F1 round-up: Schumacher ‘encouraged’ by Mercedes form

The Sport Review brings you a round-up of all of the latest news from the world of Formula 1

By Gareth Llewellyn
michael schumacher
Schumacher says Mercedes are determined to make progress Photo: Mercedes GP

michael schumacher

Texas senator Dan Patrick has criticised the decision to pump $25m into the Circuit of the Americas, which will host the returning US Grand Prix.

The organisers behind the race believe that hosting Formula 1 in Austin will bring in $300m each year to the local economy, but Patrick is still opposed to the idea, saying the local government should use that money to prevent teacher lay offs.

“This is something we should not be doing,” Patrick said. “How can you justify spending $25m? That is 500 teachers.”

The circuit, currently under construction, is reported to be costing $250m, but with an agreement to host Formula 1 until 2021, and with a second deal to host MotoGP from 2013, it has secured two of motorsport’s biggest series.

The plan is for local authorities to initially hand over $25m then use the revenue generated to reinvest $25m every year for 10 years.

Sauber driver Kamui Kobayashi has organised the development of and funded a new app to aid the process of recovery and reconstruction in Japan following the natural disaster earlier this year.

The You Are Connected app features contributions from F1’s drivers and team principals and can be bought through iTunes for 79p, with all money received going directly to the Red Cross in Japan.

You Are Connected contains photos of all the drivers and team principals accompanied by handwritten and very personal messages for those affected by the disaster, along with a selection of action shots of the F1 cars.

The e-book app has been designed to allow constant expansion, with updates expected later in the season.

Force India test driver Nico Hülkenberg has split from his manager Willi Weber, and will now look after his own affairs assisted by his former advisor Timo Gans.

Weber, who was famously the manager of Michael Schumacher and his brother Ralf, had worked with Hülkenberg since 2006 when he competed for Team Germany in the A1GP.

A statement on Hülkenberg’s website confirmed Weber’s departure, adding that “both sides are currently working on a smooth changeover and on a satisfying solution for everyone”.

Felipe Massa will remain at Ferrari in 2012, president Luca di Montezemolo confirmed to CNN this week.

The Brazilian’s seat has been under much speculation, with the Italian team reportedly keen to pair Fernando Alonso with Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel, who last season became the youngest driver to win the title.

Massa joined the team in 2006 to partner Michael Schumacher and has faced constant speculation about other drivers replacing him.

Kimi Räikkönen joined in 2007 after Schumacher retired and Alonso then replaced the Finn when he left F1 to join the World Rally Championship.

Timo Glock has revealed he will remain with Virgin Racing, and won’t quit despite another tough season at the back of the grid.

The German joined the Dinnington-based team as their ‘experienced’ driver when they entered F1 last year.

However, despite consistently beating rookie team-mates Lucas di Grassi last season, and Jerôme d’Ambrosio this season, the team have yet to show progress, prompting claims that Glock will jump at the end of the season.

“I have with my team a long-term contract,” Glock told Auto Motor und Sport. “I do not count among those who stick their heads in the sand or simply run away just because it got tough.”

Glock added it would be a dream to drive for Ferrari or Mercedes, and the latter could be on the hunt for a new driver should Schumacher decide to call it a day after a disappointing return to F1.

Mercedes driver Michael Schumacher has revealed he is “encouraged” by his team’s improved form, despite the seven-time world champion having a poor showing in Istanbul, where team-mate Nico Rosberg again fought it out at the front.

“While I was not happy with my weekend in Turkey, there have been clear signs of improvements for us as a team, which obviously push and re-boost my motivation even more,” he said.

“It’s more than encouraging to see that the hard work of the team is starting to pay off. We are all determined to make progress.”

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