TMR Team | Aug 6, 2012
  • Red Bull controversies 'boring tactic' - Webber
  • Ricciardo expects to stay at Toro Rosso in 2013
  • FIA bans Enge for 18 months after drugs test
  • 'Furious' Ferrari denies Marko's hand-adjuster claim
  • F1 gearing up for August shutdown
  • Now McLaren working on 'double DRS' system
  • Valencia aims for F1 return in 2014
  • Sauber not worried about 2013 driver situation
 

Red Bull controversies 'boring tactic' - Webber

Mark Webber has described the high profile of technical controversies involving Red Bull as a "tactic" deployed by rival teams.

This week, a reportedly "furious" Ferrari hit back at Helmut Marko's claim that the Italian team was also caught with a hand-adjuster in its 2012 car.

Marko's claim followed the most recent technical controversy involving Red Bull, with the sagas so far in 2012 involving hand-adjusted ride heights, engine mapping, holes in the floor, and others.

Team driver Webber, however, said there are plenty of similar stories up and down pitlane, with those involving the reigning champions always getting the attention.

"I know - I know - other teams have been asked to address things with their cars," he is quoted by Australian news agency AAP.

"But they're not for general consumption and some of ours are for general consumption. Red Bull ones always seem to make the media."

Webber said the high profile of the Red Bull controversies is a "tactic" deployed by the team's rivals.

"It's a pretty boring tactic from them, isn't it?" he said. "Quite predictable.

"In their little bubble, if they want that, that's great."

And Webber, currently second in the 2012 points standings behind Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, predicted there would be more Red Bull controversies in the near future.

"There'll be something else, I promise you, but we will always pass every single test," he said in London, where he is taking in some Olympic action during F1's August break.

(GMM)

 

Ricciardo expects to stay at Toro Rosso in 2013

The stream of F1 news may be running thin as the sport races into its August slumber and factory shutdowns, but the roar of V8 engines has continued this week.

Daniel Ricciardo is in action over two days, as Toro Rosso completes some testing for filming purposes at Imola, the former San Marino GP which is located a stone's throw from the team's Faenza base.

Italy's Autosprint said the event is not open to the public.

"The summer break begins when we're done," Australian Ricciardo told the German website motorsport-total.com.

He insisted he feels he doesn't need a holiday.

"It wouldn't bother me if we were on the way to another Grand Prix," said Ricciardo, who made his debut last year with HRT.

The 22-year-old admitted he expects to stay at Toro Rosso in 2013.

"I'd say so, unless the next few races go very badly," Ricciardo said.

"Qualifying has been okay for me, the races a bit more up and down, but if I can knock out a few good races and stay strong in qualifying, I think honestly I've done everything I can do."

(GMM)

 

FIA bans Enge for 18 months after drugs test

Former F1 driver Tomas Enge has been banned by the governing FIA for 18 months.

The now 35-year-old Czech, the only F1 driver ever to fail a drugs test a decade ago, failed yet another test recently.

In 2002, he was stripped of his international Formula 3000 (GP2) title for failing a test for cannabis.

And in June, Enge - who has been racing a Lamborghini in the FIA's GT1 sports car world championship - confirmed he failed a recent drugs test, but denied the banned substance was cannabis once again.

Justifying the failed test, he revealed he has "suffered from long-term health problems" and had applied to the FIA for "an exemption" for certain drugs.

But the Austrian newspaper Kleine Zeitung, revealing that Enge argued he took a drug to deal with cardiovascular problems, said the FIA has suspended Enge for a period of 18 months.

The report said Enge has consulted with his lawyer and now intends to push the case to the Swiss based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne.

Following team-regular Luciano Burti's huge Spa crash, Enge contested three GPs for Prost Grand Prix at the end of 2001, before the French team folded.

His best finish was twelfth on debut at Monza.

(GMM)

 

'Furious' Ferrari denies Marko's hand-adjuster claim

A reportedly "furious" Ferrari has hit back at Red Bull, after the reigning champions suggested the famous Italian team broke the rules "for a year".

Frustrated with the constant technical controversies involving Red Bull in 2012, the team's Dr Helmut Marko said this week that actually "Ferrari used something like that for a year".

The outspoken Austrian had been asked about the latest Red Bull saga, amid reports the FIA told the team to remove an illegal hand-control for adjusting the RB8's ride height without a tool at June's Canadian Grand Prix.

The website of Italian sports newspapers Tuttosport and Corriere dello Sport said Ferrari has responded to Marko's claims by issuing a robust denial.

A Ferrari spokesman was quoted as saying the accusation is "completely untrue".

Indeed, in the original article that quoted Marko about the alleged Ferrari system, journalist Michael Schmidt doubted Red Bull would have any knowledge about what is under the skin of the red F2012.

"One has to wonder how an outsider could have seen something like that," said the Auto Motor und Sport writer.

"Chassis components at the front are well hidden in the carbon tube, and you can only get access to them from the top service hatch.

"And it's hard to imagine Ferrari would have given any insight to strangers," added Schmidt.

(GMM)

 

F1 gearing up for August shutdown

The recently-married Romain Grosjean knows exactly how he will be spending F1's long August shutdown.

"I think it's time for a honeymoon," smiled Lotus' rookie Frenchman.

But not everyone is quite as keen, even halfway through the most arduous F1 calendar in history which so far has featured eleven grands prix in the space of just four months.

After the whole month of August off, including a two-week strict factory shutdown for all the teams, the circus will reconvene for nine more grands prix squeezed into less than three months.

"Am I looking forward to the break? Yes," seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher told Germany's Sport Bild.

"Do I feel like I urgently need a vacation? Not necessarily," he explained.

Force India's Nico Hulkenberg agrees, insisting he is "absolutely not ready for a holiday".

"I will visit friends in Germany," he said. "But four weeks? Two would have been enough."

Marussia's Timo Glock said he too would be happy to move straight on to Spa, "But I think for the mechanics it (the break) is very good."

Lewis Hamilton agrees: "The team is travelling non-stop and they work incredibly long hours away from their families.

"So it's an important time for them to go away and relax and refresh and get ready for the second half of the season which is going to be the most intense."

During the 14-day factory shutdown, even the teams' suppliers may not do any work for their F1 clients, while team members are forbidden even to access official email servers.

Some marketing and press is permissible, as is logistics work and the maintenance of factories and machines.

But surely it is almost possible to stop thousands of active formula one minds from ticking over?

"It works on trust," Sauber team manager Beat Zehnder told Auto Motor und Sport when asked how the shutdown is policed.

(GMM)

 

Now McLaren working on 'double DRS' system

McLaren looks set to be the next team with a 'double DRS'-like system aboard its 2012 car.

After Mercedes and then Lotus pioneered the straightline speed-boosting concept this season, it emerged that the FIA intends to ban it for 2013 and beyond.

But according to sporting director Sam Michael, work is well underway on a McLaren version.

"It's not like the Lotus one, but we are studying such a system," the Australian is quoted by the Italian website f1passion.it.

Michael said he is not sure when the 'double DRS' or 'super DRS' will make its debut on the MP4-27.

"We must be careful that it does not take time away from our other updates," he added.

(GMM)

 

Valencia aims for F1 return in 2014

All is not yet lost for Valencia's Grand Prix.

Recent reports suggested Bernie Ecclestone had said in Hungary last weekend that the European Grand Prix, held on the streets of the Spanish port city since 2008, would be replaced in 2013 by New Jersey.

Some suggested that, given the Spanish economic crisis and Valencia's declining race audience figures, it was definitely the death knell for the city event.

But an interview with Der Tagesspiegel newspaper has clarified that Valencia could be back in 2014.

"Valencia will not be there (in 2013) because they're alternating (now) with Barcelona," F1 chief executive Ecclestone said.

And an official for Valencia's ruling political party has said negotiations are currently taking place to ensure the race's continuation into the future.

"Formula One is very important not only from an image point of view but also due to the economic impact, the creation of jobs and what that means for the Valencia region," the official, secretary general Serafin Castellano, is quoted by Reuters.

He said the current talks with Ecclestone are to "reduce the cost of the formula one levy".

(GMM)

 

Sauber not worried about 2013 driver situation

Sauber is "laid back" about its driver situation for 2013.

That is the claim of chief executive Monisha Kaltenborn, despite reports Kamui Kobayashi has underperformed, Sergio Perez is on Ferrari's radar, and Caterham's Heikki Kovalainen could be joining the Swiss team next year.

"We are not worried," she told F1's official website, when asked about speculation Mexican Perez could be lured to a bigger team off the back of his good performances in 2012.

"Regarding the future, we are not under pressure and I am laid back about it," added Kaltenborn.

However, Japanese Kobayashi has failed to shine as brightly as Perez in 2012, triggering rumours Sauber could be on the lookout to replace him.

"I think that the results do not show the whole picture," Kaltenborn continued.

"I would say that some factors played for Sergio - and some simply didn't work out for Kamui.

"But as we still have half the season to go, Kamui can go out and copy Sergio."

(GMM)

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