“The tyres are wrong”
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.
Despite becoming Mercedes’ major shareholder and chairman, triple world champion Niki Lauda will remain an expert commentator in 2013.
RTL, the German free-to-air broadcaster, has announced that the famous cap-wearing 64-year-old Austrian has signed on for another season and beyond. RTL’s sports boss Manfred Loppe said he is confident the dual role as a television pundit and leading Mercedes figure will not alter Lauda’s typically outspoken nature.
More countries have followed Britain’s lead in seeing their exclusive free-to-air television coverage of formula one end.
Sebastian Vettel is the best, but Mercedes can be a top-three contender in 2013.
That is the claim of Niki Lauda, the triple world champion who is also the straight-talking expert pundit for German television RTL. But he is also now Mercedes’ 10 per cent shareholder and board chairman, and despite an up-and-down Jerez debut for the new Brackley-built W04, Lauda sounded optimistic about the future.
Michael Schumacher has admitted his fitness could slip now that he is returning to retirement.
But the great seven time world champion, who after almost two decades on the F1 grid is now retiring for a second time, told his fans not to worry about him. “Why would anyone worry what Michael Schumacher is going to do when he stops?” the 43-year-old is quoted by RTL.
Red Bull has distanced itself from the blame, following Sebastian Vettel’s disastrous qualifying session in Abu Dhabi last weekend.
Disqualified from the session after scrutineers could not extract the necessary litre of fuel for sampling, the championship leader had been asked to stop the car urgently following advice from engine supplier Renault.
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.
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