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F1: Vettel Will Continue To Dominate In 2012 Season - Briatore Photo:
 
 
Mike Stevens | Nov, 02 2011 | 0 Comments

Sebastian Vettel looks set to cruise to a third consecutive world championship in 2012, according to Flavio Briatore.

The former Renault boss said the dominance enjoyed by the German driver and Red Bull this season is unlikely to be chased down by their rivals any time soon.

"Not even Webber can push him any more," Briatore told La Politica nel Pallone radio.

"I can't wait for this championship to be over as it's become so boring, but I don't think it will be very different next year either," he said.

"With the same rules, I don't see how they (Ferrari) can make up the gap on Red Bull and McLaren - in 17 years I have never seen a team make up six or seven tenths in just two months."

Briatore also ridiculed Lewis Hamilton's ongoing spat with Felipe Massa, likening them to the comedy duo "Laurel and Hardy".

"They make me laugh."

He is more impressed with Hamilton's teammate Jenson Button, despite slamming and sacking him as a Renault driver and in 2009 describing him as a "paracarro" - an Italian word for a concrete roadside post.

"I was quite wrong about the English driver," said Italian Briatore. "He has been the real surprise this year. He worked for us and I would never have guessed he was so good".

(GMM)

 

Rosberg quiet as Ferrari rumours heat up

Rumours Nico Rosberg could be flirting with a switch to Ferrari are gaining strength this week.

A source triggered the speculation by telling the Cologne publication Express that the 26-year-old is "thinking about" the famous Italian team.

Mercedes' Rosberg, however, has a contract for 2012, as does Fernando Alonso's Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa.

But Bild newspaper reports that Rosberg "has a clause that allows him an early termination under certain circumstances".

After India, Rosberg openly criticised his race strategy that appeared to have favoured teammate Michael Schumacher.

At the same time, Express reports that Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo was dismayed with Massa's performance in India, featuring a crash with Lewis Hamilton and two near-identical mistakes that damaged his suspension.

"In the week before India, Nico was in Maranello," another source is quoted as revealing. "Ferrari wants to have him."

When asked if he will be at Mercedes next year, Rosberg answered: "I don't want to say anything about it.

"We are having discussions about a long-term cooperation."

Might those discussions be with Ferrari as well? Eddie Jordan, a former team boss and now British television pundit, thinks Massa should be worried.

"He needs to be careful because there are many talents out there," he is quoted by Austria's laola1.

"He does have a contract but in Formula One you can never be sure."

(GMM)

 

Force India insists McLaren tie-up legal

Vijay Mallya insists Force India's technical partnership with McLaren is above board.

At the F1 Commission in Geneva on Thursday, the thorny topic of the potential redefinition of a 'constructor' will be debated.

The 'customer car' proponents, reportedly headed by Ferrari and Bernie Ecclestone, are set to argue that teams are already breaching the existing definition, such as McLaren's commercial tie-up with Force India.

"Our relationship with McLaren has been built over a period of three years," boss Mallya, who buys the transmission and hydraulics for his F1 team from McLaren, is quoted by France's autohebdo.fr.

"If we had violated a rule of the Concorde Agreement, I can assure you that many people in the paddock would have complained long ago," he insisted.

(GMM)

 

Button rages at questions over Hamilton antics

Jenson Button let his temper flare after finishing behind Sebastian Vettel in India and moving closer to sealing second place in the 2011 championship.

Yet again, despite his run of good form, the 2009 world champion was probed by British reporters about the crashes and antics of his teammate Lewis Hamilton.

Asked about Hamilton's latest row with Felipe Massa, Button blasted: "I don't give a f***.

"If you want to do an interview with me, about me, that's fine," he charged. "But I don't want to be asked about Lewis again. It's doing my head in."

Privately, Button is enjoying his dominance inside the McLaren team at present, after critics once ridiculed his decision to leave Brawn for Hamilton's "lion's den".

"That is the challenge I wanted when I came here. I wanted to find out where I really stand compared to Lewis," he said in India.

And with the likes of Ferrari's Fernando Alonso also behind him in 2011, Button admitted that finishing second behind Vettel this season is no mean feat.

"To finish second in this championship would mean something," the 31-year-old admitted. "Only Vettel in a better car would have beaten me."

(GMM)

 
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