Latest F1 news in brief - Friday
Mexicans Perez, Gutierrez, expect 2014 home race
|Will the F1 cars cut through the stadium like the CART Champ Cars did to add seating capacity? The crowd size for the 2002 race, promoted by Joe Heitzler, was 240,000. But Tony George had split the sport and soon killed it|
- 2014 seat for Bianchi may be too soon - Domenicali
- Ricciardo to slim down for 2014 cockpit - Marko
- Hamilton, Dennis, move to patch up broken relationship
- Only Raikkonen to drive longer Lotus at Monza
- Monza marshals end strike threat
- Sauber's Sirotkin to test 2011 car
- F1's V6 move not exciting - Sutil
- Sauber's rescue deal 'taking time' - Kaltenborn
- Vergne happy to be Toro Rosso 'number 1'
- Ferrari afraid of cyber attacks
Mexicans Perez, Gutierrez, expect 2014 home race
(GMM) Sergio Perez insists there is a "very good chance" formula one will return to his native Mexico next year as scheduled.
Mexico has a provisional date on the draft calendar distributed to team bosses at Monza on Thursday, even though most insiders expect the final number of races to drop from 21 to 20.
The Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City, having last held a grand prix in 1992, is currently not up to F1 standard.
McLaren driver Perez, however, recently travelled to the venue to watch his brother Antonio race in the country's Nascar series.
And a big supporter of his career, billionaire backer Carlos Slim, is reportedly heavily involved in the new Mexican grand prix project.
Referring to the out-of-date Mexico City circuit, Perez said at Monza: "Obviously they need to rebuild it but there is time enough.
"They have to change the pits to make them proper for formula one, (improve) a few corners maybe, but I think they don't have to do big things for the track to be ready," he added.
F1's other Mexican, Sauber rookie Esteban Gutierrez, is also hopeful he will have a home race next November.
"I do not have much information," he is quoted by Brazil's Totalrace, "but I don't believe the circuit has to change too much.
"I raced there in 2008 in formula BMW, and definitely it will have to be adapted for formula one, but I believe it can be," added Gutierrez.
2014 seat for Bianchi may be too soon - Domenicali
(GMM) Team boss Stefano Domenicali has played down suggestions Jules Bianchi is really in the running to replace Felipe Massa at Ferrari next year.
The rookie Frenchman has impressed at Marussia this year, but it is expected his next step in Ferrari's development program will be a midfield seat, perhaps at the Ferrari-powered Sauber team.
Domenicali confirmed to the French newspaper Le Figaro that the ultimate aim is to get Bianchi ready for a seat at Ferrari.
Referring to the driver 'academy' program, he said: "Jules is continuing to develop, we're following him closely and I hope he is the first to accomplish this dream."
But when asked if Bianchi is in the running for Massa's 2014 seat, the Italian answered: "We have to be realistic.
"Ferrari is a heavy burden for a young driver, and so we do not want to add pressure on him by setting him a deadline.
"He knows know what our ambition is, but we will wait for the right time," added Domenicali.
Ricciardo to slim down for 2014 cockpit - Marko
(GMM) Dr Helmut Marko has admitted Daniel Ricciardo will be a squeeze at the wheel of next year's Red Bull.
Designer Adrian Newey is known for his tight-fitting cockpits, and reports suggest that at a recent seat fitting, it emerged that team newcomer Ricciardo's hips are too wide for the RB10.
Red Bull's motor racing consultant Marko confirmed that the 24-year-old Australian will have to slim down.
"He doesn't really eat bacon anyway," the Austrian told Bild newspaper.
"But maybe he will have to do some special training to trim some muscle in certain places," added Marko.
Hamilton, Dennis, move to patch up broken relationship
(GMM) Lewis Hamilton and former mentor Ron Dennis have moved to patch up their broken relationship.
After McLaren and team 'supremo' Dennis built Hamilton's formula one career from boyhood, it emerged that relationship crumbled spectacularly last year as the 2008 world champion decided to switch to Mercedes.
Dennis, however, said early this week that the British driver will always be "part of the McLaren family".
"Last year I didn't seriously seek to prevent his efforts to explore new pastures with Mercedes -- perhaps it was a necessary part of his maturation," said the McLaren chairman.
"But I'll always remember his time with us very fondly, just as I'm very proud of having been McLaren's CEO and team principal when he became world champion with us in 2008."
When asked about Dennis at Monza on Thursday, Hamilton revealed that he recently had a "nice chat" on the phone with his former boss.
"We spoke for about an hour. It was a really good conversation. I don't think there are any issues there personally," he is quoted by the Daily Mail.
"He has had such a big role in my life so I felt it was important to connect."
Hamilton also insisted he will not be bothered if, on Sunday, he is booed by the Italian 'tifosi', just as he was when he won for McLaren a year ago.
"If I'm up there and I'm being booed that means I've won, so I definitely want that," he said.
Less keen on being booed is Sebastian Vettel, who admitted the reaction of the British crowd earlier this year left him cold.
"I didn't understand it," he told the Daily Mail. "I had not done anything to make them do it.
"I went up on to the stage later for the post-race concert and got booed again.
"Obviously in the British grand prix if I am leading and they want a British driver to win they might not like it, which is fair, but booing, I don't think that is fair," added Vettel.
Only Raikkonen to drive longer Lotus at Monza
(GMM) Kimi Raikkonen, not his teammate Romain Grosjean, will debut Lotus' new longer-wheelbase car this weekend at Monza.
"Kimi will drive the long wheelbase on Friday, and if necessary we can go back to the shorter version," race engineer Mark Slade told the Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat.
"But we expect this (long) car to be better."
Raikkonen, however, does not expect the change will be enough to win on Sunday.
"Low downforce tracks are not good for us," said the Finn, "but let's see how the new parts work."
Germany's Auto Motor und Sport said the revised Lotus is ten centimeters longer than the usual car that will still be raced by Grosjean in Italy.
It is not the first time Frenchman Grosjean has been relegated to an older specification, after Raikkonen used a new front wing in Malaysia.
And at Silverstone, only Raikkonen had use of the passive double-DRS system.
The lure of returning to grandee Ferrari in 2014, however, may prove too great for Raikkonen, particularly with the looming challenge of the all-new rules.
Asked if Ferrari or Lotus would be better next year, however, Raikkonen answered: "I have no idea.
"In general, bigger teams have more money and resources to make a good car.
"But the rules are so different next year that we will not know what the situation is until we see the new cars on the track."
Monza marshals end strike threat
(GMM) The threat of Monza's trackside marshals going on strike this weekend is now over.
On Thursday, it emerged that marshals are angry their minor travel expenses for the 2012 Italian grand prix had still not been paid.
But the dispute "ended positively on Thursday evening," Autosprint correspondent Roberto Chinchero reports from the Autodromo Nazionale.
Sauber's Sirotkin to test 2011 car
(GMM) Sergey Sirotkin will begin his F1 testing program in a 2011 car just after the current season is over.
The Russian teen, who is at Monza this weekend, and his Sauber boss Monisha Kaltenborn said on Thursday the track program in a two-year-old car will begin at the end of October.
Finland's Turun Sanomat newspaper said the program will involve 10 to 15 days at the wheel of a 2011 car, even though it is unknown if the old chassis will be a Sauber or Ferrari.
Sirotkin, 18, said the plan is to get a F1 super license.
"I don't have much information about what I have to do, but I know I have to perform well," he is quoted by Russia's f1news.ru.
"I believe I will succeed."
Kaltenborn is quoted by Germany's Auto Motor und Sport: "We have to prepare him physically, so we want to give him test kilometers in a 2011 car.
"The dates and the tracks are not yet finalized, but the tests should take place shortly after the end of the season.
"We are also planning some work in a simulator, but we still need to clarify when and where," added Kaltenborn.
Sirotkin also said at Monza he does not know who his 2014 teammate will be.
"I don't think it's time to address this issue," he said.
"As for me, in Moscow I signed a contract for 2014, so everything is going according to plan."
F1's V6 move not exciting - Sutil
(GMM) Adrian Sutil has admitted he is not overly excited about F1's move to turbo V6 power next year.
Before the sport begins its seven-race overseas trek to finish the 2013 season, Sunday's Italian grand prix will be the last race in Europe with V8 power.
"Then you will say to yourself 'Ok, that was the V8, unfortunately, now comes the V6'," the Force India driver is quoted by Speed Week.
"I would like to say I'm looking forward to the V12, but unfortunately that's not really the case.
"The turbos are definitely interesting, but I have always said that the V12 is my favorite engine," added Sutil.
Sauber's rescue deal 'taking time' - Kaltenborn
(GMM) Sauber boss Monisha Kaltenborn has admitted the so-called 'Russian rescue deal' has not solved all of the Swiss team's problems.
Although it emerged recently that Russian rubles have started to flow, Swiss business newspaper Handelszeitung reported that in fact more unpaid suppliers have filed prosecutions against Sauber with the national debt register.
"In the Handelszeitung there were things reported that are not true," boss Kaltenborn told Speed Week at Monza.
"We have already said that we are in a challenging situation.
"Through this (Russian) partnership, there is an upward trend, but it takes time," she explained.
"It has been a noticeable step for us and our suppliers, and we remain in contact with them -- but it is an internal matter.
"It is obvious that we will meet all of our liabilities, and we thank our suppliers for their patience.
"Our goal is to lead the company out of this situation, for the benefit of our employees and our suppliers, as was the case for the last 43 years," added Kaltenborn.
Vergne happy to be Toro Rosso 'number 1'
(GMM) Jean-Eric Vergne insists he will become Toro Rosso's 'number 1' driver next year as current teammate Daniel Ricciardo departs for Red Bull.
Frenchman Vergne admits he is disappointed to have missed out on the high-profile move to replace Mark Webber, but confirmation he is staying put at Toro Rosso is also "a very good thing for me," he told L'Equipe.
"The choice is quite logical, because Daniel is a Red Bull (backed) driver and because he has a bit more experience than me," he told the French daily.
"He was better than me in certain aspects that are important to them, such as qualifying, but the race is something else -- we are extremely close," said Vergne, 23.
Even Ricciardo's new teammate, the reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel, agrees with Vergne's assessment.
"I do not see a big difference between them," the German is quoted by Brazil's Totalrace.
"They have had similar results this season, even though we do have a better view from inside the team.
"Daniel was a little more consistent, but both have the same speed," said Vettel.
Vergne thinks success for Ricciardo will therefore reflect well on himself, and sees staying at Toro Rosso as an advantage.
"I'm going to learn a lot as the number 1 Toro Rosso driver," he said, "and will try to pull the team up.
"There are many more things in the positive column for next year. We'll probably have a better car, we have our new technical director James Key, and the Renault engine will bring us a lot.
"I think if I had the choice to go somewhere else, I would stay at Toro Rosso."
As for Vettel, the German insists his task in 2014 will be no different even though he will have a different teammate for the first time in five years.
"I'm sure he (Ricciardo) will try his best to beat me, but nothing changes," said Vettel.
"It will be an Australian trying to make my life difficult," he smiled.
Ferrari afraid of cyber attacks
F1 team Scuderia Ferrari "has increased its protection against cyber attacks ahead of Sunday's Italian Grand Prix," according to Uhl & Schneider of BILD.
Ferrari sponsor anti-virus software company Kaspersky Lab Founder Eugen Kaspersky said, "Our new five-year deal includes a special security program. It was developed in six months and has been installed in 4,000 computers now. It will be installed in additional devices during the next year so that Ferrari is completely covered." The 47-year-old Russian knows that "the fight against hackers is a race against time."
Since the NSA scandal was made public by Edward Snowden "it has become clear -- nobody is safe from wiretapping and hacking." Kaspersky: "We are in the midst of a cyber war in which the attacks become more severe and viruses more aggressive than ever before. Computers are in general vulnerable, no matter where they are located, in F1 cars, team facilities or at private homes"