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Latest F1 news in brief - Friday
  • Ralf admits son, 9, could follow wheel-tracks
  • Mercedes has fastest pit crew in F1 - report
  • Vettel's victory-finger 'annoying' - Verstappen
  • Ferrari drivers highest earners in Brazil, Spain - report

Ralf admits son, 9, could follow wheel-tracks
(GMM)  Ralf Schumacher has admitted his son could be on the road to becoming a third member of his family to win in formula one.

The Cologne tabloid Express publish photographs of 9-year-old David Schumacher, the nephew of seven time world champion Michael, at the wheel of a competitive go-kart.

Michael's 12-year-old son Mick also races go-karts: "Let's see where Mick himself wants to take it," Mercedes driver Schumacher, 42, said a few years ago.

David races for the team headed by Schumacher-discoverer Gerhard Noack, who also spotted Sebastian Vettel's talent many years ago.

Said Ralf: "Whether he wants to do motor racing seriously one day, I leave it to him.  I will support him completely even though it's a hard world full of tough people.

"How could a father who has lived that world forbid his son?"

David's mother Cora added: "I am really happy that he has found a sport he really likes.  He often follows the races with Ralf.

"We'll have to see if he has the same passion for it in the coming years."

Mercedes has fastest pit crew in F1 - report
(GMM)  Mercedes has the fastest pit crew in formula one at present, Germany's Auto Motor und Sport has found.

The analysis showed that the Brackley based team, having developed a rim without a separate wheel nut for 2011, was marginally quicker than McLaren and Red Bull at performing competitive tire pitstops so far.

With refueling banned last year, and the new Pirelli era radically increasing the number of tire changes per race, the speed of each team's pit crew is more important than ever.

More attention than ever has therefore gone into pitstop coordination, routines and practice, while teams perfect their technical aids including bespoke traffic lights, wheel guns and jacks.

With the time also including the driver's approach and exit from the stop, the analysis found that Mercedes' average in-race pitstop time so far in 2011 has been 22.301 seconds.

That is eight hundredths of a second faster than McLaren's average, while championship leaders Red Bull trail Mercedes by almost three tenths per stop.

Another half-second behind is Sauber, followed by Force India, Renault and - notably - Ferrari in seventh place.

Williams and Toro Rosso are ranked eighth and ninth, followed interestingly by the three least competitive cars on track: Lotus, Virgin and finally HRT.

Hispania's pitstops are reportedly 3.3 seconds on average slower than Mercedes'.

Vettel's victory-finger 'annoying' - Verstappen
(GMM)  Sebastian Vettel's victory routine is annoying and arrogant, according to former grand prix driver Jos Verstappen.

When the German started winning poles and races, observers noticed that he always showed a solitary index finger to spectators and cameras.

His countrymen in the German sports media enjoy the routine and before his so-far successful campaign kicked off, one newspaper headline pleaded for Vettel to "show us your victory finger!" in 2011.

Dutchman Verstappen admitted he has been impressed with championship leader Vettel and Red Bull's performances so far.

"They have made an incredibly strong impression," he wrote in his De Telegraaf column.  "Even with their KERS problems they have the best car overall.

"Sebastian Vettel is definitely the favorite for the title.  I don't begrudge his success, but I find it really annoying that he arrogantly waves his finger after each triumph.

"I do have to say honestly though, that if I had been in his position in my own formula one career, I might have done the same," Verstappen, who secured two podiums from his more than 100 grands prix, added cheekily.

Ferrari drivers highest earners in Brazil, Spain - report
(GMM)  Ferrari's F1 drivers are the highest-earning sportsmen in their respective countries, a new report has found.

The full analysis by ESPN The Magazine, showing 182 countries and their top-earning athletes, will be published on May 2.

Felipe Massa is Brazil's representative, with his annual retainer excluding sponsorships and bonuses listed as US $17,052,632.

Listed for Spain, Fernando Alonso reportedly earns $22,736,842.

Lewis Hamilton is reportedly England's highest sports earner with $18,473,684, and the injured Robert Kubica is listed for Poland with $10,657,895.

Elsewhere representing motor sport, Kimi Raikkonen appears for Finland with his earnings from the world rally championship listed as a whopping $26,333,333.

Juan Pablo Montoya appears for Colombia with his $5,088,410 from NASCAR, while MotoGP's Valentino Rossi reportedly made $20,800,000 last season and represents Italy on the list.

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