Latest F1 news in brief – Tuesday (Update)

UPDATE Updates shown in red below.


  • Danica F1 bound?

    No Mercedes 'go slow' despite Canada problems

  • McLaren, Red Bull settle legal row over Fallows
  • Steiner unsure Danica Patrick eyeing F1 debut
  • Will Renault and Caterham also split in F1?
  • Ferrari mad at themselves
  • Perez hits back at crash criticism New
  • Massa criticizes 'dangerous' Perez New
  • Nico Rosberg's Review of the 2014 Canadian Grand Prix New

No Mercedes 'go slow' despite Canada problems
(GMM) Mercedes is not imposing team orders, even though the dominant team's winning streak ended in Canada.

At the wheel of the W05, Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton were just as dominant at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, but they both struck technical trouble in the race.

Many are wondering if the problems would have happened if the pair were operating under team orders, as per Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard at McLaren in 1998.

"It hurt at the time," said Coulthard, recalling the Melbourne season opener where Hakkinen won due to a pre-race agreement amid questionable reliability, "but it guaranteed the team a one-two."

Coulthard, now a commentator for British television BBC, wonders if Montreal might now move Mercedes' to adopt a similar approach.

"It will be interesting to see whether that changes Mercedes' approach if a similar situation, when reliability is marginal, arises later in the season," he said.

The beneficiary of Mercedes' Montreal issues was Red Bull, as Daniel Ricciardo recorded his first grand prix win.

"At the Red Bull-Ring there are long straights and uphills," Dr Helmut Marko told Sport Bild.

"So we will only be able to beat Mercedes again if they have more problems."

It is clear that, in Canada, feuding teammates Hamilton and Rosberg were fighting hard. They almost clashed at the first corner, and later Rosberg controversially ran across the chicane whilst defending a Hamilton attack.

It has been suggested that Hamilton eventually had to retire from the race because he pushed too hard after his technical problems began, whilst Rosberg steered through the trouble with more finesse.

"Lewis had the problem with the brakes at the same time as Nico," said former F1 driver Christian Danner, "but he (Hamilton) couldn't adapt quickly enough.

"So he failed and Nico went to the finish."

Mercedes team chairman Niki Lauda agrees: "Nico drove like a god. Absolutely world champion class."

Coulthard, however, isn't so sure Hamilton was to blame for his failure. "If the team are not criticizing him for influencing the failures in Melbourne and Montreal," he said, "then we have to assume he has done nothing wrong."

Indeed, team boss Toto Wolff has publicly apologized to Hamilton for the latest problem.

So, for now, Mercedes is pushing ahead with its policy of resisting team orders.

"You could say that we should impose team orders," Wolff is quoted by La Presse, "but that is not our philosophy.

"Both drivers have been perfect. Slowing down could have improved the outcome, but this is not what we want, and definitely not what the public wants," he added.

McLaren, Red Bull settle legal row over Fallows
(GMM) A legal dispute between Red Bull and McLaren is now over.

Earlier, McLaren supremo Ron Dennis was threatening to take the reigning world champions to court, after he signed Dan Fallows only to find the aerodynamics chief changed his mind and returned to Red Bull.

Team boss Eric Boullier conceded recently that McLaren was having to accept the likelihood that Fallows "will never join us".

Given Adrian Newey's looming withdrawal into semi F1-retirement, it is perhaps now obvious why Red Bull was so keen to hang on to his deputy, Fallows.

In the meantime, it emerges that out-of-court talks between Red Bull and McLaren over the disputed contract have been taking place.

The latest reports suggest a non-financial settlement has been reached, possibly involving Red Bull's early release of another McLaren recruit, Peter Prodromou, who until now has been on forced 'gardening leave'.

"Ron and (Red Bull team boss) Christian (Horner) have indeed discussed a number of outstanding issues recently, yes, and they have resolved them," a McLaren spokesman said.

"As Christian says, a handshake is all you need with Ron."

Steiner unsure Danica Patrick eyeing F1 debut
(GMM) It is "too early" to be linking Danica Patrick with F1's newest team, the 2016 debutant Haas.

American Patrick, the world's most famous female racing driver, already drives for Haas' Nascar team, the jointly Tony Stewart-owned Stewart-Haas.

"You know, everything is possible," Gunther Steiner, who is the boss of the new Haas Formula team, said in Montreal at the weekend.

At the same time, 61-year-old Haas reportedly told an American television network that Patrick, 32, would be a "good candidate" for the F1 team.

"The ideal candidate would be an American driver," he told NBC recently.

Steiner, however, has now told Speed Week: "It's much too early to decide about that. We have not talked about it.

"I also don't know what Danica's plans are," he added.

A lot of other crucial variables are also unknown at this point, including the identity of Haas' engine partner.

"We are having talks with Ferrari and Mercedes," said Steiner. "Renault is not on our list, because they have no gearbox and they also have four strong customers already."

Steiner also said Haas is yet to decide the location of its "second base" in Europe, with the main headquarters to be at Kannapolis in North Carolina.

And yet another unknown is precisely how the first 'Haas' chassis will be made, after initial plans to work with the Italian manufacturer Dallara were drawn up.

But with the debut date now shifting from 2015 to 2016, Steiner hinted that Haas Formula may now have enough time to build its own car from scratch.

"Now that we have more time, we would like to develop it ourselves," he said.

"Team Haas will need a technical partner, but we would like our own chassis and our own aerodynamics."

Will Renault and Caterham also split in F1?
Following a mutual agreement between Renault and Caterham Group, Renault has increased its stake in Societe des Automobiles Alpine Caterham to 100%, following acquisition of the interest held by Caterham Group. Renault will now continue to develop its own Alpine sports car to be launched in 2016, as initially planned. Caterham Group also plans to continue with its own sports car.

This acquisition brings to an end to the partnership signed in November 2012 by Renault and Caterham Group to develop and manufacture sports cars through a joint venture, Société des Automobiles Alpine Caterham, owned 50/50 by the two partners. Other forms of cooperation could still be envisaged between Renault and Caterham Group in line with each company’s strategic policy directions.

As a result, Societe des Automobiles Alpine Caterham will change its name to Societe des Automobiles Alpine. The change will be made as part of a general meeting to be held in June.

Ferrari mad at themselves
Marco Mattiacci has said Ferrari needs to take a 'long hard look at what it is doing' following more disappointment last weekend in the Canadian Grand Prix.

Despite the problems that beset the dominant Mercedes', Fernando Alonso and Kimi Räikkönen were not in a position to capitalize and in the end they finished sixth and tenth. Mattiacci, who took over as Ferrari Team Principal back in April when Stefano Domenicali resigned, was not amused.

"The final result is definitely not satisfactory, far from it," he said immediately after the race.

"I would ask the team to take a long hard look at what they are doing and work together, putting in maximum effort so that our drivers can fight for more ambitious results."

Speaking later, he told Ferrari's official website: "We are very angry with ourselves, but we have no intention of giving up.

"On the positive side of this weekend though, everyone wants to fight back, starting with our drivers, Kimi and Fernando, who are both extremely tenacious guys, competent and competitive and they know how to work as a team to point us in the direction of the areas that are a priority in our development program.

"Some updates produced good results on track and that's why we will continue down this path race by race."

"We have improved since the start of the year, but every step forward we make must be looked at in the context of what our rivals have done," he continued. "Ferrari has begun work on a specific approach, based around a few key figures; President [Luca Di] Montezemolo, James Allison, Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen and a group of highly talented engineers. It's a case of restructuring the team, with people being given the best possible conditions in which to get the job done."

"There is a clearly defined development program that we are working through and which will see us bring updates to every race," he added.

"Another major target is to speed up our reaction time, which is something our competitors seem to manage to do".

Perez hits back at crash criticism
Sergio Perez has hit back at the criticism he and Force India received in the wake of his collision with Williams driver Felipe Massa during Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix.

Perez had been nursing brake and electrical problems leading up to the violent accident, which occurred on the approach to the first corner on the final lap of the race.

Williams' Rob Smedley argued that it was irresponsible of Force India to keep Perez's car on track, but the Mexican has insisted that he had the situation under control.

"It was perfectly driveable with just some adjustments and we showed it up until the moment we were taken out," he said.

"Other cars had been in similar conditions for way longer than us and they finished without problems.

"If someone thinks you can keep two Red Bulls behind for as long as we did with so-called 'terminal' problems, they are clearly misguided."

Force India's Chief Operating Officer, Otmar Szafnauer, added his belief that Massa simply turned into Perez.

"Look at the corner and watch Massa turn right into Perez," said Szafnauer. "He goes on the inside to try to overtake and thinks 's**t! You can't overtake in Turn 1, let me get back onto the racing line', and he hits him.

"How many other overtaking maneuvers on the inside into Turn 1 happened in this race? I'll tell you: zero. Why? Because you can't do it."

Massa criticizes 'dangerous' Perez
Williams driver Felipe Massa has labeled as "dangerous" the actions of Force India rival Sergio Perez in the run up to their accident on the final lap of Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

Massa was attempting to pass Perez along the main straight when the pair touched and subsequently flew into the barriers, the Brazilian narrowly avoiding a secondary collision with Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel.

Both men had successful hospital checks, before Perez was handed a five-place grid drop for Austria.

"I talked to him at the medical centre. I was so disappointed with him," Massa explained. "I said that he needs to learn. I wanted him to put himself in my place as I had a huge crash and I honestly thought it was going to hurt.

"It's not the first time that he turned into somebody under braking. He didn't say anything, he just turned and left. We are doing around 300km/h there. With another car in front it could have been a very serious accident."

Massa added his belief that the Montreal stewards should have given Perez a more severe punishment.

"We've had the rules for a few years that when one car is up the side the other cannot move. He just moved and we touched. For me five places is not enough. He was dangerous. We could have crashed into Vettel."

Perez was nursing electrical and brake problems at the time, and says he was "hit from behind" by Massa.

"On the final lap I was defending my position going into Turn 1 when I suddenly got hit from behind," he said.

"It was not easy in the final laps. I was pushing hard to try and get ahead of Nico [Rosberg] for the lead. Daniel [Ricciardo] managed to get ahead of me when I had an electrical issue, but I managed to reset the system for the final couple of laps. The podium was possible and I'm very disappointed for the points we have lost."

Nico Rosberg's Review of the 2014 Canadian Grand Prix
A determined drive from start to finish in what was an eventful Canadian Grand Prix saw Nico Rosberg take second place at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve.

In his latest video blog, Nico looks back on an eventful race – and an outcome that could have been a lot worse:

"At the end of the day, second place is an OK result. Obviously, that's not what we set out to achieve, but at least I extended my championship lead. That's cool. Next stop Austria."

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