April 8, 2010

Off Week F1 Rumor Roundup: Schumacher, Durango, Massa, and suspensions

Running the gamut from National Enquirer on up, here it goes.

Schumacher might call it a day at the end of the season:

The reasons are obvious if one looks at the season so far, Schumacher's return has been less than spectacular. Given the expectations how could it be anything but. Schumi has a three year contract with Mercedes but Eurosport reports on "insistent rumors" that he's not happy being effectively a #2 to Rosberg and is considering retiring again at the end of the season.

Believability Index: 3.5 out of 10.

Durango shoots for F1 entry in 2011.

Durango an Italian GP2 team who could not complete last season because it ran out of money has been accepted by the FIA as one of the new team applicants for next year.
So how is a team with no money for GP2 to finance an F1 campaign? According to their web site and press release, there was no sponsor interest in GP2 but fundraising was possible with a Formula 1 prospect. Interesting.

Chances of Making it: 1 out of 10

Ferrari to renew Massa's contract.

Domenicali said he is in favor but really, how can you say otherwise three races into the season about the driver who is leading the championship? If memory serves, Ferrari was swearing up and down that they were happy with Raikkonen too, and building a contract renewal on a single phrase is at best, premature.

Felipe's chances? 5 out of 10.

Variable height cheater suspensions banned.

But Red Bull is not cheating and the FIA said their suspension is legal... wait, what? So innovative solutions in suspensions may or may not be legal but Mclaren's f-duct and it's future imitators are?

Confusion Index 10 out of 10.

end of post


  1. I think that Shumi is doing fine. You have to remember that it has been 3 years since he last drove a race car, so for being 3 years out and just off Rosberg's pace isn't that bad. He has even stated that this feels like he did when he started his career and doesn't expect to be the old Shumi for a while.

    I say give him till race 12 or 13 and he will be faster then Rosberg by a large margin. He was already quicker in P3 for Malaysia and looked to be on pole time, but they had rain during Q.

  2. It's interesting that MErcedes has felt the need to deny the Schumacher rumors today. Also Ferrari has shot down brazilian press reports that Massa was getting a new 3 year contract with a curt "It's premature".

  3. Joe Saward also says Massa is close to renewing his contract. I hope he stays. He deserves another shot at the championship. Plus even though he's usually a frontrunner, he doesn't talk like a cocky bastard like Hamilton, Button, etc., even when he's clearly a championship contender.

  4. Joe Saward may say it but Ferrari's press office denies it with, this is the official quote regarding Massa's renewal: "At the moment it's not a priority".

  5. I've said it before that I think Massa will renew but Ferrari might indeed be looking for someone to replace him in the near future. Massa has been with Ferrari for quite a while and a near championship winner was his best year-long result. Ferrari showed with Kimi Raikonen that even a championship winner with Ferrari can be forsaken, so Massa may be hanging in the near future.

    Finding the person to replace Massa is the trickier part. Fernando Alonso may be with Ferrari for the foreseeable future as Alonso comes with a Santander and such sponsorships and is a top-notch driver as he has shown. Alonso's superb skills include being quite good at speaking to the press and such, and living in Europe so he is a local and is more accessible than a Brazilian driver such as Felipe Massa who come to Brazil way too often.

    Top Brazilian drivers would do well to live in Europe when it comes to improving their English, Italian, French, speaking skills, and such. But their family back in Brazil would resent their absence. So it's not easy to handle.

    And that gets us to Vettel. Vettel has had a lucky strike in his short career due to in part landing in a winning car in the RBR quite soon. Bernie Ecclestone has helped to promote him some. And Vettel has done his part when driving at top speed with a minimum of practice in the sessions at times, and no margin for mistakes. Vettel has been promoted by many F1 pros and handles himself quite well when giving interviews though he often shows his youth in them. When he matures a little more and RBR stops delivering, he will jump ship to probably a welcoming Ferrari. Hence Ferrari could be trying to replace Massa with Vettel and then enjoy 10 years of Vettel goodness, given how experienced drivers are a short commodity in these days of fewer training opportunities.



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