- Perez not ready for Ferrari switch - Montezemolo
- Perez at Monza 'best drive of 2012 season' - Lauda
- Horner doubts Hamilton to leave McLaren
- Heidfeld 'not yet' ready to give up on F1
- Lauda - triple title feat now unlikely for Vettel
- Ecclestone happy with sound of V6 engine - report
Perez not ready for Ferrari switch - Montezemolo
Luca di Montezemolo has dealt a knockout blow to speculation Sergio Perez could be set to replace Felipe Massa at Ferrari next year.
After his second place at Monza last Sunday, rumours that Sauber's Mexican Perez is now set to step up to Ferrari are rife.
But Ferrari president Montezemolo said: "Next season is too early.
"To put a young guy to Ferrari with the pressure of Ferrari, you need more experience," he told Sky Sports News.
The comments seem to increase the likelihood that Ferrari will simply re-sign the improving Massa for 2013, with rumours still circulating that Sebastian Vettel could then switch from Red Bull for 2014.
Montezemolo admitted he is impressed with the reigning double world champion.
"He's young, he's a very good driver and he's making a very good experience," he said. "So this could be, of course in the theory, but if you have to ask me the name I have to tell you this name (Vettel)," he added.
Perez at Monza 'best drive of 2012 season' - Lauda
Sergio Perez's second place at Monza was the standout drive of the 2012 season so far.
That is the view of legendary triple world champion Niki Lauda, who honoured the young Mexican by taking off his famous red cap before interviewing Perez on the podium last Sunday.
"Perez drove like a god," the Austrian told Swiss newspaper Blick. "Unemotionally and without error.
"No driver has impressed me more this season at a Grand Prix."
Lauda will not, however, be drawn into speculation 22-year-old Perez's next move is to become Fernando Alonso's Ferrari teammate in 2013.
And the latest reports suggest Perez might also be a candidate to succeed Lewis Hamilton at McLaren.
"Clearly Perez has the potential for bigger things," said 63-year-old Lauda, "but that doesn't mean I'm going to start commenting on every internet rumour."
Lauda is just as impressed with Perez's current team, Sauber.
Asked what is so good about the C31, he explained: "A simple design. Every team could follow the example of Swiss quality," Lauda smiled.
"And with Monisha Kaltenborn at the helm, she has everything under her control, so I take off my cap to her as well."
Indeed, chief executive Kaltenborn thinks the Hinwil based team's next step is right to the top of the podium.
"It is difficult to be sure that we will win, because you need so much to come together to finish a race in first place, but I think we are close," she is quoted by Brazil's Totalrace.
"If we can do a race completely without mistakes, I am sure that it can happen."
Horner doubts Hamilton to leave McLaren
Christian Horner, Red Bull's team boss, has revealed he thinks Lewis Hamilton will probably stay at McLaren in 2013.
The F1 grapevine is currently alight with speculation the 2008 world champion - who flirted with Red Bull until the energy drink-owned team re-confirmed its existing lineup for next season - is about to jump ship to Mercedes.
Boss Horner told Austrian television Servus TV he is relieved Red Bull is not caught up in the rumours.
"But it is interesting to look at all the games and see who will be sitting in the seats when the music stops," the Briton reportedly said.
"If you believe Eddie Jordan then Hamilton's going, and if you believe Bernie, then Schumacher is going back to retirement," said Horner.
"As always there's a lot of talk, but when the music does stop, I don't think much will have changed," he insisted.
Former F1 driver Christian Danner agrees with Horner that his "gut feeling" is that Hamilton will stay put.
"The Hamilton story is about his position at McLaren - about how he can market himself to the world and what rights he gets.
"But if he listens to his racing heart, he will stay at McLaren, where he has the best chance to be world champion again. Period," he added.
Heidfeld 'not yet' ready to give up on F1
Nick Heidfeld insists he is "not yet" ready to move on from F1.
The veteran German contested more than 180 Grands Prix over a decade, but last year lost his Renault (Lotus) seat after standing in for the injured Robert Kubica.
On that sudden ousting, 35-year-old Heidfeld admits he is still angry.
"It takes a while to work through that process, and it's a process that is still taking place," he said, admitting it was a "very difficult time".
"It was not the farewell that I imagined."
Heidfeld has had several outings in other racing spheres since leaving F1, but reveals he is "just now starting to hold some talks" about 2013.
His preference is F1.
"I am not yet at a state where I would say I will try something else," he told DPA news agency. "For that I love the sport too much.
"But if it was that easy (to return to F1), then I would have. So it will not be easy, but on the other hand, as we have seen in recent years, there is always the unexpected.
"I wouldn't just go to any team though, and I know that the chance of going straight to a top team is quite small. It's also pointless to be a reserve driver, because you never drive.
"So if I didn't have the prospect of success, then I don't need it anymore."
Heidfeld holds the record for the most career podiums without a single GP win.
"Clearly there are better records to have," he smiled. "But there are many others who have never been in formula one let alone had a podium, so it's still special."
Lauda - triple title feat now unlikely for Vettel
Niki Lauda thinks Sebastian Vettel can start to wind down his hopes of winning an ultra-rare third consecutive drivers' title in 2012.
Only two F1 greats have won three or more championships on the trot - Juan Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher.
German Vettel has the chance to do it this season, but F1's legendary Austrian Lauda thinks the Red Bull driver's hopes are now all but dashed with seven races to run.
"These quality problems have cost Vettel the title," he told Osterreich newspaper.
Three-time world champion Lauda, 63, was referring to the alternator failures that cost Vettel victory at Valencia, and valuable points last weekend at Monza.
"An error can occur, but it needs to be fixed immediately and must not occur again," insisted Lauda.
Vettel is now 39 points behind championship leader Fernando Alonso, meaning he needs to score an average of 5.6 points per race more than the Spaniard to win in 2012.
"Theoretically the championship is not lost for Vettel," said Lauda, "but in practice (it is) ...
"Alonso is clearly on course for the title, Ferrari is very consistent," he added.
Lauda also acknowledged that McLaren has the best car at the moment.
"They have the strongest car, and their speed of development is also the best," he said.
Ecclestone happy with sound of V6 engine - report
Bernie Ecclestone is now happier with the prospect of F1's V6 engine rules switch.
Until now, the F1 chief executive's main worry has been that the new 1.6 litre turbo units will not sound as good as the current normally-aspirated V8s.
But just ahead of last weekend's Italian grand prix, he travelled to Maranello to meet with Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo as well as FIA president Jean Todt.
While at the famous Italian team's HQ, Ecclestone visited Ferrari's engine department and heard a live V6 running on the dynomometer, Germany's Auto Motor und Sport reports.
"Even Bernie Ecclestone was pursuaded by the sound of the engine," the report read.
Meanwhile, Auto Motor und Sport also reports the risk that Vitaly Petrov will lose his Caterham seat perhaps even before the 2012 season is out.
The magazine said that, with Petrov's funding running out, Dutchman Giedo van der Garde is a candidate for 2012, with the well-funded Marussia driver Charles Pic in the running for next year's race seat.