TMR Team | Jun 13, 2012
  • Title already slipping away for some - Alonso
  • Italy split after Ferrari's failed bid for victory
  • No doubts about 2013 New York race - promoter
  • HRT ready to leave Marussia at back of grid
  • Vettel swears on Letterman
 

Title already slipping away for some - Alonso

With only just over a third of the season now in the past, Fernando Alonso thinks the championship is already slipping away from some drivers.

The Ferrari driver lost his bid for victory and also the lead of the points standings in Canada, but he was calm after Sunday's race in light of his consistency in 2012.

"No one can win the championship in seven races," Alonso told El Pais newspaper, "but some are starting to lose it."

He was disappointed to lose the victory and even the podium on Sunday, but the Spaniard looked on the bright side by pointing out that he "scored more (points) than Button and Kimi".

Indeed, while Lewis Hamilton's sister McLaren won in Montreal, Button's sliding form in the past few races hit rock bottom on Sunday when he was lapped.

He now has almost half the title leaders' points tallies.

"Is the championship over?" Button asked reporters rhetorically after Montreal. "I don't know.

"I'm not giving up but I'm not thinking about the championship. When you've had a race like this one, you don't."

Hamilton tipped his teammate to "bounce back", but - as does Alonso - he also knows well that the key to the title in the topsy-turvy 2012 season is consistency.

"It's unbelievable to see just how close it is," he said.

"We got a win and 25 points and I only have a two point lead, so it's incredible how close it is and I think it will stay that close throughout the year.

"It highlights just how important consistency is," Hamilton added.

(GMM)

 

Italy split after Ferrari's failed bid for victory

Ferrari has defended itself amid claims its race strategy in Canada on Sunday was "suicidal".

Despite the Maranello team stepping forward again in performance terms, the Italian press was highly critical after Fernando Alonso's bid for victory went awry in Montreal.

La Stampa called persevering with the one-stop strategy a case of "Harakiri della Ferrari".

La Repubblica, meanwhile, said the strategy was "pazza, davvero pazza" (crazy, really crazy).

Team boss Stefano Domenicali, however, said it is easy to see the strategy was wrong in hindsight.

"Of course in hindsight my kids who are seven and eight years old could do the right thing," he insisted.

Domenicali said engineers discussed live the strategy choice with Alonso, and decided for one stop on the basis that the Spaniard was managing the degradation of the tyres well.

Again, in hindsight, it was obviously the wrong choice in light of his slide into the chasing pack.

"When you arrive at a certain moment, you have to go for one solution or another, so at that stage the situation was ok so we kept going in that direction," said Domenicali.

Alonso agrees.

"Grosjean nearly won the race with one stop, so it was the right strategy. We tried to win the race and it didn't work, but I was happy with the approach and the points," he added.

La Gazzetta dello Sport, the authoritative Italian sports daily, also backed Ferrari.

"For the first time this season, Ferrari took a gamble in a bid to win -- it backfired, but these things happen. It was worth the risk," the report read.

(GMM)

 

No doubts about 2013 New York race - promoter

The promoter of F1's New York street race has scoffed at reports the event may not take place as scheduled in 2013.

On Monday, a day after North America's only current grand prix took place in Canada, reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel headed straight to New Jersey to try the new layout at the wheel of an Infiniti road car.

Recently, and on at least two separate occasions, F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone suggested the 2013 race was in doubt.

"I don't know where these rumours are coming from, but this race is going forward," said promoter Leo Hindery on Monday.

"If we had any doubt we wouldn't have brought Sebastian and all these people here today," he told the Associated Press.

Red Bull driver Vettel sounded happy with the layout, which he described as "truly unique".

"And this," he added, pointing to the iconic Manhattan skyline, "is unreal."

Meanwhile, progress at F1's other new US venue - the purpose-built Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas - also appears on track for its November debut.

"We are on time," circuit president Steve Sexton told the Quebec newspaper La Presse, amid reports work is now taking place at night in order to meet the deadlines.

"We are currently installing the asphalt and the buildings are already erected," he revealed.

"Our intention is to make a good first impression," added Sexton, "as you only get one chance to do so."

(GMM)

 

HRT ready to leave Marussia at back of grid

HRT could finally be on the cusp of speeding off the final row of the formula one grid.

Clearly the slowest team in F1 since its 2010 debut, the Spanish backmarkers' Pedro de la Rosa actually qualified clearly ahead of both Marussia drivers in Canada.

"In Monaco we had a good qualifying and here it was even better," he said.

It was a similar story in the race, although de la Rosa was gutted to have to retire with overheating brakes.

"I am left with a bad taste," he admitted to Antena 3 television, "because this weekend has been our strongest of the season."

Marussia's Glock commented on the poor pace of his car in Canada: "We did not have enough time to focus on an aero package for medium downforce," he told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

Former Toro Rosso driver Jaime Alguersuari, however, thinks Montreal might have signalled a turning point for HRT.

Asked if he thinks the team will consistently perform better from now on, the Spaniard told AS newspaper: "Why not?

"The work they are doing is admirable. They are growing every weekend and now more competitive than Marussia, so I would like to send them a message of support."

(GMM)

 

Vettel swears on Letterman

Sebastian Vettel's appearance on an iconic American talkshow went awry this week when David Letterman started talking about 'DRS'.

Letterman, the Indianapolis-born motor racing fan and Indycar team co-owner, began talking to the 24-year-old German and his 'Late Show' audience about F1's drag-reduction system.

"Complicated stuff," Vettel smirked as he explained the mechanics of the rear-wing overtaking flap.

Letterman then turned the conversation to the 'DRS' zones on the circuit, and the system's activation.

Vettel intervened: "Now you make it really complicated," he grinned. "The people here have no f***ing idea what you're talking about."

Producers not only had to bleep the swear word, Vettel's mouth was also blurred.

Realising his mistake, the Red Bull driver put his hand over his mouth and smiled: "Sorry."

But he let slip yet again when Letterman asked about New Jersey's 2013 street layout, which Vettel had sampled in an Infiniti road car earlier on Monday.

"It (the layout) looks very quick. You need some big balls I think," he grinned again, gesticulating towards his jeans.

When Vettel began speaking again, Letterman joked: "Just don't do that again, alright?

"I'm just glad Oprah doesn't have a show ..."

(GMM)