullier denies that Renault is desperate for money.
"These are the usual games played by people who try to tarnish your image," he is quoted in French by the news agency AFP.
"There is nothing to say. There is no problem."
Boullier insists that the only problem is a temporary cash-flow issue that is delaying technical development.
"I need to spend more because we want to finish the R30 and begin the R31. Like any normal company, I asked the shareholders to help us.
"We have television money that is coming, so why not ask for it in advance?" he said.
He denied the team has a problem with its sponsors.
"We have signed three sponsors for the car and there are two more coming," explained Boullier.
"Give us time. You don't sign a contract and the money comes the next morning. That's all," he said.
Much more to come from blown floor concept - Whitmarsh
(GMM) Martin Whitmarsh has denied that McLaren's efforts to emulate Red Bull's blown exhaust concept have failed.
The British team took the innovations off the MP4-25 two weeks ago at Silverstone, and at Hockenheim Jenson Button was only able to get within seven tenths of the qualifying pace.
Mark Webber said on Saturday that the rear concept is overrated, delivering only "peanuts" in terms of time advantage.
"It's not going to win or lose you a championship," German reports quote the Australian as saying.
But McLaren boss Whitmarsh insists that the new package is functioning well, but not yet delivering its full potential.
"We have exploited only half or even a bit less of what is possible. At every race from now on we will benefit," Germany's Auto Motor und Sport quote the Briton as saying.
Whitmarsh estimates that the 2010 world champion will drive for the team that manages to add 0.25 seconds per lap to his car at every remaining race this season.
McLaren's F-duct and Red Bull's rear end have been famously copied by their rivals, but Whitmarsh has revealed that some elements of Ferrari's updated F10 are now of interest.
"We have seen a few things on their car that we can look at," he said.
Webber tips Ferrari's return to winning form
(GMM) Ferrari could be on track for victory at Hockenheim and also next Sunday in Hungary, according to Mark Webber.
After a slump in results, the Italian team's updated F10 is right on the pace in Germany, with Fernando Alonso sharing the front row with Webber's Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel.
Australian Webber told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport that he saw Ferrari's improvements looming.
"Before Hockenheim, I told a friend: put your money on Alonso winning in Budapest. Perhaps I was a race early," he said.
Webber also defended the performance at Hockenheim of Michael Schumacher, after the media made much of the fact that he failed even to make the top ten qualifying segment.
Asked if he was disappointed with the seven time world champion's form in Germany, Webber answered: "Why?
"In Q2 he did virtually the same time as Nico Rosberg. The fact that both of them are so far back is the fault of the (Mercedes) car," he added.
USF1 chiefs lied and damaged F1 in America - Dennis
(GMM) Bosses of the failed USF1 project lied and did great damage to formula one's potential to break into the crucial American market.
That was the verdict of McLaren chief Ron Dennis on Saturday during his visit to the NASCAR event at Indianapolis.
He said British journalist and American engineer Peter Windsor and Ken Anderson, the joint principals of defunct USF1, "didn't tell the truth" as they pushed to debut in 2010.
"They never had the depth, they never had the understanding, they never had the resources," Dennis charged.
According to Autoweek, he said they did "more damage to F1" than any of their predecessors, and insisted that "no one in F1 stuck their foot out" to thwart USF1's success.
Meanwhile, as Austin pushes to get ready for its 2012 hosting of the United States grand prix, Dennis revealed that there are two other projects to bring F1 racing back to America.
"There are three very, very serious and separate projects," said the Briton, declining to give details because it's "not for me to share".
Sunny skies at Hockenheim on Sunday morning
(GMM) The GP3 support race took place at Hockenheim on Sunday morning under sunny skies bearing no threat of rain.
Race-day for the German grand prix has dawned promising the best weather of the weekend, even though temperatures are not expected to climb much above 23C.
"We are not expecting any rain for the race," confirmed Renault chief engineer Alan Permane.
Manager confirms Hartley's Red Bull ousting 'political'
(GMM) Brendon Hartley's manager has confirmed that the driver's ousting by Red Bull was a "very political" move.
20-year-old New Zealander Hartley was one of the energy drink outfit's development drivers this year, also attending races with Daniel Ricciardo as joint F1 reserve driver.
But, with little explanation, he has suddenly lost his drive in the Formula Renault 3.5 series, and apparently also his place on the F1 program.
The news followed reports of a power struggle between Red Bull Racing's Austrian and British management factions, with some sources indicating Hartley was a respected member of the Milton Keynes-based team in terms of his input in the driver simulator.
"We cannot comment until a few things are sorted," Hartley's manager Peter Johnston told New Zealand's Herald on Sunday.
"A lot of things are up in the air. The whole thing is very political. We are not in a position to say anything and we have to be very careful what we do say and so we are better to say nothing," he added.
Twitter confirms Button's reunion with girlfriend
(GMM) A few words on the social networking website Twitter on Saturday sent the F1 media charging towards Jenson Button.
His former girlfriend Jessica Michibata, a Japanese lingerie model, hinted that the pair are back together after a two-month split.
"I'd better have a word with her about the internet," McLaren driver Button told the reporters at Hockenheim.
"You'll see her, she'll be in Hungary," he confirmed.
Briatore just visiting old F1 'friends'
(GMM) Flavio Briatore has turned down an opportunity to confirm he is putting his formula one career back together.
In the wake of last year's crashgate scandal, the 60-year-old has been back in the paddock on several occasions this year, and his visit to Ferrari last week added new fuel to the speculative fires.
But he told Germany's Welt newspaper: "There are simply many people in F1 that I am still friends with -- people I've known for many years and miss."
The Italian slammed reports that his handiwork contributed to the recent Silverstone front wing saga, having reportedly advised Mark Webber to play hard with the Red Bull team.
"That is complete nonsense," said Briatore.
"I have been working for ten years with Mark and it's normal that we talked about his situation. Mark is experienced enough to deal with it himself."
But he does have some advice for Webber's team bosses.
"They need to communicate better with the drivers," said Briatore. "They both need to know better why they are making this or that decision -- it has to be obvious to them.
"If everyone understands what it is about then there will be no problems. Red Bull has the best car and should win both titles, but like last year they could also lose them both.
"In my view that would be a disaster," he added.
Williams set to keep same drivers in 2011 - co-owner
(GMM) Williams looks set to keep the same driver lineup in 2011.
Team figures indicated recently that the extension of Rubens Barrichello's contract is a mere formality.
The Brazilian veteran's current teammate is the reigning GP2 champion Nico Hulkenberg, who said recently he was worried about losing his seat for 2011.
"Ah, that was more of a joke," the 22-year-old German told F1's official website.
"Obviously I would be disappointed should I lose it. It means that I have to perform as well as I can and be as strong as I can to convince the team that I belong here," added Hulkenberg.
He admits that team owners Frank Williams and Patrick Head "expected some more points" from him so far in 2010 -- currently he has 2 compared with Barrichello's 29.
When asked by motorline.cc if both Hulkenberg and Barrichello will still be racing for Williams in 2011, the team's third co-owner Toto Wolff said: "That is the likelihood, yes."
Wolff bought an undisclosed minority share of the Grove based team from Williams and Head late last year.