Mike Stevens | Oct 22, 2010

Fernando Alonso's rivals will need to be as "selfish" as the Spaniard to beat him to the 2010 title, according to Gerhard Berger.

Although the former Grand Prix winner - a close friend of Red Bull mogul Dietrich Mateschitz - believes Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel are in the best car, Berger thinks Ferrari's Alonso is the better driver.

"Only if they're as selfish as Alonso will they be World Champion this year," the Austrian is quoted by Sport Bild.

"For me he's the best driver at the moment overall; he has experience and is still young enough to be going flat out without fear," Berger said.

Alonso, 29, can also count on the full support of the Ferrari team, whose other driver Felipe Massa has fallen into line behind him.

"Ferrari cannot do better than Alonso, and there is no better place for Alonso than Ferrari," said Berger, backing the Italian team's philosophy.

In a separate interview with APA news agency, Berger said Adrian Newey's RB6 is in a "class of one" in 2010, and dismissed rivals complaints about its legality as "cheap politics".

(GMM)

 

German Workers Helped Korea Get F1 Track Ready

Help from Germany ensured that Korea's new F1 circuit is able to host its inaugural Grand Prix this weekend.

That is the claim of Hermann Tilke, the architect of the circuit but retained only as an 'advisor' to the actual construction of the venue in Yeongam.

When it became clear that the Koreans were struggling to complete the facility, Tilke stepped in, reportedly providing workers and machinery, primarily to get the track surface in racing condition.

"In the end we sent workers over from Germany, otherwise it probably wouldn't have worked," he is quoted by Auto Bild Motorsport.

Tilke insists that fears the track surface will break up this weekend are unfounded.

"We have used a special formula, one that dries quickly and is ready immediately," he said, adding that the only problem encountered by the drivers will be low levels of initial grip due to the bitumen sitting above the asphalt.

But Tilke admitted that, earlier, he did have "some doubts" that the circuit would be ready, according to France's L'Equipe.

"It was necessary to analyse the problems and find solutions," he said. "We (Tilke GmbH) helped, but the construction companies in Korea worked hard.

"Overall, everything should be fine, but there might be some shortcomings here and there."

Indeed, on Thursday as the F1 paddock filled up, many of the sport's travellers moaned about plumbing and late media shuttles to the circuit, whilst highlighting the circuit's imperfections.

"F1 has raced in a parking lot in Las Vegas, a desert in Bahrain and a swamp in Shanghai.

"But never on a building site in the middle of nowhere," said Bild newspaper, as 1500 Korean soldiers hurriedly screwed in seats in the grandstands while workers painted dirt track verges green.

"We can hardly expect to be perfect from the outset," said an event spokesman.

The good news is that organisers are expecting a healthy crowd - perhaps 90,000 on Sunday - for the track action, although it is understood this number of tickets has not yet been sold.

"We don't expect too much on our first attempt at this event," acknowledged the spokesman. "We hope interest in F1 (in Korea) will increase after this."

(GMM)

 

Ecclestone happy after visit to India F1 site

Before arriving in Korea, Bernie Ecclestone visited the site of next year's inaugural Indian Grand Prix.

According to local reports, the F1 Chief Executive gave the facility 40 kilometres from Delhi a thumbs-up, despite the recent international criticism of the Indian capital's hosting of the Commonwealth Games.

"Very, very happy," he told journalists. "Much better than I thought.

"I have no fears about the circuit. After the Commonwealth Games, silly people said 'be careful' but I'm so happy about the progress of work.

"It is going to be much better than many tracks," added the 79-year-old.

Ecclestone countered reports that the airport will struggle with F1-levels of flow, or that the local infrastructure will not cope with the traffic.

"The only thing left is more hotels coming up in surrounding areas," he said.

The Briton blamed the media for the negative hype about Delhi's hosting of the Commonwealth Games, and pointed out that "different people" are organising the F1 event.

"I will come back if necessary but I don't think it will be necessary before (the 2011 race in) October. These people are quite capable, and I don't see any problem," said Ecclestone.

Ecclestone arrived at Korea's new F1 circuit on Thursday.

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