Vettel slams new noiseless F1 engines

Reigning four time Formula One Drivers’ world champion Sebastian Vettel has slammed the new noiseless engines of the Formula One cars adding that the new season’s quiet and hybrid engines desperately needed to undergo a makeover to bring back some of the excitement back to the sport.

When a media outlet asked the German what he thought about the new engines, the youngest ever champion in the history of the sport had some choice words for it, adding that they needed to change it.

The reigning world champion is a new entrant in a long line of detractors for the new engines of Formula One, including Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone following the debut of the new, noiseless engines at the Australian Grand Prix earlier this month.

The Red Bull Racing driver has had plenty of time to lend his ear to the new engines which have drawn several comparisons with vacuum cleaners when he had to retire early from the race at Melbourne’s Albert Park. And he mentioned that he definitely wasn’t impressed, adding that he is used to a far higher noise in a bar.

Vettel stated that he was on the pit wall after his retirement and as he saw the cars whizzing by, the only thought that came to his mind is that it was quieter in a bar. Speaking ahead of the Malaysian Grand Prix this weekend, Vettel mentioned that the new engines are not good for the fans that pay huge money to watch the sport.
The 26 year old stated that he thought Formula One has to be a spectacle and the loud noise was one of the biggest draws from the very beginning. He added the one thing he remembers about his youth was the loud noise when the engines revved and it needs to be brought back.

BUTTON SUFFERS SETBACK

John Button the father of Jenson Button has expired at the age of 70. It is suspected that he had a heart attack. He was a regular figure in the paddock of Formula One and he will surely be missed by a lot of people. Jenson Button the McLaren driver and also one of the most promising faces in the Formula One field is heartbroken.

It is something that you never call for and something that you don’t expect either. It is quite a setback just before the start of the season. However everyone believes that Jenson will recover from this and will be more determined to win the championship this season. One of the statements that were released to the local press said that John France passed away when he was at home in France and it was a friend of his who discovered this and gave the news of his tragic death. Although people are still waiting for the confirmation the initial signs have clearly indicated that it was a heart attack.

Natasha, Tanya, Samantha and Jenson and also the rest of John’s family is devastated and has requested for some privacy so that they can deal with matters at this difficult time. When asked from his friends they said that John was doing quite well recently and no one expected such a thing to happen. It is a very unfortunate thing that has happened to the family and since he was the head of the family it would be a difficult time for them to manage with everything. John’s friends, relatives and everyone who was close will be at his funeral. John had the opportunity to witness his son winning the championship in the year 2009. He attended almost all the Grand Prix and was a huge support for Jenson.

Horner plays down rumors

Christian Horner, the team boss of Red Bull, played down the reports that he might run Formula One. The reports appear since Bernie Ecclestone called him as the right candidate to take his place in Formula One as the commercial chief of the motor sport.

Christian Horner, whose team Red Bull dominated Formula One for the past 4 years, told that it is very flattering what Ecclestone has said, but he would to be here for a long time to come. Speaking to a leading channel in Sao Paulo, he told that Bernie is in good shape and he is still doing some great deals for the sport.

Bernie Ecclestone, who has turned Formula 1 into a worldwide money spinner in the last forty years, has ignored dialogues of retirement. Now he is 83 years old and he is battling legal challenges linking to a business deal in 2005.

Earlier, speaking to Brit reporters, Bernie told that he would prefer to hand over his job to the current Red Bull chief. He told that Horner would be ideal for the job. He would be happy to hold his hand. They could have a transitional time. This requires someone who knows the game.

Meanwhile, Private equity firm CVC, which is also the biggest stakeholder in Formula 1, denied saying anything about the reports.

Ecclestone is confronting a US$ 100 million damage claims over allegements that he devalued the business when CVC moved into as the biggest shareholder.

Ferrari deny Raikkonen signing was a snub

Formula 1’s biggest team Ferrari have denied that the re-signing of Kimi Raikkonen from Lotus F1 for next season is a snub to the team’s current number one driver and former two time Drivers’ World Champion Fernando Alonso.

Stefano Domenicali stated emphatically when asked whether the arrival of the Finnish driver would unsettle the Spaniard that the duo is the best pairing the sport could offer at the moment and he is hopeful that the combination will work wonders for the team.

He went on to add that everyone who thinks the team’s decision to add Raikkonen to the roster has to do with anti-Alonso sentiments can put their minds at ease adding that it is nothing like that. Domenincali further stated that everyone at the Italian team knows that it is the interest of the team that comes first and Fernando is a key cog in the team and he will remain so for many years to come.

The Italian giants confirmed that the Flying Finn has signed a two year contract to return to the team from 2014 and will replace Brazilian Felipe Massa as the partner of Fernando Alonso. Ferrari and Alonso have suffered a tumultuous season this term and their relationship is also said to be strained after it was revealed that Alonso had expressed his disappointment to people close to him at the inability of the team to provide a car that could compete with the runaway Drivers’ World Championship leader Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull Racing.

Fernando Alonso has missed out on the Drivers’ title twice in the last three years and Domenicali stated the way Vettel hauled in a 39 point lead last season still remains a sore for the team and with Raikkonen in the team, Ferrari will go for the assault next season.

RAIKONNEN RUMOURS

Rumours about Kimi Raikkonen returning to Ferrari have been intensifying in the last few days especially after the Italian Grand Prix came to an end. This is usually the time when Ferrari announce their line-ups for next season.

There have been a lot of rumours surrounding star driver Fernando Alonso, who has been linked with teams like Red bull. After the move to Red Bull collapsed, Alonso looks like he will stay at Ferrari at least for the next season. This will not be the same for Brazilian driver Felipe Massa, who has been in poor form this season.

His contract runs out at the end of the campaign and it looks highly unlikely that the team will retain the former Sauber driver, who has been at the team since the days of Michael Schumacher. The betting markets envisage a return to Ferrari.

Ferrari paid off Raikkonen from the final year of his contract in order to bring Alonso, but Raikkonen has been the last Ferrari driver to win the world championship title. He achieved this feat back in 2007 in his first season at the team. The huge gamble with Alonso has not paid off because he has been second best to Vettel since replacing the Finn at the Italian team.

“It is a decision we want to take at the appropriate time, to make sure that we take the best decision for our team. I think the fact that we have not decided yet means we still have to put all the elements on the table – we want to put all the considerations there before taking the right decision. We will announce and say something on that as soon as we have finalised it. It’s not an easy decision for us. There is no doubt that Fernando is a leader, and Fernando with a Ferrari is moving the mountains,” said Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali.

BRUNDLE BACKS KIMI

Sky Sports F1 pundit Martin Brundle is of the opinion that Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen wants to leave the team at the end of the season. The future of the former Ferrari driver has been speculated a lot especially given that he has only a contract till the end of the season.

So far, he has not appeared to be closer to reaching a deal with Lotus due to interest from several teams like Red Bull and Ferrari for his services. Up until recently, he was heavily linked with a move to Red Bull in 2014. However, that move seems to have fallen off due to several reasons.

Raikkonen’s manager Steve Robertson recently confirmed that his client will not be joining Red Bull and it appears that he may be set for a return to Ferrari. The Italian team have not won a title for the last six years and they are under tremendous pressure. They put all their money on Fernando Alonso, but he has so far not delivered the title for the team. Interestingly, it was Raikkonen who won the world championship title for Ferrari in 2007. Brundle has said that Raikkonen will be regarded as one of the top drivers in the paddock alongside the likes of Lewis Hamilton, Alonso, and Sebastian Vettel.

“I think there is a lot of bluffing going on and we will have to wait and see what the teams do. There is certainly some negotiations going on and Kimi might well spring from the Lotus team. Does Raikkonen really want to leave Lotus? You have to assume he does as he is scouting around,” said Brundle in a recent interview. F1 will be resuming this weekend with the Belgian Grand Prix, which is a favourite track for most of the drivers and teams.

FASTER TRACKS

Formula 1 will be returning to faster tracks like Silverstone in the next few races, which will be beneficial to Ferrari according to driver Felipe Massa.

Ferrari have struggled for form during the early stages of the new season. As a result, they have once again fallen behind favourites Red bull in the race for the F1 world championship.

Star driver Fernando Alonso has not been able to consistently challenge Sebastian Vettel for the victories, but that will change when the sport returns to Silverstone. This is acknowledged as one of the fastest racetracks over the course of the season.

Massa has said that the races at Montréal and Monaco have not been ideal for the team due to the slow speed nature of the circuit. This has meant that Sebastian Vettel has opened the gap between him and Fernando Alonso.

The Spaniard will be looking to close it down over the next few races, which is likely to favour Ferrari due to the fast nature of the circuits. The next few races will be at Silverstone and Nurburgring. Both these tracks have a lot of medium and high speed corners, which will suit the setup of Ferrari cars according to Massa.

After struggling with form over the last few years, Massa appears to be back to his best in recent races.

“I think Silverstone can be a bit better for us. The car was very strong in Barcelona and in China. Montreal was a completely different track compared to where next we are going, to Silverstone and Nurburgring, where you have a lot of lateral corners. There are a lot of medium and high-speed corners, so we will see. I think will be better on normal tracks. I know we have the pace, and that is important,” said the Brazilian.

RED BULL DENY SPECULATION

Red Bull Racing have denied the speculation that their Australian driver Mark Webber could leave the team at the end of the season. The 36-year-old has had a frosty relationship with his teammate Sebastian Vettel over the last few years.

However, the relationship turned sour after the recent Malaysian Grand Prix when the German driver disobeyed the orders from the team to overtake Webber in the final few laps of the race, thus claiming the 27th victory of his career. There have been suggestions that Red Bull have been favouring Vettel over the years. Yet, Webber has continued with the team.

The Australian, though, is thought to be deeply disappointed by the lack of action from the team for this selfish attitude by Vettel. He has been rolling contract with Red Bull for the past few years, and his current contract ends at the end of the current season. Webber’s manager Flavio Briatore stated that he cannot see the Australian continuing at Red Bull after this latest incident. There have even been suggestions that Webber may retire from the sport itself. However, the team have said in an interview to the BBC that such speculation are baseless. According to the team, it is also too early to talk about the 2014 season.

“We are two races into the current season and it’s far too early to be talking about 2014. The team has managed the situation each time in its own way behind closed doors,” said a statement by the team. This is not the first time Vettel and Webber had clashed with each other. The most famous incident between the two happened in the 2010 Turkish Grand Prix. The pair ignored the team orders and clashed on the race track, thus ending the hopes of Red Bull having two cars on the podium.

READY FOR RAIN

The Red Bull driver Mark Webber has revealed that he is ready for the rainy conditions that are expected on the final day of testing, which is currently being conducted in Barcelona.

The entire pre-season testing so far this week has been characterised by cold conditions, but the teams will have to prepare for the worst for the final day of testing when rain is expected. Webber has said that it is going to be a tough day for the teams because they have to not only adjust to the rain, but also extremely cold temperatures as well.

It is predicted that the temperatures will drop to around 7°C, and the fact that there will be no sun means that it will be a tough period of acclimatisation for the teams. However, the Australian is well prepared for such an eventuality. Recently, the Red Bull team owner confirmed that there will be no favouritism between Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel for the upcoming season. Vettel has managed to win three consecutive world championship titles, while also managing to overshadow Webber in the process. The 36-year-old Australian is one of the experienced members on the F1 paddock following the retirement of Michael Schumacher at the end of last season.

“I think it’s going to be very cold tomorrow and raining, so it could be a difficult day for the teams. The predicted temperature is seven or eight degrees, so the track is going to be in the same window maybe because there’s going to be no sun on the track. It’s incredibly unusual to racing at a grand prix in these conditions, so we need to see how much mileage we can do tomorrow on the intermediates. We need to have a look at how the inters are and see how the new car is in the wet conditions,” said Webber.

ALONSO BACKS LEWIS

The factory driver Fernando Alonso has said that he still retains the former McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton as one of his important competitors for the F1 world championship title.

Alonso came extremely close to winning the title last season. He has not managed to lift the F1 world championship title winning it with Renault back in 2006. Ahead of the 2013 season, there is a lot of optimism within the Ferrari camp after a strong finish to the 2012 season. Despite starting the last season very poorly, Alonso was able to take the title race to the last day of the season.

The McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton, who shares an intense rivalry with Alonso, was not challenging for the title for the majority of the season. He recently left McLaren for Mercedes or a three-year deal. This has raised many eyebrows because Mercedes have not been able to challenge even for a couple of victories in the three years they have spent in recent times. Despite the poor form of Mercedes, Alonso is confident that Hamilton will remain as one of the key men to watch for the 2013 season. Alonso has also praised Vettel by saying that he completely deserves his third consecutive world championship title.

“I do not know who will be my main opponent for this season, he who has the best team, with the best year in terms of preparation, luck, testing, all of these factors, will help a driver or team to come on top of others. But as for strongest opponent, who is strongest driver? My answer is Hamilton. It was true last year, it was true this year. The strongest driver? It is a personal opinion, not political, not to make people think something,” said Alonso. Ferrari will be unveiling the new car in the next few days.