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F1: 'Crack' Suspected In Vettel's Car, Hamilton Tells Vettel 'Show Leadership' Photo:
 
 
TMR Team | Apr, 29 2014 | 1 Comment

Sebastian Vettel will definitely be at the wheel of a new 'Suzie' for the start of the European season.

Earlier this week, we reported that Red Bull was looking into whether an underlying fault with his 2014 car was contributing to the reigning world champion's struggle to keep up with teammate Daniel Ricciardo.

So when a new version of the RB10 is built by the Milton-Keynes team, "Vettel will get it," Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko said.

Marko has now told Germany's Auto Bild that Vettel's new 2014 chassis will be ready for the first European race, at Barcelona mid next month.

"It's already been decided," he said.

"In Barcelona, Sebastian will have a new chassis, because sometimes even a small hairline crack can have large consequences," Marko explained.

He said Vettel has run into this sort of trouble before, and overcome it.

"In 2012, Sebastian had problems compared with Mark Webber, but after a chassis change suddenly everything was much better and when he regained his confidence, he was almost unbeatable and won the title," added Marko.

Vettel always gives his F1 cars a female name, and for the 2014 season, Adrian Newey's V6-powered RB10 is called 'Suzie'.

(GMM)

 

Hamilton tells Vettel to 'show leadership'

Lewis Hamilton thinks the time is right for Sebastian Vettel to "show his leadership" at world champion team Red Bull.

The Milton Keynes-based team has been pushing to emerge from its pre-season crisis involving troubled engine supplier Renault.

But at the same time, German Vettel - the reigning quadruple-consecutive drivers' world champion - has been struggling simply to keep up with his fresh-faced new teammate, Daniel Ricciardo, following the sport's V6 rules switch.

Further up the grid, Hamilton and his Mercedes have been dominating, but in an interview with Germany's Bild am Sonntag newspaper, the 2008 world champion commented on Vettel and Red Bull's plight.

"As a four-time world champion, Sebastian needs to show his leadership inside the team now," Hamilton is quoted as saying.

"When it comes to the crunch, you are able to show that leadership to your team," he added.

Indeed, Hamilton expects Vettel and Red Bull - formerly a near-unbeatable combination in F1 - to eventually get back to winning.

"Regardless of the power unit, it's still a strong car," said the Briton, referring to the Adrian Newey-penned RB10. "So I don't believe that the current situation will stay the same."

Hamilton also commented on his ever-intensifying rivalry with Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg, in the wake of their forceful wheel-to-wheel battle in Bahrain.

"We both know what we are doing," he said, amid reports the Brackley-based team is at odds over whether to rein in their battle with some form of 'team orders'.

"Nico is fair and aggressive, but not wildly aggressive," Hamilton said. "Just the right amount. The real problem is that he is faster than ever before."

(GMM)

 

Ecclestone senses 'vultures circling'

Apr.28 (GMM) Bernie Ecclestone's troubles are continuing.

According to F1 business journalist Christian Sylt in the Telegraph, court papers in Munich show that, since the F1 chief executive divorced his wife Slavica, she has paid him an incredible $100 million per year.

"The duration of the payments from the divorce decree is not known," the indictment confirmed.

Apart from demonstrating the 83-year-old's incredible wealth and income, the news could tie in with other reports of a 'secret' deal with the British tax office.

BBC current affairs programme Panorama claims that HM Revenue and Customs ended a long investigation into Ecclestone's tax affairs when the F1 supremo reached a $17 million settlement.

Ecclestone has claimed that he paid the alleged $44 million bribe to jailed Gerhard Gribkowsky not to affect the sale of the sport, but to stop the ex-banker from revealing details about his tax affairs to British authorities.

Ecclestone told the Times: "It feels as though the vultures are circling. The trouble is that vultures are usually around for dead people and I am very much alive."

He insists there is nothing sinister about his British tax affairs.

"I could control the business from anywhere I like," said Ecclestone. "I could go to Monaco or Switzerland and still run F1 quite happily. I don't."

(GMM)

 

European Union could investigate F1 group - report

Apr.28 (GMM) The European Union is "monitoring" the controversial new system of decision-making within formula one, it has emerged.

Earlier this month, we reported that F1's four smallest teams - Marussia, Caterham, Force India and Sauber - had written a letter complaining about the new Strategy Group and their influence on the rules.

The Group is made up of the grid's powerful 'big five' teams and, for historic reasons, Williams, who recently vetoed FIA president Jean Todt's plans for a 2015 budget cap.

Force India deputy Bob Fernley told the Guardian that the big teams also receive the lion's share of the commercial revenue distributed by Bernie Ecclestone.

"We have a situation where we have enriched and empowered five teams and disenfranchised six," he said.

Germany's Sport Bild suggested that the letter, described as "explosive" by one team insider, made clear the small teams' belief that the Strategy Group could be contrary to European competition law.

Now, the London newspaper The Times claims that European Union officials, specifically the competition authority, are "monitoring" the situation.

"A full (EU) investigation would throw F1 into turmoil, potentially wrecking agreements and finishing any prospect that the sport could be floated on the Singapore Stock Exchange", correspondent Kevin Eason said.

Eason revealed that "two people close to the sport" have already been interviewed by European officials, who are "said to be showing concern".

They are reportedly also concerned about the FIA's current role, after a previous EU investigation ruled that the governing body not be involved in F1's commercial matters.

The Paris-based federation is yet to comment.

"We simply cannot run a sport like this," said Fernley, who will be at a crucial meeting involving Todt and Ecclestone in London on Thursday.

(GMM)

 

Latest Schumacher rumours not true - manager

Apr.28 (GMM) Michael Schumacher's manager has denied reports she told German television that the F1 legend had finally emerged from his long coma.

Late last week, multiple media sources claimed the former Ferrari and Mercedes driver's manager, Sabine Kehm, had told the RTL broadcaster that Schumacher had woken up after 17 weeks in a coma and 'recognised his wife' Corinna.

"Sorry," said Nicola Pohl, a respected correspondent for the major German daily Bild, "but those rumours from Spain are apparently not true.

"Kehm just texted me (saying) she hadn't confirmed anything to RTL," she added.

Indeed, Kehm has now told the German tabloid Kolner Express that she made no such comments about Schumacher's continued awakening to RTL or anyone else.

"Since doing the ARD talk show (two weeks ago) ... I have not spoken to anyone about Michael Schumacher," she confirmed.

(GMM)

 
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