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Posted on Thursday, October 10, 2013

New chassis for Webber after Korea fire

Mark Webber will be using a new Red Bull chassis in Japan this weekend, after his crash and subsequent fire days ago in Korea. Ahead of his fifth-to-last grand prix before switching to Le Mans for 2014, Australian Webber said the fire in Korea did not faze him. "We're used to bushfires in Australia. No problem," he smiled to Germany's Auto Motor und Sport. Some had even suggested Webber seemed particularly uninterested in getting the marshals to quickly put the flames out. "I pressed for […]

Posted on Friday, October 4, 2013

Schumacher exit best thing for Mercedes admits Lauda

Replacing Michael Schumacher with Lewis Hamilton was the right thing for Mercedes. That is the claim not only of F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone, but also the German team's own Niki Lauda. A year ago, Lauda was instrumental in convincing Lewis Hamilton to leave McLaren and replace the seven time world champion, Schumacher. "It was the right decision to sign Lewis," Ecclestone told Germany's Auto Bild. "He woke the team up. And he can push the other driver (Nico Rosberg) in a way Michael couldn't […]

Posted on Thursday, October 3, 2013

FIA backs Vettel amid cheat claims

The FIA has backed Sebastian Vettel amid claims he is strolling to the 2013 title with a questionably-legal Red Bull. Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko has already dismissed the claims the RB9 is mimicking illegal traction control as "nonsense". But former F1 team owner Giancarlo Minardi had said he saw and heard evidence with his own eyes and ears recently in Singapore, when Vettel was putting down the power 50 metres earlier than his rivals, while the Renault engine emitted traction control-like tones. However, F1 […]

Posted on Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Pirelli to be 'very conservative' for 2014 says Hembery

The days where grands prix are spiced-up by deliberately heavily-degrading tyres could be over. Since the tyre-exploding crisis earlier this season, and the mid-year shift from steel to kevlar-belted tyres, Pirelli has also been taking more conservative compound choices to the races. Very recently, it has culminated in less exiting grands prix, and runaway championship leader Sebastian Vettel's now tight grip on the second half of the season. And for 2014, despite the radical engine rules shift, little will change on the tyre front. "We […]

Posted on Friday, September 27, 2013

Vettel 'can live' with booing

Sebastian Vettel insists he is not taking the recent booing personally. At Spa, Monza and most recently Singapore, and also in Britain for June's British grand prix, the reigning world champion was the obvious target of the spectators' verbal disapproval. But the Red Bull driver told Germany's Sport Bild he is not taking it personally. "If the sport is your passion and you have a favourite driver, it's obvious you support them," German Vettel, 26, said. "So that means you're against his opponents. I can […]

Posted on Thursday, September 26, 2013

Grosjean 'getting better and better'

Lotus trackside operations director Alan Permane believes that Romain Grosjean has been getting 'better and better' through the 2013 season. Grosjean had a low key start to 2013 after some controversial moments in 2012, but finished on the podium in Germany and qualified in third place in Singapore. "I think Romain himself has made - I wouldn't call it a breakthrough - but since the Nurburgring, Hungary, he's just been getting better and better and better," said Permane. While Grosjean ended up retiring in Singapore, […]

Posted on Wednesday, September 25, 2013

No more 'passive DRS' for Lotus in 2013

Lotus will no longer use the 'passive DRS' system that has often appeared on the black and gold E21 in 2013. "No, it probably won't be seen again this season," said the team's trackside boss Alan Permane. "We have not given up on it, but it still doesn't work perfectly," he told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport. "And we simply don't want to spend any more time on it. "Our technical department is now working more or less exclusively on the car for next season," […]

Posted on Saturday, September 21, 2013

F1 considering ban on helmet livery changes

The days of constantly-changing helmet livery designs in Formula One could be coming to an end. This weekend, world champion Sebastian Vettel - who regularly changes the design of his helmet - is wearing a livery that shines like a disco ball under the Singapore lights. Even Lewis Hamilton, who usually fields the same Senna-like yellow helmet, is showing off a special white design this weekend. But the constant chopping-and-changing is set to be stopped by F1's governing body. Germany's Bild newspaper reports that the […]

Posted on Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Massa no longer supporting Alonso, predicts 2014 'collision'

Felipe Massa has said that he will no longer play a supporting role to Fernando Alonso across the final seven races of 2013. Massa has been seen as Alonso's supporting act since the infamous race in Germany three years ago but insists he is now driving for himself, having been informed that he will not be part of the team in 2014. "I will not race for Alonso from now on," he told TV Globo. "Right from Friday at Singapore I'll be working for myself. […]

Posted on Thursday, September 12, 2013

Ferrari said no to Hulkenberg via text message

Nico Hulkenberg's manager has expressed disappointment with how Ferrari broke the bad news to the German driver this week. It has emerged that Hulkenberg was seriously considered by the Maranello based team as the replacement for Felipe Massa. But when Ferrari ultimately signed Raikkonen, the Italian squad let Hulkenberg know in the form of a mere text message, the German driver's manager Werner Heinz has revealed. "After two months of negotiations, I expected at least a phone call," he told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport. […]

Posted on Saturday, September 7, 2013

Vettel snubbed Webber's Monza farewell party

Sebastian Vettel on Friday did not attend a farewell party to mark teammate Mark Webber's last grand prix in Europe. Germany's Bild newspaper said the reigning world champion sat downstairs 'playing with his iphone' while, just 16 steps above in the Red Bull motor home at Monza, much of the F1 fraternity paid tribute to Webber as the Australian's 12-year career draws to a close. Helping Webber celebrate were figures like Ross Brawn, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton and even Sir Frank Williams, who was carried […]

Posted on Friday, September 6, 2013

Only Raikkonen to drive longer Lotus at Monza

Kimi Raikkonen, not his teammate Romain Grosjean, will debut Lotus' new longer-wheelbase car this weekend at Monza. "Kimi will drive the long wheelbase on Friday, and if necessary we can go back to the shorter version," race engineer Mark Slade told the Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat. "But we expect this (long) car to be better." Raikkonen, however, does not expect the change will be enough to win on Sunday. "Low downforce tracks are not good for us," said the Finn, "but let's see how the […]