Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday
- Montezemolo not ready for 2014 Massa talks
- Interlagos moves to secure F1 future through 2020
- Pirelli drops 'conservative' Hungary compound choice
- Raikkonen to Red Bull 'cool' - Hamilton
- F1 extends media pitlane ban to all sessions
- Sauber F1 Team Has To Find ride-buyers To Avoid Extinction
- Ricciardo: Red Bull not biggest spur
Montezemolo not ready for 2014 Massa talks
(GMM) Luca di Montezemolo on Wednesday said he is not ready to talk about Felipe Massa's future at Ferrari.
The Brazilian has been involved in a string of on-track incidents dating back every race since Monaco, amid speculation the Italian team might finally choose another teammate for Fernando Alonso next season.
"Yes, these are critical moments," team boss Stefano Domenicali said after Massa's spin into retirement at the Nurburgring, "and of course we are not happy with the results.
"But we have to support Felipe, because the team is fighting for the constructors' championship."
Notwithstanding Domenicali's comments, 32-year-old Massa said he has "no idea" if his recent incidents had jeopardized his future.
And Ferrari president Montezemolo said on Wednesday: "(Massa's) Future? We will talk about that further down the line as there's no hurry."
Drivers including Nico Hulkenberg and Jules Bianchi have been linked with Massa's 2014 seat.
Massa was at Ferrari's Maranello factory to work in the simulator and meet with Montezemolo on Wednesday.
Montezemolo said: "Felipe is fully aware he can count on our total confidence in him.
"I hope he will soon secure the results that will show his talent to the full, such as the great starts he pulled off at the last two grands prix."
Former F1 engineer Gary Anderson, however, said Massa's recent mistakes have come at "the most inconvenient time" for the Brazilian, whose contract expires soon.
"The mistake at the Nurburgring is not one a driver of his caliber should be making," Anderson told Speed Week.
"Maybe it's time for Ferrari to get another driver who scores more regularly.
"Nico Hulkenberg is an obvious choice, but personally I would get Jules Bianchi. He is less likely to trouble Fernando's position as top dog," he added.
Interlagos moves to secure F1 future through 2020
(GMM) Interlagos has moved a step closer to securing its future on the F1 calendar.
Earlier this year, the future of the Brazilian grand prix came into doubt when F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone said the venue in Sao Paulo must be upgraded.
But those fears eased when Ecclestone confirmed city mayor Fernando Haddad had written him a letter "and he's guaranteed to revamp the whole facilities there".
It was said a new contract through 2020 would then be signed.
Now, O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper is reporting that the city has indeed opened up bids for the construction of an all-new three-storey pit and paddock complex and revisions to the layout, to be ready for 2015.
The report said Sao Paulo is paying for the project through an agreement with the tourism ministry, aimed at "maintaining F1 in Brazil and in the city of Sao Paulo", according to spokesman Nunzio Briguglio.
Pirelli drops 'conservative' Hungary compound choice
(GMM) Pirelli has reversed its decision to bring harder tires to the forthcoming Hungarian grand prix.
Lotus had questioned the F1 supplier's "unusual" call in taking the same tires to tight and twisty Hungary as it did to Bahrain and Silverstone.
Chief engineer Alan Permane added that Pirelli's choice was too "conservative", even though teams like Mercedes and Red Bull pushed for it.
But the BBC reports that Pirelli has now tweaked its compound choice for Hungary, replacing the 'hard' with the 'soft'.
The tire supplier said the decision follows the introduction of the all-new tire construction in Hungary, combining the 2012 carcass with this year's compounds.
"The change to the 2012 construction means that Hungary doesn't require such a hard compound now," said a spokesperson.
Raikkonen to Red Bull 'cool' - Hamilton
(GMM) Lewis Hamilton thinks Kimi Raikkonen should leap at the chance to join Red Bull in 2014.
The Mercedes driver said Finn Raikkonen, who is currently weighing up between the move alongside Sebastian Vettel or staying at Lotus, would give Vettel "a hard time".
"It would be really cool to see Kimi in a Red Bull. He would give Seb a hard time," 2008 world champion Hamilton is quoted by the Sun.
"Kimi is an incredible driver, everyone knows that, so with an even better car it would be interesting to see what he does with that."
Hamilton, on the other hand, has often struggled to match up to his own teammate in 2013, having switched from McLaren to join Nico Rosberg at Mercedes.
But Ferrari's Fernando Alonso said he is not surprised by German Rosberg's top form.
"We saw him beat Michael (Schumacher) the last few years, and not because Michael had forgotten how to drive but because Nico did a fantastic job, and he's getting even better," the Spaniard told Sport Bild.
F1 extends media pitlane ban to all sessions
(GMM) F1 authorities have clamped down even harder on pitlane safety protocols, in the wake of the Nurburgring incident.
After a television cameraman for Bernie Ecclestone's FOM operation was hospitalized by Mark Webber's stray wheel after a pitstop last Sunday, the FIA announced that media will be banned from the pitlane during races and qualifying.
And it now emerges that FOM has extended that ban to free practice, meaning that pit reporters will no longer be free to stalk pitlane for coverage and information during sessions.
The British broadcaster Sky confirmed that it has been told of the "all-new guidelines" by FOM ahead of the forthcoming Hungarian grand prix.
"Safety remains a prime concern and we are sure that, whilst the new regulations will mean certain changes to pitlane protocols, we are confident that our coverage will not be affected," Sky added in a statement.
Sauber F1 Team Has To Find ride-buyers To Avoid Extinction
One of F1’s most historic teams is "facing a countdown to extinction" unless it can find financial backers quickly, which usually means ride-buyers with rich fathers.
Sauber admitted Tuesday that it is "in danger of being cut off by suppliers who have not been paid," while it scours the globe for investors willing to secure its future. Team Founder Peter Sauber revealed that it is living "day to day."
Rumors "have bounced around the paddock for weeks that a team were in serious financial difficulties," while there are warnings that more could be dragged down with teams facing a $2B hike in costs over the next seven years.
Sauber driver Nico Hulkenberg, signed from Force India, "has been given the freedom to leave his contract amid speculation that he has not been paid." That "could open the way for him to make the move to Ferrari alongside Fernando Alonso if the Scuderia decide to replace Massa, who is on a poor run again."
The young German "is also a target for Lotus to replace Raikkonen but could find a home at Red Bull next season in place of Mark Webber."
Peter Sauber admitted his "embarrassment" at the team’s financial plight. He said, "For the large part, we are being met with understanding, but it is very stressful for us and in many regards painful" In part from London Times
Ricciardo: Red Bull not biggest spur
Daniel Ricciardo says a spell of being beaten by Toro Rosso team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne was a bigger factor in his turnaround than the 2014 Red Bull chance.
Ricciardo and Vergne are vying with Kimi Raikkonen for the Red Bull seat alongside Sebastian Vettel that Mark Webber will vacate after this year.
After Webber's announcement at Silverstone, Ricciardo proceeded to qualify in the top six for the next two races, and finished eighth in Britain.
Vergne could not get beyond Q2 at either event and retired from both grands prix.
But their form had been the other way around in Monaco and Canada, where it was Vergne who flew into the points as Ricciardo languished in the midfield.
"Before all the Red Bull talk, I had come off two poor races," said Ricciardo.
"We had three weeks off after Montreal and that was a good time to really reassess a few things and try and bring the boys together and myself and really try and understand how we can move forward.
"That alone, and the fact that JEV had two really strong races, which showed the car had potential, gave me a lot of fire."
Ricciardo said the difference had not come from how hard he was pushing on track, but from working better on his preparations.
"I like to think I always work hard away from the cockpit, but maybe I worked even harder," he said.
"That was the real motivation to make me step up, the Red Bull thing was just a bit of icing!" Yahoo Eurosport