Another big loss for Korean GP

There are worrying signs for the future of the new Korean grand prix, with organisers admitting yet another big financial loss for the October race.

The 2012 edition of the Yeongam event was the third since 2010, and all of them have recorded big losses. The latest loss is $36 million, according to the Yonhap news agency.

“Just because the loss was reduced, I am not sure we can call this year’s race a success,” said South Jeolla council member Seo Dong-wook.

“We will need to take some fundamental steps to change it.”

Source:GMM

Button: Perez apologised after Korean GP conflict

Sergio Perez apologised after almost wiping his 2013 teammate Jenson Button out of the recent Korean grand prix.

“Sergio said sorry, yeah,” the McLaren driver told the Mirror. “To the team actually.”

Young Mexican Perez, currently driving for Sauber, will join Button at McLaren next year, to replace the Mercedes-bound Lewis Hamilton. But his relationship with Button almost got off to a terrible start in Korea, when Perez narrowly avoided contact on the first lap, earning a rebuke from the 2009 world champion.

“I’ve spoken to Sergio. I think his move was on the edge,” Button confirmed in India.

Button was heavily critical after Korea, and he still thinks Perez – and some of his other young rivals – can afford to take more care in grands prix.

“Yeah he can but he does not need to do that,” the 32-year-old said. “It is a great opportunity for Sergio and I think he is an exciting talent for the team as well.”

Souce:GMM

Massa raced Red Bull-style exhaust in Korea

Ferrari raced an all-new Red Bull-style exhaust on only Felipe Massa’s car in Korea last weekend, according to the Spanish newspaper 20 Minutos.

The news would explain the Brazilian driver’s better pace than teammate Fernando Alonso in the sister F2012, and also the Spaniard’s confidence that he is still in the running to beat Sebastian Vettel to the title despite a new 6-point championship deficit and Red Bull’s recent dominance.

Indeed, 20 Minutos claims Alonso will be running the Massa-specification on his own red car next weekend in India.

The report also said Ferrari is working hard in former F1 team Toyota’s state of the art Cologne wind tunnel on a so-called ‘double DRS’ straightline speed-boosting system.

“Hopefully we make a little bit of a step in terms of performance and then we can fight for bigger things,” Alonso, having finished third behind both Red Bulls, said before leaving Korea last Sunday.

Team boss Stefano Domenicali added: “It is clear that we must make a step forward in performance to respond to the one made by Red Bull. We are well aware of that and we are working day and night to succeed.”

Source:GMM

Red Bull still not imposing team orders on Webber

Red Bull is still not willing to slot Mark Webber into a supporting role after Sunday’s Korean grand prix.

With the Australian on pole but 60 points behind Fernando Alonso’s championship lead prior to Sunday’s race, the team said it would not be imposing team orders in a bid to boost teammate Sebastian Vettel’s title chances.

The situation is now different. After Korea, Vettel is now the championsip leader, while Webber’s points gap is even slightly bigger.

But when asked about the need for team orders, team boss Christian Horner said on Sunday: “It’s still too early.

“The gap is pretty big but Mark still has a mathematical chance,” he is quoted by Auto Motor und Sport. “So it would be wrong of us to ask Mark to do that (follow team orders).”

Horner said the opening lap in Korea was evidence that Vettel and Webber can fight fairly for position without interference.

“It’s always nerve wracking when you see your two cars so close to one another, but they’ve done it many times before and (on Sunday) they fought perfectly down to turn three,” he said.

Meanwhile, McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton is one point further up the standings than Webber, but the Briton thinks his championship is now over after finishing just tenth on Sunday.

“In terms of winning, I think that’s it for us,” he said.

“We were still in the fight up until now but it’s too far away (now).”

It’s also looking grim for Ferrari’s Alonso, because even though the points gap to Vettel is only 6 points, it is Red Bull who are enjoying a position of clear dominance.

“Now we need to score seven points more than Sebastian, which will be extremely tough but we believe we can do it,” said the Spaniard.

Source:GMM

Marko suspects Massa spoiled Vettel on purpose

Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko has hinted Felipe Massa deliberately impeded Sebastian Vettel at the end of qualifying in Korea.

Vettel’s last Q3 run was indeed interrupted by Ferrari’s Massa, but the German – who ultimately qualified second behind his teammate Mark Webber – initially blamed his engineer.

“Why did you not tell me about Massa?” Vettel shouted to his engineer Rocky on the radio.

Vettel told reporters afterwards: “These things happen, it’s not Felipe’s fault at all. If anything it was my mistake.”

Outspoken Marko, however, hinted he sensed Massa was playing a team role to boost Ferrari’s number one Fernando Alonso.

“Massa was out in front of him with new tyres and a good pace and then he suddenly stopped his lap,” he told the Austrian broadcaster ORF.

Vettel, however, is adamant he just wants to move on.

“I don’t like all these discussions; we’ve had a lot of them lately,” he said.

Source:GMM