Latest F1 news in brief – Tuesday

  • Horner upset Webber kept shoulder injury secret
  • World Cup chief urges Belgium to keep grand prix
  • Mercedes pit crew fastest in 2010 – analysis
  • BRDC says Silverstone development reports 'poppycock'

Horner upset Webber kept shoulder injury secret
(GMM) Christian Horner has revealed his "disappointment and frustration" at the news Mark Webber kept secret a fractured shoulder.

A new official book published by the Australian admitted Webber used injections to drive through the pain of the injury sustained whilst mountain bike riding prior to October's Japanese grand prix.

Red Bull team boss Horner told London's Telegraph he felt "disappointment and frustration" to hear about the injury for the first time late on Monday.

"I didn't even know about the book, let alone the shoulder," the Briton said.

The reports on Monday said only FIA doctor Gary Hartstein and Webber's trainer Roger Cleary knew about the injury.

"It is obviously disappointing that Mark said nothing," admitted Horner. "It was an injury that did not appear to have any effect on his performance but all the same it would have been nice to know about it."

Given the mountain bike crash in the 2009 pre-season that left Webber with a broken leg and shoulder, Horner indicated that the 34-year-old should stay off two wheels.

"Our drivers have an obligation to make sure they are fit," he said. "It seems bikes don't agree with Mark so maybe it would be better if he stayed away from them."

Horner was speaking as he collected a Gold Star on Webber's behalf at the British Racing Drivers' Club awards ceremony in London.

World Cup chief urges Belgium to keep grand prix
(GMM) The fact Belgium did not win its bid for the 2018 World Cup could be a blessing in disguise for fans of the historic F1 race at Spa-Francorchamps.

Spa's grand prix contract expires in 2012, and it has been suggested that Bernie Ecclestone might drop one or two of the less lucrative European races to make way for new hosts.

Alain Courtois, a Belgian politician who was the front-man for the failed Benelux World Cup bid, thinks the region should now ensure that it does not lose its highest profile event.

"I think we need to be careful, because one of the conclusions to be drawn is that the sports world is heading towards southeast Asia and all these emerging countries," he told RTBF television.

"So, we are not going to have the World Cup. Our other world event, the only one, is the formula one grand prix," Courtois insisted.

"We need to try at least to keep this because you hear 'it costs so much'. But the key is to position Belgium. We have a country that is dynamic, that is efficient, that has successful companies. We also need to have an image to the world.

"It (having the World Cup) was now or never. Let's now continue with what we have, because it is not bad," he insisted.

Mercedes pit crew fastest in 2010 – analysis
(GMM) The team did not field the best car in 2010 but Mercedes' pit crew was the fastest in pitlane.

An analysis by Germany's Auto Motor und Sport showed that the Brackley based team turned around Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg faster in pitstops than any rival outfit.

The refuelling ban this year put in focus the speed of a pit crew's tire changing.

The fastest stop in 2010 was 2.9 seconds, achieved by the Red Bull crew whilst servicing world champion Sebastian Vettel at Monza.

But overall, Mercedes' was the fastest crew, emerging with the quickest stop of the race no less than 8 times — in Malaysia, Turkey, Germany, China, Spain, Monaco, Britain and Belgium.

Red Bull was next best, changing the RB6's tires quickest of all in Bahrain, Australia, Hungary, Italy and Abu Dhabi.

Ferrari's pit crew was quickest three times, and Sauber was best in Korea and Brazil. The fastest pitstop was achieved by McLaren only once this season, in Japan.

Mercedes' quick stops were achieved with a fully automatic 'traffic light' system which is up to half a second faster than using a traditional 'lollipop man'.

Red Bull, meanwhile, reportedly selected its key tire changers after a series of tests and training sessions last winter, and the lollipop-holder was chosen after winning a psychological exam.

At the bottom of the list in 2010 was Lotus, with five slowest pitstops of the race overall, followed by four wooden spoons apiece for HRT and Renault.

BRDC says Silverstone development reports 'poppycock'
(GMM) Reports that Bernie Ecclestone might bail out Silverstone are "poppycock and mischief-making", according to sources at the circuit-owning British Racing Drivers' Club.

Rumors have indicated that the BRDC is running out of money to complete the redevelopments at the British grand prix venue and that Ecclestone could gain control of Silverstone by rescuing the project.

While the BRDC is not commenting officially, Telegraph correspondent Tom Cary spoke with key figures whilst attending the club's awards lunch in London.

He said he was "assured" that the reports, including claims the low-lying development is at risk of flooding, are "all poppycock and mischief-making".

"Development is on track, on budget and was signed off by respected architects and engineers who would have taken the water table into account," said Cary, recalling his conversation with the BRDC figures.

"There is a constant search for investment, primarily focused on utilizing the development lands around Silverstone to create added value, but this is old news," he added.

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