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F1: VW, Audi, Porsche Play Down F1 Rumours Photo:
 
 
TMR Team | Dec, 18 2013 | 0 Comments

Volkswagen, and its major motor sport-linked brands, have denied the latest round of speculation connecting the German marque with a potential formula one foray.

The FIA revealed last week that it is seeking a twelfth team to fill the last spot on the 2015 or 2016 grids.

Volkswagen, and its Audi and Porsche brands, is regularly linked with a potential F1 foray, so it was speculated one of them might be interested in the FIA's new opening.

F1's governing body has said expressions of interest for the final place will close on 3 January, with a decision to be made at the end of February.

But Stefan Moser, VW's communications boss, told Speed Week: "There are no plans for us to go into formula one."

Moser's counterpart, Jurgen Pippig, added that Audi is also content with its existing programmes, including Le Mans and DTM.

"That is what we are focused on. We have no formula one plans."

And Oliver Hilger said: "In 2014, Porsche has the biggest factory motor sport programme in its history.

"We have no plans to enter formula one."

(GMM)

 

Alonso tips Ferrari to 'miss' Massa's input

Ferrari is likely to "miss" Felipe Massa, according to the Williams-bound Brazilian's teammate of the last four seasons.

For 2014, after a period in which Fernando Alonso was regarded as the clear number 1 at Maranello, the Italian team has signed up its last world champion Kimi Raikkonen to replace Massa.

Alonso, who said he counts Massa among his few friends on the F1 grid, pushed to keep the 32-year-old on board, but ultimately must now face the prospect of working alongside the famously cool and odd Finn.

"Definitely Felipe was a hard worker," Alonso told Brazil's Totalrace.

"He works day and night for the team to improve the car's performance," he added.

"I don't know Kimi, but the rumours say that he speaks very little and is a bit more isolated. So I think that Ferrari could miss him (Massa)," said Alonso.

However, Alonso played down the prospect that a bad working relationship between himself and Raikkonen - like the one between former Red Bull duo Sebastian Vettel and the retiring Mark Webber - will hurt Ferrari.

"What we have to do now is focus on making a good car in the winter," he insisted.

"If it's good, like the Red Bull, it doesn't matter if there's 'Multi-21', 'Multi-35' or anything like that, because the atmosphere in the team will be great," Alonso added.

(GMM)

 

Improving on second place 'difficult' for Ferrari - Todt

Overcoming Red Bull for title spoils next year will be "difficult" for Ferrari, FIA president Jean Todt has warned.

Before the Stefano Domenicali era, Frenchman Todt oversaw Ferrari's ultra-successful Michael Schumacher days, delivering a Red Bull-like period of domination with five consecutive championships until 2004.

Kimi Raikkonen won the title in 2007, and Ferrari has come close to winning in subsequent years, but president Luca di Montezemolo this week admitted he is "sick of coming second".

"I hope that Ferrari do a good job," Todt is quoted by Italy's La Repubblica, when asked about 2014. "They have already done this in the past few years.

"Obviously being second is not the same thing as being first, but it is also really difficult to be second," he added.

Todt was also asked about Bernie Ecclestone's troubles, and the prospect that F1 could soon be needing a new 'supremo' at the helm.

The 67-year-old said he hopes Briton Ecclestone, 83, "stays in his place for many years".

"I saw him (last) Monday," Todt said. "He is in great shape, vibrant, motivated. Then we talk about what happens after Ecclestone?

"I'd rather focus on the present," he insisted.

Todt sidestepped any talk about the potential problems caused by the revolutionary new regulations, or the obviously urgent need to cut costs, answering: "I do not have a crystal ball".

He also didn't want to talk about measures that were considered for 2014 but not adopted, such as mandatory two-pitstop grands prix.

"I read a lot of proposals," said Todt. "If I was to comment on everything that we read, we'd be here until tomorrow.

"The reality is that we have spoken about the tyres, but the regulations will not change next year.

"There will be tests next week in Bahrain, where I hope the right solutions will be developed. I am convinced that Pirelli has all the ability and the professionalism to do it," he concluded.

(GMM)

 
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