Mike Stevens | Aug 23, 2011

Daniel Ricciardo has admitted he must do a "more than respectable" job if he wants to be promoted by Red Bull for the 2012 season.

The Australian is the current cream of the energy drink company's young driver program and since July has been placed with the small HRT team.

But in his three races so far, he has only once outqualified experienced teammate Vitantonio Liuzzi.

While most the F1 world slumbered in August, 22-year-old Ricciardo was in action at the weekend at Silverstone in the Renault World Series.

He has been linked with a move up to Red Bull's secondary Toro Rosso team for 2012.

"I've got to do a more than respectable job at HRT this year and then we'll see what opens up for next year," Ricciardo is quoted by the West Australian.

"I obviously have a link with Red Bull but nothing is really guaranteed for the long term."

(GMM)

 

Schumacher should stay if F1 still 'fun' - Tost

Michael Schumacher should stay in F1 for as long as he wants to; that's the opinion of Franz Tost, the Austrian team boss of Red Bull's second F1 team Toro Rosso.

According to Der Spiegel, Tost knows the 42-year-old German well. He was asked about widespread speculation that Schumacher should return to retirement rather than race on in 2012 and beyond.

"First of all," replied Tost, "Michael Schumacher, the seven-time world champion with nothing to prove, should not care whether his teammate Nico Rosberg is faster than him or not.

"What is crucial for him is whether it is still fun or whether the passion is still there. These are questions only he can answer."

But figures like Eddie Jordan - Schumacher's first ever F1 team boss 20 years ago - have said they would now dismiss the famous German due to a lack of performance.

Tost responded: "Michael brings so many other advantages that outweigh that. Do you think Mercedes would still be so much in the spotlight if Michael Schumacher left?

"This is a crucial factor. He continues to attract huge amounts of attention and so I see his comeback as anything but negative."

Eddie Jordan however told Dutch website f1today.nl that Schumacher has "had his day".

"This sport has had many champions and Michael Schumacher has had his day," said the Irishman.

"He has had huge success and is a very good driver, but someone should talk to him and try to convince him to let his place be taken by another talented driver."

(GMM)

 

Daughter doesn't want to succeed F1 boss Ecclestone

The daughter of F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone insists she has no plans to follow in her father's footsteps.

27-year-old Tamara Ecclestone, the eldest of Ecclestone's two daughters, has worked as a F1 reporter for Sky Italia and earlier studied at the London School of Economics.

But she told the Mail on Sunday that she has no plans to replace her dad, the British billionaire who for decades has sat at the helm of F1.

"Recently my father declared that he could envisage a female CEO at F1 in the next three years. I wouldn't advise anyone putting a bet on that woman being me," Ms Ecclestone said.

"Those are big shoes to fill and my feet are completely the wrong size for that job. I would hate to be the person to undo his years of amazing work. I'd reduce the whole operation to chaos within hours," she joked.

At any rate, Ecclestone said her diminutive father - who turns 81 in October - has no plans to step down.

"For my dad it's not about making more money, it's about the next successful deal," she said.

"It's not like he needs an extra few million. He doesn't need to work and hasn't needed to do so for years - but he's got too much of an active mind to ever consider retirement.

"For him the financial rewards are secondary to the passion he feels for what he does," she added.

(GMM)

 

Chandhok 'looking at' Team Lotus race seat

Karun Chandhok has admitted he is hoping to race at Team Lotus in 2012.

While his countryman Narain Karthikeyan will be in action for HRT at India's inaugural F1 race in October, Chandhok admitted he is unsure if he will also be on the grid in New Delhi.

He told the Hindustan Times that his real priority is 2012.

Reserve driver Chandhok, 27, revealed that he will appear in the green T128 for Friday practice a couple more times this season.

"(And) for 2012, I am looking at a potential full time race seat," he said.

Chandhok insists, however, that he was signed by Team Lotus this year on merit, and that his sponsors have not guaranteed him a race seat next year.

"There's no deal," he said. "It's just another wrong perception like the belief that I paid to get into Lotus."

He said he will only earn his place based on his speed on Friday mornings.

"That's a big internal assessment for the team. I also want to be on the grid after earning the respect of the team engineers and not just because I am Indian," said Chandhok.

(GMM)

 

HRT admits eyeing Spanish race driver

The HRT team has admitted it is looking around for a Spanish driver.

Despite Thesan Capital taking over recently and dropping the Hispania moniker and flag logo, the back-of-the-grid team said it is still committed to upping its Spanish identity.

Recently, young Spaniard Javier Villa was linked with a potential 2012 seat.

"The possibility of incorporating a Spanish driver for next season is something that the team would like," HRT said on its website. "But there is a big step from that to actually having a deal with a driver."

The team defended its decision to drop the Hispania name and Spanish flag logo.

"Hispania was the name of the business group belonging to the previous owners, so the change in direction meant that the team name had to change too," it said.

"HRT was chosen because it is the name of the chassis. The flag was part of the logo so when we changed the logo the flag went too. But don't worry, it will be back on the car at some stage."

(GMM)

 

HRT 'needs more resources' - Willis

In a question and answer session on HRT's official website, the team said it will take "two years" to move away from the back of the grid.

Technical boss Geoff Willis however said this will only happen if the outfit formerly known as Hispania increases its resources and staff numbers.

"We have to improve pretty much everywhere," the former Red Bull, Honda and Red Bull chief told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

"I do not mean to sound negative," added Willis. "The simple fact is that we need more resources.

"For example, in our aerodynamic programme, we simply need more people. In production we need better quality control and tests. You just cannot afford to be a little bit weak in those areas."

Inside every F1 team factory, work is well underway on the 2012 cars, but Willis said HRT's schedule to be ready for next season is "very tight".

"Of course we have already been working (on 2012) since June. But we do not have the resources that I would like. Many people in the team need to do several things at once."

The Briton joined HRT early last year and insists he has no immediate plans to accept any offers from bigger teams.

"That can not be answered simply. Currently I am an important part of this project and no one wants to leave until we get there," he said.

(GMM)

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