Mike Stevens | Feb 6, 2012
  • Ferrari F2012 Race Car Revealed
  • Sutil deserves to stay in F1 - Hulkenberg
  • Hamilton 'pathetic' says Sutil's angry father
  • Button wants to avoid retiring too soon
 

Ferrari F2012 Race Car Revealed

Ferrari has launched its new F2012 F1 race car this week, joining the likes of Force India and Caterham in the 'ugly nose' party.

The odd feature - a quirk of new regulations - is the centrepiece of Ferrari's new F2012, launched on Friday morning at Maranello, and the Mercedes-powered Force India VJM05, whose covers were pulled off in the chilly Silverstone pitlane.

"(The car) looks very different actually from what we have seen in the past two years," said Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.

Felipe Massa agreed: "Let me tell you that it looks very aggressive."

“This was part of my dreams. I know there was quite a lot of brainstorming when it comes to the new car, and I am impressed with it.”

Telegraph correspondent Tom Cary, however, had another view, commenting that Ferrari, Force India and Caterham have "nasty nose jobs".

But McLaren's new MP4-27 features a clean aerodynamic line at the front.

"It's a bit of a hot topic this year," Andrew Green, Force India's technical director, acknowledged to Sky Sports.

"Obviously a lot of people commented on the McLaren a couple of days ago. For us, it's not a big deal, it's purely aesthetics."

Paddy Lowe, McLaren's technical boss, said the team had retained a more conventional look because last year's car already had a "philosophy" in line with the new rules.

"You can't see performance necessarily by eye, it's a matter of fine-tuning the balance between all the relevant aspects," he insisted.

Massa also took a warning from Ferrari boss Luca di Montezemolo that his seat could be in doubt if he does not perform in 2012.

“Massa has to do something great, and something special, after a non-positive season”, said di Montezemolo. “We are offering him the best conditions to do a better job.”

(GMM)

 

Sutil deserves to stay in F1 - Hulkenberg

Adrian Sutil deserves to keep his F1 race career alive.

That is the claim of Nico Hulkenberg, the driver who is replacing his German compatriot at Force India in 2012.

Sutil, 29, has failed so far to secure an alternative seat, and days ago was dealt a further blow with a Munich court convicting him of grievous bodily harm for an assault on Lotus team executive Eric Lux last year.

He did, however, have a strong 2011 season, outscoring his teammate Paul di Resta - the Scottish rookie who has retained his race seat - by 15 points.

"Adrian definitely deserves a cockpit - more than some of the other current race drivers," Hulkenberg, who steps up from the reserve role after losing his Williams race seat at the end of 2010, said.

"There is absolutely no bad blood between us," the 24-year-old, referring to his relationship with Sutil, told Sport Bild magazine.

He blames the situation - with drivers like Sutil and Rubens Barrichello out in the cold - on 'pay-drivers'.

"I was one of the few drivers in Formula One who don't need to bring any money," said Hulkenberg.

"But that so many experienced drivers are without seats shows just how brutal the sport can be."

His plan for 2012, therefore, is to ensure a place on the 2013 grid.

"At the end of the year I don't want to have to worry about my seat for the next season," Hulkenberg said.

And he said helping Force India to secure fifth place in the constructors' world championship - one position better than in 2011 - is another goal for his second season in F1.

The Mercedes-powered VJM05 will be launched on a chilly Friday morning at Silverstone.

(GMM)

 

Hamilton 'pathetic' says Sutil's angry father

Adrian Sutil's father has joined the former Force India driver in slamming Lewis Hamilton.

Hamilton, who was German Sutil's former F3 teammate and his closest friend in the F1 paddock, declined to appear as a witness in the trial this week about the assault on Lotus team executive Eric Lux.

Sutil, 29, was convicted of grievous bodily harm and fined EUR 200,000, and is without a race seat for the 2012 season.

"The initial shock has now passed but the whole thing is terribly uncomfortable for him," Jorge Sutil, referring to his beleaguered son, told the Munchner Merkur newspaper.

"He's never had to face anything like this and I never thought he'd be in such a situation," added Sutil's father.

As for Hamilton's role in the affair, having sat alongside Sutil in the Shanghai nightclub at the time of the alleged assault, Jorge Sutil is blunt.

"It's really pathetic," he said.

"Lewis Hamilton moved to Monaco and didn't tell Adrian his new phone number. But he often called him if he had personal problems.

"His father sent my son a message that he hopes everything goes well with the hearing. And Lewis Hamilton, the cause of the discussion, didn't do anything.

"I think my son chose the wrong friend," Sutil's father added.

"In a situation where Adrian needed support, he could tell his team that he had another engagement. Or he could have called to say that he doesn't want to come (to Munich). That would have been acceptable.

"But he has not even done it in person. For a great champion, that's a pretty weak performance. I would be ashamed," Jorge added.

And the final straw of the affair, said Sutil's father, is the damage to his son's career.

"It's not just his reputation, it's also about his career," agreed Sutil Snr.

"He is one of the top ten formula one drivers and yet now he is dealing with how to come out from this affair somehow.

"At the moment, he's not talking very much about Formula One. But that was always his dream. Now he needs to get away and then go about making the next steps."

(GMM)

 

Button wants to avoid retiring too soon

While his teammate's plans beyond this year are unclear, McLaren driver Jenson Button is sure his career is on the right track.

Lewis Hamilton has been making headlines this week after saying he wants to think about his future beyond 2012 - when his existing contract expires - soon.

"Probably, after the first couple of races, it's something we will probably want to get out of the way, probably in the earlier part of the year rather than later," said the Briton.

2011 championship runner-up Button, however, inked a new multi-year contract last season, now telling the Sun newspaper that at the age of 32, it is too soon to think about retiring.

Agreeing that 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen's return to F1 this year is good for F1, Button said: "It also tells me not to leave F1 too early."

Also among the six world champions on the 2012 grid is Michael Schumacher, who returned two years ago at the age of 41.

"Two of the six champions have left and come back again. You always think the grass is greener but you've got to be careful about when you retire," said Button.

The quality of the 2012 grid is also making predictions about the outcome of the world championship particularly difficult.

"It will be close," agreed McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh. "It's a massively competitive championship these days.

"No one, in my view, is going to run away with this victory, not us, not anyone else."

(GMM)

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