Latest F1 news in brief - Tuesday
Vettel to appear on Letterman
|IndyCar team owner and Late Show host David Letterman|
- New gov't looking at French GP revival
- Red Bull wants Canada to complete perfect record
- 'Improving' Vettel happy at Red Bull
- Paul Di Resta looks forward to the Canadian Grand Prix
- Hulkenberg talks about the challenge of racing at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve
Vettel to appear on Letterman
(GMM) Sebastian Vettel will appear on David Letterman's famous New York talk show 'Late Show' next week.
The reigning and back-to-back world champion's appearance will be on Monday, the day after the Canadian grand prix in Montreal, a spokesman for the Red Bull team confirmed.
The first US grand prix since 2007 will take place in November at the new Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
Takuma Sato, a former F1 driver, drives for the IndyCar team co-owned by Bobby Rahal and Indianapolis-born Letterman.
New gov't looking at French GP revival
(GMM) The attempted revival of the French grand prix is not yet dead in the water.
Until former president Nicolas Sarkozy lost the country's recent general election, France looked destined for a spot on the 2013 calendar, with Paul Ricard set to alternate an annual race date with Belgium.
But F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone admitted in Monaco: "I think maybe the election that has taken place might have put that back a bit.
"I think you will have to wait and see if we see more. Only time will tell," said the 81-year-old.
New president Francois Hollande had warned that he would "review" the F1 project if elected, his sports minister Valerie Fourneyron adding subsequently that the issue "deserves more attention than ten minutes".
Indeed, Fourneyron appears to be honoring her promise to give the project more attention.
The sports daily L'Equipe reports that she will meet early this week with Nicolas Deschaux, the president of France's motor racing sanctioning body FFSA (Federation Francaise du Sport Automobile).
Attending with Deschaux will be a delegation representing the Var region as well as Paul Ricard, the circuit owned by Ecclestone's family trust.
And recent French grand prix host Magny Cours is also not yet out of the picture, with a delegation representing the circuit and the Nievre region also scheduled to meet with Fourneyron in a separate meeting on Friday.
Red Bull wants Canada to complete perfect record
(GMM) Red Bull sees this weekend's Canadian grand prix as a chance to set its almost perfect record straight.
Of the 20 circuits on the 2012 calendar, the energy drink owned team has won at all of them with the exception of newcomer Austin -- and Montreal.
Sebastian Vettel came close a year ago, succumbing to Jenson Button's challenge only on the very last lap.
"I led every lap until part of the last one," the reigning world champion ruefully recalled.
Team boss Christian Horner told La Presse newspaper: "We love coming to Montreal. The city comes alive.
"It's always a great atmosphere. Even if the circuit is not the most exciting of the season, it has always produced exciting racing.
"This is one of the only races that Red Bull has never won, even though we came very close last year."
The 2011 loss was even sourer for Red Bull given the marathon day at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, due to an excruciatingly long red flag delay and torrential rain.
"It would be wonderful to come back and rectify the situation," Horner smiled.
Indeed, a win on Sunday would also mark a definite comeback for the reigning world champions, whose recent victory in Monaco meant Red Bull is the only constructor to have won more a single grand prix so far in 2012.
"In Montreal, power is crucial," said Horner. "It's the complete opposite of Monaco. Who knows if we'll be competitive, but we'll be in attack mode.
"We are still young," said 38-year-old Briton Horner, referring to the Milton Keynes based team.
"This is our eighth car for our eighth season in formula one and we're still hungry. There is a great desire to do more.
"Our people enjoyed winning but we want more. Motivation at Red Bull has never been higher."
The team comes to Montreal having had the floor of its RB8 declared illegal by the FIA, following complaints to the governing body reportedly lodged by direct rivals Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes.
"It doesn't get easier," Horner admitted. "Everything we do is scrutinized much more than if we were in the middle of the pack."
'Improving' Vettel happy at Red Bull
(GMM) After denying rumors of a Ferrari contract, Sebastian Vettel has now played down persistent suggestions he is eyeing a switch to the famous Italian team in the near future.
"How will this work if I don't know anything about it?" the German smiled after authoritative British newspapers reported in Monaco that he had signed a pre-contract to move to Ferrari in 2014.
But the rumors only gained strength when Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko confirmed the existence of a clause in Vettel's contract allowing the 24-year-old to leave under certain conditions at the end of 2013.
"I'm fine where I am and I have no intention of leaving," Vettel is now quoted by La Presse newspaper ahead of the Canadian grand prix.
In the past, however, the reigning back-to-back world champion has refused to entirely rule out ever driving for one of F1's marquee names like Ferrari or Mercedes.
"I have worn a Red Bull helmet for most of my career," insisted Vettel. "It's difficult to imagine something else.
"It (leaving) would be like turning 18 or 19 and leaving home."
Team boss Christian Horner told the same French-language newspaper that Red Bull is very happy with Vettel.
"His character is his greatest strength," said the Briton.
"He is very determined, he is hungry, he is very professional, very dedicated," added Horner.
"He continues to improve and develop and is still so young that I doubt we have yet seen the best of Sebastian."
Paul Di Resta looks forward to the Canadian Grand Prix.
|Paul di Resta in Monaco|
Paul, you finished seventh last time out – your first points in Monaco. All in all an excellent weekend…
I think it was another weekend where we maximized things as a team. Considering the issues I had in qualifying, I felt much happier with the balance during the race and we made the strategy work. It was a tough race, managing the tires and keeping concentration, but as a team performance we can be very happy with what we achieved.
You’ve scored points in four out of six races so far this year – do you feel you can build on this momentum?
I think we’ve demonstrated that we can carry on where we left off last year and fight for points everywhere. The teams around us are all strong, but we’ve shown that we are consistent and can take on teams like Lotus, Williams and Sauber, who are all looking competitive. In terms of points scored we are well ahead of where we were this time last year we take a lot of positives from that. I believe we can keep picking up points and be even stronger in the second half of the year.
You’re preparing for your second Canadian Grand Prix. Tell us about the challenge of the circuit…
It’s quite an unusual track with some long straights and you need good top speed to be competitive. We run a special low-downforce package, similar to the one we use for Monza, so the car feels quite different and a bit loose without all the downforce. It always takes a few laps to get used to things again.
Hulkenberg talks about the challenge of racing at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve
|Nico Hulkenberg in Monaco|
Nico, you picked up four points in Monaco. Were you happy with your race?
From a team perspective we can be happy to have two cars in the points, but I think my race result could have been even better. I didn’t have any clear track, especially after my stop, which allowed Paul to get past: he had a few clear laps which was just enough to get by me. But apart from that there were no dramas and the car felt strong.
This will be the second time you’ve race in Canada. Is it a track you enjoy?
It’s one of my favorites and I love Montreal as a city. There’s a good atmosphere because the whole place gets behind the race and the city is always full of fans. It’s quite an unusual circuit being a mix between a permanent track and a street circuit, so there are lots of corners where the walls are very close. It’s easy to make a mistake because you have to use the curbs and get close to the walls to get a good lap. It’s two years since I raced there, but I was able to do Friday practice last year.
We’re a third of the way into the season - has the year lived up to your expectations so far…
There have been a lot of good moments already and there have also been times when I’ve been unlucky, but that’s what you expect in racing. Most of the races have been unpredictable, but I think our pace has been quite consistent so far. We were very close to making Q3 in Spain and Monaco, and we’ve been able to race well – in fact we are probably stronger in the races than qualifying. We’re not too far behind Sauber and Williams after six races and we saw last year how well the team was able to develop so I’m optimistic we can do the same this year.