Latest F1 news in brief - Wednesday
Schumacher 'a fighter' not a quitter - manager Kehm
|With age working against him, Schumacher fights on|
- Todt, Ecclestone, Gascoyne hail 'brave' Pirelli
- Red Bull fast on track and in pits - report
- Spain now prouder of Hispania team
- Mosley loses privacy case in Strasbourg
- Williams expects Jaguar deal to impact F1 performance
- Greece to go ahead with F1 circuit
- Kubica recovery on track after another operation
- No DRS ban for Monaco 'wrong' - Barrichello
- Overtaking isn’t too easy, says Alonso
- James Hunt’s Hesketh to be sold at auction
Schumacher 'a fighter' not a quitter - manager Kehm
(GMM) Michael Schumacher's reaction to his poor race in Turkey last weekend showed he is a fighter, not a quitter, his manager Sabine Kehm has insisted.
Following the 42-year-old's admission that "the big joy is not there right now" after a fraught run in Istanbul, many commentators predicted the time is nigh for German Schumacher to return to retirement.
Schumacher's first team boss Eddie Jordan likened the end of his career to boxer Muhammad Ali's, with David Coulthard agreeing that the Mercedes driver is "a once proud warrior now out of fight and damaging his reputation".
"If he feels he can still be competitive, and he is still enjoying himself, then fair play to him," the Scot wrote in his Telegraph column.
"The trouble is at the moment he is not enjoying himself and he does not look consistently competitive," added Coulthard.
But Schumacher's manager Kehm told Bild newspaper: "The guys should all know Michael better than that.
"He shows again and again that he is a fighter. The fact that he is disappointed after a race like Istanbul doesn't disprove the hunger that he has, in fact it reinforces it," she added.
Mercedes' racing boss Norbert Haug agrees: "He is driving like a hungry youngster.
"Of course while the results are missing, there is criticism," he told SID news agency.
Todt, Ecclestone, Gascoyne hail 'brave' Pirelli
(GMM) Mike Gascoyne has hailed Pirelli's bravery in taking up the challenge of improving the formula one show.
Bernie Ecclestone confirmed in Turkey that he specifically asked the sport's new official supplier to make tires in 2011 "that wouldn't last for more than a third of the race".
"I am so happy with Pirelli and I thank them. They've done a super job," added the F1 chief executive after yet another exciting grand prix.
Indeed, on this matter, there is rare harmony between Ecclestone and FIA president Jean Todt.
"I must welcome Pirelli because they have made very brave decisions," the Frenchman said last weekend.
"I have followed the first races on TV, including practice and qualifying, and I have found it rather exciting. The return of KERS, the moving wing and the new tires have really helped to improve the show," Todt is quoted as saying by La Stampa newspaper.
Team Lotus' technical boss Gascoyne, meanwhile, said the move from Bridgestone to Pirelli for 2011 has been more effective than more than 20 years of constant changes to the regulations.
"We change the tire supplier and suddenly we have fantastic racing," he wrote in a column for the Telegraph.
Gascoyne acknowledged that Pirelli's decision to create tires that feature extreme degradation was a risk.
"Pirelli are to be applauded for the boldness in going down the route they have," said the Briton.
"We will have occasions now where a driver in the lead will lose the race because of their tires and the last thing any tire manufacturer in F1 wants is for a driver to get out of the car and say the tires were useless and that is why they lost the race.
"To be producing tires that add to the show is a ballsy approach and that is of huge credit to Pirelli," added Gascoyne.
Red Bull fast on track and in pits - report
(GMM) Red Bull had not only the fastest car in Turkey but also the fastest pitstops, according to a Spanish sports newspaper.
The Marca daily said the championship-leading team's sub-4 second pitstops, so crucial now in the era of Pirelli tires and no refuelling, were aided by a spring-assisted front jack that drops the car to the ground faster than rival teams.
"Then, when all four wheels touch the ground, the car can be driven out immediately without hint of delay," said the report.
Marca said Ferrari's pitstops, in contrast, seem slower due to the manual jack not lowering the car as quickly, before the drivers comparatively struggle to get the 150 Italia back in motion.
The report speculated that, just as it is using different engine mapping settings in qualifying and the race, Red Bull might also have devised a superior computer setting for the engine during pitstops.
Spain now prouder of Hispania team
(GMM) HRT is beginning to win over the support of Spain's motor racing federation.
The country's head FIA official Carlos Gracia said after Australia, where the F111 cars failed even to qualify: "Like this, I would prefer there was no Spanish team in formula one".
But three races on, with Vitantonio Liuzzi and Narain Karthikeyan pressing the pace of their nearest rivals and untroubled by the 107pc qualifying rule, Gracia admitted he is happier.
With F1 now moving to Barcelona in a week, Gracia told Europa Press: "I spoke recently with (team owner Jose Ramon) Carabante and he told me that in Barcelona there will be improvements to the car.
"They are already finishing the races and that is very important, therefore we hope that soon they can have a big role," he added.
Circuit de Catalunya boss Salvador Servia, meanwhile, said he is also proud there is a Spanish team in formula one.
"It's a symbol of the achievement of our country. Motor racing incorporates human and sporting values but also technological ones, so for Spain it is very important to demonstrate that we can also be there," he added.
Mosley loses privacy case in Strasbourg
(GMM) Max Mosley has failed in his bid to force media outlets to notify individuals before stories about their personal lives are published.
Dating back to the News of the World's 2008 expose about the former FIA president's allegedly Nazi-themed sadomasochistic orgy with prostitutes, the Briton took his case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg in January.
His opponents argued that Mosley's action could "imperil investigative journalism" and lead to newspapers "folding" if individuals got a chance to argue in court before the stories about them were published.
In a ruling on Tuesday, the court disagreed with Mosley on the grounds of freedom of speech, with the 71-year-old tipped to appeal the decision.
"I'm obviously disappointed," said Mosley. "It's not finished yet."
Williams expects Jaguar deal to impact F1 performance
(GMM) Williams expects its new deal with Jaguar Land Rover to have a positive effect on its formula one foray.
The famous British team announced last week that it is teaming with the Tata-owned carmaker to create a $1 million Jaguar-branded hybrid supercar.
According to the Telegraph, Williams chairman Adam Parr said the deal "is fundamental to understanding our business going forward".
He was speaking on Tuesday after the team announced improved profits.
"A core element of the strategy set out to investors in March was a partnership with a leading car manufacturer. Our new association with Jaguar Land Rover demonstrates the strategy is on track," Parr said in a statement.
He told the Telegraph: "Our plan is to develop a very strong relationship with JLR outside of formula one, to have a long-term partnership based around high-performance road cars.
"It will help us attract better people and to perform on the track as well as off," he added.
Greece to go ahead with F1 circuit
(GMM) Greece has approved plans for a formula one circuit to be built near Patras, 200 kilometers west of Athens.
The Ekathimerini publication said the facility will cost almost EUR 100 million, and the development ministry confirmed in a statement that it "will be able to host formula one cars".
The project must still be approved by parliament but could be ready to host races within 36 months, and according to Bloomberg will create almost 500 jobs.
The project will be managed by private investment company Racetrack Patras SA, with the state providing a nearly EUR 29 million subsidy.
Kubica recovery on track after another operation
(GMM) Robert Kubica has had yet another operation but the "first phase" of his recovery from horrific injuries is over.
That was the announcement of Renault team boss Eric Boullier on Tuesday after he flew to Italy following the Turkish grand prix to visit the Polish driver.
"Robert has made another step forward in his rehabilitation process and doctors are pleasantly surprised by the way in which his condition is improving," he said.
Boullier said Kubica's most recent operation was to "remove the unavoidable adhesions that are affecting the functionality of his forearm and elbow muscles".
"The first one was done today and everything went according to plan," revealed the Frenchman.
"Now, it is a matter of time and even if patience isn't Robert's first quality, he is fully aware that rehabilitation could be quite a long process," added Boullier.
No DRS ban for Monaco 'wrong' - Barrichello
(GMM) Rubens Barrichello has scolded the FIA for refusing to ban the adjustable rear wing overtaking system DRS for the Monaco grand prix later in May.
Some teams and drivers, including Grand Prix Drivers' Association chairman Barrichello, pushed for the ban on safety grounds for the uniquely narrow and twisty street layout.
But Charlie Whiting ruled out a regulation change, informing the teams in Turkey on Sunday.
"It is wrong," Brazilian Barrichello, the most experienced driver in formula one history, is quoted by the Daily Express.
"I would love the people at the top to sit in the car and try to do the tunnel at Monaco with the DRS open," he reportedly said.
"They are waiting for something bad to happen. And when it does, they will just say, 'Oh, next year we won't have it for Monaco'," added Barrichello.
Overtaking isn’t too easy, says Alonso
Fernando Alonso has denied the general feeling that passing is now too easy in Formula 1, thanks to the new the Drag Reduction System (DRS). Although the rear wing device has proved generally popular this year, feeling was raised in Turkey that its advantage is too large.
However, Alonso – who finished the Istanbul race third following two DRS battles with Mark Webber’s Red Bull – believes that the innovation is fair.
“I think it was fine,” the Ferrari driver told BBC Sport. “The overtaking we saw was more from tire performance difference than DRS. I like it and we’re getting used to it. It’s a new F1 compared to last year.
“When I followed Rosberg in the first couple of laps, it was impossible to overtake him, but when he started to have tire degradation it was very easy to overtake him; so it’s more tire-related.”
The Spaniard also says that fans of the sport are receiving better value for money:
“It’s what the people asked,” he continued. “More show, more pit-stops, more overtaking. It can be a bit confusing for people - you can follow the first five guys but you can’t follow 14th place because it’s already too many stops - but the important thing is lots of people in the grandstands and lots of people in front of the television.”
James Hunt’s Hesketh to be sold at auction
The car in which James Hunt secured his first Grand Prix victory is to be sold at Silverstone later this year at auction. The 1976 Champion, who won the title with McLaren, enjoyed his maiden success in the Harvey Postlethwaite-designed Hesketh 308/2 at the 1975 Dutch Grand Prix.
“This is an incredibly exciting car that carried one of the most well-known and loved British Formula 1 drivers to his first victory,” Nick Whale, Managing Director of Silverstone Auctions, told the Northampton Chronicle. “It is a very important part of Formula 1 history that continues to be successfully raced (in historic events).
“We are very proud to offer it for sale during the Silverstone Classic. It seems fitting a car developed so nearby to Silverstone, at Lord Hesketh's Northamptonshire estate, should be returning here to be sold with Silverstone Auctions.”
The chassis in question, which will be auctioned off on Saturday 23 July, was part of Lord Alexander Hesketh’s private collection until 2007.