Mercedes favourite to win in Monaco
The faces of Red Bull chiefs became notably “worried” as the winter pre-season period wrapped up recently.
That is the claim of Marc Surer, a former F1 driver turned German-language commentator. Indeed, as the final test week concluded in Barcelona, Mercedes sped to the top of the time sheets, whilst Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel languished two seconds too slow.
Felipe Massa has revealed that amid his tumultuous 2012 season, he thought about quitting.
When the Brazilian mounted the podium in his native Brazil on Sunday, he openly cried. Following a dire start to his 2012 campaign, and indeed a fallow few seasons since his almost fatal injuries of 2009, the 31-year-old has managed to recover his form more recently.
Bob Fernley, the day-to-day team boss at Force India, has backed Ferrari’s decision to deliberately penalise Felipe Massa in Austin.
The Italian team was roundly criticised for tampering with Brazilian Massa’s long-life gearbox for no other reason than to incur a five-place penalty that switched title-fighting teammate Fernando Alonso to the ‘clean’ side of the grid. Ferrari’s immediate competitors, Red Bull and McLaren, said they wouldn’t have made a similar decision.
“The timing is certainly not beneficial” – Marc Surer
Just as the Mercedes board is set to meet on Tuesday, Michael Schumacher is the unhappy subject of an intense round of bad press in his native Germany. Some publications have nicknamed the seven time world champion ‘Schussel-(clumsy) Schumi’ after his latest mistake in Singapore; the crash with Jean-Eric Vergne that has cost him ten places on the Suzuka grid.
Team co-owner Toto Wolff on Friday defended Bruno Senna, after a bad day in Montreal for Williams’ Brazilian driver.
Kimi Raikkonen can add a second title to his tally in 2012.
That is the claim of the 2007 world champion’s countryman Mika Salo, who now commentates on Finnish television MTV3. In the fourth race of Raikkonen’s return to F1 from rallying, the 32-year-old last weekend challenged Sebastian Vettel for victory in Bahrain, finishing second for Lotus.
The FIA could sanction F1′s reigning back-to-back world champion for his behaviour during the recent Malaysian grand prix.
Before calling backmarker Narain Karthikeyan a “gherkin” and “idiot” in the wake of their collision, Sebastian Vettel was captured by his on-board camera twice displaying his middle-finger to the Indian driver. “I think he’s highly frustrated because he’s having a tough season,” Karthikeyan told the Deccan Chronicle on Wednesday.
“We called him in purely because the car was no longer safe. It was not a tactical decision”
Red Bull has hit back at claims the team lied about a technical problem in Malaysia in order to gain a tactical advantage for the forthcoming races. Near the end of the Sepang race, Sebastian Vettel’s engineer repeatedly instructed the back-to-back world champion to retire his RB8 car.
Kimi Raikkonen’s chances of returning to formula one next year with Williams seem to have receded.
The Italian magazine Autosprint reports that the 2007 world champion’s prospective sponsors may have withdrawn their interest, leaving fellow Finn and rookie Valtteri Bottas at the top of the candidates list now.
Mercedes is investigating how a rear wheel fell off Michael Schumacher’s car during qualifying at Spa-Francorchamps.
Wearing a special golden helmet to celebrate the 20th anniversary of his F1 debut, the famous German will start the race last because he crashed during his outlap in Q1. “How embarrassing for Mercedes, to destroy his anniversary race because the wheel fell off,” Sky commentator Marc Surer is quoted as saying by Bild newspaper.
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