Mike Stevens | Sep 27, 2011

Anthony Hamilton has criticised his son's management team as the 2008 world champion returned to the headlines for the wrong reasons.

McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton clashed twice with his 2008 title nemesis Felipe Massa in Singapore, and afterwards almost came to blows with the diminutive Brazilian.

"We're all pretty hot here," said his boss Martin Whitmarsh smiled and shrugged.

"Felipe grabbed Lewis slightly aggressively but I think Lewis acted with restraint and walked away from any potential confrontation."

Briton Hamilton, 26, was heard to shout "Don't touch me, man" to Ferrari's Massa and then left the circuit in his sweaty overalls without completing his media duties.

"I called to him two times, but he didn't listen to me, he went past me. He didn't even look to me," said Massa.

"I said 'like that you will win many championships'. Maybe his father can do something about it," Massa said sarcastically.

According to Bild newspaper, triple world champion Niki Lauda sided with Massa: "I don't understand how a guy with Hamilton's talent can be always so stupid."

Indeed, Hamilton Snr - who split professionally with his son before last season - pointed at a failure of management. Lewis' career is now handled by celebrity manager Simon Fuller's XIX Entertainment.

"You look up and down the pitlane and every driver, except for Lewis, has a driver-manager in his life, not people from a company," said Hamilton, in Singapore to be with his new charge, Force India's Paul di Resta.

"Formula one drivers need people personally involved in the driver's lives because it is a big pressure," he insisted.

"You sign up a formula one driver, so come and do your job. No disrespect to anybody but that's how this business is.

"I have seen Lewis and he is fine. It is hard right now but he will come back, there is no doubt about that."

(GMM)

 

Marko in no rush for Vettel's title seal

Dr Helmut Marko insists he is in no rush to see Sebastian Vettel capture the 2011 championship.

The Red Bull driver, who has won the past three races on the trot, needs just a single point at Suzuka in two weeks to secure his crown with four races still to run.

And if McLaren's Jenson Button fails to win in Japan, 24-year-old German Vettel will automatically be champion even if he doesn't finish the race.

Team advisor Marko, a former F1 driver from Austria, is understandably cool.

"Whether we get the world title here (in Singapore) or in Japan or in Korea, it is no different to me," he told German television.

Vettel is not yet publicly declaring his certain championship even if McLaren's Martin Whitmarsh finally conceded late on Sunday: "It's over".

"I feel capable but I still have to do it," commented Vettel. "Obviously with the races that we've had so far, it should not be a big problem but it's over when it's over and not before."

(GMM)

 

Domenicali not ruling out newcomer for Massa's seat

Stefano Domenicali has refused to rule out finding a place at Ferrari for another driver in 2013.

Fernando Alonso is signed up long beyond next season, but his current teammate Felipe Massa will be out of contract at the end of 2012.

At the front of the queue are the two drivers heading up Ferrari's so-called driver 'academy': French GP2 driver Jules Bianchi and 2011 Sauber rookie Sergio Perez.

Asked about Ferrari's driver plans for Bianchi and Perez in 2013, Domenicali said in Singapore: "For 2013? Ah yes. Bianchi is a great talent and he had a positive season in GP2 but he needs to grow and gain experience next season.

"I cannot say now where he will be," the Italian told Spanish sports daily Marca, "but for sure we want to invest because we believe in him.

"As for Sergio, he has a contract with Sauber and he also has to grow. It is best not to put any goals at this time. May both of them have a good 2012," added Domenicali.

Meanwhile, the Italian was asked how much he worries about the rumours Flavio Briatore is waiting in the wings to be the next Ferrari team principal.

Making a circular motion with his fingers, he said: "Zero!"

(GMM)

 

FIA hands back Red Bull's curfew 'wild card'

The FIA handed back Red Bull's paddock curfew 'wild card' in Singapore.

The dominant team was penalised ahead of the night race because a staff member was in the paddock during the working-day blackout period.

Dr Helmut Marko, however, protested that the unidentified staff member in question was wielding a mere guest pass and had no operational connection with either the team or the cars.

Indeed, it is believed he was connected to the sponsor Infiniti.

"After interviewing the person and hearing the explanation it is now clear that this person is not a member of the team," an official of the governing FIA is quoted by Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

The FIA also lifted similar sanctions against the Mercedes and Virgin teams, who argued that they thought marketing staff were exempt from the curfew.

But Auto Motor und Sport quoted an insider as insisting that team bosses agreed in Melbourne earlier this year that marketing staff "are clearly included in the ban".

A spokesman for Mercedes GP confirmed that a female member of the team's marketing staff broke the curfew by half an hour.

Meanwhile, Toro Rosso's curfew penalty - imposed after boss Franz Tost entered the Singapore paddock too early - stands.

(GMM)

 

Rosberg wants Schumacher to sign up for 2013

Nico Rosberg has revealed he would be happy to have Michael Schumacher as his teammate beyond the 2012 season.

The German's comments are a clear indication that he intends to sign a new deal beyond the expiry of his own contract.

And Rosberg thinks seven time world champion should do the same.

"Definitely," he is quoted by the German news agency SID. "Of course it's up to him to decide if he's still enjoying it but for the team it would be a good thing."

Schumacher, 42, was asked in Singapore at the weekend if he will still be racing in 2013. "Next year I'll decide," he answered simply.

His boss, Mercedes' motor racing vice president Norbert Haug, joined Rosberg in hoping Schumacher will stay on board.

"We are very satisfied with the drivers we have," he said. "We want to climb up the ladder with the combination that we have."

(GMM)

 

Turkey on standby for 2012 Bahrain axe - report

Turkey is on standby should Bahrain not return to the formula one calendar next season.

Last year's race in the island Kingdom was called off due to the civil unrest.

But Bahrain's troubles seem to be persisting still, with violence near the now-famous Pearl Square marking the parliamentary elections at the weekend.

According to veteran Swiss correspondent Roger Benoit, writing in the Blick newspaper, Turkey has been put on standby should Bahrain's late April event be called off in 2012.

Turkey's Istanbul Park was dropped from the 2012 schedule but F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone remains involved in the management of the venue.

Ecclestone is however sure that F1 will be back in Bahrain.

"They have assured me that the situation will be resolved and then we will go back there next year," he told Italian newspaper La Stampa in Singapore.

(GMM)

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