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DATE News (chronologically)
05/04/12
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Friday  
  • Jamie Alguersuari
    Mixed feelings for F1 after Mugello test
  • Alguersuari axe 'incomprehensible' - father
  • Schumacher's Pirelli spat 'exaggerated' - Vettel
  • Fernandes rues lack of Malaysian support
  • Ferrari getting ready for 'double-DRS'
  • Perez treated after 'acrid' smoke incident

Mixed feelings for F1 after Mugello test
(GMM)  F1 figures have mixed feelings after this week's Mugello test.

Amid speculation the Ferrari owned circuit would like a spot on the race calendar, it emerged that the famous Maranello based team pushed hard for the Tuscan facility to host the first in-season test in many years.

"It's very beautiful and the food is very good," said Red Bull team boss Christian Horner, "but we are spending a lot of money and honestly we didn't feel the need to come here."

Indeed, the only circuits comparable to high speed Mugello on the F1 calendar are Monza, Spa and parts of Silverstone.

And testing at Barcelona prior to next weekend's Spanish grand prix would have made infinitely more logistical sense.

Lotus team boss Eric Boullier said Mugello was "money spent needlessly".

Of course, those in the Ferrari camp thought differently.

"I would do more tests during the season," said Fernando Alonso.  "One lap here is worth 100 at other places, without considering that one day here is worth a year's work on the simulator".

But Mark Webber said Mugello is too fast for a decent test circuit, but he was among those who enjoyed the layout.

And the Australian couldn't understand McLaren's opposition, which extended to both Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button giving up their running to test drivers.

"It was an absolute no-brainer for (Sebastian Vettel and I) to be here," said the Red Bull driver.

"Mileage is so limited these days that it's good for me to be in the car.  Any chance we get to drive the car in the real world, we'll do it," added Webber.

Alguersuari axe 'incomprehensible' - father
(GMM)  Jaime Alguersuari's father has slammed Red Bull's decision to axe his son.

Jaime Alguersuari snr said the decision by Dr Helmut Marko to oust the young Spaniard after a strong season and at the age of 21 was "unfair and incomprehensible".

But "whoever killed him buried him badly," Alguersuari snr added, referring to his son's new full time roles as co-commentator on British radio and with Pirelli.

Alguersuari snr, who is involved with the organization of the Renault World Series, said his son is due to test Pirelli's 2010 Renault test car next week.

According to EFE news agency, Alguersuari snr also said his son's career to date has been more impressive than Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne, who are Toro Rosso's new drivers.

Schumacher's Pirelli spat 'exaggerated' - Vettel
(GMM)  Sebastian Vettel has hit back at what he thinks was an "exaggerated" reaction to Michael Schumacher after the recent Bahrain grand prix.

Schumacher, Vettel's countryman and friend, had heavily criticized the sport's official supplier Pirelli, despite the Italian marque's 2012 tires being widely credited for the exciting grands prix seen so far this year.

"It's been a bit exaggerated," world champion Vettel, referring to the reaction to Schumacher's comments, is quoted by Sport Bild.

"Ultimately, we all have the same tires, but of course as a driver you always want more grip, whether from the tires or from the car.

"It is in our nature to want more -- more especially than the others," he smiled.

"When I talk about this with Michael, it's not so dramatic.  He has been around for a long time and has seen a lot, also when it comes to tires.

"I don't think he is so easily shocked," insisted Vettel.

* Energy drink Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz made a rare visit to the sport's action on Thursday, catching the final day of Mugello testing.

Fernandes rues lack of Malaysian support
(GMM)  Tony Fernandes has admitted he would have liked corporate Malaysia to have backed his formula one team.

The Malaysian entrepreneur founded a UK based start-up team in 2010, calling it Team Lotus before a bitter spat developed with the Lotus name's owner Proton.

"While I was building a formula one team, I was being sued by my own countrymen," he told The Star newspaper.

"We're the only true formula one team developed in Malaysia."

Now called Caterham, the team's only Malaysian sponsorship is from AirAsia -- Fernandes' own low-cost airline.

"Never mind that we were not sponsored (by Malaysia), that's a company's prerogative," he said.  "But, we were sued."

Some have accused Caterham of not having progressed much since 2010, but Fernandes strongly disagrees.

"Two years ago we had nothing.  We're now 1.5 seconds away from Red Bull who are the world champions.  We're closing the gap.

"You can't build Rome in a day," he insisted.

Ferrari getting ready for 'double-DRS'
(GMM)  Ferrari might be gearing up to incorporate a 'double-DRS' setup aboard its improving F2012 car.

If true, the famous Italian team would be the first team to successfully emulate the controversial Mercedes system, which has been declared fully legal by the governing FIA.

Germany's Auto Motor und Sport said a new rear wing was among the very last upgrades to be trialed by Fernando Alonso as the Mugello test concluded late on Thursday.

"The wing has only minor changes.  You have to look closely," read the report.

The magazine reported rumors that the wing might eventually accommodate the so-called 'double-DRS' or 2012-style F-duct, which would work in conjunction with a new and so far unseen front wing.

"That (wing) will debut along with a new diffuser and nose in Barcelona," added Auto Motor und Sport.

There were happy faces in the Ferrari garage on Thursday, as - despite a minor off by Alonso - the upgrades appeared to work well.

"Barcelona will be a key moment in the season, but not a decisive one," the Spanish driver insisted.

"It's not a case that we will suddenly find ourselves back on pole position, because there is no magic button."

Echoing the earlier words of Mark Webber, Alonso said the "fastest car" at Mugello this week was the Lotus.

Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko agrees: "It looks like Lotus are the quickest."

Veteran Swiss correspondent Roger Benoit wrote in Blick newspaper: "Lotus, with Kimi Raikkonen in super shape, is the championship dark horse."

Perez treated after 'acrid' smoke incident
(GMM)  Sergio Perez had to be treated at Mugello on Thursday following a smoky incident.

Blick newspaper reports that, early on the final day of the rare in-season test, "acrid black smoke" emanated from Sauber's upgraded C31 car at the Italian circuit.

"The smoke was so strong it could be smelt in the media centre," wrote veteran correspondent Roger Benoit.

"Sergio Perez had to have his eyes treated with drops because of the fumes."

The Mexican driver admitted: "It was very unpleasant."

Blick said the cause of the smoke was a burned plastic cover.

Perez went on to complete 118 laps on Thursday.

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