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DATE News (chronologically)
05/22/11
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Sunday  
  • Hamilton title unlikely as Red Bull wing it in Spain
  • Brawn puts brakes on 2011 calendar extension
  • De la Rosa turned down Hispania race seat
  • Todt firm on 2013 rules after Barcelona meeting
  • Rivals mustn't use Ferrari's high wing idea - Alonso

Hamilton title unlikely as Red Bull wing it in Spain
(GMM)  Such is Red Bull's dominance at present that the RB7 can grip the fast final corner in Barcelona with its 'DRS' rear wing wide open.

"Yep," confirmed pole sitter Mark Webber, whose qualifying lap was a full second quicker than Lewis Hamilton, the nearest non-Red Bull runner.

In Spain, Red Bull was the only team able to use 'DRS' in corners during practice and qualifying.

"The car is good, no question about it.  We have a good car aerodynamically, there is no secret about it, and we know how to get the car to perform well in most conditions," said Australian Webber.

Hamilton revealed that, at the wheel of his MP4-26, he managed to take the same corner at full throttle, even though it was "quite difficult" to handle with the DRS flap closed.

"A slight difference in downforce," the Briton said sarcastically, "but that's actually good because it gives an indication of how much downforce they (Red Bull) have," he added.

The DRS can only be used on the straight on Sunday, so when asked if he has a chance of winning the race Hamilton answered: "The old circuit is still there, the last two corners, so I could maybe skip the chicane and match their pace, maybe," he joked.

"Otherwise, no."

The 2008 world champion admitted his chances of securing a second title this year are also slim.

"Sebastian is not only in front in the standings but the Red Bull (car) is a long way in front technically," Hamilton said in an interview with Die Welt newspaper.

"In terms of the championship, for me, it will be difficult.

"At the moment it's realistic to try in every race to finish on the podium.  It's possible that in the next few races we can catch up, but you have to say it's a bit unlikely."

Brawn puts brakes on 2011 calendar extension
(GMM)  Ross Brawn has added his voice to the general feeling in the paddock this weekend that F1 should think hard about rescheduling the Bahrain grand prix in 2011.

With Bernie Ecclestone admitting India could be delayed until early December to make room on the calendar for Sakhir, Renault boss Eric Boullier sounded unenthused.

"The question has to be raised.  Does F1 have to go there?" said the Frenchman in Barcelona.  "It is maybe too early to go there after the dramas."

His Mercedes counterpart Brawn, meanwhile, has another reason for not wholeheartedly supporting the idea of extending the calendar beyond its currently-scheduled late November finale.

He told Germany's motorsport-magazin.com that a December finale would shorten his hard-working staff's holidays.

"Our boys, by the end of January, are back to work completely and very busy.  And because of the resource restrictions we can't put any more people on or employ a second race team," said Brawn.

De la Rosa turned down Hispania race seat
(GMM)  Pedro de la Rosa has revealed he baulked at joining the Hispania team this season.

The Spanish veteran lost his Sauber seat last year and became Pirelli's test driver, but despite reportedly pushing for an HRT cockpit for 2011 he has instead returned to the reserve role at McLaren.

Asked by AS newspaper in Barcelona if it is true Hispania had been a genuine option for this season, the 40-year-old answered: "Perhaps that question should go to ... well, not (Jose Ramon) Carabante, I don't know who.

"The truth is that I put a condition on it that they had to have an ambitious sporting project, but then the Toyota connection did not happen and I didn't want to go there any more," revealed de la Rosa.

"I didn't want to.  I wanted to do well, to make them stronger, but there wasn't the right ingredients to be there," he added.

Todt firm on 2013 rules after Barcelona meeting
(GMM)  F1 is racing ahead with its four-cylinder turbo engine formula, despite speculation the sport was pushing to have the scheduled 2013 regulations repealed.

FIA president Jean Todt, and his engine deputy Gilles Simon, met with the engine manufacturers in Barcelona on Saturday, amid rumors at least three of the sport's four suppliers now wanted to stick with the current V8 technology beyond 2012.

France's autohebdo.fr reports that in the wake of the meeting, "no changes" will be made to the 2013 regulations that have already been agreed and announced.

And Jean-Louis Moncet, the French commentator, said he spoke to his well-connected Italian colleague Pino Allievi - La Gazzetta dello Sport correspondent - about his post-meeting chat with Todt.

"As I said before, we will not change (the 2013 rules)," Todt is quoted as saying by Moncet's Auto Plus blog.

"You can do something else, create another discipline, but the world championship of formula one of the FIA will take place with the engine regulations that have been decided," he insisted.

It had been suggested that Renault was set to side with Ferrari and Bernie Ecclestone against the 2013 rules, but the French marque's F1 chief Jean-Francois Caubet was giving a very different message in Spain.

"We are fully supporting the FIA," he said.  "It makes a lot of sense for a carmaker like Renault to be road relevant.  I think it is a key point for the future of formula one."

Rivals mustn't use Ferrari's high wing idea - Alonso
(GMM)  Fernando Alonso is concerned the banned high rear wing seen in Barcelona this weekend could have given Ferrari's rivals some clever ideas.

The FIA moved to ban Ferrari's interpretation of the rules when its new rear wing, debuted in Friday practice, was 3cm higher than normal due to a loophole about gurney flaps and slot-gap separators.

"The wing was one of the new parts we introduced here but the FIA decided that we couldn't use it," Spaniard Alonso is quoted by AS sports newspaper.

"It gave us a small improvement, maybe a tenth or a tenth and a half, so it is not something dramatic.

"There is nothing more to say; in F1 the rules are interpreted to the limit and sometimes you are allowed and sometimes you are not," he added.

Alonso insisted: "The important thing is that no one comes to Monaco with something similar and they are allowed to use it."

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