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Latest F1 news in brief - Tuesday
  • Webber - beaten again by Vettel, will he cooperate?
    Red Bull still counting on Webber's team spirit
  • Lauda insists Brawn's top job not endangered
  • Sandstorm in Abu Dhabi
  • Barrichello refusing to rule out F1 return
  • Force India needs fast driver, not pay-driver - Szafnauer
  • Luca di Montezemolo - we must give 120% now

Red Bull still counting on Webber's team spirit
(GMM)  With Mark Webber a massive 73 points behind his teammate but so far refusing to play a subordinate role to Sebastian Vettel, the 'team orders' issue remains a pertinent one as Red Bull pushes for another drivers' title.

Australian Webber said in India that he has no intention of "pulling over" for the sister RB8, despite rumors a specific points gap laid out in his contract now requires him to support Vettel's charge.

When asked about the issue by SID news agency ahead of this weekend's third-last race of the season in Abu Dhabi, Dr Helmut Marko answered: "We have always said that we appeal to the reason of our drivers.

"And they have in recent weeks demonstrated that they work constructively together, remembering that they must do nothing that is at the expense of the team," he added.

However, on the record, Webber insists he is driving primarily for himself.

Is that just a reluctance to show weakness?

"Racers have a certain intelligence," Niki Lauda told Bild newspaper.  "That was the same for me.

"If I had no chance to win the title, I was motivated to help my teammate.

"Webber is not going to say that, because he obviously doesn't want to show any weakness.  But unless sheer hatred prevails, which isn't the case at Red Bull, you would rather see your own team win than someone else," added the triple world champion.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner is quoted by Welt newspaper: "Both of our drivers are experienced enough to know what is at stake for the team."

Lauda insists Brawn's top job not endangered
(GMM)  Niki Lauda has now started his new job at Mercedes, insisting his presence does not endanger the Brackley based team's current boss, Ross Brawn.

Officially, the Austrian's role is to ensure a better link between the racing team in the UK, and the German carmaker's headquarters in Stuttgart.

"The job has already begun," Lauda told Bild newspaper.  "I have a lot of contact with Ross Brawn.  I want to learn what the problems are."

The 63-year-old revealed he has already been to Mercedes' Brackley factory three times, giving fuel to speculation he might soon replace Brawn, three years after the Michael Schumacher project is acknowledged to have failed.

But Lauda insists he has a "great relationship" with Briton Brawn.

Asked if Brawn's job has ever been in doubt, Lauda answered: "Never.  It's not even been discussed.

"Ross has not been in danger and he never will be.  He's the boss.

"I'm just the head of the supervisory board.  I just have to look at everything and ask 'What are the strengths, what are the weaknesses?'" added Lauda.

Sandstorm in Abu Dhabi
(GMM)  As the F1 world touches down in Abu Dhabi, the region is sweeping up the mess after a severe sandstorm.

The high winds had locals and early arrivals among F1's global travelers shielding their eyes and running for cover on Monday afternoon.

Authoritative F1 source RMC Sport, of France, said the storm caused some minor damage around Abu Dhabi, but the Yas Marina circuit "seems not to have been affected" other than a blanket of dust and sand on the track surface.

Barrichello refusing to rule out F1 return
(GMM)  Rubens Barrichello is refusing to give up on his formula one career.

After 19 consecutive seasons on the grid, the Brazilian veteran finally bowed out at the end of last year, when Williams signed countryman Bruno Senna to replace him.

40-year-old Barrichello rescued his open-wheeler career in the US-based IndyCar series, but he has told Brazil's Arena Sportv this week that he considers F1's door to be still open.

"I had 19 years of great excitement and pure adrenaline," he said.  "For me, I would have been there (in 2012).

"You can never say never.  Michael Schumacher and Kimi Raikkonen went back.

"I think in life you have to have the dream of wanting to improve every day, so I cannot say no.

"When I saw Raikkonen come back I thought he would have the same difficulties as Schumacher, but he had a sensational year.  He is third in the championship.

"He has not fought for wins but he got six podiums.

"I say this because I didn't stop and go to a completely different category; I've been more active.  Physically and mentally, I would be prepared (for F1)," added Barrichello.

Force India needs fast driver, not pay-driver - Szafnauer
(GMM)  Force India has added fuel to speculation it is considering Sebastien Buemi or Adrian Sutil to replace the Sauber-bound Nico Hulkenberg in 2013.

Officially, the Silverstone based team says it has not been told that German Hulkenberg is leaving, but other insiders consider it a done deal.

Team owner Vijay Mallya this week admitted 2011 driver Adrian Sutil is one potential candidate to replace Hulkenberg, while Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko named Force India as a possible employer for current reserve driver Sebastien Buemi in 2013.

Otmar Szafnauer, Force India's chief operating officer, would not be drawn on the speculation, but he did hint that the team is not simply in the market for a 'pay driver'.

"If we do lose Hulkenberg to Sauber," he told the Swiss newspaper Blick, "then we have a list of some names.

"We do not need a driver with millions; we need the fastest one," he added.

Luca di Montezemolo - we must give 120% now
On the day dedicated to the visit of the London 2012 medal winners, Chairman Luca di Montezemolo spoke about the situation and the challenging last stage of the 2012 Championship after the race in India: ''Drivers and team have never been more united to give 120 percent".

"We're more united than ever and the team is working on further improvements with the last three races in sight. We're ready to give it 120%, just like Alonso. We'll fight for the Championship right to the last kilometer. I'm very confident."

"Alonso was exceptional, yesterday and Massa brought home some very important points for the Constructors' Championship. The team was perfect in the strategy and reliability. I don't wish bad luck to anyone, but I think that with 2 collisions at starts in the second part of the season, we've paid a very high price."

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