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F1: Debate Over Raikkonen's Next Move, Schumacher Highlights Fave Drivers Photo:
 
 
TMR Team | Jul, 22 2013 | 3 Comments

Eddie Jordan has tipped Red Bull to pick Daniel Ricciardo as Sebastian Vettel's new teammate for 2014.

Lotus team boss Eric Boullier said as recently as last Friday that he is doing "everything we can" to convince Kimi Raikkonen to stay next season.

Jordan, a former F1 team owner turned broadcaster for British television, thinks the Finn will ultimately decide to turn down Red Bull's admitted strong interest.

"At first I was pretty sure that Raikkonen will replace Mark Webber," Jordan told Russia's f1news.ru.

"But now I'm ready to change my mind," he said. "Sebastian Vettel is staying until 2015 and so it's probably not the best time to become his teammate.

"I think Red Bull will opt for Daniel Ricciardo. I don't think Raikkonen wants to get into an extensive programme at Red Bull, with all the marketing, the work with the sponsors, the photo shoots and so on.

"That's the sort of work that every driver for that team has to do.

"Red Bull has a marketing programme, but Kimi Raikkonen just wants to race. I doubt they will find common ground," added Jordan.

Former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher, however, thinks Raikkonen should snap up Red Bull's offer.

"In his situation," the former Williams and Toyota driver said, "I would go to Red Bull without hesitation -- not for a second.

"It's true that we don't know every detail, like what kind of agreement Sebastian Vettel has," the German is quoted by Finland MTV3 broadcaster.

"But if the team gives both drivers the same equipment, it would be a great opportunity for Kimi, because he's a great driver."

(GMM)

 

Schumacher impressed with F1 driver quartet

Michael Schumacher has singled out a quartet of drivers as the very best in formula one at present.

The great German, who with 91 wins and seven titles is the most successful driver in the sport's history, finally called time on his long career at the end of last season.

Now, watching on, the 44-year-old Schumacher said he is most impressed by a group of four.

"Vettel, Alonso, Raikkonen and Hamilton are the best at the moment," he told the Italian Sky programme I Signori della Formula 1.

"They're all human, of course, so they all have their weaknesses, but they all work hard to hide them.

"But that is also the secret to always-better results and to not making mistakes.

"I am not going to analyse it further - I think the best one wins," Schumacher said.

The former Ferrari and Mercedes driver was also asked to comment on the 2013 season, and unsurprisingly, it didn't take long before the 't'-word was uttered.

"The season is not so much different from the previous one," he said, "except perhaps when it comes to the problems with the tyres.

"I already said last year after Bahrain that something is not working quite right, that there are problems, but now everyone has noticed.

"On the other hand, as always, the best one wins. And that is rightly so," added Schumacher.

"The biggest problem for me is that the tyres should be compatible with the majority of the teams, not just a few cars as has happened in these last two years," he said.

(GMM)

 

Alonso to quit Ferrari rumours are 'nonsense' - manager

Fernando Alonso's manager has rubbished speculation the Spaniard might soon tire of Ferrari's failure to win a title.

Former F1 driver David Coulthard suggested recently that Alonso, regarded by many as the most complete driver in F1 at present, might leave the famous Italian team if it fails to deliver him a championship-winning car in the near future.

"That's nonsense," Alonso's manager Luis Garcia Abad is quoted by DPA news agency.

"I would not advise a change of team for not winning (a title since joining Ferrari)," he insisted.

"Alonso is fourth of the drivers who have won the most grands prix (ever)," Abad continued. "And he has won two world championships.

"Some drivers have retired from formula one without ever winning a single race," he added.

At the same time, Alonso believes the Maranello outfit is now getting its 2013 campaign back on track, having suffered a development dip in recent races.

"The car was good, more or less, in Germany," he is quoted by Brazil's Totalrace.

"We went back a bit to the settings and aerodynamic parts from the earlier races and the car went back to behaving more competitively, more normally," added Alonso.

He lamented, however, that in the end "basically nothing has changed" in terms of the progression of the car since he won the Spanish grand prix in May.

"We had a competitive car," said Alonso, "but then introduced some pieces that did not give the expected result.

"The others have moved forwards, so we have suffered since Monaco.

"It's good news that we went back to normal after Silverstone, but we have to improve now," he added.

(GMM)

 

Kovalainen plays down van der Garde seat rumours

Heikki Kovalainen has played down rumours he is shaping up to oust the underperforming rookie Giedo van der Garde at Caterham.

The team, having earlier paid the highly rated Finn Kovalainen since formation in 2010, opted for a pair of sponsored drivers this year.

But in the Silverstone and Nurburgring paddocks most recently, the rumour that Kovalainen could soon return to the wheel - in van der Garde's place - gained in strength.

"I think this (sort of rumour) is quite common in formula one, when someone has a bad race," Kovalainen told the Russian website f1news.ru.

"I have not had any negotiations with the team, and I have no plans to take someone else's place, so I don't know where it all comes from.

"I am calm about it, but if someone needs me, of course I'm ready," added Kovalainen.

Indeed, the 31-year-old is continuing to work with Caterham behind the scenes.

"Absolutely," he said. "I spend a lot of time with the designers and engineers, we have a brand new and very good simulator, and all of the team's efforts are aimed now at 2014.

"Of course my goal is to get back in the races, but my only plan at the moment is to keep working with Caterham, and doing everything I can to help.

"I have nothing more to add," said Kovalainen.

(GMM)

 

F1 'definitely too soon' for teen Sirotkin - boss

Sergey Sirotkin's current boss, Igor Salaquarda, thinks the Russian teen's formula one opportunity has come way too early.

Sirotkin, not yet 18, is in line to make his grand prix debut next March with Sauber, as his father is linked to the Swiss team's new Russian partners.

But Speed Week reports that, amid the new F1-fueled fanfare surrounding Sirotkin as he raced in Austria at the weekend, his boss Salaquarda "shook his head".

"All this hype is not good for him," the owner of the Czech team ISR was quoted as saying at the Red Bull Ring.

"That's way too much pressure -- he's only 17!

"He is definitely too young (for F1)," Salaquarda continued.

"I don't mean that he can't do it physically -- anyone can drive a formula one car today. It's much harder to cope with the enormous pressure of the world championship."

Salaquarda compares Sirotkin with Daniel Ricciardo, the Australian who drove for ISR in 2011 before he made to the leap to formula one with HRT.

"Daniel came from British F3 and was then in the World Series for two years," he said.

"But Sergey has only driven in Formula Abarth - a series I don't know - and Auto GP and Italian F3, but in both those series he had little serious competition.

"As such, he was fast. But if anyone is expecting him to win here right now, it's simply too much to ask.

"Already in the Eurocup 2.0 there is a great deal of competition, same as the (European) F3 championship, but Sergey skipped both those steps.

"He should spend more time in the 3.5 litre class to gain more experience."

Salaquarda also questioned Sirotkin's approach to motor racing this year.

"Daniel (Ricciardo) was always alone at the tracks, spending the whole team with the team," he said.

"But Sergey comes with a whole entourage; sometimes it's hard for us to catch up with him.

"These guys should concentrate on working with the team," he insisted.

(GMM)

 
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