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DATE News (chronologically)
Latest F1 news in brief - Saturday
  • Jenson Button
    Button reluctant to sign long McLaren deal
  • Domenicali confused after Horner hits back
  • Costly day for Senna at Monza
  • Vettel 'can imagine' future Ferrari switch
  • Dyer reveals 'many job offers' for 2012
  • Alonso and Petrov nurse minor injuries at Monza
  • FIA to enforce Pirelli camber guidelines at Monza

Button reluctant to sign long McLaren deal
(GMM)  Jenson Button has welcomed news he will be at McLaren next year but baulked at suggestions he will sign a contract for life.

Team boss Martin Whitmarsh said at Monza on Friday that the 2009 world champion, who can be automatically retained due to a one-year contract option, will definitely still be Lewis Hamilton's teammate in 2012.

But the Briton also said he wants Button, 31, to commit for "the rest of his career" and thereafter be a brand ambassador.

The fact there is still some uncertainty about Button's position at McLaren is believed to be due to the British driver wanting to keep his options open for 2013.

"I would love to stay here, yes," Button said after Whitmarsh's comments were reported.  "I'm not trying to position myself with other drivers coming out of contract.

"The simplest thing would be to sort out next year, then we can sort out the rest later this year," he added.

Button insists he feels little need to tie himself down with a long contract, despite suggestions in the British press that he is being offered a multi-year deal worth $120 million in total.

"I don't feel I need to secure my position for the long term.  I'm not at the start of my career so I don't feel I need that," he said.

"It's nice to be in a position where, if you don't feel right and don't want to go racing any more, you can stop."

He scolded the suggestion he is eyeing the Red Bull seat currently occupied by Mark Webber, or Felipe Massa's cockpit at Ferrari.

"Would I retire happy without driving for Ferrari?  Yes," insisted Button.

Domenicali confused after Horner hits back
(GMM)  Stefano Domenicali was baffled on Friday when reporters asked for his thoughts on a war of words with Red Bull counterpart Christian Horner.

"Me?  That's the first time that I hear that," said the Ferrari team boss.

Media reports said Horner had responded angrily to some recent comments made in the specialist press by Domenicali, including the suggestion that Red Bull is a one-man team with star designer Adrian Newey at the helm.

And the Italian had told a German newspaper that Sebastian Vettel is not yet a true leader.

Horner hit back by insisting that Red Bull doesn't "disrespect or underestimate the achievements of our peers".

When told Horner apparently had a problem with some of his comments, Domenicali said: "That's a new one.  I will speak with him, without speaking to journalists.  I want to see what he's saying.

"I don't think that I've said something strange but it's interesting to see Christian's reaction.  Maybe he will have something to say to me.  He knows my telephone number," added the Italian.

Costly day for Senna at Monza
(GMM)  Bruno Senna had an expensive day at Monza on Friday.

The Renault driver, at the start of only his second grand prix of the season, first received a EUR 3,200 fine for breaking the pitlane speed limit by almost 16kph.

Half an hour later, Senna was speedy once again, this time clocked at 81.7 in the 60kph zone.

But because it was his second infraction, the FIA doubled the penalty and so the Brazilian's end-of-day bill was a whopping EUR 12,000.

Also fined for speeding on Friday was Mercedes' Michael Schumacher, who must pay EUR 400.

And Williams must pay the governing body a EUR 5,000 penalty after Rubens Barrichello used a set of tires not allocated to him on Friday.

Vettel 'can imagine' future Ferrari switch
(GMM)  Sebastian Vettel has once again admitted his desire to race a Ferrari in formula one some day.

The likely 2011 champion has pledged his immediate future to Red Bull but has always admitted his affection for F1's more famous marques, including Ferrari and also Mercedes.

Fernando Alonso said a few days ago that Vettel, 24, is welcome at Ferrari.

"At the moment we are both bound by contract and I think both of us (are) happy in our teams," Vettel said in a joint interview with Spaniard Alonso for the German broadcaster RTL.

"But I have already said that I can imagine sitting in a red car at some point.  So who knows?" he added.

Vettel is vying for victory on Ferrari's home soil this weekend but he said doing it with a team "with so much history" would be a "great feeling".

"In 2008 I had a little bit of that experience with the Italian team Toro Rosso and it was fantastic.  I hope I have many years in formula one ahead of me so let's see what happens," he added.

Alonso, meanwhile, said he can imagine having Vettel as a teammate, even though both of them are regarded as the unofficial 'number 1' drivers at their respective teams.

"Why not?" he said.  "At the top teams there is no one who does not want two good drivers.

"It seems as though Sebastian is the number one at Red Bull but I do not say that.  For Felipe and me it's the same; we race with the same conditions and during a season one or the other gets out an advantage.

"Viewed from the outside it's as though there's a team leader and a helper, but for the team it's best to have two top drivers because it increases the chances of winning the world championship," added Alonso.

Dyer reveals 'many job offers' for 2012
(GMM)  Chris Dyer has admitted a return to formula one next year is possible.

The Australian, formerly the title-winning engineer for Michael Schumacher and Kimi Raikkonen, was ousted by Ferrari after the bungled race strategy that cost Fernando Alonso the championship in Abu Dhabi last year.

At Monza this weekend, he is making his first visit to the paddock since the ill-fated 2010 finale.

The big rumor ahead of the Italian grand prix is that Dyer could be snapped up by Mercedes, where his former Ferrari boss Ross Brawn is now team principal.

"I have many job offers," Dyer confirmed to Brazilian journalist Livio Oricchio's O Estado de S.Paulo column, "but I cannot go under contract until the end of the year."

Ferrari's former head of track engineering said F1 has not changed at all since 2010.

"It's like Abu Dhabi was just last week," Dyer, 42, smiled to the Spanish sports newspaper Marca.

He sounded only slightly bitter about the whole Ferrari affair.

"Look, we're a team but ultimately I was responsible for the group of people who make the decisions, so in the end it was my responsibility.

"We're not stupid, we don't make decisions for fun.  At the time we thought it (Alonso's strategy) would give him the best chance to get the result we needed.

"We decided, we told Fernando and he made the stop.  We are a group and no one was forced to do anything they didn't want to do, we all thought it was right at the time.

"It was a bad experience but, in a sense, you have those experiences every week, every race, and looking at them again you would change them to make them better," added Dyer.

Alonso and Petrov nurse minor injuries at Monza
(GMM)  Fernando Alonso and Vitaly Petrov are each sporting minor injuries this weekend at Monza.

According to La Nueva Espana, Spaniard Alonso's injury was picked up recently as he cycled intensively between the Belgian and Italian grands prix.

"He came to Monza with a swollen knee that is now protected with a bandage," said the report.

Ferrari's Alonso told La Gazzetta dello Sport that he will keep pushing in 2011 despite being effectively out of the fight for the title.

"First place has escaped us but we can still play for second," he said.  "The target has changed but not the motivation."

Renault's Petrov, meanwhile, has a sore ankle and a black eye after competing for the F1 drivers' football team at Monza's Brianteo Stadium earlier this week.

And Turun Sanomat newspaper reports that he will wear a special black helmet in qualifying and during the Italian grand prix to mark the Yaroslavl ice hockey tragedy.

The plane crash near the Russian city on Wednesday claimed the lives of several international players.

"I can not even express how I feel," said Petrov.  "It is a terrible situation with an entire team destroyed."

FIA to enforce Pirelli camber guidelines at Monza
(GMM)  The FIA has moved to ensure the safety of Pirelli's tires this weekend.

Usually, F1's official tire supplier issues recommendations to the teams about how best to use its products at grands prix.

But at Spa two weeks ago, a controversy erupted when Red Bull was found to have breached the guidelines about front tire camber, causing worrying blistering.

Pirelli reacted by tightening its camber recommendations from 4 to 3.25 degrees for the Monza weekend.

Mark Webber confirmed after Friday practice that Red Bull had indeed "adjusted a few things following the camber setting guidelines for this race".

But Pirelli also turned to the FIA for help, resulting in a technical directive being issued at 7.45 on Saturday morning, the supplier's motor sport director Paul Hembery revealed on Twitter before third practice.

He confirmed that the FIA will enforce the 3.25 degree camber angle "just for this race".

The concern is that the tires will overheat on the ultra high-speed Italian layout, but Hembery said there was no blistering seen "outside the usual parameters" in Friday practice.

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