Tim O'Brien | Oct 21, 2011

Sebastian Vettel has hinted he might be willing to give up a race victory to help his team perform a perfect score in 2011.

Red Bull and the 24-year-old German have already secured the constructors' and drivers' world championships, but Mark Webber currently lies in only fourth place behind Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button with three races left to run.

Webber has failed to win a single race in 2011 compared with Vettel's ten so far, so the Australian might need some help to curb the 13-point gap to second place.

"With three races left, we hope for the best results possible for ourselves but also for the team," Vettel is quoted by the AFP news agency.

Agreed team boss Christian Horner:

"He (Webber) has had a very strong year and we want to get him second in the drivers' championship.

"That's our remaining target for the remainder of the year - to get him a race win and finish the season in style."

When asked if that might involve him giving up a win so that Webber can reach the top step of the podium, Vettel answered: "Yeah, definitely."

(GMM)

 

Cockpit canopy might have saved Wheldon - Mosley

Dan Wheldon's death could have sped up efforts to end the long era of open-cockpit racing.

F1's governing body earlier this year, in response to the F1 and F2 incidents in 2009 involving Felipe Massa and Henry Surtees, tested screens and fighter jet-style canopies for possible use in the future.

Now, days after Briton Wheldon was killed when his Indycar overturned and struck catch-fencing in Las Vegas, former FIA president Max Mosley said of the canopy idea: "I think it could work.

"You're always in danger, in an open cockpit, of objects striking the driver. It (the canopy) might also help if it's reinforced with another roll bar, in things like the Dan Wheldon accident," he told CNN.

"But that's something that needs careful investigation."

Mosley admitted that an unwanted side-effect of a cockpit canopy would be its aerodynamic effect.

"One of the troubles is that it would probably make the car quicker, which is just what we don't want. But there are other means of slowing them down," he said.

Yet more problems are that dirty canopies will affect driver visibility, while in severe accidents the cover might prevent marshals and doctors from extricating injured drivers.

"All of that will be looked at by a technical working group if it turns out the thing would protect the driver better," insisted Mosley.

"What I do know is we've got some very clever people, looking full-time at these problems."

(GMM)

 

Female driver sees F1 'possibilities' for 2012

Maria de Villota insists "there are real possibilities" she will be a regular in the F1 one paddock next year.

The 31-year-old Spanish female driver tested a 2009 Renault at Paul Ricard in August, and earlier this month she re-appeared in the car during the World Series race weekend at Barcelona.

She told the Spanish news agency Europa Press that she is getting "closer" to securing a job in formula one for 2012.

"The first test we did in August went so well that it helped to accelerate more possibilities," said de Villota.

She said her short-term objective is to "be in Formula One in 2012".

De Villota, the daughter of former F1 driver Emilio de Villota, said her Superleague races alongside former F1 drivers Antonio Pizzonia and Enrique Bernoldi had convinced her she is capable of contesting grands prix.

"While I have great respect for them, I do not see an uneven playing field," she said.

"Physically - yes I know - I have to work harder, but as an athlete and a driver I feel that with proper training and with the experience that I need, I think I can do it very well."

(GMM)