- Newey No Longer Key To Success In 'new' F1
- Briatore writing rules for 'GP1' series - report
- Massa could lose seat during August break - Petrov
- Massa insists Ferrari still supporting him
Newey No Longer Key To Success In 'new' F1
May 18 (GMM) Red Bull is lamenting the limited role that can be played in 2012 by F1's aerodynamic genius Adrian Newey.
For the past few years, the team has enjoyed its dominance largely because of the airflow magic wrought by Briton Newey.
But in 2012, with reigning back-to-back world champion Sebastian Vettel just one of the five different winners so far, Pirelli rubber is king.
"I doubt Williams really know why they were so strong," team boss Christian Horner, referring to Pastor Maldonado's shock Barcelona pole and win last weekend, is quoted by Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.
Horner insisted that, rather than the winner being the team with the best overall package at each race, success this season is about "understanding the characteristics of the tyre and the window in which they work".
"It's not that the midfield teams have made a quantum leap aerodynamically from last year to this year," Horner said. "But from a performance point of view, this is what they have done."
The logical conclusion is that aerodynamic cleverness has taken a back seat.
So will Red Bull knock a million or two off Newey's huge annual retainer?
Horner laughed. "Adrian is not just an aerodynamicist, and aerodynamics are still important anyway. But now it's about harmonising everything, and these tyres are simply remarkably complex.
"Two races ago Nico Rosberg dominated, but in Spain he was almost lapped. It is very difficult to predict what's going to happen next - a nightmare for the bookmakers," he said.
The situation has split F1 into two camps: those who love it, and those who do not.
"It has become like a GP2 championship," Maldonado, the junior category's 2010 champion, is quoted by The National newspaper.
"The drivers can make the difference and the teams can still work on the strategy and the car."
The bizarre situation has left everyone scratching their heads, like Jenson Button.
He can scarcely believe that what looked a championship car - his 2012 McLaren - was beaten in Spain by Shanghai winner Nico Rosberg, who was almost lapped.
"The Red Bulls did a better job at the weekend than us in terms of points, but still they weren't quick when you compare them to Williams, Sauber, Lotus and Ferrari," he told PA Sport.
"Five different teams winning five different races, we really don't know what's going on, and I think that's the same up and down the pitlane."
Briatore writing rules for 'GP1' series - report
Flavio Briatore could be readying to burst back into F1.
Germany's Auto Motor und Sport said the ousted and formerly banned Italian is busily writing regulations for a 'GP1' championship.
They could be adopted should the FIA not sign up to the 2013 Concorde Agreement, according to the report.
Apparently, the political rumblings in F1 at present are not limited to the sport's planned floatation, or Bernie Ecclestone's spat with Mercedes.
Cost-control is also a buzzword. As reported recently, the vast majority of F1's teams want the FIA to enshrine cost-cutting in the actual sporting regulations, even to the point of pushing for a once highly-controversial budget cap.
F1 chief executive Ecclestone, however, is not famously close with the FIA's new president Jean Todt, and according to Auto Motor und Sport he is not convinced that the Paris federation needs to write and control the rules.
Enter Briatore. The German report said Ferrari will be a fan of the former Renault chief's rumoured regulations, as they steer away from the premium on aerodynamics.
Massa could lose seat during August break - Petrov
Vitaly Petrov thinks it is possible Felipe Massa will lose his Ferrari seat long before the 2012 season is over.
But Caterham's Russian driver, who moved from Renault (now Lotus) at the end of last season, does not believe reports that Ferrari could sack the struggling Brazilian imminently, such as after next weekend's Monaco GP.
"I don't think they'll fire Massa just now. At least not until August," Petrov is quoted by the state owned Moscow news agency Ria Novosti.
There are six races until August's month-long calendar 'summer' break.
So while Petrov thinks Massa's career is genuinely in danger, he does not agree that Ferrari is ramping up the pressure on the 30-year-old.
"I wouldn't say that Ferrari are criticising him that strongly," he said. "They're not saying he has one more chance or anything like that."
Massa insists Ferrari still supporting him
Felipe Massa has played down reports he is at risk of losing his Ferrari seat soon, insisting he feels fully supported by Ferrari.
The Brazilian has struggled at the wheel of Ferrari's difficult 2012 car so far, scoring just 2 points compared with his teammate and joint championship leader Fernando Alonso's 61.
It has triggered speculation the Maranello based team might replace him, also because Ferrari said after Barcelona it is "expecting" Massa to improve "right away".
Whilst working at Maranello in the driver simulator on Friday, however, Massa insisted he has not been far away from Alonso at recent races.
"I think we must also take into account that, at the moment, Fernando's driving is amazing: he is on super form, maybe even perfect," he is quoted as saying in a Ferrari statement.
Asked if he feels the famous Italian team's support, he added: "Absolutely, yes, I feel the whole team stands by me.
"Obviously, they are not happy with the results and neither am I: we all want to get out of this (situation) and return to normal.
"It's possible and for sure it's what I want and I know that with the team's help we will manage it," said Massa.
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