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DATE News (chronologically)
05/22/13
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Wednesday (Updated) UPDATE Update shown in red below.

McLaren says they are happy with Button and Perez
05/22/13
  • McLaren happy with Perez and Button - boss
  • Pirelli 'too professional' to be unfair - Wolff
  • Raikkonen admits 'two options' for 2014 seat
  • Bianchi feels pressure to push Marussia forward
  • Brawn will 'find a way' to work with successor Lowe
  • Button not committing to McLaren's Honda era New

McLaren happy with Perez and Button - boss
(GMM)  McLaren is not looking to change its driver lineup, team boss Martin Whitmarsh said this week.

The Woking based team is happy with the highly experienced Jenson Button, but admitted last week it can't be sure the 33-year-old will still be around for the new Honda era beginning in 2015.

"It's more a question of hoping he will still be here in 2015," said managing director Jonathan Neale.

Less certain has been the future of Sergio Perez, who joined McLaren this year to replace the highly rated Lewis Hamilton.

The youngster has had a mixed start to his McLaren career.

He has often struggled to match Button's pace and had to apologize for a feisty attack on his teammate in Bahrain, and at other times has appeared to grapple with the pressure of driving for a top team in a competitive slump.

But boss Whitmarsh says he is now starting to see signs of improvement.

"Checo is showing the intelligence that we saw in him before (we signed him)," he told reporters during a Vodafone teleconference on Tuesday.

"I think he's working in a positive direction and is a good team player," added Whitmarsh.

"To come into a team with all those pressures and a comparative lack of experience, if you're going to be a star of the future, you've got to beat your teammate.  He's getting stuck into that now.

"We're very happy with our driver lineup.  If we give them a better car - as we aim to - I'm sure we'll have some better results," he said.

Pirelli 'too professional' to be unfair - Wolff
(GMM)  Toto Wolff says he trusts Pirelli to act fairly to all formula one teams.

Mercedes and Red Bull have been the most vocal about the Italian marque's controversial 2013 tires, causing Pirelli to announce significant changes for Canada next month.

But after Ferrari and Lotus hit back, the FIA intervened, making clear that Pirelli can only make mid-season changes for safety reasons, or with the unanimous agreement of all teams.

"This is formula one," Mercedes' executive director Wolff told the Austrian news agency APA.  "Everybody looks only for his own advantage, which is normal.

"Niki Lauda has said that it should be that the fastest wins, which is not us playing the game for ourselves, but for the fans.

"The rules however don't allow major changes during the season, so putting further pressure or lobbying Pirelli has no meaning.

"I think in the end Pirelli will not change so much during the season that a team will be advantaged or disadvantaged very much.

"Pirelli are too professional for that.  We just have to learn to deal with the situation and these tires," he added.

However, Wolff said he does see grounds for some changes, such as to prevent the sort of delamination issues seen at grands prix this year.

"Delamination is dangerous, so that is a safety issue.  It's up to Pirelli to decide," said the Austrian.

Even changes in this area may not occur, however, because Pirelli's Paul Hembery insists the existing 2013 tire range is safe already.

"It's important to point out that these delamination, which occur when the tread comes off, do not compromise the safety of the tires as the core structure of the tire is not affected in any way," he said.

Raikkonen admits 'two options' for 2014 seat
(GMM)  Kimi Raikkonen has admitted he is weighing up two offers to remain in formula one beyond 2013.

In the wake of his impressive return to the sport, the Finn's two-year contract with Lotus is now expiring.

The Enstone based team clearly wants to retain the 33-year-old former world champion, who has thrived under Lotus' laid-back regime.

But team owner Gerard Lopez admitted to PA Sport news agency this week: "If he could find a better car somewhere else, and he had an option to go there, then I'm sure he would consider it."

Raikkonen's other option could be Red Bull, who are not yet committing to Mark Webber beyond the veteran Australian's 2013 deal.

When asked how many options he has for 2014, former Ferrari and McLaren driver Raikkonen told Italy's Autosprint: "It depends.

"I would say that I have two, but in F1 you never know exactly.

"I've been here (in F1) long enough to know that the only thing that matters is finding the right situation for yourself," he answered, when asked how he will come to his final decision.

Steve Robertson, Raikkonen's long-time manager, said it is obvious the cool Finn - nicknamed 'the iceman' - is the hottest property on the driver market at present.

"Kimi has done a brilliant job with Lotus so it's no secret that, at the moment, he is the hottest driver available for next year," he told Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat.

"You know what a good job a driver is doing when a team (Lotus) starts talking so early about next year," added Robertson.

"I am not saying if there are more teams interested (in Raikkonen) but, for sure, a driver as competitive as Kimi is right now is always very much in the attention of all the top teams," he said.

Bianchi feels pressure to push Marussia forward
(GMM)  Jules Bianchi thinks it is possible Marussia is on the verge of breaking into F1's midfield.

Since the team debuted as Virgin in 2010, the red and black cars have always occupied the last rows of the grid, and Bernie Ecclestone even wanted Marussia to merge with fellow backmarker Caterham ahead of the 2013 season.

And as recently as this week, F1's chief executive has proposed a 'customer car' rule be introduced.

"Ecclestone says the new rule would particularly benefit Marussia, F1's worst-performing team," F1 business journalist Christian Sylt wrote in the Express newspaper following his latest interview with the 82-year-old.

But, actually, Marussia - despite being locked out of F1's income-distribution Concorde Agreement by Ecclestone for now - is the faster of the backmarker teams so far this year.

That is thanks in part to the increasingly highly-rated skills of F1 rookie Jules Bianchi, who found his way onto the grid this year only after Luiz Razia's sponsor money dried up.

The Ferrari-backed Frenchman also credits Marussia.

"The team has done a great job with the car, which is not as bad as people may think," Bianchi, 23, told Spain's El Confidencial.

"If we had a little more downforce we could be half-way down the grid, so we need to continue in this way."

It could be said that, with Bianchi currently clearly outpacing teammate Max Chilton, all the pressure is on his shoulders to help Marussia finish tenth this year -- giving the team crucial access to F1's official prize-money pool.

"I'm used to pressure anyway," Bianchi answered, "but it is true that it is very important for Marussia to end up in that position, even if it will be very difficult, as Caterham is in the same situation as us."

There is also pressure to impress Ferrari, who could be on the lookout for a new teammate for Fernando Alonso for 2014.

"I don't know," Bianchi said when asked about Felipe Massa's seat, "I have no idea and in this world you never know which way it's going to go.

"I'll just try to do my best and if they decide to call me up I won't say no, of course, but we're far away from that now," he added.

Brawn will 'find a way' to work with successor Lowe
(GMM)  Ross Brawn has hinted that Mercedes has just appointed his successor.

Briton Brawn, 58, is currently Mercedes' team principal, but big rumors this year had linked former McLaren technical director Paddy Lowe with that job.

Mercedes has negotiated Lowe's early release from his McLaren 'gardening leave', but in a statement the Brackley based team said the 51-year-old is the new executive technical director -- not team boss as was speculated.

"Ross Brawn will retain overall responsibility for technical and sporting matters," said Mercedes.

For the longer term, however, it might be seen that Lowe is now preparing to succeed Brawn.

Brawn hinted at that in the official statement, saying the transition from this year's V8 regulations to the turbo V6s next year is not the only challenge facing big teams.

"It is perhaps less obvious," he said, "that we will also see major changes for the 2015 and 2016 seasons, as development progresses with the new generation of car design and power unit."

And Brawn told Italy's Autosprint this week: "Paddy and I will find a way to live together.

"Sooner or later I will retire, but first I want to see the fruits of the hard work."

Button not committing to McLaren's Honda era
(GMM)  Jenson Button on Wednesday refused to commit to McLaren for the beginning of the Honda era in 2015.

Team boss Martin Whitmarsh this week said he is happy with McLaren's current driver lineup, but managing director Jonathan Neale acknowledged that the Woking based team is merely "hoping" Button will still be at the wheel in two years.

When asked about 2015, when former works Honda driver Button will potentially be reunited with Japanese power at McLaren, the 33-year-old said in Monaco: "I don't want to think about the future too much at the moment.

"You've got to live in the moment and I don't think trying to agree a lengthy deal for the future is something that is interesting at the moment for me."

Button did, however, sound excited about the Honda deal -- not just for McLaren's sake, but also for F1 more generally.

"For us as a team, I think it's good news for the future.  But I also think for the sport as a whole, it's fantastic news," said the Briton.

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