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F1: Webber Contract Renewal No Surprise - Antoine Buemi Photo:
 
 
Mike Stevens | Aug, 31 2011 | 0 Comments

Red Bull's decision to re-sign Mark Webber for 2012 was not a surprise, that is the claim of Antoine Buemi, the father of Toro Rosso driver Sebastien Buemi.

According to Swiss newspaper Blick, Buemi was disappointed to learn the news about Webber's new deal at Spa-Francorchamps because he was hoping to be promoted to the premier Red Bull team next year.

The news leaves a dark cloud over Buemi's career, with either he or Jaime Alguersuari expected to have to make room at Toro Rosso for Daniel Ricciardo.

On the Webber news, however, Antoine Buemi told the Swiss newspaper Le Nouvelliste: "We were not surprised.

"Mark Webber and Red Bull have grown together and the team is pretty thankful.

"The Australian is also the ideal teammate for the world champion (Sebastian Vettel). He is fast enough to allow the team to go for both titles while doing no harm to the lead driver.

"By having an ambitious young man, there could be too many quarrels between the two drivers," added Buemi Snr.

Antoine Buemi insisted that his son might be able to stay at Toro Rosso next year.

"There is nothing saying that one of the two has to leave, in fact both of them might be able to stay. The press tends to amplify the rumours," he said.

As for Buemi's other options, "There are few teams that focus on drivers that are not directly or indirectly connected with money, which is a handicap for us," said his father.

"Having said that the pressure is easier today than at the beginning of the season. Sebastien has got used to it. He knows the rules of the game."

(GMM)

 

Two independent DRS zones for Monza: report

There will be two independent DRS zones in use during next weekend's Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

There were also two rear-wing overtaking zones per lap in Montreal and Valencia, but due to the complexity of operating the system for the FIA, there was just one activation point per circuit.

The two independent zones at Monza, a first for F1, will mean that chasing drivers have two separate opportunities per lap to get within one second of their rival prior to reaching the overtaking zones.

At high speed Monza, the first DRS will be located on the pit straight, and the other on the long run to the Ascari chicane, according to Globo Esporte (Brazil), Auto Hebdo (France) and Autosprint (Italy).

(GMM)

 

Renault team owner Lopez open to Spa buy-out

Renault team owner Gerard Lopez has confirmed his interest in buying into Spa-Francorchamps.

The fabled Belgian circuit is a favourite among drivers and fans, but for financial reasons it might have to annually alternate a single race date in future with France.

Spa is currently controlled by the local Walloon government, and it was rumoured recently that Lopez's Genii Capital was interested in buying into the track.

"Spa is a great circuit," he told the Tageblatt Luxembourg newspaper, "and there would be a lot more we can do with it. We could develop together for the region.

"So if they are open for (talks with) private investors, then why not?" said Lopez.

The circuit's general manager Pierre-Alain Thibaut, however, said that is unlikely.

"It is not possible," he told The National. "The circuit is so important and imperative to all the region from an economic point of view.

"Of course, anything can happen, but, in my opinion, it is not the right way forward."

(GMM)

 

'Emotional' Heidfeld reaction 'surprised' Renault

Nick Heidfeld's response to the appointment of Bruno Senna in Belgium and beyond, "surprised" Renault team owner Gerard Lopez.

German Heidfeld attempted to win a court injunction prior to Spa-Francorchamps to enforce his contract to race in Robert Kubica's cockpit this year until the Pole is ready to return.

The judge ruled that Senna be allowed to race for the next two races before a full High Court hearing can take place after the Italian Grand Prix next month.

Heidfeld, 34, then appeared in the Spa paddock last weekend in order to be able to show the judge that he never breached his side of the contract.

"I was surprised," Genii chairman Lopez told the Tageblatt Luxembourg newspaper. "I would say it is an emotional reaction."

Lopez however defended Renault's decision to replace Heidfeld with Senna.

"His performance was not right so we need to test other drivers," he insisted. "Nick has always been a good colleague but we told him that we had not from him what we had expected.

"He was always treated with respect and that will continue, because he is still a member of the team," added Lopez.

(GMM)

 
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