TMR Team | Sep 17, 2012
  • Hamilton right to consider leaving McLaren - Alonso
  • Kovalainen manager summoned to Maranello - report
  • Podiums not enough to win 2012 title - Alonso
  • Mercedes offering Schumacher 2013 contract - report
  • Vergne still 'stiff' after Monza crash
  • Brawn not planning to retire yet
  • Pic admits future 'open' amid Caterham, Sauber rumours
  • Razia 'deserves a chance' in F1 - Horner
 

Hamilton right to consider leaving McLaren - Alonso

Fernando Alonso has backed Lewis Hamilton as the 2008 world champion considers leaving McLaren at the end of the season.

After just a single season alongside then-rookie Hamilton in 2007, Spaniard Alonso left the British team.

This week during a media event in Spain, the now Ferrari driver said leaving McLaren "was the best decision of my life".

"So if Hamilton is also evaluating that option, I don't see why anyone should say it (Hamilton leaving) is not possible.

"McLaren is a great team, but they won the world championship in 2008 only at the last corner of the last race. If we remove that title, you have to go back a long way to find another one," added Alonso.

Alonso and Hamilton clashed infamously as teammates in 2007, but it is clear the pair now have a great respect for one another.

Alonso confirmed: "I have said he is the only one capable of winning without having the best car. The others win if the car is good, and when it is not (good), they do not (win)."

(GMM)

 

Kovalainen manager summoned to Maranello - report

Finnish reports say Heikki Kovalainen's management have been summoned to Maranello.

The speculation follows Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo ruling out Sergio Perez as Felipe Massa's 2013 successor, due to his lack of experience.

Finn Kovalainen, 30, is on the market after three years of rebuilding his reputation at Caterham, following his less-than-shining first three years in F1 at Renault and McLaren.

The Finnish broadcaster MTV3 said representatives of Kovalainen's management team at IMG Worldwide will travel to Maranello next week.

However, some consider Force India's Nico Hulkenberg as a more likely candidate to oust Brazilian Massa.

But, given Montezemolo's comments about experience, the 25-year-old German is only marginally more experienced than Mexican Perez.

A Ferrari spokesman told Brazil's O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper: "Do not apply what our president said (about experience) to other drivers.

"He (Montezemolo) was asked about Perez, and the response was specific to him."

The newspaper also said it doubts Ferrari's 2007 title winner Kimi Raikkonen is a candidate.

"Forget Ferrari. Kimi is not going there," a source close to the Lotus driver is quoted as saying.

(GMM)

 

Podiums not enough to win 2012 title - Alonso

Fernando Alonso insists Ferrari must plan to win more Grands Prix in 2012 if it wants to win the title.

The Spaniard said recently it might be possible for him to defend his 37 point lead in the drivers' chase simply by remaining on the podium at the remaining races of the season.

But he said during a media event in Spain this week: "Managing this points gap is going to be hard, because I think everyone is going to be on the attack.

"The whole situation can change in one race that goes wrong. So we have to keep developing, working hard, trying to win races.

"We can't be thinking about being fourth or fifth, or doing podiums, or how to manage (the points gap), we have to be thinking of winning races.

"37 points is nothing," he insisted.

Alonso said Ferrari is bringing developments to the F2012 package not only next weekend in Singapore, but also the subsequent races in Japan and Korea.

The 31-year-old was, however, reluctant to talk about the future, even when asked what his relationship is like with Sergio Perez.

Reports had linked the young Mexican with a move to Ferrari next year.

"I have nothing to say, especially in response to a report or a newspaper. The relationship (with Perez) is great, as it is with everyone else," said Alonso.

(GMM)

 

Mercedes offering Schumacher 2013 contract - report

Amid all the hype about Lewis Hamilton's supposed move to Mercedes, the German squad appears to be preparing to extend Michael Schumacher's career.

The major German daily Bild said 43-year-old Schumacher's negotiations about 2013 and beyond are now "in full swing".

The report claims Mercedes is offering the seven time world champion a new contract for 2013, while Schumacher is apparently pushing for a unilateral option that would allow him to decide to keep racing in 2014 as well.

The carmaker's motor racing president Norbert Haug said: "There is still no decision. We are continuing to negotiate."

With Nico Rosberg already under contract for 2013, a new deal for Schumacher would appear to lock out McLaren's Hamilton, who according to Bild is demanding EUR 25 million per year from his next employer.

But Rosberg's name has also been connected with McLaren in recent days, raising the prospect of a Schumacher-Hamilton driver lineup at Mercedes in 2013.

Mercedes engines might also be playing a big role in the whole affair.

With former works partner McLaren now needing to pay the Stuttgart manufacturer for its power units, a cartoon at motorsport-magazin.com depicted Haug telling Martin Whitmarsh: "Kein Lewis, Keine motoren" (No Lewis, no engines).

(GMM)

 

Vergne still 'stiff' after Monza crash

Jean-Eric Vergne has revealed he is still feeling "stiff" after his crash at Monza last weekend.

The French rookie's Toro Rosso veered of control at the end of the Autodromo's long front straight during the recent Italian grand prix.

Vergne's car launched over a kerb and landed with a thud, and he immediately complained on the radio about a sore back.

He was taken to the medical centre with pain in his back and head, but declared: "I am fine."

And now in a post-race blog, the 22-year-old has revealed he also sustained "a few bruises" and a sore neck.

"I do feel pretty stiff across my back and neck but I think that will go away over the next day or so and I'll get on with what is going to be a pretty busy schedule until Singapore," said Vergne.

Toro Rosso said the crash was caused by a suspension failure.

(GMM)

 

Brawn not planning to retire yet

Ross Brawn has revealed he is not planning to retire for at least a few more years.

The 57-year-old, who soared to success in past decades as a leading engineer at Benetton and Ferrari, is now the team boss at Mercedes, three years after selling the title-winning 'Brawn GP' outfit in 2009.

And amid rumours Lewis Hamilton could switch to the Brackley based camp for 2013, Brawn has told the Daily Mail he is not going anywhere for now.

"I am not planning to retire at the moment," he said.

Also being reported at present is that Michael Schumacher could be close to signing a new at least one-year contract extension for 2013.

Brawn said he is motivated by F1's switch to radical new engine rules in 2014.

"I am very excited about this 2014 engine programme," he said. "I think it is quite a game-changer in F1.

"I still have a strong engineering passion, so having such a different engine and different package in 2014 is exciting and developing the team is exciting.

"For how long, who knows? But I have no interest in stopping in the near future."

(GMM)

 

Pic admits future 'open' amid Caterham, Sauber rumours

Charles Pic's management is reportedly shopping around for a better car for the French rookie.

Pic, 22, has had a solid F1 debut this season alongside the experienced Timo Glock, but their 2012 Marussia single seater is among the very slowest in the field.

Pic made his debut this year with the substantial backing of the family business Groupe Charles Andre, a leading European transport company.

"There is the technical help from McLaren," he is quoted by Le Dauphine Libere, "but it takes time to develop a young team like Marussia."

Pic said he is "happy" with the first half-season of his F1 career, having set the target of getting close to the pace of his teammate Glock "as soon as possible".

According to paddock rumours, the next step could be a move to a faster team.

French broadcaster TF1 last week mentioned Caterham as one possibility for 2013, given Vitaly Petrov's reported funding problems.

Another rumour is that Sauber could be an option for Pic.

Asked about the speculation, Pic answered: "I'm focused on what I have to do to get out 100 percent of the potential of my car.

"Of course it (the future) is open, and Olivier Panis and Didier Coton, who take care of me, are talking with teams, but that's normal at this stage of the season.

"We'll see," he added.

(GMM)

 

Razia 'deserves a chance' in F1 - Horner

Christian Horner thinks Brazilian Luiz Razia deserves a place on the F1 grid in 2013.

With one round to go, the 23-year-old is chasing Davide Valsecchi for this year's GP2 championship.

Earlier this week, he tested for the Force India team at Magny Cours.

In GP2, he drives for Red Bull team boss Horner's Arden team.

"I think he deserves a chance in F1 next year," Briton Horner is quoted by Brazil's Totalrace.

In a collaboration with Mark Webber, Horner's other junior team, MW Arden, has wrapped up the 2012 GP3 championship with New Zealander Mitch Evans.

Asked about his role with Arden, Red Bull team principal Horner answered: "It's very limited. I'm still the owner, but I'm a bit like Ron Dennis (with McLaren)," he smiled.

(GMM)

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