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F1: Ecclestone 'Working' To Help Massa Stay In F1 Photo:
 
 
TMR Team | Sep, 25 2013 | 1 Comment

Bernie Ecclestone has admitted he is working hard to ensure the last Brazilian driver does not drop out of F1.

Currently, Felipe Massa is the only Brazilian on the grid, but he has lost his Ferrari seat.

Manager Nicolas Todt is working hard to tap into the Brazilian sponsor market to ensure Massa is in contention for the rides at Lotus, Williams, Force India and Sauber.

It is rumoured the Brazilian broadcaster Globo could also play a vital role.

Brazil and South America are important markets for F1, and so the sport's chief executive Ecclestone told O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper: "I am trying to help; it's not easy, but we're working on it."

The 82-year-old Briton admitted Massa's career could depend on his ability to take an attractive sponsorship package to his next F1 team.

"If Felipe gets some sponsors, everything will change and Brazil should have a driver on the grid in 2014," Ecclestone said.

"A strong economy like the one in Brazil is in a good position to invest in a driver," he added.

Also in the running to tap into that support is the GP2 frontrunner Felipe Nasr, but Toro Rosso recently quelled speculation he might replace the Red Bull-bound Daniel Ricciardo.

"It will be difficult to sign as a race driver in 2014," Nasr, who is managed by Kimi Raikkonen's manager Steve Robertson, said in Singapore.

"So I see it (the opportunity) more as third driver, driving the car in practice on Fridays and some of the private testing," he added.

(GMM)

 

FIA to brief drivers after Webber-Alonso mischief

The FIA is set to clamp down on the sort of shenanigans seen on the slowing-down lap after Sunday's Singapore grand prix.

Fernando Alonso was reprimanded, and Mark Webber pushed ten places down the Korea grid, after the stricken Australian hitched a ride back to the pits on the sidepod of Alonso's Ferrari.

It triggered great memories of 1991, when legend Ayrton Senna rode on the Williams sidepod of rival Nigel Mansell at Silverstone.

However, publishing video footage of the moment Webber ran across the track to climb onto the Ferrari, after Alonso stopped on the racing line after a blind corner in front of following cars, Blick correspondent said the pair had been clearly "reckless".

Referring to Webber's harsh penalty, Swiss steward Paul Gutjahr insisted: "We could not do otherwise."

Another Singapore steward, former F1 driver Derek Warwick, agreed: "It is not health and safety gone mad.

"I hope we're not seen as killjoys. I want formula one to be entertaining. I want it to be a spectacle," he told the Telegraph.

"(But) a driver could easily have been hurt."

According to the Spanish sports newspaper AS, the FIA could now tighten the rules to make clearer what is expected of the drivers.

It is expected the drivers will be briefed in detail ahead of next weekend's Korean grand prix.

"We have become a bit sterile in many ways in formula one," Warwick continued. "But we cannot put drivers at risk.

"If it had been done in a safer manner then it might have been viewed differently, but this was potentially very dangerous."

(GMM)

 

Vettel booing 'explainable' - Marko

Dr Helmut Marko thinks Mark Webber's fans were also booing Sebastian Vettel on the podium in Singapore.

As the reigning triple world champion's dominance continues, so too has the apparent disapproval of formula one fans.

It has raised interesting questions. Vettel thinks the ardent Ferrari fans are simply "emotional" that Fernando Alonso is being beaten.

Others think the German's dominance but also his personality are starting to bite hard.

"The booing is increasingly annoying," Red Bull's Marko told the German newspaper Bild, "but explainable."

"In Singapore, Alonso and Webber have many fans who do not like Seb," he insisted.

Webber's fans feel betrayed by Vettel's actions in Malaysia, which became known as the 'multi 21' affair.

"Forget the track stuff," Webber told the Guardian newspaper this week.

"We've had some private discussions and we weren't super-happy with how they went and how we felt about each other. It's tested the relationship to the maximum," he revealed.

But according to some, the aversion to Vettel's personality is not just limited to Australians and the 'tifosi'.

Indeed, Marko was asked about Vettel's controversial statement after the Singapore grand prix, whilst considering his and Red Bull's domination of F1.

"Whilst there's a lot of people hanging their balls in the pool very early on Fridays, we're still here working very hard and pushing very hard," Vettel had said.

But Marko insisted: "I find what he said great and pithy and anyway it's true.

"Seb wants to keep the workload just as high in the team as it has been. That's why we are bringing in Daniel Ricciardo, a young, hungry driver who will continue to push. Not Kimi Raikkonen," he added.

Marko has yet another theory.

"Sebastian is not as transparent as a Fernando Alonso or Lewis Hamilton," he said, "who tweet their thoughts all around the world.

"Sebastian sacredly protects his private life wherever it is possible," added Marko.

(GMM)

 

Alonso's bid to buy cycling team collapses

Fernando Alonso's bid to take over a top professional cycling team has collapsed.

Early this month, the Ferrari driver announced advanced negotiations to buy the world tour license of the struggling Spanish team Euskaltel-Euskadi.

But late on Monday, Alonso - a keen amateur cyclist - confirmed that the talks have broken down.

"We've tried it until the end but it's just been impossible to have a cycling team in 2014," he confirmed in a photo statement posted on Twitter.

However, the double world champion said he remains committed to setting up a cycling team, "if need be from scratch", for 2015.

"My passion for this sport, my will to cooperate and do my bit remains intact, so this is only the beginning of the future," Alonso added.

(GMM)

 
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