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DATE News (chronologically)
04/15/11
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Friday
  • Lewis Hamilton may not stay at McLaren forever
    Staying with one team for ever not attractive - Hamilton
  • India GP race cockpit for Chandhok possible - Fernandes
  • Haug rules out losing Rosberg or Schumacher
  • 'Artificial' F1 must change to keep Ferrari - Montezemolo
  • Ferrari 'will have' flexible wing - Costa
  • Alguersuari unclear on Red Bull's driver plans
  • Alonso cautious amid Chinese doping threat
  • Newey not copying innovative Renault exhaust
  • F1 much less physical than past - Heidfeld
  • Shanghai 'is Red Bull-country' - Glock

Staying with one team for ever not attractive - Hamilton
(GMM)  Lewis Hamilton has admitted he cannot guarantee his long-term loyalty to McLaren.

Team boss Martin Whitmarsh said recently he would like to keep the 2008 world champion paired with Jenson Button for the next five years.

But while he was groomed by the Woking based team and has never raced elsewhere in F1, 26-year-old Hamilton said in Shanghai that he intends to be in the right place to win more titles.

"I have got only a short period in formula one and I want to be competitive," British newspapers quoted him as saying.

"If you're in a good enough place and you're happy then there's no need to go anywhere," added Hamilton, who recently signed up Simon Fuller as his new manager.

"I've always enjoyed racing here and would like to continue but at the end of the year you have to assess what position you're in and what's happened," he continued.

Asked if he envisages staying with McLaren for the rest of his career, Hamilton answered: "I don't really envisage anything, to be honest."

As for whether staying with one team throughout his career is an attractive option, he added: "Not really.  I don't think there is any attraction to it whatsoever."

And when asked if loyalty has limits, Hamilton said: "It definitely does."

Happier to hear about Whitmarsh's comments about the McLaren lineup was 31-year-old Button, who joined Hamilton at the team last year.

"He hasn't spoken to me about that yet," said the 2009 champion said.  "No one has mentioned it to me.  But it's lovely to hear and I'm obviously doing something right.

"I will grill Martin on it," he beamed.

India GP race cockpit for Chandhok possible - Fernandes
(GMM)  Team Lotus boss Tony Fernandes has admitted Karun Chandhok could race at the inaugural Indian grand prix in October.

Chandhok is only a reserve for the Malaysian team's regulars Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen, but Fernandes admitted that the first race in Delhi is an unique opportunity.

"It's too early to confirm, but I can't rule that out," the AirAsia chief told the Deccan Chronicle when asked about a one-off outing for Indian Chandhok later this year.

"Motor sport is booming in the continent (Asia)," said Fernandes.  "Sponsors are ready to pour millions into the sport.

"Being the second most populous country with a vibrant economy, India offers great opportunities for F1 marketing," he added.

As for Chandhok, Fernandes said the 27-year-old has "amazing technical knowledge" and "adds value" to Team Lotus.

Haug rules out losing Rosberg or Schumacher
(GMM)  Norbert Haug has ruled out suggestions Nico Rosberg or Michael Schumacher could tire of Mercedes' push for pace and quit the German team.

The Brackley based outfit expected a better season in 2011 but is instead working to make the W02 car much more competitive.

Asked what chance Rosberg, who has been linked with Red Bull, or Schumacher could tire of the struggle and quit, competition director Haug told Bild newspaper: "None.  Zero-point-zero.

"Our drivers don't quit when it gets difficult.

"Michael is the most successful racing driver of all time but even he spent most of his career fighting back.  He won 91 races, but twice as many more he did not win," added Haug.

In an interview with German broadcaster RTL in Shanghai, Rosberg described Mercedes' current problems as "very serious".

"We are far from where we wanted to be, or thought we would be," he said.

"But when I ask Ross Brawn if this team as it is can win a world championship, he says quite clearly 'Yes'.

"I am very motivated to improve the situation," added Rosberg.

'Artificial' F1 must change to keep Ferrari - Montezemolo
(GMM)  Luca di Montezemolo says he cannot guarantee Ferrari will still be in formula one in 2013.

The famous Italian marque's president told Auto Bild that the sport "has become too artificial" through deliberately designing tires that degrade and implementing moveable wings to increase overtaking.

"A steering wheel is now a computer covered in buttons," said Montezemolo, "and the fans no longer understand."

He then referred to the expiring Concorde Agreement.

"The contracts expire at the end of 2012.  We need to discuss now how to proceed.

"Ferrari will continue to be there, so long as the sport gives us back something for the development of technology of our production cars.  Otherwise not," said Montezemolo.

Ferrari 'will have' flexible wing - Costa
(GMM)  Ferrari is on the cusp of re-joining Red Bull on the path of flexible front wings.

The Italian team's cars had a wing that bent towards the ground whilst satisfying the FIA flexibility tests last season, but in 2011 the wing on the 150 Italia car is much more rigid.

Asked why Ferrari did not keep its flexible wing this season, technical director Aldo Costa said: "It was not possible with the new, more stringent test for measuring the flexibility of the wings.

"Red Bull, however, succeeded and passed the tests.  We have studied the situation carefully and now we will have the same solution," he told Finland's Turun Sanomat newspaper.

In reality, Ferrari's problems this year - a lack of front downforce not predicted by the wind tunnel - are more serious than wing flexibility.

"We know what our biggest problem is, but solving it quickly is more difficult," the Italian said.

"We are trying solutions in Shanghai, which I hope will improve things," Costa continued.

"If they don't bring the results we expect, we have a big development in front of us," he added.

Alguersuari unclear on Red Bull's driver plans
(GMM)  Jaime Alguersuari insists he knows nothing about Red Bull's driver plans for the 2012 season.

Junior team Toro Rosso has admitted publicly that Daniel Ricciardo is next in line should either Spaniard Alguersuari or Swiss Sebastien Buemi fail to shine.

And the best performer could move on to replace Mark Webber at the senior team next season, even though others including Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton have also been linked with the Australian's current seat.

"The way I have always understood it is that the in-house pilots go to Red Bull," 21-year-old Alguersuari said.

"Nobody has told me anything.  I just know this year is important because I have to be ahead of my teammate," he told Marca newspaper.

Austrian newspaper Kleine Zeitung quoted Red Bull's driver manager Helmut Marko as answering a question about the 2012 lineup.

"The contract with Vettel has been extended but for everything else there's no hurry."

By the same newspaper, Hamilton reportedly said he "can imagine going to Red Bull in the future" and insisted being Sebastian Vettel's teammate would be "no problem".

As for Red Bull's reluctance to talk openly about its 2012 lineup, the 2008 world champion added: "Obviously Mr. (Christian) Horner doesn't want to unsettle his driver."

Alonso cautious amid Chinese doping threat
(GMM)  Not every driver is being as cautious as Ferrari's Fernando Alonso this week in China.

We revealed on Thursday that teams have been informally warned by Shanghai officials about the threat of radiation from the Japanese nuclear disaster, and also the possible ingestion of the animal meat steroid clenbuterol.

Clenbuterol is the performance-enhancing drug that has jeopardized the career of Spanish cycler Alberto Contador.

Countryman Alonso, a keen cycler and once linked with setting up a Tour de France team featuring Contador, has confirmed in China that - away from the Ferrari kitchen - he is eating only rice boiled in mineral water, and taking short showers.

The Diario Informacion newspaper said the Ferrari driver is also eating energy bars and brushing his teeth with bottled water.

Spanish driver Jaime Alguersuari, however, admitted: "That's the first I've heard of it.  I am eating normally, as I would at home or in Australia."

Due to the radiation threat, the Toro Rosso driver admitted that teams will have to make very special precautions for the Japanese grand prix in October.

Newey not copying innovative Renault exhaust
(GMM)  Adrian Newey has ruled out copying Renault's unique front-exiting exhaust system.

"We heard rumors in the winter that Renault would take this path," Red Bull's highly respected car designer told Auto Bild Motor Sport.

"But we have wasted no time to develop in that direction," he revealed.  "We wanted to focus on our system because we knew for sure that it would work."

Indeed, rival teams including Ferrari, McLaren, Sauber and Williams have all moved in the direction of the Red Bull solution.

Even so, Renault team boss Gerard Lopez said he is confident the innovative R31 might be good enough for a race win this season.

"The first goal of regular podiums has been achieved and the other depends also on Red Bull, who are very far ahead," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"Perhaps on certain tracks like Monaco or the Hungaroring we can fight for victory," added Lopez.

He said he told technical director James Allison and team boss Eric Boullier to explore a revolutionary path for 2011 as long ago as last May.

"I saw it as the only way to change the pecking order," said Lopez.

F1 much less physical than past - Heidfeld
(GMM)  Nick Heidfeld has admitted that driving a formula one car in 2011 is physically much easier than it was in the past.

In terms of the complexity of the task, drivers have complained this year that KERS and DRS are making their lives difficult.

But in terms of the actual physical exertion and fitness required to handle the corners, German veteran Heidfeld said there is "no comparison" between 2011 and the past.

Speaking to Germany's Speed Week, he was no doubt comparing the current V8 formula with Pirelli tires with the height of the V10 era complete with tire war and complex aerodynamic bodywork.

"Compared to the past, it's like a children's birthday party now," he said.

Shanghai 'is Red Bull-country' - Glock
(GMM)  Red Bull will run away with the Chinese grand prix, German driver Timo Glock predicts.

Back-to-back 2011 race winner Sebastian Vettel was six tenths clear of the sister RB7 in initial Shanghai practice, and more than two seconds faster than the chasing McLarens.

"Red Bull look better than they were in Malaysia," Glock, who drives for the struggling Virgin team, told the German broadcaster Sky on Friday afternoon.

"It was clear in first practice that this is Red Bull-country," he added, "just as it was in previous years."

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