More F1 news in brief - Friday
- Sauber not ruling out new Mexican for 2013
- Rosberg encouraged Hamilton to join Mercedes
- Haug denies Lauda pushed out Schumacher
- Schu told Merc of F1 exit five minutes before call
- Still no race debut for Lotus 'device'
- Pirelli wants Schumacher as tire tester
- Cosworth not ruling out V6 engine foray
Sauber not ruling out new Mexican for 2013
(GMM) Monisha Kaltenborn on Friday did not categorically deny suggestions Sauber might replace Sergio Perez with another Mexican.
Earlier at Suzuka, Sauber's chief executive announced that, despite losing Perez to McLaren, the Swiss team will retain its major Mexican backer Telmex.
Telmex also backs Sauber's reserve driver, youngster Esteban Gutierrez.
"He's been with the team a long time," said Kaltenborn when asked about the Gutierrez rumors, "and whatever we do with him is something totally independent from Sergio's leaving and we don't really want to mix them together.
"We'll announce whatever we have to in due course."
Kaltenborn did admit, however, that Sauber might lose some Mexican sponsors as the result of Perez's departure.
"It's a natural link there, obviously, because they are from the same country, but it is not just that simple that because one driver leaves us all these sponsors will leave," she said.
Rosberg encouraged Hamilton to join Mercedes
(GMM) Nico Rosberg has revealed he encouraged Lewis Hamilton to join Mercedes.
The German revealed that, when at recent grands prix it was only rumored that McLaren's Hamilton was considering the switch, he spoke in the paddock with the 2008 world champion.
"We were laughing about it," Rosberg told reporters at Suzuka.
"Because we spoke about it when we were 14 years old in go-karts. 'Ah, imagine if, one day, we're teammates in F1, how cool would that be?' Well, now all of a sudden it's happening, which is quite unreal," he said.
"I didn't necessarily talk him into it," Rosberg insisted.
"I tried to stay quite objective. Yes, I mentioned the positives and he asked a few things and I gave honest answers. My answers are all positive because I am positive of the team."
Haug denies Lauda pushed out Schumacher
(GMM) Norbert Haug has denied reports Niki Lauda played a big role in Michael Schumacher's exit at Mercedes.
Germany's Sport Bild has suggested Austrian legend and triple world champion Lauda, who is joining Mercedes as a non-executive chairman, pushed hard for the German marque to oust Schumacher in favor of McLaren's Lewis Hamilton.
The rumor goes that Schumacher might have played a role in Lauda departing Ferrari as a consultant in 1996, shortly after the now seven time world champion joined from Benetton.
Asked if the whole story is true, Mercedes' Haug told the broadcaster ORF on Friday: "No, absolutely not."
It has also been rumored that Lauda's new presence might have Haug and team boss Ross Brawn under pressure to keep their jobs, but Haug insisted Mercedes is "very proud" to welcome the F1 legend.
"We know and trust one another and I think this is another correct and important step in the right direction," he said.
"Niki was instrumental in the Concorde negotiations, and also the commitment of Lewis Hamilton. It has all gone very well so far."
Schu told Merc of F1 exit five minutes before call
(GMM) Michael Schumacher surprised even Mercedes when he announced his decision to return to retirement.
Germany's Auto Motor und Sport said that even though bosses Ross Brawn and Norbert Haug flanked the seven time world champion as he announced the news, they had only been told what was going to happen just five minutes earlier.
"We had been preparing for a different kind of press conference," Haug revealed.
"Michael, Ross and I were going to answer the questions that had arisen after the transfer (announcement) of Lewis Hamilton," Mercedes' racing president added.
Haug said he would not have had a problem if Schumacher had opted to keep his F1 career alive by switching to Sauber.
"What would have been wrong with that?" the German wondered.
But Sauber chief executive Monisha Kaltenborn on Friday insisted there had been "no negotiations" with the 43-year-old about 2013 prior to Schumacher's decision to retire.
Still no race debut for Lotus 'device'
(GMM) Lotus' double-DRS style 'device' is still not ready to make its grand prix debut.
The top speed-boosting concept has been tested extensively in practice sessions recently, but so far the black and gold-colored team has decided to take it off the car prior to the decisive qualifying sessions and grands prix.
Team boss Eric Boullier, however, insisted recently that the 'device' will be ready to race at Suzuka.
It was indeed tested again on Friday, but Lotus said in a statement: "We were not able to get 'the device' functioning at a sufficient level for it to be used over the rest of the weekend."
Pirelli wants Schumacher as tire tester
(GMM) Pirelli has offered Michael Schumacher a job as F1 tire tester.
After losing his Mercedes seat to Lewis Hamilton, the seven time world champion announced on Thursday that he is returning to retirement in 2013.
The news has piqued Pirelli chief Paul Hembery's interest, with the Briton describing the 43-year-old as the sport's "most experienced tire tester".
"If he gets bored in the Swiss mountains, then we will find a job for him," he laughed, according to Germany's motorsport-total.com.
"We can't offer him 20 million, so he would have to do it for the love," grinned Hembery.
Pirelli conducts private F1 tire testing with a 2010-specification Renault R30.
Cosworth not ruling out V6 engine foray
(GMM) Cosworth has rejected reports it will definitely bow out of formula one after 2013.
It has been suggested the independent British engine marque, currently supplying V8s to Marussia and HRT, is not in a position to commit to a costly V6 development program for the radical 2014 rules.
But when asked about 2014, Cosworth's F1 chief Kim Spearman said on Friday: "If we can find a commercially sustainable way to provide a competitive platform for some potential customers, we'd like to do that.
"We are in useful negotiations with customers and hopefully we'll find a way to be in."
He confirmed Cosworth has already started work on a 2014 project.
"Oh yes," said Spearman. "We've been working on the engine for 18 months."