Mclaren Denies Speculations Of Dropping Silver Livery

This black and red livery was rumoured by the media

This black and red livery was rumoured by the media

McLaren has denied all of the speculation and reports published by the media that it is set to drop its traditional silver livery for the 2011 season.

Reports linked the team’s launch of mainly black and red official clothing for this year with rumours suggesting that McLaren may want to differentiate itself from former partner Mercedes, who is now competing with a similarly silver-liveried car.

McLaren said via its official Twitter feed TheFifthDriver:

"Black livery? Er, no."

The Woking based team, still powered by Mercedes engines, added that the 2011 livery will be: “the same Rocket Red and chrome finish that you’ve grown to love since Vodafone McLaren Mercedes was born in 2007”.

“That’s official, btw (by the way),” McLaren confirmed.


Kimi Raikkonen considering career after father’s death

Kimi Raikkonen's career is in doubt

Kimi Raikkonen's career is in doubt

Kimi Raikkonen, the 2007 F1 world champion, has closed talks about his plans for the 2011 season after the death of his father Matti.

The major Finnish newspaper Iltalehti reports that the 31 year old, who was considering to switch teams for the next world rally championship, is even expected to call time on his racing career.

Raikkonen was very close with his father, who was a road builder and supported Kimi’s careers from an early age, and died suddenly at the age of 56, two days before Christmas.

“Since the death of Matti Raikkonen, all the plans of Kimi Raikkonen are on ice,” confirmed the Finn’s rally co- driver Kaj Lindstrom.

He added:

"Let's hope he stays in rallying. The chances of success are much better in 
the second year than the first, because you don't have to be learning all 
sorts of things all of the time."

Raikkonen moved to the WRC after disappointing 2008 and 2009 campaigns with Ferrari, after winning the 2007 title. He raced with the Citroen Junior Team this year, and was rumoured to be moving to either Monster World Rally Team or Mini for 2011.

Earlier in the year, he was in negotiations with Renault regarding taking Vitaly Petrov’s seat for 2011, but his wage demands were reported to be far too high for the team’s liking.

2010 was a year of practice for Schumacher – Lauda

3-time champion Lauda still trusts Schumacher to leap back to the top

3-time champion Lauda still trusts Schumacher to leap back to the top

The major German news agency SID conducted a survey and surprisingly, more than 70 per cent of those surveyed do not believe Michael Schumacher will win an eighth world title in 2011.

The most successful driver in F1 history had a difficult return to the sport in 2010 after 3 years of retirement, finishing ninth in the championship and 70 points behind his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg.

Triple world champion Niki Lauda is certainly one who understands Schumacher’s troubles. The Austrian had won 2 titles before he retired in 1979, then returned after a 3-year absence. However, although he initially struggled, he won another championship in 1984. He told Spain’s El Pais newspaper:

"In my second phase in F1, the testing was not limited so I had plenty of 
mileage to prepare.

Michael has had trouble adjusting. Furthermore, he has been against a lot 
of young guys eager to prove they can beat him, including Rosberg who is 
really fast.

2010 was a year of practice for Schumacher. At first I thought he would 
not take more than four races to be back, and winning races has never been 
easy, but now it is harder than ever before.

Anyway, if anyone can do what he has to do, it's him."

Over to you: Do you think Schumacher can bounce back from his 2010 struggles?

Former F1 Champions Critical Of Vettel

Jacques Villeneuve critisised Vettel's behaviour this season

Jacques Villeneuve critisised Vettel's behaviour this season

Two former F1 world champions are critical of F1’s reigning title winner, Sebastian Vettel.

Sebastian won the 2010 world championship, despite many incidents tarnishing his reputation, such as crashing into Button in Spa, or his behaviour at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
The 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve said he recognises the young German’s talent but was less impressed with his overall behaviour this season:

"He's very fast but I feel he has trouble controlling his emotions."

"I saw him raising a finger to the stewards in the pitlane and 
I find it hard to comprehend doing that at this level, that's 
more like a little kid."
"He's been treated the same for his whole career. At 14, he 
knew already that he would be brought into F1.
"When he makes a mistake, he is told 'no, you did nothing 
wrong, everything is fine'. We'll see how he reacts now as 
a champion."
"Hamilton was a bit like that at first, but after his title, 
he had a bad season and this year he was finally a man.
"This year, Vettel stupidly took out Webber but the team said 
it was Webber's fault. Let's see what happens is it going to 
get worse, or will he get more mature now? If he goes in the 
direction of Hamilton then he will win more championships. 
Otherwise he will never learn from his mistakes."

The four-time world champion Alain Prost, however, admits he is now a fan of Vettel after spending some time with the Red Bull driver at the recent Race of Champions event:

"He is very young but already very mature, I also see a 
freshness, an enthusiasm that I really like. This is not 
the case with all young F1 drivers. That's one thing that 
surprises me, you don't feel the passion in some drivers, 
it's like they're there just for the business. But in 
Vettel, I feel the freshness and passion and I hope he 
keeps it as long as possible."

Prost also hailed Vettel’s finish to the 2010 championship:

"Like everyone else, I was a bit critical when I saw 
the mess he created on some occasions. But in a driver 
with such panache and character, it is difficult to 
contain. After August, I saw a radical change. Then, 
without the incident in Korea, he would have won all 
of the last four races. He is a great champion, there 
is no doubt, You might have judged differently in the 
middle of the season, but at the end, we can say 'bravo'."

Di Resta To Force India?

Paul di Resta has been linked to a race seat at Force India

Paul di Resta has been linked to a race seat at Force India

Paul di Resta is expected to have a meeting with Force India this week to discuss his role with the team for 2011.

The new DTM champion worked with the Silverstone based outfit’s reserve and Friday driver in 2010, and is a contender for a race seat next year. But also the ousted Williams rookie Nico Hulkenberg is in running for the seat, with team owner’s fellow countryman Karun Chandhok getting the rumors limelight fr the same seat, while Adrian Sutil is expected to be retained, and Vitantonio Liuzzi also has a firm contract for 2011.

Di Resta’s manager, Anthony Hamilton, father of Lewis Hamilton, is confident:

"There hasn't been one bit of negative information from the 
team about Paul. He has done a great job, the team love him."

"He's a champion and a leader. "

"Nothing has changed; he is still a contender for a race 
seat. We are very positive."

It is believed Sutil will have one seat in 2011, while the other will be occupied by either di Resta or German Hulkenberg. Otherwise, it may be Karun Chandhok, after Liuzzi’s contract is bought out.