Latest F1 news in brief - Friday
- Ecclestone confirms F1 floatation delay
- Small teams ramp up pressure on Red Bull spending
- 'No one knows why' small teams best - Marko
- Curtailed 'creativity' causing championship chaos - Alonso
- Alonso tips Massa to maintain Monaco form
- Steering issue creating Lotus-Raikkonen rift
- No 'race win' ultimatum at Williams - Senna
- 'Fake Charlie Whiting' to meet real thing in Canada
Ecclestone confirms F1 floatation delay
(GMM) Bernie Ecclestone has confirmed that plans to float formula one on the Singapore stock exchange have been put on the back burner for now.
The F1 chief executive said in Monaco last weekend that the sport's owners had adopted a "wait and see" attitude in light of the problems with Facebook's high profile listing.
And this week, London based jeweler Graff Diamonds postponed its Hong Kong floatation, citing adverse market conditions.
Ecclestone told Bloomberg on Thursday that F1 is also going to wait for the markets to "settle down".
"I'm absolutely confident we will do it this year," said the 81-year-old.
"There's no rush, the markets aren't good at the moment, it doesn't inspire people," the Briton added. "We don't have to do it now."
Small teams ramp up pressure on Red Bull spending
(GMM) The small teams are continuing to heap pressure on Red Bull, casting the energy drink company as a barrier to reducing costs in formula one.
On Monday in Monaco, the teams got together with Bernie Ecclestone and FIA president Jean Todt, with cost-cutting a headline subject of discussion.
Germany's Auto Motor und Sport reports that Todt indicated that the Paris based federation is willing to police cost cutting as part of the formal regulations in 2013 and beyond.
Ten of the 12 teams are pushing for that scenario, the only exceptions being Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso -- the two teams owned by Dietrich Mateschitz.
Sauber chiefs Peter Sauber and Monisha Kaltenborn were heavily critical of Red Bull last week, insisting some in F1 "don't care whether (the sport) is even here in ten years".
For the smaller teams, the situation is urgent because if there is no agreement before June 30, cost-cutting FIA regulations cannot be in force for 2013.
Williams shareholder Toto Wolff has now joined Sauber in pushing Red Bull to move.
"At the moment they spend an estimated EUR 250 million (per season)," he said, "so the cost ceiling would save Mr. Mateschitz a hundred million euros.
"It would be doing him a favor," said Mateschitz's fellow Austrian, "because his model of unlimited spending no longer has the same advantage due to the current rules.
"The results of the first six races should have convinced him," added Wolff.
'No one knows why' small teams best - Marko
(GMM) Dr Helmut Marko has responded to claims a couple of regular midfield teams are actually fielding the very best cars in 2012.
Germany's Auto Motor und Sport this week cited GPS evidence in reporting that the Williams and the Sauber feature the most aerodynamic cars, based on data from Barcelona's demanding turns 3 and 9.
And at Monaco, Sauber's Sergio Perez recorded not only the fastest lap of the race, but he was the quickest circulating car "for long periods", according to team boss Peter Sauber.
Journalist Michael Schmidt said: "With Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel or Lewis Hamilton in the cockpit, Williams or Sauber would probably be leading the championship."
Red Bull's Marko responded: "They have good cars, but no one knows why.
"They are not as highly bred as a Red Bull and McLaren, but apparently easy to drive and understand. In the present situation, anything is possible."
Curtailed 'creativity' causing championship chaos - Alonso
(GMM) The 2012 field is so even because the rules are so restrictive, according to Fernando Alonso.
The Spaniard admitted to worrying about the "credibility" of the sport, in light of the common view that the tires supplied by Pirelli this year are making winning and losing grands prix akin to a "lottery".
But Ferrari driver Alonso has another theory.
Asked by the Spanish news agency EFE why he thinks the championship is so closely contested, he said it is "partly because of the restrictions that occur each year in the rules".
"When someone discovers a double diffuser, the following year it is banned.
"When someone does the 'F-duct', the next year's it's banned. Last year there were the exhausts blowing into the diffuser, and this year they are gone," said Alonso at an event in Madrid.
"Every year there are more and more limits on creativity and the potential development of a car. We are seeing more and more similar cars, all the time (F1) becoming closer to GP2."
The 30-year-old insisted, however, that the cream always finds a way of rising to the top.
"Despite it being an incredibly tight championship, the first (placed) constructor is Red Bull, and then McLaren and Ferrari.
"And the first six or seven in the drivers' championship are the same names from last year," added Alonso.
Alonso tips Massa to maintain Monaco form
(GMM) Fernando Alonso has tipped his beleaguered teammate Felipe Massa to continue to recover from his career low.
Prior to Monaco, speculation hinted that the Brazilian Massa could be imminently ousted by Ferrari, having struggled so much at the wheel of the F2012.
But in the Principality, where Massa has a home, the 30-year-old seemed to bounce back onto form, quelling for now the calls for him to be dumped.
And Spaniard Alonso, who is unquestionably Ferrari's lead driver, backed his teammate to continue to recover form.
"It's hard to think that Felipe will not get many points, podiums and fight for victories in the second half of the year," he told the EFE news agency at an event in Madrid.
"I have repeated a thousand times that he has the talent to do so.
"It has been an unfortunate start to the year for him for a number of reasons: bad luck, by adapting a little slower than normal to the tires.
"The results he had were not normal for Felipe," insisted Alonso.
"He has my full support, and the support of the team, to change the situation. Or to change the results, because many times in practice or in qualifying he was very close to me and then something happened.
"Rather than the pure speed or the talent, the change that is needed for Felipe is the results," he insisted.
"In Monaco things seemed to have changed, so hopefully from now on it will be good for him," said Alonso.
In a separate interview with Spanish radio Cadena SER, Alonso was also asked about other drivers.
When asked if it is true that the driver he respects the most is Lewis Hamilton, the Spaniard answered "yes".
Alonso had the same single-word answer when asked if the last two titles were more about Red Bull than they were about Sebastian Vettel.
Finally, when asked if engineers generally have a greater influence than the drivers in today's formula one, Alonso once again answered simply: "Yes."
Steering issue creating Lotus-Raikkonen rift
(GMM) The mere issue of 'steering' risks creating a rift between Lotus and its star driver Kimi Raikkonen.
The 2007 world champion has complained about the steering system aboard the black and gold E20 from his very first lap this season.
For Monaco, the team debuted a special system tailored to the Finn's needs, but it lasted just a single out-lap on Thursday morning.
"He was asked to consider running the session with it as it was (but) he refused and took no further part", Sky Sports' technical expert Mark Hughes reported.
That has triggered speculation Lotus is close to "giving up" on fixing the issue for the famously laid-back Raikkonen, who might have to simply adapt instead.
"By no means are we 'giving up' on fine tuning the development of the steering system according to Kimi's exact preferences," a Lotus team source is quoted by the Finnish broadcaster MTV3.
But the Enstone based team also appears to have highlighted the impact of Raikkonen's refusal to practice on Thursday.
Monaco, according to a report on Lotus' official website, showed "the importance of getting the steering system exactly as he likes it, whilst also underlining the fact that even an experienced challenger can be affected by missing running time at such a technical circuit".
No 'race win' ultimatum at Williams - Senna
(GMM) Bruno Senna has played down suggestions he is under pressure to match the achievements of his teammate Pastor Maldonado.
While Maldonado confounded his critics by winning from pole in Barcelona, Brazilian Senna has failed to similarly shine in 2012, scoring half as many points so far at the wheel of the sister Williams.
But Senna, 28, denied that he must win in order to save his race seat, amid speculation Williams is keen to promote its reserve driver Valtteri Bottas.
"I know that I don't need to win this year," Senna is quoted by Globo Esporte.
"I have to have consistency, to score regularly, and have races that show a lot of potential.
"To win in formula one, everything has to be right: the car has to be fast, you have to be in the right position, using the tires correctly and the strategy working out for you.
"All those variables are difficult to put together, and everybody in the team knows that," he insisted.
"They are giving me the chance to learn this year so that next year I can be expected to be in a position to win a race," said Senna.
According to Globo, Senna pointed out that the fact he is sitting out most Friday morning sessions in deference to Bottas is affecting his ability to fully understand Pirelli's tires.
He said the effect of that lack of running was most obvious in Barcelona, where Maldonado won.
"Pastor has been able to learn very well about the condition of his tires. This all comes with experience and it's not something you can skip over," said Senna.
Meanwhile, when asked about a likely title winner in 2012, Senna said it has rarely been more difficult to predict the outcome of the world championship.
"In my opinion, the fastest car is the Lotus, but they're not always getting it into the right window," he said, referring to his former team that was in 2011 known as Renault.
'Fake Charlie Whiting' to meet real thing in Canada
(GMM) 'Fake Charlie Whiting' will meet the real thing next week.
Mark McArdle is the man behind the fake Twitter account which has caught the eye of FIA race director Whiting.
"I am still pinching myself -- I am floored that this is really happening," McArdle told the Globe and Mail.
The Canadian newspaper reports that Whiting was amused by his fake Twitter identity and therefore extended 43-year-old McArdle an official invite to the Montreal paddock next Thursday.
"We are going to meet up in Montreal for a chat -- I thought it would be quite fun," the real Whiting said.
"I will be fairly busy on Thursday, but I will be quite happy to show him around race control."
Whiting admits he was tipped off about the 'fake' Twitter account.
"I don't do Twitter and I barely know what it is, to be frank," he smiled. "But people have come up to me on occasion and said 'I love your tweets' and I always say that I don't do any.
"People don't realize that it's not me.
"Now, if he was doing and writing silly things, I might have something to say about it, but it's quite fun and he's not casting me in a bad light, so I'm pretty happy really."
The report said McArdle has been invited to also spend time with the McLaren, Red Bull, Mercedes, Force India and HRT teams on Thursday, while Caterham has offered up a paddock pass to his wife Helen.