F1: New FIA Tests May Have Curbed Red Bull Dominance, Five-way Title Sprint Thanks To Hamilton Gaffe Photo:
Mike Stevens | Sep, 15 2010 | 0 Comments

The jury is out as to whether Red Bull will bounce back into top form at Singapore in less than two weeks.

According to the Austrian team, the RB6 was simply unsuited to the long straights of Spa and Monza, and will return to dominance on the more conventional circuits that are set to host the last five races of 2010.

But another line of thinking is that the tougher flexible wing and floor tests, introduced by the FIA amid suggestions the Adrian Newey-penned car is illegally bending at high speed, have hurt the pace of Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel.

The Sportwoche publication said the team had to make last-minute changes before Friday practice at Monza, which explains the bright green aerodynamic paint seen initially at the rear of the car in Italy.

"It has been a smear campaign against us," said Red Bull's motor racing consultant Helmut Marko, "and now we have the result."

But other elements at the team insist the new tests have had no impact.

"Red Bull say it's not making any difference but I'm hopeful," said McLaren's Jenson Button.

BBC commentator Martin Brundle commented: "Red Bull absolutely insist that they will be back to their dominant pace in Singapore. We will see."



Five-way Title Sprint Thanks To Hamilton Gaffe: Lauda

F1 aficionados should thank Lewis Hamilton for the thrilling five-race sprint to the 2010 World Championship crown, according to Niki Lauda.

Had the 2008 World Champion not crashed his McLaren on the first lap at Monza, he would probably now have a clear points advantage with just Singapore, Suzuka, Korea, Brazil and Abu Dhabi left to run.

Instead, the top five protagonists - also including Mark Webber, Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel - are all divided by a margin achievable in little more than a single Grand Prix victory.

"We should all thank Lewis Hamilton for his stupid mistake at Monza," triple World Champion Lauda told Bild newspaper.

"Now we will have a great sprint for the title," added the Austrian great .

Flavio Briatore, who was also at Monza at the weekend, also noted the British driver's "huge error" of crashing into Felipe Massa's Ferrari and subsequently driving into the gravel with broken suspension.

"We mustn't forget how he lost the Championship in 2007," the Italian told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

And David Coulthard wrote in his Telegraph column: "Lewis's collision with Felipe Massa was elementary.

"He will feel he has let the team down, let himself down and potentially cost himself the title. He may well have," added the Scot.

Indeed, Hamilton admitted that McLaren as a team will feel "angry" after Sunday's error but insisted the criticism won't affect him.

"You kick yourself more than anyone can kick you," he said. "I am better equipped now to deal with it than perhaps a few years ago."



Webber Manager Briatore Says Red Bull Must Assign no.1

Red Bull must follow Ferrari's lead and appoint a clear number one for the remaining races of 2010.

That is the advice of Flavio Briatore, the former boss at Renault, where Fernando Alonso won his two World Championships in 2005 and 2006.

Although currently banned from Formula One, the Italian was on the Monza grid last Sunday, where he defended Ferrari's decision to favour Alonso over his teammate Felipe Massa.

Briatore, who is also Mark Webber's manager, was then dismayed to see Sebastian Vettel finish ahead of the Australian driver in the race.

"Red Bull haven't realised yet that if they continue like this, with Webber and Vettel racing against each other, they could lose the Championship.

"At Ferrari there is a clear situation with Alonso the team leader and Massa lending his hand. It's not the same with Red Bull, not even with their strategy in the race," Briatore is quoted by Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"They have thrown away a hundred points, Vettel's made all sorts of mistakes. If they don't want to win the Championship, this is how to do it," he said.


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