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Latest F1 news in brief - Saturday
  • Red Bull must change brake ducts
    FIA tells Red Bull to change brake cooling design
  • Many favorites for Canada victory
  • HRT mechanic not seriously hurt in pitlane
  • Gary Anderson slams McLaren for Button repairs
  • Weather fury in Montreal waits for Friday practice
  • Wolff defends Senna after bad day in Canada
  • Domenicali admits eye on Vettel 'for the future'

FIA tells Red Bull to change brake cooling design
(GMM)  The widely-reported 'floor holes' were not the only technical feature on Red Bull's 2012 car to have caught the FIA's attention recently.

The reigning world champions were told by F1's governing body after Monaco that its floor design does not comply with a new directive issued by Charlie Whiting.

But Auto Motor und Sport reports that the energy drink-owned team has had to make yet another modification.

"The FIA has discovered another illegal detail on the Red Bull," the German report said on Friday.

The detail is in the brake cooling ducts of the Adrian Newey-penned RB8, which in the FIA's opinion were being improperly used by Red Bull as an aerodynamic aid.

The rules say the ducts must be used only for cooling.

Red Bull reportedly argued that its design was exclusively for cooling, but the FIA did not agree and ordered a re-design.

Auto Motor und Sport said the Milton-Keynes based team has been using the offending layout since the start of the 2012 season.

Many favorites for Canada victory
(GMM)  Friday showed there are many favorites for Canadian grand prix victory this weekend.

As F1 seeks an unprecedented seventh different winner for its seventh different round of 2012, the top teams will need to keep an eye on dark horses Sauber and Williams, Germany's Auto Motor und Sport reports.

Much less than a second separates much more than half of the entire field.

"Last year it (the gap) was two and a half seconds," said Peter Sauber.

Red Bull's Christian Horner predicted: "Q2 is going to be interesting.  A mistake, or traffic at the wrong time, and you're out."

An analysis of Friday's practice results shows that McLaren, Red Bull, Ferrari, Mercedes, Lotus, Williams and Sauber are all potential candidates for the win -- and Force India may be an outside chance as well.

"We want to have both cars in the top ten, which should be possible," said sporting director Otmar Szafnauer.

The ultimate favorite, however, is McLaren's Lewis Hamilton.

"We are on average a tenth slower (than Hamilton) on the long runs," said Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko.

And the Austrian added that Ferrari is "just behind us".

But Sauber team manager Beat Zehnder insisted: "They (the top teams) fail to realize that Perez and (Williams' Pastor) Maldonado are just as fast."

British commentator Martin Brundle added: "The Mercedes is making a good impression."

And Lotus team owner Gerard Lopez said: "This could be our weekend."

HRT mechanic not seriously hurt in pitlane
(GMM)  An HRT mechanic has escaped serious injury after being struck by Pedro de la Rosa's car in the pitlane on Friday.

Craig Stubley, the first mechanic on de la Rosa's car, had hearts racing after morning practice when an ambulance rushed to his aid.

The first rumors were that he was seriously injured, and many were then relieved to hear that his worst injury could be a broken leg.

Actually, there were no broken bones.  "No, no," said technical director Antonio Cuquerella.

Stubley was, however, taken to hospital, but later released.

"I think, happily, (he) is ok," said Cuquerella.  "It looked worse when it happened but he just got some bruises and a swollen knee.

"He's going to have some pain but in a few days he's going to be back to work."

Gary Anderson slams McLaren for Button repairs
(GMM)  McLaren on Friday continued to play down criticism team flaws are hurting its drivers' chances of winning the 2012 world championship.

The latest criticism comes after Lewis Hamilton dominated Friday's proceedings at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

In total contrast, his teammate Jenson Button managed only a handful of laps, with a double gearbox failure.

"We had an oil leak so we had to take the gearbox off then put it back on," revealed the 2009 world champion.  "And then we found another problem, so they had to take it off again then put it back on again!"

Gary Anderson, a former F1 technical chief who is now an analyst for British television BBC, was unimpressed.

"This is a top team with a world champion in it challenging for the world championship," he said.

"It has been three and three-quarter hours now changing the gearbox -- it should be 30 minutes.  It's not good enough.

"During that time Caterham have rebuilt the car of Heikki Kovalainen, who hit the wall," added Anderson.

McLaren's Jonathan Neale said Anderson is "entitled to his opinion".

"I think it helps if you're standing a bit nearer the problem," he added.

"We don't want these things to happen, they're not designed to happen, but formula one cars are designed to be right on the edge."

Team boss Martin Whitmarsh, however, tipped 2011 Montreal winner Button to bounce back on Saturday and beyond.

"It's not a disaster," he is quoted by Reuters.

"Lewis was doing some good long runs and some good short runs so we've got quite a lot of data anyway within the team and that feeds across to Jenson."

Weather fury in Montreal waits for Friday practice
(GMM)  Friday's actual track action escaped the fury of the Montreal weather.

The paddock, however, was swept with rivers of falling water as the skies above the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve opened with an anger just after the second practice session.

Veteran Blick correspondent Roger Benoit said it was perhaps the heaviest rain he has seen in Montreal.

"The track, the paddock, garages -- everything was ankle deep in water," he said.

O Estado de S.Paulo correspondent Livio Oricchio added: "The sound of the really intense rain on the roof meant no one could even talk."

He said there was also "strong winds and lightning", raising the concerns of the journalists in the circuit's media marquee as television and timing monitors swayed "alarmingly" on the metal supports.

The rest of the weekend is expected to be dry.

Wolff defends Senna after bad day in Canada
(GMM)  Team co-owner Toto Wolff on Friday defended Bruno Senna, after a bad day in Montreal for Williams' Brazilian driver.

Senna, never higher than 17th quickest on Friday, had several off-track excursions at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve before crashing heavily at the notorious 'wall of champions'.

His questionable form threatens to intensify rumors Williams might replace the struggling 28-year-old with reserve driver Valtteri Bottas, who is managed by Austrian Wolff.

Wolff, however, defended Senna, insisting the driver does not need a dressing-down because "he is the one who is the most upset" about the crash.

"What happened to him also happens to many other drivers," Wolff told Austrian television ORF.

"Of course it's a pity because the car was severely damaged, but when you are trying to find the limits, these things happen," he added.

Wolff also said the crash does not mean Senna will have to face the rest of the weekend without Williams' radical new rear wing.

"We have enough spares," he said.

Senna was also involved in an incident with Sebastian Vettel on Friday, but it was the world champion who was officially reprimanded by the stewards.

Senna waved a fist at the Red Bull driver after they brushed wheels at high speed on the approach to the final chicane.

On German Sky television, commentator Marc Surer slammed Vettel's maneuver as "dangerous" and "completely unnecessary".

Domenicali admits eye on Vettel 'for the future'
(GMM)  Stefano Domenicali has not categorically denied reports Sebastian Vettel could be headed to Ferrari.

After the media reports surfaced in Monaco, Red Bull's world champion denied claims he has signed a 'pre-contract' to move to the prestigious Maranello based team in 2014.

But the same denial has not been forthcoming from Domenicali, Ferrari's team principal.

When asked about Vettel's rumored links to Ferrari, the Italian said: "He is a world champion and so for the future there is some interest from Ferrari."

According to the German newsmagazine Focus, however, Domenicali insisted there is no more to the story than that.

"Never say never," he added.

Pressed further about the 24-year-old German's talent, Domenicali admitted "very good" is "an understatement" to describe the back-to-back double world champion.

He also played down suggestions Ferrari would never pair Fernando Alonso with a teammate as strong as Vettel.

"This is not an issue for today," insisted Domenicali.

"But when you have clever people and strong drivers, it is easy to work together," he said.

"Of course we have a duty to think ahead about what young drivers could be good for the future with Ferrari."

He also said becoming a Ferrari driver is not a trivial issue.

"When you wear this red shirt, you must be very strong, not only in your driving skills but also mentally.

"You can not imagine how great is the pressure."

He also scoffed at all the rumors surrounding the cockpit currently occupied by Felipe Massa.

"If you look at all the people in the last few months who are supposedly driving for us, you could make your own Ferrari championship," Domenicali smiled.

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