Latest F1 news in brief – Thursday

  • Nico Rosberg
    Nico Rosberg

    Rosberg considering regular pundit job

  • Ferrari 'will never give up' – Arrivabene
  • Raikkonen tips Ferrari to be stronger in 2018
  • Wolff, Lauda not celebrating Hamilton title yet
  • Spanish woman to fix Ferrari 'quality' – report
  • Williams to keep Kubica test news 'private' – Lowe
  • Kubica completes 'successful' Williams test
  • De Villota family reaches agreement over crash

Rosberg considering regular pundit job
(GMM) Nico Rosberg is considering a more regular job in the F1 paddock.

The newly retired reigning world champion attended a pre-season test in Spain early this year as well as the grand prix in Monaco, where he lives with his young family.

But at Suzuka, German Rosberg was on hand as a paid pundit for British television Sky, whose veteran commentator Martin Brundle praised him.

"Nico is an asset for any broadcaster," he is quoted by Auto Motor und Sport.

"He knows these hybrid cars, all the drivers, all the circuits. And he's the reigning champion."

Rosberg, who suddenly quit just days after winning the title last year, hinted he might now be looking for a regular TV punditry job, perhaps with Germany's RTL.

"I believe I can bring a new level to the expert opinion role," he said.

"If I enjoy it, I'll come back. Perhaps this year. But I'm not tied to any (TV) station yet," Rosberg insisted.

Ferrari 'will never give up' – Arrivabene

Give up Maurizio, it's over, you blew it
Give up Maurizio, it's over, you blew it

(GMM) Embattled team boss Maurizio Arrivabene says Ferrari will "never give up".

After a horror three-race tour of Asia, Sebastian Vettel has slumped to a 59 point deficit to Lewis Hamilton with just four races to go.

Ferrari's title campaign collapsed with a crash in Singapore and reliability problems in Malaysia and Japan, prompting the Italian broadcaster Canale 5 to deliver a huge, satirical Tapiro d'Oro (golden Tapir) award to Maranello this week.

The program presenter awarded the prize to Arrivabene for Ferrari's "repeated disasters".

Asked about the crisis, the Ferrari team boss responded: "Things happened, they were not pleasant, but we never give up.

"To win against Mercedes – and this year we have already beaten them – you just have to push even more.

"We are not inferior to them," Arrivabene insisted. "Our car has proved to be very, very good."

Raikkonen tips Ferrari to be stronger in 2018

Kimi Raikkonen
Kimi Raikkonen

(GMM) Kimi Raikkonen thinks Ferrari will be even stronger in 2018.

Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel are not publicly writing off the 2017 title after a disastrous tour of Asia, but the gap to Lewis Hamilton is 59 points with four races to go.

When asked about Ferrari's struggles, Raikkonen told La Gazzetta dello Sport: "Of course we would like a one-two in every race.

"But success depends on a lot of things and also the opponents.

"This year we clearly went in the right direction, doing a good job over the winter. And I am sure that we will be even stronger next year," the Finn added.

Raikkonen, who turns 38 next week, has been signed up to join Vettel for another season at Ferrari in 2018.

"We have a good relationship and that helps us to tackle the problems and solve them together for the benefit of the team," said Raikkonen, referring to Vettel.

"We met almost as soon as he came into formula one and became friends. But of course on the circuit we want to beat each other."

And Raikkonen, a veteran of 15 seasons in F1, said he is not planning for the day he will eventually retire.

"Generally I have no plans even for next week," he smiled.

"Perhaps afterwards I will do rallies for fun. Driving and competition are the only reasons I'm still in formula one," Raikkonen explained. "I still have a feeling that I can win races and fight for the championship."

Wolff, Lauda not celebrating Hamilton title yet

Time to celebrate - Hamilton is 2017 driver champion and Mercedes 2017 Constructors Champion
Time to celebrate – Hamilton is 2017 Driver champion and Mercedes 2017 Constructors Champion

(GMM) Mercedes' two team bosses are refusing to celebrate the 2017 title yet.

With just four races to go, Lewis Hamilton now has a commanding 59 point lead in the world championship over Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel.

But team boss Toto Wolff told Sport Bild: "Something is certain only when it cannot be another way.

"This year we have seen one of the toughest world championships in a long time, and now we have to keep doing everything to make the season a success for us," he added.

Making Wolff particularly nervous is the unpredictable performance of Mercedes' 2017 car, and the sort of reliability problems that have struck Ferrari in recent races.

"Our car is still a diva," he said. "And Sebastian's fate in the last three races shows how fast things can change.

"In racing, the unpredictable can always happen and there are still 100 points in play. We will not take the foot off the gas until we have the title," Wolff insisted.

Mercedes team chairman Niki Lauda agrees, saying that while Hamilton is in a commanding position, the title is not won yet.

"Suzuka was an incredible step forward," he told Auto Motor und Sport. "But the title is still not in the bag.

"But it does look better and easier for us now."

The F1 legend agrees with Wolff that despite being the favorite for the title now, Mercedes is still grappling to understand its 2017 car.

"At the moment, everyone is still searching for the answers," said Lauda.

And he also said the Mercedes is much better when leading a race, as opposed to when it is forced to chase a rival car.

"This is due to our aero package," said Lauda. "To avoid the problem, we need to be in front."

Spanish woman to fix Ferrari 'quality' – report
(GMM) Ferrari has appointed a Spanish woman to help "fix" car reliability problems that have marred the team's push for the 2017 title.

In the Sepang-Suzuka double header, Sebastian Vettel suffered car problems that now strand him a whopping 59 points behind Lewis Hamilton with four races go go.

"We need to renew our commitment to the quality of the components we use for F1," Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne said afterwards.

"On at least three occasions it has had a devastating impact on the Scuderia's performance. We will fix it," he promised.

La Repubblica newspaper is now reporting what that "fix" is.

Her name is Maria Mendoza, who has been promoted by Marchionne from elsewhere in the Fiat Chrysler parent company.

The Italian newspaper said Spaniard Mendoza has been in charge of a 25-person quality control group at Fiat for the past five years.

Mercedes team chairman Niki Lauda said Ferrari's troubles in Malaysia and Japan were "unbelievable".

"(At Suzuka) we had the same problem in the morning and with the permission of the FIA we changed the spark plug," he revealed to Auto Motor und Sport. "But I think with Vettel it was more than just a spark plug."

Indeed, Ferrari's technical boss Mattia Binotto admits the Maranello team has been struggling with "some quality issues with parts" recently.

Williams to keep Kubica test news 'private' – Lowe
(GMM) Williams is not releasing information about Robert Kubica's test that took place at Silverstone this week.

All a spokesman for the British team would say about the Pole's run in a 2014 car was that it had been "successful".

"We will not be releasing any further information at this time," the spokesman said.

But it is believed Williams will follow up Kubica's Silverstone run on Wednesday with a more comprehensive two-day test in Hungary next week.

That test will also be attended by Paul di Resta, another contender to replace Felipe Massa next year.

"We will test those two drivers," team technical director Paddy Lowe confirmed.

"We won't give away any information around what we do within those tests — that's a private matter for us and I would stress that it doesn't mean they're the only drivers under consideration."

Kubica completes 'successful' Williams test

Kubica drove the Williams FW36
Kubica drove the Williams FW36

Williams has confirmed that Robert Kubica has completed a "successful" day of testing at Silverstone on Wednesday, as part of the outfit's evaluation of the Pole for a 2018 Formula 1 race seat.

Kubica has been exploring the possibility of making a return to Formula 1, six years after he sustained serious arm injuries in a rally crash.

Kubica completed two private sessions in a 2012-spec Renault before the manufacturer afforded him a day's worth of running in the R.S.17 at the post-race test in Hungary.

Renault conceded that it did not get all the answers it required and acted to sign Carlos Sainz Jr. on loan from Red Bull, when the Spaniard became available as part of the engine switches.

Kubica's attentions subsequently turned to Williams, which confirmed to last month that it was evaluating him as a potential option for 2018.

Williams revealed that it planned to run Kubica and reserve Paul di Resta as it assesses its options for the vacant 2018 seat alongside Lance Stroll, who is set to stay on, with Felipe Massa's future unclear.

Kubica sampled Williams' 2014-spec car on Wednesday at the home of the British Grand Prix, in cool and cloudy conditions, though Williams did not divulge details on lap times or the amassed mileage.

"Robert has completed a successful day with the team today at Silverstone, driving an FW36," Williams confirmed to

"We will not be releasing any further information at this time, however."

Nico Rosberg, who recently joined Kubica's management stable, commented last weekend that there were "no doubts" over his condition.

Rosberg added that the outing with Williams would be more focused on assessing whether Kubica is a "good fit" for the team.

De Villota family reaches agreement over crash

Maria de Villota
Maria de Villota

The family of Maria de Villota have reached an agreement in their dispute with the Manor F1 Team over the incident in which the late driver sustained eye injuries in 2012.

De Villota, conducting a straight-line Formula 1 test at the Duxford Aerodrome, struck the lowered tailgate of a truck, and lost the use of her right eye as a result.

De Villota remained involved in motorsport in the aftermath but passed away in 2013, aged 33, with her death linked to the neurological injuries she suffered in the crash.

Britain's Health and Safety Executive investigated the incident and deemed that no enforcement action was required against Manor, the team which Marussia morphed into over 2014/15.

On Wednesday, four years to the day after she passed away, her family confirmed that legal action against Manor has come to an end, after an agreement was reached.

"It was a tragic accident which shocked the team and all who knew her – she is sorely missed," said a spokesperson for Manor.

In a press release issued by UK-based law firm Slater and Giordon, de Villota's family extended their gratitude to those who have expressed their support in the wake of the tragedy.

The family will now focus on 'Maria's Legacy', a movement created "to give continuity to Maria's solidarity programs focusing primarily on children with neurodegenerative diseases and people with limited financial resources".

Manor's Formula 1 team collapsed earlier this year, after no buyer was forthcoming.

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