- Nurburgring 'confident' of 2013 German GP
- 'Vettel always wins' in Newey cars - Marko
- Montezemolo hits out at Ecclestone, Schumacher
- Buemi eyes Force India, Lotus seats for 2013
- Perez had 'taste' of McLaren-like pressure in 2012
- Alonso counts himself among greatest ever drivers
Nurburgring 'confident' of 2013 German GP
Nurburgring officials say they were "confident" after meeting late last week in London with Bernie Ecclestone.
Earlier, it was believed the circuit's hopes of organising next year's German GP had been dashed by financial problems and a breakdown in talks.
But, back at the circuit on Friday, officials Jorg Lindner and Kai Richter said their Thursday meeting with F1 chief executive Ecclestone had left them feeling "confident", according to the German language Spox.
The report said the final calendar for the 2013 season will be published by F1's governing body this week.
'Vettel always wins' in Newey cars - Marko
Dr Helmut Marko has hit back at Fernando Alonso, after the Spaniard recently said his real championship rival is Red Bull designer Adrian Newey.
"Our Spanish adversary does not seem quite up to date with his knowledge of the quality of Herr Vettel," Marko, a leading figure at the reigning champion team, said at a celebratory event in Graz, Austria.
"Yes, Vettel races in a Newey car, but he (Alonso) seems to have missed that we put two of them (Newey cars) at the start, and at the end it is always Vettel who wins."
Marko's comments might be seen as a barb at Vettel's teammate Mark Webber, who this season won twice in the latest Newey-penned RB8.
Australian Webber, however, does not think he is being steadily eased into the 'number two' role at Red Bull.
"I'm not thinking I've got to be playing a team role as such," he told reporters late last week in Tasmania, for his regular outdoor adventure event.
"I'm there (in F1) for myself, to get the best results possible and to do that I need to be part of the team."
Montezemolo hits out at Ecclestone, Schumacher
Luca di Montezemolo used Ferrari's end-of-season event at Valencia to criticise former team driver Michael Schumacher as well as F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone.
Directing his attention to German Schumacher, who won five consecutive drivers' titles at Ferrari, president Montezemolo admitted he was unhappy the now-retired Mercedes driver moved over so readily at Interlagos for his countryman Sebastian Vettel.
In Brazil, Ferrari's new 'number 1' Fernando Alonso was fighting for the drivers' title with Red Bull's champion.
"I was expecting a slightly different final race on the part of Michael Schumacher because he is a driver with links to Ferrari through some extraordinary moments and with whom we feel very close," said Montezemolo.
The Ferrari president, however, saved his real vitriol for Bernie Ecclestone, who last week described Ferrari's questioning of the outcome of the 2012 championship as a "joke".
The affair surrounded an overtaking move by Vettel that, although ultimately declared legal by the FIA, was questioned by Ferrari in the days after the Brazilian finale.
Insisting Ferrari remains highly critical of F1 regulations including the emphasis on aerodynamics and a lack of testing, Montezemolo said: "Since some people have used the expression 'It's a joke' in recent days, I would like to say that this is the real 'joke'."
As for 82-year-old Ecclestone's criticism of the yellow flag saga, Montezemolo - who is 65 - said: "My father always taught me that you have to have respect for your elders, above all when they reach the point that they can no longer control their words.
"So I will stop there. Certainly, old age is often incompatible with certain roles and responsibilities."
Buemi eyes Force India, Lotus seats for 2013
Sebastien Buemi says he is still in the running to secure the Force India race seat for 2013.
And the Swiss, who was dropped by Toro Rosso at the end of last year but subsequently signed up as Red Bull's reserve driver, told the Blick newspaper that he might also be a candidate to replace the erratic Romain Grosjean at Lotus.
Blick said a new Red Bull deal for the 24-year-old is "on the table".
Buemi said: "But I am waiting for Force India's answer. And everything doesn't seem clear at Lotus.
"Luckily for me, most teams have not forgotten about me. There's no more I can do."
Buemi's career is currently being handled by Julian Jacobi, who is famous for being the great Ayrton Senna's manager.
Also still in the running for the remaining 2013 vacancies is Kamui Kobayashi, whose website campaign to raise money from his fans for a race seat is running strongly.
Spain's AS newspaper said the Japanese, who has been dropped by Sauber, has so far raised over EUR 1 million.
Perez had 'taste' of McLaren-like pressure in 2012
Sergio Perez thinks he is ready for the pressure of racing for a top team.
Ahead of his move to replace Lewis Hamilton, McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh recently warned the young Mexican that the added pressure of driving for the famous British team will shock Perez.
"He might think he understands it, but he doesn't," said Whitmarsh.
Perez, 22, acknowledged: "Of course there is extra pressure when you're driving at the front.
"I have to get used to that, but I have already had a taste of it at Sauber," he is quoted by the Dutch website formule.nl.
"When I was on the podium I was a superstar, and when I didn't do well, I was the driver who made too many mistakes," admitted Perez.
Still, Perez said he expects to succeed in 2013.
"I want to win titles with this team, so I want to do it next year," he said.
"It will be a long season, so it's important that I am well prepared from the beginning in order to satisfy their expectations."
Alonso counts himself among greatest ever drivers
Fernando Alonso insists he is unmoved after being labelled a 'sore loser' in the wake of his 2012 championship defeat.
Even amid his title battle with Sebastian Vettel, the German media said Ferrari's Spaniard reverted to 'dirty tricks' to psychologically unsettle his adversary.
And afterwards, there were rumours that Alonso was firmly involved in the heightening of the 'yellow flag' saga over Vettel's allegedly illegal overtake in Brazil, earning him fresh rebukes from within Germany.
"Frankly, I'm not that interested in what the opinion is of me in Germany or elsewhere," Alonso said at Ferrari's end of season event at Valencia at the weekend.
"What I know is that people who see me in the streets hug me and call me gladiator or samurai. What matters to me are the 1200 people in the Ferrari family who gave me a standing ovation at a dinner."
Indeed, many in the paddock believe Alonso has improved even since his title-winning days at Renault mid last decade, and would have been a more deserving 2012 champion.
"Before," Alonso agreed, "the people had a more or less good opinion of me, but now I notice a whole different level of respect, which I did not have when I won in 2005 and 2006.
"And then, to be one of the greats of formula one, it's not enough to win titles, you must also tackle seasons like the one just ended."
Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport quotes him adding:"I don't have as many titles as Fangio or Schumacher, but I'm one of the best.
"Senna won three and is considered the best, even though others have more. When I retire, I will have the titles I have and I hope I am considered the best," he is quoted by the AS sports daily.
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