Latest F1 news in brief – Saturday

  • Singapore curb problem to be fixed for Saturday
  • Hamilton insists not content 'like Barrichello'
  • Singapore yet to agree new F1 deal beyond 2012
  • Money a factor as Team Lotus eyes 2012 name change
  • Carmakers want 'open market' for F1 engine supply

Singapore curb problem to be fixed for Saturday
(GMM) F1 officials late on Friday were working to solve a problem with the Singapore street circuit's curbs.

Initial practice was delayed as the FIA's Charlie Whiting inspected the temporary curbs, bolted to the track surface, at some corners.

Germany's Auto Motor und Sport suggested the issue may have been pre-empted by Pirelli following a routine inspection by the official tire supplier.

Some of the kerbing, another section of which was dislodged when the session resumed, was simply removed for Friday's running.

Asiaone correspondent Tony Ng said the problem "should be fixed by tonight (Saturday)".

"There are some areas where the bolts are coming out of the curbs — they must be taking some serious force from the cars," said McLaren's Lewis Hamilton.

The British driver revealed that unlike some of his rivals, he practiced on Friday as though the missing curbs were still there.

"We don't yet know whether or not the curbs will be reinstated tonight, so I continued driving as though the curbs were there," said Hamilton.

"If they're not replaced, then we should gain an extra couple of tenths by being able to run as wide as some of the others did."

Hamilton insists not content 'like Barrichello'
(GMM) Rubens Barrichello is an example of a driver "content" to make up the numbers in formula one.

That is the claim of Lewis Hamilton, who warned McLaren that he might leave the British team if he has to endure another car not worthy of fighting for the championship.

He contrasted his feisty attitude with that of Barrichello, who is pushing to extend his long F1 career into a twentieth season by re-signing with mid-grid team Williams in 2012.

"At some stage, if it continues the way this is going then my patience will be seriously tested," said Hamilton.

"There are drivers that are content with being in F1 and just existing. Maybe they have families. Look at Rubens Barrichello and he seems content with where he is.

"Then there are people like me who only exist to be the best. If you aren't busy trying to be the best then you're not busy doing anything," The Sun quotes him as saying.

The 2008 world champion has had a tough season; not only unable to challenge for the title with the MP4-26 but beaten on points by his teammate and criticized in the media for overly-aggressive driving.

He admitted to trying two weeks ago at Monza – where he struggled to pass Michael Schumacher – to simply get to the checkered flag.

"I wasn't downbeat," Hamilton told F1's official website, "but I didn't go 'balls out', basically. I didn't take too many risks. It was all about finishing the race and walking away with some dignity."

According to the Daily Star, his team boss Martin Whitmarsh said: "I told him that was a very disciplined drive, but I would like the old Lewis back."

Singapore yet to agree new F1 deal beyond 2012
(GMM) Singapore has not decided whether to extend the contract for its highly popular formula one street race beyond 2012.

Next year's floodlit event will be the fifth and final one according to the original contract signed in 2007 with Formula One Management, the local Today newspaper reports.

As for the possibility of a new deal, "It's still in negotiations", said trade and industry minister Teo Ser Luck.

"But it's more important to see if the F1 races have met our objectives and truly brought value to Singapore and helped put Singapore on the international stage," he added.

"It has brought value to Singapore, especially in the motor sports scene. But the considerations have to be more than that.

"So whether it is economic or social, we have to examine each of the factors, which is the stage where we are at now," the minister added.

Money a factor as Team Lotus eyes 2012 name change
(GMM) Team Lotus is yet to decide whether to change its official name for the 2012 season and beyond.

In an apparent end to the naming dispute, it was rumored at Monza two weeks ago that Team Lotus had agreed to instead call itself Caterham, opening the door for Renault to formally adopt the name of its sponsor Group Lotus.

But a side-effect of name changes in formula one is that teams can compromise their financial entitlements under the terms of the Concorde Agreement.

Ensuring those benefits would require the unanimous agreement of all the teams — a rarity in the F1 paddock.

"I guess there is a process that we all have to go through but it is a process that we will undertake if and when the decision is made," said Team Lotus chief executive Riad Asmat.

"It's something that hasn't happened yet so I can't comment."

He confirmed however that he has the support of the team's shareholders.

"We are still Team Lotus as you can see but my shareholders have mentioned we are open to anything and we will see how it progresses from this point."

Carmakers want 'open market' for F1 engine supply
(GMM) F1's major engine manufacturers want the FIA to drop regulations that guarantee customers for their rivals.

Currently, there are four engine makers on the grid — Ferrari, Mercedes, Renault and Cosworth.

The latter independent supplier, however, is reportedly fighting for customers for 2012 and beyond, with Williams switching to Renault and rumors HRT could follow Team Lotus in also ending its association with Cosworth.

And for 2014, new supplier Pure intends to enter formula one with a V6 design, but its boss Craig Pollock is reportedly concerned that he too will struggle to compete with the major manufacturers.

In Singapore, figures for Mercedes-Benz – currently supplying McLaren, Force India and its works team – and Renault, with no fewer than four contracted customers for 2012, sounded unapologetic.

"I am pushing for an open market because we are in formula one and regulations cannot solve all the problems," said Renault Sport F1's Jean-Francois Caubet.

Mercedes' Norbert Haug agreed: "If five teams choose 'engine x', then they should do so, it should be a free and open market."

The German sounded uncertain that the fifth supplier, Pollock's Pure, will ultimately join the party in 2014.

"This would be very pleasing for all of us, even more competition, but maybe we (will) have less than five, we will see," said Haug.

Leave a Reply