Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday
Costa leaves Ferrari completely
- Minardi driver Sala joins HRT as advisor
- Peter Sauber expects bad Nurburgring weather
- F1 helmet painter Sid Mosca dies
- Mercedes pair hint 2012 lineup not changing
- Schumacher to mark 20th anniversary with black cap
- Vettel hopes Nurburgring rescues GP future
- Abu Dhabi F1 track sheds 61 staff
- McLaren warn Hamilton: Get used to promo work
Costa leaves Ferrari completely
(GMM) Aldo Costa has left Ferrari completely, the Italian carmaker has confirmed.
In May, Ferrari said the Italian had "relinquished" his role as the Maranello based F1 team's technical director "to take on new responsibilities within the company".
Reports on Wednesday revealed that Costa has left Ferrari altogether but will remain technically under contract until the end of the year; a practice known in F1 as 'gardening leave'.
Minardi driver Sala joins HRT as advisor
(GMM) Luis Perez-Sala has reportedly joined HRT as an official advisor to the Spanish team's new owners Thesan Capital.
The former Minardi driver was with the team at Silverstone two weeks ago and reportedly carried out an initial analysis in which it was decided the 'Hispania' moniker would for example no longer be used.
"Sporting competition is quite alien to Thesan so they need the advice of an expert," said the daily Spanish sports newspaper AS.
52-year-old Sala, who raced in F1 with Minardi in the late 80s, reportedly had existing links with the Spanish bank Banco Popular, which was involved in the sale of HRT to Thesan.
AS said Sala will make his next appearance at a grand prix in Hungary next weekend.
Peter Sauber expects bad Nurburgring weather
(GMM) Peter Sauber is expecting a weekend of "very bad" weather at the Nurburgring.
"The outlook is very bad for the weekend," the owner and boss of the Hinwil based Sauber team told Swiss newspaper Blick.
"Nine to 15 degrees and mostly rain," revealed Sauber.
Thursday at the fabled venue indeed dawned cold, grey and damp.
F1 helmet painter Sid Mosca dies
(GMM) A legendary painter of formula one helmets has died.
74-year-old Brazilian Sid Mosca, who customized the designs of famous F1 drivers including Ayrton Senna, Mika Hakkinen and Michael Schumacher, died in hospital on Wednesday of cancer.
O Globo reports that Emerson Fittipaldi, Nelson Piquet, Felipe Massa and Bruno Senna also had their helmets painted by Mosca, who always marked his designs with the signature 'Painted by Sid - Brasil'.
He will be buried in his native Sao Paulo.
"I am sorry to hear that we lost the great Sid Mosca. He painted my very first helmet. We will miss you my friend," Rubens Barrichello told his more than 1 million Twitter followers.
Mercedes pair hint 2012 lineup not changing
(GMM) Mercedes looks set to contest next year's world championship with its current driver lineup.
There have been rumors that while Nico Rosberg is linked with a switch to a top-3 team, Michael Schumacher might end his formula one comeback at the end of 2011.
"We thought we would be right at the front this year," German Rosberg told Bild newspaper in a joint interview with Schumacher.
"But this is also an exciting situation, to build together a successful future. Sitting in the Silver Arrow is an honor and the thought of winning in one is something special. It is worth it to be patient," he said.
Seven time world champion Schumacher was also asked for how much longer his pairing with 26-year-old Rosberg will last.
"I can't say. But, anyway, I'll be here next year."
Added Rosberg: "I would like to repeat myself that I feel very, very happy here. But I never talk publicly about contractual issues."
It also seems likely that the driver pairings at top-3 teams Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull will remain static for a near-unprecedented third consecutive season in 2012.
Schumacher to mark 20th anniversary with black cap
(GMM) Michael Schumacher will mark the twentieth anniversary of his formula one debut with a special black cap.
Next month, when the German arrives at the famous Spa-Francorchamps circuit, it will be precisely two decades since he made his debut for Jordan at the 1991 Belgian grand prix.
A report in the Hamburger Morgenpost said Schumacher, now 42 and the record holder of seven titles and 91 wins, will mark the occasion with a special black cap.
It will feature gold stitching for his sponsor DVAG and his autograph and gold laurels on the peak.
"Michael wanted to deliberately make no reference to any of his three teams - Benetton, Ferrari and Mercedes - but instead do something that represented him as a driver," said spokesman Markus Schell.
Schumacher's first Dekra-branded cap was black.
Meanwhile, the German grand prix this weekend will be the first time Schumacher races through the turn 8-9 section at the Nurburgring since it was renamed in his honor.
"Obviously I would like to believe that this is not only making me proud, but also even faster," he said.
Vettel hopes Nurburgring rescues GP future
(GMM) Sebastian Vettel has admitted he hopes the Nurburgring can secure its place on the F1 calendar.
The SPD/Green political coalition government in the local Rhineland-Palatinate state has announced it will withdraw its financial backing for the event after this weekend's German grand prix.
Circuit operator Jorg Lindner said this week that the Nurburgring's future beyond 2011 depends on a new contract with "economically and politically acceptable conditions".
Ahead of this weekend's race, German reports quote world champion Vettel as saying: "It would be a shame if we lost the race here.
"The track is great fun, and it means a lot, especially with the history here which is unlike almost anywhere else in the world," added the Red Bull driver, referring also to the fearsome Nordschleife that lies adjacent to the modern layout.
He also thinks F1 makes financial sense for the region.
"I think it brings a lot of good, on the one hand for the people and on the other hand for the wallet," said Vettel, 24.
Abu Dhabi F1 track sheds 61 staff
(GMM) Abu Dhabi's F1 venue Yas Marina Circuit has shed 61 staff, according to local reports.
The UAE-based 7Days newspaper said the race organizers Abu Dhabi Motorsport Management made the decision in order to reduce costs.
But spokesman Peter Rae insisted the staff cuts will not affect preparations for November's day-night F1 race.
"As in any business if you can make the business run well and have lower costs then you make more money," he said.
The spectacular and spare-no-expense Yas Marina Circuit was a joint venture between Abu Dhabi and property development giant Aldar, but the latter company handed over control to the government last year.
McLaren warn Hamilton: Get used to promo work
McLaren have warned Lewis Hamilton to expect heavy promotional work away from the track if he wants McLaren to remain competitive.
The British team isn't funded by a billionaire backer, nor a large manufacturer such as Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes. The team relies on successful relationships with large sponsors such as Vodafone.
During a McLaren-Mercedes conference call with managing director Jonthan Neale, the topic of Hamilton 'burning-out' because of the sponsors demands on him prior to races.
Neale says Hamilton must accept its part of the sport and part of the way McLaren operates.
"We are a commercially-run team, with a fantastic group of partners," he said. "Vodafone and Mercedes obviously have expectations, and our technical partners all do terrific work, as well.
"We have long partnerships because they work – Exxon Mobil have been with us since 1995, for example. That's all part of being a well-funded and successful team, and we are renowned for it."