Live Updates! Thursday F1 Korean GP On-Site Coverage

Here’s a general view of the track at sunset during previews for the Formula One Korean Grand Prix at Korea International Circuit. (Photo: Getty Images)

Horner  Denies Use Of Traction Control For Vettel

team principal (left) confers with driver . (Photo: Getty Images)

Horner  Denies Use Of Traction Control For Vettel

Christian Horner has denied suggestions that Sebastian Vettel’s performance in Singapore was aided by a form of traction control.

Since the German’s dominant win at the Singapore GP, paddock gossip has suggested that Red Bull has found an advantage, with former team boss Giancarlo Minardi recently adding to the debate after observing the cars on the Asian street track. In Korea on Thursday, Lewis Hamilton dropped a less than subtle hint about his thoughts on the subject, while a clearly frustrated Vettel opted to joke about it being a feature on his car.

“The electronic controls on the car are so tightly governed,” said Horner. “It’s a controlled box that we have, the settings in both of the cars were absolutely identical, they fully comply with the FIA rules. The FIA should be able to verify that. It’s a standard unit which all of the teams are using. Any suggestion of traction control is either purely mischievous on behalf of the others, or wishful thinking.

“I think the problem is Sebastian’s performance was so dominant in Singapore it inevitably raised questions of, ‘How is that possible?’ Other teams will be looking inwardly, and the easiest conclusion to come to is they must be cheating. As I say, these things are so tightly controlled that it’s impossible. The facts are he drove an incredible race in Singapore, he had incredible pace, he maximized the most out of the car, and was a driver on absolute peak form. Is it a distraction? No. Will we lose any sleep over it? Absolutely not.”

Horner denied that Renault has made a breakthrough with engine mapping that has aided RBR.

“Again, that’s very restricted on what you can do with torque maps and torque curves,” Horner said. “It’s something that all of the engine manufacturers are doing within the parameters allowed. I think that these engines are so optimized, they are so far into their life cycle, that all the engine manufacturers are pretty close. I don’t think one particularly has an advantage over the other.

“You can argue the same about a Ferrari start. Bottom line is that they get it all together and get everything right at that point, and you don’t hear any accusations of traction control. And I don’t believe it is.”

He added: “You’d be fairly stupid to introduce traction control onto a car that was governed by a single ECU that is through a tender of the FIA that is scrupulously checked by the FIA. I can’t imagine any team in the pitlane would entertain it.”

Alonso Draws Inspiration From America's Cup

Ferrari driver of Spain speaks to the media in the paddock ahead of the Formula One Korean Grand Prix. (Photo: Getty Images)

Alonso Draws Inspiration From America’s Cup

Fernando Alonso reiterated Thursday that he will need a lot of luck to get back into the World Championship fight — but added that both he and Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo have drawn inspiration from the comeback of the victorious USA team in the America’s Cup.

“The president and me, we still think that anything can happen,” said Alonso. “We saw the America’s Cup, with the Oracle team, it was 1-8 and then 9-8 at the end. We know it’s difficult, but you have two lucky races or whatever, and things can change very quickly. We need a lot of luck. We know that.

“We have to be realistic knowing that we don’t have the pace to beat them in normal conditions. We need to have some luck, not only here, but all six races probably. If we have the luck, I think everybody has to be sure that we will be there to take it, because we will not give up until mathematically it’s impossible.”

When asked if wet weather could help this weekend, Alonso continued: “We’ll see. You never know in wet races who will be the lucky one in that situation. If they (Red Bull) are very fast as they should be, and we have a normal weekend, maybe they will be in pole position and they will win the race. If there are some mixed conditions, maybe we are lucky, maybe we are unlucky, and we say bye-bye to the championship. It’s hard to predict, but we will see.”

Meanwhile, Alonso admitted the last six races will be tough, especially if he does fall out of championship contention.

“It will be stressful,” he said. “It will be not easy to handle, I think. The time difference, the traveling … hopefully, the motivation will be high. In case you have not any more possibilities to fight for the championship, it will be even harder, because there is not a huge motivation to do so many travels and things. So we have to be relaxed, we have to prepare really well the weeks that we have in between the Grands Prix to relax to the maximum, adapt to the time zones, and approach these Grands Prix at 100 percent physically and mentally. At the moment we are OK, but we know that every race the batteries will be lower and lower, and we need to avoid that.”

Monisha Kaltenborn Says Barrichello Is A Candidate For Sauber 2014

chief executive says the team is still deciding its 2014 driver lineup. (Photo: Getty Images)

Monisha Kaltenborn Says Barrichello A Candidate For Sauber Seat

Sauber boss Monisha Kaltenborn has confirmed that Rubens Barrichello is a candidate for a 2014 seat.

Th 41-year-old reportedly has some sponsorship, and has indicated his desire to return to the cockpit.

“I always have to give you the same answer on that: We will announce in due course,” said Kaltenborn when asked about his chances. “There are a couple of options out there. We know what he has, his experience, we know that he’d like to come back, so let’s see.”

However, she added that there was no chance that Barrichello might drive in the 2013 season-closing race in Brazil, as has been suggested.

“I don’t see any possibility there, because we have no reason to change our two drivers for that race,” she said.
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