Formula 1's Latest Rumours and Talk: Susie Wolff, Paul Di Resta and More

Oliver Harden@@OllieHardenFeatured ColumnistAugust 18, 2014

Formula 1's Latest Rumours and Talk: Susie Wolff, Paul Di Resta and More

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    Susie Wolff has led the way in terms of increasing the participation of women in Formula One.

    The Scot became the first female driver in over two decades to take to the track on a race weekend last month and believes more will arrive on the scene in the near future, with women currently holding senior positions at Williams and Sauber.

    While Wolff is leading the way, her compatriot, Paul Di Resta, has lost his way as far as his Formula One career is concerned.

    Di Resta was banished to the DTM, the German touring car series, for this season after parting company with Force India at the end of 2013.

    However, the 28-year-old, who was overlooked for seats with leading teams over the course of his three seasons in F1, remains confident that he will return to the grid.

    Meanwhile, Paddy Lowe, Mercedes' technical executive director, has revealed his surprise that the team's open-minded approach to allowing Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton to fight equally for the championship was questioned.

    The Silver Arrows' philosophy has seen the toys fly out of the pram on a number of occasions this season, but there were no such problems at Sauber between 2011 and 2012.

    Sergio Perez and Kamui Kobayashi, team-mates at the Swiss team at the time, enjoyed a strong working relationship, with the former thanking the Japanese for his effect on the Mexican's career.

    Closing this week's roundup is Toro Rosso, who have been left frustrated by their fast but flawed 2014 car.

Susie Wolff: F1 Must Get Used to Female Drivers

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    Rui Vieira/Associated Press

    Susie Wolff believes female involvement in Formula One will only increase in the coming years—and she has urged the paddock's dinosaurs to get used to it.

    Wolff became the first woman to participate in a grand prix weekend for 22 years when she drove for Williams in the first practice session at Silverstone last month before taking to the track at Hockenheim a fortnight later.

    The 31-year-old Scot's involvement in F1 comes at a time when Switzerland's Simona de Silvestro is in contention to secure a race seat with Sauber for 2015, with the former IndyCar racer currently taking steps toward gaining a super license with mileage at Fiorano and Valencia.

    F1 legend Sir Stirling Moss sparked controversy last year when he told BBC Radio 5 Live that he questioned the "mental aptitude" of female drivers, highlighting the sport's concerning unwillingness to fully embrace equality.

    But when asked by the official Formula One website why teams are reluctant to employ female drivers, Wolff said:

    I wouldn't say that they are reluctant. They are just very performance based—and there haven't been enough females on the right level to be given a chance. And there are some people in the paddock who are against it anyway. Well, they can stay against it, but sooner or later it will happen and they will have to accept it. The paddock is a bit of a shark pool—and there will always be people who are against female F1 drivers.

Paul Di Resta Hopeful of F1 Return

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    Paul Di Resta is eager to return to Formula One in the future having been dropped by Force India at the end of 2013.

    Despite performing competently over the course of his three full seasons in F1, measuring well alongside Nico Hulkenberg in 2012, Di Resta found his opportunities dry up in the close season as Force India re-signed the German and McLaren reject Sergio Perez.

    Di Resta has been forced to return to the DTM, a series he won in 2010, for 2014, but he doesn't plan on staying for long.

    The 28-year-old told Neil Drysdale of heraldscotland.com:

    I loved F1; I enjoyed every single thing about it. 

    I am still young enough to believe I can gain another opportunity and I am pushing as hard as I can to make it happen. It obviously helps if you can bring a lot of money to the table, but I worked hard to earn my chance in the first place and I'm not going anywhere. I want to be back in F1 and I will do whatever I can to fulfil that ambition.

Mercedes Pleased with Decision to Allow Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg to Race

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    Mercedes boss Paddy Lowe has admitted that he was surprised by the reaction to the team's willingness to allow Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton to race this season.

    The large advantage that the team's W05 car has over the rest of the field has allowed Mercedes to permit both their race drivers to fight equally for the championship.

    This philosophy has seen Hamilton and Rosberg meet frequently on-track over the course of the season, with the pair fighting to the chequered flag in races, most memorably in Bahrain and Spain.

    And Lowe believes any concerns over Mercedes' methods stem from the era of Michael Schumacher's dominance, with the German left unchallenged from his team-mates to scoop five consecutive world championships with Ferrari at the turn of the century.

    Lowe told Autosport's Ben Anderson:

    People at the beginning of this season were surprised we weren't running any team orders, and there was a bit of criticism against us as if we were idiots for not imposing them.

    By Bahrain, it was like 'you're going to have to stop it now, look what they got up to.'

    People even thinking like that is almost an inversion of how you should be, probably generated by that Ferrari era.

    Before that era no one would have ever thought about it.

    Of course you're going to race, that's what you do in Formula 1. It's a natural thing to do.

Sergio Perez Hails Former Sauber Teammate Kamui Kobayashi

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    Miguel Angel Morenatti/Associated Press

    Sergio Perez has praised the effect that former team-mate Kamui Kobayashi has had on his Formula One career.

    Perez made his debut alongside Kobayashi at Sauber in 2011, with the team recording four podium finishes the following season.

    The Mexican has since gone on to represent McLaren and Force India, while Kobayashi returned to F1 with Caterham for 2014 after a year out of the sport.

    And Perez has claimed that his driving style, which has allowed him to achieve success in the era of delicate Pirelli tyres, is a result of his time spent beside Kobayashi at Sauber.

    Perez, who has also partnered the likes of 2009 world champion Jenson Button and the highly rated Nico Hulkenberg, told Autosport's Ben Anderson:

    Kobayashi was really, really difficult to beat.

    When he felt comfortable he was definitely one of the most difficult ones to beat, especially over a single lap.

    He was really amazing. I learned a lot from him on how to work with the tyres.

    He has a good experience with the Japanese, they are always good on tyres.

    That was good for me to learn from him.

Toro Rosso Horrified by Low Points Tally

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    James Key, technical director of the Toro Rosso outfit, has admitted that the team's 2014 points total is pitiful.

    Despite the efforts of drivers Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniil Kvyat, who have often started grands prix from within the top 10, Toro Rosso only have 17 points on the board and sit seventh in the constructors' standings ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix.

    Technical problems have been at the root of the team's failure to score, with the Renault-powered outfit suffering nine retirements from the opening 11 races.

    And Key believes Toro Rosso's failure to finish is unacceptable, telling Ben Anderson of Autosport:

    I think it's been a real mixed bag for us because we've got a really pathetic handful of points out of what should have been a much better position at this stage given that fundamentally we've got into Q3 on almost every occasion.

    All the issues have been completely different, which has been the big frustration.

    One area of weakness that you can focus on and get fixed quickly is great, [but] when you have a real random scattering of stuff you've never seen before, and it catches you out and then disappears again, it's really tough.