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DATE News (chronologically)
07/22/13
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Monday  
  • Ralf Schumacher thinks Raikkonen should jump at Red Bull
    Jordan, Schumacher disagree over Raikkonen's next move
  • F1 'definitely too soon' for teen Sirotkin - boss
  • Magnussen hopes for 2014 F1 debut
  • Schumacher impressed with F1 driver quartet
  • Marussia not upset by Sauber's Russian deal
  • Pirelli criticism not justified, says Hembery

Jordan, Schumacher disagree over Raikkonen's next move
(GMM)  Eddie Jordan has tipped Red Bull to pick Daniel Ricciardo as Sebastian Vettel's new teammate for 2014.

Lotus team boss Eric Boullier said as recently as last Friday that he is doing "everything we can" to convince Kimi Raikkonen to stay next season.

Jordan, a former F1 team owner turned broadcaster for British television, thinks the Finn will ultimately decide to turn down Red Bull's admitted strong interest.

"At first I was pretty sure that Raikkonen will replace Mark Webber," Jordan told Russia's f1news.ru.

"But now I'm ready to change my mind," he admitted.  "Sebastian Vettel is staying until 2015 and so it's probably not the best time to become his teammate.

"I think Red Bull will opt for Daniel Ricciardo.

"I don't think Raikkonen wants to get into an extensive program at Red Bull, with all the marketing, the work with the sponsors, the photo shoots and so on.

"That's the sort of work that every driver for that team has to do.

"Red Bull has a marketing program, but Kimi Raikkonen just wants to race.  I doubt they will find common ground," added Jordan.

Former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher, however, thinks Raikkonen should snap up Red Bull's offer.

"In his situation," the former Williams and Toyota driver said, "I would go to Red Bull without hesitation -- not for a second.

"It's true that we don't know every detail, like what kind of agreement Sebastian Vettel has," the German is quoted by Finland MTV3 broadcaster.

"But if the team gives both drivers the same equipment, it would be a great opportunity for Kimi, because he's a great driver."

F1 'definitely too soon' for teen Sirotkin - boss
(GMM)  Sergey Sirotkin's current boss, Igor Salaquarda, thinks the Russian teen's formula one opportunity has come way too early.

Sirotkin, not yet 18, is in line to make his grand prix debut next March with Sauber, as his father is linked to the Swiss team's new Russian partners.

But Speed Week reports that, amid the new F1-fueled fanfare surrounding Sirotkin as he raced in Austria at the weekend, his boss Salaquarda "shook his head".

"All this hype is not good for him," the owner of the Czech team ISR was quoted as saying at the Red Bull Ring.

"That's way too much pressure -- he's only 17!

"He is definitely too young (for F1)," Salaquarda continued.

"I don't mean that he can't do it physically -- anyone can drive a formula one car today.  It's much harder to cope with the enormous pressure of the world championship."

Salaquarda compares Sirotkin with Daniel Ricciardo, the Australian who drove for ISR in 2011 before he made to the leap to formula one with HRT.

"Daniel came from British F3 and was then in the World Series for two years," he said.

"But Sergey has only driven in Formula Abarth - a series I don't know - and Auto GP and Italian F3, but in both those series he had little serious competition.

"As such, he was fast.  But if anyone is expecting him to win here right now, it's simply too much to ask.

"Already in the Eurocup 2.0 there is a great deal of competition, same as the (European) F3 championship, but Sergey skipped both those steps.

"He should spend more time in the 3.5 liter class to gain more experience."

Salaquarda also questioned Sirotkin's approach to motor racing this year.

"Daniel (Ricciardo) was always alone at the tracks, spending the whole team with the team," he said.

"But Sergey comes with a whole entourage; sometimes it's hard for us to catch up with him.

"These guys should concentrate on working with the team," he insisted.

Magnussen hopes for 2014 F1 debut
(GMM)  Kevin Magnussen has admitted he wants to make his formula one debut in 2014.

The 20-year-old Dane, whose father is the former F1 driver Jan Magnussen, is a leading figure in McLaren's driver development program.

He impressed in the Woking based team's 2013 car last week, topping the times at Silverstone as he spent Wednesday at the 'young driver test'.

But McLaren's 2014 driver lineup seems locked up, as Jenson Button has vowed to stay put, and Mexican Sergio Perez will surely get another chance.

"My goal is to compete in F1 as early as 2014," Magnussen told Italy's Italiaracing.

"If I can't do it with McLaren, we'll try it with another team," he added.

"That wouldn't mean that the relationship with McLaren is affected, as there are other similar situations in F1 that are going smoothly."

Magnussen was surely referring to Jules Bianchi, who made his grand prix debut this year with Marussia, despite featuring in Ferrari's driver 'academy'.

Schumacher impressed with F1 driver quartet
(GMM)  Michael Schumacher has singled out a quartet of drivers as the very best in formula one at present.

The great German, who with 91 wins and seven titles is the most successful driver in the sport's history, finally called time on his long career at the end of last season.

Now, watching on, the 44-year-old Schumacher said he is most impressed by a group of four.

"Vettel, Alonso, Raikkonen and Hamilton are the best at the moment," he told the Italian Sky program I Signori della Formula 1.

"They're all human, of course, so they all have their weaknesses, but they all work hard to hide them.

"But that is also the secret to always-better results and to not making mistakes.

"I am not going to analyze it further -- I think the best one wins," Schumacher smiled.

The former Ferrari and Mercedes driver was also asked to comment on the 2013 season, and unsurprisingly, it didn't take long before the 't'-word was uttered.

"The season is not so much different from the previous one," he said, "except perhaps when it comes to the problems with the tires.

"I already said last year after Bahrain that something is not working quite right, that there are problems, but now everyone has noticed.

"On the other hand, as always, the best one wins.  And that is rightly so," added Schumacher.

"The biggest problem for me is that the tires should be compatible with the majority of the teams, not just a few cars as has happened in these last two years," he said.

Marussia not upset by Sauber's Russian deal
(GMM)  Andy Webb, the Marussia team chief executive, insists he is not disappointed F1 rival Sauber landed the major Russian sponsor deal.

Reports on Sunday indicated the value of Sauber's new Russian investment could top an incredible half a billion dollars.

But, already flying Russia's flag on the grid, might Marussia - the team with the smallest budget in formula one - have expected to secure the deal?

"First of all," Webb told Russia's Championat, "I don't think the deal with Sauber is actually finalized.  Some aspects are yet to be completed.

"In any case, in my view, the higher the interest in formula one in Russia, the better.

"I don't think the agreement between the Russians and Sauber will be the last thing like that we will see (in F1).

"I think Russia is more and more interested in formula one and supports it more and more.  I can only welcome that," Marussia's Webb added.

Sauber's Russian tie-up will also bring a Russian driver - the teen rookie Sergey Sirotkin - to the grid.

Webb admitted Marussia is also open to signing a Russian driver.

"We've been aware of him (Sirotkin), of course," he told the Ria Novosti news agency.

"We want a Russian driver, but we want a Russian driver there on merit.  There's the obvious one, (Vitaly) Petrov.  But it's very difficult to find the next one coming through," Webb added.

Pirelli criticism not justified, says Hembery
Paul Hembery says the negative comments directed at Pirelli during first half of the 2013 campaign have been "very unjustified" given the challenges it has faced.

Despite a series of tire failures occurring in the early stages of the season, proposed modifications were only given the green light after the incident-strewn British Grand Prix at Silverstone, during which four drivers suffered dramatic high speed blow-outs.

And with criticism – from a selection of team bosses and drivers – building up steadily throughout, Hembery reckons the Italian manufacturer has endured harsh treatment.

"I think for a large part of the season – and let's take out Silverstone from that – then we feel it's been very unjustified a lot of the comment and it's made a lot of people unhappy," Hembery explained to ESPN. "People have wanted to use our name and sully our name for their own personal gain and that's unacceptable. But anybody seems to be able to say anything today in Formula 1, there's no check and balance, people aren't looking at the bigger picture and there's too much self-interest.

"That's something that people really need to have a good hard look at because there might be a lot of people looking at the way that we've been treated and thinking 'We don't want a bit of that, imagine us in that situation.' So you have to be careful, we're a big company and as I say we want to stay in Formula 1, we're trying everything we can to do the best job we can but we'll be around."

Pirelli is yet to officially extend its initial three-year agreement as the sport's sole tire supplier, although last month Hembery indicated that a deal was nearing completion.

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