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DATE News (chronologically)
08/01/11
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Monday
  • McLaren teammates Button (L) and Hamilton (R) passed and re-passed each other
    Marshal limps away but Heidfeld not hurt
  • Red Bull to test new diffuser at Spa
  • Webber to 'probably' retire in 2012 - Marko
  • No team orders as McLaren drivers diced in Hungary
  • Vettel tells Red Bull time to 'think again'
  • Red Bull to test new diffuser at Spa

Marshal limps away but Heidfeld not hurt
(GMM)  The sidepod of Nick Heidfeld's Renault exploded as the German retired from the Hungarian grand prix.

A fan's video posted on Youtube showed a marshal being struck by the debris and limping away, and Swiss newspaper Blick said it is "unclear whether the man was injured" badly.

Veteran Heidfeld admitted he has "never seen anything like that before" and that he was scared.

"I had a fire in Barcelona, but I wasn't worried there at all -– but this one got quite close.  This time I felt the heat, so I had to get out quickly," said the German.

As for whether he is hurt, Heidfeld confirmed to Auto Motor und Sport: "No, nothing happened to me."

And he joked to Bild newspaper: "I'm not burned -- my suit was black even before I got in (the car)!"

Renault team boss Eric Boullier however appeared to blame Heidfeld for the incident, insisting that the car is "not designed to stay running (during a pitstop) on high revs for so long".

Red Bull to test new diffuser at Spa
(GMM)  A long-awaited summer break, including mandatory factory shutdowns, lies ahead for F1 team members.

But the previously dominant Red Bull, beaten by Ferrari and McLaren at the last three grands prix, is planning a significant upgrade for the RB7 to debut at Spa-Francorchamps later this month.

"McLaren have made the biggest leap in the blown diffuser (area)," team boss Christian Horner told Der Spiegel in Hungary, adding that there is still developmental "potential" in Red Bull's car.

The report said a new floor and diffuser, to be tested in Friday practice in Belgium, should make the Red Bull three tenths per lap faster.

Brazilian journalist Livio Oricchio said it is a myth that F1's smartest chiefs will simply lie on beaches in the next few weeks.

"Who really believes that, as McLaren and Ferrari move ahead, Adrian Newey for example says to his guys tomorrow at Milton Keynes: 'Ok guys, see you in two weeks!'"

Actually, more than 100 points ahead in the constructors' and 88 points clear of the first non-Red Bull in the drivers' chase, Red Bull are not panicking.

"We are on a par with McLaren.  And we have a head start," consultant Dr Helmut Marko told Kleine Zeitung with eight races left to run in 2011.

He also confirmed that development of the RB7 is moving ahead.

"We will continue to make the car better," said the Austrian.

Die Welt headlined after Sunday's result that second place was "The perfect defeat" for German Sebastian Vettel, whose championship lead actually extended due to Jenson Button winning.

"I definitely can live with P2," he said.

"Perhaps we don't have the strongest car at the moment, but we can still achieve good points."

Webber to 'probably' retire in 2012 - Marko
(GMM)  A 2012 F1 contract will "probably" be Mark Webber's last.

That is the claim of Dr Helmut Marko, Red Bull's driver manager and consultant to team owner Dietrich Mateschitz.

The Austrian is known to be closer to fellow German-speaker Sebastian Vettel's side of the garage, and he stunned F1's Australian contingent on Sunday by effectively announcing 34-year-old Webber's impending retirement.

Marko told broadcaster One's coverage of the Hungarian grand prix that Webber is "probably going to retire" next year.

He said Red Bull therefore "would need to find one of our juniors who can replace Mark Webber".

Ironically, a leading candidate is Webber's countryman Daniel Ricciardo, who has been slotted in at HRT alongside Italian veteran Vitantonio Liuzzi.

"First of all, he has to beat his teammate, and he has to progress," said Marko.

"He (Ricciardo) is losing too much in the pitstops, and losing too much when he is being lapped so he must get the feeling.  And we want him to fight with the people who are around him."

No team orders as McLaren drivers diced in Hungary
(GMM)  Sunday in Hungary proved McLaren does not use team orders, according to Jenson Button.

Prior to winning his 200th grand prix, the 31-year-old engaged in a wheel-to-wheel, place-swapping duel with his teammate Lewis Hamilton.

Button said a few days ago that McLaren "does not have team orders".

"Other teams will use them, but not us," he added, apparently referring to Red Bull's order that Mark Webber hold position behind Sebastian Vettel at Silverstone.

After Sunday's race, Button said it was no surprise the McLaren pitwall kept out of the battle.

"No, I wasn't surprised they let us fight," he said.  "We wouldn't have listened anyway.  If they had said 'back off and sit behind your teammate', it wouldn't have happened."

McLaren's managing director Jonathan Neale confirmed the desire to sometimes protect a good team result.

But he insisted: "You have to let them go sometimes.  We can get it wrong but when you have a race like that, you know you are right."

Vettel tells Red Bull time to 'think again'
Defending drivers world champion Sebastian Vettel has told his Red Bull team it is 'time to think again' about why they are losing races after finishing second behind Jenson Button's McLaren in Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix. The 24-year-old German, who extended his runaway lead at the head of the drivers' standings despite the result, made it clear he is concerned about his team's drop-off in form after one win in five races.

He has now gone three without a win after winning five of the opening six this year.

But he retains an 83-points lead in the title race ahead of his Red Bull teammate Mark Webber.

Vettel said: "We tried to win, there had been a chance, but we didn't use it. We need to look into that. We've seen how quickly things can change so we need to win again.

"And I think it is fair to say that in the last couple of events Ferrari and McLaren, on race pace, have made a step forwards. We need to have a look at why. Maybe it is something they have done, yes.

"But we also need to have a look at ourselves.

"There is plenty of stuff to learn and things that we can improve without looking at the others. That has to be a target for the next race and for the second half of the season.

"I felt the pace was in the car, especially after last week (in Germany). I think we made a good step forward and I felt much more comfortable, but I start the race to win and not to finish second or third. I think we could have been a bit smarter.

"With so many races you have to be prepared and you shouldn't be surprised if you face some difficult races. But the target for the next race is to attack completely and try to win again."

Red Bull to test new diffuser at Spa
A long-awaited summer break, including mandatory factory shutdowns, lies ahead for F1 team members.

But the previously dominant Red Bull, beaten by Ferrari and McLaren at the last three races is planning a significant upgrade for the RB7 to debut at Spa-Francorchamps later this month.

“McLaren have made the biggest leap in the blown diffuser (area),” team boss Christian Horner told Der Spiegel in Hungary, adding that there is still developmental “potential” in Red Bull’s car.

The report said a new floor and diffuser, to be tested in Friday practice in Belgium, should make the Red Bull three tenths per lap faster.

Brazilian journalist Livio Oricchio said it is a myth that F1′s smartest chiefs will simply lie on beaches in the next few weeks.

“Who really believes that, as McLaren and Ferrari move ahead, Adrian Newey for example says to his guys tomorrow at Milton Keynes: ‘Ok guys, see you in two weeks!’”

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