F1: Webber Positive On 2012 Red Bull Seat

Mike Stevens | Jul 15, 2011

Mark Webber on Thursday said he is "positive" of his chances of staying with Red Bull in 2012.

Although team boss Christian Horner was reportedly furious when the Australian ignored team orders at Silverstone, owner Dietrich Mateschitz this week suggested the 34-year-old will almost certainly be staying on board.

Webber confirmed to BBC Sport: "The team and I are talking about whether I continue with Red Bull in 2012 and it's positive.

"What happened on Sunday does not turn my world upside down."

But despite the potentially serious implications of his actions, Webber insists he has no regrets about refusing to back off the tail of his teammate Sebastian Vettel.

"It was obviously a difficult situation, but I still feel comfortable about what I did," he said.

"Christian and I had a chat about the situation after the race. We both put our cases forward and I think we came away seeing it from both perspectives," added Webber.

(GMM)

Kubica vows to be ready for 2012 return

Robert Kubica has confirmed his desire to return to F1 next year with Renault.

Asked by a fan on the team's website if he will be ready for the 2012 season and a title fight, the injured Pole answered: "Yes to the first question.

"For your second question, we will have to wait until the first test in 2012!"

There have been rumours recently of disagreements between Renault team chiefs and Kubica's management, particularly over the timing of the return from his horror rally crash.

"I'm a Lotus Renault GP driver," said the 26-year-old. "Of course, I'm missing not being able to drive this season but I feel that my job in Enstone isn't finished yet."

Kubica insisted he is mentally strong but in a physical sense "still a bit weak".

"But my general condition is quite good," he said. "My weight has now returned to its normal level and for a few weeks I've been able to walk without help. All in all I feel pretty well.

"I am satisfied with how things are proceeding," Kubica told another online fan.

"The improvement is in line with the expectations, and luckily there are no complications that could affect the recovery time.

"It is still too early to have a clear picture for the timing of my return but the important thing is the final outcome not the hurry."

(GMM)

Blown exhaust saga over for 2011 - FIA

The blown exhaust saga is over for now, the FIA confirmed on Thursday.

After a weekend-long saga of seemingly constantly-changing regulations, the F1 world departed Silverstone believing the teams had finally agreed to revert to the Valencia rules.

In a media Q and A distributed by the governing body, the FIA said the matter has indeed been settled.

"Yes, and all cars will run under Valencia conditions for the remainder of the season," said the document, referring to unrestricted off-throttle blowing but 'parc ferme' conditions for engine map changes between qualifying and the race.

The FIA said it is confident the saga is now over.

"We are optimistic that there will be no protests over any engine mapping and exhaust tailpipe issues this season," it confirmed.

"In addition to the main part of the agreement reached (at Silverstone) it was also agreed that no team would raise a protest against another on these matters for the rest of the season."

(GMM)

Boss says Renault to stay in F1 if 'conditions' met

French carmaker Renault's continuing involvement in Formula One relies on "certain conditions" being present.

That is the claim of Carlos Tavares, who is the marque's freshly appointed chief operating officer.

After the 'crashgate' scandal, Renault effectively withdrew from F1 as a works team and is now only an engine supplier to the Red Bull, Lotus Renault, Team Lotus and - in 2012 - Williams teams.

"It was a reasonable decision which led us to a level of expenditure in line with our means," Tavares is quoted in a French language report by Agence France-Presse.

"Renault does not have infinite funds," he insisted. "This decision allowed the company to refocus its efforts on the core of the race engines."

AFP said that instead of paying EUR 220 million to run the works Renault team in 2009, the marque now spends just 60 million on its F1 programme.

Asked about the difference in image, Tavares answered: "I don't know that we have lost anything."

As for the future, he said Renault's "strategy is to be the leaders in zero-emission vehicles.

"Our commitment to F1 is long-term when the conditions of cost, image and sporting fairness are also met", added Tavares.

"As long as the conditions are there, there is no reason to not be in F1. It has been almost 30 years that we have demonstrated our passion (for F1) and we continue to do so every day."

(GMM)

Head admits Williams role set to change

Patrick Head has admitted he will begin to take more of a back seat at Williams from 2012.

Earlier this year, the famous team's 66-year-old co-founder released most of his shareholding for the Frankfurt floatation, before chairman Adam Parr announced to the press that Head "will be retiring at some point this year".

Head reacted angrily to Parr's statement but at Silverstone admitted that his director of engineering role at the Oxfordshire based team is changing.

"All I know is I'm not retiring," he is quoted by the Independent newspaper.

"I probably won't be involved with Williams formula one in the same way from the end of the year but I'll still be involved in some Williams activities," added Head.

The newspaper said a change of title is likely for Head, but not a stepping back as a shareholder or board member.

Head added that he will "certainly turn up at a few races" in the future but will not have a hands-on engineering role at the grands prix.

(GMM)

Defeat for Red Bull no longer a 'miracle' - de la Rosa

A defeat for Red Bull in the 2011 world championship will no longer require a "miracle", according to Pedro de la Rosa.

McLaren's veteran reserve driver admitted the mood had been pessimistic leading into the British Grand Prix, because Silverstone is a circuit "which appeared to have been designed for the Red Bulls".

McLaren ultimately had a disappointing weekend, but Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber were both beaten to the chequered flag by Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.

"Perhaps this has been the most convincing victory of the whole season," he wrote in his column for formulasantander.com.

"The mistake with Vettel's pitstop and Red Bull's need to issue team orders to protect their number one invites us to think that the comeback is now not a miracle, it is a possible reality, difficult but possible," added the Spaniard.

Alonso meanwhile said that while his win is a big morale booster, Ferrari's new approach - more aggressive than in the recent past - will remain.

"Maybe it will happen that we pay a high price for that (approach) but there is no alternative," he said.

"We are definitely not giving up, but we must not think about the championship -- as Montezemolo said, we are keeping our feet on the ground."

(GMM)

Team Lotus strike deal to use Red Bull KERS

Team Lotus has struck a deal with its technology partner Red Bull to use a KERS system in F1.

Malaysian Tony Fernandes' small team is this year using the hydraulics system and gearbox run by the reigning championship-winning outfit in 2010.

And Finland's Turun Sanomat newspaper reports that, next year, the green liveried team will take yet another step forward because its Red Bull parts will be the ones currently used on Adrian Newey's dominant RB7.

And the KERS to be used by Team Lotus, Turun Sanomat continued, will be the Magneti Marelli system that is developed in cooperation with Renault and Red Bull.

Fernandes confirmed: "Yes, we have agreed with Red Bull on KERS."

Red Bull might be an odd choice as KERS supplier for Team Lotus, given the team's struggles with the technology so far in 2011.

Newey said last month that energy recovery is "Not really our forte. We are an aerodynamics and, sort of, chassis composite engineering group rather than a KERS group".

(GMM)

Virgin not confirming Silverstone HQ reports

Virgin has not confirmed reports it has earmarked Silverstone as a potential site for its new headquarters.

Currently, the struggling team operates from the Manor headquarters in Dinnington, and it has recently acquired Nick Wirth's technical F1 facility at Banbury.

But the plan for a couple of years down the road is for a bespoke Virgin factory under one roof.

A rumour in the British grand prix paddock last weekend was that talks took place between Virgin and Silverstone bosses.

Virgin Racing president Graeme Lowdon told The Star on Thursday: "There is no big change in the short term.

"We have got a couple of guys looking at where the best location would be in the long run. On the basis that this will be a new facility, this is not something you necessarily want to rush into.

"They have got to find the right place because it will be a big investment. I don't expect there to be a decision on that too quickly," he added.

(GMM)

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Filed under: f1, Racing, mark webber, renault f1, robert kubica, pedro de la rosa, virgin f1, red bull f1, Christian Horner, News, team lotus f1, lotus renault f1, f1 exhausts

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