Latest F1 news in brief – Saturday

  • Nico Rosberg eats words

    Perez felt dizzy in Valencia practice

  • Vettel urges Red Bull to finally fix KERS
  • Rosberg backtracks after insulting athletes
  • Schumacher pays tribute as Fangio turns 100
  • Whiting denies changing rules to hurt Red Bull
  • De la Rosa to stay in F1 until 'too old'
  • Construction goes quiet at US GP track site – report
  • Pirelli considers qualifying tire for future

Perez felt dizzy in Valencia practice
(GMM) Sergio Perez felt dizzy on Friday after returning to the wheel of his Sauber.

The Mexican rookie pulled out of the recent Canadian grand prix weekend when he felt dizzy, two weeks after his heavy qualifying crash in Monaco.

But his Swiss employer said on Friday that Perez, 21, will contest the rest of the event on the streets of Valencia.

"At the beginning of the first session I still felt dizzy," Perez told the Spanish news agency EFE, "but as it went on I felt better and in the end I felt good.

"Tomorrow (Saturday) I hope to be 100 per cent. I think it's a normal situation as the body gets slowly used to it again. The second session was much better," he explained.

Perez said he had trained and prepared hard for his Valencia comeback, almost a month after his hospitalization in Monaco.

"I think we have succeeded," he added.

Vettel urges Red Bull to finally fix KERS
(GMM) Sebastian Vettel has urged Red Bull to finally solve its KERS glitches.

The otherwise dominant RB7 has been slowed multiple times in 2011 as the team grapples with a custom KERS system that is smaller and less powerful than usual in order to maximize the car's aerodynamic packaging.

And with the blown exhaust clampdown now taking effect, while McLaren has come closer to the Red Bull's pace culminating in Vettel's last-lap loss to Jenson Button in Canada, the championship leader has told his team to finally get on top of KERS.

"The competition has caught up, as we have seen again," said the German on Friday, when Ferrari's Fernando Alonso was quickest in Valencia practice.

"The last races have all been close. The time has come where I need the extra power (from KERS)," Vettel is quoted by Bild-Zeitung.

Austria's quotes him as adding: "There is no guarantee that it (KERS) will work here."

Button, who won in Canada two weeks ago when Vettel made a mistake on the final lap, thinks the 23-year-old is showing signs of cracking under pressure.

"That last race will have hurt him mentally. Hopefully that will play on his mind and give us a chance this race," said the Briton.

"It makes me smile because it shows what can happen if we put them under pressure."

Rosberg backtracks after insulting athletes
(GMM) Nico Rosberg quickly backtracked on Friday after insulting women sports stars as well as disabled athletes.

The Mercedes driver had been asked about the FIFA Women's World Cup soccer tournament, which kicks off in Germany on Sunday.

When asked if he watches women's football as well as men's, he answered: "Yes, it's like the Paralympics — people who are not quite as good but overall it's still exciting."

Later realizing his comments had been interpreted as offensive, the German said "the level (of premier women's soccer) is really high. I am going to watch it and I think the Germans are the favorites."

At least Rosberg, 25, knew the World Cup is about to kick off. According to Abendblatt newspaper, both Sebastian Vettel and Sergio Perez drew a blank when also asked in Valencia about the tournament.

"Women's World Cup — is there such a thing?" Mexican rookie Perez enquired.

Schumacher pays tribute as Fangio turns 100
(GMM) Michael Schumacher on Friday paid tribute to Juan Manuel Fangio, the Argentine legend whose record of five world championships he matched and then broke earlier this decade.

Friday, the scene of practice for this weekend's European grand prix, was the 100th anniversary of the late and great Fangio's birth.

Speaking at Valencia, seven time world champion Schumacher recalled the early 90s, when he actually met Fangio at a DTM race a few years before he died.

"I was struck by how youthful he still looked, even though he was already into his eighties," the 42-year-old told Germany's

"From his physical coordination and the alertness of his eyes, you could see what a great racing driver he must have been."

Of Fangio's 51 grands prix, Fangio started from the front row on 48 occasions and won 24 times.

He died aged 84 in 1995.

Whiting denies changing rules to hurt Red Bull
(GMM) Charlie Whiting on Friday denied the FIA's mid-season clampdown on blown exhausts is a political move aimed at slowing down the dominant Red Bulls.

"I am aware of some stories being written but to be frank with you I know it is not a political one," the governing body's technical delegate told reporters at Valencia.

Red Bull team figures including Adrian Newey, Christian Horner and the drivers of the RB7 have been pointing out that earlier innovations, like the F-duct and double diffusers, were banned only at the end of a season.

"I know it is a purely technical intervention from our side and I feel perfectly comfortable with that," insisted Whiting.

A distinction between the F-ducts and double diffusers and the blown exhaust issue is that while the FIA deemed the former as clever rules interpretations, it believes using the engine as an aerodynamic aid is illegal.

"What we are doing is stopping people breaking the existing rules," said Whiting. "We are not changing the rules; they're staying the same."

And he clarified that changing engine maps between qualifying and the race has not been completely banned.

"They (the drivers) are allowed to change things that they can do with a switch, on the steering wheel for example," he said, explaining that connecting laptops to the cars to change the settings is now forbidden.

Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn backed Whiting's action and said it has probably prevented some teams from lodging official protests.

"And that (protests) wouldn't be very good for formula one," said the Briton. "The stewards would probably find it quite a difficult argument to resolve and it would probably end up in the appeal courts and that's no good."

De la Rosa to stay in F1 until 'too old'
(GMM) Pedro de la Rosa on Friday admitted he fears that if he steps out of the formula one paddock now, he might never step back in.

The Spanish veteran, officially the McLaren reserve and called up by Sauber to replace Sergio Perez two weeks ago, is therefore first in line should up to four F1 regulars fall ill this year.

But the AS sports newspaper asked the 40-year-old if he is not tempted to return to regular racing, for example at Le Mans or in the German DTM series.

"There are different approaches but my life is formula one; once you've driven these cars nothing else comes close.

"Considering my age, I cannot put a foot outside of F1 because I'd be gone forever. For other things I will always have time, there's no hurry, I will wait until I am too old for F1," he said.

De la Rosa was surprised in Montreal when, after it emerged he would be racing in Mexican rookie Perez' place, his wife and one of his daughters rushed to Canada to see him drive.

"To my daughters it's difficult to explain my work; they don't understand why their dad is not home and why he's not driving a Red Bull and winning all the races," he laughed.

Construction goes quiet at US GP track site – report
(GMM) A spokesman has denied the wind is falling from the sails of the 2012 US grand prix.

The Texas official who approved the state funding for the Circuit of the Americas project is being sued, and the Austin City Council on Thursday delayed a vote on the receipt of the money.

Now, the local Austin American Statesman newspaper reports that construction efforts at the site of the formula one circuit have "slowed noticeably".

And investor Bobby Epstein warned: "If things get delayed any more, job layoffs are a certainty and construction spending will stop."

But project spokesman Jeff Hahn moved to play down those kinds of fears, explaining that the Circuit of the Americas is quieter at present simply because the excavation phase of the construction has wound down.

Pirelli considers qualifying tire for future
(GMM) Pirelli has many ideas about how to maximize its involvement in F1 as the sport's official tire supplier.

That is the claim of the Italian marque's British motor sport director Paul Hembery, who spoke to Auto Motor und Sport at Valencia, the eighth race since Pirelli took over from the now departed Bridgestone.

He said the first idea is about the supply of wet-weather tires.

"If the first two practice sessions are wet, then we need an additional set of intermediates for the rest of the weekend. We have agreed that this should come in to the regulations for next year," said Hembery.

As for the basic construction and compounds, he said Pirelli is fairly happy even though the target is "two to three pitstops per car" rather than four as has been seen on occasion this season.

"We wanted to wait for the mid season. After Silverstone we will get together and show the teams a few things," he said.

Hembery said the plan is then to make significantly faster tires in 2013.

"The aerodynamics will be reduced so we want to give the teams a little boost on the lap time," he revealed.

"There are many things. Maybe we will increase the number of different tires; maybe we'll bring three compounds to a race, maybe with a total of six to choose from.

"I don't know yet. There are lots of ideas," said Hembery.

Another idea is for a "super sticky" qualifying tire that lasts for only one lap.

"In the end for something like that the decision is with the teams. They might say no," he explained.

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