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DATE News (chronologically)
09/10/13
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Tuesday
  • Helmut Marko thinks two No. 1's at Ferrari will tear the team apart
    Alonso, Raikkonen could 'tear Ferrari apart' - Marko
  • Monza gearbox problems 'a mystery' - Newey
  • Ward denies Mosley bankrolling FIA campaign
  • Age counted against Raikkonen at Red Bull - Marko
  • Renault denies Tavares exit to affect F1
  • Marko rules out Felipe Nasr for Toro Rosso seat
  • Massa handed speeding ticket by police on way to Italian GP
  • Hamilton: Red Bull won't fall off perch in 2014

Alonso, Raikkonen could 'tear Ferrari apart' - Marko
(GMM)  The F1 world is only now waiting for the announcement.

"It's done," agreed Autosprint correspondent Alberto Antonini.

"Kimi Raikkonen has a Ferrari contract in his pocket."

It is explosive and significant news, because - at least on paper - Fernando Alonso alongside the Finn is arguably the best driver duo on the grid.

"If it works, the constructors' title will be harder for us," Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko told Bild newspaper.

"Or they could tear each other apart.  Wait and see," he added.

Indeed, Spaniard Alonso has made clear his strong desire to continue to be partnered by the Brazilian Felipe Massa.

"I have a great respect for Felipe," he is quoted by Brazil's Globo.  "He is a great professional and works very hard on the race weekends but also in the simulator.

"If the team decides to keep him, I'll be happy," added Alonso.

So it's there where the problem may lie.  Having already flirted with Red Bull, the latest rumors are linking Alonso with a shock switch to McLaren or even Lotus.

"To be honest, we have several plans," said Lotus team boss Eric Boullier, facing up to the prospect of probably losing Raikkonen.

"After Ferrari fills their vacancy, our seat will be the most coveted.  So we can afford to see what happens."

The leading candidate to replace Raikkonen at Lotus is the German Nico Hulkenberg, who put his CV in the limelight with a top performance at Monza.

But the experienced Massa could be another option.

"Ferrari is a super team; it's difficult to find another like it," the Ferrari driver said.  "So it's important to look at all the options."

Monza gearbox problems 'a mystery' - Newey
(GMM)  Red Bull left Monza scratching its head, after winner Sebastian Vettel and teammate Mark Webber nursed gearbox problems throughout the race weekend.

"We already had problems on Friday," world championship leader Vettel is quoted by Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

Before the race, the team had to open the gearbox and replace damaged parts, and during the Italian grand prix, both drivers were instructed to 'short-shift'.

And the drivers were also told to select a 'rain-mode' setting, delivering smoother gear changes, which explains why Fernando Alonso complained about Vettel's flashing red tail light.

Red Bull was alerted to the problem after the telemetry showed high oil temperatures.

"Frankly, it's a mystery," admitted car designer Adrian Newey.

"Monza is particularly hard on the gearbox, but we never had a problem like this," he added.

"With Mark it was serious, while for Vettel it was more of a precaution.  It is possible that we will open his gearbox in the factory and everything is fine."

Team boss Christian Horner added: "Caterham uses an identical gearbox and had no problems."

Ward denies Mosley bankrolling FIA campaign
(GMM)  FIA presidential candidate David Ward has denied he is siding with F1's old guard Max Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone in his push to dethrone Jean Todt.

It has been rumored that Ward, who worked closely with Mosley before Frenchman Todt took over, is being backed strongly not only by Mosley, but also the former FIA president's hand-in-hand powerbroker Ecclestone.

And not only that, the Daily Mail reports that Ward's campaign will be "helped" by Richard Woods, the former right-hand man during the Mosley reign.

"Woods has also acted for Ecclestone, albeit in the shadows," said correspondent Jonathan McEvoy.

"Despite having fingers in many pies, he is fundamentally a Mosley loyalist," he added.

Ward, however, plays down the links.

"I am not Max's man; I am not Bernie's man," he insisted, also denying that Mosley or Ecclestone are bankrolling his campaign.

Incumbent Todt, however, sounded less sure about Ward's continuing links to Mosley and Ecclestone.

"Don't put me into that please," he told the Telegraph last weekend at Monza.

"Because honestly I have my own thoughts.

"I have very good contact with Max.  I like Max.  I have always been defending Max.

"In May he sent me an email saying 'Don't hear the noise that I am interested (in the presidency) or that David is interested ... it's not true.  I am not interested'."

Age counted against Raikkonen at Red Bull - Marko
(GMM)  Kimi Raikkonen's age played against him as Red Bull made its decision about who should replace Mark Webber in 2014.

That is the claim of Dr Helmut Marko, who as team owner Dietrich Mateschitz's right-hand man had arguably the most powerful voice before the reigning world champions ultimately signed the in-house talent Daniel Ricciardo.

"We decided what was best for us in the long term, not just what was best immediately," Austrian Marko told Brazil's O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper.

"How old is Kimi, 34?  Daniel is 24.  And the contract is for three years.

"So Daniel was the one who offered the best prospects for our team," he added.

But Marko also acknowledged that 2007 world champion Raikkonen, who is actually 33, and his status in F1 as one of the established top drivers may also have counted against him.

"Managing two drivers like Sebastian and Kimi would not be easy," he admitted.

"Each of them would have the obligation to be the best."

What, then, is expected of Australian Ricciardo?  "He knows," said Marko.

"We hope that after three or four races he is able to start challenging Sebastian.

"I'm not saying that he has to beat Vettel; what I hope is that he brings the points we need to win the constructors' title."

In that way, it is clearer why Raikkonen was not ultimately signed -- Red Bull wanted a true replacement for Webber, not another Vettel.

"We need Daniel to be as fast as Mark," said Marko.  "Sometimes Mark was on the same level as Sebastian, and sometimes even better.  That's what we want from Ricciardo."

For exactly the same reasons, it is now obvious why Red Bull's flirtations with Fernando Alonso also came to nought.

"We've never worked with Alonso," Marko said, "and these combinations (two world champions together) requires knowledge about the character of the two drivers.

"With some it is possible to work together, others not.  From what we saw of Alonso we thought there was not a way to manage the relationship."

Something else may also have played against the signing of Raikkonen, Marko hinted.

"Only the best and most intelligent drivers will be at the front" in 2014, when the huge challenge of the new technical regulations will be in force.

"They will have to figure out how to use the turbo engine without traction control, use the two energy recovery systems and manage the consumption of fuel," said Marko.

"We have an extensive simulation program underway already to better prepare our drivers," he revealed.  "So this requirement also guided us in choosing Daniel."

Renault denies Tavares exit to affect F1
(GMM)  Renault has denied the departure of the French carmaker's chief operating officer Carlos Tavares will affect the formula one program.

Media reports last week suggested the exit of motor racing enthusiast Tavares would "almost certainly have some impact" on the approach taken in F1 by Renault, who supply engines to multiple teams.

But when asked what the impact will be on F1, Renault Sport chief Jean-Michel Jalinier insisted: "Nothing changes.

"We have multi-year programs and, personally, I answer directly to Carlos Ghosn.

"Our commitment remains unchanged, because the new formula one engines are more consistent with our interests," he told the Quattroruote publication at Monza.

Marko rules out Felipe Nasr for Toro Rosso seat
(GMM)  Dr Helmut Marko has denied reports Felipe Nasr is in the running to replace the Red Bull-bound Daniel Ricciardo at Toro Rosso next year.

It was reported recently that GP2 frontrunner Nasr, a 21-year-old Brazilian, was knocking on the door of the second Red Bull-owned team with money from Banco do Brasil and Sky Brasil.

But when asked directly if Nasr is in the running, Red Bull's Marko answered emphatically: "No.

"I know him," the Austrian told Brazil's O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper.  "Despite being in the championship for a while he has not won a race."

Marko's comments leave the Red Bull-sponsored youngster Antonio Felix da Costa back at the front of the grid to replace Ricciardo.

"Costa impressed me last year in his debut in the (Renault) world series," said Marko, "winning several races.  But this year he is not going so well.

"Let's see, we are not in a hurry, there are still many races left in competitions where there are drivers in our junior program."

He said Ricciardo's eventual successor will be "someone from the junior program and not just with the potential as a formula one driver, but to fight for victories and titles.

"That's quite a different thing," said Marko.

Next in line after da Costa is the teenage Spaniard Carlos Sainz Jr.

But Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost on Monday said the 19-year-old is "talented, but young drivers need to be given time".

He told EFE news agency that the process to select Ricciardo's successor "has begun and of course Red Bull is involved in the process".

"We have plenty of time and no need to decide anything in the next two or three weeks," added Tost.

"We have until the start of next season.  We'll see what we do.

"We have some young drivers with extraordinary talent.  One of them is Carlos Sainz Jr but we also have (Daniil) Kvyat.  And Felix da Costa.

"There are many races left (in 2013).  Da Costa has six races.  Let's let the drivers finish their seasons.  Then we will see if we choose one of them or someone different."

Tost said the young age of Russian Kvyat, who races in the GP3 series, and Sainz is a factor playing against them.

"I think usually formula one drivers should be at least 20 or 21.  But there are many other factors," he explained.

Definitely not too young is Felipe Massa, the highly experienced Brazilian driver who could be looking for a 2014 seat after eight years with Ferrari.

But Marko told Brazil's Totalrace: "Toro Rosso is a team for young people, and if I know enough about Felipe, I know he is no longer young."

Massa handed speeding ticket by police on way to Italian GP
For once Felipe Massa was driving his Ferrari too fast.

Not on the track, but on the way to it.

Massa was given a 162 euro ($214) speeding ticket by Italian police this weekend on his way to the race for exceeding the speed limit in his silver-colored Ferrari 458.

The Gazzetta dello Sport reports that the Brazilian was also docked six points on his driver's license.

The ticket didn't seem to affect Massa in Sunday's race, when he finished fourth for one of his best results this season.

Still, Massa's contract is up at the end of this season and speculation is swirling that Ferrari won't renew it.

Hamilton: Red Bull won't fall off perch in 2014
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has dismissed suggestions Red Bull Racing might ‘fall off their perch’ next season, adding that as long as Renault don’t do a ‘poor engine’, then the Milton Keynes-based outfit will remain right at the head of the pack.

Next year the sport will switch back to turbo engines and dump 2.4 liter V8s for 1.6 liter V6s. Many within the paddock - and outside the sport - reckon the changes could shake up the order, although Hamilton thinks Red Bull will remain very strong and stressed as much following Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix.

“No, I don't think it’s going to happen,” Hamilton told British newspaper, The Guardian, when asked if Red Bull ‘might fall off their perch’ in 2014.

“For the next four years coming, unless Renault do a poor engine, I think they'll be quick,” he continued.

“[Chief technical officer] Adrian Newey does a really good job. Even though the car's a lot different next year, I believe you can take some of the things from this car into that car. So their car is still going to be pretty impressive next year.

“I just hope that, whatever the case, we all come out next year with a car we can battle each other with. And fight. One race the other takes points off you and the next race you swap it and change it right to the end, like it was with Felipe [Massa] and myself in 2008 [when I won the title].”

Meanwhile, after a difficult weekend at Monza and after crossing the line in a lowly ninth place, Hamilton is hoping for better in Singapore in two weeks time.

“Singapore is cool. I've had some good races there. I hope when we go there I'll be stronger. I was leading there last time. I'm hoping for a positive race,” Hamilton concluded.

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