Latest F1 news in brief – Thursday

  • Mosley: Canopy may have saved Wheldon

    Cockpit canopy might have saved Wheldon – Mosley

  • 'Delhi belly' alert as F1 races to India
  • Vettel could give up win to help Webber
  • Female driver sees F1 'possibilities' for 2012
  • Mercedes wants Schumacher for coming years – Haug
  • Virgin's Glock starts work in McLaren simulator

Cockpit canopy might have saved Wheldon – Mosley
(GMM) Dan Wheldon's death could have sped up efforts to end the long era of open-cockpit racing.

F1's governing body earlier this year, in response to the F1 and F2 incidents in 2009 involving Felipe Massa and Henry Surtees, tested screens and fighter jet-style canopies for possible use in the future.

Now, days after Briton Wheldon was killed when his IndyCar overturned and struck catch-fencing in Las Vegas, former FIA president Max Mosley said of the canopy idea: "I think it could work.

"You're always in danger, in an open cockpit, of objects striking the driver. It (the canopy) might also help if it's reinforced with another roll bar, in things like the Dan Wheldon accident," he told CNN.

"But that's something that needs careful investigation."

Mosley admitted that an unwanted side-effect of a cockpit canopy would be its aerodynamic effect.

"One of the troubles is that it would probably make the car quicker, which is just what we don't want. But there are other means of slowing them down," he said.

Yet more problems are that dirty canopies will affect driver visibility, while in severe accidents the cover might prevent marshals and doctors from extricating injured drivers.

"All of that will be looked at by a technical working group if it turns out the thing would protect the driver better," insisted Mosley.

"What I do know is we've got some very clever people, looking full-time at these problems."

'Delhi belly' alert as F1 races to India
(GMM) Contrary to some team bosses earlier remarks, 'Delhi belly' is a concern for formula one teams as they head to India next week.

'Delhi belly' is a colloquial term for the sort of sickness often picked up by travelers to India as they sample local foods and drink the tap water.

But McLaren and FOTA boss Martin Whitmarsh warned the media not to "overstate" the risks of racing and eating in Delhi.

"I don't think we should single out India as a particular challenge in that regard," he insisted.

Fellow boss Christian Horner added that Red Bull has had a crew running a show car in India recently and there was only "one incident of an upset tummy".

"No, we're not taking any additional precautions," he revealed.

But that's not the case with some of the other teams. A spokesperson for Swiss team Sauber said stomach bugs "could seriously compromise the team's performance if team personnel fall ill".

"This is why so many precautions are being taken," the spokesperson is quoted by the Indian Express.

Added a Toro Rosso spokesperson: "It is a fact that Europeans often pick up stomach bugs when in India".

And a Mercedes spokesperson said its catering team had been deployed to India ahead of time to "source local produce in a new destination".

Vettel could give up win to help Webber
(GMM) Sebastian Vettel has hinted he might be willing to give up a race victory to help his team perform a perfect score in 2011.

Red Bull and the 24-year-old German have already secured the constructors' and drivers' world championships, but Mark Webber currently lies in only fourth place behind Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button with three races left to run.

Webber has failed to win a single race in 2011 compared with Vettel's ten so far, so the Australian might need some help to curb the 13-point gap to second place.

"With three races left, we hope for the best results possible for ourselves but also for the team," Vettel is quoted by the AFP news agency.

Agreed team boss Christian Horner: "He (Webber) has had a very strong year and we want to get him second in the drivers' championship.

"That's our remaining target for the remainder of the year — to get him a race win and finish the season in style."

When asked if that might involve him giving up a win so that Webber can reach the top step of the podium, Vettel answered: "Yeah, definitely."

Female driver sees F1 'possibilities' for 2012
(GMM) Maria de Villota insists "there are real possibilities" she will be a regular in the formula one paddock next year.

The 31-year-old Spanish female driver tested a 2009 Renault at Paul Ricard in August, and earlier this month she re-appeared in the car during the World Series race weekend at Barcelona.

She told the Spanish news agency Europa Press that she is getting "closer" to securing a job in formula one for 2012.

"The first test we did in August went so well that it helped to accelerate more possibilities," said de Villota.

She said her short-term objective is to "be in formula one in 2012".

De Villota, the daughter of former F1 driver Emilio de Villota, said her Superleague races alongside former F1 drivers Antonio Pizzonia and Enrique Bernoldi had convinced her she is capable of contesting grands prix.

"While I have great respect for them, I do not see an uneven playing field," she said.

"Physically – yes I know – I have to work harder, but as an athlete and a driver I feel that with proper training and with the experience that I need, I think I can do it very well."

Mercedes wants Schumacher for coming years – Haug
(GMM) Mercedes regards Michael Schumacher as an integral part of its push for success in formula one, boss Norbert Haug said this week.

Currently, the seven time world champion is committed to the German marque – and his return to F1 – only until the end of next season.

2012 will be the third year since Mercedes took over Brawn GP, with motor sport director Haug insisting that a push to the top of the sport takes longer than that.

"We are going to keep establishing our new Silver Arrows works team in formula one," he told Eurosport Deutschland.

"Our development and our learning will bring as upwards gradually, step by step, from the fourth power at the moment to third, second and ultimately to position number one," added Haug.

"This can be achieved only through years of hard and focused work. The current world champions (Red Bull) took five years before their first success."

And Haug insisted that Mercedes has the right drivers – Schumacher and his German countryman Nico Rosberg – for the project.

"We are completely satisfied with them, as once we give our drivers a winning car, they will win with it," he said.

"Michael is a motivator through and through. He has a plan just as he had one at Ferrari, where he fought for five years for his first (Ferrari) title.

"He has the same bite as ever and remains one of the very best drivers in the field," added Haug.

Virgin's Glock starts work in McLaren simulator
(GMM) Timo Glock is already pressing the throttle for the 2012 season.

He revealed to Germany's Auto Motor und Sport that, this week, he has been working on McLaren's driver simulator for the very first time.

It is part of struggling Virgin's new tie-up with the famous British team, including use of the Woking wind tunnel.

German Glock says he is also buoyed that, in the wake of technical boss Nick Wirth's departure, the appointment of veteran Renault engineer Pat Symonds is already bearing fruit.

"My feeling is that we have definitely improved," he said. "It can't be easily seen because Lotus have also brought improvements which equalized our step.

"But the data has confirmed what I have felt in the car," said Glock, referring to the current 2011 single seater.

For 2012, the McLaren simulator tests are now taking place and Virgin's new wind tunnel program is back on track.

"There was a little delay but we have caught up now," Glock revealed.

"We went to Korea with new setup directions, since we have nothing to win or to lose now we can afford to do some development work for next year."

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