Latest F1 news in brief - Wednesday
Minardi co-founder Martini dies
- Williams could revert to 2012 exhaust
- Sauber situation 'unacceptable' - Hulkenberg
- Petrov not giving up after Kosachenko split
- Briatore: Red Bull pair have to split
- Pirelli: Red Bull tire criticism is wrong
- Claire Williams Announced as Deputy Team Principal
- Video: Ferrari - The F138, from production to the track
- Video: Mercedes AMG - Pit stop training with Hamilton & Rosberg
Minardi co-founder Martini dies
(GMM) Former driver and Minardi team co-founder Giancarlo Martini has died.
The news was reported late on Tuesday by Italian media sources and confirmed by Gian Carlo Minardi, the former owner and boss of the Faenza based F1 team.
Minardi said Martini, whose nephew was the mid-90s Minardi driver Pierluigi Martini, was "a very generous and kind friend of mine".
Martini, 66, was also a driver himself, having raced some non-championship F1 races in the mid-70s in a Ferrari run privately by Minardi.
Minardi is quoted by Autosprint: "I have lost a friend with whom I shared more than just my passion for racing."
La Gazzetta dello Sport reported that Martini had been ill for some time.
Williams could revert to 2012 exhaust
(GMM) Williams could revert to the exhaust of its 2012 car, after struggling for pace and handling with the new FW35 so far this season.
Technical boss Mike Coughlan admitted to ESPN that the main problem has been the 'Coanda' aerodynamic exhaust principle, which Grove based Williams is using for the first time in 2013.
He admitted "We need to go away and get a more consistent platform for the driver".
"We're of the opinion at the moment that a FW34-type of car would be faster," said Coughlan.
"I don't think we'll go back to an FW34, but we might go back to an FW34-style of exhaust system and treat Fridays as tests across cars."
Sauber situation 'unacceptable' - Hulkenberg
(GMM) New Sauber driver Nico Hulkenberg said eighth place in Malaysia last Sunday was "unacceptable".
After moving over the winter from Force India, the German was unable to make his debut as scheduled in Australia when a terminal fuel tank problem developed 90 minutes before the race.
But at Sepang, he finished four places ahead of rookie teammate Esteban Gutierrez, collecting four points and declaring himself "quite happy".
According to German-language sources Blick (Switzerland) and Auto Motor und Sport (Germany), however, Hulkenberg told his team after crossing the line that the result was "unacceptable".
"Thank you guys," he is quoted as having said by radio, "but we have to improve in many areas. This is not acceptable."
Blick quotes the 25-year-old as adding: "When I go at the speed of Ferrari, Lotus and McLaren, I quickly ruin the tires.
"Now we have a lot of data and impressions and I hope we can draw the right conclusions."
Auto Motor und Sport quotes Hulkenberg as saying: "There are still some areas where there are gaps. The car does not fit me like a shoe."
Meanwhile, France's RMC Sport claims Romain Grosjean appeared "visibly reassured" after the checkered flag in Malaysia, having struggled with essentially the same Lotus that powered Kimi Raikkonen to victory a week earlier.
Grosjean finished sixth at Sepang, one place ahead of his Finnish teammate, but French commentator Patrick Tambay concluded: "Romain was on par with him (Raikkonen)" all weekend.
"We have two strong drivers," agreed team boss Eric Boullier.
Petrov not giving up after Kosachenko split
(GMM) Former F1 driver Vitaly Petrov has revealed he will now handle his own affairs after splitting with his manager.
It emerged recently that driver manager Oksana Kosachenko has joined Petrov's former team Caterham as commercial director, in charge of acquiring new sponsors.
Petrov, who raced at Renault and Caterham between 2010 and last year, had targeted a return to F1 in 2014.
He told Russian website f1news.ru that his ambitions remain on track.
"I will control my own future, sorting out who will work with me and for whom I will be working next year," said the 28-year-old Russian.
"There will be some changes. I don't want to talk about it now, but in the near future it will all become clear."
Briatore: Red Bull pair have to split
Flavio Briatore has said he feels Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel won't be able to remain alongside each other in the Red Bull line-up for the 2014 F1 season.
The Italian, who has long been involved in the management of Webber's career, was speaking following the controversy that emerged at Sepang, where Webber was overtaken by team-mate Vettel despite a call from the team for the pair to hold position.
The move angered Webber who was clearly unhappy at the finish and has led to speculation about his future within the team.
The Australian is out of contract at the end of the season, when his current rolling one-year agreement comes to a conclusion, and Briatore said he didn't expect both drivers to be there next year as any trust between them had now gone.
"That's for sure,” he was quoted as telling RAI Radio when asked if he expected Webber or Vettel to move on. “Last year, already, there were problems. Their car is very competitive so drivers want to stay there, but [Sepang] was proof that no one is in charge at Red Bull. Vettel is the boss there. You can't have a team manager also doing the driving.
“I think there's no relationship anymore. Vettel says he will help Mark, but Mark doesn't need any help. He should have won the race, and it's possible that Vettel will win every other race.
"I don't think this relationship can be fixed. They are two professionals, they will win races and so on, but it's unthinkable that Mark may help Vettel in the future and I don't think Vettel will help Mark. We'll have two enemies inside a single team.”
Briatore also pulled no punches with his views on how the situation had been handled by Red Bull.
"If there was a manager with balls, he would have had them switch positions again," the former Renault boss said. "The problem is that there are two people [Christian Horner and Adrian Newey] with different ideas on the pit wall, with Helmut behind them doing the talking with Mateschitz, so you understand they are all scared."
Pirelli: Red Bull tire criticism is wrong
Pirelli insists it is unmoved by complaints from Red Bull about its tires, and it thinks that the Malaysian Grand Prix proved it is doing the right thing.
Formula 1's tire supplier faced a hard time from Red Bull representatives over the Sepang weekend, with the reigning champion team eager for the tires to be less aggressive.
Red Bull feels that the impact of the tire on car performance is too great, which is limiting the speed of its car.
The team still managed to take a one-two finish on Sunday as it carefully managed the tire situation, and Pirelli believes the lack of problems in the race showed that it has got its 2013 tire formula right.
When asked by AUTOSPORT if the race had silenced critics who were questioning the 2013 tires, Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery said: "To be honest it was only one critic really.
"Everyone else came and said they don't know what they [Red Bull] were talking about.
"It was a challenge. And pretty much the same as we had the last two years.
"You have a combination of the new car, winter testing in the cold, new tires, and the first time they come together is in Melbourne. And it has happened again.
"We have had two races and we tend to look at the first group of four races to see where we are."
Hembery was insistent that it would be wrong of Pirelli to make any changes to its tires at the whim of a single team.
"If you want to favor one team then the season is over," he said. "It would be finished by Monza.
"Red Bull clearly have a lot of performance. Maybe they would like something else but I am sure other teams would like other things as well." Yahoo Eurosport
Claire Williams Announced as Deputy Team Principal
(GMM) Claire Williams is now the deputy principal of her father Sir Frank's eponymous formula one team.
In between Australia and Malaysia, we reported rumors that the 36-year-old was already essentially running the famous Oxfordshire based squad.
Officially, however, she remained just the commercial director, having quickly gained a few promotions in the past 18 months, including taking over from her father on the team's board.
On Wednesday, Williams announced that Claire is now the deputy team boss.
In the newly created role, she will "work alongside" her father "in the day to day running and long term development" of the team.
"The position will strengthen the future of the team and create a clear succession path for Williams," read the media statement.
Ms Williams joined her father's team as a press officer in 2002.
"With Claire being appointed deputy team principal," Sir Frank Williams said on Wednesday, "I know the future of Williams is in extremely safe hands."”
Ferrari - The F138, from production to the track
Video: Mercedes AMG - Pit stop training with Hamilton & Rosberg