F1: Melbourne Rain, Kovalainen Cold and Barrichello Flight Photo:
Mike Stevens | Mar, 23 2011 | 0 Comments

Rain is on the horizon as Melbourne gets set to host the 2011 Formula One opener.

Saturday and Sunday - the days of crucial qualifying and the Australian Grand Prix - should be sunny and dry but with temperatures only in the low 20s.

"It's pretty clear we'll have some mixed weather this weekend, so we might not get a real understanding of who's where," Mark Webber said on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Heikki Kovalainen was relieved on Tuesday, after earlier suffering from a sore throat.

"(The) flu seems to have been scared off by training and vitamins, so fingers crossed," he wrote on Twitter.

And Rubens Barrichello is enduring a stressful start to the beginning of his eighteenth full season in F1, after Argentina suspended flights due to a airport communication system problem.

But he said from Buenos Aires late on Monday night: "It looks like the plane will leave tomorrow at 1:00pm. It was a long day but I am happy that everything will be ok."



Hamilton Debunks Talk Of Red Bull Move

Lewis Hamilton has poured cold water on speculation he is courting a move to Red Bull in the near future.

The rumours were triggered recently by Christian Horner, who predicted the 2008 World Champion will be knocking on his door if McLaren have another fallow season.

But Hamilton on Tuesday is quoted in multiple British reports as hitting out at the reigning champion team, including by doubting Red Bull will ever be a permanent grandee like McLaren or Ferrari.

"I am 100 percent certain that McLaren or Ferrari will never let that happen," said the Briton.

"Ours have status they would like to keep. Red Bull are not a manufacturer, they are a drinks company. I don't know what their plan is," added Hamilton.

He also struck out at Red Bull's claim about driver equality, suggesting that Mark Webber is clearly teammate Sebastian Vettel's number two.

"It appears to me that it is a clear' number one' team," said Hamilton. "Mark has also stated it hasn't he?"

The 26-year-old also said his relationship with his own teammate Jenson Button is better than the atmosphere at Red Bull.

"We don't need any edge between us, it's not like Red Bull," said Hamilton.

Meanwhile, given the 'liegate' and 'hoon-driving' scandals of past years, it might be said that Melbourne is not Hamilton's favourite spot on the calendar.

"I go back with a plan not to be in the stewards' office and not to be met by any of the police," he smiled.



Webber Gained Weight After Losing 2010 Title

Mark Webber has admitted he marked not winning the 2010 title by gaining weight and not exercising.

The Australian admitted he did a "Ricky Hatton" after seeing his teammate Sebastian Vettel win the Championship -- a reference to a British boxer who famously gains weight and then loses it again between fights.

"For five weeks I relaxed and, if I felt like eating sausages, I'd bang them on," Webber told the Evening Standard. "It was just good to take that time off as I'd not done it for a long time.

"I'm not normally good at doing nothing but that's just what I did and it was needed after two really hard winters where I was either on crutches or having surgery," he explained.

Webber said it was a shock when he resumed training later on.

"I remember thinking 'holy shit, I've let this go too far' but in the end I felt sensational for it and I'm the same weight as at the end of last season and it's all about the long haul," he added.

In 2011, Webber is fighting for his future, after seeing Vettel, Red Bull designer Adrian Newey and 50 other team colleagues have their contracts renewed.

The 34-year-old, by contrast, is set to leave the team at the end of the season.

"I don't think there's a person in the world that doesn't want to be wanted or liked," said Webber. "I've rarely got a two-year deal since I got there and that's how Helmut Marko likes to do it.

"It's up to me to put in the performances to warrant a new deal," he added bluntly.


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