Mike Stevens | Sep 19, 2011

Nick Heidfeld on Sunday insisted he is still pushing to stay in formula one, even though he is being strongly linked with a move to DTM.

The German veteran has been ousted at Renault but despite attending the weekend's German touring car round at Oschersleben he said F1 remains his target for 2012.

"There are still a few places, but not many," the 34-year-old told the German broadcaster ARD. "As long as there is a chance of a formula one cockpit, I will work for it."

Heidfeld revealed that he will travel to Singapore this week.

"I will be asking around a bit to see what is happening for next year," said the 13-time podium sitter, who has also driven for Prost, Sauber, Jordan, Williams and BMW.

Heidfeld raced in F1 with BMW power for five years, triggering rumours he will reunite with the German carmaker in DTM next year.

"About a possible future in the DTM, I do not want to speculate," he said on Sunday.

"Of course there are still the contacts but it's still too early to talk about it," added the German.

"Naturally DTM is at the highest level of motor sport but my goal is to be again in formula one next year.

"This year didn't turn out as I had hoped but I think what I've done in the past until now has been for a good reputation. Unfortunately many cockpits are gone but I will try to get a good seat," said Heidfeld.

(GMM)

 

Re-hiring Brawn not the answer - Montezemolo

Luca di Montezemolo has rejected calls Ross Brawn should be lured back to Ferrari.

Ferrari has not won a drivers' title since 2007 but the Maranello marque's president Montezemolo insisted at Monza that he fully supports the reign of team boss Stefano Domenicali.

"The management of the team will remain unchanged," the Italian added this week at the Frankfurt Motor Show, according to Finland's Turun Sanomat newspaper.

"There are some small repairs to make, but it is not related to the key positions."

Elements of the Italian media and Ferrari's passionate 'Tifosi' have suggested the team should reunite with Briton Brawn, its former technical director, and once again have designer Rory Byrne in a key role.

"The hiring of Ross Brawn has been proposed but surely it can be seen how hard he has had it at Mercedes," Montezemolo insisted.

"We have chosen the path of stability," he continued.

"Should I be sorry?" he is quoted as saying by Corriere della Sera. "No, because we are always among the protagonists.

"The abolition of track testing penalised us strongly, as ours is a culture of the mechanical, unlike the English (culture of) aerodynamics.

"And then there are the rules that are too restrictive on the engines, with the technicians frustrated with their inability to increase the horse power," added Montezemolo.

(GMM)

 

Singapore GP: Karthikeyan on Friday, Hulkenberg not

Narain Karthikeyan will warm up with a Friday practice session in Singapore before racing in his native India next month, HRT announced on Saturday.

It was already expected that the 34-year-old, despite losing his full time race seat to Daniel Ricciardo earlier this season, would return to the cockpit for the inaugural Delhi grand prix.

And he will re-acclimatise with the initial practice session in Singapore, the Spanish team said.

"It is great to have Narain back in the car as it will give him critical seat time before he drives at the Indian GP," said team boss Colin Kolles.

Karthikeyan confirmed: "The team had assured me that I'd be driving (in India) when I stepped out of my seat after the European GP."

Meanwhile, Force India's regular Friday driver Nico Hulkenberg has revealed he will not be in action in Singapore next weekend.

"The team wants to give Adrian (Sutil) and Paul (di Resta) more track time and I understand and accept the decision," he said on Twitter.

(GMM)

 

Raikkonen visits Williams team factory - report

The rumour mill is rumbling on Friday with the news Kimi Raikkonen made a visit to F1 team Williams' Oxfordshire factory.

The sport10.at (Austria) and plaza.fi (Finland) websites said the famous British team had confirmed the 2007 world champion was given a tour.

Reports said it was Adam Parr who showed world rally driver and former Sauber, McLaren and Ferrari driver Raikkonen, 31, around the Grove facility.

The Finnish broadcaster MTV3 also reported the news and said Williams had confirmed Raikkonen's visit indeed took place last week.

The reports said Raikkonen's visit was for "personal reasons", but speculation that he might one day return to formula one has been circulating ever since he left the sport at the end of 2009.

Williams' Pastor Maldonado is regarded as having a solid seat but the Venezuelan rookie's teammate Rubens Barrichello is still seeking a deal for 2012.

"We are talking day by day so we just need to see," Brazilian veteran Barrichello told The Sun newspaper at Monza.

"I wish we had done a deal already but it's taking a little longer. The team is taking everything into account and they know what I can offer," he said.

(GMM)

 

Mercedes 'not big enough' to win admits Rosberg

Mercedes is having to become a bigger team in order to win races as a constructor.

That is the claim of Nico Rosberg, who has been Michael Schumacher's teammate for the past two years and will stay with the Brackley team in 2012.

Rosberg, 26, is also tipped to sign a much longer contract, in which he hopes to take the benefit of boss Ross Brawn's efforts to improve the team structure.

Brawn radically downsized the team in the wake of former owner Honda's departure from the sport at the end of 2008.

The British engineer admitted to F1's official website this week that "possibly we have been a little bit too optimistic" in cutting staff numbers.

"We need to move up to the (staff) limitations that are allowed," he revealed.

German driver Rosberg agrees: "The team has not been big enough to build a winning car, but we have recognised the situation and are strengthening the organisation.

"We are now developing rapidly and new faces are showing up all the time," he told Italy's Tuttosport. "It shows there is a great desire to improve."

(GMM)

Ferrari comeback rumours 'nonsense' - Briatore
Sep.16 (GMM) Flavio Briatore has rubbished speculation he is eyeing a return to formula one management.

Recent rumours have linked the flamboyant former Renault boss, banned from F1 because of the 2009 'crashgate' scandal, with a leading role at Ferrari.

But the Italian told Germany's Auto Bild Motorsport: "I do not intend to return to formula one as a team manager.

"Italy is the land of rumours," said the 61-year-old millionaire. "That's why I am always brought back in connection with Ferrari, but it's nonsense."

In the same interview, Briatore rubbished suggestions Sebastian Vettel might be an ideal next teammate at the Maranello based team for Fernando Alonso.

"I would never want them together," insisted Briatore, who is still involved in the management of Spaniard Alonso's career. "It would weaken the team by splitting it into two parts."

Briatore admitted that he has been impressed with German Vettel, 24, in 2011.

"He is super strong with the right attitude and reminds me of Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso in that once they had their first title in the bag they then got stronger and more confident."

On the topic of Schumacher, Briatore continued: "I'd rather reminisce about the Michael of Benetton and Ferrari. Now, he has been out for too long and is fighting to be among the top ten.

"That's something I find quite sad," he added.

(GMM)

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