Mike Stevens | May 3, 2010

RUMOURS have intensified this week that Mika Hakkinen could soon become Lewis Hamilton's manager.

Following the McLaren driver's professional split with his father Anthony, 25-year-old Briton Hamilton has been perusing offers from potential managers.

1998 and 199 world champion Hakkinen, 41, already works with a young F3 driver at his own manager Didier Coton's Monaco based Aces Group, and said last Sunday: "Perhaps I will come back to F1 as a manager."

The Italian sports daily Tuttosport now reports that the formalisation of a deal between Aces/Hakkinen and Hamilton could be made in the very near future.

Hamilton's career is currently handled by McLaren, but team boss Martin Whitmarsh is pushing his driver to appoint a "dispassionate, independent" manager.

Hakkinen won his two world championships with McLaren and retired in 2001.

(GMM)

 

Ferrari Rejects 'Subliminal' Cigarette Reports

FERRARI has rejected reports that it is running illegal subliminal advertising on the livery of its 2010 formula one car.

A report in the British newspaper The Times this week said the UK government has been urged by health experts to investigate the 'barcode' branding on the F10 that resembles the cigarette packaging of Ferrari's sponsor Philip Morris.

In a statement issued by Ferrari, the Italian team insists there has been "no (Marlboro) logo or branding on the race cars since 2007, even in countries where local laws would still have permitted it".

(GMM)

 

McLaren most reliable team, Sauber at bottom of pile

Apr.30 (GMM) Drivers' and constructors' championship leaders McLaren are also winning the race as F1's most reliable team.

The British outfit, whose Jenson Button leads the drivers' table by 10 points over Mercedes' Nico Rosberg, completed every single lap with both MP4-25 cars at the initial Bahrain, Australian, Malaysian and Chinese grands prix.

In second place, a 100 per cent record for Ferrari was tarnished only by Fernando Alonso's engine failure in the closing stages in Malaysia.

Red Bull is third with a 92.4 per cent finishing record in 2010, despite the RB6 appearing to have suffered from several reliability glitches so far.

In fact, Sebastian Vettel's wheel nut problem in Melbourne was the team's only DNF, while teammate Mark Webber has completed all four races within the top 9.

Similarly, only one Mercedes car - Michael Schumacher's in China - has failed to reach the chequered flag, but the German team is fourth in the list with a 89.2 per cent record due the stoppage occurring early in the race.

Williams' single DNF culminates in a 86 per cent reliability record because Nico Hulkenberg was taken out on the first lap in Australia.

Renault is sixth of the ten teams with 75.1 per cent, for while Robert Kubica has finished every race with the R30, rookie Vitaly Petrov's first race finish was in China.

In Bahrain the Russian damaged the suspension by hitting a kerb too hard, in Melbourne he spun into the gravel, and in Malaysia he had to stop with a gearbox problem.

Impressively, the new team Lotus also has a 75 per cent finishing record, even though Jarno Trulli was not actually a classified finisher at Sepang because he was ten laps behind.

And in Melbourne, the Italian's T127 was not even on the grid due to a pre-race hydraulics problem.

Toro Rosso's Jaime Alguersuari has finished all the races, but teammate Sebastien Buemi was taken out on the first lap in both Australia and China -- first by Kamui Kobayashi and then Vitantonio Liuzzi.

Force India is now increasingly mentioned as a serious F1 competitor, but its reliability record so far in 2010 is just 65.9 per cent.

Liuzzi crashed in China and had a throttle problem in Malaysia, while Adrian Sutil had a Ferrari engine problem in Melbourne.

HRT's F1 career started badly with only one car crossing the line in the opening two races.

But the Dallara-built cars of Bruno Senna and Karun Chandhok both finished in Malaysia and China, giving the Spanish team a 65.2pc finishing record.

Virgin and Sauber are at the bottom of the pile, with Virgin achieving a mere 33.8pc reliability record with only Lucas di Grassi able to cross the line in Malaysia by aggressively saving fuel.

Sauber is last, with only Pedro de la Rosa recording a race finish in Melbourne for a reliability record of just 25.5 per cent.

"We've suffered too many reliability issues on both the chassis side and with our engines," team founder Peter Sauber said on Thursday.

"That's very unusual -- we've always been one of the best teams in this respect over the years.

"We've closely analysed all the chassis-related problems and already put measures into effect. Our engine partner Ferrari is doing the same," he added.

(GMM)

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