F1 news in brief - Wednesday UPDATE Updates shown in red below.
Ferrari confirms Massa staying in 2013
|Massa will return|
- Another Schumacher could also retire in 2012
- Senna hoping to keep Williams seat
- Ferrari confident Massa will ‘repay trust’
- Pirelli have selected the tire compounds for final 3 races New
- Interview with Sauber Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn New
Ferrari confirms Massa staying in 2013
(GMM) Ferrari announced late on Tuesday that Felipe Massa is staying with the team in 2013.
Although the one-year contract ties in with rumors Sebastian Vettel could replace him in 2014, the news ends a long period of speculation about the 31-year-old Brazilian's immediate future.
"I want to thank president (Luca di) Montezemolo and Stefano Domenicali, who had faith in me and who have always supported me, even at the most difficult moments," he said.
2013 will be Massa's eighth consecutive season with the famous Maranello based team, having moved from Sauber at the end of 2005 to pair with Michael Schumacher.
Fernando Alonso sounded happy about Tuesday's news.
"I am so happy to continue another year with Felipe Massa as a teammate," the Spaniard wrote on Twitter. "I'm sure we are the best team!"
Another Schumacher could also retire in 2012
(GMM) The world of premier motor racing could be set to farewell yet another member of the Schumacher family.
Ralf Schumacher, the former Williams and Toyota driver, has opened the door to retirement as he looks to finish this year's German touring car 'DTM' series almost dead last.
The 37-year-old, whose elder brother Michael is returning to retirement at the end of this year's F1 calendar, also drives for Mercedes' works team.
"I'm going to do the last race and then think about what my future looks like," Schumacher is quoted by the Kolner Express newspaper ahead of this weekend's Hockenheim finale.
He is third to last in the 2012 DTM standings, having scored just 8 points compared to teammate Jamie Green's 109.
Ralf Schumacher won 6 grands prix during his 182 grand prix career between 1997 and 2007.
Senna hoping to keep Williams seat
(GMM) Bruno Senna is hoping to stay at Williams in 2013.
Most paddock experts are expecting the British team to keep the PDVSA-backed Pastor Maldonado on board, but pair him with Finnish rookie Valtteri Bottas.
23-year-old Bottas has impressed Williams this year as he drove Brazilian Senna's Renault-powered car during most Friday morning practice sessions.
"I think I've shown my speed and I really, really hope I can get it (the 2013 race seat)," he told Sky television recently.
Williams is not expected to announce its decision until the end of the season.
Senna, 29, has had a difficult 2012 season but he thinks he could have done enough to secure his future.
"The team is happy with me and knows that we've been in some difficult situations in recent races," he is quoted by Brazil's Totalrace.
"What I have to do is focus and continue with my work without having problems, get some good results by the end of the year and then we will see what happens at the end of the season," added Senna.
He expects Williams to take its decision based on a fair assessment of his performance.
"They know perfectly well that sometimes what happened was not my fault," said Senna, whose uncle was the revered triple world champion Ayrton Senna.
"In Singapore for example it was my mistake and I have to accept that. But we've also had some problems.
"Clearly, when there is a weekend where everything is not perfect - for example if I have to miss the first session and then have problems with the car - then I am not as well prepared as some of the others.
"And I have paid the price for that," he added.
Ferrari confident Massa will ‘repay trust’
Felipe Massa has sent out heartfelt thanks to Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo and Formula 1 Team Principal Stefano Domenicali for retaining their faith in him through a difficult period. Having registered several strong results of late, the Brazilian has been retained for 2013.
“I am delighted with this agreement,” Massa comments. “Ferrari is my sports family and since I’ve been in Formula 1 the engine behind me has been from Maranello. Firstly, I want to thank President Montezemolo and Stefano Domenicali, who have always maintained their confidence in me, even in the difficult times.
"Both the team and the fans can rest assured that I will do all in my power to help Ferrari achieve the goals that arise every year.”
Domenicali is now expectant of continuous good form.
“We are pleased to have extended our relationship with Felipe for another year,” the Team Principal says of the driver who is yet to claim a race win since the end of 2008. “He’s been part of our family for over a decade and he has shown, especially in the latter part of this season, that he can still be competitive at the highest levels - as we expect from any driver behind the wheel of a Ferrari.
“We have always supported Felipe, even in the most difficult moments of his career. We are confident that he will repay the trust which has been renewed.”
Pirelli have selected the tire compounds they will bring to final 3 races
Pirelli have revealed the tire compounds they will bring to the deciding final three races of the 2012 season - including for the brand new circuit in Austin, Texas.
Having already announced the rubber that will be in use up to next week's Indian GP, the Italian firm have finalized their plans for the season by selecting the compounds that will be raced in Abu Dhabi, the United States and Brazil next month.
In Abu Dhabi, the first of these events, the medium and soft tire have been selected while for the new Circuit of the Americas a more conservative choice of the hard and medium tires has been made.
"Austin will be raced on for the first time, and the simulation data established by Pirelli's engineers over the summer has indicated that the hard and medium tires will be best-suited to the varying demands of this track," Pirelli explained.
"On a new circuit, a relatively conservative choice will make sure that all possibilities are covered. During a recent visit, Pirelli's engineers established that significant energy loads will be put through the tires. High temperatures are also expected."
The same allocation will then be brought to the following week's season-finale in Brazil, the undulating Interlagos circuit well known to be one of the hardest tracks on the calendar on tires.
Interview with Sauber Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn
|Monisha Kaltenborn and Bernie Ecclestone|
Monisha Kaltenborn is almost a week into her post as the first female team principal in Formula One. With a total of four podium places so far, the Sauber F1 Team has enjoyed a very successful 2012 season. The forthcoming Indian Grand Prix takes the new boss to her native country. There’s plenty to talk about.
Your passport gives your full name as Monisha Kaltenborn Narang. Why do you so rarely use your double surname?
Monisha Kaltenborn: “I really like my Indian name. My Indian heritage and my parents’ family mean a great deal to me, which is why I never wanted to give up Narang. On the other hand, you have to admit that double-barreled names aren’t very practical in day-to-day business operations. That’s why I only rarely use my full name.”
What does the Indian Grand Prix mean to you?
MK: “Well, I really have to distinguish between the professional and the private side. From the sports point of view, as far as the Sauber F1 Team is concerned the Indian GP is a race like any other, with the same meticulous preparations and the same aspiration to achieve the best possible result. From a personal point of view, it’s rather different. Obviously I’m particularly looking forward to this race in my home country. As I travel to all the grands prix as part of my job, I don’t have time for private trips to India. During my school and university days I would go there regularly. My husband Jens and I celebrated our marriage in India with a fabulous and very happy Hindu ritual. I feel very attached to India.”
Will you be seeing friends or family during the grand prix?
MK: “I won’t really have time for private visits during this year’s race, but I’ll be flying out at least a day early to spend some time looking around New Delhi and attending various media events. I’m also involved as an ambassador for the FIA’s Women in Motorsports Commission, as well as an event by the F1 in Schools initiative.”
Which memories do you associate with India?
MK: “Oh, undoubtedly my wonderful childhood. Since I was their only grandchild for a long time, my grandparents spoilt me rotten, and we had three delightful dogs. Up to the age of eight I attended Welham Girls’ High School in Dehradun, my birthplace and one of the oldest and most traditional cities in the north of this vast country. It was a very happy time with marvelous friendships. Then in 1979 my parents decided to emigrate to give me a better education.”
What made your parents decide on Austria?
MK: “Originally the plan was to find a new home in an English-speaking country. But Vienna was the first stop on our journey because an uncle of my father’s was working at the atomic agency there. We liked it and so we stayed. I was sent straight to an Austrian rather than an international school, so I learnt the language very quickly and became integrated. I also completed my law studies in Vienna and took on Austrian citizenship, which had many advantages. And of course I have a lot of ties with Austria. I’ve spent a considerable part of my life there, after all.”
To what extent are you still Indian today?
MK: “I don’t think you ever lose your roots, and anyway you can tell where I’m from just by looking at me. I also think I have a certain serenity and openness you might describe as Indian. That includes shrugging off negative experiences and focusing positively on the future – something that is very important in an environment as competitive as Formula One. As for my Hindi, it’s no longer as good as I’d like it to be. But I do try to talk Hindi with the children occasionally. Our son is ten years old, our daughter seven, and I’d like them to learn the language. But my parents are better teachers than me.”
How important do you think Formula One is for India?
MK: “Basically it’s difficult for any sport to find a place in India next to cricket. But I do think that the interest in Formula One has risen significantly since its debut last year. At least the media interest we are experiencing as a team would strongly indicate that. It seems right that India, as an upwardly mobile nation, a huge marketplace and a high-tech location, has found a place in the Formula One calendar with its excellently trained engineers. Both Formula One and the country can benefit from it.”
What chances do you hold out for the Sauber F1 Team at the Indian Grand Prix?
MK: “The track layout is very similar to that in Korea. There are slow and fast turns and quite a long straight. However, it will be warmer there and Pirelli is providing different tires – soft and hard rather than the super-soft and soft ones we had in Korea. That will mean different race strategies. For the C31, the circuit in India is likely to be neither ideal terrain nor particularly problematic. I’m confident that we will manage another decent points haul there.”
You’re into your first week as Team Principal at trackside. What does this step mean for you?
MK: “I’m very happy at the confidence that Peter Sauber has placed in me. I grew into this role step by step, of course. I had been head of the company’s legal department since 2000, in 2001 I joined the Board of Management, in 2010 I became CEO, and since the end of 2011 I’ve held a third of the company’s stake holding. Peter Sauber’s withdrawal from the day-to-day running of the business has been on the cards for a long time, so this latest step was well prepared. I’m acutely aware of what it means to carry the responsibility for this company, which has been around for over 40 years and involved in Formula One for almost 20 years.”
Is it more difficult as a woman to be accepted as Team Principal?
MK: “Professionally I’m sure gender plays no role. And as I’ve been around for such a long time, I don’t think I’ll be seen more in terms of a woman than a boss. People who are new to the scene might just do a double-take at first, but that will soon settle down.”
How do you manage to cope with the twin responsibility of work and family?
MK: “It usually works very well, though in some situations it can prove an organizational and emotional challenge. I believe it’s very important to involve the children. We stay in touch on race weekends by phone or Skype – these days, fortunately, there are such options. At home my husband, my parents and a nanny manage to cushion my professional absences. I’ve got a strong support system, and the kids are really proud of what their mother does.”
How satisfied are you with the Sauber F1 Team’s achievements so far this season?
MK: “With four podium places and now 116 world championship points, we can certainly be proud of our achievements so far as a private team. Of course there have been races where things didn’t go to plan and we forfeited valuable points. Our car, the Sauber C31-Ferrari, is a great success and has proved competitive on virtually any kind of circuit. Some describe it as one of the best cars on the grid. Now it’s a matter of carrying the impetus forward into the remaining four races. Our ambitious goal remains to finish fifth in the Constructors’ World Championship. And I have the utmost confidence both in our team at Hinwil and in the crew at the track along with our two drivers, Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez.”
What are your personal highlights of the season so far?
MK: “To answer that I’m going to have to take off my sober, objective hat for a moment: it was just so emotional when Kamui finished third in Japan.”