21 Aug 2012

F1 - round up of all the latest stories

During the F1 holiday period the teams, drivers and fans all suffer an enforced shut down but there is plenty going on.  You've just got to look hard to find the tidbits of information - and that we've done to bring you this round up of all the current F1 stories.

Adrian Newey says exhaust ban harmed Red Bull - Adrian Newey has admitted that the ban on exhaust-blown diffusers has hurt Red Bull's title chances this year.  Newey says that Red Bull had been exploiting the technology for two years and to have it taken away, along with other restrictions on Red Bull innovations, such as the flexible front wing, has hurt them more than the competition.  This has certainly been borne out in this years results.  Last year Sebastian Vettel was the runaway leader in the championship but this year has struggled and taken just one victory.  Newey, regarded as one of the finest designers in the history of the sport, also admitted that the recent engine mapping clarification had hurt the team.  He said that they have to go back and take a fresh look at their engine mapping along with their engine partner Renault.

Rubens Barrichello still yearns for F1 - the Brazilian, who started his F1 career with Jordan in 1993, has stated that, "I think there is still a way back.  My heart bleeds that I cannot be there.  I think it's a shame for Williams because I think I would have had a really big year.  Not just for me, but also for the team.  Williams would have benefitted from me.  I would have been a good team mate as a coach for Senna, Bottas or Maldonado.  Next to me they would have gone much better than they can now."  Rubens goes on to say that Maldonado would have been a lot more controlled with him as a team mate.  Barrichello was always a well respected driver by F1 bosses but Williams let him go in order to inject fresh talent (and money) into the team.

Whitmarsh says no to two tier F1 - McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh has been speaking out about the upcoming engine regulations.  In 2014 F1 is set to introduce turbocharged 1.6 litre V6s.  There is talk in the F1 community that only Mercedes, Renault and Ferrari have the funds to change to the new engine format and that an equivalency formula may have to be introduced whereby the current 2.4 litre V8s race alongside the new units for a few years.  Whitmarsh said, "I think you'd have to arrange, if you did it, such that the new turbo engines have advantage over normally aspirated, so you're creating a two tier championship, which is I think not an attractive thing to have."  Our view is that the CRT formula in MotoGP proves Martin is correct in this regard.

Maldonado crashes his Williams again - Williams flew out an F1 car and GP2 car, at great expense, to Venezuela in order to put on a street demo in front of 20,000 fans and local top brass.  The home-coming for the local hero turned into an embarrassment when Pastor crashed his Williams FW34 on the 2nd lap of a 12 lap run around a street circuit put together especially for the occasion.  Rodolfo Gonzelez saved the day when he completed an eight lap run in his PDVSA backed GP2 car.

Kimi talks about his return - Kimi Raikkonen, who returned to F1 this year after a two year break, has opened up to www.totalrace.com/br about his return.  Raikkonen said, "Nothing has changed for me.  OK the team is different.  It's great here at Lotus.  The team is more peaceful.  They want to win but the mood is different from other teams.  I have no complaints."  Asked about his opinions on journalists he said, "I know what happens in F1.  I've been here long enough to understand the bullshit surrounding the sport.  People try to create stories.  I don't care.  Sometimes good, sometimes not but I don't worry about it. "

Robert Kubica is recovering, slowly - Igor Rossello, the surgeon who operated on Kubica after his massive crash in a Skoda Fabia rally car, has recently been talking to the Polish press.  Kubica suffered partial amputation of his forearm, compound fractures to his right elbow, shoulder and leg and a significant loss of blood in the crash.  Dr Rossello has been quoted as saying, "Kubica's hand remains fully functional but his problem is his elbow.  He still has trouble with his freedom of movement."  Ferrari, who would like Kubica to replace Massa for 2013, obviously harbour doubts about his ability to return to F1 as they are currently speaking with several drivers about the role.

Massa's replacement at Ferrari - It is possible, but unlikely, that Felipe Massa will stay at Ferrari next year.  The team were hoping that Robert Kubica would be well enough to replace Massa but that is looking unlikely.  Instead Ferrari are talking to a host of drivers including Jenson Button, Sergio Perez, Paul DiResta, Nico Hulkenberg and even Kimi Raikkonen.  Frankly we believe they should take our advice and hire Finn of the moment, Heikki Kovalainen.

Martin Whitmarsh to stand down as chairman of FOTA - With a degree of harmony entering F1, following the distinctly unharmonious Max Moseley era, Martin Whitmarsh feels it is time to step down from his role as chairman of FOTA.  Despite the stability in F1 FOTA (Formula One Teams Association) has had a rocky time of late with Sauber, Red Bull and Ferrari leaving in 2011 over a dispute over spending levels.  Whitmarsh said, "At the moment we've got 10 races left and I'll concentrate on that and on other things.  We'll see what happens, but my recommendation to them (FOTA) will be that someone else does it.  It'll be a good opportunity for them."