Mike Stevens | Jul 6, 2011

Lewis Hamilton agrees with Red Bull's Helmut Marko that Ferrari are the most pleased with the blown exhaust clampdown.

The full effect of the FIA move takes effect this weekend at Silverstone, and Marko said last month that it "definitely favours Ferrari" because the Italian team's solution has not been as effective as Red Bull's and McLaren's.

Ahead of Silverstone, McLaren's Hamilton told the Daily Star: "Ferrari are on the right road and I heard that, with the regulation changes and teams complaining, Ferrari have not complained once.

"That gives me a feeling they are quite comfortable."

Ultimately, however, few expect the clampdown to radically transform the current pecking-order, with Red Bull out front and Sebastian Vettel dominating.

"I think I'm the only guy out there trying to beat him at the moment," said Vettel's teammate Mark Webber.

"For someone to outscore him by 80 points is going to take some doing."

So clear is Red Bull's dominance that rumours insist Hamilton is still considering moving to the energy drink-owned team, where Webber is yet to be re-signed for 2012.

But the Australian insists whether or not he stays is up to him, revealing that Red Bull is "very keen" to offer him a new deal.

And as for Hamilton's famous visit to the Red Bull motor home in Canada, the Guardian quotes Webber as jeering: "I could give you a cracking one-liner to that mate, but I won't."

(GMM)

 

Ferrari 'very happy with Massa' - Montezemolo

Ferrari is now happy with Felipe Massa, the Italian marque's president Luca di Montezemolo has revealed.

Montezemolo said in May that there is "no question" Ferrari will honour its 2012 contract with the Brazilian, who struggled markedly in 2010 amid rumours Mark Webber or Nico Rosberg might be drafted in to replace him.

The rumours only intensified when Fernando Alonso's contract was extended through 2016, raising suggestions Massa's days at Maranello are numbered.

When asked about Ferrari's driver line-up this week, Montezemolo told La Repubblica that Spaniard Alonso is "a great driver".

"I am very happy to have signed a contract with him for a long cooperation, as we had with Michael Schumacher in his time," he said.

"The fact that we will be together at least until 2016 is confirmation that both parties are happy with this relationship.

"I am also very happy this year with Felipe, who is reacting very well. We are pleased with our drivers; we need to improve the car to get Ferrari back where we want to be," added Montezemolo.

(GMM)

 

Newey not ruling out Ferrari switch

Adrian Newey has refused to completely dismiss suggestions he might end his F1 career with Ferrari.

With the famous Italian team struggling to catch with dominant Red Bull, it has been suggested the first move by Ferrari should be a new high-price offer for the energy drink-owned team's gifted designer.

Briton Newey, however, is quoted by Italy's Tuttosport and Corriere dello Sport as insisting he is happy with his current employer, where he inked the dominant RB7.

"I think my career has been varied with several changes of teams but I'm now very happy with Red Bull. I really can't see myself in another place," he said.

Newey refuses, however, to completely rule out the possibility of a move to Maranello.

"I don't know what I'm going to do at some point in the future, I have no idea," he said.

"There are several teams looking to me and once I conclude the project here at Red Bull, I will look at the offers.

"But if I did do something else, I think it would be something very different from F1," added Newey.

(GMM)

 

New owner eyes Spanish drivers and HQ after HRT buyout

Two Spanish drivers and a new headquarters could be among HRT's plans after it emerged Thesan Capital has taken over the Spanish team.

In its first two seasons, Hispania has been effectively based at Colin Kolles' Greding headquarters in Germany, with no Spanish drivers on the roster.

But it was announced on Monday that the buyout will involve the "search for opportunities to optimise and improve the performance of the team" as well as "progressively making the team more Spanish and definitively settling ... in Spain".

According to the Spanish sports daily AS, Thesan is already developing some ideas along these lines for 2012.

One name mentioned is 23-year-old Spaniard and former GP2 driver Javier Villa, who this year is contesting the World Touring Car series.

And a "longer term" plan may involve 16-year-old Carlos Sainz Jr, the Red Bull-backed son of the famous former world rally champion who has begun a very promising single seater career.

AS said Thesan has "clear ideas" about a Spanish base for HRT, such as the state-of-the-art Epsilon Euskadi facility in Basque Country, amid the Joan Villadelprat-led operation's current financial difficulties.

"Another of (Thesan's) priorities will be to have the greatest possible number of Spanish personnel, both technically and logistically," added the report.

(GMM)

 

Artificial DRS makes F1 'boring' - Villeneuve

Jacques Villeneuve on Monday admitted he has given up on Formula One.

Last year, the 1997 world champion was pushing hard to make a comeback, but at Williams' headquarters in Oxfordshire he admitted he no longer even watches the races.

"I just can't be bothered. Halfway through the race I'm yawning and it's really tough ... and I just get upset," the 40-year-old told Reuters at the launch of his former team's new engine supply deal with Renault.

Villeneuve explained that his major qualm is with the DRS overtaking system, which he has previously denounced as "too artificial".

"When I see these guys not even being able to defend, like Michael (Schumacher) - he should have been on the podium in Montreal," he said.

"All the ... overtaking with the DRS, I'm just falling asleep ... useless, boring, it's not even racing."

He is also critical of the amount of penalties handed out to drivers like Lewis Hamilton for banging wheels with his rivals.

"It's fun, it's a good show, the fans are up in the grandstands and they can scream and shout about it ... that's good, that's what you want," said Villeneuve.

(GMM)

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