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DATE News (chronologically)
07/18/14
nassprint

NASCAR New Hampshire TV Ratings down again (Update) UPDATE TNT earned a 2.7 U.S. rating and 4.285 million viewers for its final NASCAR Sprint Cup Series telecast last Sunday afternoon from New Hampshire Motor Speedway. NBC and Fox Sports become the official NSCS TV partners beginning in ’15. The audience for the Camping World RV Sales 301 was down 16% and 13%, respectively, from a 3.2 rating and 4.907 million viewers for the race last year.

07/16/14 The series finale of NASCAR on TNT was just the latest Sprint Cup race to suffer a decline compared to last year. NASCAR Sprint Cup racing from New Hampshire earned a 2.7 U.S. rating and 4.3 million viewers on TNT Sunday afternoon, down 16% in ratings and 13% in viewership from last year (3.2, 4.9M) and down 13% and 10%, respectively, from 2012 (3.1, 4.9M). This year's race ranks as the lowest rated since at least 1998 and the least-viewed since at least 2000.

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07/18/14
f1

Ferrari's Allison: "Small changes add up to something significant"
James Allison
Scuderia Ferrari's Technical Director James Allison met the press this afternoon and the Englishman was quizzed by journalists on a wide range of topics, starting with today's hot topic – apart from the heat itself – the lack of FRIC, the suspension system no longer being used by any teams in case it is deemed illegal.

"I think not having it probably tends to make everyone understeer a bit more because everyone's front ride height will be a bit higher than it otherwise might have been," began the Englishman. "It is too early to say whether it shakes things up or not – but if it does, it will only be fairly short lived because people because people will get used it and figure out a way how to get their car set-up without FRIC."

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07/18/14
wc

Tandy, Wilkins Score Pirelli World Challenge Round 9 Poles in Toronto
Nick Tandy, of Bedfordshire, England and Mark Wilkins, of Toronto, have captured the pole positions in GT and GTS for the Pirelli World Challenge at Honda Indy Toronto, Round 9 of the 2014 season. Additionally, Albert von Thurn und Taxis, of Regensburg, Germany, was the fastest driver in the GT-A classification.

Tandy, making his series debut in the No. 31 EFFORT Racing Porsche GT3 R, engaged in a great scrap with fellow first-time 2014 Pirelli World Challenge racer Kuno Wittmer, of Montreal, Quebec for the top spot.

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07/18/14
irl

Toronto Race 1 Qualifying Groups
Qualifying for Race 1 of the Honda Toronto GP doubleheader is Saturday morning at 10:00 AM ET.  The qualifying groups for knockout qualifying are as follows:

Group 1 Group 2
#77 Simon Pagenaud #3 Helio Castroneves
#9 Scott Dixon #12 Will Power
#27 James Hinchcliffe #11 Sebastien Bourdais
#67 Josef Newgarden #2 Juan Pablo Montoya
#28 Ryan Hunter-Reay #8 Ryan Briscoe
#34 Carlos Munoz (R) #19 Justin Wilson
# 14 Takuma Sato #83 Charlie Kimball
#25 Marco Andretti #98 Jack Hawksworth (R)
#10 Tony Kanaan #15 Graham Rahal
#17 Sebastian Saavedra #7 Mikhail Aleshin (R)
#16 Luca Filippi (R) #20 Mike Conway
#18 Carlos Huertas (R) -


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07/18/14
irl

Chaves tops Indy Lights practice in Toronto
Pos Driver Car No. Time Speed Laps Diff Gap
1 Gabby Chaves 5 01:06.6317 94.82 23 --.---- --.----
2 Jack Harvey 42 01:06.9271 94.401 30 0.2954 0.2954
3 Alex Baron 4 01:07.0673 94.204 27 0.4356 0.1402
4 Matthew Brabham 83 01:07.1595 94.075 19 0.5278 0.0922
5 Luiz Razia 7 01:07.2517 93.946 26 0.6200 0.0922
6 Zach Veach 26 01:07.3202 93.85 23 0.6885 0.0685
7 Juan Pablo Garcia 10 01:07.4783 93.63 21 0.8466 0.1581
8 Matthew Di Leo 56 01:07.6219 93.431 27 0.9902 0.1436
9 Juan Piedrahita 77 01:07.7248 93.289 26 1.0931 0.1029
10 Zack Meyer 2 01:07.7415 93.266 22 1.1098 0.0167
11 Ryan Phinny 28 01:07.8637 93.098 25 1.2320 0.1222
12 Scott Anderson 24 01:07.9026 93.045 19 1.2709 0.0389


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07/18/14
irl

Pagenaud tops 2nd Toronto practice session.
Simon Pagenaud
Simon Pagenaud, who has claimed two road/street course victories this season, posted the quickest lap in practice No 2 for the Honda Indy Toronto in his Honda.

Pagenaud, driving the No. 77 Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports car, recorded a best lap of 1 minute, 0.0084 seconds on the 1.7-mile, 11-turn temporary street circuit on the grounds of the Canadian National Exhibition.

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07/18/14
irl

Bowers and Wilkins returns to BHA
Jack Hawksworth will carry Bowers and Wilkins sponsorship this weekend in Toronto.
Bowers and Wilkins will be the primary sponsor of the #98 BHA/BBM with Curb-Agajanian Honda driven by rookie Jack Hawksworth. The car appeared with blank sidepods in this morning's session, but now carries the Bowers and Wilkins branding.

No word on Integrity Energee Drink, which was announced as the primary sponsor for the team prior to the Grand Prix of Indianapolis.

AR1 Staff

Comment
07/18/14
irl

Morning update from Toronto (2nd Update) UPDATE #2 I was talking to Paul Tracy and he just received a call from Robby Gordon to drive in the Super Truck race here in Toronto.  Tracy agreed to do it last minute after missing the first practice session. As we said below he is here as an NBCSN commentator so he did not have his driving helmet and shoes with him, but Robby said he has extras.  Paul Tracy in a Super Truck?  That ought to be real exciting.  The 'Thrill from West Hill' is back.

07/18/14 While just 1.8 seconds separates the entire IndyCar field here in Toronto in opening practice in Toronto, well over 5 seconds separate the field in F1 practice where the Mercedes engines just dominate, rumored to have over 100HP on the Ferrari and Renault units.  All that money and they sound bad, and the competition isn't even close.  The thrill is gone in F1, ruined by the tree huggers who think racing fans want to go watch 'green' race cars.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

07/18/14 What a beautiful morning here in Toronto! Weather will be great today. No chance of rain today but there is a 40% chance Saturday and Sunday.

Looking out of the media center there is another construction project - A hotel being built right in the middle of the temporary IndyCar track behind pit lane so the Gold grandstands are moved down a bit farther and the grandstand has shrunk since last year - never a good sign. Does this mean the beginning of the end to the long running series in this town?

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07/18/14
racing news

Dr. John Melvin dies (Update) UPDATE NASCAR and the entire motorsports industry lost a giant on Thursday with the passing of Dr. John Melvin. Dr. Melvin was a pioneer in the field of driver safety, particularly in the area of driver restraint systems. His many contributions as a safety consultant to NASCAR for more than 13 years forever changed the sport. We lost a colleague, and a friend. "NASCAR extends its condolences to Dr. Melvin’s family and friends. He will be greatly missed by the entire racing community." Mike Helton

07/18/14
Dr. John Melvin and John Force
Racing has lost one of its greats.  Dr. John Melvin died unexpectedly last night.  Melvin was a quiet, unassuming man, not one to stand out in a crowd.

He speaks softly, but his words were powerful.

Melvin helped change Racing's world for the better. When he talked, drivers listened. Not an easy thing to do, but every sentence he spoke was meaningful.

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07/18/14
gp2

Palmer scorches to Hockenheim pole
Series leader Jolyon Palmer has left only crumbs to his rivals in today’s GP2 Series qualifying session. The Briton set a blazing laptime of 1:23.383 in the early stages that would never be bettered. Stoffel Vandoorne and Stefano Coletti completed the top three.

It was scorching hot as the qualifying session opened at the Hockenheimring – the track temperatures recording 58 degrees Celsius. All cars fed onto the track on Pirelli Soft tires and Johnny Cecotto set the early pace, only to be bettered by Caterham’s Tom Dillmann. Felipe Nasr was the first man to break the 1m24s barrier but was soon edged out of the top spot by Palmer who, on his third lap, was able to clock in the best laptime of the session.

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07/18/14
F1

Interwetten partners with Lotus F1 Team
Interwetten will be on the sidepods of the Lotus F1 cars in Germany and Hungary.

Lotus F1 Team will feature the branding of the online entertainment company Interwetten for this week’s German Grand Prix and next week’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

Interwetten has taken the prestigious sidepod placement for their promotion as the team tackles the tortuous twists of the Hockenheimring and Hungaroring in the final back-to-back combination of races before the summer shutdown.

Matthew Carter, Lotus F1 Team CEO:

"We are delighted to welcome a new sponsor for this season’s German and Hungarian Grands Prix. Interwetten is a dynamic and exciting company who recognises the value of joining us at this point in the year for two very popular and well supported races. The E22 is the best looking car on the grid and the Interwetten logo is a suitable adornment as we continue our fight on track.”

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07/18/14
irl

Newgarden tops opening IndyCar practice in Canada
Josef Newgarden surprised a few people in the IndyCar paddock Friday morning, but not himself.  The talented American turned the fastest lap in his Honda to top opening practice for the Honda Toronto Grand Prix.  Newgarden pipped Will Power's Chevy by just 0.2112 sec with his fast lap of 1m00.2385s.

Local favorite James Hinchcliffe was third in his Honda and Helio Castroneves 4th in his Chevy followed by three Hondas of Munoz, Pagenaud and Andretti.

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07/18/14
gp2

Coletti leads the way at Hockenheim in GP2 practice
Italian Stefano Coletti
Stefano Coletti has opened his race weekend in Germany in fine style setting the quickest laptime of the free practice session in a 1:24.771, a tenth quicker than Stoffel Vandoorne. The Monegasque driver’s teammate Raffaele Marciello completed the top three.

The pitlane opened in scorching conditions with all twenty-six drivers feeding to the track on Medium Pirelli tires. Series leader Jolyon Palmer set the early pace, but his teammate Stephane Richelmi soon bettered the Briton’s laptime. Vandoorne was able to go even quicker but was edged out of the top stop by Coletti who lapped the German track in a 1:25.126 – 0.01s better than the Belgian driver.

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07/18/14
F1

Hamilton pips Rosberg in German GP P2
Lewis Hamilton fastest in P2.
Lewis Hamilton led another Mercedes AMG Petronas 1-2 in Free Practice 2 for Sunday's 2014 Formula 1 Santander German Grand Prix. The Brit was followed by his World Championship leading teammate Nico Rosberg, who outpaced Hamilton in the first session.

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo was third, followed by Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen and McLaren's Kevin Magnussen.

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07/18/14
f1

Rosberg-Hamilton 1-2 in superior Mercedes
This is getting boring isn't it? Nico Rosberg went fastest by 0.065s for the superior Mercedes team in first practice for the 2014 Formula 1 German Grand Prix at Hockenheim.

At this point the Mercedes drivers are sandbagging and just playing with the opposition in the Friday morning track cleaning session.

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso was third, 0.292s off Rosberg's pace.

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07/18/14
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Friday
  • Schumacher family stops publication of hospital photos
  • F1 in shock as plane crash piles doubt on Russia GP
  • Raikkonen hits back at calls for Hockenheim ban
  • Uncertainty ends as all teams remove 'Fric'
  • Interwetten partners with Lotus F1 Team

    Read more & Comment...
07/17/14
irl

IndyCar's sorry history (Update #4) UPDATE #4 Others include Vision, Hogan, and Dragon.  The number of deceased IndyCar teams continue to increase. We can clearly see why.  Can you?

07/17/14 Three more - Dan Gurney's All-American Racers, HVM and Walker Racing

07/17/14
Justin Wilson en route to victory at Detroit in 2008. It would turn out to be the last victory for the storied Newman/Haas team. 
Another Reader writes....

Dear AR1:

Here are a few that weren't listed,
Bill Cramer

1. Galles Racing
2. Doug Shierson
3. Vince Granatelli's team
4. Fernandez Racing
5. Hemelgarn
6. RuSport
7. Newman/Haas



07/17/14 Dear AR1.com, I read in your "IndyCar’s sorry history" that Conquest Racing has folded!

This is not the case at all. My organization is active and will be involved in open wheel racing testing in a few weeks.

Furthermore, Conquest Racing is finalizing different programs for next season.

Please remove my organization from this list.

Thanks,

Eric Bachelart
President & CEO
Conquest Racing

Read more & Comment...
07/17/14
f1

F1 delivers windfall to investors
Investors in F1 are to share a $1B payout through a "refinancing that will pave the way for a future change of control of the sport," according to Mark Kleinman of SKY NEWS. F1 parent company Delta Topco is "arranging a deal known as a dividend recapitalization which involves increasing a company's borrowings in order to fund a shareholder payout."

Plans for the $1B dividend are "understood to be being discussed with potential investors in New York later on Thursday, with F1's owners confident of attracting robust demand." The payout will be the "biggest to F1's shareholders for two years, and will augment their already handsome returns on their investment" in the sport. It will also "underline the ability of F1 to continue throwing off cash even as uncertainty remains over the sport's future leadership."

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07/17/14
nassprint

Alliance wants seat at NASCAR table, NASCAR dictatorship says no
Last Sunday's race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway was the final broadcast for cable's TNT, and ESPN will start its final laps with the stock car organization with the July 27 race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Starting next year, the Sprint Cup Series can be found on either Fox or NBC. The change also is the beginning of a new 10-year, $8.2 billion television contract for the sport.

That's why it's no surprise the Race Team Alliance was formed among racing's most-powerful owners. With so much at stake, many believe the real purpose of the coalition to have a seat at the table when the money is carved into pieces.

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07/17/14
irl

Reising Radio Partners Gets In The Race With Jonathan Byrd’s Racing
Jonathan Byrd's Racing, which previously announced its plan to return to the Indianapolis 500 in 2015 with USAC Champion Bryan Clauson as their driver, doing so in partnership with 2013 Indianapolis 500 champions KVSH Racing, is excited to announce a new sponsorship agreement with Reising Radio Partners.

Reising Radio Partners, with offices and studios in both Franklin and Columbus, Indiana, an affiliate of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network and now the official and exclusive music radio partner of Jonathan Byrd’s Racing, is a radio broadcast company that serves the counties of south Central Indiana.  The Reising Radio Partners line-up consists of three music radio stations: QMIX 107.3 (www.qmix.com), which plays new music and familiar favorites; MOJO 102.9 (www.mojo1029.com), with the hits of the 60's, 70's, and 80's; and KORN Country 100.3 (www.korncountry.com), which is central Indiana’s home of “20 in a row” country music.

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07/17/14
irl

Honda Indy Toronto as difficult to finish as it win it
Last year's standing start.  The fans want more, but IndyCar will only do it once in Toronto
Ryan Briscoe knows all about Toronto hospitals.

Briscoe broke his wrist in the first race of the doubleheader at the Honda Indy Toronto last year, an injury that kept him from competing in the second race and later led to surgery.

Three years ago Briscoe also made a visit to a local hospital, albeit with a less serious injury, after a wheel-to-wheel incident with Tony Kanaan.

"I've still got a little lump on my hand from that," said Briscoe.

Just finishing the claustrophobic 85-lap, 2.81-kilometre street course at Exhibition Place in one piece is difficult enough for IndyCar drivers. Surviving two races, which run Saturday and Sunday, on a crash-prone track requires plenty of strategy and a bit of luck.

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07/17/14
f1

Raikkonen 'fine' after Silverstone rib pain
(GMM)  Kimi Raikkonen on Thursday confirmed he is "fine" after his big crash at Silverstone just under two weeks ago.

The Finn sat out the subsequent post-British grand prix test, reportedly with ankle and knee pain, and confirmed at Hockenheim that it was "probably" the biggest crash of his entire career.

Reports on Thursday had said the Ferrari driver is now fully recovered for the German grand prix, despite the staggering 47G impact.

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07/17/14
f1

Rosberg changes helmet after FIFA ban (Update) UPDATE (GMM)  Car manufacturer Hyundai was behind a complaint about Nico Rosberg's proposed German grand prix helmet livery.

That is the claim of Germany's Auto Motor und Sport, on the day the German driver was reportedly instructed to change his celebratory helmet because it included an image of the famous world cup trophy.

World football federation FIFA contacted the Rosberg camp to inform him his proposed helmet was an "unauthorized reproduction of its intellectual property".

Rosberg told his Twitter followers the news is a "shame, but of course I respect the legal situation".

He has replaced the trophy image with a simple star, and told reporters at Hockenheim that the fuss left him surprised.

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07/17/14
f1

Lauda wants re-think after decade of F1 revolution
Lauda
(GMM)  Niki Lauda has proposed a sweeping review of every rule change in formula one for the past decade.

For some, the all-new era of quiet turbo V6 engines was the final straw that broke the floodgates of fierce criticism.

The harshest critic has been Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo, who has called for an emergency meeting with F1's major stakeholders.

On Thursday, FIA president Jean Todt said he is happy to sit down for such a meeting, inviting other important voices including former F1 drivers to speak up.

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07/17/14
f1

Schumacher's wife says 'most difficult time' now over
(GMM)  The "most difficult time" in Michael Schumacher's "struggle" is now over.

That is the positive message delivered by the F1 legend's wife Corinna, in a brief letter of thanks in the official 2014 German grand prix program.

The message, in German, said the Schumacher family had been overwhelmed by the support shown by the former Ferrari and Mercedes driver's supporters since his skiing accident.

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07/17/14
racing news

Motorsports Hall begins move to Daytona Beach
The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America has started the arduous task of moving its priceless collection of cars and racing artifacts from its base in Novi, Michigan, to storage in this area.

"We have started the process," Hall executive director Ron Watson said by phone from his office in Michigan.

The Hall has transported 15 race cars and numerous other archive items as it begins the prep for its 2016 opening, to coincide with the debut of Daytona Rising at Daytona International Speedway.

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07/17/14
f1

Todt open to improving 'new' F1
(GMM)  Jean Todt has revealed he is prepared to listen to any proposals to revise formula one's rules.

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has been arguably the harshest critic of the sport's 'new' era, but FIA president Todt insists F1 was right to bring in the greener, quieter V6 engines.

"It was the right way to go," Frenchman Todt told Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport, "but so far we were not able to communicate it well.

"But the future of formula one is in this direction," he added.

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07/17/14
f1

Caterham F1 Team Lays Off 40-Plus Staff (Update) UPDATE (GMM)  Caterham has confirmed reports "a number of employees" have left the team.

We reported earlier that, after founder Tony Fernandes' sale of the Malaysian team to mystery Swiss-Middle Eastern investors, advisor Colin Kolles had overseen the exit of "at least" 50 members of staff.

Caterham announced on Thursday morning a number of appointments, whilst also admitting it has "parted company with a number of employees".

"This is a necessary step taken by the new owners of Caterham F1 Team whose priority is the future of the team," a media statement read.

"No further comment will be made at this time."

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07/17/14
irl

Panther Racing takes to EBay to unload Indy cars and engines (2nd Update) UPDATE #2 Panther Racing, once one of the best little teams in the IndyCar Series, is now being sold off in pieces.

Indianapolis-based Key Auctioneers will be auctioning the complete assets of Panther Racing on July 23. The auction includes several Panther race cars and a variety of rolling stock, memorabilia, car parts, racing equipment and shop tools.

Panther Racing was founded in 1997 by a group that included former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jim Harbaugh. Co-owners of the team along the way included Indianapolis car dealer Gary Pedigo, former radio personality Mike Griffin, television production executive Terry Lingner and Doug Boles, now president of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

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07/17/14
irl
nassprint

TV Ratings Top-50 - NASCAR and IndyCar drop
At the unofficial halfway point of the sports calendar, here is a look at the most-watched sporting events of the year so far and it is a sad story for auto racing in the USA, which no longer has a single event in the top-50.  Motorsports in the USA has lost the youth of this generation and it's all downhill from here unless steps are taken to reverse that trend.

The first half of 2014 was a bit atypical thanks to the Winter Olympics and World Cup. Those two events accounted for exactly half of the 50 most-watched sports telecasts this year — eighteen for the Olympics and seven for the World Cup — and 11 of the top 12 non-NFL events. The Opening Ceremony of the Olympics (31.7M) and the Germany/Argentina World Cup final (26.5M) rank as the two most-watched non-NFL sporting events of the year.

There have been other oddities. Horse racing placed higher on this year’s list than the NBA Finals, as The Belmont Stakes drew 20.4 million viewers (#26) and Spurs/Heat topped out at 18.0 million (#33). NASCAR and golf both plummeted out of the top 50 as the Daytona 500 (9.3M) and The Masters (11.0M) suffered sizable declines. The NFL Draft — not even an actual sporting event — managed to crack the list with 12.4 million viewers on ESPN and NFL Network.

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07/17/14
ELMS
LMESA

Asian LMS, European LMS, and The ACO announce the new LM P3 category
Just over a month after the 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours, the Asian Le Mans Series and European Le Mans Series Championships will be back on track this coming weekend (19-20 July). This will provide the Automobile Club de l’Ouest with an ideal opportunity to present its new category: Le Mans Prototype 3 (LM P3).

The aim of LM P3, which will compete in the continental championships, the Asian Le Mans Series and the European Le Mans Series in 2015, is to become the entry-level formula for Le Mans-type endurance racing.

A joint presentation of this new category will take place at the Red Bull Ring (Austria) and at Inje Speedium (South Korea), where the third round of the European Le Mans Series and the first round of the Asian Le Mans Series are taking place.

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07/17/14
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday
  • American Alexander Rossi hoping to land a ride with the American Haas F1 team
    Caterham axes 'at least 50' F1 staff
  • Boss 'not worried' about Hockenheim future
  • Mercedes wants driver duo 'til the cows come home'
  • FIFA 'wants to ban' Rosberg's world cup helmet
  • Raikkonen fit for German GP
  • Fans enjoyed 'kindergarten' complaining - Vettel
  • Mercedes to run without 'Fric' at Hockenheim
  • Haas paid '$20m deposit' for F1 team entry
  • Caterham F1 Team Restructuring announcement


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