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F1 news in brief - Wednesday
  • Happy times at Ferrari for Raikkonen in 2007.  But now that they are becoming backmarkers?
    Alonso's Pirelli criticism 'very nervous' - chairman
  • Vettel tells Newey to forget yachting
  • Record-breaker Chilton 'likely' to stay at Marussia
  • Raikkonen already regretting Ferrari return - pundit

Alonso's Pirelli criticism 'very nervous' - chairman
(GMM)  Pirelli chairman Marco Tronchetti Provera has hit back at Fernando Alonso's criticism of the Italian marque's F1 tires in 2013.

Spaniard Alonso, the highest paid and arguably most highly rated and influential driver on the grid, recently slammed the questionable "quality" of this year's Pirellis.

The criticism came at an awkward time for Pirelli, who while having agreed with the teams and Bernie Ecclestone about a new deal beyond 2013, are still yet to be offered an actual dotted line to sign on by the governing FIA.

"I have to say that he was very nervous when he said that," Tronchetti Provera told CNN, referring to Alonso's recent comments.

"It was not because of tires -- he wasn't able to win for a number of reasons.  If they (Ferrari) didn't use the tires properly, it's not our fault."

He warned that because F1 has asked specifically for tires that wear out quickly, it is crucial the teams strictly follow the operating guidelines issued by Pirelli.

"We can do whatever is needed, but with the respect of the rules," said the 65-year-old.

"It means tires have to be used within the limits we provide teams."

Pirelli has been given the green light by the FIA to supply tires in 2014, but Tronchetti Provera said a new deal beyond 2015 is also possible.

Some, however, have questioned the wisdom of Pirelli's F1 foray, particularly when the quality, consistency and lifespan of the tires might be seen to affect the Italian brand's image.

"We had some damages for a few weeks after Silverstone," Tronchetti Provera admitted, "but I think today people understand it wasn't Pirelli's fault."

Meanwhile, tyrepress.com reports that Korean tire marque Kumho tested formula one-specification tires at Spain's Circuit de Catalunya in September.

Kumho said the purpose of the test was to "validate the technology for future business with F1 and to actually test the technology accumulated through motor sports since the 1990s for F1."

Vettel tells Newey to forget yachting
(GMM)  Sebastian Vettel has urged the designer of his dominant Red Bull cars, Adrian Newey, to forget about switching to the world of competitive yachting.

Before meeting with British sailor Sir Ben Ainslie in Abu Dhabi last weekend, Briton Newey admitted he was interested in getting involved with designing an America's Cup boat.

"I can't imagine him doing that," new quadruple world champion Vettel told Austria's Servus TV.

"I've never seen him go boating -- he loves driving and has a lot of fun doing it," the German smiled.

"If he goes boating, he will always come back with a huge sunburn, which is not right," Vettel joked.

Vettel might have delivered the comments in jest, but the message was dead serious -- Newey plays a crucial role in Red Bull's success.

"Maybe someday," Newey answered when asked if the America's Cup is in his plans, "but not in the near future."

He told Servus TV that the all-new rules for 2014 could shake up the pecking order in F1.

But the team's Dr Helmut Marko is much more confident.

"We have Adrian Newey!" he exclaimed.

"Whenever there is a change of rules," added Marko, "his cars are unbeatable."

Record-breaker Chilton 'likely' to stay at Marussia
(GMM)  Max Chilton says it is "likely" he will stay at Marussia in 2014.

The team is known for regularly changing its usually heavily-sponsored drivers, but Briton Chilton thinks he will stay for a second season next year.

Perhaps that is because of his consistency.  Germany's Auto Motor und Sport points out that, in Abu Dhabi, the 22-year-old beat Tiago Monteiro's old 2005 record for the most number (17) of consecutive finishes in a season.

Less noticeable in 2013, however, has been Chilton's speed.

"I may have only outqualifed my teammate Jules (Bianchi) once, but I have outraced him at a few races now -- especially since the August break," he told F1's official website.

"Next year it's most likely that I will stay with Marussia -- but of course I have to get the deal done first," added Chilton.

Raikkonen already regretting Ferrari return - pundit
(GMM)  Kimi Raikkonen might already be regretting his impending return to Ferrari, according to a pundit.

The Finn had a particularly bad-tempered weekend in Abu Dhabi, starting with his no-show on Thursday and ending with a rare first-lap crash and rapid return to the airport in flip-flops.

Former driver Christian Danner, now a pundit for German television RTL, thinks Raikkonen is not simply annoyed at his situation at Lotus, but also with his impending move to Ferrari.

"Kimi is annoyed that his manager is sending him back to Ferrari," Danner told the German newspaper Bild.

"He sees that Alonso at the moment is driving for the 'golden pineapple' at best -- far away from winning," he added.

Danner thinks Raikkonen will also not be looking forward to the environment at Ferrari.

"Lotus gave him all the freedom he wants, and at the moment quite clearly a better car as well," he said.

"What's he going to do when Luca di Montezemolo tells him he's going to too many parties?"

Danner's comments are interesting, but in light of Lotus' well-document financial problems, returning to Ferrari is probably a good move for Raikkonen -- particularly with 2014 tipped to be an engine-dominated championship.

Reports are also questioning the legitimacy of Lotus' new backers, Quantum, who promised to buy 35 per cent of the team months ago, but are still yet to deliver a single euro.

Germany's Sport Bild also claims Quantum chief Mansoor Ijaz has often been behind shady deals that ultimately did not happen.

And Livio Oricchio, the correspondent for Brazil's O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper, said the American-Pakistani was even in court last year, for not paying back huge loans.

Der Spiegel magazine reports that one possible solution for Raikkonen is that Bernie Ecclestone will direct Lotus' official prize-money straight to the 2007 world champion's account.

Indeed, the reality of Raikkonen's Ferrari return is that the Finn rightly wants to cash in on his status as one of the best drivers in F1.

Timo Glock was a paid driver for Marussia until the end of 2012, when he lost his seat to a 'pay-driver'.  He is now a paid front-runner in the German touring car series DTM.

When asked about Raikkonen's threat to strike over his unpaid wages, Glock said: "It shows what really is going on in formula one.

"The sport needs to have a real think in order to keep itself alive," he told German radio Sport1.

"Apart from Ferrari and Mercedes, everyone is having difficulties," Glock continued.  "They need to think about whether it's right that drivers aren't being paid."

Ferrari, meanwhile, is happy with its top lineup for 2014, with Alonso alongside another former champion.

"Kimi suddenly and unexpectedly became available in the summer," team boss Stefano Domenicali told Welt newspaper.

"We had to take the opportunity.  It was almost not a conscious choice we had to make," he added.

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