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DATE News (chronologically)
12/10/12
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Monday UPDATE Updates shown in red below.

12/10/12
  • Schumacher should have stayed retired says Ecclestone
    Schumacher should not have returned - Ecclestone
  • Red Bull Ring can host 2013 race - Marko
  • Vettel, Raikkonen, break the rules in Turkey
  • Webber has leg surgery in Australia
  • Spain to host all three winter tests
  • Toro Rosso must improve - Mateschitz
  • Ecclestone eyes vodka brand for F1 sponsor deal
  • Kubica rules out F1 return for now
  • Renault: Red Bull are our No 1 priority
  • Newey: Harder to find gains for 2013 New
  • Newey: No surprises with 2013 Red Bull New

Schumacher should not have returned - Ecclestone
(GMM)  Bernie Ecclestone has admitted he wishes Michael Schumacher never returned from retirement.

Now, after an unsuccessful three-year comeback with Mercedes, the great German is retiring once again after adding just a single podium to his outstanding former tally of titles and wins.

"I would rather he had stopped as a seven time world champion than stopping now," F1 chief executive Ecclestone told the sport's official website.

"People new to the sport ... will remember Michael now, not as he was.  They don't see the hero that he was but the human that can fail," he said.

Ecclestone, 82, said choosing the right moment to quit is "important".

"I hope that's what I can do: when I feel I can't deliver, I will certainly say goodbye," he promised.

Ecclestone acknowledged, however, that it is the fact Schumacher is such a "competitive guy" that meant he could not stay away.

Indeed, after initially quitting F1 in 2006, he soon turned his hand to competitive motorcycle racing and only narrowly escaped serious injury.

And Schumacher, 43, was back on two wheels at the weekend.

At France's Paul Ricard circuit, he lapped with British TT star John McGuiness, according to Bild newspaper.

"He is the godfather of motor sport," McGuiness is quoted as saying.  "And the great man can ride a bike."

Red Bull Ring can host 2013 race - Marko
(GMM)  The chances Austria could return to the F1 calendar in 2013 are rising.

With the Turkish government ruling out state support for Istanbul Park's return, the former A1-Ring - now called the 'Red Bull Ring' - has emerged as the favorite to fill the reserved twentieth spot on next year's calendar.

The energy drink company's motor racing chief Dr Helmut Marko told Speed Week: "We have made the FIA aware that we have a track with a full F1 license."

As for who will pay the bill, the Austrian answered: "There is the province of Styria, and the republic of Austria."

Another stumbling block could be a lack of accommodation in the Spielberg area, but Marko insisted: "Nonsense, there was enough in the 70s and 80s."

And he said Graz, Austria's second largest city after Vienna, is not far away.

The A1-Ring, totally refurbished since then, hosted F1 until 2003.

But what about the difficulties or organizing a grand prix at such short notice?: "No problem," said Marko.

And the small media centre?: "It can be expanded," he promised.

Vettel, Raikkonen, break the rules in Turkey
(GMM)  Sebastian Vettel almost missed the FIA's end-of-season FIA prize giving gala, where he received his trophy for winning the 2012 title for a third consecutive time.

But DPA news agency reports that the Red Bull driver actually touched down in Istanbul without his passport, and initially was refused entry into Turkey.

"Vettel, who arrived on a private jet, had to wait over an hour at the airport," the report read.

"It was only after the intervention of the Turkish motor sports federation that he was allowed through customs with a replacement document."

Kimi Raikkonen, who said he "unfortunately" had to attend due to finishing the season in third place, also caused a stir when he showed up at the black-tie function -- wearing a suit but no tie.

"I don't follow the rules," Lotus quoted the inimitable Finn as saying on Twitter, "I just make them."

Webber has leg surgery in Australia
(GMM)  Mark Webber has had successful leg surgery in his native Australia.

Just ahead of the 2009 season, the now 36-year-old badly broke his leg in a downhill mountain cycling crash during his outdoor adventure challenge in Tasmania.

Now, four years later, Webber has had another operation on the leg, mere days after contesting his Tasmanian challenge yet again.

"Hospital trip planned a while back," he announced on Twitter.  "I needed further surgery from previous injury.  All good and on the mend."

Posting a photo of his hospital breakfast, the Red Bull driver added: "Hospital brekkie in bed.  Leg finally all done."

Spain to host all three winter tests
(GMM)  There will be three pre-season tests prior to the 2013 season, reportedly all in Spain.

Peter Sauber revealed last week that the Swiss team's 2013 car, the C32, will be launched on the first day of official pre-season group testing next February 5, at Jerez.

The Italiaracing website said that will be a four-day schedule at the southern Spanish venue, before Barcelona hosts the second test of the winter period between February 19 and 22.

Barcelona will also host the third and final pre-2013 season test, again over four days, beginning on February 28.

The venue, Circuit de Catalunya, confirmed the news.

The third test will conclude on 3 March, precisely two weeks before the 2013 championship kicks off in Melbourne.

Toro Rosso must improve - Mateschitz
(GMM)  Toro Rosso must improve, its owner Dietrich Mateschitz has revealed.

The Faenza based team, formerly Minardi, is the second team owned by energy drink Red Bull's mogul Mateschitz, whose premier F1 outfit Red Bull Racing has dominated formula one for the past few seasons.

In contrast, Toro Rosso has finished the past three seasons in either eighth or ninth places.

"Toro Rosso is our rookie team and its goals differ from those of Red Bull Racing," billionaire Mateschitz told the FIA's international journal Auto.

"But that's not to say we're happy with the development of the car.  Significant improvements need to be found and are being called for."

Ecclestone eyes vodka brand for F1 sponsor deal
(GMM)  With the Rolex deal freshly under his belt, Bernie Ecclestone has revealed that a vodka label and a mobile phone operator could be the next in line to conclude major sponsorship deals with formula one.

"We are chasing one or two people that want to be involved," the sport's chief executive told F1 business journalist Christian Sylt.

"We are looking at phones and drinks," Ecclestone is quoted by the Telegraph.  "People like vodka and things like that, they are out there."

Sylt said Belvedere, a luxury Polish vodka, is in pole position for the official spirits deal, even though its president Charles Gibb insisted "there are no discussions taking place with F1".

"It is unclear with which telecoms company F1 is in talks," Sylt added.

Kubica rules out F1 return for now
(GMM)  Robert Kubica has admitted he will not be returning to formula one any time "soon".

With Lotus apparently dithering over a new deal for Romain Grosjean, wild rumors at the Interlagos finale last month suggested the team might have an eye on Kubica.

The talented Pole has been out of F1 since the end of 2010, because in the weeks before the 2011 season, he was seriously injured in a rallying crash in Italy.

"I was hoping that I'd be back behind the wheel of a formula one car soon," Kubica, now 27, told Autoweek, "but it didn't work out."

He has at least now returned to competitive action, performing strongly at the wheel of rally cars in minor events.

But the limited mobility of his right arm, which was almost completely severed in his February 2011 crash, means that he cannot currently steer a single seater.

"I still find it difficult to move my right arm," said Kubica.

"I had several operations that were meant to improve this issue, but there's not been a spectacular improvement.

"If I can move my arm again, there is a chance that I will return (to F1).  But until that happens, we'll have to see.  There's no chance of me coming back to formula one soon," he admitted.

Kubica confessed to missing circuit racing, mentioning "touring cars or endurance racing" as potential avenues for the near future.

"I don't know -- but I will make a decision very soon," he said.

He said another option could be the world rally championship, but that would mean that he would probably not "fight for top results".

"We're talking with people at the moment, and everything will be decided by the end of the year," said Kubica.

And if he chooses rallying, that will likely mean he will not return to F1 at least until 2015.

"I don't want to spend a year in the world rally championship only to find out in November next year that I have no idea what I'm doing in 2014," said the former BMW and Renault driver.

"If I choose rallying, it needs to be a long-term program that allows me to learn.

"I can't do what I did in formula one before the accident, so I must choose a new direction, make the next step in my career.  We'll see what it is."

Renault: Red Bull are our No 1 priority
Engine supplier Renault is open to teaming up with more teams on the grid as long as it doesn't impact their current support of Red Bull.

For the third consecutive year, the Renault-powered Red Bull won the double through Sebastian Vettel. The French manufacturer also supplies power units to Lotus, Williams and Caterham.

Renault though are willing to sign up more teams, but their CEO and chairman Carlos Ghosn warns that Red Bull will remain their number one priority.

"We will provide as many teams as is allowed by the rules - because there are some rules and we will follow the rules - but the technology is not limited to just some teams," he is quoted as saying on ESPNF1. "We are ready to offer our technology to more teams, but on the condition that we do not dilute the attention on the teams that are winning.

"For us preserving a very strong technical support for Red Bull is a priority. We want to make sure that we are always on the teams that wins and which can compete. At the same time we are ready to provide the technology for other teams."

The 2013 season will be the last one during which the 2.4-litre V8s engines will be used as from 2014 teams will be forced to switch to the 1.6-litre V6 turbos and Ghosn welcomed the change.

"In 2008 when we made a change of strategy and we said we would become an engine provider," he said.

"The condition was that Formula One would move towards more environmentally friendly technologies. We didn't say we need electric cars or we need this and that, we just said we will stay and continue to contribute as long as the technology is moving towards being more environmentally friendly. That's what's taking place." Planet F1

Newey: Harder to find gains for 2013
Adrian Newey has admitted that it is becoming more challenging to find performance gains with the 2013 Red Bull. 
The maturity of the regulations, which were introduced in 2009, and the lack of rules tweaks for next season mean that teams are chasing ever-shrinking improvements with their cars.

The Red Bull has been the dominant force under this rules set, winning the drivers' and constructors' championship double three times in four years.

"It is increasingly difficult because there are no real regulations changes compared to this year and it will be the fifth season since the 2009 rule changes," Newey told AUTOSPORT.

"The field is converging and you can see how competitive it is in the fact that we had eight different winners this year."

Newey believes that the number of winners in 2012, which is the largest since 2003 when eight drivers also tasted victory, shows how tiny the margins are in F1 currently.

Five different teams won races, with Red Bull, McLaren, Ferrari, Mercedes and Williams all tasting success.

"It is a demonstration of how critical it is now," said Newey.

"Each race, you have so many variables that can cause swings between the cars.

"The tires have been talked about a lot and they are important as each car will work its tires slightly differently compared to its competitors.

"Sometimes, a particular track layout and temperature might suit a particular car more than its immediate rivals.

"Whether it's a predominantly high-speed corner circuit like Silverstone or a slow-speed corner circuit like Abu Dhabi, for instance.

"Those factors mean that it has been difficult for one team to dominate."

Newey added that next year's Red Bull RB9 would be an evolutionary step from this year's machine.

"There will be no surprises, next year's car will be very much an evolution of this year's," said Newey.

"The great thing about motorsport and F1 in particular is that we know what we are intending to achieve over the winter but we have no idea of what everyone else will manage."

Red Bull's dominance 2009-2012

Drivers' championships: 3 (75%)

Constructors' championships: 3 (75%)

Wins: 34 (45.3%)

Poles: 46 (61.3%)

Newey: No surprises with 2013 Red Bull
Adrian Newey says there will be "no surprises" with the 2013 Red Bull as the team look to continue their dominance of the sport.

The maturity of the regulations, which were introduced in 2009, and the lack of rules tweaks for next season mean that teams are chasing ever-shrinking improvements with their cars.

The Red Bull has been the dominant force under this rules set, winning the drivers' and constructors' championship double three times in four years, and Newey says that next year's Red Bull RB9 will be an evolutionary step from this year's machine.

"There will be no surprises, next year's car will be very much an evolution of this year's," said Newey.

"The great thing about motorsport and F1 in particular is that we know what we are intending to achieve over the winter but we have no idea of what everyone else will manage."

"It is increasingly difficult because there are no real regulations changes compared to this year and it will be the fifth season since the 2009 rule changes," he added.

"The field is converging and you can see how competitive it is in the fact that we had eight different winners this year."

Newey believes that the number of winners in 2012, which is the largest since 2003 when eight drivers also tasted victory, shows how tiny the margins are in F1 currently.

Five different teams won races, with Red Bull, McLaren, Ferrari, Mercedes and Williams all tasting success.

"It is a demonstration of how critical it is now," said Newey. "Each race, you have so many variables that can cause swings between the cars.

"The tires have been talked about a lot and they are important and each car will work its tires slightly differently compared to its competitors.

"Sometimes, a particular track layout and temperature might suit a particular car more than its immediate rivals.

"Whether it's a predominantly high-speed corner circuit like Silverstone or a slow-speed corner circuit like Abu Dhabi, for instance. Those factors mean that it has been difficult for one team to dominate." Yahoo! Eurosport UK

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