Latest F1 news in brief – Sunday

  • Di Resta signs up with Button's manager
  • McLaren questions Ferrari's 'tow' tactics
  • Santander extends Ferrari deal
  • Bottas ready for Maldonado race ban – Wolff
  • Massa must push for Monza win 'for his future'
  • Grosjean did not apologize for Spa crash – Sauber
  • Alonso on lost pole – 'we must avoid these errors'
  • Hamilton denies 'learning' from teammate Button
  • Kubica admits road was leading to Ferrari
  • Confusion remains after Vettel's alternator problems return

Di Resta signs up with Button's manager
(GMM) Jenson Button and Paul di Resta now share a manager.

Force India's di Resta, who recently dumped his former manager Anthony Hamilton, is now officially in the management stable headed by Richard Goddard.

The Scot has been advised by The Sports Partnership since the Hamilton split, which is now in the hands of the courts.

"Based on how it's gone and having seen what they've achieved with other clients, in and out of the sport of F1, it became clear that it was the right way to go," said di Resta.

The Anthony Hamilton split and tie-in with Button's management group comes at an interesting time, with di Resta linked with Lewis Hamilton's 2013 McLaren seat.

There may also be a conflict of interest issue, if Goddard is steering the careers on both sides of McLaren's garage.

Goddard said it wouldn't be a problem.

"There are two of us at the top of The Sports Partnership and if needed James (Williamson) could always look after one whilst I looked after the other," he told the Telegraph.

Anyway, di Resta said it is premature to be talking about a move to McLaren.

"It's always nice to have speculation, to see the interest," he said at Monza.

"But it's something I can't let my brain run away with. I'm in the car this weekend and expected to do a job. That is going to be the focus."

McLaren questions Ferrari's 'tow' tactics
(GMM) McLaren has questioned Ferrari's slipstreaming tactics in qualifying at Monza.

The red cars endeavored to give each other aerodynamic 'tows' down their home circuit's long straights on Saturday, but it went awry when Fernando Alonso's car developed a problem in Q3.

And Felipe Massa, who qualified a season-best third, said he got in his best lap once the towing was all over.

"I was always caring about the tow, to find a good tow, but then on the last run when I did my best lap I was completely outside of the tow, so it was better for me," said the Brazilian.

Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren's team boss who saw Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button lock out the front row with more conventional tactics, suggested his Italian rivals might have been "a bit too clever" in focusing so much on slipstreaming.

"In practice we were getting tows," said Button, "but it was difficult to work out if it was actually quicker or not.

"It's something that, personally, I feel it's very difficult to plan something like that. It's difficult to get it right.

"You can concentrate too much on it and get your braking point wrong or something.

"The way we did was much better, just finding traffic (to tow) on the circuit, so it worked reasonably well," the Briton added.

Santander extends Ferrari deal
(GMM) The Spanish bank Santander has extended its sponsorship deal with Ferrari through 2017.

Fernando Alonso's Ferrari deal also runs for several more years.

To mark the Santander extension, Ferrari will run a rear wing at Singapore with the words 'World's Best Bank'; a title dreamed up by the financial magazine Euromoney.

"This alliance is made up of the best team in the world and the best bank in the world," said Santander president Emilio Botin.

Also speaking with the press on Saturday, Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo said in future he would like to see shorter grands prix, held later in the day.

His comments follow his meeting at Maranello on Friday with Bernie Ecclestone and Jean Todt.

"We have to look ahead," said Montezemolo, "starting from the point of view that we have an economic crisis in the world and the world is different to what it was 10 years ago."

Bottas ready for Maldonado race ban – Wolff
(GMM) Valtteri Bottas is waiting in the wings at Williams, according to Toto Wolff.

Austrian Wolff doubles up as a Williams shareholder and executive as well as team reserve driver and Finn Bottas' manager.

In the context of Romain Grosjean's Monza race ban, the word in the paddock is that the FIA is also running thin on patience for Pastor Maldonado.

"Of course I don't hope that Pastor gets more penalties, and certainly not a ban," Wolff told Turun Sanomat newspaper.

"He wouldn't deserve that. He has certainly made mistakes, but he is aware of what has happened, and often the penalties have hurt him a lot.

"I don't want to see race bans, but if that were to happen, we have a third driver Valtteri Bottas ready to enter immediately," added Wolff.

Bottas, 22, has regularly practiced in Bruno Senna's Williams this year.

"Sometimes he has exceeded our expectations, but we want to keep Valtteri's feet firmly on the ground rather than have him thinking he is a superstar before he is a superstar," said Wolff.

Wolff also said it is too early to say if Bottas will have a full race seat in 2013.

"No, we don't know yet. We have only just begun to think about the situation and the timing of the decision," he said.

"We want to take (an overview of) the situation as a whole, rather than trying to do it a couple of weeks before Singapore."

Massa must push for Monza win 'for his future'
(GMM) Felipe Massa has the perfect chance to race for his career at Monza.

After a miserable 2012 in which rumors began to swell about his impending Ferrari exit, the Brazilian qualified third in front of the team's loyal 'Tifosi' at Monza.

So even if teammate Fernando Alonso would almost certainly have been ahead of him if the Spaniard's F2012 had not faltered in Q3, it is Massa's best qualifying result since Canada last year.

"With Alonso's problems, we're counting on Massa," Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo told Italian reporters on Saturday.

"He has to try to win this race, for Ferrari and for his future."

Massa agreed: "It's a very important race for us, a very important race for me.

"I know how important it is for me," he repeated.

Team boss Stefano Domenicali admitted that Ferrari is now in the process of thinking about the identity of the sister car alongside Alonso in 2013.

"I cannot say when (a decision will be made)," he is quoted by Brazil's O Estado de S.Paulo.

Grosjean did not apologize for Spa crash – Sauber
(GMM) Peter Sauber has slammed as a "lie" suggestions Romain Grosjean and Lotus apologized for last weekend's Belgian grand prix crash.

Fernando Alonso, who narrowly escaped injury when the now-banned Grosjean's Lotus flew across his cockpit at Spa, confirmed that the French driver subsequently said sorry by text message.

And Lotus boss Eric Boullier said Grosjean has also spoken to the others caught up in the shunt, including Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Perez.

Perez's Sauber teammate Kamui Kobayashi was also smashed out of the race by the Grosjean incident, having qualified a career-best second at Spa.

"I read everywhere that Grosjean has apologized to all the drivers for the starting accident at Spa," team boss Peter Sauber is quoted by Blick newspaper.

"(That's) a lie. He has contacted neither Sergio nor Kamui," said the Swiss.

Alonso on lost pole – 'we must avoid these errors'
(GMM) Fernando Alonso insists he would have been on pole for Sunday's Italian grand prix.

The Spaniard has had a dire run at Monza this weekend, suffering brake, gearbox and engine problems in practice, and a broken roll-bar in the crucial 'Q3' qualifying segment.

"It is a shame because it would have been the easiest pole," Alonso, who is instead just tenth, is quoted by Marca newspaper.

"I will try not to lose many points to (Sebastian) Vettel," he said, referring to his nearest championship rival.

"Actually we should be increasing the lead in the championship. These are errors we said we needed to avoid."

But in June, Alonso came from eleventh on the Valencia grid to win.

Can he do it again, this time on Ferrari's hallowed ground?

"We know that (Valencia) was an unique opportunity and we can't tell everyone that we can do that (again), because then if we have a normal race and finish eighth and ninth, everyone thinks we did a bad race," he said.

Hamilton denies 'learning' from teammate Button
(GMM) Lewis Hamilton has denied he has learned anything from Jenson Button during their three seasons together at McLaren.

With the British team locked in negotiations over a new contract with 2008 world champion Hamilton, boss Martin Whitmarsh reportedly said the duo are a good pairing because they "learn" from each other.

"I don't know why Martin would say that, as I couldn't say what I have learned from Jenson," Hamilton is quoted by El Pais newspaper.

"I learned from Fernando (Alonso in 2007), but I don't particularly feel I have learned from Jenson."

The comments could indicate a growing rift between the McLaren teammates, after Button scolded Hamilton recently over the 'Twittergate' secrets affair.

And the awkwardness might also be powered by the fact that Paul di Resta, the Force India driver, has split with Hamilton's father Anthony and is now managed by a management partnership that involves Button.

On the Twitter affair, Hamilton commented: "I didn't mean to go against my teammate or my team, I just wanted my fans to understand.

"Now I know why I shouldn't (have done it) and it won't happen again."

El Pais asked Hamilton if he looks at his former McLaren teammate Alonso with envious eyes, having built up the Ferrari team around him and enjoying a clear 'number 1' role.

"Well, no, I have no need or desire to be in a team like that; I like to be somewhere where I have to fight with my teammate," he said.

But he admitted he is thinking of going somewhere else.

"It would be nice to end where I began," said Hamilton, "but when your contract expires, you look around to see what else there is; if there are other challenges or opportunities.

"It's good for you to do that."

Triple world champion and legend Sir Jackie Stewart, however, urged Hamilton to stick with McLaren.

"(If) You go to Mercedes, who are a wonderful company, it would take a five minute decision from the board for them to decide to stop motor sport," he warned.

Kubica admits road was leading to Ferrari
(GMM) Robert Kubica has dropped a big hint that, were it not for the sad events of early 2011, he might now be Fernando Alonso's Ferrari teammate.

This weekend, more than 18 months after his horror crash and injuries in a minor rally, the talented Pole is finally back in action.

He is driving a Subaru in the Italian Ronde Gomitolo di Lana rally.

"I'd rather be somewhere else, but this is the most active phase of my rehabilitation," the 27-year-old is quoted by Italy's Sky Sport.

"I hope to get back where I was before but it's a good achievement to be here, after some difficult and emotional months," he said.

"During this long period, I never gave up," said the former BMW and Renault driver.

"There are still some things that are out of my reach, but with hard work and patience I have tried to recover as much as possible.

"After everything there is still a long way to go and probably on a physical level I will not be the same as before," said Kubica.

"For now I am thinking of these (two rally) commitments, which after seeing only hospitals and physiotherapy I am now seeing curves and gasoline."

As for F1, Kubica is quoted as saying: "I've never given percentages and times.

"I'll do everything to be in full swing next year and in the next months will decide what to do and if the objective (F1) can be reached or not.

"I'll try to make a decision in the future, perhaps with the hope to return in 2014, but today I cannot answer," said Kubica.

Finally, Kubica seemed to confirm rumors that – pre-accident – he was the favorite to replace Felipe Massa, lining up at Ferrari with his friend Fernando Alonso.

"Myself and Alonso would have been a great pair in Ferrari," he said, "but life has (instead) been a bit different."

Confusion remains after Vettel's alternator problems return
(GMM) Five races after the worrying events of Valencia, the looks of concern are back on the faces at Red Bull and Renault.

At Valencia, Sebastian Vettel's sure victory ground to a halt with an alternator problem.

Similar problems were arising at other Renault-powered teams, including Lotus and Williams, and so the French supplier reverted to an older alternator specification.

The problem seemed to have gone away, only for it to apparently return on Vettel's car in the Italian heat at Monza on Saturday morning.

"We don't know what has caused the problem," Renault Sport's Remi Taffin is quoted by Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

"The only thing we could do is install a brand new part."

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