F1: Red Bull Move For Raikkonen 'Very Likely', Dennis Doubts Ladies Photo:

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TMR Team | Jun, 20 2013 | 2 Comments

The F1 driver market is waiting for Kimi Raikkonen's next move, according to Oskari Saari, a commentator for Finnish television MTV3.

"Red Bull's Helmut Marko said in Canada that driver decisions will be made in August, during the summer break," Saari said.

It is strongly rumoured that Lotus' Raikkonen, having firmly re-established his reputation in the wake of a rallying sabbatical, is now likely to return to a true top team in 2014 to replace Mark Webber.

Saari said he thinks Raikkonen is a better candidate than Red Bull's youngsters at Toro Rosso, Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne.

"They're good guys, but not quite good enough," he insisted.

"I think the probability of Kimi going to Red Bull is very high -- it would be a logical move," added Saari.

Saari also repeated rumours that Lotus might look to Williams' Pastor Maldonado and his PDVSA sponsor millions to replace Raikkonen.



Dennis doubts women to race in F1 soon

Ron Dennis has played down expectations there could be a female driver on the formula one grid in the near future.

Williams test driver Susie Wolff is pushing for a super license and expecting to contest next month's young drivers' test at Silverstone, while Maria de Villota was Marussia's test driver last year before her horrific Duxford crash.

Dennis, McLaren supremo, was asked this week when he thinks F1 will see a female driver on the grid once again.

"I don't think it will happen soon," he is quoted by Italy's La Repubblica.

"There are some sports that are difficult from a physical point of view for women, and formula one is one of them."

McLaren's lead driver Jenson Button, however, insists it is "possible" for women to race in F1.

"There are a couple of women racing in Nascar and Indycar, have actually won races," he said.

"The big issue is that I don't think women are given the opportunity at an early age.

"It is a very demanding sport, very specific training and taking time to get race fit. I personally think it's possible," added Button.

Meanwhile, Dennis has also been quoted as firing a barb at a former McLaren driver for losing focus on the real 'objective' of the sport.

"Some people lost sight of what the objective is," he said. "When you lost sight of what you are doing, then you lost sight of what it takes to be a world champion."



Caterham reserves judgement on 2013 drivers

Caterham boss Cyril Abiteboul has backed the team's all-new driver lineup, amid suggestions Heikki Kovalainen should be drafted back in.

For the first time since its 2010 debut, the green-liveried team appeared to falter early this season with an outdated car and in the wake of experienced driver Kovalainen's departure.

Finn Kovalainen reappeared in Friday practice in Bahrain and Spain, triggering rumours he might soon replace either rookie Giedo van der Garde - slammed by Mark Webber in Canada as a 'pay driver with no mirrors' - or Charles Pic.

Abiteboul told F1's official website: "He (Kovalainen) definitely helped in the couple of sessions he ran, and in the feedback he gave."

But there is no sign the 31-year-old will appear again, even if Finnish commentator for MTV3, Oskari Saari, said: "I still believe he will race this season."

For now, Abiteboul is backing van der Garde, who will drop five places on the Silverstone grid after his crash with Webber in Canada, and Frenchman Pic.

"Same as with the team, I'd like to evaluate both drivers properly at the right moment, but for now I think both are making progress in parallel," he said.



Lotus' new co-owners won't 'sit idly' - report

Lotus' new team co-owner has lurched into formula one with bravado, claiming the Enstone based team will be "number 1 in twelve months".

Former 100 per cent team owner Genii Capital announced on Tuesday that Infinity Racing, comprising an American hedge fund, an Abu Dhabi group and an oil-rich royal family, has bought 65pc of the team whose lead driver is Kimi Raikkonen.

Telegraph correspondent Tom Cary reported on Wednesday that the royal family is "believed to be Brunei", whose Sultan is among the richest people on earth.

"It is clear the new shareholders are not going to sit idly in the background," said Cary.

Infinity's chairman is Mansoor Ijaz, a New York-based American of Pakistani ancestry who is an investment banker and media commentator.

In a bullish first interview with Sportspro magazine, he insisted: "I say it simply, flatly, completely -- we'll be number 1 in 12 months."

He was more cautious when it came to the reports about the Brunei link.

"I will not comment on the royal family, whether it's Brunei or not -- I'm not going to comment on that," said Ijaz.

But he did say Infinity is entering F1 "to bring our technological capabilities", while Tuesday's press release referred to the KERS technology in the sport.

"I won't go too much into that today because I want to keep some elements of surprise in terms of what we're going to do to win the championship, but we have enormous technological capabilities that we can bring and we're going to make Lotus the number one team for sponsorship within the next year," added Ijaz.

He said his younger brother Mujeeb will be "an important part of the story".

"I would say we will be integrally involved in the technology development side, as the engines change next year, as technology comes to the front," said Ijaz.



Lauda didn't know about secret tyre test - report

Niki Lauda only knew about Mercedes' secret tyre test at Barcelona in May once "the wheels were turning".

That is the claim on Wednesday of the respected Auto Motor und Sport correspondent Michael Schmidt, as F1 braces for the first ever hearing of Jean Todt's new international tribunal.

Reportedly armed with lawyers and engineers of the Brackley based team, the sole Mercedes chief deployed to Paris on Thursday morning will be Ross Brawn, after a spokesman confirmed that Lauda and Toto Wolff will not be there.

After a disappointing first three years of the 'works' F1 foray, the Austrian pair are the new faces at Mercedes, and both shareholders.

There has been speculation Brawn will be the scapegoat, or fall guy, with former McLaren technical director Paddy Lowe already at work at Brackley, and earmarked to eventually succeed Brawn.

"It was my decision to do the test, so that's a fact," Brawn told reporters in Canada recently. "Let's see what occurs at the tribunal and go from there."

Schmidt reported on Wednesday that Lauda, the triple world champion and Mercedes F1 chairman, first heard about the highly controversial Barcelona test "when the wheels were already turning".

He added that Lauda's deputies insisted that permission had been sought for the use of the 2013 car.


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