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F1 news in brief - Friday
  • Esteban Gutierrez (L) and Peter Sauber
    Exhaust clampdown going ahead after London meeting
  • Renault issues warning over 2013 engine rules dithering
  • Substitute drive too soon for Gutierrez - Sauber
  • Funding fears ease over 2012 US grand prix
  • Red Bull aims to solve KERS issues soon
  • Di Grassi begins Pirelli test at Jerez

Exhaust clampdown going ahead after London meeting
(GMM)  The FIA is pressing ahead with its clampdown on blown exhaust technology following a meeting in London.

The technical working group met with Charlie Whiting on Thursday where, despite some controversy, the FIA delegate told teams they will have to severely limit their off-throttle diffuser exhaust blowing from next month's British grand prix.

It is suggested pioneer Red Bull will be the team most affected by the ban, but Mercedes and Renault are also leaders in the field.

"The degree that a team will be affected is dependent on how much they're exploiting that technology," Red Bull chief designer Rob Marshall told The Sun newspaper.

"There are certainly some teams that are exploiting it very vigorously and some that aren't exploiting it at all.  Some will suffer more than others."

And Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali is quoted by Italy's Tuttosport: "After Silverstone it will be possible to express an opinion about our season.

"All I can say is that I hope it (the clampdown) affects us less than others."

Renault issues warning over 2013 engine rules dithering
(GMM)  Engine supplier Renault has confirmed its serious concerns about the dithering over formula one's engine regulations for 2013.

FIA president Jean Todt wants to push ahead with the 'greener' four-cylinder turbo route, but has admitted the rules might be delayed due to concerns expressed by Cosworth, Ferrari and Mercedes.

Managing director Jean-Francois Caubet has signaled this week that if Renault's competitors succeed in postponing the new rules, he fears the French carmaker's commitment to F1 would be in doubt.

"We want to know what to do rather than delay or defer," he is quoted by Autosprint's auto.it.

"It seems to me that the situation is losing control.  We understand and respect the ideas of Ferrari, Mercedes and Cosworth, but we are not willing to accept delays or to see things change in this way.

"The matter is becoming a problem," insisted Caubet.  "It is not clear who is managing the sport."

Todt admitted last week that "those responsible at Renault tell me they will go out of F1" if the engine rules do not come into effect in 2013.

Esteban Gutierrez (L) and Peter Sauber
Substitute drive too soon for Gutierrez - Sauber
(GMM)  Sauber wants to ease Esteban Gutierrez into formula one rather than throw him in the deep end with a last-minute race seat.

That was the explanation of team boss Peter Sauber on Thursday following the Mexican teen's disappointment about not being called up in Montreal to replace the ill Sergio Perez.

To official reserve driver Gutierrez's chagrin, he was not even summoned to Canada before his McLaren counterpart Pedro de la Rosa, 40, sat in for Perez.

"I understand the question, but we have a responsibility to Gutierrez," Sauber is quoted by Germany's Speed Week.

"It is important to bring him slowly towards formula one," added Sauber, whose Hinwil based team is backed considerably by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim's companies.

Funding fears ease over 2012 US grand prix
(GMM)  Fears have eased that Austin's city council could scupper the 2012 US grand prix.

It emerged last week that if council members refuse to sign up as "endorsing municipality", the race organizers' $25 million in annual state funding for the Circuit of the Americas project is in doubt.

The council agreement would involve Austin contributing $4m per year to Texas' Major Events Trust Fund, even though the race organizers are pledging to pick up the bill.

Earlier reports had said the organizers were hoping the $4m would be funded by taxpayers in subsequent years, but it now emerges that they have agreed to pay up for the full decade of the formula one contract.

"This confirms what I've been saying all along -- that the city would be contributing no up-front money, and that the city would not be at risk," confirmed Austin mayor Lee Leffingwell.

Asked if the agreement will be formalized by the time the council meets next week, he is quoted by the Austin Chronicle: "I would hope so."

Red Bull aims to solve KERS issues soon
(GMM)  Red Bull is confident about getting on top of its recurring KERS problems in the near future.

The RB7 has dominated the 2011 season so far, but the team has at the same time struggled consistently with its energy recovery system, having not used the technology when it was first seen in formula one in 2009.

Red Bull has taken a different approach to KERS than its main competitors, reducing the size and weight - and therefore power - of the basic Magneti Marelli unit in order to maximize Adrian Newey's parameters for the car's aerodynamic packaging.

"I'm still sure that we've done the right thing," the team's chief designer Rob Marshall told The Sun newspaper.

"Once we get it to work, we'll be happy that we've made the right choices.  We haven't made any wrong decisions," he insisted.

However, according to Newey, Red Bull underestimated the challenge taken on by deciding to considerably tinker with the unit that is proving reliable aboard the Renault cars.

"It needs a lot of research, lots of development.  It is not really our forte.  We are an aerodynamics and, sort of, chassis composite engineering group rather than a KERS group," said the Briton.

He admitted that Red Bull implemented the project with quite a small group of engineers dedicated to KERS.

"With hindsight (the group was) probably a little bit too small," said Newey.

Di Grassi begins Pirelli test at Jerez
Pirelli were back in action with their 2009 Toyota on Thursday, with official test driver Lucas di Grassi beginning a two-day tire test at Jerez. Proceedings will continue with the Brazilian, Virgin Racing’s reserve driver, on Friday.

“Jerez test done today,” di Grassi, who completed more than 150 laps, posted via his personal Twitter account. “Lots of laps, development gone well. Now its time to review today's work and get ready for tomorrow.”

Thursday’s test took place with ambient temperatures of over 35°C (95°F) in Andalucía, with the track figures reading more than 50°C (122°F) and di Grassi drinking over eight liters of water to remain well hydrated throughout the day.

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