Mike Stevens | Mar 16, 2012
  • Ricciardo told to push, not fear crashes
  • Raikkonen would ha​ve stayed in F1 in 2010
  • Ferrari revolution leads to 'crisis' - Surer
  • Glock thinks new Marussia to beat 107pc rule
  • Kovalainen turns heads with Angry Birds helmet
 

Ricciardo told to push, not fear crashes

Toro Rosso has told its new drivers to push hard rather than fear a crash, Daniel Ricciardo revealed ahead of his first home Grand Prix in Australia.

The Red Bull rookie team has replaced Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastien Buemi with Australian Ricciardo and newcomer Jean-Eric Vergne.

They are lined up as potential replacements for senior team Red Bull's Mark Webber in 2013, but at the same time must fear succumbing to the same fate as their instantly-axed predecessors.

"We're going to be on the edge," Ricciardo insisted in Melbourne.

"They (his bosses) have said 'if you make a mistake, it happens. At least we know you're pushing it'.

"Obviously we're not going out there trying to crash the car, but sometimes a team needs to see you go off - whether it's a crash or you run across the grass - to know that you're trying to find that limit.

"I'm not going to hold back," he promised.

When ruling out Lewis Hamilton for Webber's seat earlier this week, Christian Horner said Red Bull was more likely to look "inwardly than outwardly" should the team need to find a new teammate for Sebastian Vettel.

At the same time, Ricciardo feels the pressure to keep his place at Toro Rosso.

"It could be my one and only (year) if it's not good enough so I've definitely got to step up and do as good as I can," he said.

(GMM)

 

Raikkonen would have stayed in F1 in 2010

Kimi Raikkonen has argued he is back in the mood for F1 by revealing he would have kept racing in 2010.

"I was never planning to leave the sport in the first place," the 2007 world champion told the Times of India. "I had a contract for 2010 anyway."

Indeed, at the end of 2009, Ferrari bought out the Finn's deal so that Fernando Alonso could arrive early with the backing of the Spanish bank Santander.

Raikkonen headed off for two years of world rallying but is back with Lotus in 2012, fending off all the old questions about his motivation.

"Since I started in F1, I have always preferred the time we spend in the car from anything else happening in the paddock. It's still the same," the 32-year-old said.

Even now, he would prefer to split his F1 racing with more rallying, but has agreed to abide his team's wishes that he stay off the gravel.

"Ah, it's normal with formula one they try to ban everything," he told London's Telegraph. "Unfortunately with what happened to Robert (Kubica) last year... but even before that it was written into contracts.

"Maybe in the future if you can do some good results you can get a release or something. I still love it," said Raikkonen.

"If I could do it this year at the same time as formula one I would. I think it's good practice and it's good fun."

 

Ferrari revolution leads to 'crisis' - Surer

Ferrari has fallen over by being too ambitious with the design of its 2012 car.

That is the assessment of Marc Surer, a former F1 driver from Switzerland who is now a commentator for German television Sky and the Die Welt newspaper.

He referred to Ferrari's decision mid last year to abandon the 2011 car in order to restructure technically and philosophically and produce the radical F2012.

But the new car has proved unreliable and uncompetitive in testing, leading some analysts to predict Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa will this weekend be beaten by not only Red Bull and McLaren, but also Mercedes, Lotus and possibly even Sauber, Force India and Toro Rosso.

"They wanted to build an aggressive car, but they have changed too much," Surer said.

"Now they have realised that it doesn't work and are having to back-track with parts.

"For them, it's a serious crisis. They'll be lucky if they finish fourth", he added, referring to the constructors' championship.

Alonso, however, sounded confident in Melbourne on Thursday.

"In winter testing, we see some teams that are quite quick and then when we arrive at the race they are not quick anymore.

"Maybe we didn't reach targets that were very optimistic but that doesn't mean we are slower than the other cars," he warned.

(GMM)

 

Glock thinks new Marussia to beat 107pc rule

Timo Glock is hoping McLaren's driver simulator is accurate.

That's because he is relying on that data in hoping his 2012 car - the new Cosworth-powered Marussia MR01 - is fast enough to beat F1's 107 percent qualifying cut-off.

If not, he and rookie teammate Charles Pic could be left out of Sunday's season opening Australian GP.

Some promotional running on demo Pirelli tyres aside, the MR01 sat out the entire pre-season period because it twice failed to pass one of the FIA's mandatory crash tests.

"As it (the testing) was on the demo tyres, I can't say much. The feeling was very good, but it's just a feeling," said Glock.

In addition to the Silverstone shakedown, he has done three days at the wheel of the car in the virtual world, thanks to the former Virgin team's technology deal with McLaren.

In the McLaren simulator, German Glock said the car was fast enough to qualify for races.

"But I'm cautious," he said, "because we do not have much experience with the simulator."

Meanwhile, HRT is pushing to get a final shipment of components to Melbourne in order to put together a second 2012 chassis.

"If there's a flight delay, it could be we miss P1," Pedro de la Rosa told the BBC.

(GMM)

 

Kovalainen turns heads with Angry Birds helmet

Heikki Kovalainen had heads turning in the F1 paddock on Thursday as he revealed his all-red helmet for 2012.

The Caterham driver and Finn's new helmet is in the style of the bright red bird from the popular webgame app 'Angry Birds', which is developed by the Finnish company Rovio.

"The helmet looks amazing," said the company's Harri Koponen.

(GMM)

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