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DATE News (chronologically)
04/16/11
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Saturday  
  • Franz Tost
    Toro Rosso not for sale - Tost
  • 'Loyal' Hamilton must learn F1's new tire game
  • China not interested in F1 - Coulthard
  • Mercedes board still committed to F1 - Haug
  • Renault much more open than BMW-Sauber - Heidfeld
  • Webber wants to end career with Red Bull - Horner
  • Ecclestone confirms corruption talks in Munich
  • No KERS for Webber in qualifying
  • Strategy blunder leaves Webber 18th 

Toro Rosso not for sale - Tost
(GMM)  Toro Rosso is not currently for sale, team boss Franz Tost insists.

Red Bull mogul Dietrich Mateschitz has in the past said he is prepared to sell the former Minardi squad, and it has been rumored he is doubly keen now that Red Bull Racing cannot share technology with its junior team.

But Tost told motorsport-total.com: "My latest information from Mr. Mateschitz is that he does not want to sell the team completely.

"He would have no problem if an investor came on board, but the majority would stay with Red Bull," the Austrian added.

'Loyal' Hamilton must learn F1's new tire game
(GMM)  Lewis Hamilton has denied his commitment to McLaren is wavering, but according to the British team the 2008 world champion has bigger issues to consider.

The 26-year-old made comments earlier in Shanghai that suggested he might soon move on to win more world championships, but in a subsequent interview Hamilton played down the resulting wave of speculation.

Asked by BBC Radio 5 about his comment "loyalty has its limits", he said late on Friday: "That's just a saying.  That's the way of life, but there's no questioning my loyalty to my team."

According to McLaren's technical director Paddy Lowe, Hamilton has some fast learning to do after running out of tires during the Malaysian grand prix last week.

"How you use the tires in qualifying has a big consequence on your race result, which we saw to Lewis' cost," Lowe said in China.

"Crucial phases of the race where he lost out were a consequence of tire consumption that he had done in qualifying so (it's a) great spectacle I think and a job for us to manage it well," he added.

China not interested in F1 - Coulthard
(GMM)  China has not fallen in love with formula one, David Coulthard said at the scene of the eighth grand prix at the imposing Shanghai circuit.

"The country has still not responded to the sport," the former driver and current BBC race commentator wrote in his latest column for the Telegraph.

"You would think Chinese companies would be trying to capitalize on F1's marketing potential but very few appear to want to.  McLaren have Aigo (as sponsor) but that is about it," he added.

Coulthard, 40, said the impressive track is "half-empty" from the point of view of spectators, and "soulless".

Mercedes board still committed to F1 - Haug
(GMM)  There are no discussions about Mercedes' commitment to formula one in the German marque's boardroom.

That is the claim of motor sport director Norbert Haug, who said that despite struggling with the W02 car, Mercedes remains happy with its place on the grid.

"No, there are not (any discussions)," the German told Kleine Zeitung newspaper.

"That is not to say that Mercedes must be forever committed to formula one; there's no guarantee of a rubber-stamp for all time.

"But for now the enthusiasm is tremendous," added Haug.

Renault much more open than BMW-Sauber - Heidfeld
(GMM)  Renault is a more open team to work with than was BMW-Sauber, Nick Heidfeld has admitted.

The German, who has replaced the injured Robert Kubica this year, was paired with the Pole for several years at BMW-Sauber before the carmaker pulled out in 2009.

"Renault is extremely open," the 33-year-old, referring to the Lotus-sponsored team owned by Genii Capital, said in an interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

"My ideas and constructive criticism are welcome," added Heidfeld.  "I've never seen that quite so much as with this team.

"Of course not everything is adopted, but there is that dialogue.  And that's a lot of fun.  The (2011) car was obviously ready when I came, but I was able to bring something in many areas."

He revealed that some teams are open while "some are closed", and admitted that BMW - the Hinwil based team once again now known as Sauber following BMW's withdrawal - is in the latter category.

"They were very, very well organized," said Heidfeld, "but I think sometimes too narrow.  They would not venture from the plan even one step to the right or left," he added.

Webber wants to end career with Red Bull - Horner
(GMM)  Mark Webber wants a new contract with Red Bull Racing, team boss Christian Horner has revealed.

The Australian's current deal runs out this season, and several names including Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Jaime Alguersuari have been linked with the seat for 2012.

It has also been rumored that Webber, 34, might make the coveted move to Ferrari, but Horner insisted in Shanghai that Webber does not want to jump ship.

"Mark has made it quite clear he wants to finish his career with Red Bull," he said.  "He has no desire to go to another team and while he is delivering we have no desire to change," added Horner.

The Briton said Webber's pace and motivation needs to be assessed before any talks result in a new contract.

"The driver lineup we have is a very strong one but it is much too early to be talking, there is a lot of racing still to go," said Horner.

He also said the speculation about the seat alongside Sebastian Vettel in 2012 is natural.

"I cannot imagine a driver who wouldn't want to be in the car," Horner said.  "But we are really happy with the two drivers.  The dynamics within the team work well with the two of them.

"Driver managers wouldn't be doing their job if they weren't knocking on our door," he added.

Webber on Friday told the German news agency SID that it is "absolutely possible" to imagine having the pace and motivation to emulate Michael Schumacher's feat of still racing at the age of 42.

"I am involved with a GP3 team, a bit in driver management and in the future I would like to do something with young people in sport.

"But I'm not ready for that.  Mentally I'm not ready to quit," he said.

Ecclestone confirms corruption talks in Munich
(GMM)  Bernie Ecclestone has confirmed he has spoken with Munich prosecutors about the Gerhard Gribkowsky corruption affair.

F1's chief executive acknowledged there has been suspicion about his involvement in the mysterious $50 million payment made to the jailed German banker amid the sale of the commercial rights to CVC some years ago.

The Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper said Ecclestone was questioned in Munich earlier this month.

"I have been cooperating with the investigation of the affairs of Dr Gribkowsky since the outset," the 80-year-old confirmed in a statement to the media.

"I am confident that when the full facts have been established, I will be exonerated of blame for any wrongdoing," added Ecclestone.

No KERS for Webber in qualifying
(GMM)  Qualifying began in China with Mark Webber still suffering from KERS issues aboard his Red Bull.

The Australian, who had a failure of the system on his RB7 at the start of the Malaysian grand prix last week, had more problems on Saturday in the final practice session before Shanghai qualifying.

"We are doing our best to make sure KERS is in working order on Mark's car but it's very tough," team boss Christian Horner told the BBC shortly before qualifying.

"It's probable we won't run KERS in qualifying on Mark's car but we will in the race.  Sebastian (Vettel) will run KERS throughout," he confirmed.

Vettel won both the Australian and Malaysian grands prix from pole.

Strategy blunder leaves Webber 18th
(GMM)  Mark Webber on Saturday rued a strategy mistake that leaves him stranded 18th on the Chinese grand prix grid.

While his Red Bull teammate secured a third consecutive 2011 pole, Australian Webber went out at the first hurdle in Q1, with KERS problems already slowing him down.

He failed to make the cut in Q1 after electing not to use the significantly faster soft tire compound.

"We thought we had enough speed even without them," Webber told German broadcaster RTL, "but the problem was I couldn't get them to temperature."

Asked whether he would have been faster with softs, he answered: "Of course.  The decision was made on the pitwall and usually they get it right".

Team boss Christian Horner confirmed that it was the pitwall's decision to try to get through Q1 with Webber on the hard tire only.

"It's very easy with hindsight to say we should have gone on the option (softs)," he told the BBC.  "It was the team's call.  He's just had rotten luck this weekend.

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