Mike Stevens | May 6, 2011

F1's biggest teams have scheduled a meeting in Stuttgart next weekend to discuss the future of the sport, according to reports.

The news was reported by the Daily Telegraph but by also Sky News' City editor Mark Kleinman, who has been very well informed so far on the possible Rupert Murdoch-led takeover of F1.

A Ferrari-linked company has confirmed it is allying with News Corporation in the consortium, and Italy's Autosprint says it is "absolutely conceivable" that the likes of McLaren and Mercedes might also get involved.

The governing Concorde agreement expires at the end of next year and BBC pundit and former team owner Eddie Jordan thinks there is a lot of "posturing" going on at present.

The reports said the Stuttgart meeting will involve Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes and Red Bull and the latter three teams may "investigate the possibility of joining the consortium themselves", the Telegraph's Tom Cary wrote.

On Wednesday Ferrari reacted to the news that a company linked to its carmaker parent Fiat was involved in the potential F1 takeover.

"We have no comment to make, partly because we are not directly involved at the moment," said a spokesman.

"All we can do is repeat what has already been said so often in the past -- Ferrari stresses the importance of ensuring the long term stability and development of Formula One."

And McLaren's Martin Whitmarsh told Sky News: "I think whoever owns the sport in the future, be that the current owners or new owners, it's just important that the teams are more cohesive than they have ever been."

As for the expiring Concorde, Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali suggested that the negotiations are soon set to step into a higher gear.

"At the moment it's quiet because something is going to happen soon," the Italian told Auto Bild.

Ferrari has recently been highly critical of the current state of F1, such as the emphasis on aerodynamic development.

"If formula one is interesting in the future for manufacturers we need to ensure that all the elements of motor racing are there in equal measure," said Domenicali.

He also said F1 should not "change the rules all the time" whilst ensuring that there are races "in all the important markets".

Autosprint magazine said the teams are indeed setting out plans for simple and stable rules post 2012, the revival of key European venues, reduced ticket prices and the modernising of media platforms for the younger audience.

(GMM)

 

F1 Team Boss Slams KERS

An unnamed team principal has criticised Formula One's so-called 'green' energy-recovery KERS technology.

"It gives us a green look," the boss is quoted as saying by Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung newspaper.

KERS gives drivers a power 'boost' after collecting heat energy from braking and charging a battery.

"In reality, KERS is used only for acceleration and forces up the (car's) weight, so that in the end the fuel consumption is higher.

"That's not to mention the question of what happens to the batteries when they're finished," the unnamed F1 chief added.

(GMM)

 

Vettel Not Worried About KERS Or Turkey Crash

Sebastian Vettel insists he is not worried about KERS in Turkey this weekend, nor a repeat of last year's clash with his teammate Mark Webber.

Red Bull left China three weeks ago with clearly the fastest car but far from the best KERS system, after Adrian Newey repackaged the Renault-based unit over the winter for best aerodynamic performance.

That caused cooling problems at the first three races of 2011, but Dr Helmut Marko insisted this week that the team used the Easter break to fix the system.

"We have had some problems but have had very good people working on it," agreed championship leader Vettel to Auto Motor und Sport.

"That's why for this next race I am not worried," he added.

The German also revealed that the RB7 will have some other improvements for Turkey this weekend.

"When I asked the team what (new) to expect, I received many answers," Vettel answered coyly. "You'll have to ask them for yourself."

Also in the back of his and teammate Webber's minds at Istanbul Park will be their clash last year, which brought their working relationship under severe strain.

Asked about the crash a year on, Vettel told DPA news agency: "I cannot change what has already happened, but I can learn from it."

(GMM)

 

Lauda Thinks Renault Missing Kubica

The loss of Robert Kubica has hurt Renault's ambitions for 2011, according to the always-blunt Niki Lauda.

With Kubica recovering from horror injuries in a pre-season rally crash, Renault turned to the German veteran Nick Heidfeld to become Russian regular Vitaly Petrov's new teammate.

"Renault have had a good car from the beginning but the team is being limited to some extent by its drivers," triple world champion Lauda told the German broadcaster RTL ahead of the Turkish grand prix.

"They are doing a good job but when you are looking for that last little bit from your car you do miss the top drivers," he added.

The 62-year-old gave a similarly forthright view when asked about the proposed four-cylinder engine rules for 2013.

"I've thought about it and don't understand why there are always smaller and smaller engines. It is expected that in formula one there is a lot of power for high speeds and with a noise level that everyone wants," he said.

"Now if the new engine comes they need to think about how to make them loud enough."

As for rumours CVC could sell F1 to a bidding consortium, Lauda answered: "CVC is an investor, so it's natural that they buy cheap and after a period of time they sell. But I don't know anything about it so I can't comment."

(GMM)

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