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DATE News (chronologically)
Latest F1 news in brief - Monday
  • Vettel could spray but not drink the champagne
    FIA refuses to ban DRS for Monaco
  • No Turkish champagne for underage Vettel
  • Red Bull wary but Vettel 'top of his game'
  • Mosley confirms opposition to News Corp interest
  • F1 shelves plans for 2013 'ground effects' cars
  • Acclaimed Shanghai drive 'not rewarding' - Webber
  • Red Bull's Easter KERS fix worked - drivers

FIA refuses to ban DRS for Monaco
(GMM)  The FIA has refused to ban the adjustable rear wing overtaking system 'DRS' for the Monaco grand prix later in May.

Some teams and drivers pushed for the ban on safety grounds for the uniquely narrow and twisty street layout.

According to L'Equipe, another argument used by teams opposed to DRS for Monaco was that they would have to redesign the system to fit the bespoke high-downforce rear wings used in the Principality.

But Charlie Whiting ruled out a regulation change for Monaco, informing the teams in Turkey on Sunday according to Spanish news agency EFE.

Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali confirmed that "intensive discussions" took place but declined to say which side of the argument he is on.

No Turkish champagne for underage Vettel
(GMM)  Sebastian Vettel was banned from drinking champagne on the podium as he celebrated winning Sunday's Turkish grand prix.

British newspapers The Sun and the Sunday Mirror report that the championship leader was told he must resist drinking the champagne due to Turkey's new alcohol age limit of 24.

"It had been said in the drivers' briefing.  The law is 24 and he is 23," confirmed Red Bull team boss Christian Horner.

The alcohol advertising ban in Turkey also meant teams had to remove some logos from their cars, such as Sauber's usual Tequila sponsor.

Red Bull wary but Vettel 'top of his game'
(GMM)  Red Bull insists it is wary of other F1 teams after Sunday's Turkish grand prix but those competitors are not quite as bullish.

"Ferrari are back," team boss Christian Horner is quoted as saying by Tuttosport at Istanbul Park, where Fernando Alonso finally achieved the Italian squad's first podium of 2011.

Runaway championship leader Sebastian Vettel and his teammate Mark Webber, however, had only seemed to reinforce Red Bull's superiority, with McLaren and Mercedes struggling in Turkey.

"McLaren were very strong in the last two races even if today we were better," continued Horner.

"And we don't forget that Mercedes looked very quick in qualifying.  I think there's still a long way to go in this championship and it's important to capitalize on days like these."

Some pundits believe the energy drink-owned team is playing down its position of clear dominance, such as Niki Lauda who thinks Vettel is "definitely" and "without question" on course for his second drivers' crown.

"He needs now to proceed in a clever way at races that he does not necessarily have to win," the Austrian told ORF, referring to Vettel's 34 point lead.

But Lauda said the 2011 contest is still interesting.

"McLaren with Hamilton won the last race but today they were 40 seconds behind, while Ferrari was nowhere and here they're the third party.

"But it's always about number two or three, while Red Bull and Vettel first and foremost is always in front," he added.

McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh said in Turkey that a problem at the Woking factory had delayed some scheduled new components.

"For Barcelona we have to make sure we get back in the mix because, at the moment, you have to say we are behind the Ferraris and battling with the Mercedes," said Jenson Button.

Nico Rosberg had eyed a real podium challenge after starting third but after the race acknowledged that the W02 car is not there yet.

"Today proved that we are stronger in qualifying but in the race still missing a lot to Red Bull," he told Auto Motor und Sport.

Ferrari, meanwhile, is also expecting to improve again, with Stefano Domenicali hoping the upgrades will be complete for a victory challenge in Canada next month.

"This third place should not delude us; the road ahead is still long," the team boss is quoted by Tuttosport.  "At least we have shown that our path of development is now the right one."

For the moment, on top of the F1 world is Vettel, with even Webber in the sister RB7 forced to acknowledge that.

"Yeah, Seb is on top of his game," said the Australian after Sunday's race.

Mosley confirms opposition to News Corp interest
(GMM)  Bernie Ecclestone reverted to his typical humor and image of invincibility when asked in Turkey if he fears formula one slipping from his grasp.

Asked by Bild am Sonntag if he is worried he may soon have to relinquish his role as the most powerful figure in the paddock, he answered simply: "Yes."

Asked why, the 80-year-old Briton told the German Sunday newspaper: "Because I can't do my job when I'm dead."

He suggested to Bloomberg in another interview that he cannot understand the interest of News Corp and Ferrari-linked Exor when the sport's current owners CVC are not interested in selling.

And he revealed: "There's been other interest for quite some time", adding that CVC might only be swayed with a "bloody enormous" offer.

FIA president Jean Todt confirmed on Sunday that the governing body has the right to veto a sale.

Ecclestone commented: "I don't, but I could just walk out."

Curiously, another spanner in the works could be Todt's predecessor Max Mosley, who called the FIA veto the 'Don King clause' because the flamboyant boxing promoter would not be an appropriate owner for the sport.

It's about "having a suitable, proper person" owning F1, Mosley told Bloomberg.  "From a personal point of view, I don't think they'd be the right person," he said, referring to News Corp.

Mosley's main gripe with Rupert Murdoch is his UK tabloid News of the World, responsible not only for the infamous 'Nazi hookers' story but also for hacking the phones of celebrities.

"There has been clear illegality," said Mosley.

A News Corp spokeswoman declined to comment on Ecclestone or Mosley's comments.

F1 shelves plans for 2013 'ground effects' cars
(GMM)  F1 is set to steer clear of 1980-style 'tea tray' front wings for the 2013 chassis regulations.

We reported late last year that, to go with the four-cylinder turbo engines, the F1 cars of 2013 will generate the bulk of their downforce with the floor through 'ground effects', with that formula drawn up by veteran engineers Patrick Head and Rory Byrne.

Auto Motor und Sport said the teams will receive the draft regulations next week, but they have reportedly been revised to be less radical than originally proposed.

The teams had apparently hit back at the Head/Byrne plan by proposing a less extreme method to reduce downforce, on the basis of the current aerodynamic formula.

So, front wings will reduce in width from 1.8 to 1.5 meters in 2013, with the rear wings to be the same size but with smaller wing profiles.

Aerodynamic appendages, meanwhile, will be further restricted, and a 100 kilograms per hour fuel flow rate imposed for the engines.

The fuel flow limit will require teams to work to reduce the drag - and therefore the downforce and fuel consumption - of the cars from a drag coefficient of around 0.95 at present to about 0.5 to 0.7.

The FIA intends to present the chassis rules to the teams in London on Wednesday.

FIA president Jean Todt will then attend a meeting with the teams at the Spanish grand prix to discuss the 2013 engine formula, warning that only overwhelming opposition could sway his intention to push ahead with the rules.

"I will do my best to attend," the Frenchman told reporters in Turkey on Sunday.

Acclaimed Shanghai drive 'not rewarding' - Webber
(GMM)  Mark Webber has admitted that scything from the back of the grid through the Shanghai field for a podium finish was "not very rewarding".

Commentators hailed the Australian's drive in China three weeks ago as perhaps the best of his career, but the 34-year-old doesn't agree.

He said many of his overtaking moves were artificially boosted by the 'DRS' adjustable rear wing as well as the cache of fresh tires he had been able to preserve by bowing out of Q1.

"A lot more people probably enjoyed my China drive than I did, to be honest," he said after finishing second in Turkey on Sunday.

"When you come up against drivers like Fernando and Jenson and Felipe and Nico, these guys, and you catch them at 2.5 seconds a lap, it's nice but it's not very rewarding in terms of how you pass them.

"These guys have absolutely nothing to fight back with, so it was a podium which of course I took," he said.

Asked more generally how he feels about F1's exciting new formula in 2011, Webber added: "It's best I stop there."

Jean Todt was in Turkey on Sunday and he said 2011 has been very exciting so far, agreeing that Webber's Shanghai drive was a perfect example.

But as for the DRS overtaking wing, the FIA president admitted: "I think it's too artificial."

Red Bull's Easter KERS fix worked - drivers
(GMM)  Turkey was a marked improvement in Red Bull's KERS technology, following problems at the opening three races of 2011.

The team used the Easter break between China and the weekend's event at Istanbul Park to work on the system aboard the otherwise-dominant RB7 car.

"I think big compliments for the team," said runaway championship leader Sebastian Vettel after winning in Turkey.

"For us, the drivers, maybe three weeks is some time off, but for the team, they are working hard.  (In Turkey) I had no problems from start to finish," said the German.

Teammate Mark Webber said his KERS unit suffered some glitches towards the end of the race when he fought with Fernando Alonso.

"But the KERS was very good today," he confirmed, "the guys have done a great job."

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