Latest F1 news in brief – Friday

  • What do you mean we cheated?

    Mercedes 'integrity' on trial in Montreal paddock

  • No Monaco criticism from within Ferrari – Alonso
  • Grosjean denies reverting to 2012 'nutcase'
  • Lotus will not agree to Silverstone tire debut
  • Ecclestone bribe charge delay pushed out to July
  • Massa had medical checks in Brazil after Monaco
  • Under-fire Perez says his Monaco move not 'stupid'
  • Raikkonen expects Perez discussion

Mercedes 'integrity' on trial in Montreal paddock
(GMM) 'Tiregate' was the predictably hot topic of conversation in the Montreal paddock on Thursday.

Mercedes issued a statement after the FIA said it will convene the international tribunal to consider the apparent breach of the sport's rules regarding in-season testing.

"Sporting integrity is of primary importance to Mercedes-Benz and we have the utmost confidence in the due process of the FIA," said the German team.

But Thursday's events in Canada showed that there are many outstanding questions about Monaco winner Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton's highly controversial running in the 2013 car at Barcelona.

Why, for example, did the drivers not wear their usual helmet liveries?

"Don't want to comment on that. Sorry," Rosberg told La Gazzetta dello Sport's Paulo Ianieri.

And there is also the matter of Hamilton's 'tweet' from Orlando, Florida, while he was actually testing at the Circuit de Catalunya. And why the circuit entrances were blacked out with cloth?

And contradictory statements.

Team boss Ross Brawn said in Monaco that the Brackley based team had no idea what tires were being tested in Barcelona.

"You are given codes. You don't know what tires you are testing," he had said.

Pirelli agreed, saying in a statement that Mercedes was "in the dark, which means that (the team) had no information on which specifications were being tested or about the goal of the testing".

But Rosberg completely contradicted Brawn and Pirelli on Thursday, revealing: "Of course I was aware of what their (Pirelli's) ideas were and what they were testing to be able to pinpoint for them what was going on and what directions are likely to be best for them".

It is not known when the FIA hearing will take place, but many voices in the paddock admitted they expect Mercedes to be penalized.

"I think it would be absolutely wrong to take Nico's victory from him," world champion Sebastian Vettel said, "so it's more a matter of (how to penalize) the team.

"What do you do, exactly? I don't know but maybe (deduct) points? I don't know," he added.

Germany's Bild newspaper also mentioned the possibility of a fine, or a race ban.

No Monaco criticism from within Ferrari – Alonso
(GMM) Fernando Alonso on Thursday hit back at suggestions Ferrari might have been unhappy with his lackluster performance recently at Monaco.

Some commentators say the Spaniard lacked his usual fire in the Principality, where he was passed during the race by Sergio Perez, Adrian Sutil and Jenson Button, and finished seventh.

"When (Stefano) Domenicali and president (Luca di) Montezemolo tell me they are unhappy with my performance, that's when I'll worry," Alonso is quoted by Brazil's Totalrace in Montreal.

The former double world champion said criticism, just like high praise after his Spanish grand prix victory earlier in May, is "part of the sport".

"I will stay very calm, knowing what worked and what did not work (in Monaco), said Alonso.

Asked if Monaco and the aftermath affected his motivation, Alonso is quoted by Spain's AS newspaper: "I'm exactly the same, it's June and May's pay came just like April's."

With 13 races to go, Alonso's deficit to Sebastian Vettel's championship lead is 29 points.

Grosjean denies reverting to 2012 'nutcase'
(GMM) Romain Grosjean has hit back at suggestions he has reverted to the much-derided 'nutcase' of 2012, insisting F1 drivers should be racing hard.

After Monaco, Frenchman Grosjean – penalized ten grid places at Montreal for his crash with Daniel Ricciardo – and Sergio Perez were heavily criticized for their racing antics.

"People like to write and talk, it's never fun," Grosjean is quoted by France's RMC in Montreal.

"People started to say 'it's the Romain Grosjean of last year'. No, it's not," he insisted.

"This was Monaco, where it is always difficult to try to pass."

Brazil's Totalrace quotes Grosjean adding: "I tried to pass and it didn't work. What do you want? That we all line up and don't compete?"

Meanwhile, Williams' Pastor Maldonado – similarly criticized for getting involved in too many incidents last year – defended Mexican Perez, who came under heavy fire after Monaco.

"It's hard to criticize what happens on the track. I think Sergio did his race," the Venezuelan said.

"I don't think we should criticize him for racing."

Perez and an angry Kimi Raikkonen on Thursday continued to disagree about their Monaco incident via the press, and were then seated next to one another as they signed autographs for Canadian fans.

"Awkward," Lotus, whose Raikkonen had threatened to punch Perez after Monaco, joked on its official Twitter on Thursday.

Lotus will not agree to Silverstone tire debut
(GMM) Eric Boullier has poured cold water on Lotus' plans to introduce new tires at Silverstone later this month.

Initially wanting to race the tweaks this weekend in Canada, F1's tire supplier said instead that they will be merely tested on Friday ahead of full introduction in Britain.

But Lotus' Boullier is quoted by RMC Sport in Canada: "The (new) tires will not happen in England.

"Pirelli will test the tires but they need the unanimity of the teams to change the rules, or at least change the type of tires, and today they haven't got it."

Boullier said the hard lobbying of some teams, notably Red Bull and Mercedes, will not make any difference.

"The rules are the same for everyone," he insisted. "They (the current 2013 tires) were tested in Brazil last season.

"It is a major component of the sporting and technical sides this year, so I don't see why we should change during the season."

World champion Sebastian Vettel, meanwhile, is arguing that the tweaked tires should be pushed through immediately, because rear delamination is a clear safety issue.

"Neither is overly safe, is it?" the German answered, when told of the distinction between tires that deflate and those that simply delaminate.

"I don't want to dramatize, but we saw what can happen with Felipe Massa when the driver is struck by a flying object. I don't want a flying tread to hit my head," Vettel is quoted by Speed Week.

Ecclestone bribe charge delay pushed out to July
(GMM) There will be a further delay in the progress with Bernie Ecclestone's bribery charges, the German news agency DPA is reporting.

We reported in mid May that more will be known about the F1 chief executive's German legal troubles in June, such as the court's decision to push ahead with a trial.

But that delay has now been pushed back to July, court spokeswoman Margarete Notzel announced.

She said the further delay is "because of the necessary (German to English) translation work".

Massa had medical checks in Brazil after Monaco
(GMM) Felipe Massa and Pastor Maldonado on Thursday announced they are fighting fit for this weekend's F1 action in Canada.

The pair were both nursing sore bodies after Monaco, where Brazilian Massa crashed twice at high speed at Ste-Devote, and Williams' Maldonado complained of "pain" in the days after his crash that dislodged the barrier at Tabac corner.

Massa told Brazil's Totalrace on Thursday: "I did all the (hospital) tests there in Monaco, and I also did some tests in Sao Paulo afterwards but there was nothing (wrong).

"I'm 100 per cent ready for this race," he said in Canada. "After three or four days the muscle pain – which was completely normal after two crashes in the same direction – was already gone."

And Maldonado commented: "I'm ok, perfect — prepared for this weekend.

"Hopefully the car will be better here and we can finish in the points."

Under-fire Perez says his Monaco move not 'stupid'
Sergio Perez has defended himself against criticism that he drove like "an idiot" at last month's Monaco Grand Prix, insisting he did nothing wrong.

The Mexican came under fire from rival drivers after he collided with Formula One title contender Kimi Raikkonen in the most recent race of the championship but was adamant he was not to blame.

"Every maneuver that you try to do in Monaco to try to overtake people is on the limit," Perez said.

"I did a couple of moves on the limit which at the end of the day went badly. The result was not the one I was expecting.

"But, I think the maneuvers I did, they were right. I did nothing stupid."

Perez made contact with Raikkonen when he tried to overtake him at the entrance to a chicane on the tight Monaco street circuit. Raikkonen's Lotus suffered a tire puncture and he fell back through the field before recovering to finish 10th.

Raikkonen, who is currently second behind Sebastian Vettel in the championship standings, suggested the 23-year-old McLaren driver needed a punch in the face.

But Perez, who failed to finish the race, said he was unfazed by the criticism and did not expect any lingering problems at Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, another tricky street circuit.

"At the end of the day we are humans, and you are very upset, very angry, and straight away you want to criticize somebody," Perez said.

"I felt he ruined my race, he felt I ruined his race so it's very easy to make a comment straight away after the race.

"At the end of the day it happened. I'll move forward from that and I look forward to doing a great race here." Yahoo Eurosport

Raikkonen expects Perez discussion
Kimi Raikkonen expects Sergio Perez's aggressive approach to be discussed in the drivers' briefing at the Canadian Grand Prix, even though he sees little point in further complaining about his Mexican rival.

The Finn is still angry at the way his Monaco GP race was wrecked after a collision with Perez, later telling his team on the radio that he wanted to punch the McLaren driver.

Although Raikkonen has no desire to speak to Perez about the matter, he did query the situation with the race stewards in Monaco to find out their feelings.

"I spoke with the stewards and they thought it was a racing incident, but I don't really see it like that," said Raikkonen ahead of the Grand Prix in Montreal.

"They said that I did nothing wrong but obviously there has to be somebody who does. But it is not going to change anything. I know that Charlie has spoken to Perez and I don't know what he spoke about.

"Obviously what happens after there will be discussed here."

Raikkonen has watched video replays of the incident since Monaco and says his views on the crash have not been changed since the weekend.

"I don't feel any different now," he said. "It doesn't change the fact that he messed our race up.

"Even if you ask one year from now, it will still have the same ending. We got one point back, but it still doesn't take away the thing that it wasn't right."

He added: "There was nothing else that I could have done apart from just drive straight.

"I am using my own line and I could easily have made the corner, but obviously if he comes too fast and can't stop, while I was in the middle of the circuit, then he can't get past me unless I move over.

"And I don't really feel that I should move over if the other guy comes too fast. I did that already, five or six laps earlier, purely because I saw he came too fast and he would have hit me."
Yahoo Eurosport

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