Mike Stevens | Aug 11, 2011

Michael Schumacher's manager has slammed reports the seven-. time world champion is considering returning to retirement at the end of the season.

Italy's Corriere dello Sport this week quoted the Mercedes driver as admitting that despite his 2012 contract, "I do not know if my mindset is right for this team".

But Bild newspaper quotes the seven time world champion's manager Sabine Kehm as dismissing the quotes as "All nonsense".

"Since he returned to F1, Michael has not spoken to anyone from Corriere dello Sport," she insisted.

Kehm clarified that her 42-year-old boss is not about to quit.

"He is full of passion for the project and regards it as an exciting challenge to build something big together with Mercedes.

"That it is sometimes tough only encourages him more," she said. . "Someone who will soon celebrate their 20th anniversary in Formula One knows that perseverance is what makes the difference."

(GMM)

 

Ecclestone Confirms November Switch For Austin

Bernie Ecclestone has admitted that next year's inaugural US Grand Prix will not be held in June as originally scheduled.

Ostensibly, the move to November is to avoid the hot Texas summer, but cynics have also suggested it will give race organisers more time to build the bespoke circuit in Austin.

But an unintended side-effect of the move is a clause in Texas legislation that means state funding for the event can only be released one year in advance of the event.

That could mean real construction cannot begin until much later this year.

"While we have heard rumours on the date change... we really aren't going to speculate on the course of action for each possible situation," a spokesman for the comptroller said last week.

According to F1 chief executive Ecclestone, however, the new calendar doing the rounds in the Hungary paddock recently was real.

"Before that there was a draft," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "They (the FIA) were the ones who published it as if it was the final one.

"We have for example moved Austin to November because it's 40 degrees in the summer (there). We don't want to have the experience of Dallas again."

The Briton was referring to the 1984 event when drivers tackled searing heat and a crumbling track surface.

(GMM)

 

Delhi circuit 'not 100 percent ready' for F1 - Mallya

Vijay Mallya has conceded the new Buddh circuit in New Delhi might not be completed by the time of October's inaugural Indian Grand Prix.

But the billionaire - India's FIA representative and also owner and boss of the Force India team - insists the event will go ahead anyway.

It has emerged that the homologation inspection of the venue, originally scheduled for the first week of August, will now take place on September 1.

Indian official Vicky Chandhok insisted the delayed date is for "purely administrative reasons" because Whiting said it made "logical sense" to pair his visit with inspection of the venue in Korea.

Even so, the delay will apparently give the Indian organisers more time to work on the aspects of the circuit that are not complete.

"There is the possibility that the facilities will not be 100 per cent (finished), like the grandstand for the spectators," Mallya is quoted in a Portuguese language report citing ESPN.com.br and Agencia Gazeta Press.

"But the technical areas - the pits, the paddock and of course the track - are practically ready.

"The promoters of the event, who are also the owners of the circuit, are very confident that everything will be ready in time. Charlie, of course, will have the final word," added Mallya.

Referring again to the grandstand, he continued: "They designed a big stand with a suspended ceiling and all this is taking time to erect.

"Some facilities for the spectators may not be complete, but there is no reason the race will not happen."

(GMM)

 

Brawn hails F1 hiatus as 'best ever idea'

Ross Brawn has hailed F1's August hiatus.

In the month-long gap between Hungary and Spa, team factories must close for a mandatory two-week period, with even email systems needing to be shut down.

"It was one of the best ideas we (the teams) have ever had," Mercedes' team boss Brawn is quoted by Der Spiegel, "because everyone has worked flat-out with constant stress and almost constantly travelling since the beginning of the year."

Explained Toro Rosso chief Franz Tost: "Only maintenance is allowed, for example in the wind tunnels, but it has to be done by external companies."

Because the shutdown is not an FIA regulation, however, it is not strictly policed, with the teams instead simply promising to abide the gentleman's agreement.

Der Spiegel speculated that the agreed penalty for breaches is a EUR 2 million donation to the FIA.

(GMM)

 

Barrichello denies criticising Williams team

Dismissing reports he is frustrated and highly critical of Williams, Rubens Barrichello has likened his current situation to waiting for a marriage proposal.

Despite the sport now being in its August break, the Brazilian veteran has found himself the subject of intense speculation following some comments reported in the German and Italian media.

Specifically, amid rumours Adrian Sutil or Nico Hulkenberg might replace him, Corriere dello Sport quoted the 39-year-old as insisting: "I don't know if I will continue next year in these conditions."

Barrichello told Brazil's Globo Esporte during a karting day in Sao Paulo that the reports are not right.

"I have never spoken ill of the team," he said. "This has stemmed from the opinion of a German journalist who was mistranslated by the Italian press and then it's credited to me.

"My interest is just the opposite - to continue the work we have been doing," added Barrichello.

He admitted however that he is still yet to ink a new contract for 2012 with the Oxfordshire based team.

Barrichello joked that the situation is like waiting for a marriage proposal.

"If Frank Williams wants to call my father to ask for my hand, he will give him the time, you can be sure," said the veteran of 318 Grands Prix who told his Twitter followers this week that he is ready to sign a new two-year deal.

"I believe that my presence on the team in 2012 will be beneficial to everyone," Barrichello continued. "The team is in a phase of restructuring and my experience can help in this process a lot."

(GMM)

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