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DATE News (chronologically)
07/31/12
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Tuesday
  • Schumacher making more mistakes than when he was a rookie 20 years ago
    Schumacher mistakes 'shouldn't happen' - Danner
  • Technical reshuffle at Mercedes
  • Rossi hails Ferrari's 2012 recovery
  • Lotus 'definitely' eyes same drivers for 2013
  • Anthony Hamilton suing di Resta over firing
  • Button not ready to help Hamilton
  • Maldonado plays down 'mistakes'
  • Ferrari plans aggressive development push 
  • Mercedes AMG Petronas teams up with Bharti Airtel

Schumacher mistakes 'shouldn't happen' - Danner
(GMM)  Former F1 driver Christian Danner has scolded Michael Schumacher for making rookie errors in Hungary last weekend.

Germany's Bild claims the 43-year-old is very close to announcing a new deal to keep racing at Mercedes beyond 2012, but at the same time the newspaper wondered if the seven time world champion might "need glasses?"

"It had nothing to do with poor vision," the German's manager Sabine Kehm insisted.  "Don't worry, Michael is more than fit."

She had been asked about Schumacher's strange pre-race mistakes at the Hungaroring: first lining up in the wrong grid spot, and then turning off his engine when the start was aborted.

"We're all only human and can make mistakes," Danner told the German news agency SID, "but really they shouldn't happen to a formula one driver.

"If it had happened to a young driver, we'd all say he's not ready for F1."

Technical reshuffle at Mercedes
(GMM)  Mercedes has started a process of restructuring its technical team, Italy's Autosprint reports.

The report said the Brackley based team's aerodynamics chief John Owen is moving up to be technical director.

Owen's role is being filled by a new signing, Mike Elliot, who has joined from Lotus.

Autosprint wonders, however, "What will happen with the trio (Aldo) Costa, (Geoff) Willis and (Bob) Bell?"

At last count, the well-known trio held high-ranking technical roles at the carmaker-owned squad.

Autosprint said Mercedes could be scaling-down.

Rossi hails Ferrari's 2012 recovery
(GMM)  Valentino Rossi has used Ferrari as an example of an Italian racing team that managed to emerge from a deep crisis.

Increasingly frustrated with his MotoGP outfit Ducati's lack of progress, the Italian motorcycle great said Maranello based Ferrari turned around a similar slump in a matter of mere months.

"They too were far behind at the beginning, and it was Fernando (Alonso) who made a difference, but then the team also progressed.

"But, us (Ducati), we do not improve," he told Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Lotus 'definitely' eyes same drivers for 2013
(GMM)  Eric Boullier has revealed he "definitely" plans to keep not just Kimi Raikkonen at Lotus in 2013, but also the Finn's impressive rookie teammate Romain Grosjean.

The Enstone based team's boss has dismissed speculation Raikkonen could return to Ferrari next year, where he won the 2007 title before he was ousted at the end of the 2009 season.

"It's nice that Ferrari is in the newspapers," Boullier is quoted by Germany's Auto Motor und Sport, "but to my knowledge Kimi has no intention of going back to Ferrari."

When asked if he also wants Grosjean to stay in 2013, Boullier answered: "Definitely.  There is no reason why either of them should leave us."

Rival teams have been impressed by the former Benetton and Renault squad in 2012.

"Their car has been quick all year, and they have two good drivers, so Kimi is a factor in the drivers' championship," Red Bull chief Christian Horner is quoted by AFP news agency.

Anthony Hamilton suing di Resta over firing
(GMM)  Paul di Resta's recent split with his former manager Anthony Hamilton is heading to the courts, the Telegraph has revealed.

The British newspaper said Hamilton, who is McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton's father, has filed papers in London's High Court for wrongful termination and loss of earnings.

In his defense papers, Force India's di Resta said he fired Hamilton because he was misled about an energy drinks sponsorship with a company called 'Go Fast'.

Scot di Resta, 26, brought the EUR 5.5 million deal to Hamilton and was told by his former manager that buying his drinks sponsorship rights from Force India would cost 2 million.

Di Resta reportedly fired Hamilton after he approached the Silverstone based team himself and found that buying the rights from Force India actually cost only EUR 1m.

Hamilton and di Resta would not comment.

But the row could have a wider effect, with di Resta now working with the Sports Partnership, a management firm headed by Jenson Button and his manager Richard Goddard.

Button is Lewis Hamilton's teammate at McLaren.

Journalist Tom Cary wrote: "It is thought most likely that both parties (di Resta and Anthony Hamilton) will agree to settle" before the case reaches court.

Button not ready to help Hamilton
(GMM)  Jenson Button insists he is not ready to fall in line behind his teammate Lewis Hamilton's championship bid.

In Hungary, Felipe Massa - who is pushing to stay at Ferrari next year - vowed to help his teammate Fernando Alonso seal the drivers' crown in 2012.

In fairness to Button, however, the situation at McLaren at the mid-point of the 2012 season is quite different.

While Alonso is leading the championship and is a massive 139 points ahead of Massa, Button has been a race winner in 2012 and is only 41 points behind Hamilton.

So Briton Button answered 'no' when asked if he will move over for Hamilton if he sees the sister McLaren in his mirrors.

"If I am leading a race, then I want to win that race," he is quoted by British newspapers.

"I will not be asked to do anything but if there comes a time in this championship when I can't win, then I will obviously help my teammate," added Button.

Maldonado plays down 'mistakes'
(GMM)  Pastor Maldonado insists it is not fair if he is gaining a reputation as a 'crash driver'.

Sauber's Sergio Perez was furious with the Venezuelan after their clash at Silverstone, which was one of just several incidents blamed on the Williams driver so far in 2012.

Barcelona winner Maldonado's latest run-in was with Paul di Resta in Hungary, earning him a drive-through penalty.

"There was a small contact, but this is racing," he is quoted by Sapa-AFP news agency.

"I saw Raikkonen and Grosjean (battling) and it was more or less the same."

Maldonado also told the online GP Week magazine: "They're normal mistakes.

"If you look at other drivers, they've done the same in the past."

He also suggested the spotlight has been shining more brightly on him since becoming a grand prix winner earlier this year.

"Before I won the race nobody was here, now everyone is here," said Maldonado, referring to the big media-scrum surrounding him in Hungary.

"I made a couple of mistakes, that's it."

Ferrari plans aggressive development push
Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali says his team has to do aggressive development for its car.  After a weekend in Hungary when Ferrari was outperformed on track, Domenicali is aware of the challenges that lie ahead.

"It is very difficult because at the moment we have seen that there are cars that are faster than us," he explained. "We need to improve the level of performance and be cool on that, because last weekend [at Hockenheim] we were the quickest in all conditions and in Hungary we were not.

"We need to keep on developing because otherwise the others will improve and it will be more difficult to be in defensive mode. So the key of the season is to keep pushing and, when we have a situation like in Hungary, to gain points."

"Fernando did a great race and we knew we were in defensive mode, so to be in front of two cars of Jenson Button and Mark Webber, who were faster than us is very important.

"We came here knowing it was a difficult grand prix for us, but going home having increased the points gap is very good. I think that Fernando can go on holiday and relax because he has had a fantastic first part of the season."

Mercedes AMG Petronas teams up with Bharti Airtel
The MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team is pleased to confirm a race partnership agreement with Bharti Airtel for the 2012 Airtel Indian Grand Prix. The leading integrated telecommunications company was title sponsor of the inaugural race at the Buddh International Circuit in New Delhi in October 2011, and will continue the role this year.

Airtel branding will feature on the airbox and headrest of the Mercedes AMG F1 W03 car, and on the race suits and helmets of Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg, for the duration of the 2012 Airtel Indian Grand Prix weekend.

Bharti Airtel will use the association with MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS to further promote Formula One within India, with a host of innovative content and experiences planned both before and during the 2012 Airtel Indian Grand Prix. Michael and Nico will also feature in a television campaign in India to promote the race and Bharti Airtel's involvement.

Ross Brawn, Team Principal of the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team commented: "The 2011 Airtel Indian Grand Prix was a very successful new adventure for Formula One and we are delighted to now be partnering with Bharti Airtel, who have supported the sport in India from the outset. Taking our sport to new audiences is vital for our future and we are very much looking forward to working with Bharti Airtel in the run-up to this year's race, in order to bring our fantastic sport closer to the Indian fans." 

Bharat Bambawale, Global Brand Director at Bharti Airtel said: "As title sponsors, we at Bharti Airtel are proud to have been an integral part of India's first Formula One race last year. We are today delighted to enter a new lap of our brand's Formula One journey with an exciting alliance with the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team. In 2011, Bharti Airtel took the lead in bringing India's Formula One dreams alive and became 'Title Sponsor' of the sport's debut in the country. Bharti Airtel and MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS are associated with traits of speed, performance and fast-paced growth, thus making this partnership a perfect match between two like-minded brands. By building on the unique motorsport heritage and strong track record of Mercedes-Benz, we will strengthen Bharti Airtel's youthful positioning and appeal to Formula One fans across India."

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