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DATE News (chronologically)
09/27/11
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Tuesday  
  • Button has no plans to coddle teammate Hamilton
    Button has no plans to console under-fire Hamilton
  • Antics could cost Hamilton McLaren seat - Herbert
  • Manager to be 'upset' if Force India drops di Resta
  • F1 drivers 'disconnected' with 'sense of risk' - Prost
  • Angry Tost says F1 needs 'professional stewards'
  • Vettel climbing all-time F1 winner's list
  • Vettel also climbing F1 earnings list - report
  • Gribkowsky trial to begin next month
  • Title contenders not 100pc in Singapore
  • Frustrated Massa 'fighting for seat' says Coulthard
  • Paul McCartney and Britney Spears for Abu Dhabi GP
  • Teams concerned over 2012 'flyaways'

Button has no plans to console under-fire Hamilton
(GMM)  Jenson Button has revealed he will not be talking to his teammate Lewis Hamilton about the 2008 world champion's latest controversy.

It has been suggested that, without a conventional manager, Briton Hamilton is in need of guidance in the wake of his professional split with his father.

The 26-year-old is once again in the doldrums after Singapore and his spat with Felipe Massa, while the much more experienced Button in the sister McLaren is happily the only driver still mathematically in contention for Sebastian Vettel's title.

So will Button be phoning Hamilton this week?

"To be fair I wasn't planning on it," he is quoted by the Telegraph.  "We never talk away from the circuit.

"When he gets back home I am sure he will have people around him that will pick him up."

Button, 31, played down the depiction of the British media that - with Red Bull's Vettel surely headed for the title - the real point of interest now is which McLaren driver wins the internal team battle.

"For us the important thing is to work together until the end of the year.  If people try to turn us against each other ...

"My aim is to get more points than anyone over the last nine races," admitted Button.

He answered "I don't know" when asked if it is his increasingly comfortable position within F1 and McLaren that has rattled Hamilton.

"I am definitely driving well at the moment," said Button.

"When I talk to Lewis, I don't think he has changed the way he drives or anything."

Antics could cost Hamilton McLaren seat - Herbert
(GMM)  Lewis Hamilton's constant trouble could eventually cost him his seat at McLaren.

That is the warning of former grand prix winner Johnny Herbert, as Hamilton's critics round on him following the latest run-in in Singapore.

Herbert, now an occasional F1 steward, sided with Ferrari's Felipe Massa, who physically grabbed his 2008 title nemesis after their clash on Sunday.

"The Brazilian had every right to be angry with him after the race", the 47-year-old former Sauber and Jaguar driver wrote in his column for The National.

Herbert referred to recent speculation about Hamilton's future beyond his current McLaren contract, warning that his options might dry up if he continues to crash.

"I am sure McLaren would want to keep him, but their loyalty might start wavering if he keeps making such costly errors," he said.

Four time world champion Alain Prost told the French sports daily L'Equipe that he thinks Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso are currently better drivers than Hamilton.

"He is too aggressive," said the famous Frenchman.  "He should have his manager try to calm him a little, because he is spoiling an incredible talent."

Manager to be 'upset' if Force India drops di Resta
(GMM)  Paul di Resta's manager thinks the rookie Scot has done enough in 2011 to secure his seat at Force India for next season.

But team boss Vijay Mallya has told the 25-year-old, as well as his current teammate Adrian Sutil and also reserve driver Nico Hulkenberg, that he will only decide the 2012 lineup in mid December.

Di Resta's manager Anthony Hamilton admitted the driver is not guaranteed a race seat next year but he did reveal a contract option that includes 2012.

"Naturally we'd all like to know now where we stand, but there are option dates in the contracts, and there is another month or so to go before they can be exercised," he is quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.

"I'm confident they'll be exercised on the date in question - if they're not then I'll be very upset - but I'm sure everything will work out well for Paul," added Hamilton, the father of McLaren driver Lewis.

F1 drivers 'disconnected' with 'sense of risk' - Prost
(GMM)  Alain Prost has admitted he was amazed when he tuned in on television to recent grands prix.

The four time world champion recently tested the Renault with which he contested the 1983 season, and said it was an eye-opener in contrast to the sport's most recent races.

"I wonder now if the drivers are not too disconnected with a sense of risk," Prost told the French sports daily L'Equipe.

"In Belgium and Italy they seemed to be taking risks in the strangest places.  When Webber overtook Alonso at Spa ... honestly.  And the same with the pass of Vettel at Monza, with two wheels on the grass.

"You can get away with these things nine times, but the tenth ... I'd like to see them drive my car of 1983, just so they realize what they are doing," he added.

56-year-old Prost, who said becoming a team owner is the biggest regret of his career, said he would be "very frustrated" if he was a driver in today's era.

"The driver was always important but it's not the same now," said the Frenchman.  "You can see it in the gaps between the teammates -- sometimes it is a tenth now where in the past it could be a second or nearly two."

Prost is also critical of Michael Schumacher's return to F1.

"If the goal was to return to be world champion, then it was ridiculous," he said.  "If instead he said he was doing it to help Mercedes and Rosberg, then at least it might be seen as a noble gesture."

Angry Tost says F1 needs 'professional stewards'
(GMM)  Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost has admitted he is angry after Singapore.

The team's Spanish driver Jaime Alguersuari was given a drive-through penalty for an incident not captured by the cameras involving Jarno Trulli.

"It is a joke that he is punished because he tried to attack Trulli and lightly touched him," Tost is quoted by the Swiss newspaper Blick.

"We urgently need professional stewards," he added.

In Singapore, the stewards were former grand prix winner Heinz-Harald Frentzen, lawyer and German racing official Dr Gerd Ennser, and World Motor Sport Council member Radovan Novak.

Vettel climbing all-time F1 winner's list
(GMM)  During his meteoric 2011 season, double champion-elect Sebastian Vettel has quietly climbed the list of all time greats.

Before the season began, the young German was 29th on the all-time winner's list with his ten victories, alongside Gerhard Berger and James Hunt.

After Sunday's Singapore grand prix, his career tally has grown to 19 -- one more than his friend Kimi Raikkonen.

Also now left in 24-year-old Vettel's wake are the famous Stirling Moss (16 wins), Lewis Hamilton (16), Jack Brabham (14), Graham Hill (14), Emerson Fittipaldi (14), David Coulthard (13), Mario Andretti (12), Jacques Villeneuve (11) and others.

And the next to fall will be Mika Hakkinen's tally of 20 career wins.

"It's not really my objective but it's incredible news in a way, because obviously everyone knows drivers like Kimi and Mika," said Vettel.

After Hakkinen, he will be knocking on the door of the all-time top ten, although Michael Schumacher holds the record with an incredible tally of 91 wins.

"(That) record is far, far away," smiled Vettel.  "A long way to go but I'm very happy at the moment."

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, with 27 wins in his pocket, has been impressed in 2011 not only by Vettel but the superiority of the Red Bull car.

"I don't know how often you will see another car in pole position 14 times out of 14," he is quoted by La Stampa newspaper.  "It's incredible.

"They are too strong," Auto Motor und Sport quotes the Spaniard as saying.  "We have to keep calm and set the course for 2012."

Vettel also climbing F1 earnings list - report
(GMM)  He might be the fastest in 2011 but Sebastian Vettel is not the highest-earning driver on the grid.

That is the claim of Germany's Bild-Zeitung daily, reporting that the 24-year-old double champion-elect is making 'just' EUR 16 million this season.

Ahead of him are Fernando Alonso (25 million) and Michael Schumacher (21m), but Bild claims that Vettel is fast catching up.

The newspaper said the Red Bull driver earns more with every success, including a EUR 6 million bonus for winning the championship this year and a further 2 million on top of that if he wins yet again in 2012.

Vettel also reportedly makes a EUR 500,000 bonus for every victory, which has amounted to no less than 4.5 million with his 9 wins so far in 2011.

Even a mere podium earns the German an extra EUR 250,000, according to Bild.

Triple world champion Niki Lauda told Austria's Kleine Zeitung that success has not changed Vettel.

"Unlike some other people," he quipped.  "He (Vettel) is a very grounded person -- personable, honest and normal."

Gribkowsky trial to begin next month
(GMM)  Jailed banker Gerhard Gribkowsky will appear in court late next month over the formula one bribery scandal.

The Financial Times said his October 24 court date has been confirmed by the Munich court.

"Mr. (Bernie) Ecclestone has been invited to give testimony the following month", said the report.

The F1 chief executive is under investigation, although he argues he was effectively blackmailed by Gribkowsky amid the sale of the sport five years ago.

Ecclestone would not confirm whether he will attend the trial as a witness.

"I am sure when I will get the request, I will reply to them," he said.

Gribkowsky, who has been in jail since January, is expected to deny Ecclestone's claim that the money changed hands so that he kept quiet about the F1 supremo's tax affairs.

The Financial Times said the prosecutors allege that although Gribkowsky "had no background in ... motor sport (he) had ambitions either to succeed Mr. Ecclestone or become an independent consultant".

Title contenders not 100pc in Singapore
(GMM)  Sebastian Vettel fended off pain to win the Singapore grand prix, a German daily claims.

Bild newspaper said the Red Bull driver's shoulder became covered in blisters after the hot and bumpy practice sessions on the floodlit street circuit.

His physio Tommi taped up the affected area before the race: "It was pretty exhausting," said Vettel, 24.

The German's only remaining championship contender Jenson Button also had a less than perfect preparation for the Singapore race, it has emerged this week.

British reports say a stomach bug befell the McLaren driver on Saturday night.

"I was a kilo and a half lighter than I normally am in the morning," he is quoted as saying by the BBC.

"So I (took medication), ate a lot of pasta because carbohydrates help you soak up liquid and drank a lot of special drinks from (McLaren doctor) Aki, his salty water drinks."

Whilst talking to the reporters, Button also sat with an ice-pack on his knee, revealed the Daily Telegraph.

Frustrated Massa 'fighting for seat' says Coulthard
(GMM)  A frustrated Felipe Massa is fighting for his Ferrari seat, his former rival David Coulthard said in his latest Telegraph column.

The Scot, now a Red Bull consultant and commentator for British television, wrote about Brazilian Massa's confrontation with Lewis Hamilton after the pair clashed in Singapore.

Playing down the subsequent media reaction, Coulthard said it was "hardly the Thriller in Manila.  The only thing missing from the Scrap in Singapore was some handbags," he joked.

Brazilian Massa was highly critical of Hamilton throughout the Singapore weekend and on Monday insisted "I have not changed my opinion by one iota" since the fracas.

Coulthard advises Hamilton not to worry.

"I could not imagine a less threatening character than Felipe and I'm sure it will blow over quickly," he wrote.

"I don't think Felipe should have done it, certainly not on camera, but I can understand his frustration.  He is fighting for his Ferrari seat and the collision during the race, while unfortunate, was certainly Lewis's fault," added the veteran of almost 250 grands prix.

Paul McCartney and Britney Spears for Abu Dhabi GP
Access to concerts of Paul McCartney and Britney Spears will be available to fans with race day tickets for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The Yas Marina race will, in the case of the former Beatle, coincide with his first performance in the United Arab Emirates.

The confirmation of the concerts comes after it was revealed that Lady Gaga will be performing at the inaugural Indian Grand Prix next month, with Spears arriving in the UAE having sold close to 100 million records. On Saturday 12 November, respective American and British rock bands Incubus and The Cult will also be on stage.

In addition, taking place over the weekend will be the UAE’s first screening of the award-winning Senna documentary film as part of the Cinema by the Sea festival.

Teams concerned over 2012 'flyaways'
The 2012 Formula One calendar may not be cast in stone just yet as teams are seeking clarification over the number of 'flyaway' races.

Under the Concorde Agreement teams have to give approval to a calendar if it contains more than 17 races and if more than half of these events take place outside Europe and the United States. However, the ratified list released by World Motor Sport Council in August consists of 20 races with 11 of them classified as 'flyaways'.

According to Autosport, the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) has written to both F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone and FIA President Jean Todt in the belief the calendar was drawn up without the Concorde Agreement procedure having been followed.

FOTA vice-chairman Eric Boullier confirmed that the teams have several queries over the 'flyaways'.

The backend of the season from September 23 to November 25 consists of visits to Singapore, Japan, Korea, India, Abu Dhabi, the US and Brazil.

"There is a process for the validation of the calendar, especially with more flyaways, and we will be involved in this because there is a cost issue," Boullier explained to Autosport. "There are different proposals at the moment, but it is not so easy to move one date."

Ecclestone rejected the teams' concerns, saying. "They don't have to go if they don't want to," he said.

When questioned about claims that they didn't follow the right procedure, the 80-year-old replied: "Then they should go to the police. They are lucky we have got races. Otherwise they would all go out of business."

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