- Porsche not denying Webber rumours
- Battle brewing as Massa gets upper hand at Ferrari
- Snubbed di Resta happy to be beating McLaren
- McLaren happy with newcomer Perez
- Three teams beat old McLaren pitstop record
Porsche not denying Webber rumours
Porsche has refused to deny rumours it is lining up Mark Webber to lead its charge with a new Le Mans prototype next year.
Amid the 'Multi-21' affair and claims the Australian's place is now untenable alongside Sebastian Vettel at Red Bull, German newspaper Bild reported that the 36-year-old and Porsche have "already been in contact" regarding a 2014 deal.
Asked about the Webber rumours, a spokesman for the carmaker told SID news agency: "Porsche already has a squad of internationally successful works drivers.
"This is a very good basis for the assignment of the corresponding (Le Mans) cockpits.
"Whether and to what extent additional drivers are added will be decided at a later date," spokesman Oliver Hilger added.
Battle brewing as Massa gets upper hand at Ferrari
The fiery F1 pairing on everybody's lips at present is Sebastian Vettel versus Mark Webber.
But another fascinating battle is brewing at Ferrari.
The sport's journalists are poring over statistics, wondering if there was ever another time when Fernando Alonso - Ferrari's undisputed and imperious number 1 - had been out-qualified by his teammate so many times on the trot.
Some referred to Jarno Trulli at Renault in 2004, others to Lewis Hamilton at McLaren in 2007, but - actually - the five-times-in-a-row defeat in China next weekend would be historic.
In short, after a long slump punctuated by a near-fatal 2009 crash, Felipe Massa is back in the sort of form that almost saw him win the title in 2008.
On the record, Spaniard Alonso insists he is happy that Massa is now strong again.
"It's the best news for the team, because we need to have a competition between the two drivers and now I think all the data that we have is very useful to compare and to analyse to make ourselves better," he said in Malaysia.
Behind the scenes, though, the situation could be more volatile.
"Fernando is exceptional," Sir Jackie Stewart told Brazil's O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper, "but he does not cope well when his teammate is beating him."
At the very least, Alonso can count on the full backing of the fabled Italian team, who have put him on a pedestal rivalled only by Michael Schumacher's a decade ago.
"In the race, Alonso is the best driver I've ever had," Luca di Montezemolo was quoted recently by Spain's El Confidencial newspaper.
The Ferrari president said one-lap pace is more difficult to quantify through the eras, but "in the race itself, yes, he (Alonso) is the best".
However, barely since their partnership began in 2010 has there been another time in which Massa was also leading Alonso in the drivers' points standings.
Referring to the Brazilian, Montezemolo continued: "It is true that at the beginning of last year, something happened in his head and he could not go as (well as) Fernando did.
"But now he is very relaxed, he has been very good, but we should not forget that there were times when he was even faster than Michael.
"If I have any problems, it is not with the drivers," he added.
Snubbed di Resta happy to be beating McLaren
Having missed out on a race seat with the famous team in 2013, Paul di Resta now hopes to beat McLaren - at the wheel of a Force India.
With Lewis Hamilton leaving for Mercedes, Scot di Resta was a top candidate to replace him, before McLaren decided to sign the well-heeled Mexican Sergio Perez.
Boss Martin Whitmarsh admits that signing Perez over di Resta was, in the end, a "very close decision".
However, McLaren then launched the radical new MP4-28, and so far the 2013 Force India has looked genuinely more competitive.
Indeed, the Silverstone based team - now ending its technical partnership with McLaren - has more than double the famous British team's early points tally.
And that is even despite a terminal flaw with Force India's new wheel-nut system in Malaysia recently.
"I've a lot of respect for what McLaren do," di Resta is quoted by PA Sport.
"Although they are struggling at the moment, they can develop. But we will be pushing to stay in front of them."
He is confident Force India will again have the measure of McLaren next weekend in China.
"Our performance so far has been far better than people expected, far better than people could probably overhaul in two weeks," said the 26-year-old.
McLaren happy with newcomer Perez
McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh says he is happy with team newcomer Sergio Perez.
Mexican Perez has had a difficult and low-profile start to his career with the famous British team, arriving to replace Lewis Hamilton but struggling with the uncompetitive 2013 car.
Nonetheless, Whitmarsh said the 23-year-old has done "a solid job".
"It's easy to get rattled in coming to a team like McLaren and not having a quick enough car," he is quoted by sportinglife.com.
"But he's an intelligent guy, who might be incredibly young but to my mind he has not put a foot wrong."
Three teams beat old McLaren pitstop record
Red Bull claims it beat McLaren's all-time record for the fastest ever tyre pitstop during the recent Malaysian grand prix.
The reigning champions claim that, before the 'Multi-21' affair kicked off, Sebastian Vettel's first pitstop took the Red Bull mechanics just 2.13 seconds.
The previous record, McLaren's 2.31 seconds, has stood since Germany last year.
But when Mark Webber came in for his second stop at Sepang, Red Bull stopped the clock at an incredible 2.05 seconds. In fact, the team says it beat McLaren's old record no fewer than five times in Malaysia.
"It's possible this season we'll see the magical two-second barrier breached at some point," Red Bull said in a media statement.
Germany's Auto Motor und Sport claims McLaren's best stop in Malaysia was 2.28 seconds - just good enough to beat its old record.
Also under McLaren's old record in Malaysia was the Mercedes crew, who turned around Nico Rosberg in 2.29 seconds.
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