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DATE News (chronologically)
07/04/13
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday (Update) UPDATE Updates show in red below.

07/04/13
  • The cheating Mercedes team, who now are faster than all other F1 cars because they cheated, now wants in on the Young Driver test they were banned from
    Di Resta would 'jump' at Massa's seat
  • Mercedes wants to test on fourth day at Silverstone
  • Race win will motivate Hamilton - Brawn
  • Nurburgring's F1 future after 2013 'open' - report
  • Alonso says no driver boycott in Germany
  • Vettel ignores mind games and July 'curse'
  • F1 unease remains after Silverstone tire chaos New
  • Ferrari to test with Alonso and Massa New
  • Haug not ruling out F1 return New

Di Resta would 'jump' at Massa's seat
(GMM)  Paul di Resta has revealed he would "jump" at the opportunity to join Ferrari in 2014.

The Scot, often critical of his Force India team at recent grands prix, has already expressed interest in Red Bull, whose Mark Webber has announced his retirement.

"Where I am next year I do not know," he said ahead of the British grand prix.

But Red Bull subsequently made clear that only the Toro Rosso drivers, as well as Kimi Raikkonen, are in the frame.

"There's nothing I can do.  It is what it is," said di Resta.

So, the next top team in the 27-year-old's sights is Ferrari.

Team boss Stefano Domenicali has indicated Felipe Massa is likely to keep his seat alongside Fernando Alonso next year.

But Brazilian Massa, despite recovering his speed in 2014, has also had a spate of recent crashes.

Asked about the Maranello based team, di Resta is quoted by the Scotsman: "You would jump at it, definitely."

Di Resta's ancestry, like his IndyCar-racing cousin Dario Franchitti, is Italian.

"It's every boy's dream as they grow up to get in a Ferrari at some point in their life," di Resta said, "and being Italian is a nice thing, having the Italian blood."

He said the key to any opportunity to move up the grid is to keep his "reputation high".

"I want to be in a winning seat, but it's down to the decision of the boards of other teams," added di Resta.

Mercedes wants to test on fourth day at Silverstone
(GMM)  Ferrari looks set to drop its plans to run rookies at the forthcoming young drivers test.

Previously, only drivers with little experience were eligible to test at the Silverstone session.

But the tire-exploding British grand prix last weekend changed all that.

The FIA has reacted to the Pirelli crisis by allowing teams to run their race drivers for tire testing.

But only rookies will be allowed to do actual development testing, amid reports the FIA will have inspectors at Silverstone to ensure compliance.

Nonetheless, Ferrari looks set to run only its race drivers Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa at Silverstone.

"Obviously," confirmed sporting director Massimo Rivola, "this test will be carried out with the actual race drivers.

"There would be no sense in trying something new with youngsters at the wheel, who do not have the necessary experience to provide the required feedback."

Lotus' Romain Grosjean is also expecting a busy test later this month.

"Apparently, I could have a lot of work to do in the young drivers test," he admitted to France's Sport24.

"Nobody wants to see tires blowing so I know everyone in the sport is working with Pirelli to fix it," added Grosjean.

The FIA has also opened the door to the Silverstone test possibly being extended from three to four days.

Mercedes, banned from the test as a result of 'test-gate', has accepted it will not be allowed to run for the originally-scheduled three days.

But director Toto Wolff hinted the German team will push to attend, if the test is extended to a fourth day.

"Now we're being punished more, because the other teams can use their proper drivers, but we accept it for the purposes of safety.

"But if there is a fourth test day, we will fight to have this day," he revealed to Germany's Bild newspaper.

Race win will motivate Hamilton - Brawn
(GMM)  A win at the Nurburgring will be the perfect tonic for Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn admits.

This weekend's German grand prix is actually the team's and Nico Rosberg's home race, but Briton Brawn thinks countryman Hamilton "deserves" his breakthrough.

Rosberg won Mercedes' first race of 2013 at Monaco, and he followed it up with the win at Silverstone last Sunday -- but only after local hero Hamilton suffered an exploded Pirelli.

"He (Hamilton) deserves a win," said Brawn.

Hamilton, 28, has had a solid first half-season with Mercedes after switching from McLaren, but he has often struggled with the handling of his all-new car.

It means Rosberg has generally had the upper hand, creating the impression Hamilton - who is reported to have broken up with his long-term girlfriend Nicole - is now desperate to win.

"It (winning) will give him a lot of motivation," agreed Brawn, "not that he needs it.  But I think it will give him a boost to know he had the quickest car out there."

Brawn said Hamilton was "stronger" overall than Rosberg at Silverstone, "and I think Nico agrees".

Rosberg, however, is enjoying his position for now.

"Slowly but surely we are gaining the status as favorites," he is quoted by Spain's EFE news agency, "and it's fantastic."

The German also played down the effect Pirelli's tire shakeup will have this weekend.

"No matter what tires we use," said Rosberg, "we have a fast car and I think we can stay where we are."

Nurburgring's F1 future after 2013 'open' - report
(GMM)  The future of the Nurburgring's formula one race beyond this weekend's German grand prix is clouded.

We reported last week that the event is only on this year's calendar because Bernie Ecclestone waived his usual sanctioning fee -- believed to be EUR 14 million.

Track boss Karl-Josef Schmidt admitted on Wednesday to the German news agency DPA that the arrangements with Ecclestone for the 2013 race are "unique".

But he said the reports of a EUR 14 million 'gift' from Ecclestone are nonsense.

The F1 chief executive took responsibility for "part" of the fee, "not the whole thing", Schmidt clarified.

For the race organizers, he added, 2013 is more about keeping the race at the Nurburgring - which is for sale - rather than making a profit.

But beyond 2013, the Nurburgring's future in F1 "remains open", the DPA report concluded.

Alonso says no driver boycott in Germany
(GMM)  Fernando Alonso has played down the chance of a driver boycott this weekend at the Nurburgring.

Earlier, the Ferrari driver's teammate Felipe Massa would not rule out the possibility drivers will refuse to race in Germany, in the wake of the tire-exploding British grand prix.

At a sponsor event on Wednesday, Spaniard Alonso agreed that if the same tire situation shaped up at the Nurburgring, "It would be impossible to drive".

"We experienced things we never want to see again," said Alonso.

"It also could have been a lot worse -- marshals, fans or a driver could have been killed."

Indeed, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner thinks Alonso himself could have been the victim, as on-board footage shows he only narrowly avoided flying tire debris at Silverstone.

"Make no mistake," Horner is quoted by El Confidencial newspaper, "Fernando Alonso is someone very lucky to be able to go home (after Silverstone)."

Alonso said on Wednesday: "I've heard there have been some changes, but we can't make any predictions because nobody has tried them (the new tires) yet."

As for the specific talk of a boycott, however, Alonso is quoted by DPA news agency: "We have to race.

"For our team, for our sponsors, for the fans."

F1's stakeholders met at the Nurburgring's Dorint hotel on Wednesday, and representing the drivers was Nico Hulkenberg.

Afterwards, the Sauber driver told Sky: "I have no bad feelings going into this weekend now."

Also at the meeting with Pirelli was FIA race director Charlie Whiting.

"The data that we have," he is quoted by O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper, "as well as Pirelli, leads us to believe we will not see a repeat of Silverstone here in Germany."

Whiting also played down the impact the changes will have on the pecking order, after Ferrari, Lotus and Force India initially blocked the introduction of the Kevlar-belted tires.

"I don't think there will be any significant impact," he said.

And, anyway, he said all the teams are now fully on board.

"There were no complaints (during the Dorint meeting) at all," said Whiting.

Meanwhile, Bild newspaper reports that, before the Hungarian grand prix later in July, Pirelli will conduct two tests with 2011-spec cars, at Paul Ricard and Barcelona.

Vettel ignores mind games and July 'curse'
(GMM)  Sebastian Vettel insists talk about mind games and a July 'curse' will not distract his push for a first home win in Germany this weekend.

Not only has the reigning three-time world champion never won at his home tracks at the Nurburgring or Hockenheim, the newly 26-year-old has actually never won a grand prix in the month of July.

"There is no (July) curse," Vettel told Sport Bild this week.

"On the contrary, there is more of a home advantage, so I'll try again this time."

Also trying hard, however, will be Vettel's Red Bull teammate, Mark Webber, whose first ever win was at the Nurburgring in 2009.

Then, the Australian - set to retire from F1 at the end of the year - famously shouted the word 'yes!' into his team radio no fewer than 17 times after crossing the line.

He also has another reason to win this weekend, as revenge against German Vettel for the 'Multi-21' saga earlier in 2013.

Indeed, alluding to his special desire to win in Germany, Webber said at Silverstone last weekend: "I don't know what country it (the next race) is in but I would like to win it."

Vettel, however, told Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in an interview that he is not blind or deaf to the 'mind games'.

"Of course I notice," he said, "but I won't let myself be influenced by them.

"It is not decisive for the world championship whether somebody says something that I like or don't like.

"Maybe they believe they gain an advantage, but these games are not for me -- I don't get a kick out of shooting back.  I prefer to answer on the track," added Vettel.

F1 unease remains after Silverstone tire chaos
(GMM)  There remains an uneasy feeling in the Nurburgring paddock on Thursday, with memories of Sunday's chaotic and tire-exploding Silverstone race still fresh.

Pirelli and the FIA have reacted immediately to the worrying situation by ensuring teams will have new Kevlar-belted rear tires this weekend in Germany.

But the unease is about F1's tire supplier having claimed the teams were effectively to blame for the failed tires, by running low pressures, extreme cambers and fitting left-hand rears on the right of the car and vice versa.

SID news agency on Thursday, however, quoted Mercedes boss Ross Brawn as saying the German team - whose Lewis Hamilton suffered one of the spectacular tire failures in Britain - followed Pirelli's tire-operating guidelines to the letter.

And Speed Week correspondent Mathias Brunner quoted an unnamed team manager as also doubting Pirelli's qualms about rear tire swapping.

"Mounting the tires the wrong way around is nothing new," the team boss said, "and there have never really been any problems with it before.

"We have also always remained within acceptable limits with the tire pressures," the source added.

Additionally, the problems also weren't uniform up and down pitlane, with Force India's Adrian Sutil telling IANS news agency on Thursday: "We did not experience any problem (at Silverstone) and hope for the same in the coming race."

Ferrari to test with Alonso and Massa 
Ferrari has confirmed the team will bring Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa to this month's three-day test at Silverstone. The FIA announced earlier this week the originally planned rookie test can now be used by the teams as a three-day test with the official race drivers at Silverstone due to Pirelli's tire problems at the British track.

Ferrari has said it is very pleased with FIA's change of plans to use the three-day test to work on Pirelli's tires. “It will be very important to have this opportunity to try something new,” Massimo Rivola, the Ferrari's sporting director said. “Obviously, this test will be carried out with the actual race drivers, as there would be no sense in trying something new with youngsters at the wheel, who do not have the necessary experience to provide the required feedback.”

Haug not ruling out F1 return
(GMM)  Norbert Haug is not ruling out a return to formula one.

After more than two decades in the role, Mercedes replaced the 60-year-old German for 2013 with new director Toto Wolff.

With the 'test-gate' pain still fresh, Wolff said this week: "I take my hat off to Norbert, who did the job for 22 years."

Haug, however, said he has little intention of returning to the days of "150 days in the office and 150 days on the road" per year.

But he also told German newspaper Bild: "I can imagine supporting or helping or advising a small private team."

Haug did not specify if he was referring to formula one, DTM or another series.

He did, however, want to emphasize his role in Mercedes' current run of success in F1.

"My successor Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda are doing a really good job, for sure," said the German.

But Haug also hinted that the old guard, including Michael Schumacher, might also be able to claim a slice of the glory.

"The car was made by Ross Brawn and his team of engineers since the middle of last year, as success in formula one has a long lead time," said Haug.

"For the Silver Arrows it was three years; for Red Bull it was five."

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