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F1 'Will Regret' Ignoring Pirelli Danger Says Perez, Mercedes Denies Brawn Exit Photo:
 
 
TMR Team | Oct, 08 2013 | 0 Comments

Sergio Perez has added yet another dissenting voice to the debate about F1's controversial tyre supplier.

Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber in Korea slammed Pirelli for providing poor quality, heavily degrading products, but it was McLaren's Perez who actually suffered a scary accident in the race when his tyre exploded.

"Pirelli will put the puncture of Perez down to a lock-up but the reason the drivers are locking up is because there's no tread left," Webber had said.

As predicted, Pirelli chief Paul Hembery did blame the Perez incident on a bad lock-up, but he said Webber was wrong to point the finger.

"There are two issues here that Mark is conflating," he said.

"It (Perez's failure) was nothing to do with the delaminations earlier in the season," Hembery told the Telegraph.

"The other issue about degradation is the same old story. We are only doing what we were asked to do, which is to create two to three stops per race."

Perez, however, was making the link between Pirelli and compromised safety.

"At the end of the day nothing happened," the Mexican is quoted by the AAP news agency, referring to injuries. "But one day something will happen.

"Nothing happened so after today nobody will comment on the situation, but one day something will happen so we will regret it," said Perez.

(GMM)

 

Mercedes denies Brawn's team exit decided

Mercedes on Monday denied reports Ross Brawn has decided to leave the team at the end of the season.

Germany's Sport Bild had said the 58-year-old Briton will hand over as team boss to Paddy Lowe, and possibly re-join the 2015 McLaren engine supplier Honda.

"I don't know where this story is coming from," Mercedes team chairman Niki Lauda told SID news agency.

"Nothing has changed."

Lauda did, however, admit that negotiations are currently taking place, but a decision will "definitely not" be made within the current season.

He said Mercedes wants to keep Brawn on board, "but of course it's his decision".

(GMM)

 

Keeping Hulkenberg in 2014 'possible' - Sauber

As Nico Hulkenberg sweats on his future, Sauber is not ruling out simply keeping the highly rated German on board in 2014.

Earlier, with the 26-year-old linked with moves to Ferrari, McLaren, Lotus and even a return to Force India, it had emerged Hulkenberg's Sauber contract had been terminated amid Sauber's financial struggles.

But with tall and heavy drivers like Hulkenberg increasingly marginalised by the new 2014 rules, some had begun to wonder if the German would be lost to F1 altogether.

He would be a big loss. He finished Sunday's Korean grand prix a stunning fourth, and was crowned "the man of the race" by Mercedes chairman Niki Lauda.

Might Hulkenberg have finally convinced a boss in the pitlane to sign him up for 2014?

"If someone is interested in me," he is quoted by Switzerland's 20min.ch, "they surely have been watching me for quite some time, not just one race."

Hulkenberg knows all too well that a single result, no matter how impressive, means little when it comes to signatures on a F1 contract -- in 2010, he was ousted by Williams immediately after securing pole in Brazil.

Increasingly, teams are weighing up a driver's talent together with his purse of sponsors, and Hulkenberg's Dekra deal is not lucrative.

Since his 2013 Sauber deal was formally ended, however, the Swiss team has tied up with a group of Russian investors, and money has reportedly begun to flow.

That could help explain Sauber's impressive performance in Korea, where Lewis Hamilton rued the "incredible traction" as he failed to pass Hulkenberg's car.

Surely, Sauber must be making moves to retain Hulkenberg.

"It's a possibility for us to keep him," team boss Monisha Kaltenborn admitted.

So, after Korea, the race could be on to secure the talented German for 2014. Some sources said Sunday's result had tipped the scales in his favour at Lotus, who have also been considering Felipe Massa fir 2014.

"We don't judge a driver by one race," team boss Eric Boullier told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

"We have known for a long time, and he showed it again today, that he can drive at the front in a good car," added the Lotus boss.

Hulkenberg is quoted by DPA news agency: "My mobile is on."

(GMM)

 

No penalty for Korea after 'fire truck' incident

Oct.7 (GMM) Organisers of the Korean grand prix will escape sanction, even though a fire vehicle was deployed onto the racing line during Sunday's race.

The future of the Yeongam race was already under a dark cloud before the bizarre incident, in which leader Sebastian Vettel was stunned to find himself bearing down on a 4x4.

"I think it was a Hyundai or Kia SUV," said the German. "You want the number plate? It was not Bernd Maylander's, so it was not the safety car."

Korean officials had made a mistake, but it is not quite as serious an error as it first appeared.

Indeed, race director Charlie Whiting admitted that, although surprised to see the 4x4 on the track, he had in fact just ordered the deployment of a fire vehicle to help extinguish Mark Webber's worsening fire.

"We assumed they would send out the car that was in turn 3, because that's where the burning Red Bull was," Whiting told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

"It wouldn't even have had to go on the track," added the Briton. "But for some reason they sent the car that was in turn 2.

"I would say it was a classic misunderstanding," Whiting said.

"When I saw the car on the screen, I immediately deployed the safety car," he explained. "Not because of the fire, but because of the car."

Because it was more a 'misunderstanding' than a grave error, and because the marshals acted correctly in warning drivers with white flags, the Korean race promoters will not be penalised by the FIA.

Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali said the mistake was excusable.

"As this is their only race per year, they are probably just missing some experience," he said.

And Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said he excuses the mistake altogether.

"I was actually relieved that a fire extinguisher was finally on the way to our car," he said. "It seemed to be burning for an age."

(GMM)

 

Grosjean 'can be even better in 2014' - Boullier

Romain Grosjean will almost certainly keep his place at Lotus beyond this season.

The Frenchman, however, had to be reminded to show his always-present smile on the podium in Korea, after a team orders dispute with his bosses.

Grosjean, who has struggled at times in the last two seasons, had outclassed his highly-rated teammate Kimi Raikkonen in Korea, and was set to finish second behind Sebastian Vettel.

But he made a mistake at the safety car restart, handing second place to the Ferrari-bound Finn.

Team boss Eric Boullier revealed Grosjean "begged for some team orders" to be handed the place back, but was not given the answer he was hoping for.

However, although it was Raikkonen who ultimately delivered the higher finishing place, Boullier told France's RMC: "I want to especially acknowledge Romain, who did an outstanding weekend."

Despite Sunday's events, he insisted Raikkonen is not receiving preferential treatment, even though the Finn is mathematically still in the hunt for the drivers' title.

"There is no number 1 and number 2," Boullier said. "Romain is free to race."

Told that Grosjean appears to have calmed down in recent months and is on a run of good form, Boullier agreed: "He is very serene.

"It has been six races in a row now that he is on the same level as his teammate, so he really is there," said the Frenchman, who also doubles as Grosjean's manager.

Asked if Grosjean still needs to prove himself in order to secure his seat for 2014, Boullier answered: "Obviously, if he continues like this, there is nothing (for him to prove).

"I think he will have even more than next year (in F1)," he added.

(GMM)

 
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