Formula 1's Latest Rumours and Talk: Brawn Confirms Retirement and More
With the dust having settled on the opening pre-season test of the 2014 season, teams are busy examining data gathered and working on improvements for the next test in Bahrain.
For Red Bull it appears that much work is needed but team boss Dietrich Mateschitz has said that such teething troubles were expected and there is no cause for alarm.
Amongst today’s other talk, Ross Brawn has confirmed that he will not be returning to Formula One any time soon and next season could mark the last F1 race at Melbourne.
Future of Melbourne F1 Venue Uncertain
The future of the Australian Grand Prix at Melbourne beyond 2015 remains in doubt with negotiations about a new contract ongoing.
Melbourne took over as the venue of the Australian Grand Prix from Adelaide in 1996 and has hosted the event ever since.
But race chairman Ron Walker told the local Age newspaper that negotiations were ongoing, with the Victorian government pushing Bernie Ecclestone to reduce the annual fee.
"It's a work in progress," Walker is quoted on motorsport.com. "It's just taken longer than we thought. I hope the impasse will be resolved soon. Hopefully, it will be concluded before this year's race."
No Plans for Brawn Return
Ross Brawn insists he has no plans to return to the sport after retiring from his role as Mercedes team boss at the end of 2013.
Brawn had recently been linked with taking over from Martin Whitmarsh at McLaren but with Eric Boullier now confirmed as his replacement, there appears no obvious route back.
And Brawn confirmed to reporters of the Daily Telegraph at a fishing event in Aberdeenshire on Saturday that he was definitely staying away from the sport, as quoted on Autosport.
What they didn't realise when I was invited here was they had a scoop because the world's press was trying to find out if I was retiring or not. This is the busiest time of the year for Formula 1 and I said I would come along and open the River Dee.
If they had put two and two together they would have realised I was definitely retiring. I'm retiring - it's not tongue in cheek. I'm going to take a year to enjoy the fishing and then see what life brings. I'm looking forward to it but I've got no other plans.
Mateschitz Downplays Red Bull’s Struggles
Red Bull team owner Dietrich Mateschitz has downplayed his team’s nightmare start to pre-season testing by saying that such teething problems were expected.
Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo managed only 21 laps between them over four days at the Jerez circuit as a combination of battery and overheating problems hampered the team’s running.
"A deficit at the beginning of the season does not automatically mean that the world title is lost," Mateschitz told Salzburger Nachrichten via ESPNF1. "Even if you come from behind, you still have a chance."
Our current problems are not with the team, but in the engine area. The team has more than excellent know-how. These were the more-or-less expected teething problems with a new engine, which was being tested for the first time on a track. [The RB10] is very positive because it is more than just 'state of the art' again, as can be seen in the details. The moment of truth will come at the first race in Melbourne.
Massa Tips Alonso to Beat Raikkonen
New Williams recruit Felipe Massa has backed his former Ferrari teammate Fernando Alonso to come out on top in his battle with Kimi Raikkonen next season.
Massa, who topped the lap times at Jerez on the final day of testing on Friday, has been a teammate of both drivers at Ferrari but he expects Alonso’s “lively intelligence” to prove the difference, as quoted on jamesallenonf1.
He is very intelligent, he’s already worked out the new regulations and he knows what he needs to do to be quick straight away. He combines talent with savvy. He has a lively intelligence and that is what is needed with this change of regulations.
Then again the cars are very different and you never know, they may suit Kimi’s style better than Fernando’s, we will see.