2010 British Grand Prix: Friday News Round-Up #1

FIA announce Safety Car changes; Drivers push for kerb changes; Schumacher gives up title aspirations, but Rosberg isn’t ruling himself out just yet; Trulli expects Pirelli tyres to pose a challenge

Caution periods during this weekend’s British Grand Prix will be significantly different from last time out in Valencia, after the FIA moved to change the safety car rules.

As revealed by Autosport drivers will no longer be able to take advantage of a safety car period and will be forced to stick to the speed of the safety car until they form up behind it.

Although the closure of the pit lane was also considered during a meeting, held earlier this week, such a measure did not receive unanimous support and so was not implemented.

Drivers have also called for Silverstone to make changes to the high kerbs at the Maggotts and Becketts complex.

“I think at Becketts there are a few larger sections behind the main kerbing, if you like, which the drivers are certainly not a fan of,” Mark Webber said.

“We don’t feel the necessity to have this type of kerbing in high speed corners because the main aim of that kerbing is to keep us inside the circuit, for example, like Monza and Canada.

“So to have them in fifth and sixth gear corners isn’t particularly necessary. We’ve seen here many cars in the past aquaplaning across Maggotts and Becketts out of control.

“I think Montoya had a pretty decent suspension failure here a few years ago across there, so it’s best that the cars go across a smoothish surface within reason and we don’t need to add any largish bumps to have a car potentially projected… it doesn’t matter what, front, sideways or rearwards, you could then be at head height for a driver that’s on the apex.

“I think low speed corners are fine, but it’s just the fast stuff that we feel is a bit unnecessary. I think they’re really for touring cars and maybe some other saloon racing here at this track. But I don’t imagine that the bike guys would be particularly too keen to roll over them either.”

Meanwhile Michael Schumacher has ruled out challenging for the 2010 world championship and will now prepare for next year.

“I’m not really thinking about the Championship any more, that’s unrealistic from my point of view considering the points I have,” the seven-times champion is quoted as saying by PlanetF1.

“So all we do, from my perspective, is try to learn as much as we can and prepare for next year. That’s what I’m fully motivated on.

“I have been in all sorts of circumstances in my career and don’t worry, I don’t suffer at all about this in a way that removes my motivation. I put in as much effort as ever and I drive on a level that I can be happy with.”

However, team-mate Nico Rosberg is not yet ready to give up his title ambitions.

“It’s still doable that we can improve and that we can some really, really strong results,” he is quoted by Autosport as saying. “It’s getting more and more difficult of course, but when you look at where our car was in Valencia and what we can achieve in the coming weeks, it is a massive steps so we need to wait and see.

“Once we get all those things working on the car and then we can see where we are.

“We had just had issues with it in Valencia, with the upgrade package and with the F-duct for example that we are not extracting the maximum potential out of it. But we will be soon so we have to wait.”

Finally, Jarno Trulli believes that Pirelli’s introduction into Formula One will have a major impact on the sport.

Next season will see Pirelli replace Bridgestone as F1’s tyre supplier – offering a number of new tyre compounds for drivers to master.

“It is a big question for a driver. I know from experience that this is going to have a big impact,” Trulli told reporters at Silverstone.

“How closely we can work with Pirelli to make the best in that direction – it’s tough to say.”

“I know that we require a lot of data but I don’t know how much we can have until we get the tyres and we are sure what we are talking about. It’s all theory at the moment.

“You need to test the car in certain conditions with certain tyres otherwise you are never going to find out. This is obviously the same up and down the paddock.”