“The tyres are wrong”
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.
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.
As the sun set on the final day of pre-season testing late on Sunday, the words on everyone’s lips were Mercedes and Red Bull.
“Everyone is saying that this Mercedes is fast. Consistently fast,” said respected Auto Motor und Sport correspondent Michael Schmidt. Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko added: “(It is fast) at least on one lap. But at least we do have to take them really seriously.”
Luiz Razia insists he is not losing any sleep, despite coming tantalisingly close to realising his dream of racing in formula one this year.
In fact, he was even the subject of a Marussia media announcement and began testing his 2013 car recently in Spain, only to be let down by a crucial sponsor. “I will sleep tonight, knowing that the failure was circumstantial,” the 23-year-old Brazilian told O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper.
As the F1 teams prepare for the final pre-season test in Barcelona, Brazilian rookie Luiz Razia’s formula one future appears in tatters.
The 23-year-old was left out of Marussia’s entire schedule for the recent Barcelona test, with the team saying only that it wanted to benefit from the “consistency” of having Max Chilton in the car for every day of running.
Felipe Massa has clarified his recent assessment that the 2013 Ferrari is “on a different planet” compared to last year’s red car.
Mercedes has taken “an important step forwards” since the end of the 2012 season.
That is the claim of new team shareholder and chairman Niki Lauda, as Nico Rosberg expects race wins later this year and Lewis Hamilton plays down expectations. “We’re not looking at wins at the moment,” Briton Hamilton, who has moved from McLaren over the winter, said after testing the new W04 late last week in Barcelona.
Luiz Razia, Marussia’s second race driver for 2013, has been left out of this week’s testing in Barcelona.
The situation is causing alarm within Brazil’s F1 media ranks, and raising doubts about whether the 23-year-old’s new contract is now in doubt, or whether Max Chilton is simply the clear and favoured ‘number 1′.
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