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DATE News (chronologically)
06/03/13
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Monday
  • 'Rules allow' test with old car - Ferrari
  • Future unclear for Canadian GP
  • Mercedes could quit over Ecclestone corruption
  • Grosjean 'like injury-prone football player' - Lopez
  • Mercedes should ban Hamilton's dog - Watson
  • Vettel shows strength no F1 barrier for women - Wolff
  • Kobayashi aiming for F1 return in 2014
  • Vettel unsure if Raikkonen as teammate 'realistic'

'Rules allow' test with old car - Ferrari
(GMM)  Ferrari has hit back at claims it is also being investigated by the FIA for illegally testing with Pirelli.

While earlier it was believed only Mercedes was under the spotlight for its Barcelona running with its 2013 car and race drivers, the FIA is also looking into Ferrari's recent Barcelona test.

But Ferrari spokesman Renato Bisignani told Brazil's O Estado de S.Paulo: "There is nothing wrong with using a two year old car -- the rules allow it."

Indeed, it is believed that the 2011 Ferrari used for the Pirelli test was actually owned by a private owner, and operated by the Corse Clienti department, not the race or test team.

However, test driver Pedro de la Rosa was at the wheel.

"We have never tested with this year's car," a Ferrari spokesman is separately quoted by Italy's Autosprint.

Mercedes' Toto Wolff said he will not comment further on the test controversy for now.

"We have until this week to answer a series of questions," he is quoted by Speed Week, referring to the FIA's investigation.

Future unclear for Canadian GP
(GMM)  The Canadian grand prix will be run and won this weekend without the future of the Montreal race being clear.

La Presse reports that while authorities had been "hopeful" a new ten-year deal could be announced at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, there is a bureaucratic holdup within the Ottawa government.

"The negotiations continue," said correspondent Sebastian Templar.

Similarly, the Journal de Montreal reports that the federal government is not currently willing to increase its annual financial contribution, despite Bernie Ecclestone pushing for vital renovations to the ageing track on the Ile Notre Dame.

"(The stance of) Ottawa has surprised its partners, the government of Quebec, the city of Montreal and Tourisme Montreal," added Templar.

Race promoter Francois Dumontier said: "I remain optimistic the various levels of government will find a solution."

Mercedes could quit over Ecclestone corruption
(GMM)  Mercedes is not ruling out quitting formula one over the Bernie Ecclestone corruption scandal.

DPA news agency reports that, when negotiating its new Concorde Agreement terms with Ecclestone, Mercedes parent Daimler inserted an exit clause relating to corruption.

F1 chief executive Ecclestone is expected to face bribery charges by Munich prosecutors over his $44 million payment to jailed former banker Gerhard Gribkowsky.

Christine Hohmann-Dennhardt, a member of Daimler's board of management for integrity and legal affairs, confirmed the existence of the F1 contract clause.

"We would utilize the contract terms when it is necessary," she is quoted as saying.

Grosjean 'like injury-prone football player' - Lopez
(GMM)  Lotus owner Gerard Lopez has backed Romain Grosjean, amid speculation the Enstone based team could replace the beleaguered French driver.

Having seemingly overcome his 'first lap nutcase' troubles of 2012, 27-year-old Grosjean is now back in the wars with a ten-place grid penalty for Montreal for his Monaco crash with Daniel Ricciardo.

In the wake of the Monaco controversy, team boss Eric Boullier answered "not yet" when asked if Lotus might consider replacing Grosjean with GP2 champion Davide Valsecchi.

He and team owner Lopez, however, have also defended Grosjean.

"The first (Monaco) accident in practice was our fault," Lopez told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

"The tire pressures were wrong and we did not tell him.  The second crash was comparable to Massa's -- we believe both were distracted by a car coming out of the pits.

"From that, he was under pressure for the rest of the weekend.  The speed was there," said Lopez, adding that hurried repairs meant Grosjean's car was "not really perfect" for the race.

And Lopez said the crash with Ricciardo was caused by frustration.

"Romain is not a guy who can drive behind for so long, especially when he knows he could be so much further forward," he said.

He said Lotus continues to believe in Grosjean, but smiled as he likened him to a talented football player "who is constantly getting stupid injuries".

"He's super fast in anything with four wheels -- he would be quick with a shopping cart.

"He is a natural talent and there are not too many others like him; Hulkenberg, Bianchi but I can't think of many others," said Lopez.

Meanwhile, Grosjean said he believes his ten-place penalty for the Ricciardo crash is "quite harsh".

As for his mixed 2013 season so far, he said: "On paper it's not as good as we would have wanted it to be, but I'm happy with all my performances so far except for Monaco."

Mercedes should ban Hamilton's dog - Watson
(GMM)  Mercedes should ban Lewis Hamilton's dog from the paddock, according to former F1 driver John Watson.

While the 2008 world champion insists he is enjoying his new freedoms after quitting McLaren, driver-turned-pundit Watson is making the link between Hamilton's lifestyle and his current struggles versus teammate Nico Rosberg.

"There is no place for a dog in the F1 paddock," 67-year-old Watson told the Daily Express.

"For one thing, it is not fair on the animal.  It (also) shows that Mercedes are bending over too far to please Lewis.  There is absolutely no way McLaren would have allowed it.

"Lewis has to decide if he wants to be an F1 driver or a hip-hop star.

"He went to Mercedes with the reputation of being the man who would get the job done.  But it is just not happening for him at the minute and he needs to start working out why," he added.

On the other side of the coin, however, Monaco winner Rosberg's top form is winning praise up and down the paddock.

"For me, the way Nico has Lewis under control is the surprise of the season," Manfred Zimmermann, who is Adrian Sutil's manager, told Germany's Auto Bild.

"It also shows that Michael Schumacher was not so bad in his last three years," he added.

Vettel shows strength no F1 barrier for women - Wolff
(GMM)  Susie Wolff has cited Sebastian Vettel as an example of how women could compete head-to-head in formula one against men.

Wolff, Williams' test driver who has applied for the mandatory super license enabling her to contest grands prix, is pushing hard to become the first woman in two decades to attempt to race in F1.

Critics, however, often cite women's inferior physical strength as an obstacle, even though Wolff has conducted F1 aerodynamic tests, and raced in the DTM touring car series and junior single seater categories.

And Wolff, 30, told the Observer newspaper: "Look at the size of Sebastian Vettel.  Do you see a big, muscular guy?

"I know women have 30pc less muscle than men.  And in DTM I had to train harder.

"But I was karting from such a young age that, year on year, my body was getting stronger in the right places."

Kobayashi aiming for F1 return in 2014
(GMM)  Kamui Kobayashi insists his target is to return to formula one next year.

Dropped by Sauber at the end of last season, the Japanese was signed by Ferrari to race a works 458 Italia in the 2013 world endurance championship.

But the 26-year-old is also keeping a toe in the F1 waters, attending the recent Monaco grand prix and then testing a formula one Ferrari car at Fiorano in preparation for a demonstration event in Russia next month.

"I will also have a chance to test the simulator in the near future," said Kobayashi.

"Personally speaking, I want to come back to formula one next year," he added.

If his mission fails, however, Kobayashi is vowing to repay all of the money pledged by his fans to add to his sponsor offerings to a potential F1 employer.

He said the money raised so far is still in the bank.

"This (money) was purely for a F1 seat," said Kobayashi.  "And if I don't need to use it for next year's F1 seat, I want to return it all to whoever made the donations."

Vettel unsure if Raikkonen as teammate 'realistic'
(GMM)  Sebastian Vettel admits he is not sure if the idea of having Kimi Raikkonen as his teammate next year is "realistic".

Red Bull has not ruled out replacing Mark Webber, who fell out badly with world champion Vettel over the 'Multi-21' affair, with Finn Raikkonen in 2014.

Asked if he would like to share the Red Bull garage with his friend and fellow world champion Raikkonen next year, Vettel admitted: "I don't know how realistic that is.

"I do get on very well with him," he told Welt am Sonntag newspaper.

However, Vettel insisted that the media image of him and Raikkonen as best friends is "exaggerated".

"We see each other at the races if time permits, as we are both straightforward, honest -- we do get on well together," he said.

"But you don't find your real friends in formula one," added Vettel.

Meanwhile, Vettel said that his handling of the 'Multi-21' affair - when he brashly said he refused to let Webber win in Malaysia because the Australian didn't "deserve" it - simply revealed his true character.

"The image of me that existed before that day was simply wrong," said the triple world champion.

"Malaysia opened the eyes of many in this regard," Vettel admitted.

"If there is something unpleasant to speak about, I have always done it, just normally in the presence of those who really need to hear it, not the people sitting in front of the television.

"This time, it was different," he added.

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