Latest F1 news in brief
- No more extreme tire allocations for 2010
- Kobayashi stays, sponsor could help de la Rosa keep seat
- Ferrari duo to attend team orders hearing by video
- Schumacher admits age a factor in comeback struggle
- Red Bull to face multiple challengers at Monza - Webber
- Alonso confident despite running through engines
No more extreme tire allocations for 2010
(GMM) Bridgestone will not be making any more Hockenheim-like extreme allocations of tire compounds for the rest of the 2010 season.
For the German grand prix in July, and in the interests of the 'show', the Japanese supplier paired its hardest compound (hard) with the softest (super soft) in its range.
But Bridgestone has announced that, for the last four grands prix of the season between Japan and Abu Dhabi, only one compound step - rather than the extreme two steps at Hockenheim - will separate the selected tire allocations.
"Due to the nature of the (four) tracks, there were no further opportunities for a hard/super soft allocation, although we did evaluate this after the lessons learnt (at Hockenheim)," the marque's Hirohide Hamashima said.
Kobayashi stays, sponsor could help de la Rosa keep seat
(GMM) Kamui Kobayashi is staying with Sauber in 2011, the Swiss formula one team announced on Tuesday.
The Japanese, who turns 24 next week, joined the Ferrari powered outfit this season, having impressed with his end-of-year debut at the wheel of a Toyota in late 2009.
"We never had any doubts about working with him again in 2011," said team boss Peter Sauber.
The team said Kobayashi's 2011 teammate, currently the Spanish veteran Pedro de la Rosa, "will be announced at a later date".
Finland's Turun Sanomat reports that the 39-year-old remains a contender, due to talks with a Spanish company that could become Sauber's title sponsor next year.
Ferrari duo to attend team orders hearing by video
(GMM) Ferrari race drivers Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa will address Wednesday's FIA disciplinary hearing by video link.
It emerged last week that the pair, accused of obeying illegal team orders by swapping places at Hockenheim in July, had been summoned to the World Motor Sport Council session in Paris.
Reports indicated that the pair may appear in person or by video, probably from a location within Italy.
An article in the British newspaper Daily Telegraph, confirmed by the Maranello based team, said Alonso and Massa will be available to the FIA by video.
After Wednesday's hearing, it is expected the verdict will be published later that day.
Team boss Domenicali and team manager Massimo Rivola, alongside the obligatory lawyers, are slated to be in attendance at the Place de la Concorde.
Alonso's world championship chances are riding on the outcome, given his already 41 point deficit to leader Lewis Hamilton.
Should his Hockenheim points be deducted as a further penalty by the World Council, the Spaniard's deficit - with six races left to run - would blow out to 70 points, because other championship contenders also stand to benefit.
Giorgio Beghella Bartoli, director of the Italian grand prix venue Monza, thinks Ferrari should escape sanction.
"As for the (team orders) regulation, an instruction (at Hockenheim) was not there," he is quoted in Italian reports.
"Because an engineer (Rob Smedley) said 'sorry'? What kind of proof is that?" he insisted.
Livio Oricchio, an authoritative Brazilian journalist, went a step further, urging the FIA to scrap the team orders ban altogether.
"There is no way to control them. Ending the ban respects the truth, therefore the fan. And, as paradoxically as it may seem, the sport.
"On some occasions, the outcome of a race has been decided within a team and few people knew about it," he wrote in his column in the Jornal da Tarde.
Schumacher admits age a factor in comeback struggle
(GMM) Michael Schumacher has admitted that age may be a factor in his struggle to get back up to speed after returning to formula one this year.
To date, having returned with Mercedes in 2010 following a three year retirement, the seven time world champion has explained his lack of results as due mainly to technical factors, including today's Bridgestone tires and the characteristics of the W01 car.
But the German is now quoted by News of the World: "At the end of the day there are physics. How can a 41-year-old be as good as a top-level 23 or 24-year-old?
"I have experience and a high level of speed, but if it is the same as at my high periods in Ferrari I don't think we will ever know," added Schumacher.
"At Ferrari I had been working for ten years to make that level. This time I have been with a whole new team just for one year."
Schumacher, having won a record 91 grand prix victories between 1992 and 2006, has not appeared on the podium so far in 2010, and is 58 points behind his 25-year-old teammate Nico Rosberg.
Red Bull to face multiple challengers at Monza - Webber
(GMM) Mark Webber is not ruling out his chances of a good result this weekend, despite the fact Monza is not expected to particularly suit Red Bull's RB6.
After proving the most consistently competitive car of the season, Red Bull's dominance waned slightly on the long straights of Spa-Francorchamps, where Australian Webber finished second and lost his championship lead to Lewis Hamilton.
And with the team's Renault engine set to struggle even more at ultra high-speed Monza, boss Christian Horner has predicted a "tough weekend" for Red Bull.
But Webber, 34, said: "I think we can do well again at Monza, although we might have a bit of competition.
"In addition to Ferrari and McLaren, Renault and Force India could be among the contenders for the top positions," he is quoted by Spanish language EFE news agency.
German commentator and former grand prix driver Christian Danner told Auto Bild Motorsport that he expects Monza to be "(Lewis) Hamilton country" this weekend.
"Then comes Red Bull and Webber-country," added Danner, referring to the bulk of the remaining five races after Monza.
But Webber achieved pole position two weeks ago at Spa, defying predictions that the RB6 does not have enough engine power for the highest speed circuits.
"We have the same engine as (Renault's) Robert (Kubica) and he was very competitive (in Belgium)," the Australian said.
"We're looking forward to Monza to see how we might go around there," he added.
Alonso confident despite running through engines
(GMM) Fernando Alonso is confident his waning championship charge will not be further impeded by running through his allocation of engines.
This week's Monza event is among the toughest on engines, and at Spa-Francorchamps two weeks ago, the newly-installed Ferrari V8 in Pedro de la Rosa's Sauber had to be replaced.
The unscheduled change tipped the Spaniard over his allocation of eight engines for the season, resulting in a grid penalty.
And a look at the allocations of F1's other cars at Spa showed that while most drivers are now on their fifth new engine, Ferrari's Alonso and Felipe Massa have used six.
"I see no reason to worry," said team boss Stefano Domenicali before leaving Belgium.
And Spaniard Alonso has now told GPWeek: "We are confident.
"The plan of the engines is well in control at the moment. Fingers crossed everything stays like this and we know the program for all the remaining races," he added.
"It should be enough with the engines we have. If everything goes normal there is no problem."
A bigger headache for the Italian team is that, with Alonso more than 40 points behind with just six races left to run, the F10 seemed to take a competitive step backwards at Spa-Francorchamps two weeks ago.
"Monza will be a very important race, because the championship is not looking so easy for us," admitted the Spaniard's teammate Felipe Massa.