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DATE News (chronologically)
Latest F1 news in brief - Tuesday
  • Luca di Montezemolo
    Montezemolo wants less aerodynamics in F1
  • Red Bull say perfecting KERS will take time
  • Button would like V10 engines back in F1
  • Perez needs new chassis after Sepang smash
  • Lotus court verdict to be known next week
  • Vettel eyes Schumacher's consecutive wins record
  • Rosberg 'a strong driver' says Red Bull's Marko
  • Kubica still 'part of Renault team' - Heidfeld

Montezemolo wants less aerodynamics in F1
(GMM)  Luca di Montezemolo has admitted he wants the performance of formula one cars to be less reliant on aerodynamics.

"Currently 80 per cent of the performance depends on the aerodynamic, which is too much," the Ferrari president told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"The wind tunnels operate all the time but F1 is also about the mechanical, the engines.  This F1 does not sit well with me," added Montezemolo.

"Also absurd is that we are the only professional sport in the world where you cannot practice.  Testing should be reintroduced, paying close attention to costs," he said.

Montezemolo also repeated his desire to see a small team run a Ferrari chassis.

"For the audience, that would be better than teams making their cars 4 or 5 seconds too slow," he said.

Red Bull say perfecting KERS will take time
(GMM)  It may be some time before Red Bull perfects its KERS system, car designer Adrian Newey has admitted.

The team did not use the technology to dominate in Australia, while in Malaysia the unit aboard Mark Webber's car failed while teammate Sebastian Vettel drove to victory using his system only intermittently.

"It is a system in its infancy," Newey is quoted by the UK Express newspaper.

Unlike Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren and Renault ran KERS when the technology was initially introduced in 2009.

"We are not a manufacturer team so we are having to develop it ourselves and on a limited budget, limited resource and limited experience," added Newey.

German Vettel said after winning at Sepang that getting to the bottom of KERS will take "days and weeks" for Red Bull.

"We need to analyze the data," he is quoted by Brazil's O Estado de S.Paulo.  "It's definitely something we need to focus on because we know we lose time on the track when we have to turn it off.

"For this race (Malaysia) it was crucial because otherwise I doubt I would have maintained my position at the start and the race would have developed very differently," said Vettel.

McLaren's Jenson Button, who finished only 3 seconds behind Vettel at Sepang, insists that Red Bull can be beaten soon.

"In 2002, when Michael won a stupid amount of races - Ferrari were just so fast.  I don't think that is the case with them (Red Bull) now," he said.

Button would like V10 engines back in F1
(GMM)  Jenson Button would prefer F1 added more horse power rather than switch to 'green' 4-cylinder engines in 2013.

Ross Brawn revealed last weekend that "a lot of debate" is raging behind the scenes at the moment as Bernie Ecclestone pushes to repeal the FIA's incoming small turbo formula.

World champion Sebastian Vettel admitted recently that he would like to see KERS technology leave F1, to be replaced with the "brutal" V12 engines of the past.

"Most of us drivers would like the V10 engines back," 2009 world champion Button told the Spanish newspaper El Pais.

"It was just so incredible to hear that roar of 20,000 rpm.  In 2004 or 2005, the noise was really impressive.  That's in the past, although the V8 also sounds good."

Briton Button admitted, however, that F1 needs to evolve for the future.

"F1 is becoming greener and that's the way to go so we can keep going for many years," he said.

Perez needs new chassis after Sepang smash
(GMM)  Sauber rookie Sergio Perez will have a brand new C30 at his disposal in China after his original car was heavily damaged in Malaysia.

There is only a few days between the Sepang race and opening practice this Friday in Shanghai, but Mexican Perez's 'Chassis 01' is currently en route from Kuala Lumpur to Hinwil.

He had to retire in Malaysia when heavy ballast - reportedly weighing 6 kilograms - fell off Sebastien Buemi's Toro Rosso and struck the similarly Ferrari-powered Sauber.

"The chassis looks pretty bad," confirmed team manager Beat Zehnder to Blick newspaper.  "So far we've only been unable to repair one chassis -- it was Frenzten's after he crashed in Monaco in 1994!" he revealed.

Zehnder said the loose ballast from Buemi's car was like "a bomb" hitting the C30, which raises obvious safety implications.  "We have informed the FIA," he said.

He told Auto Motor und Sport: "Now there's a hole in the chassis.  For China, Sergio will have a new one."

The chassis write-off and Melbourne disqualification aside, the C30 has stunned the F1 community with its kindness to the Pirelli tires.

Perez was the only runner to do a one-stopper in Australia, while Kamui Kobayashi drove through the harsher degradation at Sepang last Sunday with just two stops.

"The car seems to be gentle on the tires.  I'm sure it can bring us many good results," enthused Zehnder.

The C30 will have a Red Bull-style exhaust fitted for May's Turkish grand prix, while Williams is set to test a similar innovation this weekend in China.

Blick said the lap time advantage for Sauber is estimated at five tenths per lap.

Lotus court verdict to be known next week
(GMM)  The outcome of the Lotus court battle is expected to be known next week.

The trial to settle the Team Lotus versus Group Lotus F1 naming dispute began in London's High Court last month.

Writing in the German-language Speed Week, editor Mathias Brunner said the verdict is scheduled to be declared on April 20 -- next Wednesday.

The folly of the dispute was made clear in Malaysia last weekend, when Red Bull mistakenly referred to Nick Heidfeld's Lotus-sponsored Renault car as a "Lotus" in an official press release.

"I saw something black in my mirrors -- I knew it was a Lotus," Sebastian Vettel was quoted as saying.

Actually, the F1 fraternity refers only to Tony Fernandes' green T128 cars as 'Lotus', but Jenson Button seemed unsure as he turned to Renault driver Nick Heidfeld in the post-race press conference.

"What do we call you now?" he asked the German.  "Lotus Renault GP," grinned Heidfeld.

Fernandes, however, said at Sepang that it is Team Lotus that deserves more respect.

"We are enormously proud of what we have achieved in just 18 months and we have done it through hard work and dedication, not by buying seemingly instant success through stickers on a car," he said.

Vettel eyes Schumacher's consecutive wins record
(GMM)  Sebastian Vettel has a chance of eclipsing one of Michael Schumacher's most impressive records.

In 2004, between May and August, Michael Schumacher's seven-race winning streak entered the record books.

Alberto Ascari also won seven races in a row for Ferrari, in 1953/53.

At Sepang last weekend, reigning world champion and former 'Baby Schumi' Vettel, 23, won his fourth grand prix on the trot, dating back to the penultimate race of 2010 in Brazil.

Bild newspaper told Vettel about the Schumacher/Ascari record and the German replied: "Really?  Only seven?"

Rosberg 'a strong driver' says Red Bull's Marko
(GMM)  Another candidate to become Sebastian Vettel's new teammate at Red Bull has emerged in the form of Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg.

Germany's Bild newspaper said the 25-year-old, who has been so impressive alongside famous teammate Michael Schumacher in 2010 and 2011, could theoretically escape from his current contract at the end of the season.

Mark Webber's Red Bull deal also ends this year, and there has been much speculation about Lewis Hamilton possibly leaving McLaren to join the reigning champions.

Red Bull driver manager Helmut Marko told the newspaper: "Nico is a strong driver."

German Rosberg, however, said only that Mercedes is "focused on our fight back".

And Mercedes competition director Norbert Haug has warned that the Silver Arrow should not be written off.

"Our car certainly has its strengths and weaknesses.  We will remove the weaknesses gradually and be competitive," he added.

Kubica still 'part of Renault team' - Heidfeld
(GMM)  Nick Heidfeld wore Robert Kubica's 'RK' logo and an image of the Polish flag on his helmet as he achieved his first podium of the 2011 season at Sepang.

The German driver, who was Kubica's BMW teammate some years ago, is substituting for the Pole this year as he recovers from injuries sustained in a horror rally crash.

"I wanted you to see that I'm thinking of you," Heidfeld wrote to Kubica in a note published exclusively by Bild newspaper.

"I wanted the fans to know that you're a part of formula one and this team," the 33-year-old Renault driver added.

In the black Renault R31 in Malaysia, Heidfeld finished third behind winner Sebastian Vettel and Jenson Button, two weeks after Vitaly Petrov stood on the podium in the sister car in Melbourne.

"I often thought of you during the race," Heidfeld continued in his newspaper message to Kubica.

"When I crossed the finish line, only the happy emotions entered my head.  I knew you were thinking 'What a great car Lotus-Renault have this year.  I will return as soon as possible and drive it'.

"For this I hope you make good progress with the rehab.  Get well soon!" concluded Heidfeld.

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