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Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday

• Rosberg thinks dominance not fully recognized
• Praise from Jordan as Schumacher urges team unity
• Sergio Perez to make Sauber test debut next month
• Ricciardo will win in F1 says 2010 team boss
• Sauber ousting 'hurt' admits de la Rosa
• Webber happy to settle for second at Suzuka
• Abu Dhabi expects season finale sellout
• Putin in Sochi to sign 2014 F1 race contract

Rosberg thinks dominance not fully recognized
(GMM) Nico Rosberg does not think his dominance within the Mercedes team this year has been well enough recognized.

Indeed, the focus of attention at the Brackley based squad in 2010 has been Michael Schumacher's difficult return to the sport.

But the context of the seven time world champion's struggle has been Rosberg's 13:3 dominance in qualifying, and his 68 point margin over his famous teammate in the drivers' championship.

Rosberg, who moved to Mercedes in 2010 after four seasons at Williams, said: "I don't think my performance is well enough recognized."

Schumacher's problems this year have been explained as due to Bridgestone's new narrower front tires, which do not suit his driving style.

But "It's the same for me," 25-year-old Rosberg told the German weekly Sport Bild.

"Actually I think Michael has been able to adapt his driving style better than I have," said the German, whose Finnish father is the 1982 world champion Keke Rosberg.

Rosberg also played down the effect of Schumacher's three-year break since initially retiring in 2006.

"Michael has 15 years of experience in formula one," he said.

Rosberg said his own recent experience "hasn't advantaged me because it's mainly been with grooved tires, and the current front tire is different from anything else before it".

Mercedes' competition boss Norbert Haug insists Rosberg's efforts have not been undervalued within the team.

"I think it's absolutely obvious that Nico has so far extracted what was possible from the car," he said. "Only on a very few occasions was this not the case.

"I think he learned a lot with Williams and if you would name one of the top guys that are currently young and experienced in formula one you would certainly mention Nico," added Haug.

"So Nico is a very good benchmark for probably everybody in the field."

Praise from Jordan as Schumacher urges team unity
(GMM) Eddie Jordan has praised Michael Schumacher's performance at Suzuka, despite claiming he would have fired him only two weeks earlier.

"We saw a different Schumacher in Japan," said BBC commentator Jordan, who in 1991 gave the then pay-driving German his first drive.

Jordan continued: "He was terrible in Singapore. It was the worst race of his I've ever seen."

At Suzuka, Schumacher was once again outqualified by his teammate Nico Rosberg, but in the race he was faster than the younger German and finished sixth.

"He couldn't have gone on being as bad as he was in Singapore," Jordan is quoted by Auto Motor und Sport.

"It was a big improvement. In practice he was faster than Rosberg and that's something we haven't seen too often.

"I think he just felt comfortable. Suzuka is a brilliant drivers' circuit, and Michael is a brilliant driver," added Jordan. "I think we saw something of his old self."

Schumacher said after the race that his true pace this year has often been clouded by inconsistencies between his car and the sister Mercedes driven by Rosberg.

"Sometimes not everything comes together as planned from the technical point of view however our link is strong enough to allow things being criticized if they don't run as expected -- and this refers to all of us," he wrote on his official website.

"It's important we stay united within the team. And I am very confident about this," added Schumacher.

Sergio Perez to make Sauber test debut next month
(GMM) Sauber's new rookie driver for 2011 has been at the team's Hinwil headquarters this week.

Mexican Sergio Perez, 20, visited the Swiss factory for a seat fitting, ahead of his team debut at the season ending tests in Abu Dhabi next month.

Blick newspaper said the Telmex sponsored driver is scheduled to drive for two days at the United Arab Emirates capital's Yas Marina circuit.

Ricciardo will win in F1 says 2010 team boss
(GMM) According to Daniel Ricciardo's team boss this year, the 21-year-old Australian is ready to move into formula one.

Currently the reserve driver for Red Bull's two F1 teams, Ricciardo was replaced by David Coulthard for the Suzuka race last weekend as he contended for the Renault World Series title in Spain.

He ultimately lost out to Mikhail Aleshin, a 23-year-old Russian whose prize will be a Renault F1 test in Abu Dhabi next month.

But Ricciardo is also destined for formula one, his Tech 1 team boss Simon Abadi insists.

"We're all convinced that not only will he get into F1, but above all he'll win there. It couldn't be otherwise," he said.

Red Bull-sponsored Ricciardo is now leaving the Tech 1 team, and is tipped for a seat in the GP2 championship for 2011.

"I should be taking part in the F1 rookies tests in Abu Dhabi," he said. "We'll see in the coming weeks what Red Bull has in store for me."

In Abu Dhabi, Red Bull's sister F1 team Toro Rosso will be running Ricciardo's Tech 1 teammate Jean-Eric Vergne.

Sauber ousting 'hurt' admits de la Rosa
(GMM) Pedro de la Rosa has vowed to catch up with his former team boss Peter Sauber at the end of the season.

The Spaniard raced with the Swiss team in 2010 until last month's Italian grand prix, whereafter he was replaced for the last five races by Nick Heidfeld.

Sauber said he made the decision in order to gauge the true pace of the Ferrari-powered C29 car.

De la Rosa has told Spanish radio Cadena Ser this week that he will catch up with the 67-year-old after the Abu Dhabi finale "to see if it was the right decision".

He admits that Sauber's explanation that it was de la Rosa's consistency that motivated the decision "hurt me".

But he said German Heidfeld is a "good driver, but the quality all the way through the field is very close".

39-year-old de la Rosa also admitted that the occupant of the sister car, Kamui Kobayashi, is "much better than you think".

He also said that if he had strong sponsors, "I would still be there".

On the three-race championship fight, de la Rosa tipped countryman Fernando Alonso "but I don't know if that's my brain or my heart speaking".

He also said the layout of the Korean circuit looks "mixed", with the tighter sections favoring the Red Bull, and the Ferrari to be better on the long straights.

Webber happy to settle for second at Suzuka
(GMM) Mark Webber has admitted he was happy to settle for second place at Suzuka last weekend.

Already leading the world championship before Japan, the Australian finished the race one second behind his teammate, the pole sitter and winner Sebastian Vettel.

"Sebastian drove well and deserved to win," Webber is quoted by Italy's Autosprint magazine.

"I knew before the start that it would be difficult to win with him in pole position.

"I have no regrets about not trying to overtake him. I could have (tried), but I thought about the championship. And then overtaking at Suzuka is not easy.

"At this point you cannot make mistakes," he continued. "The points for second place are very important and it wasn't worth the risk.

"The most important thing is that I have increased my advantage to the ones behind," he added.

But even though Vettel, 14 points behind Webber, is equal on points with the charging Fernando Alonso, team boss Christian Horner insists there will be no favoritism through to next month's Abu Dhabi finale.

"It's not correct - as we've always said - for us to favor one driver over the other," said the Briton this week.

It is clear, however, that there is still some needle in the Red Bull garage, with Webber fleeing Suzuka for a helicopter to Tokyo before the team's traditional victory photograph.

He also beat Vettel's fastest race lap on the final tour of the race; a "mind game" that must have caused "great angst" for their bosses, according to BBC commentator Martin Brundle.

And Vettel admits he was relieved when he saw Renault's Robert Kubica, not Webber, behind him at the start of the Japanese race.

"Nothing against Mark or the team, but it would have made my life easier," said the German, regretting that Kubica's wheel soon fell off.

"That (Kubica's retirement) was of course good for the team, but for the championship I would not have objected if he would have stayed in second."

Abu Dhabi expects season finale sellout
(GMM) Another sellout crowd is likely for this year's formula one season finale in Abu Dhabi.

Last year, the impressive Yas Marina venue, with a capacity of only 50,000, sold out for the inaugural race.

According to the race organizers, about 90 per cent of the tickets for the 2010 championship finale in mid November have been sold.

Abu Dhabi Motorsport Management said the tickets are selling faster than they did last year.

"It may be a title decider and with the concerts and the event itself, it is very popular," said commercial director Stephen Umfreville.

The performers for the music concerts are Prince, Kanye West and Linkin Park.

"We can't say when it will sell out but it will," Umfreville added.

Putin in Sochi to sign 2014 F1 race contract
(GMM) Russian president Vladimir Putin is due to sign the contract for a 2014 grand prix in the resort city Sochi on Thursday.

It emerged last weekend that F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone had agreed terms for the race, to be held on a bespoke circuit, and was only waiting for the agreement to be formally signed.

"When the appropriate person from Russia signs it, I will sign it the next day," he told the Kommersant daily.

The Bloomberg news agency said the contract due to be signed by Putin is for an initial seven years, with an option for a further five grands prix beyond 2020.

Ecclestone said Russia's annual fee would be about $40 million, comparable to what new hosts Singapore and Abu Dhabi pay. Kommersant said the Sochi circuit would cost about $200 million.

In 2014, Sochi - located in Russia's southern federal district - is also due to host the Winter Olympics.

Putin is also backing Russia's bid for the 2018 World Cup, with Sochi earmarked for a stadium.

In March, he announced Russia's support of the country's first formula one driver Vitaly Petrov in the form of Lada backing for the Renault team.

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