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TMR Team | May 31, 2012
  • Kovalainen tips Alonso to win 2012 title
  • 'Hacktivists' threaten F1 over Montreal protests
  • Webber denies 'backing up' rivals for Vettel
  • Perez not ruling out 2013 team switch
  • Sauber hits out at error-prone Grosjean
  • Mexican GP set for 2013 return
  • F1 headwear triggers rumours at Monaco
 

Kovalainen tips Alonso to win 2012 title

Heikki Kovalainen has tipped Fernando Alonso to win the topsy-turvy 2012 championship.

Alonso is just one of the six race winners after the opening six races of the season, but despite a difficult start for Ferrari the Spaniard is now leading the drivers' standings by 3 points.

"Alonso's lead ... yes, he will take the championship this year," Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat quoted Caterham driver Kovalainen as saying.

"Whatever the special circumstances or the weather conditions, there is always a common variable, and that is Alonso being somewhere at the front," he said.

At the same time, Kovalainen agreed that the balance of power is proving otherwise impossible to predict.

"A good example is Monaco," said the Finn, "where McLaren is usually in charge, but suddenly they are average and Jenson Button was having to pass me.

"If the tyres aren't working for you, it's finished," said Kovalainen.

Mika Salo, a former Ferrari and Sauber driver, also tipped Alonso to add a third title to his tally this year.

"Their car has improved considerably," he told the broadcaster MTV3, "and now even Massa is able to drive it well.

"The Red Bull guys (Vettel and Webber) are pretty close to Alonso in the championship," added Salo, "but in the long run they are fighting each other for points.

"Alonso has a teammate that will not take his points in the same way."

The dark horse, meanwhile, could be Mercedes' Nico Rosberg, despite his 17-point deficit.

In the last four races, no rival has scored more points than the Shanghai winner.

"This shows that we are fairly consistent," said the German, "and that the future looks pretty good for us."

(GMM)

 

'Hacktivists' threaten F1 over Montreal protests

Internet terrorist group Anonymous is targeting F1 once again.

Last month, the 'hacktivists' aimed fire at the sport over the Bahrain issue, bringing down the official formula one and FIA websites.

Now, Anonymous is backing the protesting Montreal university students over the controversial 'Bill 78', a law that cracks down on their marches.

"Beginning on June 7 and running through race day on June 10, Anonymous will take down all the F1 websites, dump the servers and databases -- and wreck anything else F1-related we can find on the internet," the group said in a statement.

The group also said spectators who buy tickets on the internet risk having their credit card details stolen.

Organisers of the Canadian grand prix did not comment.

(GMM)

 

Webber denies 'backing up' rivals for Vettel

Mark Webber has dismissed claims he 'backed up' his rivals in Monaco so that Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel could catch up.

Australian Webber won Sunday's race in the Principality with the other podium challengers, Nico Rosberg, both within a chasing gap of less than a single second.

Next up was reigning back to back world champion Vettel.

But when contemplating the 'backing up' theory, Webber insisted in his BBC column: "That is absolute rubbish.

"You always get bitten on the bum when you get fancy. So you just don't try."

(GMM)

 

Perez not ruling out 2013 team switch

Sergio Perez is refusing to rule out a change of teams.

The Mexican, however, has insisted that he is not about to switch to Ferrari during the 2012 season, despite strong speculation he is first in line for Felipe Massa's seat.

As for 2013, the door is open.

"In Malaysia," he told Germany's Auto Bild, "I lost the victory more than I won second place.

"If I could do that race again, I would win it," insisted Perez.

Once seen as a 'pay driver', Perez is now regarded as a potential winner with key connections; not only to Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim but as the cream of Ferrari's development programme.

"There is a point in your career when you feel ready to fight against the best drivers in the best team. For me, this is the next logical step.

"I feel very comfortable here (Sauber), but I want to win races as soon as possible," he said.

And Perez admitted that Slim will play a role.

"We decide together what I do. I told him I would like to talk to him a little later in the season about my future and what options I have," he added.

(GMM)

 

Sauber hits out at error-prone Grosjean

Romain Grosjean would not be the most welcome face in the Sauber motor home.

Recently after the Spanish grand prix, Swiss newspaper Blick quoted Sergio Perez as cursing "f***ing French!" after a collision with Lotus' Grosjean.

Then, at Monaco, Kamui Kobayashi had to retire with suspension damage after his spectacular high-flying crash at the first corner.

"Unfortunately it was Grosjean again," Peter Sauber thundered. "First Perez was the victim, now Kobayashi."

And those tangles were not reigning GP2 champion Grosjean's only mistakes so far in 2012, despite demonstrating otherwise strong pace in his second season since his abortive 2009 debut.

Team boss Eric Boullier insists he is being patient with the 26-year-old.

"He is still early in his career and therefore has the right to make mistakes," the Frenchman is quoted by L'Equipe sports newspaper.

"This is no excuse, but all the drivers around him have done thousands of kilometres of testing and many races. He is still in his first year and I think has done a pretty amazing job for a rookie."

(GMM)

 

Mexican GP set for 2013 return

F1 is returning to Mexico in 2013, according to a report in a Spanish sports newspaper.

Marca reports that the race will take place at the Hermanos Rodriguez circuit in Mexico City, which was the scene of the last Mexican grand prix in 1992.

The report said the race is backed by many of Sauber driver Sergio Perez's sponsors, including Telmex, Interproteccion, Tequila Cuervo and Mexico's tourism ministry.

"They are willing to support the grand prix, which will replace Valencia," wrote Marca journalist Jose Maria Rubio.

The report said the necessary bodies and the president have approved a contract with Bernie Ecclestone for an initial period of five years.

"Refurbishment work on the circuit should begin as soon as the elections happen (in July)," revealed Rubio. "Everything should be ready for the race mid next year".

Mexico 1992, won by Nigel Mansell, was Michael Schumacher's first of 154 career podiums.

(GMM)

 

F1 headwear triggers rumours at Monaco

F1's excitable rumour-mill went into overdrive in Monaco simply because Michael Schumacher appeared without his cap.

The seven time world champion spoke at the FIA press conference on Wednesday without his usual brand-laden cap, sparking suggestions he had split with his personal sponsor.

"The reason was quite simple: he had just forgotten it and no one could get it to him in time," said Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

Headwear was also a bone of contention for Fernando Alonso in Monaco, according to the German magazine.

When a journalist asked the Ferrari driver about his special gold helmet livery, Alonso hissed: "It's on my website."

When asked if he was in a bad mood, the Spaniard bit again: "No, but you're not prepared. And we're here to talk about the race, not about my helmet."

(GMM)

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