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DATE News (chronologically)
04/01/11
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Friday
  • Vettel not a fan of KERS
    Vettel no fan of KERS or 4-cylinders for F1
  • Moveable wings F1's 'most stupid idea' - Lauda
  • Virgin speed worse than 2010 debut - Glock
  • Bahrain reshuffle could push season into December
  • Raikkonen to NASCAR reports 'a joke' - Varsha
  • Malaysia to be Pirelli's toughest test - Hembery
  • F1 will still 'sound good' in 2013 - White
  • Kobayashi expecting tire issues in Malaysia

Vettel no fan of KERS or 4-cylinders for F1
(GMM)  Sebastian Vettel has revealed he is no fan of KERS or F1's planned switch to a four-cylinder engine format in 2013.

Asked by the sport's official website which current regulations he would like to change, the reigning world champion answered: "I would put a V12 engine in the car -- (I'm) against all the four-cylinder advocacy."

F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone, who is openly pushing against FIA president Jean Todt at present, is a keen supporter of 23-year-old Vettel.

At F1.com, the German continued: "I would take KERS off the car and put a V12 in.  That would be 'greener' than what we have now!"

Ecclestone has said he is worried about the sound of the small turbo engines in 2013, but other observers say his stance is the opening salvo in a power struggle with Todt and the FIA.

Vettel said: "I definitely would go for a lot of power, a nice sound -- some brutal machinery so that you have to rise above yourself every time you jump back into the car."

Moveable wings F1's 'most stupid idea' - Lauda
(GMM)  The new moveable rear system is the "most stupid idea" formula one chiefs have ever implemented.

That is the typically blunt view of triple world champion Niki Lauda, after the officially-titled DRS (drag reduction system) made its debut last weekend in Australia.

"Overtaking is something that should be decided by the drivers, not by the FIA flashing green lights in the cockpit telling them to fold their wings up or down," the great Austrian told Sport1.

According to Auto Motor und Sport, the system was a relative failure in Melbourne, given that more passing moves occurred without the help of DRS.

Asked if he thinks the system will ultimately be tweaked or scrapped, the 62-year-old answered: "That I don't know.

"I would have never introduced it.  It's definitely the most stupid idea ever conceived," added Lauda.

Virgin speed worse than 2010 debut - Glock
(GMM)  Timo Glock has admitted he is disappointed with Virgin's early 2011 form.

While the F1 circus paid more attention to the hapless HRT team in Melbourne, the Virgin cars driven by Glock and Jerome d'Ambrosio also seemed at risk of falling afoul the new 107 per cent qualifying rule.

German Glock has been quoted elsewhere as admitting he is worried about the team's sole reliance on computer modeling over using a wind tunnel.

And he told German-language Speed Week that Virgin's speed has "gone backwards" since its 2010 debut.

"As a team we have moved forward," said the 29-year-old.  "The others have made massive steps.

"We couldn't believe it in Barcelona (for winter testing) but now it is obvious that we are not where we should be," added Glock.

Bahrain reshuffle could push season into December
(GMM)  The 2011 season could end with a back-to-back double header in the Arabian peninsula, according to the latest reports.

Even though the turmoil in Bahrain is still ongoing, and the FIA's May deadline for a race rescheduling has entered its final month, the reports say moves are afoot to reshuffle the end of the calendar.

Italiaracing said the most likely scenario now for a rescheduled Bahrain grand prix would also involve rescheduling November's nearby Abu Dhabi race.

The report said the Yas Marina event could be pushed back to December, with Brazil's currently season-ending date brought forward to close the gap.

The final two calendar stops could then be Abu Dhabi and Bahrain, separated on the map by mere hundreds of kilometers, run back-to-back.

"We'll have a look and see what we can do, how we can swap things round a bit," Bernie Ecclestone said last month.  "Maybe we can change with Brazil or something like that."

In February, Abu Dhabi motor federation president Mohammed ben Sulayem said Yas Marina was open to helping Bahrain find a rescheduled date in 2011.

"Finding time in the calendar is feasible," he said.

"Originally, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain agreed to have a big separation on the calendar to make the most of the exposure that a grand prix brings.  However, this is an emergency and in an emergency we need to work together," he added.

Italiaracing, however, said the teams might be reluctant to see the schedule extended into December.

Raikkonen to NASCAR reports 'a joke' - Varsha
(GMM)  American formula one TV anchor Bob Varsha suspects the news about Kimi Raikkonen entering NASCAR might be a joke.

"Personally I think it's an April Fool's joke," the Speed TV personality told the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel.

A Finnish newspaper broke the story two days ago, revealing that F1's departed 2007 world champion will combine his rallying foray with NASCAR this year.

But the news has since been confirmed, with a spokeswoman telling Canadian website auto123.com that the 31-year-old's application to debut in the truck series at Charlotte on May 20 "was approved".

"I just find it terribly implausible," said Varsha, explaining that Raikkonen's famously introverted personality would not fit in NASCAR.

Indeed, in 2009, Raikkonen admitted he is "not one of the biggest fans of NASCAR".

Varsha said NASCAR drivers are typically "extroverted and gregarious": "That's the reason he got out of formula one ... because he hated the pressure of having to deal with the press".

1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve agrees that NASCAR and Raikkonen do not appear to fit together.

"I think the driving won't be a problem for him.  His biggest challenge will be off the race track.  He'll need to open up socially," said the French Canadian.

"NASCAR is not a closed environment like F1 is. You need to respect the other drivers and socialize," added Villeneuve.

Malaysia to be Pirelli's toughest test - Hembery
(GMM)  The Malaysian grand prix next weekend could be the toughest challenge for Pirelli's tires in 2011.

That is the admission of the Italian marque's racing boss Paul Hembery, after Melbourne last weekend pleasantly surprised teams and drivers in the wake of a winter period of extreme tire degradation.

But he told Finland's Turun Sanomat: "The nature of the Sepang circuit and the more than 50 degrees of track temperature will probably be the most aggressive combination for our tires.

"Of course, any rain could change the situation, but it is probable that under normal circumstances the Malaysian grand prix will see an average of four stops (per driver)," he revealed.

F1 will still 'sound good' in 2013 - White
(GMM)  Rob White has moved to allay fears about F1's current engine roar becoming a GP3-style buzz when the regulations change dramatically in 2013.

Some purists laugh at the noise of the four-cylinder Renault engines mounted in the GP3 single seaters, but in 2013 formula one cars are set to be powered by turbo four-cylinder power plants in line with a 'greener' image for the sport.

Bernie Ecclestone has already expressed his opposition to the new rules on the basis of the engine note, but Renault's White insists the F1 cars of 2013 will still make noise.

"Motorcycle engines are also at 12,000rpm and sound good," F1 engine supplier Renault's technical boss told Auto Motor und Sport.

He said there is no going back on the plans for the new engine rules anyway.

"We are already working on the (2013) engine," White revealed.  "There will only be new manufacturers come into formula one with a new engine format," he insisted.

Renault may also be pleased to see the end of the current development 'freeze' of the 2.4 liter V8 era, with customers Red Bull constantly complaining they are down on power.

"We do not have the most powerful engine," admitted White, "but there are other things with the engine that play a role in the lap time.

"For example, the drivability.  We have worked hard to perfect the engine characteristics for the drivers," he added.

Kobayashi expecting tire issues in Malaysia
Kamui Kobayashi is expecting a generally different race in Malaysia next weekend, with significantly higher temperatures at Sepang than Melbourne’s Albert Park street circuit. Sauber head to Kuala Lumpur hoping to score their first points of the year, having received a double disqualification for running illegal rear wings in Round 1.

“I have good memories of the Sepang circuit since it was there I managed to get into the final qualifying session last year for the first time,” the Japanese driver commented on Friday. “After our good performance in Melbourne we are, of course, very motivated for the next race.

“The guaranteed higher temperatures in Malaysia, though, will make a big difference. I especially expect the tire degradation to be significantly higher there, so this might result in different race strategies. Another challenge could be if we get a wet race, as that happens quite often in Malaysia.

“But we are now very confident about our performance after what we did in Melbourne - I hope we can continue like that with our pace. The circuit is nice, with a couple of high-speed corners, and the layout offers more overtaking opportunities than we had at Albert Park.”

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