Latest F1 news in brief – Friday

  • After Aldo Costa brought Michael Schumacher and Ferrari so many wins and title, only to be pushed out because of politics, he plans to stay at Mercedes and design cars to destroy Ferrari every year
    Aldo Costa brought Michael Schumacher and Ferrari so many wins and titles, only to be pushed out because of politics. Hence he plans to stay at Mercedes and design cars to destroy Ferrari every year – as he has done for the last 5 years

    Aldo Costa does not seek Ferrari return

  • Vettel says Formula E 'not the future'
  • F1 'crazy' to slow Verstappen down – Rossi
  • Son of Honda founder sympathizes with Alonso
  • Gasly recalls near-fatal 2016 crash
  • Kaltenborn questions decision to oust Wehrlein
  • 'Extreme pressure' got to Vettel in 2017 – Hamilton

Aldo Costa does not seek Ferrari return
(GMM) Aldo Costa says he has no desire to return to Ferrari.

The Italian joined Ferrari in 1995, rising through the design ranks until he was ousted in 2011.

Costa, 56, is now a key designer at title-winning Mercedes.

And despite constant rumors that he may return to Maranello, Costa says he is not interested.

"I owe my change to Mercedes to Ross Brawn and Michael Schumacher," he told Italy's Autosprint.

"Moving to England was a godsend for me. I feel very comfortable with my current job at Mercedes, I'm at home and I have no intention of leaving."

Costa said he enjoyed Mercedes' fight with Ferrari this year, but actually expected the battle to continue until the very end.

"By the summer we had a head-to-head but then we moved away because we made progress with the car and also ran reliably.

"But in the early summer we hadn't expected that. We assumed that the fight would in all likelihood continue to the end.

"We expected it not only psychologically, but also in terms of development because we thought that would be necessary to beat Ferrari," Costa explained.

Vettel says Formula E 'not the future'

Vettel dismisses Formula E
Vettel dismisses Formula E

(GMM) Sebastian Vettel says he has no interest in Formula E.

The all-electric series has been increasing in popularity, and now has many car manufacturers, top sponsors and ex-F1 drivers on the grid.

But quadruple world champion Vettel insisted: "To me, this is not the future.

"E-mobility is currently very popular in the world, but anyone who is honest and identifies with motor racing does not think much of Formula E," he told the Swiss newspaper Blick.

"The cars are not very fast and many drivers who drive there tell me that the driving is not very exciting," the Ferrari driver added.

F1 'crazy' to slow Verstappen down – Rossi

Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen

(GMM) Valentino Rossi says F1 is "crazy" to try to reign in Max Verstappen.

The flamboyant MotoGP rider admits he is a fan of the 20-year-old Red Bull driver.

"Verstappen is the new star of formula one," he told Italian radio station Radio Deejay.

"He is doing really well but they are trying to slow him down, which is crazy," Rossi insisted.

"If I had a say in how formula one is run, I would want 12 Verstappens on the grid," he declared.

"Max is an extraordinary driver. He's young, he makes fun of the system and he overtakes, which are qualities that the public loves.

"Verstappen is like (Johann) Zarco," Rossi said, comparing the Red Bull driver to an exciting MotoGP newcomer.

"Neither of them ever slows down, so you have to make room otherwise there's a danger you will both fall."

Son of Honda founder sympathizes with Alonso
(GMM) Hirotoshi Honda says he can understand Fernando Alonso's disappointment with the failed three-year works McLaren-Honda project.

It is believed Alonso pushed for McLaren to split with the Japanese brand and switch for 2018 to customer Renault power.

"Alonso is a young, intelligent and captivating man," Honda, whose father was Honda founder Soichiro Honda, told France's L'Equipe.

"I can easily understand the reason for his great disappointment," added the Mugen founder.

"The professional life of an athlete is very short and it's stressful to lose three years at such an important moment in his career. But it's not my fault, please ask Honda!" Honda, 75, insisted.

Honda is moving to Toro Rosso for 2018, and this week announced that F1 boss Yusuke Hasegawa is being shuffled out of the top position.

"I'm sure of one thing," Hirotoshi Honda continued. "The Japanese have a culture of fighting in formula one. We are probably very polite, but we can fight.

"My father was a real fighter who hated being second. Shortly before his death, when Senna could no longer win, my father complained from his hospital bed," he added.

Gasly recalls near-fatal 2016 crash

Pierre Gasly
Pierre Gasly

(GMM) Pierre Gasly made his F1 debut this year, but he says an event of 2016 was more emotional.

He was travelling to Silverstone for the GP2 race with his parents, when the car crashed and rolled.

"I was in the back, in the middle. My mother was sitting to my left," the Toro Rosso driver told the Dutch publication Formule 1.

"We crashed, overturned four times and the car ended 50 meters from the road, on the roof. There was blood everywhere — everywhere I saw blood. I thought my mother would die. She could not breathe and was scared to death, like me," Gasly added.

The 21-year-old will now start his first full F1 season in 2018, with a Honda-powered Toro Rosso.

"I gave everything to get to formula one. Although I knew the road is long and hard and there is only room for 20 drivers, I had no doubt," Gasly said.

Kaltenborn questions decision to oust Wehrlein

Wehrlein was ousted for the same reason Kaltenborn was ousted - lack of performance
Wehrlein was ousted for the same reason Kaltenborn was ousted – lack of performance

(GMM) Monisha Kaltenborn has questioned Sauber's decision to oust Pascal Wehrlein.

Earlier this year, the Swiss team parted with Kaltenborn and appointed Frederic Vasseur as its new boss.

Vasseur has since scrapped Kaltenborn's decision to switch to Honda power, and replaced German Wehrlein with Ferrari junior Charles Leclerc for 2018.

Kaltenborn now tells Auto Bild that although the Mercedes junior appears to be left without an F1 seat, Wehrlein is highly underrated.

"I think his performance in 2017 is still not properly appreciated," she said.

"Without him, the team would have scored no points at all.

"I just hope that he will continue to get what he deserves in formula one, which above all else is a cockpit.

"Pascal has the potential to become world champion with the right team. Anyone who has worked with him knows that," Kaltenborn added.

'Extreme pressure' got to Vettel in 2017 – Hamilton

Louie, Louie, Louie - you had an Aldo Costa desgned car, hence why you won. Last year your teammate in the same car beat you.
Louie, Louie, Louie – you had an Aldo Costa desgned car, hence why you won. Last year your teammate in the same car beat you.

(GMM) Lewis Hamilton said Sebastian Vettel buckled "under extreme pressure" in 2017.

In June, the quadruple world champion was locked in a tight championship battle with Vettel in Azerbaijan, when the Ferrari driver deliberately crashed into him during a safety car period.

"Seb showed more nerves this season than before," Hamilton told Stuttgarter Nachrichten newspaper.

"None of us are superman, and everyone can fail under extreme pressure," the Mercedes driver added. "Some reached that point sooner, others later.

"It's like tennis. If Federer plays against Nadal, one waits for a small weakness in the other, because half a per cent is enough."

But Hamilton said he thrives under high pressure.

"You saw it at the end of the season. Suddenly I had no more pressure and was not very good," he laughed.

"I compare this season with a 100 sprint by Usain Bolt," Hamilton continued.

"He often gets a bad start but then he comes back."

And he expects Ferrari's Vettel to come out of the blocks strongly in 2018.

"I'm assuming that he recovers his strength for next year, but I'm not afraid," said Hamilton.

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