“We cannot give up”
Triple world champion Niki Lauda thinks “at least five teams” could be in the running to win the opening grand prix of 2013.
“So the best structured (ones),” said the famous Austrian, “Red Bull, us (Mercedes), Ferrari, McLaren and Lotus. “After what we saw in winter testing, I would say that any of them could win at Albert Park,” he told O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper in Melbourne.
Fernando Alonso was “undoubtedly” the best driver of the 2012 season, according to fellow Spaniard and Ferrari test driver Marc Gene.
“The ease with which Vettel has won his titles is abnormal,” the former Minardi driver is quoted by EFE news agency. “For me the best driver this year was undoubtedly Fernando, getting thirteen out of twenty podiums.”
HRT’s technical director Toni Cuquerella has acknowledged that the Spanish team’s F1 foray is now over.
It was believed the team’s departing owner Thesan Capital had set an end-of-November deadline for a new buyer to be found. Indeed, as November became December over the past weekend, the FIA published the official 2013 entry list, and it made no mention of HRT.
Ferrari has travelled to India with some improvements for its 2012 car, test driver Marc Gene has revealed.
Despite admitting its wind tunnel has not always been up to scratch this year, the Italian team remains determined to fight back after Fernando Alonso lost his long-standing championship lead to Red Bull’s on-form Sebastian Vettel two weeks ago in Korea.
Fernando Alonso has rejected claims F1 should consider abandoning its standing-starts in the wake of last Sunday’s Belgian grand prix.
The Spaniard was lucky to escape serious injury when the now-banned Romain Grosjean’s Lotus flew dangerously close to Alonso’s exposed cockpit opening. The incident has triggered renewed calls for F1 to ramp up the cars’ head protection, while some have even suggested the sport might follow Indy’s lead by getting its races up and running with a rolling start.
The 2012 field is so even because the rules are so restrictive, according to Fernando Alonso.
The Spaniard admitted to worrying about the “credibility” of the sport, in light of the common view that the tyres supplied by Pirelli this year are making winning and losing grands prix akin to a “lottery”.
Fernando Alonso has tipped his beleaguered teammate Felipe Massa to continue to recover from his career low.
Prior to Monaco, speculation hinted that the Brazilian Massa could be imminently ousted by Ferrari, having struggled so much at the wheel of the F2012. But in the Principality, where Massa has a home, the 30-year-old seemed to bounce back onto form, quelling for now the calls for him to be dumped.
Maria de Villota is not ruling out appearing during a Friday morning practice session some time in 2012.
The 32-year-old Spaniard made international headlines in March when she signed with Marussia as a test driver. She subsequently admitted, however, that – despite travelling to all the grands prix with the former Virgin team this year – she is “not the reserve driver”.
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