F1: 'Difficult' To Imagine Red Bull Defeat - Mansell Photo:
Mike Stevens | Jul, 18 2011 | 0 Comments

Ferrari is closing in but Red Bull has nothing to fear, according to 1992 world champion Nigel Mansell.

The winner of 31 Grands Prix was the driver steward at Silverstone last weekend, where Fernando Alonso seemed to break through Red Bull's dominance at the half-way point in the 2011 world championship.

Some commentators saw the Spaniard's win as the turning point for the season, despite Red Bull leading McLaren by more than 100 points, while Sebastian Vettel is almost the same margin ahead of Alonso in the drivers' standings.

"The result (in Britain) was great for Ferrari and good for formula one," Mansell is quoted by Germany's Speed Week.

But he warned: "Red Bull was as strong as ever, second and third, which with its clear lead in the world championship is no problem.

"Red Bull are still going to be very, very difficult to beat," added the Briton.

Alonso's Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa agrees.

"My experience in 2008 (against Lewis Hamilton) and Kimi's in 2007 shows that anything can happen," said the Brazilian, "even if this year (winning the title) will be difficult.

"Vettel would have to make a lot of mistakes," added Massa.



Virgin denies d'Ambrosio set to switch teams

Virgin has dismissed speculation it may lose Jerome d'Ambrosio's services and backing for the 2012 season.

The Belgian rookie's manager, Renault team boss Eric Boullier, said at Silverstone that he will talk about the 25-year-old's future with Virgin "and another team at the Nurburgring".

But Virgin team president Graeme Lowdon dismissed the reports.

"I spoke to Jerome's manager at Silverstone and that is simply not the case," he told The Star. "We are happy with the guys we have got and it would be nice to continue with the same lineup next year."

D'Ambrosio's 2011 teammate is German Timo Glock.

"We are extremely happy with the drivers we have got and we have no plans to change," added Lowdon.

He said Glock, who is reportedly happy with Virgin's split with Nick Wirth and the new tie-up with McLaren, has shown no signs of making alternative plans for 2012.

"We have an extremely open relationship so if anyone was talking with him then we would be the first to know," said Lowdon.



F1 rejects canopy, 'screen' proposals for F1 cockpits

Bosses have reportedly dismissed moves to enclose the cockpits of Formula One cars.

Technical chiefs began to investigate the possibility of jet fighter-style canopies for the cockpits in the wake of Felipe Massa's near-fatal crash in Hungary two years ago.

"You can have covers and you can have canopies, but you also have to be able to get at a driver to extract him. There are a lot of secondary considerations," said Ross Brawn.

According to the Daily Mirror, F1 chiefs have rejected the idea of a roof over the drivers' heads.

The report said the FIA had considered "poly-carbonate screens" for the cars, but "drivers fear the device could prevent escape in the event of a car overturning or catching fire", while spectators would be "at danger from flying debris ricocheting off the screens".


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