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Latest F1 news in brief
  • Morning sun drying damp track early on Saturday
  • Dennis hits out at McLaren drivers' car criticisms
  • Cypher out of running for 2011 F1 debut
  • Berger not eyeing return to F1 paddock
  • Ferrari removes F-duct for rest of weekend
  • Teams not revealing flexible front wing secrets
  • Ferrari prefers Alonso because Massa slower - Piquet

Morning sun drying damp track early on Saturday
(GMM)  The sun is out at the Hungaroring early on Saturday morning, drying the damp track in the wake of heavy overnight rain.

However, the day's weather forecast is for some likely rain at the Budapest venue, probably some time after the final practice session at 11am local.

There is extensive cloud cover overhead at the time of writing at 8.45am, leaving the prospects for qualifying currently uncertain.

Dennis hits out at McLaren drivers' car criticisms
(GMM)  In a rare rebuke by the McLaren group chairman, Ron Dennis has criticized the F1 team's drivers.

In comments carried by British newspapers, the Woking based company's shareholder and former long-time F1 principal publicly scolded Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button for criticizing the qualifying pace of the MP4-25.

Title leader Hamilton on Friday said his 2010 car is "massively down" on pace at the Hungaroring.

But he and Button have each won two grands prix so far in 2010, and are at the top of the drivers' championship.  McLaren also leads the constructors' standings, but the perception is that Red Bull and Ferrari have the fastest cars.

"We do have a very good race car," insisted Dennis.

"So I find it infuriating when my guys say 'I wish I was on the front row' and build in the perception that we're giving them cars less capable of winning races," he added.

"It's the nature of drivers."

Dennis' successor Martin Whitmarsh moved to play down Dennis' comments, amid rumors the 63-year-old might be keen to return to the F1 team.

"Ron's not actually involved in running the race team, but he is, of course, chairman of the group and a shareholder in it," he said.

Former long-time McLaren driver David Coulthard wrote in a Telegraph column that it is "the first time" he can remember Dennis publicly criticize the team's current drivers.

Cypher out of running for 2011 F1 debut
(GMM)  The American outfit Cypher Group has pulled out of the running to race in formula one next year.

The group had applied for the 13th 2011 team entry and was reportedly in talks with American driver Jonathan Summerton and possibly also Nelson Piquet Jr.

It had also emerged that former Brawn engineer Steve Brown, who previously worked on the similarly failed USF1 project, was part of the Cypher effort.

But after Nicolas Todt's ART outfit also pulled out of the running, and Bernie Ecclestone's insistence that any new team pay a EUR19 million deposit, Cypher has admitted it does not have the money to race in 2011.

"After much deliberation we have decided that the budget we have is not sufficient to allow us to pursue the project in a manner befitting the series," read the statement.

Berger not eyeing return to F1 paddock
(GMM)  Gerhard Berger has admitted he is not currently interested in returning full-time to the formula one paddock.

After retiring in 1997, the ten-time grand prix winner returned to F1 as BMW's joint boss until 2003, and three years later bought half of Toro Rosso.

The 50-year-old Austrian sold his share back to Red Bull's Dietrich Mateschitz in 2008, and told the Salzburger Nachrichten newspaper on Saturday that he has no regrets.

"I am currently busy with a number of projects and have no withdrawal symptoms," said Berger.

His interview was for the Hungaroring's celebration of its 25th grand prix this weekend.  Team figures and drivers gathered in the paddock on Friday to cut a huge birthday cake.

Berger contested Hungary's first world championship race, in 1986.

"It was for me one of the most interesting developments in formula one -- a race in the Eastern Bloc!" he recalled.

Ferrari removes F-duct for rest of weekend
(GMM)  Ferrari has joined Red Bull in opting to remove the F-duct from its car in Hungary.

Red Bull was the first to deduce that the efficiency of its conventional rear wing layout was better at the tight and twisty track, where the only significant straight is located opposite the pitlane.

On Felipe Massa's car, Ferrari experimented with both solutions during Friday practice.

"The F-duct always has advantages and disadvantages and we don't have a clear answer right now about what is best for here," Fernando Alonso said in Spanish reports.

He later acknowledged that the F10 "seems more competitive" with the F-duct not fitted in Hungary.

Teams not revealing flexible front wing secrets
(GMM)  Red Bull and Ferrari's rivals will need to move fast to design flexible front wings for their own cars.

That is the claim of Renault boss Eric Boullier, who believes F1's most competitive teams at present are enjoying a big benefit from the innovation.

Although flexible wings are illegal, the designs currently raced by Red Bull and Ferrari have passed scrutineering and the existing FIA tests.

"I hear rumors and I read the press," Boullier is quoted by Auto Hebdo.  "I'm hearing (the wings are worth) about three tenths, which seems right."

But the first step for the teams' competitors will be understanding how the wings are flexing so much at speed while still passing the compliance tests.

"It doesn't just seem to be their wing that flexes," McLaren's Jenson Button said in Hungary.  "We're not sure how they are doing it legally.  It's worrying."

It is understood that the rival teams are putting pressure on the FIA for Red Bull and Ferrari to have to explain precisely how the wings are legal.

But Ferrari's Stefano Domenicali said: "If you pass the tests, you're done."

And Red Bull's Christian Horner added: "I take it as a compliment to our engineers when a fuss like this is made."

Ferrari prefers Alonso because Massa slower - Piquet
(GMM)  Felipe Massa should speed up if he wants to avoid being Fernando Alonso's number two.

That is the interesting perspective of Nelson Piquet Jr, who was Alonso's number two at Renault in 2008 and the first half of last year.

The Brazilian was then ousted by the team, triggering the so-called crashgate scandal by revealing that he was ordered to crash on purpose to help Alonso win the 2008 Singapore grand prix.

Now, the sport is gripped by a new team orders scandal, after Massa was ordered to let his now Ferrari teammate Alonso win at Hockenheim last Sunday.

Piquet, now racing in NASCAR's lower-tier truck series, said: "Massa is slower than Alonso, so he has become the team's number two."

He made the comments to the Diario Catarinense newspaper whilst competing in the Brazilian kart championships this weekend.

25-year-old Piquet added: "80 per cent of the time, Alonso is much faster than Massa, so it is normal that the team gives him preference."

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