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DATE News (chronologically)
08/03/12
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Friday
  • Daniel Ricciardo
    Ricciardo expects to stay at Toro Rosso in 2013
  • FIA bans Enge for 18 months after drugs test
  • 'Furious' Ferrari denies Marko's hand-adjuster claim
  • F1 gearing up for August shutdown
  • Now McLaren working on 'double DRS' system
  • Valencia aims for F1 return in 2014
  • 'Why would Kimi want to be a No 2?'

Ricciardo expects to stay at Toro Rosso in 2013
(GMM)  The stream of F1 news may be running thin as the sport races into its August slumber and factory shutdowns, but the roar of V8 engines has continued this week.

Daniel Ricciardo is in action over two days, as Toro Rosso completes some testing for filming purposes at Imola, the former San Marino grand prix which is located a stone's throw from the team's Faenza base.

Italy's Autosprint said the event is not open to the public.

"The summer break begins when we're done," Australian Ricciardo told the German website motorsport-total.com.

He insisted he feels he doesn't need a holiday.

"It wouldn't bother me if we were on the way to another grand prix," said Ricciardo, who made his debut last year with HRT.

The 22-year-old admitted he expects to stay at Toro Rosso in 2013.

"I'd say so, unless the next few races go very badly," Ricciardo smiled.

"Qualifying has been okay for me, the races a bit more up and down, but if I can knock out a few good races and stay strong in qualifying, I think honestly I've done everything I can do."

Tomas Enge
FIA bans Enge for 18 months after drugs test
(GMM)  Former F1 driver Tomas Enge has been banned by the governing FIA for 18 months.

The now 35-year-old Czech, the only F1 driver ever to fail a drugs test a decade ago, failed yet another test recently.

In 2002, he was stripped of his international Formula 3000 (GP2) title for failing a test for cannabis.

And in June, Enge - who has been racing a Lamborghini in the FIA's GT1 sports car world championship - confirmed he failed a recent drugs test, but denied the banned substance was cannabis once again.

Justifying the failed test, he revealed he has "suffered from long-term health problems" and had applied to the FIA for "an exemption" for certain drugs.

But the Austrian newspaper Kleine Zeitung, revealing that Enge argued he took a drug to deal with cardiovascular problems, said the FIA has suspended Enge for a period of 18 months.

The report said Enge has consulted with his lawyer and now intends to push the case to the Swiss based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne.

Following team regular Luciano Burti's huge Spa crash, Enge contested three grands prix for Prost Grand Prix at the end of 2001, before the French team folded.

His best finish was twelfth on debut at Monza.

'Furious' Ferrari denies Marko's hand-adjuster claim
(GMM)  A reportedly "furious" Ferrari has hit back at Red Bull, after the reigning champions suggested the famous Italian team broke the rules "for a year".

Frustrated with the constant technical controversies involving Red Bull in 2012, the team's Dr Helmut Marko said this week that actually "Ferrari used something like that for a year".

The outspoken Austrian had been asked about the latest Red Bull saga, amid reports the FIA told the team to remove an illegal hand-control for adjusting the RB8's ride height without a tool at June's Canadian grand prix.

The website of Italian sports newspapers Tuttosport and Corriere dello Sport said Ferrari has responded to Marko's claims by issuing a robust denial.

A Ferrari spokesman was quoted as saying the accusation is "completely untrue".

Indeed, in the original article that quoted Marko about the alleged Ferrari system, journalist Michael Schmidt doubted Red Bull would have any knowledge about what is under the skin of the red F2012.

"One has to wonder how an outsider could have seen something like that," said the Auto Motor und Sport writer.

"Chassis components at the front are well hidden in the carbon tube, and you can only get access to them from the top service hatch.

"And it's hard to imagine Ferrari would have given any insight to strangers," added Schmidt.

F1 gearing up for August shutdown
(GMM)  The recently-married Romain Grosjean knows exactly how he will be spending F1's long August shutdown.

"I think it's time for a honeymoon," smiled Lotus' rookie Frenchman.

But not everyone is quite as keen, even halfway through the most arduous F1 calendar in history which so far has featured eleven grands prix in the space of just four months.

After the whole month of August off, including a two-week strict factory shutdown for all the teams, the circus will reconvene for nine more grands prix squeezed into less than three months.

"Am I looking forward to the break?  Yes," seven time world champion Michael Schumacher told Germany's Sport Bild.

"Do I feel like I urgently need a vacation?  Not necessarily," he explained.

Force India's Nico Hulkenberg agrees, insisting he is "absolutely not ready for a holiday".

"I will visit friends in Germany," he said.  "But four weeks?  Two would have been enough."

Marussia's Timo Glock said he too would be happy to move straight on to Spa, "But I think for the mechanics it (the break) is very good."

Lewis Hamilton agrees: "The team is travelling non-stop and they work incredibly long hours away from their families.

"So it's an important time for them to go away and relax and refresh and get ready for the second half of the season which is going to be the most intense."

During the 14-day factory shutdown, even the teams' suppliers may not do any work for their F1 clients, while team members are forbidden even to access official email servers.

Some marketing and press is permissible, as is logistics work and the maintenance of factories and machines.

But surely it is almost possible to stop thousands of active formula one minds from ticking over?

"It works on trust," Sauber team manager Beat Zehnder told Auto Motor und Sport when asked how the shutdown is policed.

Now McLaren working on 'double DRS' system
(GMM)  McLaren looks set to be the next team with a 'double DRS'-like system aboard its 2012 car.

After Mercedes and then Lotus pioneered the straight-line speed-boosting concept this season, it emerged that the FIA intends to ban it for 2013 and beyond.

But according to sporting director Sam Michael, work is well underway on a McLaren version.

"It's not like the Lotus one, but we are studying such a system," the Australian is quoted by the Italian website f1passion.it.

Michael said he is not sure when the 'double DRS' or 'super DRS' will make its debut on the MP4-27.

"We must be careful that it does not take time away from our other updates," he added.

Valencia aims for F1 return in 2014
(GMM)  All is not yet lost for Valencia's grand prix.

Recent reports suggested Bernie Ecclestone had said in Hungary last weekend that the European grand prix, held on the streets of the Spanish port city since 2008, would be replaced in 2013 by New Jersey.

Some suggested that, given the Spanish economic crisis and Valencia's declining race audience figures, it was definitely the death knell for the city event.

But an interview with Der Tagesspiegel newspaper has clarified that Valencia could be back in 2014.

"Valencia will not be there (in 2013) because they're alternating (now) with Barcelona," F1 chief executive Ecclestone said.

And an official for Valencia's ruling political party has said negotiations are currently taking place to ensure the race's continuation into the future.

"Formula one is very important not only from an image point of view but also due to the economic impact, the creation of jobs and what that means for the Valencia region," the official, secretary general Serafin Castellano, is quoted by Reuters.

He said the current talks with Ecclestone are to "reduce the cost of the formula one levy".

'Why would Kimi want to be a No 2?'
Lotus team boss Eric Boullier has again brushed aside suggestions that Kimi Raikkonen could be off to Ferrari, saying he wouldn't want to play second fiddle.

Media reports claim Ferrari are interested in re-signing the 32-year-old as a replacement for Felipe Massa for the 2013 season.

Raikkonen, who won the 2007 World Championship during his four-year stint with the Italian squad, insisted he is happy at Lotus, but in the same breath said "you never know what happens in the future".

Boullier is confident Raikkonen won't leave for Maranello as he wouldn't want to be a number two driver to Fernando Alonso.

"There are always a lot of rumors," he told Finland's MTV3.

"We have a two-year contract with Kimi but, as in every agreement, there are always options.

"I believe Kimi is happy here and I do not believe that his experience with Ferrari was the best one.

"Being with (team-mate Romain) Grosjean is certainly easier than Alonso.

"I can't see why Kimi would want to be the second driver at Ferrari when he has the chance to be the number one here." PlanetF1.com

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