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DATE News (chronologically)
07/29/10
f1
Latest F1 news in brief  
  • Warwick to be F1 steward for second time
  • 'Loyal' Massa followed 'clear' team order - father
  • Funny side lost as di Grassi alters Glock quote
  • F1 moves to stop wheels flying after crashes
  • Engine and start problems for Red Bull
  • Blown diffuser for Virgin car 'possible' - Glock
  • Pirelli to announce F1 test driver and car soon

Warwick to be F1 steward for second time
(GMM)  Derek Warwick will return to F1 stewarding duties at the Hungaroring this weekend.

In May in Barcelona, the former F1 racer made his debut as the driver representative on the FIA officials' panel.

Briton Warwick, 55 and a veteran of 162 grands prix between 1981 and 1993, did not win a race during his tenures with Toleman, Renault, Brabham, Arrows, Lotus and Footwork.

'Loyal' Massa followed 'clear' team order - father
(GMM)  Comments by Felipe Massa's father suggest the Brazilian driver's camp is unimpressed with the events of last weekend's German grand prix.

After standing miserably on the Hockenheim podium, the 29-year-old insisted it was his decision to pull over and let his Ferrari teammate Fernando Alonso win.

But Luiz Antonio Massa, who a year ago was sitting at his son's bedside in a Budapest hospital, has declared that Felipe did in fact obey a team order.

The comments follow a period of criticism in the Brazilian press, with writers saying Massa showed a lack of courage.

"It is regrettable and unfortunate that Ferrari took this decision," Massa Snr is quoted in Italian language reports, including the Libero newspaper.

The reports said the comments originated on Brazilian television CATV.

"It is clear to everyone that this was a team order," added Massa's father.

"Like any good employee, Felipe must obey the boss; there is a hierarchy and he followed orders showing loyalty."

Massa Snr indicated that he agrees in principle with team orders, but not when the driver in question is still fighting for the world championship.

"It is a good choice when only one of the two drivers has no mathematical chance, but this was not the case.  Both still had a chance to win," he said.

Funny side lost as di Grassi alters Glock quote
(GMM)  Lucas di Grassi has survived an uncomfortable gaffe within the Virgin team.

After the Hockenheim race, the team's press officer Tracy Novak reportedly presented both the Brazilian rookie and his teammate Timo Glock with proposed official quotes for the media release.

The normal practice in the team is for the drivers to make proposed changes in writing, before reporters receive the release by email.

Motorsport-total.com reveals that although it was probably a prank, di Grassi, 25, amended German Glock's official comment.

The quote received by the media read: "It was a difficult start to the race as Lucas overtook me in a brilliant move".

Glock said: "When I read it I was very surprised -- I can guarantee I didn't say it."

The German report indicates that Virgin did not see the funny side either, particularly after di Grassi retired from the race due to hitting a curb too hard.

F1 moves to stop wheels flying after crashes
(GMM)  F1 is moving to reduce the risk posed by flying wheels.

Last year, GP2 driver Henry Surtees died when a stray wheel from a crashed car struck him on the head.

There was a similar incident during the final practice session at Hockenheim last weekend, with Timo Glock narrowly avoiding a bouncing wheel after Vitantonio Liuzzi's crash.

"I was lucky that I left a bit of room behind Liuzzi in the Motodrom to warm up my brakes.  Otherwise I would have been right behind him," the German told Auto Motor und Sport.

A tether on Fernando Alonso's Ferrari broke in his Monaco crash this year.

F1 introduced wheel tethers in 1998, connecting the wheels to the chassis.  They are made of a special polymer called polybenzoaoxide or Zylon.

But flying wheels continue to pose a risk to drivers as well as to spectators, as seen in Melbourne in 2001 with the death of a marshal behind the spectator fencing, and in 2000 when a marshal was killed at Monza.

"Tethers are of great concern to us," said McLaren's engineering director Paddy Lowe.

"We discussed the issue at the Technical Working Group and we have agreed for next year to introduce a second tether on every corner," he revealed to reporters during a teleconference.

Engine and start problems for Red Bull
(GMM)  Both Red Bull drivers had engine problems last weekend at Hockenheim, according to Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

For Sebastian Vettel, his problem came between the Friday practice sessions, when his Renault V8 with high mileage was replaced after an oil sample was tested.

Mark Webber, meanwhile, had to reduce his speed in the second half of the race because the supply of oil from an auxiliary tank was not working.

"I was happy to just get to the finish," said the Australian, who finished sixth.

He believes Red Bull's raft of reliability problems are due to the team's unique winter strategy.

"It was our strategy to only show our final package on the very last day of testing.  So we were down on kilometers to guard against all those sorts of issues," said Webber.

Another problem has been the difficulty to convert pole positions to good race starts.

Vettel squeezed Fernando Alonso against the pitwall at the start at Hockenheim, only to be also beaten to the first corner by Felipe Massa's sister Ferrari.

"They were definitely not the best starts," admitted team boss Christian Horner, also referring to Webber's start in Germany.

"It has happened to us several times this season," he added.

Blown diffuser for Virgin car 'possible' - Glock
(GMM)  Virgin might introduce a so-called 'blown diffuser' to its 2010 car later this season.

Previously, the new British team ruled out diverting resources for the development of an F-duct.

But driver Timo Glock told Auto Motor und Sport: "The (blown) diffuser is a possibility."

He explained that not working on the F-duct, which has been banned for 2011, is a "financial issue".

"It is not worth doing it for just a few races," Glock told the German publication.

Blown diffusers, the Red Bull-pioneered concept that was subsequently copied by other top teams, is now being seen even on the cars of smaller teams.

Williams debuted its version at Silverstone, Sauber at Hockenheim, and Force India's version will be tested on Friday at the Hungaroring.

"We will analyze the findings and any data will be fed back into the program for the second half of the year," said team boss Vijay Mallya.

The diffuser is credited for Ferrari's improved pace in Germany, while McLaren is still getting the most from its version.

Auto Motor und Sport reports that the team is waiting on a supply of special anti-heat material to arrive from France.

"Only at Spa can we use our diffuser's full potential," boss Martin Whitmarsh is quoted as saying.

Pirelli to announce F1 test driver and car soon
(GMM)  Pirelli will soon name its formula one test driver.

Reports have linked Mercedes reserve driver Nick Heidfeld with the role of helping the Italian marque to prepare for the 2011 season.

It is believed Pirelli will conduct six tests before all the teams try the tires for the first time in Abu Dhabi in mid November.

A spokesman for Pirelli's F1 program said this pre-Abu Dhabi testing, reportedly with a 2009 Toyota car, will not begin until "about September".

"At the moment, we have produced the first scale models of the tires, at 50 per cent size, for the purposes of wind tunnel testing," he said.

"The four compounds are currently being worked upon, with the prototypes scheduled to come out next month.

"There was a test that took place at Paul Ricard in France recently, but that was for GP2 tires.  There, we completed more than 120 laps with no problems."

As for a driver for the F1 tests, the spokesman said an announcement can be expected "either next week or the week after".

He said "two permanent test drivers" will be appointed, "one for F1 and one for GP2".

"Details of the F1 car we will be testing with" will also be provided, the Pirelli spokesman added.

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