Latest F1 news in brief – Monday

  • Turkey track now a used car lot

    Vettel '100pc right' over Pirelli outburst – Webber

  • Michelin weighs into Pirelli blowout saga
  • Turkey F1 track becomes used car dealership
  • After quit threats, Red Bull now looking into F1 future
  • Raikkonen never realized full potential – Whitmarsh
  • Rosberg 'has given up' on 2015 title – pundits
  • Hulkenberg staying at Force India – report
  • Rosberg becomes father before Monza
  • Kimi hates Ron with a passion – Whitmarsh

Vettel '100pc right' over Pirelli outburst – Webber
(GMM) Mark Webber has backed his former teammate Sebastian Vettel's expletive-filled rant about the quality of the tires supplied in F1 by Pirelli.

The pair rarely saw eye-to-eye when fighting for titles at Red Bull, but when it comes to Vettel's blowout at Spa-Francorchamps, Webber said: "Seb is 100 per cent right.

"A blowout must not be the penalty for using a tire for too long," the outspoken Australian, now racing a Porsche at Le Mans, told Auto Motor und Sport.

"You should be slow, fair enough, but as a driver you need to be confident that the tire is going to hold together."

Webber thinks the ball is now in the governing body's court to ensure the safety of the drivers.

"Definitely," he said. "Safety is the number one thing for the FIA — you have the cockpit extraction tests, HANS, the crash tests. So you can't turn a blind eye to something as fundamental as the tires."

Webber also refused to back Pirelli's argument that Ferrari went too far in opting for a one-stop in Belgium.

"Imagine if Seb had done the remaining kilometers and finished third. Then Pirelli would have been saying 'Look how great our tires are'," he argued.

"If it's true that Pirelli set a limit of 40 laps for a set, then they can't burst after 28 laps. That's a difference of 12 laps.

"Pirelli has been really lucky so far," said Webber.

The Swiss newspaper Blick reports that, in the wake of Vettel's outburst and also Nico Rosberg's blowout in Belgium, Pirelli will meet with all team bosses ahead of the Italian grand prix.

Michelin weighs into Pirelli blowout saga
(GMM) Michelin has weighed into the Pirelli blowout saga, insisting it is committed to producing longer-life tires in formula one.

The two tire companies are currently in competing talks with Bernie Ecclestone about which of them will be awarded the contract as F1's sole supplier beyond 2016.

Some believe Michelin's bid got a boost in the wake of the Belgian grand prix, where Nico Rosberg suffered a high-speed blowout, and Sebastian Vettel issued a foul-mouthed rant following a similar incident late in the race.

"I want to know what happened at Spa," said Michelin's sports chief Pascal Couasnon, "but I can't comment because we don't have the data.

"All I can say is that we learn a lot from it," he told Germany's Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

"One thing I can tell you is it makes no sense to us to produce tires that last ten laps. A formula one tire should manage at least one third of the race, and perhaps two-thirds.

"We have to discuss this together with the engineers and Bernie Ecclestone," Couasnon added.

And he said: "We need to give the drivers a tire with which they can extract 100 per cent from the car, not just 70."

Michelin is pushing hard also to combine longer-life tires with faster compounds and 18-inch wheels, with Couasnon admitting: "We know that the compromise pleasing everybody is a fine line.

"Our challenge is to work this out together with the engineers of the cars."

Couasnon reportedly expects the FIA to make its decision about F1's 2017 supplier in the next four or five weeks.

Turkey F1 track becomes used car dealership
(GMM) Turkey's chances of returning to the F1 calendar any time soon now appear dead.

Istanbul Park hosted grands prix between 2005 and 2011, with the Hermann Tilke-penned circuit famous for its challenging turn 8.

But the event collapsed for financial reasons and a lack of local interest.

Now, the track that reportedly cost almost $300 million to build is to become a used car dealership, the Turkish daily Sozcu reports.

A car rental company has reportedly signed a 10-year lease and plans to sell 25,000 cars per year from the facility, to be called Istanbul Park Auto Market.

After quit threats, Red Bull now looking into F1 future
(GMM) Red Bull is re-setting its sights on the future of formula one, having earlier threatened to pull out of the sport.

The team had bemoaned not only its competitive situation but also the rules and F1's waning popularity, but it is believed Red Bull is playing an active role in helping to shape the radical new regulations for 2017.

Dr Helmut Marko confirmed that 2017 will be at least "a step in the right direction".

"Visually, the cars will be more aggressive, and more difficult for the drivers to master. That's what we're looking for," he told Auto Bild.

"And (Dietrich) Mateschitz, thank god, is a motor sport fan who sees formula one as an ideal platform for its marketing opportunities.

"But first the product has to be right for the fans. And we have to have a chance to win. Therefore, in the short term we need a winning engine," Marko added.

That is why Red Bull is now pushing hard to break its 2016 contract with struggling Renault, and aiming to pair up with Mercedes for a customer supply of its title-dominating 'power unit'.

Renault, however, is reportedly insisting the 2016 deal be honored, and so the issue of which engine will power next year's Red Bull is still open for now.

Marko said: "The next Renault update comes in Sochi. Then we'll see."

He at least now admits that Red Bull struggled earlier in 2015 with its car, claiming that the former world champions have now improved it.

"Despite our power deficit, we again have the best chassis since Hungary. We can see it in the GPS data. The best proof is Daniel Ricciardo, who has the confidence back. As if something has suddenly clicked in his head."

So Marko admits that, earlier this year, "we (Red Bull) had problems. I had to say to my people 'Hello? Just because we don't have the best engine, that doesn't mean we don't have to try everything to have the best chassis'."

Raikkonen never realized full potential – Whitmarsh
(GMM) Kimi Raikkonen never realized his full potential in formula one, according to the Finn's former boss Martin Whitmarsh.

Whitmarsh, now involved in America's Cup yacht racing, was Raikkonen's boss at McLaren between 2002 and 2006, and he then tried to re-sign the Finn for 2010 when Ferrari ousted him.

"Although Kimi hates Ron (Dennis) with a passion, I always got on ok with him," he told the British magazine Motor Sport.

"We were in negotiations (in 2009) with his management, but they were being a bit commercially ambitious, and then Jenson (Button) became available and it all fell into place, so that was that," added Whitmarsh.

Raikkonen, the 2007 world champion and now 35 years old, was the centerpiece of the 2016 'silly season' recently until Ferrari re-signed him for 2016.

According to the magazine, Maurizio Arrivabene has revealed that Raikkonen's new deal is for only "One year — no option."

Whitmarsh thinks Raikkonen never realized his full potential in F1.

"Kimi is deeply frustrating," he said, "in that he's as smart as he is, and has all that pace — and it just pisses you off that he compromises it.

"He hasn't realized his potential — and he isn't going to now, which is a great shame. Very insightful, very dry sense of humor. I really like the bloke."

Italy's authoritative La Gazzetta dello Sport reports that Raikkonen's new one-year deal leaves the door open for Ferrari to sign Max Verstappen for 2016.

While Red Bull is pushing for a Mercedes engine deal next year, a split with Renault could actually mean a return to Ferrari power for Verstappen's current team Toro Rosso, Gazzetta added.

It would be an ideal precursor to a full Verstappen-Ferrari alliance for 2017.

Rosberg 'has given up' on 2015 title – pundits
(GMM) Lewis Hamilton is now cruising to the 2015 world championship, according to two F1 insiders.

After finishing second to his Mercedes teammate in Belgium, Nico Rosberg said on the podium: "Lewis did a great job so he deserved to win.

"I tried to give it everything but (it was) not enough."

Eddie Jordan, a former team owner and boss and now pundit for British television, told Germany's Sport Bild that he heard Rosberg's comments as a sign of clear defeat.

"It was a declaration of surrender by Rosberg," Jordan said.

"For me, the duel between them is over now. Nico can no longer beat Lewis to this championship," he added.

Jacques Villeneuve, the 1997 world champion who has also become a television pundit, agreed that Hamilton seems destined now to add a third title to his tally.

"Anyone who has watched Nico on the last two race weekends can see that he has given up. He is definitely the number 2 at Mercedes now.

"Even at his maximum he is simply not a match for Lewis," Villeneuve added.

Rosberg becomes father before Monza
(GMM) Nico Rosberg is speeding into the Italian grand prix as F1's newest father.

The Mercedes driver has announced on Twitter that his and wife Viviane's first child was born at the Princess Grace hospital in Monaco on Sunday.

"Our full moon baby girl was born yesterday afternoon. We are overwhelmed and totally in love," the German wrote.

In Belgium recently, another young father Romain Grosjean told Rosberg that parenthood is unlikely to slow F1 drivers down.

"Once the helmet is on, visor closed, going flat out through Eau Rouge, if you think about your family, you're not going to stay flat out," he said.

"We're racing drivers, we love doing what we do. We know it's dangerous — we had a good example recently. But it certainly changes your life.

"And, to be fair, I've never been a world champion, never won a grand prix but the feeling and the emotion I had on the birth of my two sons has been far better than everything else I've known in the world. I wish Nico the same thing," added Grosjean.

Kimi hates Ron with a passion – Whitmarsh
Martin Whitmarsh has spoken out about McLaren’s relationship with current Ferrari driver, Kimi Raikkonen, and says the Finn was approached, before Jenson Button, concerning a drive for 2010.

Speaking to Nigel Roebuck of Motorsport magazine, Martin said: “Kimi is quite a misunderstood individual, I have to say. He likes to party and drink, but he’s more disciplined about training than most people realize, and he’s also very intelligent."

“Another thing is that, in my opinion, he’s one of the best drivers when it comes to understanding the car, and communicating that" – A point to justify Ferrari’s turn of pace since Kimi’s arrival at the team.

Martin, who since leaving the role of McLaren team Principal has become the CEO of the Ben Ainslie America’s Cup team, spoke of how McLaren wanted Raikkonen back at McLaren in 2010:

“Although Kimi hates Ron [Dennis] with a passion, I always got on OK with him, and I was thinking of signing him again after he’d been pushed out of Ferrari at the end of 2009. We were in negotiations with his management, but they were too commercially ambitious and then Jenson became available, and it all fell into place."

Kimi Raikkonen previously drove for McLaren from 2002 to 2006 with Dennis as Principal – finishing as championship runner-up twice in 2003 and 2005. Motorsport

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