Latest F1 news in brief – Sunday

  • Pirelli Tires

    Simple solution keeps heat in Red Bull tires

  • Hamilton must work on 'attitude problem' – Mansell
  • Rookies di Resta, Perez, unwell at Suzuka
  • Boss helps Kobayashi climb Suzuka grid
  • 'No reason' Vettel can't beat F1 records – Lauda
  • 'Little reason' to eye F1 exit – Mateschitz
  • Button mused 'options' before McLaren stay

Simple solution keeps heat in Red Bull tires
(GMM) Red Bull is using a simple yet clever solution to heat the tires and brakes before Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber pull out of the pits.

In 2005, the FIA banned systems like one used by Toyota that heat the inside of the wheel rims.

But there is nothing to stop teams from deploying strategies in the privacy of the garages, as Red Bull has been doing since Belgium, according to F1's official website.

The team places a pre-heated aluminum cylinder inside the brake ducts which is then removed by mechanics wearing heat-resistant gloves before the car leaves the garage.

Hamilton must work on 'attitude problem' – Mansell
(GMM) Lewis Hamilton did not achieve his goal of staying out of trouble at Suzuka this weekend.

The troubled McLaren driver, who according to eyewitnesses was visibly upset as he addressed the media on Thursday, had vowed to move on from his Singapore scrap with Felipe Massa.

But after qualifying, Hamilton slammed Michael Schumacher and Mark Webber for "ridiculous" out-lap attacks at the Triangle chicane that led to him failing to post a final flying lap in Q3.

Afterwards, as he posed for the photographers alongside Sebastian Vettel and Jenson Button, the Briton was obviously angry and said he didn't know "what the hell" Schumacher and Webber were doing.

But Schumacher said it was "stupid" to be driving so slowly in the race against the Q3 clock, with Webber adding: "The team were saying 'come on, get on with it, we're running out of time'.

"Lewis tried to block, but I kept going."

Much later, Hamilton admitted the saga was "my mistake".

Nigel Mansell said he thinks it was the latest installment in his fellow British world champion's tumultuous season.

"Lewis has to work on an attitude problem," the 1992 title winner told the Daily Mail. "He needs to get his head in a better place.

"You have to manage your car better than Lewis has done on too many occasions this season. Too many times he has positioned his car where he has caused an incident."

And Hamilton also needs to rethink how he reacts after such mistakes, Mansell added.

"He needs somebody who he respects to tell him on occasions that this is how it is and this is how you should conduct yourself. At times, Lewis doesn't always engage his brain before his mouth."

Rookies di Resta, Perez, unwell at Suzuka
(GMM) Two formula one rookies are struggling through the Suzuka weekend at less than full throttle.

Sauber's Sergio Perez revealed just before qualifying that he is not feeling well with the flu.

"When he said that during an interview I took a step back," smiled BBC commentator David Coulthard, who said the Mexican was looking "rather grey".

Also under the weather in Japan is Force India's Paul di Resta, who is battling a virus that is causing a sore throat and fever.

"By all means it's not ideal and the last place you would want it is here when you've two races on the bounce," said the Scot, referring to F1's forthcoming jump to South Korea.

"At the moment, I'm not recovering and I don't know if it's at its worst yet, but it's not easy and this circuit is one of the more physical places as well," added di Resta.

Boss helps Kobayashi climb Suzuka grid
(GMM) Without setting a time in the decisive Q3 at Suzuka, local hero Kamui Kobayashi moved up three places and will start the race from seventh.

The provisional results had showed the Japanese in tenth place, as the driver with the highest race number behind fellow non-runners Michael Schumacher, Bruno Senna and Vitaly Petrov.

Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali hit out at the growing trend of drivers sitting out qualifying in order to save tires for the race.

"I think it shows something is not right in the way qualifying is run and we should give it some careful thought for the future," he said.

Indeed, in the post-session confusion, Sauber team manager Beat Zehnder should receive the credit for pushing overtaking-master Kobayashi three places up the grid simply by pressing the FIA's regulations to the letter.

According to Blick newspaper, Kobayashi had always planned to abort his Q3 flying lap because it would guarantee him a higher grid placing than the other non-runners who did not exit their pits at all.

"The Japanese has the clever Sauber team manager (Zehnder) to thank," wrote veteran correspondent Roger Benoit.

Pirelli's Paul Hembery joined Domenicali in criticizing the current rules. His first proposal – special tires for qualifying – has been ruled out for 2012 by the teams.

"We will be working with the teams and the FIA to find a solution that is acceptable to everybody to avoid this kind of scenario in the future, as it is not fair on the spectators," he said.

But the drivers themselves do not all agree that the spectacle of qualifying has been dimmed by the exploitation of the current rules.

"Has it?" wondered Jenson Button after qualifying less than a hundredth of a second behind pole sitter Sebastian Vettel.

"It's different from where we are sitting, I think.

"When you're fighting for pole and it's that close I think it's a massive spectacle, having two different makes of car and engine, and two different drivers fighting it out and being that close in qualifying is phenomenal," he added.

'No reason' Vettel can't beat F1 records – Lauda
(GMM) On the day of his likely crowning as a double world champion, Sebastian Vettel can look ahead to becoming F1's all-time greatest driver.

That is the view of Niki Lauda, who said there is "no reason" the Red Bull driver cannot target Michael Schumacher's record of seven career titles.

"It is possible," the three time champion told Bild am Sonntag newspaper at Suzuka.

"What is not possible is to look ahead five years, but I see no reason why next year Vettel will be a worse driver or have a worse car," said Lauda.

The Japanese grand prix takes place in the early morning Europe-time, and pole sitter Vettel only needs to finish tenth to guarantee his consecutive crown.

"What this means for us at home: coffee, rolls and champagne for dessert!" said Bild.

The 24-year-old German however is not preparing to ease off the throttle.

"No matter what happens, I will race just the same in the next four races and next year. I am far from satisfied," said Vettel.

And what will his boss Dietrich Mateschitz be drinking later on Sunday: "Red Bull Royale", he told Die Welt newspaper, referring to the mixed champagne drink.

'Little reason' to eye F1 exit – Mateschitz
(GMM) On the cusp of the team's second consecutive season of championship triumphs, Red Bull can look confidently into the future.

That is the assurance of the team's billionaire owner Dietrich Mateschitz, who said he is perfectly happy to see his brand on the F1 grid for years to come.

"As long as the conditions remain fair and sporting there is currently little reason to imagine something else," he told Die Welt newspaper.

Soon-to-be back-to-back world champion Sebastian Vettel is under contract until 2014 and Dr Helmut Marko said last week that he is aiming to extend the deal for a further two years.

"The championship has brought him calm. He needs to prove nothing more," Marko is quoted by the Sueddeutsche newspaper.

"And he is pragmatic. As long as we keep giving him a package that is better than the others, I doubt he is going to want to drive for Ferrari just for the glory."

As for Sunday's task, it is Austrian Marko who sounds the calmest.

"Whether he wins the title here or in Korea in a week is no different to me," said the team advisor.

Button mused 'options' before McLaren stay
(GMM) The delay in Jenson Button's contract extension beyond next year was due in part to the interest expressed by Ferrari.

That is the claim of O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper, reporting that the famous Maranello team considered the 2009 world champion a potential new teammate for Fernando Alonso in 2013.

"I think it's important for drivers to look at all their options," confirmed Button.

But for now and for the next couple of years, he will definitely be a McLaren driver.

"And I am staying not for the money but because this is where I believe I will have the best chance of becoming world champion again," added the 31-year-old.

And that is also why he joined McLaren from Brawn at the end of his championship season, despite the fact the Brackley based team was set to become the works Mercedes team.

"I knew the team (Mercedes) would have a difficult season in 2010. We wouldn't have the advantage of the double diffuser and in the second half of 2009 we lost pace and we didn't develop the car because of a lack of resources.

"But I did think that after 2010 things would be better for them, but they are not," added Button.

For many in the F1 paddock, Button has been the outstanding performer of the season, a decade after he was written off by his then Benetton boss Flavio Briatore.

At Monaco in 2001, Briatore dismissed the Briton as a driver who "has suddenly made a lot of money and only thinks now about enjoying life. Right now, he is on his boat rather than being here, working."

At Suzuka 2011, Button replied: "It's true. I was very young, inexperienced and I started to enjoy the other things that opened up around me.

"It's also not easy being one of Flavio's drivers," he smiled, "especially when you are young.

"A lot has changed since 2001. I've learned a lot. You can see that from what I've done this year, yeah?"

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