Latest F1 news in brief – Wednesday

  • Ferrari said no to tire test with 2013 car
  • F1 should be 'careful' with Pirelli criticism – Jordan
  • Bigger budget would ease Sauber crisis – Kaltenborn
  • Marko denied Vettel news before announcement
  • Schumacher not regretting F1 retirement call
  • Pirelli hits out at Vettel criticism

Ferrari said no to tire test with 2013 car
(GMM) Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has admitted he wants F1's governing body to "prosecute" Mercedes for the secret Pirelli tire test.

Led by former Ferrari team boss Jean Todt, the FIA will convene its new international tribunal next Thursday after charging Mercedes and Pirelli with allegedly breaching the rules with a recent private test at Barcelona.

"We have faith in the FIA," Montezemolo is quoted as saying by the Ferrari website.

"Let's hope formula one can maintain its professionalism and we have faith that those who attempt to circumvent the regulations are pursued and prosecuted, or rather more prosecuted than pursued," he added.

It is known that Pirelli also approached Red Bull about a test, but team boss Christian Horner said no because of his reservations about the rules.

"Of course we said no," Ferrari spokesman Renato Bisignani told Brazil's O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper, confirming that the Italian team also turned down an approach from Pirelli.

"The regulations prohibit the use of a car from this year," he added, clarifying that Ferrari's Pirelli tire test just after Bahrain was with a 2011 car.

The general consensus among F1 circles is that Mercedes will be found guilty and penalized in some manner.

"I don't know whether Mercedes will have points deducted or Ross Brawn will lose his job, but I do think there will be penalties because something was not quite right," F1 team owner turned pundit Eddie Jordan said on Servus TV.

F1 should be 'careful' with Pirelli criticism – Jordan
(GMM) Eddie Jordan has warned formula one to ease its criticism of F1's sole tire supplier Pirelli.

The Italian marque has been the subject of intense criticism of its controversial and heavily-degrading 2013 tires, and is now embroiled in the 'test-gate' scandal and facing the charges of F1's governing body.

Former F1 team owner turned television pundit Jordan, however, says F1 should treat the maker of its tires with more caution.

"Pirelli openly submitted its tender, they also paid money for it, and now they're criticized or ridiculed by some teams," the Irishman told Austria's Servus TV.

"I think some teams should be a bit more careful. Who is going to give them tires if Pirelli is not there?" he wondered.

"Do we see anyone else willing to do a better job? I think we should really be a little more friendly to Pirelli," added Jordan.

He said it would be completely wrong for Pirelli to cave in to the loud protests of teams like Red Bull and agree to modify the 2013 tires mid-season.

"You can't punish someone who's done everything right," said Jordan, referring to those teams who "built their cars correctly" for the 2013 specifications.

He said Canada was an example of teams only criticizing the tires when they can't make their cars work.

"I didn't hear a word about the tires (in Canada)," said Jordan.

"Sebastian (Vettel) said nothing, Alonso and Hamilton said nothing, and these were the top three.

"They complain if it doesn't work out for them," he added.

Bigger budget would ease Sauber crisis – Kaltenborn
(GMM) A bigger budget would help Sauber to emerge from its competitive crisis, team boss Monisha Kaltenborn has admitted.

The grey C32s were off the pace all weekend in Canada, and in the race both Nico Hulkenberg and Esteban Gutierrez retired after crashes.

Kaltenborn admitted that a bigger budget would help Sauber to pull out of its slump, but does not blame F1's 'show' for failing to attract more sponsors.

"The paradox is that the sport is very exciting, we are having very good races as a sport, so that part is working well," she told Brazil's Totalrace.

"On the other hand, it is very difficult to attract more sponsors, which has more to do with the global economic climate."

Kaltenborn admitted that Sauber's current situation would be "more comfortable" if the Hinwil based team was able to rely on a bigger budget.

"It's tough," she said, "and if we had more money, we could develop more quickly and probably get out of the situation that we are currently in.

"Now, we are always having to consider how much a new part is going to cost us."

Marko denied Vettel news before announcement
(GMM) Mere hours after denying the story, Red Bull announced that Sebastian Vettel is staying with the world champion team for at least two more years.

Earlier on Tuesday, when Germany's Sport Bild broke the news about the 25-year-old's contract extension for 2015, Dr Helmut Marko told SID news agency: "I don't know where this is coming from.

"There's nothing new," he insisted.

Hours later, Red Bull issued a press release announcing it is "happy to confirm" Vettel's signing of a new deal.

Previously, Vettel was committed only until the end of 2014, so Tuesday's news is in effect a one-year extension for 2015.

Vettel's current teammate Mark Webber only has a contract for this year.

German newspaper Welt said Vettel's new deal will certainly include a pay increase for the German, whose current retainer of EUR 11 million pales in comparison to Ferrari number 1 Fernando Alonso's estimated 28m.

Brazilian correspondent for O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper, Livio Oricchio, admitted Tuesday's news surprised him.

"With the radical change of rules next year, I would have thought he (Vettel) would wait to see who has developed the best solutions for the complex engineering challenge," he said.

Welt, however, quoted Dr Marko as saying: "The elements that will ensure Sebastian continues to feel comfortable with us have been created."

The German newspaper said Marko is referring to the recent contract extensions of Red Bull team boss, Christian Horner, as well as the 'genius' designer, Adrian Newey.

Schumacher not regretting F1 retirement call
(GMM) Michael Schumacher insists he has not regretted his final retirement from formula one "for a single moment".

At the end of a three-season comeback period that did not add to his record tally of 91 wins and seven titles, the 44-year-old German returned to retirement at the end of last year as Mercedes replaced him with Lewis Hamilton.

He told Bild newspaper the right call was made.

"If there had been at least the prospect of fighting for the world championship last year," said Schumacher, "then it might have been a different decision.

"But I'm very happy," he insisted, laughing that he is now a "private television commentator" on his couch during grands prix for his wife Corinna.

After more than two decades in the paddock, meanwhile, Schumacher also revealed that "a few people from Mercedes and Ferrari keep me in the loop" with F1's behind-the-scenes goings-on.

"But it's not as though I'm interested in everything," he added, revealing that he has put on a couple of kilograms since stepping out of the cockpit.

But he did return recently for a F1 demonstration run in his old 2011 Mercedes F1 car at the fabled Nordschleife.

Schumacher, now a Mercedes ambassador, revealed: "I do not think that was the last time I will sit in a Silver Arrows."

Pirelli hits out at Vettel criticism
Pirelli has responded to Sebastian Vettel's criticism of its tires after the Red Bull driver delivered a dominant performance to win in Canada last weekend.

The reigning World Champion led from start to finish around the Gilles Villeneuve circuit when low tire degradation allowed the German to push his RB9 harder than he could during the early parts of the season.

After celebrating his victory, however, Vettel was again critical of the Pirelli tires, suggesting that they are unsafe to race with.

In an interview with AUTOSPORT, Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery said that he doesn't know why Vettel keeps criticizing the tires.

"They have been strong, but some of the comments are very difficult to understand when you look at the performance,"" Hembery noted.

"Maybe some other teams might have a reason, but you are leading the championship, and still complaining?

"You win the race and I have seen some complaints again here [in Canada], and those sorts of things are not helpful."

The reigning constructors champions Red Bull has been the strongest critics of the rubber used in this year's tires which tends delaminate faster than the tires used last year.

Pirelli, however, insisted that the delamination poses no safety threat because the tires remain inflated, but that they want to eliminate the incidents because it influences the public image of its products negatively.

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