Formula 1's Latest Rumours and Talk: Mark Webber, Russian Grand Prix and More
Mark Webber has made a few ripples in the Formula One water in the last few days, in two different interviews, regarding his own career and the prospects of Sebastian Vettel joining Ferrari.
There are also doubts over the viability of the Russian Grand Prix and the prospect of an IndyCar team getting involved in F1.
Webber: F1 Motivation on the Wane
Mark Webber has admitted he has struggled with motivation in his final two seasons racing in F1.
The Red Bull driver, who is quitting the sport to head Porsche's factory Le Mans campaign in 2014, says he found it difficult to continue with the routine he had become so bogged down in.
He told F1 Racing magazine, as reported by Sky Sports:
I've been on the edge with F1, motivation-wise, for the past couple of years. You have to be driven. You turn yourself around each winter and the fire in the belly is not quite what it was when you were 24.
It does, in the end, force you to ask yourself the question: 'Do I have to be here, doing this?' And when Porsche came along, I could look myself in the eye and say: 'Well, you know what, I probably don't have to do some of those things any more.'
Russian Manager Doubts Sochi
The Sochi circuit that will host the 2014 Russian Grand Prix is commercially unviable, according to Russian F1 expert Oksana Kosachenko.
Kosachenko managed Vitaly Petrov, Russia's first F1 driver, and works as a market researcher for prospective race venues in post-Soviet countries.
According to her, most Russian families cannot afford to shell out at least 20,000 rubles ($600) needed for buying tickets and travelling to the Black Sea resort town.
Zeenews report her as saying the event may not run altogether.
People will not spend their money to go to Sochi. There are not that many families in Russia who can spend that for their leisure.
I know that a couple of the other countries are now in talks with Bernie Ecclestone about the possibility to host a Grand Prix, which can also complicate the whole deal.
Andretti Could Run Customer F1 Team
IndyCar team owner Michael Andretti would get involved in Formula 1 if the sport opened its doors to customer teams once again.
That's the view of his father, F1 legend Mario, who believes his son would jump at purchasing a chassis off a leading manufacturer.
Andretti Sr. also believes customer cars would be a positive addition to the sport.
According to motorsport.com, the 1978 world champion told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper:
I have already spoken with Bernie Ecclestone about it. It would also be a way for new teams to be a part of Formula One, even if they don't have their own racing car factories.
My son (Michael) would be one of the first who would come in, if he could buy a car from one of the top manufacturers.
I find the idea of a blue Ferrari overtaking a red Ferrari very interesting. It would give Formula One a whole new appeal.
Raikkonen a "Short-Term" Plan Until Vettel
Ferrari will dump Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen simultaneously to make way for Sebastian Vettel in 2016, according to Mark Webber.
The Australian, who has partnered Vettel at his current Red Bull team since 2009, reckons Raikkonen's two-year deal with the Scuderia will expire at the same time as Alonso's.
The Maranello squad would then move for triple world champion Vettel as part of what Webber believes is a never-ending search for instant success.
He told Sky Sports F1:
This is the first step forward for them to get the team back in [title-winning form]. Constructors' is important, Ferrari winning that, and then the Drivers' Championship as well. So those two things have got to come together.
There are so many reasons why it's a bit of a gamble to help Ferrari. Two years for probably both of them actually I think.
And then what they do after that obviously [is] pick Seb up off the back of Red Bull and they keep moving from there.
But it's a very short-term aggressive statement from Ferrari to put the team at the front.
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