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F1: Staying At Red Bull The Right Call For Vettel, Webber Talks Coming Photo:
 
 
TMR Team | Jun, 17 2013 | 1 Comment

Sebastian Vettel has made the right decision in deciding to stay at Red Bull for the next two years, former F1 winner and team owner Gerhard Berger said.

Amid constant speculation the 25-year-old German sees his future at Ferrari or Mercedes, it was announced this week that the reigning world champion has added another season - 2015 - to his current contract.

Asked by Osterreich newspaper if he thinks Vettel made the right call, Berger - Vettel's former boss at Red Bull's second team Toro Rosso - answered: "Sebastian knows very well that he has the perfect environment and the best car.

"It is a thousand times better to be world champion five times with Red Bull than not once with Ferrari.

"He can think about Ferrari maybe some time in the future," the Austrian legend added, "when he can have a winning car."

For now, Vettel is staying at Red Bull, where he seems to be headed for an ultra-rare fourth consecutive drivers' world championship, having extended his lead in Canada to 36 points.

Asked if he thinks the German will follow through in 2013, Berger answered: "Even before the season started I said Sebastian was my favourite.

"But we're not even half-way yet, and the tyres are also going to play an incredibly important role."

Another former F1 driver, however, sees the 2013 season at a potential tipping point.

"The next leg of the championship is vital," Mika Salo told Finland's MTV3.

"If Vettel keeps winning, then he's going to run away. Last year Webber won at Silverstone, so Red Bull is really strong there, rain or shine.

"I hope the other teams can do something about it, because it's not going to be very interesting if Vettel just cruises to the championship now," he added.

(GMM)

 

Red Bull set for Webber contract talks

Christian Horner has moved to calm speculation about Red Bull's driver plans for 2014 by saying he will hold talks with Mark Webber "later in the summer".

As the team extended its contract with Sebastian Vettel to include 2015, speculation ramped up that Australian Webber, 36, will not get a new deal beyond his contract that expires this year.

The early favourite to succeed him was Kimi Raikkonen, but the latest talk has been about the solid progress of Red Bull's Toro Rosso duo, Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne.

"I think they're doing a good job so far," Horner is quoted by Speed Week.

"Both have shown they have the speed, now it's about adding the final touches to build on their experience and run regularly in the points."

Asked when Red Bull will make a decision about Vettel's teammate for 2014, Horner insisted that Webber is still very much a contender.

"Our driver pairing is one of the most successful in formula one history," he said.

"We stand behind this team and will be having a conversation with Mark later in the summer."

(GMM)

 

Berger slams F1's unchanging tyre situation

Gerhard Berger has blasted the tyre situation in formula one, just as Pirelli announced its hands are tied from trying to change it.

Following criticism of its heavily-degrading 2013 tyres, F1's Italian supplier announced on Thursday that, contrary to its desire, the construction of the 2013 tyres will not now be changing.

A statement said one reason is that rain prevented extensive testing of the tweaked design in Canada, but also "that the teams failed to agree unanimously about introducing the changes".

Former grand prix winner Berger, who sold his stake in Red Bull's second team Toro Rosso some years ago, was asked if he thinks F1's tyre situation is acceptable.

"No," he answered clearly to Osterreich newspaper.

"I'll say it again -- it cannot be that teams invest millions in wind tunnel tests and engines and then ultimately what decides who is at the front is the tyre manufacturer.

"This is wrong," said Berger.

"I'm for real racing and that the best people are at the front; that the sport, not the tyres, play the main role."

(GMM)

 

Rosberg's pace 'has surprised' Hamilton - Wolff

Lewis Hamilton has been "surprised" by the pace of teammate Nico Rosberg at Mercedes early this season.

That is the claim of team director and co-owner Toto Wolff, even though the comments directly contradict a recent statement by the 2008 world champion.

In the wake of Rosberg's pole hat-trick and Monaco win, Hamilton insisted he "expected him (Rosberg) to be even stronger than he has been" in 2013 due to his long experience with the Brackley based team.

But Wolff is quoted by Brazil's Totalrace as admitting Hamilton "probably was surprised by Nico's pace".

"A lot had been written about it not being clear what Nico's pace was (in 2010-2012) compared to Michael (Schumacher).

"Now, he (Rosberg) has proved that he is really fast, and it's surprised Lewis -- but I don't think it's a problem," added Wolff.

Indeed, he insists Hamilton is also strong.

"We saw just how much in Canada, where he would have been on pole if not for the braking error. I think we will see great races from Lewis. I have no doubt.

"I don't think there's any reason to say that he's having a problem or difficulties. It's too early in the season.

"He's just starting with the team while Nico has been here for years," said Wolff.

(GMM)

 

Hamilton absence not cause of McLaren slump - Whitmarsh

While Lewis Hamilton tries to up his game at Mercedes, Martin Whitmarsh insists losing the 2008 world champion is not linked to McLaren's 2013 slump.

Asked if needing to replace the highly rated Briton with controversial Mexican rookie Sergio Perez has contributed to McLaren's problems, team boss Whitmarsh answered: "I don't think so.

"Lewis is a great driver and a good asset and we have not got him. But I think both our drivers are doing a good job," he is quoted by Sun newspaper.

Hamilton moved to Mercedes over the winter, but at recent races he has looked glum as teammate Nico Rosberg scored a hat-trick of poles and won in Monaco.

The 28-year-old Briton, however, had a better weekend than Rosberg in Canada, finishing on the podium.

He is quoted in the Independent newspaper as saying he was "determined to regain everyone's confidence in me".

But Mercedes insists it never lost faith in its new recruit.

"I don't have that feeling we lack confidence in him," team director and co-owner Toto Wolff said.

"I think we are going to see great races from Lewis. I've no doubt."

(GMM)

 

Even 'miracle' won't cure McLaren problems - Perez

Not even "a miracle" could speed McLaren back to the front of the field in the immediate future, new team driver Sergio Perez admitted this week.

Just as the young Mexican arrived at Woking to replace Lewis Hamilton, the great British team faltered with its 2013 car, and currently is ranked behind not only the four big teams but also the similarly Mercedes-powered Force India.

Asked about the chance of a good result at Silverstone late this month, Perez admitted: "There is nothing that can save us; not rain, not a miracle," he is quoted in a French-language report by the Agence France-Presse news agency.

The 23-year-old admitted that his season so far - his first with a big team - has been "frustrating".

"It's not the year I wanted. Last year, at this time, I had more points (at Sauber)," said Perez.

"The (McLaren) car has so many problems, and we are so far behind that there is not a single issue that we can focus on."

He said he is hoping to "at least be on a podium" at some point in 2013, adding: "At the moment, we cannot even think about it."

Perez also dismissed recent criticism of his driving, like at Monaco where Kimi Raikkonen said he wanted to punch the Mexican after their collision.

"I'm not in formula one to not be criticised, or to please everyone," he insisted.

"I'm in formula one to fight for my team. If that attracts criticism for me, then I don't care."

(GMM)

 

Renault says Caterham, Lotus deals 'almost done'

Renault is still yet to finalise new V6 engine deals with existing customers Caterham and Lotus.

At the end of May, the French marque's F1 president Jean-Michel Jalinier said that with Red Bull and Toro Rosso already under contract for 2014, another customer or two "is the ideal".

It has been reported that while Caterham is expected to stay with Renault, Lotus has been in talks with Ferrari.

"We very likely will end up with four teams," Jalinier is quoted by Reuters this week.

"The discussions with Lotus and Caterham have progressed. It's almost done with them, so there's a high probability that we end up with four in 2014."

(GMM)

 
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