TMR Team | Nov 12, 2012
  • Specialists clear Red Bull over 'rubber nose' saga
  • Renault suspects supplier to blame for quali debacle
  • Coke would tackle F1 with energy drink - Ecclestone
  • HRT must improve car for 2013 - de la Rosa
  • FIA warns drivers to stop bad language
  • Brazil GP planning retirement send-off for Schumacher
  • Di Resta not fussed over 2013 teammate
  • Whitmarsh thinks Mercedes offered Hamilton 'a bit more' money
  • Hulkenberg leaving door open for 2014
 

Specialists clear Red Bull over 'rubber nose' saga

Three leading specialist publications have played down the 'rubber Red Bull' affair.

Recent video footage depicted the Adrian Newey-penned RB8 with a decidedly bendy front nose tip, causing some outlets and fans to question the legality of the apparently 'rubber' construction.

But writing in Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport, journalist Andrea Cremonesi said that "according to the FIA, everything is in order".

"Word has arrived from Paris that the parts in question are not structural and are not subject to the rigid tests other parts of the car are," he explained.

"The FIA have made it known that the 'soft nature' of the nose is what is required in order to avoid dangerous consequences should the cone come into contact with the side of another car," Cremonesi explained.

Tobias Gruner, a journalist for Germany's Auto Motor und Sport, has a similar analysis.

"We have shown the pictures to our technology experts," he revealed. "The consensus: false alarm."

He said the nose tips are designed "always a little softer" in order to comply with the FIA's crash tests, and that Vettel's could have appeared even weaker during his first pitstop in Abu Dhabi due to the damage it had sustained.

A report in Italy's Autosprint added: "We have consulted with engineers at other teams and can now say that a certain degree of deformation in the 'nose tip' is acceptable.

"That said, it is possible and indeed likely that Red Bull has gone further with its interpretation, because the deformable structure holds the front wing and can be used to get (the wing) closer to the ground.

"Some technicians at the competition are convinced of this," the report added.

(GMM)

 

Renault suspects supplier to blame for quali debacle

Renault suspects equipment failure caused Sebastian Vettel to be pushed to the back of the grid in Abu Dhabi.

Actually, Red Bull pointed the finger of blame at its French engine supplier, revealing that Renault engineers asked for the German to be stopped at the side of the track after he qualified third last Saturday.

Then, when FIA scrutineers could not find the mandatory litre of fuel in the RB8's tank for sampling, team boss Christian Horner insisted it is Renault's decision to crunch the numbers for qualifying.

However, Renault's top F1 engineer Remi Taffin suspects the French marque is actually not to blame.

"We need further investigation," he is quoted by the Spanish daily AS.

"We have checked the numbers, we have looked at what we did with the 'robot' and each number says there should have been enough (fuel).

"Along with the supplier, Red Bull is now checking (the fuel equipment/robot).

"We have checked everything on our side and we have not seen any problems," added Taffin.

(GMM)

 

Coke would tackle F1 with energy drink - Ecclestone

Bernie Ecclestone has admitted that if Coca-Cola enters formula one as a sponsor, it would do so with one of its 'energy drink' brands.

It was reported earlier this year that Coke, arguably the most recognised brand name on earth, could be eyeing F1.

Sources had told the business journalist Christian Sylt that McLaren could ultimately win the deal, replacing the British team's flagging title backer Vodafone.

Asked about the rumours, Ecclestone told Eurosport: "The president of Coca-Cola is a very good friend of mine but the head of marketing has always said he didn't think formula one was good for them."

But the F1 chief executive admitted that "if they do come in I think they will come in with one of their energy drink brands, not Coke itself."

Sylt said Coca-Cola's leading energy drink brand is Relentless, which according to Wikipedia "has been compared to energy drinks such as Red Bull".

Ecclestone, however, warned: "You wouldn't want to take Red Bull on."

(GMM)

 

HRT must improve car for 2013 - de la Rosa

HRT needs to buckle down this winter to improve its formula one car, according to the struggling Spanish team's leading driver Pedro de la Rosa.

"We need a good winter to improve the car aerodynamically, which is our weak point," he told El Confidencial.

With its new ownership and management, HRT has in 2012 improved its shaky image of the past few seasons, and is no longer troubled with worries it will not even qualify for races.

"Well, we progressed quite well until the summer," said de la Rosa, "and then we stalled a bit, with a slower development than we expected.

"But still, overall the progress has been very good. We didn't qualify in Australia and then in Monaco or Valencia we were 103 per cent from pole, which is a good result."

But de la Rosa, who is committed for 2013, also acknowledged that there is a lot of work to do.

El Confidencial referred to recurring brake problems that appear to have no solution, leaving the public with the idea that HRT is in fact not making progress.

Another major problem is the looming 2014 season, with V6 engines reportedly set to cost much more and HRT needing to build an all-new car rather than tweak the existing one.

"It all depends on what we do next year (2013)," de la Rosa said.

"If we can strengthen, 2014 will be much easier for us. Nobody has a guaranteed future in formula one."

(GMM)

 

FIA warns drivers to stop bad language

Formula one teams have been instructed to pull their drivers into line, after world champion Sebastian Vettel and former title winner Kimi Raikkonen swore during their post-race podium interviews in Abu Dhabi last weekend.

Speaking to former driver David Coulthard for the 'world feed'-broadcast new podium interviews at Yas Marina, Raikkonen said the word "sh*t" and Red Bull's Vettel "f**k".

"I should just remind our audience that he (Vettel) is speaking in his second language," Coulthard said immediately on the podium, "and so we apologise for the choice of words."

But in a letter to team bosses, the FIA's communications head Norman Howell said it is now their "responsibility to make sure drivers are aware such language has no place during media events".

Howell said the letter was just a "friendly" reminder, but that incidents in the future could lead to disciplinary action, according to a report by the BBC.

(GMM)

 

Brazil GP planning retirement send-off for Schumacher

Organisers of the Brazilian grand prix are planning to send Michael Schumacher back into retirement in style.

In late 2006, the seven time world champion entered his first retirement with a pre-race celebration on the Interlagos grid involving soccer legend Pele.

Now, with the 43-year-old's ultimate trip into retirement also coinciding with a Brazilian season finale, race organisers are planning a similar send-off.

But for now, the details are top secret.

"Just beforehand we will talk with Bernie Ecclestone, so as we do not interfere with any of the other activities," Interlagos chief Claudia Ito is quoted by Agencia Estado.

Ito is also quoted by Globo: "You'll all be surprised. Even Bernie doesn't know what will happen.

"I am sure Schumacher will like it," he added.

(GMM)

 

Di Resta not fussed over 2013 teammate

Force India is yet to announce the news, but Paul di Resta will almost certainly be staying for a third consecutive season in 2013.

Asked by Brazil's Totalrace about the contract, the Scot reportedly answered: "It's a team policy not to discuss it, but I'm not worried.

"I'm not a bit worried," he added.

Indeed, the real question is who will join him at the Silverstone based squad next year: an old hand like his 2011 teammate Adrian Sutil, or a young charger like reserve driver Jules Bianchi.

"I feel I could handle a rookie on the team, as well as someone competitive," said di Resta.

"I feel I have enough experience and have been a part of this team long enough (for either)."

Pressed to nominate his favourite, he insisted: "To be totally honest, I don't care. The decision is not mine and so it's something I don't worry about.

"I'm hired to do a job on the track."

(GMM)

 

Whitmarsh thinks Mercedes offered Hamilton 'a bit more' money

Martin Whitmarsh says he suspects Lewis Hamilton already regrets accepting a bigger-money offer to switch to Mercedes next year.

The McLaren chief answered "I don't know" when asked why he thinks the 2008 world champion decided to leave his boyhood team, but thinks a big factor is Hamilton's desire to spread his wings after six years with the famous British outfit.

But Whitmarsh told F1's official website that money was probably another factor.

"We made Lewis an offer -- an offer which I believe is more money than any other driver at the moment is being paid," said Whitmarsh.

"That leads us to suspect that our competitor and our partner Mercedes-Benz offered a bit more money."

Whitmarsh said he is also concerned for Hamilton that he may have made his decision hastily, after retiring from the lead in Singapore recently.

"I think it is always bad to make a decision in the aftermath of a bad race," he insisted.

"He was pretty sure that he was going to win that race and it was a disappointment and as I just said it is never good to make a decision in such a situation."

Whitmarsh also said he thinks Hamilton has already regretted his decision "on occasions", but doesn't think the 27-year-old will admit it.

"He is not going to say 'hey, they offered me more money'. He is also not going to say that he's made an awful mistake.

"I hope he thinks today that he's made an awful mistake and I hope he thinks that next year," said Whitmarsh. "He's made that decision and he has to live with that decision."

(GMM)

 

Hulkenberg leaving door open for 2014

Nico Hulkenberg has left open the door to the 2014 season, intensifying rumours he could be paving a road to Ferrari.

Some have interpreted the German's move from Force India to Sauber for next year as a sideways step, while others think Hulkenberg is laying down a path to his future with the small Ferrari-powered Swiss team.

Indeed, the 25-year-old was linked with Ferrari's works team before Maranello decided to keep Felipe Massa in 2013, but the Brazilian - like Hulkenberg - has only been signed up for a single season.

"I cannot tell you where I'm going in 2014," Hulkenberg told Germany's Auto Bild Motorsport. "Formula one is a fast-moving business."

He did admit: "In the long term I want to drive for podiums and race wins and become world champion.

"Which team it will be with is located in the stars," added Hulkenberg.

(GMM)

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