TMR Team | May 9, 2012
  • ​Red Bull 'happy' with Webber and Vettel - boss
  • F1's best will prevail in 2012 - Brawn
  • Setup key to pace in new Pirelli era - Brawn
  • Shareholders to vote on Mercedes' F1 exit - source
  • Oval driving 'very different' to F1 - Barrichello
 

Red Bull 'happy' with Webber and Vettel - boss

Red Bull's team boss has moved to ease speculation Mark Webber could be set to change teams at the end of 2012.

The 35-year-old Australian is now on only a one-year contract, triggering reports he has been lined up by Ferrari as a potential successor to the struggling Felipe Massa.

But subsequent speculation said Red Bull is in fact close to offering to extend Webber's deal.

Team boss Christian Horner ridiculed the Ferrari rumours.

"I think it's inevitable," he is quoted by France's L'Equipe. "Almost every driver in the paddock is supposed to be joining Fernando Alonso next season.

"We're staying focused on ourselves. Mark is happy to be here, and we are happy to have him with us," said Horner.

"When the time comes later this year, we will sit down and discuss the future with him, as we have done in previous seasons.

"Speculation like this is part of the business," he insisted.

"Mark has driven very well in these first few races, finishing fourth four times. Of course we would like to see him on the podium but he has scored some very important points.

"He can do great things this year. I think with Sebastian (Vettel), they push each other - it's also thanks to him (Webber) that Sebastian gives the very best of himself.

"There is a good dynamic between them and that's exactly what we want," Horner said.

(GMM)

 

F1's best will prevail in 2012 - Brawn

F1's current unbalance of power will eventually settle, leaving the best teams at the front of the pack.

That is the view of Ross Brawn, despite Pirelli chief Paul Hembery predicting that Barcelona could crown a fifth different winning team and driver this weekend.

But Mercedes chief Brawn thinks the thrills and spills will ultimate settle.

"In the end, the best will prevail," he is quoted by Germany's Auto Motor und Sport, "because they will get it right with the tyres more often.

"It may take a little more time, but I think ultimately the good teams and the good drivers always do the better job," added Brawn.

The situation so far in 2012 has seen Mercedes and Nico Rosberg break through with pole and victory in China, but Briton Brawn is not sure he would describe the season as "thrilling".

"Perhaps (it is) for the spectators," he smiled, "for the teams it's just more difficult.

"The first four races were marked by inconsistency for all the teams. We are still getting experience with our cars, but especially how they work with the new tyres.

"Obviously for the sport, it's great."

And Brawn is confident Mercedes can keep up with the development speed of the best teams, including McLaren, Red Bull and Ferrari.

"Yes. We have brought in Bob Bell, Aldo Costa and Geoff Willis, which is paying off now, as are some other strategic changes.

"I do not think we are inferior to our competitors in any way," he insisted.

(GMM)

 

Setup key to pace in new Pirelli era - Brawn

Getting the setup right is a challenge teams are grappling with in 2012.

So far this season, four different cars have won the four Grands Prix, with Pirelli's difficult tyres credited or blamed for the unbalance of power.

The key, according to Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn, is car setup.

"We can't modify the setup between qualifying on Saturday and the race on Sunday," he is quoted by Brazil's O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper. "And they are very different challenges, especially with this year's tyres.

"It's one thing to get the car to be fast on one lap and quite another to make it fast and consistent over 70.

"Whoever can anticipate what will be required for the race and come to a compromise - maybe to the detriment of grid position - should have a decisive advantage in the race.

"But it's not easy to anticipate what happens on Sunday," insisted Brawn.

(GMM)

 

Shareholders to vote on Mercedes' F1 exit - source

Mercedes' continued participation in F1 could be put to a shareholders' vote at the end of the year.

That is the claim of the respected French commentator Jean-Louis Moncet, writing in his Auto Plus column.

Norbert Haug on Monday denied reports the German carmaker is on the verge of quitting the sport because it is not being offered the same Concorde Agreement deal as rival top teams Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull.

But Moncet's apparently 'well-informed source' said: "The Mercedes directorate will vote on whether to stop the F1 programme at the end of 2012, and consequently (Mercedes) will not sign the agreements offered by Bernie Ecclestone."

The source said "the majority" of shareholders may veto Mercedes' F1 activities, which includes its own works team and the supply of engines to McLaren and Force India.

"The future of the (Mercedes) team is also tied to investment and sponsorship and the outcome of the arm-wrestling with Ecclestone," Moncet's source added.

(GMM)

 

Oval driving 'very different' to F1 - Barrichello

Nineteen years of F1 did not prepare Rubens Barrichello for his first taste of driving an Indycar on a high speed oval.

The former Ferrari driver, who switched categories for the 2012 season after losing his Williams race seat, tested at the Texas Motor Speedway on Monday.

"It was bloody fast," he is quoted by the Associated Press, "and very, very much different than anything I have ever tried.

"I've had places that in Formula One that they say 'Oh, it's almost flat and it's a big corner and it's a big challenge'. But the walls were never so close," the 39-year-old Brazilian enthused.

Barrichello's teammate Tony Kanaan admitted it was "fun" and a rare sight to see his close friend "nervous" prior to getting into a racing car.

"It was quite exciting to see how excited he got, and how happy he got out of the car saying how awesome it is," he said.

(GMM)