Latest F1 news in brief - Sunday
- Webber had concussion after Valencia crash
- Hulkenberg leaving Williams announces manager Weber
- Ecclestone hints at Abu Dhabi calendar tweak for 2011
- 'Tables turn' in Red Bull title strategy - Vettel
- Fiat buys back Ferrari stake from Abu Dhabi company
- Rain threat looms for Abu Dhabi finale
- Glock and Kobayashi fined for pit lane speeding
Webber had concussion after Valencia crash
(GMM) Mark Webber has revealed he suffered "delayed concussion" after spectacularly crashing in Valencia earlier this season.
Before the Australian fights on Sunday for the 2010 championship in Abu Dhabi, he recalled his backwards flip in June when he ran into the back of Heikki Kovalainen's Lotus.
"There were things which happened after Valencia that surprised me. I had delayed concussion and that put added heat on the next time I drove the car," Webber told the Daily Mail.
The 34-year-old bounced back from the incident with two more wins at Silverstone and later in Hungary, but teammate Sebastian Vettel has been Red Bull's pacesetter in the final third of the season.
"It's not like he's 25 seconds down the road and I've forgotten how to drive," said Webber after qualifying a disappointing fifth on Saturday.
"Yes I would love to have had some victories of late," he told reporters, having lost his clear championship lead with a crash last month in Korea before finishing behind Vettel in Brazil.
"I've done everything I can to get those (wins) and in the end I haven't got them because I haven't deserved them. Simple as that," admitted Webber.
Hulkenberg leaving Williams announces manager Weber
(GMM) Sunday is Nico Hulkenberg's last grand prix for Williams, his manager has announced.
"Nico is leaving Williams," the Cologne tabloid Express quoted Willi Weber as saying on Saturday in Abu Dhabi.
German Weber, however, promised that the 23-year-old will return to the formula one grid in 2011 with another team.
Express said Hulkenberg is being replaced by new GP2 champion Pastor Maldonado, who has a sponsor purse of a reported EUR 12 million.
Also on Saturday, Hulkenberg had said the Grove based team is "struggling for some money". He said he has "other options" for 2011.
"We may have to wait for a decision for another one or two weeks," added the Interlagos pole sitter.
Williams chairman Adam Parr confirmed that a decision has not yet been made, but hailed Hulkenberg's performance in Brazil last weekend and hinted it had been a taste of the future.
"Sadly we don't get those very exciting moments very often, but the taste of it has got everyone rather excited about what is possible in the future," he said on Friday.
"What we have seen with Nico is him making great progress through the year in terms of consistency and performances," added Parr.
Ecclestone hints at Abu Dhabi calendar tweak for 2011
(GMM) There is a chance the 2011 calendar could be tweaked to reinstate Abu Dhabi as the scene of next year's championship finale.
The magnificent Yas Marina venue has concluded the F1 schedule for the past two seasons, but its third event is scheduled for 13 November 2011 -- two weeks before the finale in Brazil.
F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone said he has "never understood" why organizers want to host the last race but did not rule out making the switch to please Abu Dhabi.
"It is a big risk being the last race of the championship, because you just don't know how it will unfold -- it could have all happened in Brazil," said the Briton, referring to last week's penultimate race at Interlagos.
When asked whether Abu Dhabi could be reinstated as the last race for 2011, Ecclestone answered: "We'll see. It's not scheduled to be, but whether we can change it or not ... let's have a look and see."
'Tables turn' in Red Bull title strategy - Vettel
|Webber glances over at Alonso knowing he's the man he has to beat on Sunday|
(GMM) With Sebastian Vettel tipped for a supporting role in the build-up to the 2010 finale, the shoe is now on the other foot ahead of Sunday's decisive race.
Although with fewer points than both his Red Bull teammate Mark Webber and leader Fernando Alonso, Vettel is starting the Abu Dhabi decider from pole.
But if he goes on to win, Alonso - starting from third - will need just a fifth place finish to deliver the drivers' title to Ferrari.
"Now we have to rely on Mark Webber," Red Bull's motor sport consultant Helmut Marko is quoted by Welt newspaper.
Niki Lauda agreed: "I don't think Sebastian is in the situation anymore where he has to let Webber past."
Webber's most realistic chance of winning the title for himself is to win the race, with the Australian then needing Alonso to finish third or worse.
That might require Vettel's help, but the German - separated from Webber on the grid by three rival cars - sees the shoe now on the other foot.
"It is funny how the tables turn," Vettel is quoted by F1's official website.
"On Friday I was confronted with those kind of questions (about helping his teammate) and now it is Mark who has to answer them!"
Some good news for Red Bull's title hopes comes from Germany, with Bild newspaper reporting that Mercedes has secretly agreed to help Vettel to beat Alonso.
And Norbert Haug is quoted in German by Sky television: "Two hearts beat in my chest for the championship; one for (Mercedes powered) Lewis Hamilton, but ... honestly I would be very, very pleased for Sebastian Vettel."
As for whether Mercedes' Nico Rosberg or Michael Schumacher could help to influence the outcome, Haug answered: "Given our pace, that's probably a bit presumptuous."
Fiat buys back Ferrari stake from Abu Dhabi company
(GMM) Fiat has bought back a 5 per cent stake in Ferrari that was sold five years ago to Abu Dhabi investment company Mubadala.
It is believed the move ties in with recent rumors the Italian carmaker is considering later selling a significant part of its majority stake in the famous Maranello based marque and formula one team.
The buy-back of the Mubadala stake, costing Fiat EUR 122 million according to the UAE newspaper The National, takes Fiat's shareholding up to 90 per cent.
It is believed Fiat is then prepared to see this figure drop to as low as a controlling 51 per cent.
"I can confirm that Fiat has exercised the call option for the purchase of the Ferrari stake held by Mubadala," confirmed a Fiat spokesman.
"We have no further comment to make," he added.
Rain threat looms for Abu Dhabi finale
(GMM) As the last hours until the 2010 championship finale wind down, there is a threat of showers in Abu Dhabi.
Even though a huge sandy desert sits just outside the plush Yas Marina, there has been rare rain in the area in recent days, including a downpour that wet the track on Friday.
In mid afternoon on Sunday, with just over two hours to go until the evening race at 5pm, the official Meteo France radar screens on the pitwall are showing showers in the surrounding area.
But until now, it has been hot and dry, with partly cloudy skies and a hazy sky after high overnight winds.
Glock and Kobayashi fined for pit lane speeding
Two drivers received fines for pit lane speeding on Saturday, with the culprits at Yas Marina being Virgin Racing’s Timo Glock and Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi.
Glock’s fine comes after third free practice on Saturday afternoon, in which the German was clocked at an illegal pit lane speed of 62.4km/h (38.7mph) which results in a figure of 600 euros (510 pounds) from the FIA stewards.
Kobayashi’s crime came later in the session, with his fine being a smaller amount of 400 euros (340 pounds) for a velocity of 61.3km/h (38mph).
This takes the number of fines for the weekend up to three so far, with the first having been for McLaren’s Jenson Button on Friday.