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F1: Vettel Renews Attack On 'New' F1, Ricciardo Wants Fair Fight Photo:
 
 
TMR Team | May, 06 2014 | 5 Comments

Sebastian Vettel his renewed his attack on F1's 'new' face, after he was rebuked by the FIA for earlier calling the mild sound of the V6 engines "sh*t".

Now with more refined comments, the reigning quadruple world champion does not hide his obvious disdain for the sport's new configuration.

"We are a sport that is famous for being loud and dangerous," Red Bull driver Vettel told the German newsmagazine Focus.

"We run the risk of losing the essence of motor sports," he charged.

When asked about the new, quiet and V6-powered engines, Vettel responded: "I would prefer a V10 or V12 with 1000 horse power -- lots of power.

"I would like to drive cars that are as fast as they can be -- I need to feel as though I am taming a dragon or a beast," he explained.

"Compared to last season, this impression has diminished an awful lot," said Vettel, who has struggled in 2014 alongside his new teammate Daniel Ricciardo.

"The car does not know what I want," explained the 26-year-old, referring to the Adrian Newey-penned new RB10 and his troubles at the wheel.

"Under braking and in the corners I have an absolute lack of confidence," added Vettel.

(GMM)

 

Ricciardo wants 'fair fight' with Vettel

Daniel Ricciardo says he accepts the "responsibility" of sometimes having to "move over" for his Red Bull teammate.

Team orders is currently a hot topic inside the reigning world champion team, after reigning quadruple title winner Sebastian Vettel answered "tough luck" last time out in China when he was told to let Australian Ricciardo through.

Ricciardo, however, said orders must be followed.

"It's not always nice if you are being told to move over. It's not nice being that slower car, it's frustrating," he told the West Australian newspaper.

"(But) it is our responsibility to obey it, unless it's completely out of order and then we can obviously try and put up a fight and give our reasons.

"But the team are doing all the calculations on the pitwall during the race and you have to respect what they're saying," Ricciardo insisted.

Some believe Vettel's initial reluctance to play the team game in China was due to the tension created by Red Bull newcomer Ricciardo's superior pace so far in 2014.

But Ricciardo thinks that even in the context of his huge recent achievements, Vettel is up for a fight.

"We know it ourselves and even told each other that we want to race hard," he said.

"I want to race the best version of Seb and he wants to race the best version of me. At the end of the day I think we'll both respect whoever's done a better job.

"If Seb has done a better job this year, I won't like it, but I'll definitely respect him for it and give him the credit he deserves.

"I think that's a two-way street. We understand what a fair fight is and we enjoy that," added Ricciardo.

(GMM)

 

Mercedes not happy with 'megaphone' noise fix - Wolff

One proposed solution to the sound problem in formula one this year is a "megaphone"-style exhaust.

The news was revealed by Toto Wolff, a chief at one of F1's three current engine suppliers, Mercedes.

Together with Ferrari and Renault, the engine-making trio is currently looking into how to turn up the controversially low volume of this year's new 1.6 litre V6 turbos.

Nico Rosberg, a Mercedes race driver, tipped a solution to be found ahead of the Monaco grand prix late this month.

"We will soon be in Monaco and I think we will hear a different sound there," the German said last weekend whilst visiting the DTM season opener at Hockenheim.

"I think it's important that we do work on it, because the noise is part of the show."

Last week, a meeting involving Bernie Ecclestone, Jean Todt and all 11 F1 team bosses took place in London, and top of the billing was the issue of cost cuts.

But also on the agenda was noise.

"We discussed what solutions there might be, and us at Mercedes also have our approaches and proposals," Wolff, also at Hockenheim for the DTM opener, is quoted by Speed Week.

He said some of the proposed solutions will be tested at the post-Spanish grand prix test next week.

"We will try them out on the car in Barcelona and see if they have the effect that we are looking for," said Wolff.

He revealed that the solutions are all focused on the area of the engine exhaust.

"We have some highly complex solutions within the exhaust system," said Wolff, "and also one like a 'megaphone' that simply opens up at the end -- with all the problems that brings with it," said Wolff.

"I do not know if the latter is what we should be doing in formula one, but nevertheless we will come with our suggestions and approaches and see in Barcelona."

(GMM)

 

F1 could axe Friday morning practice to cut costs

F1 could axe Friday morning practice sessions next year, as teams consider how to cut costs in the absence of a mandatory budget cap.

Although keenly supported by the small teams, and championed by FIA president Jean Todt, the 2015 budget cap was vetoed by the powerful 'Strategy Group' teams including grandees Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes.

The smaller teams are furious, but in a crisis meeting in London last week, they were asked to come back in a fortnight with some cost-cutting rule proposals of their own.

Germany's Sport Bild claims that one of the measures under consideration is reducing the grand prix weekend by one 90-minute practice session from 2015.

Another proposed rule change is the extension of the current 'parc ferme' regulations.

Currently, the specification of the cars is effectively 'frozen' only after qualifying, meaning that until then new parts are almost constantly flown in from the teams' European factories at huge expense.

It is now proposed that, for 2015, 'parc ferme' is to come into effect immediately after a sole practice session on Friday afternoon.

Sport Bild reports that, at Biggin Hill last week, the teams also discussed limiting aerodynamic updates - for example a maximum of four front wing specification changes per season - but could not unanimously agree.

"There was a meeting last week," confirmed Mercedes' Toto Wolff, "and costs were discussed. It is the unanimous opinion of the teams that costs must be drastically reduced."

However, he defended the big teams' decision to veto the budget cap.

"We have to be honest," he is quoted by Speed Week. "There are big differences in the agendas of the teams.

"If you think about Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari - and also McLaren who are with Honda from next year - the main objective is to represent a multinational, global brand.

"And that is of course very different from the small teams who are simply there to race in formula one.

"But formula one is all of these teams together, the big and the small, and you have to respect that and find solutions that will help everyone in the long term.

"The budget cap is a difficult one, because there are some teams who do not want it. And also by their very design it would be very difficult to control, such as for Ferrari who have the formula one team all under the same roof as the major global company," Wolff explained.

(GMM)

 

Russian GP 'unrealistic' amid Crimean crisis

An unofficial asterisk is still hovering above this year's inaugural running of the Russian grand prix.

Earlier, F1 legend and Mercedes team chairman Niki Lauda dismissed suggestions the sport should boycott the Sochi event amid the escalating Crimean crisis.

But last month, it emerged that the burgeoning F1 career of Sauber test driver Sergey Sirotkin was suddenly in doubt, after his sponsor SMP Bank was subject to US and European sanctions.

Sirotkin's backer, Boris Rotenberg, is reportedly close to Russian president Vladimir Putin, with many other Russian athletes also being affected by his frozen bank accounts.

Now, a prominent British politician has cast doubt on the viability of Russia's October grand prix as the threat of open war between Moscow and Ukraine closes in.

Sir Richard Ottaway, chairman of the House of Commons foreign affairs select committee, told the Times newspaper that the Crimean crisis had made the prospect of the F1 race "wildly unrealistic".

"If a new round of tougher sanctions is introduced, formula one may find it impossible to put on a race because of restrictions on the flow of cash," he said.

Times correspondent Kevin Eason also said the F1 teams "will be anxious" about the Russian grand prix in the wake of the Bahrain political controversies, while leading sponsors "may want to distance themselves" from Russia's behaviour.

(GMM)

 

Rosberg claims 'better than Hamilton in dry'

Nico Rosberg is sounding far from defeated ahead of the Spanish grand prix.

The German, although still leading the drivers' world championship by a few points, has seen his teammate Lewis Hamilton win the last three races on the trot.

But far from expecting to fall in line behind the Briton when the battle resumes in Barcelona, Rosberg on Monday told German television RTL his plan for Spain is "full attack".

"To know I have the fastest car to drive is so inspiring," said the 28-year-old.

Rosberg said the goal for Barcelona is not to hold Hamilton off but to "extend the championship lead", which will almost certainly require him to beat his on-form teammate on the track.

He won in Australia when Hamilton retired, but in Malaysia, Bahrain and China, Rosberg saw the other Silver Arrows with the upper hand.

Bahrain, however, was a true and rare wheel-to-wheel battle, with Rosberg claiming that when all was well with the two Brackley-built cars in 2014, the Mercedes pecking order is "undecided".

"I was better in the dry, him in the rain," said Rosberg.

Hamilton has also hogged the qualifying limelight so far this year, but last year at the Circuit de Catalunya, it was Rosberg on pole ahead of the 2008 world champion.

Now, "pole position will be very important for the battle with Lewis" this weekend, said a feisty Rosberg ahead of the 2014 Spanish race.

Hamilton and Rosberg's relationship dates right back to their boyhoods, but suddenly the prize is the biggest one in the entire world of motor sport -- the F1 title.

Rosberg admits that is making their personal relationship "a bit harder" than in the past.

"But luckily we have experienced it all before, even right back to karting," he said.

(GMM)

 

Sauber turned down GP2 champion's $14m - report

Even with $14 million in his hand, reigning GP2 champion Fabio Leimer could not buy his way into formula one.

The 25-year-old Swiss, who will instead race sports cars in 2014, was healthily backed by his wealthy long-time sponsor Rainer Gantenbein.

The veteran correspondent for Blick newspaper, Roger Benoit, claims Gantenbein offered Sauber almost $14 million in exchange for one of the Hinwil based team's race seats this year.

But Leimer has reportedly told some insiders that Sauber's counter-proposal was no less than $28 million -- slightly less than what Esteban Gutierrez's Mexican backers pay.

Instead, Sauber signed the experienced Adrian Sutil to be Gutierrez's new teammate.

But Benoit claims that Sutil's seat for 2015 is in doubt.

He said reserve driver Giedo van der Garde and his Dutch sponsors are promising "many millions" to Sauber for a race seat next year.

A sign the 29-year-old van der Garde may even have a "preliminary agreement" with Sauber is the fact that not only will he be in action on Friday morning in Barcelona, but also during the post-race test at the same Spanish grand prix venue.

(GMM)

 
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