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DATE News (chronologically)
01/08/13
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Tuesday  UPDATE Updates shown in red below.

01/08/13
  • Maldonado vows to keep 'extremely aggressive' style
  • Stewart wrong to say F1 poorly managed - FIA
  • Lotus to launch new car in late January - Grosjean
  • Marko: Alonso's approach too political New
  • Lotus: Raikkonen thrives in our environment New
  • Videos: F1 Safety Car Feature New
  • Perez 'flies' when things are right - Sauber New
  • Ecclestone to decide Nurburgring fate - spokesman New

Maldonado vows to keep 'extremely aggressive' style
(GMM)  Pastor Maldonado insists he has no intention of easing what he describes as an "extremely aggressive" driving style.

Like Romain Grosjean, Williams driver and 2012 Spanish grand prix winner Maldonado was heavily criticized last season for being involved in too many on-track incidents.

One analysis showed he was the driver penalized most often by the FIA in 2012.

But the 27-year-old Venezuelan insisted: "Every time I walk down a hallway in my house and see everything I've got with this style, I think I should continue on this path.

"Yes, I've had run-ins with other drivers, not only now but in the past," Maldonado is quoted by Spain's Marca sports newspaper.

"But I have won in each of the categories in which I have competed.

"That gives me strength to keep going, because you can always improve," he added.

Stewart wrong to say F1 poorly managed - FIA
(GMM)  An FIA spokesman has rejected F1 legend Sir Jackie Stewart's claim that the sport is disorganized and poorly managed.

Triple world champion Stewart, 73, said the post-season controversy over yellow flags in Brazil that for several days questioned Sebastian Vettel's latest title, was proof of the FIA's shortcomings.

"Was the judgment of yellow and green flags right or wrong in Brazil and why would that have to come up on a Wednesday or Thursday?" he told F1 business journalist Christian Sylt.

"That is a huge statement of a disorganized function that it should come up then," Stewart is quoted by cityam.com.

"The whole world is celebrating a new world champion and then that happens on a Wednesday.  That is a poor declaration of management."

But an FIA spokesman hit back: "It was not a lack of management as there was no case to answer.

"Race control did not refer this to stewards because it was not deemed to be an incident."

Stewart, however, said the situation would be improved by replacing the system of rotating stewards at each grands prix and having at least "one man who goes to every race".

He also commented on the presidential style of Jean Todt, who since late 2009 has led the FIA in controversial predecessor Max Mosley's wake.

"I am surprised how silent Todt has been," said Stewart.  "I expected him to have more presence.

"I don't know whether he's biding his time.  I don't think he is by any means not smart so there must be a reason."

Lotus to launch new car in late January - Grosjean
(GMM)  Romain Grosjean has dropped a big hint about Lotus' 2013 plans, revealing the new Enstone-built single seater will be launched late this month.

Speaking to the French sports news program Stade 2, the Frenchman also revealed that he and continuing Lotus teammate Kimi Raikkonen will equally share the twelve days of pre-season testing in February.

"The next few weeks for me will be intense training, with the presentation of the new car at the end of the month," said Grosjean.

"Then I will have six days of testing in February and then finally the beginning of the season in March," he added.

Grosjean, 26, also spoke about his tumultuous 2012 season, and his acknowledgement that he needs to maintain his new approach to formula one.

"I do not think winning at all costs is the goal, because the dream is to become world champion one day.

"Of course it is true that you have to win races to be champion, but I must be careful not to mistake the goal," he added.

"That's what cost me the nickname 'First lap nutcase' last year," Grosjean admitted.

"It must be viewed in context.  Mark Webber said it straight out of the car in Japan, with all the adrenaline of the race still inside him.

"I am not crazy, I am aware of the risks and I have worked hard to repair my mistakes.

"I apologized which is the most I can do.  In the last five races I no longer had any problems and there is no reason that I will have them anymore."

Swiss-born Grosjean also admitted that, with Europe in the grip of winter, he is not contractually allowed to do any skiing.

Meanwhile, Ferrari has denied Italian media reports that said the next red single seater will be publicly launched on February 2.

"We will make an announcement when the date is decided," a spokesman insisted.

Marko: Alonso's approach too political
Sebastian Vettel beat Fernando Alonso to the 2012 Formula 1 title because his Ferrari rival meddled too much in politics and psychological warfare, reckons Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmet Marko.

Reflecting on the 2012 world championship battle in the latest edition of Red Bull's in-house magazine the Red Bulletin, Marko argued that Alonso got distracted by off-track aspects while Vettel focused solely on driving.

"Sebastian's driving was virtually flawless," said Marko. "But he is a phenomenon: it is always like that.

"After the summer break, his performance curve shoots up. That's what happened in previous years, too.

"I don't know how he does it, but to keep doing it cannot be a coincidence. That brings us back to his method of preparation, the way he shuts himself off from the rest of the world, so that he can still call on reserves that other drivers might not have.

"Fernando Alonso, for example, who is busy with politics and funny comments.

"Vettel ignores it all; he doesn't read the newspapers, or the internet. And that's the point, you see, we concentrate on our job: to make the fastest car and the best team possible."

Marko claimed that Ferrari founder Enzo Ferrari would have been harder on his team in defeat than Alonso and current chiefs.

"I believe that there is no way old Enzo would have liked such defeat, but he would acknowledge the performance of the opposition," he added.

"And then [he] would whip his boys accordingly so they'd do everything to beat us.

"But not with such actions as we have recently experienced. Alonso is constantly involved in politics.

"I believe we saw the stress he was under towards the end of the season. Saying things like, 'I'm competing against [Lewis] Hamilton, not Vettel,' and 'I'm up against [Adrian] Newey,' these psychological skirmishes. We said, 'Just ignore him.'"

Marko says he has little time for critics of Vettel, and is not worried by speculation that his German driver could switch to Ferrari in the future.

"There is a lot of nonsense being said. 'Vettel can't overtake.' Ridiculous; just look at Abu Dhabi and Brazil. 'He is only able to win because he's sitting in a Newey car.' We have two Newey cars, so why aren't we clinching one-two at every race?

"Then the comment of the great Jackie Stewart that Vettel must go to another team to prove himself. This is said by someone who scored all his greatest successes in just one team, Tyrrell. I can't take it seriously." Yahoo! Eurosport UK

Lotus: Raikkonen thrives in our environment
Gerard Lopez, head of Lotus team owners Genii Capital, believes Kimi Raikkonen was able to find the perfect balance to his work and personal life in 2012. Having been criticized for a lack of enthusiasm in the past, the Finn surpassed expectations by securing the outfit's maiden victory under its current guise.

Raikkonen, who returned to Formula 1 following a break of two years, finished on the podium a total of seven times last season, prompting Lopez to claim that the more relaxed atmosphere at Lotus has allowed him to get closer to his full potential.

"It makes me smile," Lopez explained to Gazzetta dello Sport. "I knew it would be like this. Raikkonen has put in a great amount of work to compliment his raw talent and the results are the fruits of this.

"He feels like he is used for what’s most important and the rest of the time he is free. He’s found a balance; we speak every week, he feels good. He has enthusiasm and desire. I want drivers, not robots."

Lopez went on to talk about Raikkonen's current team-mate, Romain Grosjean. Despite a turbulent campaign, which featured a one-race ban for his part in the violent first corner crash at Spa-Francorchamps, the Frenchman has been backed to shine.

"There were four drivers who had more reprimands than him, but they took part in every race and Grosjean was instead banned for the Italian Grand Prix," he added. "However, he has shown that he is quick - I’m expecting a lot from him this year."

Videos: F1 Safety Car Feature
The Formula 1 Safety Car was first introduced at the 1973 Canadian Grand Prix. Witness its entire journey in these special feature s.



Perez 'flies' when things are right - Sauber
(GMM)  Sauber's team manager has farewelled recently departed Sergio Perez with a round of praise.

As the pundits assess McLaren's choice to replace Lewis Hamilton, Sauber team manager Beat Zehnder told Auto Motor und Sport that 22-year-old Mexican Perez should not be underestimated.

"In terms of tire management," he said, "he is a natural talent.

"He has an incredibly good feeling for getting the best out of the tires and at the same time keeping them alive.

"We've seen it a few times.  If everything falls into place, he literally flies."

Zehnder admitted, however, that the answer is "in the stars" as to whether Perez can turn those skills into true championship-winning potential.

Indeed, Auto Motor und Sport said some at Sauber - the Swiss team that has hosted Perez since his F1 debut in 2011 - think Perez is immature, impatient, hot-headed and inconsistent.

As well as his 3 podiums, Perez failed to score a single point in 13 of last year's races, including his six-race drought after news broke he was heading to McLaren in 2013.

Martin Whitmarsh, his new boss, hopes Perez stays close to Jenson Button this year.

"Jenson is the easiest teammate to collaborate with," said the McLaren chief.  "He is honest and open and willing to help.

"I hope Sergio is smart enough to recognize that he still has a lot to learn."

Ecclestone to decide Nurburgring fate - spokesman
(GMM)  Huge uncertainty still surrounds the hosting of this year's German grand prix.

Just after Christmas, a major German newspaper declared that - despite the circuit's financial woes - the Nurburgring will run the early July event after all.

"Formula one will be held at the Nurburgring on July 7, 2013," Nurburgring Automotive GmbH spokesman Karl-Heinz Steinkuhler said.

"The major sponsors are making their bookings now."

But on Monday, the Reuters news agency reported that F1 packages for Germany in 2013 are still "conspicuously absent" from the usual ticket websites.

A financial recovery company is current handling the Nurburgring's insolvency process, and spokesman Pietro Nuvoloni on Tuesday admitted uncertainty remains.

"The ball is currently with Bernie Ecclestone," he is quoted by Rhein Zeitung newspaper.

Reports have suggested meetings between the F1 chief executive and Nurburgring officials are scheduled for January in London.

"We hope there will be formula one at the Nurburgring in 2013," said Nuvoloni.

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