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F1 news in brief - Tuesday
  • Montezemolo
    Montezemolo to decide Massa future on Tuesday
  • Vettel 'can't imagine' leaving Red Bull yet
  • World's press says Vettel in title hot-seat
  • Gov't not willing to pay for London GP - Ecclestone
  • Alonso cannot win title with Ferrari car - Briatore
  • Marko puzzled by Ferrari's Massa tactics
  • Vettel's father to race at Hockenheim
  • McLaren members deny Hamilton rift
  • F1 engine situation after Korea

Montezemolo to decide Massa future on Tuesday
(GMM)  Luca di Montezemolo has hinted Felipe Massa's future will be decided on Tuesday.

As F1 left Korea on Sunday, speculation was rife that the Brazilian had done enough to secure a new contract for 2013.

"I'm happy to see Felipe back at a high level," Italian marque Ferrari's president Montezemolo told Rai radio.

"Tomorrow (Tuesday) I will meet him at Maranello, we will have a chance to talk about his future and then I will take a decision."

Vettel 'can't imagine' leaving Red Bull yet
(GMM)  Sebastian Vettel has now weighed into the new saga about his future beyond 2013, insisting he is "not thinking" about a reported switch to Ferrari.

Some have suggested the rumor is a ploy by Ferrari to destabilize the German's current team Red Bull, as the reigning champions look set to dominate the final part of the 2012 season.

Vettel, who has won the last three grands prix on the trot and is now 6 points ahead of Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, told Auto Bild: "I am very happy at Red Bull and I'm not thinking at all about leaving.

"I have everything I need at Red Bull and I can't even imagine leaving at the moment."

Still, the rumors about Vettel joining Ferrari in 2014 are so strong that many believe the 25-year-old has signed some sort of 'option' with the great Italian team.

On Monday, the BBC reported that the deal is on, but comments by Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo appeared to rule it out.

"I don't want to have two roosters in the same henhouse," he told Rai radio.

"I don't want problems and rivalries, which we didn't have between Schumacher and Irvine, between Schumacher and Barrichello, between Alonso and Massa or Massa and Schumi or Massa and Raikkonen," Montezemolo added.

Those quotes were interpreted all around the world as Montezemolo saying no to Vettel.

But, then, Ferrari's anonymous website columnist The Horse Whisperer entered the fray, attacking those who had read too much into Montezemolo's words.

"It's a pity that Montezemolo had simply stated a principle, nothing more, nothing less," he said.

"At Ferrari there will be room for anyone who demonstrates they have the talent to drive a scarlet car and to work in harmony both with and for the team."

World's press says Vettel in title hot-seat
(GMM)  The world's press thinks Fernando Alonso will be hard-pressed to regain the lead of the world championship from Sebastian Vettel in the last races of 2012.

"Thanks to Adrian Newey's genius, Vettel takes the lead," La Gazzetta dello Sport said after German Vettel's third consecutive grand prix win on Sunday.

"Now it will be difficult for Alonso."

Italy's Tuttosport agreed: "The world title is moving far away for Alonso.

"In Korea, Alonso lost more than just the lead of the championship.  He also lost all hope.

"He has already started to cope with the disappointment of another lost season."

Corriere della Sera added: "Alonso is still the best driver of all, but his car does not match his abilities."

But Alonso had actually said in Korea that although Vettel has the "best car", Ferrari is the "best team".

"But in order to conquer this world title," said Corriere dello Sport, "you need the best car and the best team."

Even Alonso's native Spanish press has "no illusions", the Diario Sport newspaper wrote.

"Vettel is the new leader and he has the best car."

The sports daily Marca added: "No one can stop Vettel now."

France's Le Figaro explained: "For a few weeks now, Alonso has sat powerless at the helm of an insufficient Ferrari."

Austria's Kronen Zeitung wrote: "Vettel is now the hot title favorite."

And Italy's La Repubblica concluded: "Alonso (in Korea) could not hide his disappointment.  The wheel has turned."

Gov't not willing to pay for London GP - Ecclestone
(GMM)  A London grand prix is unlikely because the government is not willing to support it.

That is the admission of Bernie Ecclestone, who told F1 business journalist Christian Sylt that he is prepared to make "a large contribution" towards organizing a street race in the British capital.

But the F1 chief executive is quoted by cityam.com: "I don't think the government would be prepared to put the required amount of money behind it."

That is despite the 81-year-old being apparently willing to "help the government and council with their costs".

Alonso cannot win title with Ferrari car - Briatore
(GMM)  Flavio Briatore is ever more pessimistic about Fernando Alonso's chances of winning the 2012 championship.

Some days ago, the Spaniard's former Renault boss said Alonso only has a 30 per cent chance of beating Sebastian Vettel to the checkered flag next month.

Briatore is now quoted by Italy's Tuttosport as saying: "With a (Ferrari) car like this, you do not win the championship."

Alonso looked disappointed on the Korea podium after finishing third and losing his championship lead, but afterwards told reporters he was "happy".

"Ferdi is telling lies -- he is not happy at all," Briatore, still involved in Alonso's management, insisted.

Alonso replied to Briatore's comments: "He could have said all that in March as well."

Marko puzzled by Ferrari's Massa tactics
(GMM)  Dr Helmut Marko has admitted he cannot understand Ferrari's tactics during the Korean grand prix.

Fernando Alonso finished behind both Red Bulls at the Yeongam track, therefore losing his long-held championship lead to Sebastian Vettel.

Just behind the Spaniard was his resurgent Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa, who was told on the radio to stay behind Alonso despite lapping faster.

Red Bull's Marko said Ferrari's decision to hold Massa back is "incomprehensible".

"Why didn't Ferrari let him past Alonso and make Webber nervous?" the Austrian told Blick, referring to Vettel's teammate Mark Webber, who finished second.

Indeed, if Massa had managed to pass Webber, Alonso might have followed him through and minimized the points loss to Vettel.

Marko told Blick newspaper: "And even if Massa had not managed to get Webber, it would have been easy for him to just pass the place back (to Alonso)."

Vettel's father to race at Hockenheim
(GMM)  Sebastian Vettel's father is making a racing comeback, the German newspaper Bild reports.

Norbert Vettel, 53, is a carpenter by trade but in the past contested hill-climb events and got his son - now the reigning double world champion and new 2012 title leader - into a go-kart at the age of 3 and a half.

Bild said he will race in the Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup race at Hockenheim this weekend.

"It's my first start after an 18 year break!" Vettel snr is quoted as saying.

"I used to do hill races, but there were no opponents on the track, just the clock.  So I just want to stay humble and not finish last."

McLaren members deny Hamilton rift
(GMM)  Jenson Button has hit out at those suggesting McLaren is falling out with departing driver Lewis Hamilton.

Hamilton is heading to Mercedes next year, and since the news broke, reports have revealed a Twitter dispute with Button and a Suzuka party-snub by his mechanics.

And after Hamilton was reportedly late for a briefing in Korea, a Sky reporter quoted Button as saying his 2013 teammate "Sergio (Perez) wouldn't have been late".

"I didn't say a word of that," Button told Reuters.

"It's amazing how people are so opinionated about what they see happening within this team with the drivers.  None of it is true in the slightest," he insisted.

With Hamilton leaving McLaren after a six-year career with the British team, however, the British press - as ever - is hanging on the 27-year-old's every word.

For instance, after Korea, Hamilton said racing to tenth was "a day to forget.  A year to forget as well.  I'm looking forward to a fresh start next year".

Button replied: "I would word it differently and choose my moment to say it but it's his view and I understand what he means," he is quoted by the Mirror.

Indeed, Hamilton insists he is still committed to McLaren.

"I'm still 100 per cent in this team to the last minute," he said.

"People will continue to say that there is a rift between me and Jenson but there honestly is no issue between us.

"I have been part of this team for so many years and have a great relationship.  I think I am loved as much as I love the team."

Button agrees: "As far as I can see with Lewis, he is focused and wants to win races.

"Nothing has changed, it is just the view of a few people with a wide audience.  And they need to get their facts straight," he is quoted by the Express newspaper.

"He has chosen to go his own way at the end of the year.  It is his decision, although I personally don't think it is the right decision.

"But the team will do all they can to help him win grands prix."

And team boss Martin Whitmarsh said he is sure McLaren will give Hamilton a fitting send-off before he moves on to Mercedes.

"He is loved in this team.  He knows that," he is quoted by the Telegraph.

"It's an emotional time for lots of people at this team, including Lewis, but when we're motor racing we put things to one side and focus on the racing."

F1 engine situation after Korea
The Korean Grand Prix marked the first race in the final quarter of the 2012 Formula 1 season. It also brought the first penalty of the season for using a ninth engine, as all drivers have been allocated eight units for a single campaign since the start of 2010.

At this point – with the races of India, Abu Dhabi, the United States and Brazil still to run – being on your eighth engine can still mean you are comfortable, as previous powerplants can be used. Still being on your seventh is an even more ideal scenario.

Engine situation with four races to go:

Sebastian Vettel - 7
Fernando Alonso - 7
Kimi Räikkönen - 7
Lewis Hamilton - 8
Mark Webber - 7
Jenson Button - 8
Nico Rosberg - 8
Romain Grosjean - 7
Felipe Massa - 7
Sergio Pérez - 7
Kamui Kobayashi - 7
Nico Hülkenberg - 7
Paul di Resta - 7
Michael Schumacher - 8
Pastor Maldonado - 7
Bruno Senna - 7
Jean-Eric Vergne - 7
Daniel Ricciardo - 7
Timo Glock - 7
Heikki Kovalainen - 7
Vitaly Petrov - 7
Charles Pic - 9
Narain Karthikeyan - 7
Pedro de la Rosa - 7

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