F1 news in brief - Friday
Glock open to Marussia team switch
- Sauber confirms 'suspects' for 2013 seats
- Alguersuari prepares for 'new challenge' in 2013
- Vettel the clear favorite now - Schumacher
- Webber, Button have different goals for 2012 season
- Massa thinks 2013 extension 'will not be long'
- Petrov says F1 career not definitely over
- Kovalainen waiting for 'answer' over Caterham future
- Raikkonen says Spanish conspiracy theory 'rubbish'
Glock open to Marussia team switch
(GMM) Timo Glock is expecting to be with Marussia for a fourth consecutive season in 2013.
But the German is also open to "the possibility" of a change.
"It (an alternate team) would have to be a clear step forwards," the former Toyota driver is quoted by DPA news agency.
"But at the moment I am fulfilling my contract and so I am not in talks with anyone else," added Glock.
The 30-year-old is one of the more highly-regarded of the drivers at the back of the grid.
And his stock rose even higher when in Singapore his 12th place leapfrogged Marussia ahead of Caterham for the lucrative tenth place in the constructors' championship.
He said in Korea he is open to something new.
"I would then consider what my thoughts are," said Glock.
But if he stays at Marussia, he hopes his help in securing the team millions in Concorde earnings is the step forward the former Virgin team needs.
"That would help us to develop much more, making life a bit easier for us," said Glock.
Sauber confirms 'suspects' for 2013 seats
(GMM) Peter Sauber has essentially confirmed reports Esteban Gutierrez and Nico Hulkenberg are in the running to drive for the Swiss team in 2013.
With Sergio Perez heading to McLaren, the fact Sauber is retaining the Telmex sponsorship is a sign the team could move its other Mexican Gutierrez into the race seat next season.
And incumbent Kamui Kobayashi admitted in Korea that his seat is in doubt because he has been asked to bring a sponsor to the team for 2013.
Sauber is close to the veteran Blick correspondent Roger Benoit, who in recent weeks has said Gutierrez and Force India's Hulkenberg are the favorites for any vacancies at the Hinwil based team for next season.
"I think Blick has mentioned all of the possibilities. And there are no more suspects than that," Sauber is quoted by the newspaper.
Earlier, Sauber - set to turn 69 - announced he has finally handed over as team principal to chief executive Monisha Kaltenborn.
"You have to let go," Peter Sauber told Blick. "But anyone who thinks I have lost interest are completely wrong," added the man who will remain president of the board of directors and two-thirds team owner.
Sauber said he made his decision to hand over to Kaltenborn when, from Switzerland, he watched Kobayashi finish on the Suzuka podium.
"Yes, just like that," he told Benoit.
Alguersuari prepares for 'new challenge' in 2013
(GMM) Jaime Alguersuari is preparing to announce his plans for 2013, having wrapped up his on-track duties as Pirelli test driver.
"New challenges, new goals. Follow me very soon," the slogan on the former Toro Rosso racer's official website reads.
The 22-year-old has just concluded his last Pirelli test, at Paul Ricard in France.
"I hope above all that all my knowledge and experience from this year can be transferred to competition next year.
"Soon you will know exactly what is my program for next year," Alguersuari is quoted by Mundo Deportivo newspaper.
Vettel the clear favorite now - Schumacher
(GMM) Sebastian Vettel is now the outright favorite for the 2012 title, his countryman Michael Schumacher says.
But the seven time world champion has admitted his predictions underwent an about-face at Suzuka, where championship leader Fernando Alonso crashed at the first corner.
"For me, the championship was already decided," Schumacher is quoted by Bild newspaper in Korea.
"With his points gap, when Fernando went into the race at Suzuka, I thought he was clearly on the home stretch.
"I now see the advantage clearly with Sebastian," added Schumacher.
"He has the package (car) he needs and I am sure he can drive it home now."
Although contenders Alonso and Vettel would both secure their third drivers' titles in 2012, the feat for Vettel will make him only the third great in F1 history to secure three crowns on the trot.
Only Juan Manuel Fangio and Schumacher himself have won three in successive years.
Webber, Button have different goals for 2012 season
(GMM) Championship long-shots Mark Webber and Jenson Button each have very different targets for the rest of the 2012 calendar.
While McLaren's Button has basically conceded the title, Australian Webber - just three points ahead of Button in the championship - is still pushing hard.
"Yes. That's the goal, mate," he said in Korea.
His deficit to the championship lead, however, is 60 points, so with just five races to go, some in the paddock might think a better strategy for Webber would be to back his teammate Sebastian Vettel's realistic title challenge.
When that was put to him in Korea, Webber answered: "I need to win, so that's my goal. I've come here to push.
"It was a good little battle between Seb and I in Suzuka, he did a very good job in Q3. We did a very good job, and looking to finish the season as strongly as possible for myself," he insisted.
3 points further adrift, Briton Button has admitted his title push is now all but over.
"The constructors' is definitely on and that's the big aim I think. When I get out of the car at the end of the race and look at the points, that's the bit I really look at," he said.
Massa thinks 2013 extension 'will not be long'
(GMM) Felipe Massa has hinted an announcement about his 2013 contract extension at Ferrari may be imminent.
"I think it will not be long," the Brazilian told Totalrace, amid reports there is still a chance Force India's Nico Hulkenberg or Paul di Resta could snatch the cockpit from him.
The previously struggling Massa, however, suggested he has now done enough to keep his seat.
"We have done a good job in the second part of the championship," he said. "It's a pity we didn't manage it before, but I think we need to highlight the positive side of the second part.
"I have worked and fought hard to make it happen.
"The last few races have been very good and important for me. It's all going in the right direction now.
"Of course I'm concerned about continuing, but I believe it will happen," he added.
Petrov says F1 career not definitely over
(GMM) Vitaly Petrov has hit back at reports he will definitely slide out of formula one at the end of the season.
Previously boosted by his Russian supporters, Petrov's manager Oksana Kosachenko suggested recently that she was looking at alternative projects for 2013 because the 28-year-old driver's financial backing had dried up.
But Petrov has suggested in Korea that Kosachenko was simply laying out their strategy to stay in formula one next year.
"We decided to talk about it now, not at the end of the year or at the last race," the Caterham and former Renault driver is quoted by Germany's motorsport-magazin.com.
Petrov said it is a different situation for other so-called pay-drivers "such as (those) from Mexico and Spain", who are able to "choose the team" they drive for.
He said staying at Caterham in 2013 remains a possibility.
"They want to keep us here, my management and the team are still in negotiations on the contract for next year, so everything is still open," said Petrov.
Kovalainen waiting for 'answer' over Caterham future
(GMM) Heikki Kovalainen has indicated the ball is in Caterham's court regarding the continuation of their relationship beyond 2012.
The Finn's management, also keeping an eye on possible alternatives for the highly rated 30-year-old, has reportedly been in tough negotiations with team chief Tony Fernandes.
A reported falling out has now been sorted, but Kovalainen has revealed in Korea that amid the 2013 negotiations, the ball is now clearly in Caterham's court.
"We look forward to an answer from the team," he is quoted by Turun Sanomat newspaper.
Raikkonen says Spanish conspiracy theory 'rubbish'
(GMM) Kimi Raikkonen has dismissed as "rubbish" a conspiracy theory about Fernando Alonso's retirement from recent grands prix.
A Spanish newspaper correspondent said last week he saw a possible link between the fact Lotus drivers Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean were involved in the incidents that knocked former runaway championship leader Alonso out of the races at Suzuka and Spa respectively.
The reporter also recalled that it was Renault's Vitaly Petrov who blocked Alonso at the 2010 world championship finale, with all three incidents helping the similarly Renault-powered Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel towards his titles.
"I guess it's important to look at the country (Spain) where this was written," Raikkonen is quoted in Korea by Finland's Turun Sanomat.
Indeed, Ferrari's Alonso said in Korea that Raikkonen has nothing to apologize for, even though it was the Lotus driver who cut his rear tire at Suzuka a week ago.
"It was an unlucky situation with the front wing of Kimi and my rear tire," he said, answering "No" as to whether Raikkonen should apologize.
Raikkonen, meanwhile, would not comment on what the F1 world should expect when, on his 33rd birthday next Wednesday, his plans for the 2013 season will finally be revealed.
"You'll see then," he smiled.