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DATE News (chronologically)
11/28/11
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Monday  
  • Tony Fernandes is all smiles
    Fernandes smiles after $28m payday for Caterham team
  • Barrichello reveals helmet design for 2012 season
  • Turkey no substitute for failed 2012 US GP - Ecclestone
  • Hamilton hugs Massa as feud and bad season ends
  • Confirmed - Pic replaces d'Ambrosio at Marussia
  • Alguersuari 'very clear' about plans for 2012
  • Lauda tips McLaren to challenge Red Bull in 2012
  • F1 owner denies replacing Ecclestone
  • 2012 driver lineup in place, for now - Fernandes
  • Glock critical after Virgin pit error
  • Alonso: There was no more to be had from car
  • Patrick Head to quit F1

Fernandes smiles after $28m payday for Caterham team
(GMM) His cars were lapped twice at Interlagos on Sunday, but Team Lotus boss Tony Fernandes could not hide his smile.

Despite scoring no points all season, the fact Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli finished the race ahead of their Virgin and HRT rivals yet again finally cemented the team's tenth-place finish in the 2011 constructors' championship.

It means Team Lotus, becoming Caterham for 2012, is now what is referred to as a 'Column 1' team in terms of the income distribution tables in the sport's Concorde Agreement.

Fernandes is quoted by Finland's Turun Sanomat newspaper: "The monetary value is about 25 million dollars."

And Australia's Sydney Morning Herald 'Business Day' said tenth place is worth around US $28 million to Caterham.

"It's critical. We've gone from earning less than $8 million to $36 million, something in that region," Fernandes is quoted as saying.

Barrichello reveals helmet design for 2012 season
(GMM) Rubens Barrichello left the Interlagos paddock late on Sunday without saying goodbye.

It is believed the 39-year-old Brazilian's longest-ever F1 career might have ended as the checkered flag waved at Interlagos, as Adrian Sutil and Valtteri Bottas appear more likely candidates for the Williams seat in 2012.

But former Jordan, Stewart, Ferrari and Brawn driver Barrichello is refusing to give up.

Even in Williams' official post-race media statement, he is quoted as saying: "There's been a lot of talk over the weekend, but I believe I will be back again next season."

He has even selected his helmet colors.

During his post-race chat with more Brazilian reporters than usual, Barrichello showed them a picture drawn this weekend by his six-year-old son Fernando.

"I know that your first question is (going to be) 'Are you ready to stop?' I'm not," he insisted.

"So I will show you the helmet that Fefe made for me to start next year. That is the answer to the question," laughed Barrichello.

Eccelstone says no Turkey
Turkey no substitute for failed 2012 US GP - Ecclestone
(GMM) Bernie Ecclestone on Sunday sounded certain next season will drop from the scheduled 20 grands prix.

He insisted Korea and Bahrain will take place as planned, but cast huge doubt on the ability of the US grand prix organizers to overcome their problems.

"They might pay something now, but it's the future we are looking for," F1's chief executive, referring to the inaugural Austin event, told reporters in Sao Paulo.

"They haven't gotten enough security. We are looking for security in the long term."

France's L'Equipe quotes the 81-year-old as playing down speculation Turkey - having fallen off the calendar due to a sanctioning fee dispute with Ecclestone - could fill the void if the 2012 US grand prix is ultimately dropped.

"I think everybody will be pleased," said Ecclestone when asked about the calendar probably shrinking from 20 to 19 races next year.

"The teams are complaining that there are too many races so this will solve the problem."

Massa held off Hamilton until the Brit's gearbox gave up
Hamilton hugs Massa as feud and bad season ends
(GMM) Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa on Sunday came close to following recent advice to 'kiss and make up' after their spat-fuelled 2011 season.

The pair, jointly awarded the tongue-in-cheek BBC "naughty boy" prize earlier this weekend, shared a hug after the season finale in Brazil.

"I'm going to make it up with him," said the McLaren driver before approaching Massa during the Ferrari driver's media appearance for Portuguese language reporters.

Those watching the embrace, in the context of the duo's spate of on and off-track run-ins, smiled and clapped.

"That was a really nice gesture," agreed Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali, according to Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

Said Hamilton's boss Martin Whitmarsh: "It was not planned at all, Lewis had simply changed his mind and wanted to take a step forward.

"I think both of them are adults and wanted to just look ahead to the future," added the McLaren chief.

Massa is quoted by Brazil's Globo: "I never had anything against him, there has always been respect in all these years.

"After everything that happened this year, I found it very cool for him to come here to talk to me. I would not go there because I did nothing wrong."

Hamilton's gesture followed a notable change of mood for the Briton, who sounded determined to bury in the past his tumultuous 2011 season.

"There have been times this season when I have not performed as well as I could. But I got that out of the way and made sure they (McLaren) know that I am aware of it," he said.

Confirmed - Pic replaces d'Ambrosio at Marussia
(GMM) Virgin on Sunday finally confirmed the open secret about its 2012 driver lineup.

With Timo Glock already signed for next season, the team - to be renamed Marussia - announced that French rookie Charles Pic is replacing Jerome d'Ambrosio.

Pic, 21, is mentored by Olivier Panis and reportedly backed financially by his family's business Groupe Charles Andre, a leading European freight company.

A GP2 driver in the past two seasons and fourth in 2011, Pic made his F1 debut recently at the Abu Dhabi young driver test.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank Jerome d'Ambrosio for his hard work and important contribution to our team over the past 12 months or more," said team boss John Booth.

"He has an exciting future to look forward to I'm sure and we wish him every success."

Alguersuari 'very clear' about plans for 2012
(GMM) Jaime Alguersuari has hinted strongly that he knows he is being retained by the Toro Rosso team in 2012.

Earlier at Interlagos, the Spaniard said he would leave formula one if the team's owner Red Bull decides to replace him, with the energy drink company's newest rookies Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne waiting in the wings.

But after the 2011 season finale at Interlagos on Sunday, 21-year-old Alguersuari told Europa Press he is "very clear" what he will be doing next year.

"It's been an incredible year and I am very clear where I will be in 2012," he is quoted as saying.

"Now that the season is finished, and for those who worry about my future, I will say that I am very clear about where I will be in 2012," Alguersuari repeated.

He said he had achieved his objectives for 2011; his second full season in F1.

"I asked for three things: to improve my final position in the standings, to score more points than in 2010, and to beat my teammate. I basically achieved them all."

Much more uncertain is the future of his teammate Sebastien Buemi, who Alguersuari described as "a formidable driver and an excellent person".

Lauda tips McLaren to challenge Red Bull in 2012
(GMM) Niki Lauda has tipped McLaren to mount a serious challenge to Red Bull's dominance in 2012.

His prediction immediately followed a Red Bull one-two in Brazil, with Mark Webber winning and Sebastian Vettel - despite a nearly race-long gearbox problem - nonetheless able to beat McLaren's Jenson Button to second place.

"I think we can be satisfied," said the team's Dr Helmut Marko, "because we have already been using some of the parts that we will use in 2012."

Triple world champion Lauda, however, warned Red Bull to expect a closer fight from McLaren in 2012.

"McLaren started this season really badly, but afterwards was the only team that could catch Red Bull," he told German broadcaster RTL.

"Next year they will be Red Bull's biggest opponent, if they start with a good car from the beginning.

"If they start at the same level, then it becomes a developing struggle between them and that's where McLaren has the lead, technically," added Lauda.

Despite Webber's win in Brazil, it is Button who completed the season as championship runner-up to Vettel.

"He beat Lewis this year and was very consistent," said Lauda, "while Lewis was up and down with his personal problems.

"Jenson drives with a smooth line while Lewis is like a maniac," added the great Austrian, "so I think it is Jenson who will be significantly involved in the behavior of the new car."

F1 owner denies replacing Ecclestone
(GMM) F1 owner CVC on Sunday insisted it has no plans to replace the sport's chief executive Bernie Ecclestone.

The one line media statement, reported by Bloomberg, made reference to recent media speculation -- presumably related to the 81-year-old's involvement in the Gerhard Gribkowsky bribery scandal and a separate $100 million lawsuit.

The traditional end of season driver photo shoot
2012 driver lineup in place, for now - Fernandes
(GMM) Tony Fernandes on Sunday moved to clarify the uncertainty surrounding his F1 team's driver lineup for 2012.

With Team Lotus becoming Caterham next season, current drivers Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli both have contracts to stay put.

But there have been rumors that Finn Kovalainen has attracted interest from rival teams, possibly Renault.

Boss Fernandes told Reuters at Interlagos: "I'll hold on to him whatever."

There has also been speculation about Jarno Trulli's seat, with reports Fernandes is in talks with Red Bull to accommodate one of the energy drink's new hopefuls Daniel Ricciardo or Jean-Eric Vergne.

"Right now we have a contract and he (Trulli) will race," Fernandes said, without elaborating.

Rival boss Martin Whitmarsh, meanwhile, closed the 2011 season by denying McLaren's preparations for next season will be affected by aerodynamicist John Iley's defection to Caterham.

"John looked after wind tunnel management. He wasn't chief aerodynamicist," he is quoted by the Mirror.

"We are very comfortable we have good aerodynamics program for next season," added Whitmarsh.

Timo Glock
Glock critical after Virgin pit error
(GMM) Timo Glock closed his 2011 season on Sunday by heavily criticizing the Virgin team.

The stewards are tipped to penalize the team after the German driver was released from a pitstop during the Brazilian grand prix with a rear wheel nut missing.

The incident caused Glock to retire with three wheels, and he angrily told German television RTL: "I can not say very much.

"It's just pretty difficult that after two years such a mistake is made," added the 29-year-old, who is staying with the team for 2012 when it becomes Marussia.

Former Toyota driver Glock joined the startup team in 2010.

Alonso could extract nothing more from Ferrari car
Alonso: There was no more to be had from car
Fernando Alonso said he gave all he had at the Brazilian Grand Prix and the fourth place finish was the most he could get out of Ferrari at Interlagos on Sunday.

"Yet another race in which we did everything to perfection, from the start to the strategy and the work of the team," the two-time world champion said. "The final result is more down to the performance of the others than our own, because we could not have done more."

Alonso had a chance to finish second in the drivers' championship but ended in fourth place after Sunday's result.

He won only once this season, at the British GP, but also managed other nine podium finishes in a season in which the Red Bulls dominated. Ferrari was slightly behind the McLaren in most races.

"This grand prix produced an accurate reflection of the season," Alonso said. "We have almost always done our maximum, fighting for a podium finish in a car that was not as good as the top two."

He knows it won't be easy reducing the gap to Red Bull and McLaren in the offseason.

"We need a car that is about five or six tenths quicker," he said. "Achieving that won't be a walk in the park, but I have every confidence in our engineers and in a team that dominated the last decade in Formula 1 and holds every possible record in this sport."

Patrick Head gone from F1. Once Adrian Newey left the team, Williams was never the same and it was time for Head to go
Patrick head to quit F1
Williams stalwart Patrick Head, one of the Formula 1 paddock's best known figures, has decided to move away from the sport after the end of the 2011 campaign according to AUTOSPORT.

Head, who has been with the current Grove-based outfit since its formation in 1977, will end his F1 involvement this winter when he switches from his current role as director of engineering to assume responsibilities with the company's booming hybrid business.

His decision, on the back of a restructure that was forced upon it by its worst ever campaign in F1, means that Head will not travel to races any more in an official capacity.

Although there had been rumors over the past 12 months that Head was pondering retirement, the 65-year-old insists he is committed to continuing with the company but in a role that will take him away from F1 responsibilities.

"Certainly it is not the word retirement but I am not going to be directly part of the Williams F1 program next year," said Head, when asked by AUTOSPORT

However, it even sounds more dull, because albeit most motorsport activities are quite interesting, for the company, it is buses and intercity railways and that is where the commercial side shall be."

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