Latest F1 news in brief – Friday

  • Schumacher might be in a vegetative state and cannot be moved
    Schumacher might be in a vegetative state and cannot be moved

    Schumacher manager denies Mallorca move

  • Raikkonen rules out Rosberg-like role
  • Alonso not ruling out future F1 return
  • Lawrence Stroll has put the 'final nail' into Williams' coffin – Villeneuve

Schumacher manager denies Mallorca move
(GMM) Michael Schumacher's manager has denied reports the F1 legend is moving to Spain.

It was reported this week, and confirmed by the local mayor, that the Schumacher family including the seven time world champion are relocating from Switzerland to a EUR 30 million property in Mallorca — an island off the Spanish coast.

But Sabine Kehm, Schumacher's manager, denied the news.

"The Schumacher family is not planning to move to Mallorca," she told Bild newspaper.

The report said while it is true that Corinna Schumacher bought the property belonging to Real Madrid president Forentino Perez, it will not be the former Ferrari and Mercedes driver's residence.

A spokesman for the Mallorca town of Andratx, meanwhile, said: "Our mayor never said that Michael Schumacher is moving to Mallorca and that we are preparing security measures for his arrival.

"Perhaps it was a translation error," he added.

"The only thing she (the mayor) mentioned is that Antratx would be prepared if the family decided to move here. In that case, the family would be treated like all other residents."

Raikkonen rules out Rosberg-like role

Kimi Raikkonen
Kimi Raikkonen

(GMM) Kimi Raikkonen says he cannot understand why Nico Rosberg retired as world champion after 2016.

This week, the Finn launched the initial Finnish edition of his autobiography, which translates as 'The Unknown Kimi Raikkonen'.

He said that when he eventually retires from F1, staying away from the paddock will not be difficult.

"No it will not be hard to stop this job," the Ferrari driver said at the launch in Helsinki.

"I will be relieved when all of the things not involving driving will end. The driving is great but nothing else," Raikkonen added.

When asked if he would be tempted to follow Rosberg's lead in returning as a regular pundit, he answered: "When he explained why (he is stopping) I thought it was cool and I understood.

"Now he's standing there with a microphone. I cannot understand why given the reasons he gave for wanting to leave," Raikkonen added.

He is not ruling out staying involved in some capacity, though.

"Yes, I'm interested in doing something like developing a car, but in the background not in public. It will not be standing with a microphone," Raikkonen insisted.

As for his book, the 38-year-old said: "It is what it is. I don't really care if someone likes it or not."

Alonso not ruling out future F1 return

Alonso may dump IndyCar after one year
Alonso may dump IndyCar after one year

(GMM) Although sitting out 2019, Fernando Alonso says he is not ruling out a return to formula one in the future.

"Why close doors?" the Spaniard said at Silverstone after announcing his decision to quit F1.

Alonso, having won Le Mans this year, is racing again for Toyota this weekend.

It is rumored he will contest the full Indycar season next year, with a test reportedly lined up for September.

"I had a lot of fun at the Indy 500 last year but I have not driven that car with normal settings on a normal circuit. But first I want to take my time to digest my withdrawal from F1 and my priority is the race this weekend," he said.

At the same time, Alonso is not closing the F1 door.

"I'm not 45 years old," Alonso said.

"I'm driving at my best level. I'm young, I feel strong. Why did I stop? Well, I have other more exciting challenges than what F1 can offer me right now," said the 37-year-old.

"The track action is not what I dreamed of when I started in F1. The last two years have been sad and frustrating.

"When the talking is more about politics and bad radio messages, I think there are other things that give me more action and happiness," he added.

However, he is not yet ready to announce his 2019 plans.

"I'm thinking," Alonso answered. "It's not what you want to hear today, but I probably cannot be ready for a couple of months. It will be October or so, so we are going to have to live with a lot of predictions until then."

Lawrence Stroll has put the 'final nail' into Williams' coffin – Villeneuve

Lawrence Stroll (R)
Lawrence Stroll (R)

Ex-Formula 1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve has expressed his concern that Lawrence Stroll has “put the final nail in Williams’ coffin" after buying over the Sahara Force India F1 Team.

The Canadian businessman, father of current Williams Martini Racing driver Lance Stroll, has led a consortium that was set up in a bid to rescue Force India, who had been put into administration after action from Sergio Pérez and sponsors BWT, and now Villeneuve, a former Williams driver that won the 1997 title with the Grove-based team, worries that the team will not be able to stay afloat without the significant backing from Stroll.

He reckons that the imminent departure of the team’s sponsor, Martini, at the end of the season, coupled with the fact that Lawrence is also moving on, will leave the team in turmoil.

“The loss of not only Lawrence, but also the sponsor (Martini) is probably the final nail in the coffin," said Villeneuve to Le Journal de Montreal. “They’ll then lose a lot of TV rights because they’ll be at the bottom of the championship. Even pay drivers won’t want to spent money there.

“Force India is a better organization that Williams. They only stopped developing this year because they can’t afford it."

Villeneuve is also confident that Stroll will be able to use his influence to boost the performance of Force India.

“Lawrence has always made brands grow," said the often out-spoken Villeneuve. “It’s one of his strengths. He couldn’t do it at Williams because he was not the owner, but his influence will be greater at Force India."

“He will help them. Force India remained a racing team, unlike Williams."

The Canadian also urged Stroll to cut his losses with Williams and finish the season with Force India, although it would see one of either Pérez or Esteban Ocon, both under contract at the Silverstone-based outfit, moving aside.

“Lance should finish the season at Force India," he said. “He should not wait. He should drive in Belgium at the end of the month.

“The car is better and he would be able to get a head start on next year, and improve his driving style with Force India’s engineers."

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