F1 links: Abu Dhabi denies delay

Posted on Author Keith Collantine

Abu Dhabi denies track building delay

"Abu Dhabi Grand Prix officials have denied suggestions that the circuit will not be ready in time for this year's inaugural race."

Toyota and the FIA

"The Trulli incident has pointed out a serious weakness in the safety period regulation; in failing to cover the possibility of cars leaving the circuit and re-joining, it creates a grey area where the teams and drivers have no idea of correct procedure. Hence McLaren's playing safe in allowing Trulli to re-take his position – they have experienced the FIA's rough version of justice often enough to be wary of any possible interpretation of the rules. Some are saying that Toyota could have done the same by querying the situation with the Clerk of the Course, Charlie Whiting. Unfortunately, McLaren has shown that this is pointless, the stewards being quite capable of disregarding whatever Charlie has said before."

Melbourne talking points

"Very definitely not right is the 10 place grid penalty handed out to Vettel for forcing Kubica off the track. As far as I’m concerned, it’s as much Kubica’s fault for being in that position in the first place. It’s yet more evidence that the FIA stewards are only interested in bureaucracy, and are not interested in allowing the drivers to race."

Mixing sex and sport: The dirty half dozen who've romped on the job

"Following his amazing victory in the Australian GP at the weekend, the Brit driver wasted no time getting to grips with his model girlfriend Jessica Michibata." Every British tabloid had this story today.

Montreal's mayor responds to reports about F1 race returning

Montreal Mayor Gerald Tremblay: "We still have discussions with Formula One about them coming back to Montreal as soon as possible. We're looking at 2010, or at the latest 2011." (Thanks Guillaume)

Paddock Life: Melbourne edition

"There were also some touching moments in that final countdown. Michael Schumacher edged towards the front of the grid, pushing his way through the crowd, to seek out his former technical chief Ross Brawn for a hug – both men sharing the nervous anticipation ahead of what will go down as a moment to remember in F1."

Reflections on a big weekend in Melbourne

"There was a fascinating moment on lap 35 when we heard Timo, in 10th, telling his pitwall that he could not get past Fernando, in 9th, because the Spanish champion was using KERS every time to defend. In that one sentence, did not Timo expose Toyota's gamble on KERS as flawed." But, of course, Glock did get past in the end with a very smart pass around the outside of turn four. We've also heard from Ferrari how KERS use affects rear tyre wear, which is already critical on the current generation of cars. So I wouldn't say not having KERS is a dead loss for Toyota.

Williams eager to use its KERS

Sam Michael: "It's a very valuable tool to have to promote overtaking and we want it on our car as soon as possible."

Whitmarsh: Brawn GP not an underdog

Martin Whitmarsh: "I suspect our good friends at Brawn GP aren't going to be stand still and wait for us, so they are going to be moving as well. The reality is they have a much more developed car, it is very clear, and they openly admit they have been developing the car for 16 months with huge resource in Honda to develop the car they have today. It was a good strategy for where they were. We were doing other things like winning world championships, so I think now is the time when we have to push and we've got to make quicker progress than they are, but we are not going to catch them in the next few races, that is for sure."

FIA still waiting on Toyota appeal

FIA spokesperson: "Toyota communicated their intention to appeal to the Clerk of the Course last night. They were reminded by the Stewards that, as with Spa last season, penalties of this kind have proven to be inadmissible to appeal. They have 48 hours to consider their position."

McLaren expects to struggle at Sepang

Martin Whitmarsh: "I think Malaysia will be very tough for this season,. I think we will improve the car but I think it is a high-speed, technical circuit, we are lacking in downforce at the moment and therefore it is going to be tough."

Ferrari most concerned about pace

Stefano Domenicali: "The problem is just we last four or five laps (on softs), and to be honest that was unexpected. This is something we need to understand properly. Kubica was basically on the same strategy as Kimi, and for sure they didn't destroy the tyres as we destroyed them."

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