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F1: Webber Not One To Write Off - Horner, Ecclestone Photo:
 
 
Mike Stevens | Sep, 30 2011 | 0 Comments

Red Bull has not written off Mark Webber despite his struggle to live with his teammate Sebastian Vettel in 2011.

While Vettel, 24, has raced to a certain back-to-back title with nine wins so far this season, veteran Webber has failed to win a single GP.

But even though there might be question marks about his motivation to again take on the young German next season, Red Bull has signed up Webber for another campaign.

"Well, he's still motivated enough to beat anybody except Sebastian," team boss Christian Horner told F1's official website.

"It seems all too convenient to underestimate Mark when comparing him against Seb. But that is definitely a huge mistake. Mark is undervalued right now."

Also not writing off 35-year-old Webber is Bernie Ecclestone, the sport's chief executive.

"That Sebastian is better than Mark we know by now. But who is there who is better than Mark?" wondered the Briton.

"I think it is not right to belittle Mark. In context, driving with Sebastian, he hasn't got the easiest of jobs, because in my view Sebastian is the best driver on the grid right now."

(GMM)

 

Red Bull has no plans to sell two F1 teams

Red Bull has no plans to scale back its involvement in F1, owner Dietrich Mateschitz insists.

Red Bull Racing's Nascar equivalent is being wound up but it is a different story in F1, where Sebastian Vettel is on the verge of being crowned the youngest ever back to back champion.

Mateschitz told the Independent newspaper he is even happy with his second F1 team Toro Rosso.

"No," he insisted when asked if the Faenza based team is for sale, "although partnerships would not be ruled out, as long as the partner is the right one."

Also not being sold is the premier Red Bull team, even though "a forecast is difficult and a decision always depends on the wider picture, the politics, influence of F1 shareholders and many other factors".

He played down the supposed cost-drain of being involved in F1.

"The total marketing investment for (the) Red Bull (brand) is 10 times as much as in F1," said Mateschitz.

There is, however, no title sponsor as it is "difficult to find one due to the strength of the Red Bull brand".

(GMM)

 

Liuzzi or Ricciardo to sit out India GP?

A month before the first Indian GP, F1's complete driver line-up for the Delhi race is not yet clear.

At HRT, Narain Karthikeyan's sponsors have paid to put the Indian back in a race car for the country's inaugural F1 event, but who his teammate will be is not publicly known.

Karthikeyan began 2011 alongside Vitantonio Liuzzi, whose manager said recently the Italian has a solid contract for every grand prix this season.

In the other car now is Aussie Daniel Ricciardo, thanks to a collaboration deal between the struggling Spanish team and the Australian rookie's backer Red Bull.

The 22-year-old will be in Delhi this weekend to demonstrate a Red Bull F1 car.

He confirmed to the Times of India that he will be returning in late October "for the race".

"I will probably spend some time in the city and have a look around and then get down to business," said Ricciardo.

HRT has been contacted for comment.

At Team Lotus, meanwhile, rumours are still swirling that team regular Jarno Trulli will sit it out so that India's other F1 driver can race in Delhi.

"Hopefully when the time comes I will be sitting on the grid waiting for the lights to go green," reserve driver Karun Chandhok told the Daily Pioneer on a visit to the Buddh circuit this week.

(GMM)

 

F1 must accept move from Europe - de la Rosa

Formula One needs to accept the steady move away from its traditional European homeland.

That is the claim of Spanish test driver Pedro de la Rosa, whose employer McLaren is based in the UK close to seven other F1 teams.

The other four teams are based elsewhere in Europe but, next year for example, no fewer than 12 of the 20 scheduled races will take place on other continents.

De la Rosa wrote in his latest formulasantander.com column that F1 is moving with the times of the world.

"We all know that the grands prix are usually contested in those countries which can permit it, and nowadays, the majority of countries which can permit it are now in the Near East or on the same continent, Asia," he said.

The next traditional host in danger of losing its F1 races is Germany.

"I find it hard to imagine a season of formula one without Germany," the Nurburgring's Karl-Josef Schmidt is quoted by the DPA news agency this week. "I think it's the same for Mr Ecclestone."

Schmidt is trying to negotiate a lower race fee for the circuit's next scheduled race in 2013.

But de la Rosa said F1's traditionalists need to accept the future has arrived.

"I understand that it is very hard for all those who, like me, grew up watching F1 races at the Nurburgring, at Brands Hatch, Estoril or at the Paul Ricard circuit," he said.

"But it is as obvious to recognise that the investment of Asian countries is supplanting and even replacing the tradition of European countries."

(GMM)

 

No KERS or 'big jump' for Virgin in 2012 - Glock

Virgin will not be using KERS technology in 2012.

Another of the new-in-2010 teams, Team Lotus, has announced that from next season it will be using the kinetic energy recovery system developed by Red Bull.

"We have done the very best job we can this year but without that extra power we are always competing on a different level to the teams ahead," said team boss Tony Fernandes.

Virgin is also making efforts to catch the more established teams, including by hiring the highly experienced 'crashgate' engineer Pat Symonds.

"My impression of him is very good," driver Timo Glock told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

Symonds' attention to detail is already becoming apparent, with the switch from steel to titanium pitstop jacks, and the use of laser technology for pitstop positioning, seen for the first time in Singapore.

The German report also said the 60 per cent scale model of Virgin's 2012 car is now complete and will enter the McLaren wind tunnel at the end of next month.

But Glock reportedly confirmed that, when complete, the car will not feature a KERS system.

And he warned: "I don't think that by the first race of next year we will make a big jump. There just isn't enough time. But for the start of the European season we are planning a major update."

(GMM)

 

2012 Pirelli tyres in action this week

Pirelli's tyres for the 2012 season are up and testing this week in Barcelona.

The official supplier's test driver Lucas di Grassi has revealed he is in action at the Circuit de Catalunya.

So how do the 2012 tyres feel?: "Can't tell you, sorry," the Brazilian said on Twitter.

The F1 teams may get their first taste of next year's rubber during the young drivers' test at Yas Marina after the penultimate grand prix of the season in mid November.

"We will use the 2012 tyre if the teams want," said motor sport director Paul Hembery.

The driver lineup for the rookies' test in Abu Dhabi is taking shape, according to Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

While Jean-Eric Vergne will appear for Red Bull, the energy drink's sister team Toro Rosso is reportedly selling its test seats for $200,000.

Williams will have its Finnish test driver Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes will have Sam Bird, and McLaren intends to run Gary Paffett.

Jules Bianchi will be in action for Ferrari, while Esteban Gutierrez runs for Sauber.

(GMM)

 
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