Mike Stevens | Jul 21, 2010

It is possible that Formula One's 13th and final team place for 2011 will not be filled.

It has emerged that Villeneuve Racing/Durango, Epsilon Euskadi and Stefan GP are all vying for the grid berth, but Italy's 422race.com indicates that the FIA could actually leave the position vacant.

The website said the decision "will be down to money", with the successful team needing to provide "an economic guarantee".

It emerged a few days ago that Bernie Ecclestone wants a 16 million British pound deposit from the 13th team.

That deposit could be avoided, however, if the new team buys one of the existing teams, with the F1 Chief Executive admitting he is "not happy" with the performance of some of this year's new outfits.

Autosprint magazine in Italy said Ecclestone's attitude about the 13th team has been hardened by "the USF1 experience".

It is now expected that the FIA's decision about the 13th team place will not be made until late August.

 

Webber Regrets Silverstone Comments: Horner

Mark Webber "regrets" comments he made at Silverstone last week, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said on Tuesday.

In the wake of the Silverstone front wing furore, Mark issued a lengthy statement backtracking from suggestions Sebastian Vettel is the team's preferred driver.

"We spoke together quite early last week," Horner said in an interview with Germany's SID news agency.

"It was good. I think Mark regrets some of the comments he made because they detracted from a great team achievement.

"Mark's performance was first-class, but it was a victory for the team, just as were the ten before it," added the Briton.

Horner revealed that more spare wings will be on hand at Hockenheim this weekend, but insisted that running a different specification on one car was not such an unusual situation in F1.

"Every team in the pitlane takes decisions, whether it's Virgin with their chassis with the bigger fuel tank, the F-duct at Sauber or who at Ferrari was allowed to drive with the new exhaust system in Fiorano," he said.

"You can find a hundred different examples. Unfortunately, with this decision, many emotions came together."

He rejected suggestions that Webber will try to find a way out of his 2011 contract.

"Mark knows the support that he has in this team. And I can't imagine where else he will want to go."

(GMM)

 

Vettel admits tense relationship with Webber

Sebastian Vettel has confirmed that his relationship with teammate Mark Webber is tense.

In recent interviews in the wake of the Silverstone front wing affair, 33-year-old Webber has openly admitted that he is not friends with the younger German.

The story dates all the way back to 2008, when an on-track collision had Webber then denouncing Vettel, now 23, as one of F1's "kids" who "do a good job and then f--k it all up".

Since Vettel gestured with his finger that Webber was crazy after their Istanbul crash in May, the German has been reluctant to talk about their relationship.

But now he has told Der Spiegel magazine: "There is a certain distance.

"The first priority is the team but racing drivers usually see things very stubbornly. It's the same in this case.

"We work together where we must work together to bring forward the team and develop the car. Otherwise, everyone is focused on himself to seek his own advantage," said Vettel.

And Webber has warned that the relationship could worsen as the fight for the 2010 title progresses.

"Who knows, in the next few months, if we're both still racing at the front, things could become more tense between us," he said.

(GMM)

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