Latest F1 news in brief - Monday UPDATE Updates shown in Red below.
Button fit for Silverstone despite knee injury
- Pollock pushing ahead despite F1 engine u-turn
- 'Hard to say' if di Resta faster - Sutil
- No regrets after saying no to Red Bull seat - Alonso
- Barrichello demands 'big' progress for 2012
- Alonso also working towards pilot's license
- Webber struggle surprises rivals Button, Heidfeld
- Williams to evaluate two diffusers at Silverstone New
- New engines will be ‘cool’, says Brawn New
- Disney, Pixar’s ‘Cars 2’ Movie Teams Up with Marussia Virgin Racing New
Button fit for Silverstone despite knee injury
(GMM) Jenson Button and McLaren have played down fears the 2009 world champion is not fully fit ahead of their home grand prix at Silverstone this weekend.
Button, 31, was scheduled to drive one of the Woking based team's F1 single seaters at the Goodwood festival of speed but instead switched to a road car in order to protect a minor knee injury.
It is reported the Briton knocked his knee whilst jet-skiing last week.
"I've just got a little niggly pain and it's not worth pushing it, I want to relax it for Silverstone and that's the only reason," he said. "It's all fine."
According to the Telegraph, a McLaren spokesman agreed: "He didn't drive a McLaren F1 car (at Goodwood) for precautionary reasons, in order to protect a small bump he'd received on his left knee during a jet-ski event in London last week.
"But he isn't even limping, and he'll be fighting fit for Silverstone, as usual."
Pollock pushing ahead despite F1 engine u-turn
(GMM) Craig Pollock is pushing ahead with his new venture Pure's plans to supply engines to formula one teams.
The BAR team founder and former manager of Jacques Villeneuve announced in May that Propulsion Universelle et Recuperation d'Energie is designing a four-cylinder engine for the FIA's confirmed regulations for 2013.
But the governing body has now agreed with the F1 teams and existing engine makers to scrap the four-cylinder plans in favor of an all-new turbo V6 rules compromise for 2014.
Pollock told Dutch website gpupdate.net that the u-turn has set back Pure's progress by "about a month".
"We already started to work on the V6 engine when we realized it was going to happen, which was probably about ten days ago," he said last Friday.
"We will obviously be able to use certain technologies that we have developed from the four-cylinder and put it into the six-cylinder."
Pollock admits he is unhappy the rules have changed but scotched any suggestion Pure might have to scrap its plans to enter formula one.
"Well it's not a case of we will (build a V6), we are," he said.
Pollock said he will be present for an FIA meeting about engines at Silverstone on Friday, where he is unlikely to mince his words.
"I'm very disappointed," he admitted. "I don't think it has done the sport an awful lot of good, I think yet again it shows huge weaknesses."
'Hard to say' if di Resta faster - Sutil
(GMM) Adrian Sutil insists he is planning to still be on the grid next year but admits NASCAR might be an option for the future.
The 28-year-old German, who has been with F1's Silverstone based team since 2007, has had a difficult season; defending assault charges and struggling to keep up with his impressive rookie teammate Paul di Resta.
"I'm planning to be in formula one for a few more years and see myself here in 2012," Sutil told Auto Motor und Sport.
"If I did change, perhaps it would be to America. I find NASCAR very appealing."
He was asked whether, if di Resta has so troubled him at the start of the Scot's career, the gap is only set to increase by the end of the season.
"We'll see," answered Sutil. "Whether di Resta is faster or not is still hard to say. He has already been fast, very consistent and made few mistakes.
"It was like Lewis (Hamilton) when he was right there in his first season. The preparation of young drivers with the simulators now is extremely good and the cars are also relatively easy to drive.
"I always look forward," said Sutil when asked if he expects Force India can move towards the front of the field in the near future.
"I want to improve myself and so does the team, but it's difficult for us to come all of the way forwards. The next step is particularly difficult," he explained.
"We are fighting against all the big teams while we are still a small team. The short term goal is to become the best midfielder and to attack one or two of the elite teams.
"We are not far away from Renault and Mercedes. For my own future, of course I still want to be with one of the big teams one day and fight for the championship."
No regrets after saying no to Red Bull seat - Alonso
(GMM) Fernando Alonso insists he does not regret turning down an offer a few seasons ago to move to Red Bull.
The Spaniard moved from Renault to Ferrari last season and battled for the title, but Red Bull won the championship and is now dominating in 2011 with clearly the best car.
Asked if he regrets snubbing Red Bull, 29-year-old Alonso - who has signed a long-term deal with Ferrari - said: "No, no.
"Perhaps I'd have three or four world championships, but I wouldn't be as happy as I am now nor would I be driving a Ferrari," he told formulasantander.com.
"I think that it is more important for a racing driver to drive for Ferrari than it is to have a world championship," he added.
Alonso also clarified that, whilst it is perceived that he clashed personally with Lewis Hamilton in 2007, he would be happy to once again share a team with the Briton.
"I have no problem with Hamilton and neither did we have one at McLaren. I have the absolute respect for him. As long as it wasn't at McLaren, sharing a team with Hamilton would be good," he said.
Alonso also said he would work alongside Sebastian Vettel.
"I don't have problems in sharing a team with anybody," he insisted. "I have been lucky to be with great drivers, although when they share with me it seems that they have lost speed and have become bad drivers."
Barrichello demands 'big' progress for 2012
(GMM) Rubens Barrichello has flagged the likelihood of spending a third consecutive season with Williams in 2012.
The Grove based team is suffering a tough transitional period this season, in the process of splitting with Sam Michael and setting in a new direction with the formerly-banned McLaren chief designer Mike Coughlan.
But 39-year-old Barrichello, whose eighteen seasons and more than 300 grands prix makes him the most experienced driver in F1 history, is preparing to sign up for another year.
But ITV quotes him as suggesting 2012 will be Williams' last chance.
"Next year it's got to be a big improvement, it's got to be a big thing, and I want to be part of it as I have been for the last two years and that's why I want to be present to make sure that we are actually making the step up," he said.
Alonso also working towards pilot's license
(GMM) Fernando Alonso is also interested in obtaining an airplane pilot's license.
It emerged last week that Red Bull driver Mark Webber wants a license due to his "passion" for aircraft.
Ferrari's Alonso has told formulasantander.com that he also commenced activities to obtain his license some time ago.
"The pilot's license is on hold, I have to study a lot and I have to have available time," said the Spaniard.
"We will see if I can return to it in August, when F1 has a break."
Webber struggle surprises rivals Button, Heidfeld
(GMM) A pair of Mark Webber's F1 rivals have expressed surprise with the Australian's 2011 season.
Although the 34-year-old seemed closer at Valencia recently, he has generally struggled to keep up with his Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel, who is utterly dominating the championship so far.
"Of course Sebastian is doing a very good job but I am a bit surprised with how difficult it seems to be for Mark," German Heidfeld, who drives for Renault, told the Herald Sun.
"Last year, even though Sebastian won the championship, Mark was able to be very strong in parts of the season. It seems to be a bit more difficult for him this season," he added.
And McLaren's Jenson Button told the Observer that Webber's form this year has surprised him as well.
"I think Seb's a great driver. He has proved that this season. But I am surprised he is that much quicker than Mark, so there is obviously something that is not working for Mark," said the Briton.
"He hasn't really been on the same pace as Sebastian this year, which surprises me as he is quick. He says he has got problems with the tires, he is not getting to grips with them."
Button admitted it will be "bloody hard" for anyone to challenge Vettel for the championship, while Webber and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso believe Red Bull could actually drive further away this weekend and beyond.
It is hoped the RB7 will be slowed at Silverstone by the blown exhaust clampdown, but Webber told the Daily Mail: "I'll be very surprised if the new rule changes the pecking order. My gut feeling is that they might even help us a bit."
And Alonso is quoted by Bild-Zeitung: "With the circuit characteristics of the coming races, Red Bull should definitely be better than the competition."
On his title hopes, he told formulasantander.com: "Being on average one second behind Red Bull all the time makes it impossible to come back."
Williams to evaluate two diffusers at Silverstone
The British Grand Prix marks what could be a significant chapter in the 2011 season, with advanced engine mapping for blown diffusers now heavily cut back to mean less downforce can be gained under off-throttle conditions. At Williams, two diffusers will be experimented with by Rubens Barrichello and Pastor Maldonado on Friday.
“Silverstone is a high-speed, fast corner track where aero is dominant,” explains Technical Director Sam Michael. “We have a new front wing and some diffuser modifications to test for this race.
“Significantly, blowing the diffuser during braking is no longer allowed, so we'll be working with the new software through Friday’s practice sessions to re-tune our setup.
“That doesn't mean that we won't run a blown diffuser, as the gains are still there when exiting the corner on throttle, but we'll evaluate two different types of diffusers before we decide which direction to take for qualifying and the race.”
New engines will be ‘cool’, says Brawn
Ross Brawn has insisted that Formula 1’s new engines will be in keeping with the sport, silencing critics who claim that 1.6-litre, turbocharged V6 powerplants will fail to retain the spectacle. However, in a further bid to ensure this, sporting governing body the FIA has increased the rev limit from a proposed 12,000 to 15,000 per minute.
From 2013, the current 2.4-litre V8 package will be replaced, having taken over from 3-litre V10s from the start of 2006. The V6, in-turn, is a compromise of the FIA’s original idea to run four-cylinder units. What does stay in the modified regulations are energy recovery systems, with environmentally-friendly engines now a priority.
“It's not about the fact that the new engine is going to be more efficient in itself,” Mercedes Team Principal Brawn is quoted as saying by BBC Sport. “It's the message it gives that it's cool to have a really efficient engine and race on a lot less fuel.”
“The important thing about racing cars is the message they can give. We're setting dramatic targets for reducing the amount of fuel we race with - 30, 40, 50 percent less than what we're racing on now but still with the same power and the same excitement.”
Disney, Pixar’s ‘Cars 2’ Movie Teams Up with Marussia Virgin Racing
The Marussia Virgin Racing Formula One team is delighted to announce that it has teamed up with Disney.Pixar’s exciting new comedy adventure film ‘Cars 2’ this weekend for the team’s home race, the British Grand Prix.
Sir Richard Branson and his daughter Holly will be on hand to launch the partnership at Horse Guards Parade in London today, a location featured in one of the scenes from the movie where the cars race through the city’s streets. They will line up alongside the life-size models of the stars of ‘Cars 2’, Lightning McQueen and Finn McMissile.
Disney.Pixar and Marussia Virgin Racing make for perfect partners since the team has always prided itself on its fan friendly philosophy. The partnership will see ‘Cars 2’ branding appearing on Timo Glock and Jérôme D’Ambrosio’s MVR-02 race cars and race suits this weekend at Silverstone, as well as across many other elements of the team’s in-paddock presence at the racetrack. Guests at the team’s Marussia Virgin Weekend at Stowe will also enjoy a Disney.Pixar ‘Cars 2’ experience.
‘Cars 2’ is the twelfth hit animated comedy to come out of the pioneering Pixar Animation Studios, and is the follow-up to the 2006 film ‘Cars’. They are both directed by Academy Award ®-winning Director John Lasseter, whose first connection with Formula One back in 2007 inspired him to start developing some of the characters of this film after attending the Italian and Spanish Grands Prix.
The film, which sees star racecar Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) and the incomparable tow truck Mater (voice of Larry the Cable Guy) get caught up in a spy adventure when they head overseas to compete in the first-ever World Grand Prix, was released in the United States on June 24, zooming to the top of the box office on its opening weekend. Its UK release date is July 22.