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F1 news in brief - Thursday UPDATE Updates shown in red below.

  • Kimi Raikkonen
    Raikkonen announcement just publicity stunt
  • HRT boss says de la Rosa 'will drive for us in 2013'
  • Trulli turned down F1 commentary role for 2013
  • Schumacher to remain a 'jet-setter' in 2013
  • Rosberg not worried about Hamilton challenge
  • Ferrari would welcome Porsche to F1
  • Susie Wolff hopes for more F1 testing
  • Austin still working to finish 2012 US GP venue
  • Sauber to test in Abu Dhabi with Gutierrez and Frijns
  • Coulthard retires from DTM New
  • Lauda testifies against former sponsor New
  • Arrest warrant against Mallya withdrawn New
  • Senna: 2013 tires will suit me better New
  • F1 teams pushing to avoid tire 'shock' New 

Raikkonen announcement just publicity stunt
(GMM)  Kimi Raikkonen did not announce his plans for the 2013 season as he turned 33 on Wednesday.

A viral video on the internet, posted by an advertising agency that works with the 2007 world champion, announced recently that the speculation about Raikkonen's future beyond 2012 will "come to an end" on 17 October, "when a new contract will be published".

Actually, it was all just a publicity stunt for the Lotus driver's new personal sponsor, a Finnish clothing brand called Makia Racing.

The entertaining video posted on Wednesday.

HRT boss says de la Rosa 'will drive for us in 2013'
(GMM)  Pedro de la Rosa is definitely staying at HRT in 2013, the Spanish team's boss Luis Perez-Sala has announced.

"Pedro de la Rosa will drive for us in 2013," he is quoted by the German language Speed Week.

The Spanish veteran's current teammate is Narain Karthikeyan, but the Indian has been linked with a possible switch to IndyCar.

Speed Week said the presence of Karthikeyan, 35, has not brought the expected flood of Indian sponsors to HRT.

The report named the team's Chinese reserve driver Ma Qing Hua as a candidate to replace him.

But on Sky television last weekend, former McLaren driver Martin Brundle suggested the 24-year-old is "not ready" to make his grand prix debut yet.

Speed Week said Spaniard Dani Clos - another HRT 'Friday' driver this year - would be a leading contender if he had more sponsorship.

Jaime Alguersuari is another candidate, with Speed Week saying the former Toro Rosso driver and Pirelli tester has "put together an enticing sponsor package" for 2013.

And Brundle said Caterham's reserve driver Giedo van der Garde could also be in the running, saying the Dutchman has done "a good job in GP2 and apparently has some sponsorship behind him".

Trulli turned down F1 commentary role for 2013
(GMM)  Jarno Trulli turned down an offer to return to formula one in 2013 -- in the commentary box.

That is the claim of the German-language Speed Week, reporting that the veteran of 256 grands prix, who lost his Caterham seat ahead of this season, was sounded out by new Italian broadcaster Sky to travel to next year's 20 races as a television pundit.

But the report said Trulli, 38, turned down the punditry offer because he wants to return to competitive action in 2013.

Another option for Sky was 1997 world champion and French-Canadian Jacques Villeneuve, but the former Williams and Sauber driver said no because he reportedly "doesn't want to travel that much".

Italian Vitantonio Liuzzi, the former Red Bull, Force India and HRT driver, is the latest candidate, Speed Week added.

Schumacher to remain a 'jet-setter' in 2013
(GMM)  Michael Schumacher has revealed he will not simply sit at his palatial Swiss home in 2013, having retired from active competition in formula one.

The seven time world champion is said to be weighing up an offer to work as a consultant in an ambassadorial role for the Mercedes team in 2013.

He told DPA on Wednesday that he will not just sit at home.

"I've always worked internationally and will continue to do so," the 43-year-old said.

"I'm a jet-setter," he smiled.

But what exactly will he do after travelling to the final four international 'flyaway' grands prix in his active grand prix career, in India, Abu Dhabi, the US and Brazil over the next six weeks?

"My life afterwards?  I have so many options about what I could do, but I'm not thinking about it yet," said the former Jordan, Benetton and Ferrari driver.

He told Bild newspaper: "I want to take my time to find my way."

Schumacher, however, insisted that he will not simply swap his active racing role for another full-time F1 job.

"I will definitely not be in Melbourne," he said, referring to next year's season opener.

Rosberg not worried about Hamilton challenge
(GMM)  Nico Rosberg insists he is not afraid of being beaten by Lewis Hamilton in 2013.

Once teammates in their karting days, the pair will be reunited next season as Mercedes teammates in formula one.

German Rosberg, 27, has had the better of the great Michael Schumacher since they were paired together in 2010, but some skeptics point out that the seven time world champion was no longer the all-conquering driver of his ultra-successful initial career.

Rosberg's real test, they say, will be the 2008 world champion and long-time McLaren driver Hamilton.

But Rosberg scoffed at the claim he will have to 'prove' himself in 2013 alongside a genuine benchmark.

"Is Michael Schumacher not a real benchmark?" he is quoted by the Telegraph.

"Personally, I feel that Michael is still driving very well.

"But no, no, I understand where you're coming from and I'm excited by the challenge Lewis will provide."

But he might also be forgiven for worrying slightly about Hamilton's reputation for being a tumultuous presence on a team.

"That's just the perception in the media," Rosberg insisted.  "I'm not worried.

He said that, although different, Schumacher also attracts a lot of attention.

"You couldn't get a much bigger spotlight," said Rosberg.

Already, however, Mercedes' 2013 drivers are disagreeing.  Hamilton said recently that he does not expect the Brackley based team to win races next season.

"I expect to win next year," Rosberg insisted.  "I don't know how many races but I expect to win next year.  I wouldn't talk about the championship, that is not realistic at the moment, but I expect us to be winning races."

Ferrari would welcome Porsche to F1
(GMM)  Luca di Montezemolo has admitted he would welcome Porsche to formula one.

The VW-brand has played down the latest rumors about a V6-powered grand prix foray on the back of its forthcoming return to Le Mans, but Ferrari president Montezemolo said: "I feel great respect for Porsche, who I consider the main rival of many of our cars.

"Competition is always welcome, especially when you're sure you will win," the Italian is quoted by Spain's AS newspaper.

But even with Porsche rejecting the latest speculation, the German newspaper Kolner Express said all the signs are pointing towards a 2016 foray for the famous sports car maker.

Susie Wolff hopes for more F1 testing
(GMM)  Susie Wolff has played down expectations her next step in formula one is a spot on the grid.

Admitting it was an emotional moment in the wake of the injuries sustained earlier in 2012 by Marussia's female test driver Maria de Villota, Wolff got her first taste of a grand prix car on Wednesday at the wheel of last year's Williams.

The British team's 29-year-old development driver, a racer in the German touring car championship DTM and married to team official Toto Wolff, drove the FW33 during a sponsor's day at the damp Silverstone circuit.

Wolff insists it wasn't a "show run".

"Williams would never just put someone in a car as a show run to make some publicity," he is quoted by the Scottish Sun.

"The team was very conscious the day had to go well and I was very aware if I wanted more opportunities then I had to do well."

But the rarity of her feat was not lost on the media, with only three other women in the last ten years - including the seriously injured de Villota - having tested F1 cars.

Wolff is realistic: "I am not going to tell you I will be on the F1 grid next year.  I am not going to dream, or start running before I can walk.

"This was a very important step in the right direction and I hope I am on the path to doing much more.

"I hope I have done enough at this stage to prove I can be of assistance to this team.  Hopefully I can get some more tests," she added.

Austin still working to finish 2012 US GP venue
(GMM)  Organizers of the first US grand prix since 2007 say the brand new Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, is now almost ready to host a formula one race.

The Hermann Tilke-designed track is scheduled to host the 2012 US GP in exactly a month from now.

When the sport's impending journey to Texas was first announced, there was much skepticism about whether the event would ever take place, especially when founder Tavo Hellmund became embroiled in a legal row with the current organizers.

But the FIA's Charlie Whiting has given the track the green light, even though the Austin American Statesman newspaper reports that the facility is not quite ready.

Referring also to the crucial pit and medical facilities, project manager Braedon Box said on Wednesday: "Everything track-related is done.  We could have a race right now.

"Everything else isn't done.  I'm certain everybody would like to be a little further along and putting their feet up right now."

He insisted, however, that 'everything else' - the seating, the media centre and most other things - will be ready on time.

Sauber to test in Abu Dhabi with Gutierrez and Frijns
The Sauber F1 Team will be sending Esteban Gutierrez and Robin Frijns out onto the track at the Young Driver Days in Abu Dhabi to be held from 6th to 8th November 2012.

Frijns will be driving on the Tuesday, the first day of testing. The 21-year-old Dutchman won the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup in 2011 and this coming weekend will be contesting the title in the 2012 Formula Renault 3.5 World Series on the Circuit de Catalunya. In the run-up to the final he is five points adrift of the championship leader. 

For Gutierrez, the Young Driver Days will mark his fourth test outing with the team since he first got inside a Formula One cockpit in late 2009. Likewise aged 21, the Mexican joined the Sauber F1 Team as an affiliated driver and since 2011 has been the official reserve driver for the Formula One outfit. He will be test-driving in Abu Dhabi on the Wednesday and Thursday.

Coulthard retires from DTM
(GMM)  David Coulthard has called time on his premier motor racing career.

The former McLaren and Red Bull driver, now 41, switched to the top German touring car category DTM after his 247-grand prix career ended a few years ago.

He is also now a commentator for the BBC's coverage of formula one.

In a statement issued by Mercedes, it was announced he will retire from DTM after this weekend's Hockenheim finale.

"The weekend will be my final opportunity to compete at this level as I will stop racing in the DTM to concentrate on my developing off-track businesses and of course my family," said Coulthard.

Meanwhile, Michael Schumacher has clarified that he will also completely retire from premier motor racing after his F1 comeback concludes next month in Brazil.

"Formula one offers the maximum in terms of emotion, speed, and complete work," he told Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"Any other kind of car would not give me the same emotions.  I am stopping here completely."

Lauda testifies against former sponsor
(GMM)  Niki Lauda was in a Liechtenstein court on Wednesday, testifying against the founder of his failed former cap sponsor Money Service Group.

Last year, the triple world champion wore the logo of Michael Seidl's brand on his always-present cap, until Seidl was arrested for commercial fraud.

German language reports said Lauda appeared as a prominent witness in the trial this week, after receiving only EUR 400,000 of a promised EUR 1.2 million for wearing the cap in 2011.

It is also reported he lost EUR 500,000 when he invested in a Money Service Group fund.

The famous 63-year-old told the court he had "never been so cheated" in his entire life.

Arrest warrant against Mallya withdrawn
(GMM)  The arrest warrant against Force India boss Vijay Mallya has been withdrawn.

With the sport now set to travel to the billionaire's native country for the Indian grand prix, it emerged last weekend that Mallya faced arrest there after checks issued by his ailing airline Kingfisher bounced.

But reports on Thursday said Hyderabad International Airport withdrew the case because Kingfisher agreed to pay the debt.

Indian reports said the case involved a sum of about $2 million.

"The case has been withdrawn," a lawyer for the airport is quoted by the Press Trust of India as saying.

Senna: 2013 tires will suit me better
Bruno Senna expects Pirelli's less critical tires to be a help to sensitive drivers like him during the 2013 season.

The 29-year-old Brazilian reckons that while this year's rubber has been critically sensitive to different driving approaches, the Italian tire manufacturer is aiming to try and make next year's batch work within a broader spectrum.

"Next year we will have new tires again which can shuffle the order around a little bit," he said.

"Pirelli is trying to make the tires a bit more, let's say, wider ranging for driving styles so that more people with different driving styles can achieve the same sort of lap time and we will see what is going to happen."

Senna explained that the sensitivity of this year's tires was such that it had the potential to influence drivers' lap times even within the same team.

"Pirelli made some changes to the front and rear tires [this year] to mitigate some of the issues they were having and every time you change one thing in the tire you are going to introduce another characteristic," he explained.

"So this year the tires have been very picky, in terms of the driving style that they favor.

"Sometimes you see a big difference between drivers in the same team, and it's basically because the tire prefers that driving style to the other.

"So for sure as the year goes on the differences get smaller and the consistency gets better but especially from an early season perspective it really makes a difference." Yahoo! Eurosport UK

F1 teams pushing to avoid tire 'shock' 
Formula 1 teams are pushing to ensure there will be no repeat of the 'shock' they faced in dealing with tires at the start of this season, after getting hold of Pirelli's 2013 specifications for the first time.

Pirelli has made its final decision on the modifications it is making to next year's rubber following the recent conclusion of its private testing program.

This information has been provided to the teams, so they can incorporate that knowledge into the designs of next year's cars.

The company is modifying both the compounds and constructions of its products for next year in a bid to ensure the racing is kept exciting.

It is also revising the tires so that teams do not face as difficult a time as they had in 2012 of getting the rubber into the right operating window.

On the back of Pirelli submitting its 2013 data, F1 team engineers have conceded that they did not react as well as they should have to the changes made for 2012, which is why they will be taking matters much more seriously this time out.

McLaren technical director Paddy Lowe told AUTOSPORT: "Certainly it was a bit of a shock to the system for all the teams this year - and we have learned from that.

"What we had this year relative to last year was quite a big surprise to everybody, but the data [supplied beforehand] did not really indicate that; so we will really have to see.

"The data tells you certain hard facts, like the weight and shape, and these are things you can use in development. But in terms of how the compounds behave in their life there isn't really data about that, these are things you discover when you use them. We will be working hard on that."

Williams chief operations engineer Mark Gillan said: "We still haven't got all the information about what is happening for next year, but we are definitely paying closer attention to what is happening."

When asked by AUTOSPORT if teams had underestimated the changes made for 2012, he said: "Probably. I don't think anybody, certainly from our side, would have thought the season would have progressed and evolved as it has done - which made for exciting racing."

Although Pirelli is reluctant to offer a detailed explanation yet of the changes it is making to its tires, Lowe says that as well as a revised shape, the rubber will weigh more in 2013.

"They [the tires] are quite a bit heavier, which was a surprise to me," he said. "Considering the changes are not supposed to be very substantial, which to me would indicate not a big weight change, there is quite a big weight change."

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery said about the situation: "We have started explaining to the teams and they are getting that information now.

"We do a lot of indoor testing and data creation to help them run their models. We put that data on a central server so they have access in real time together. They get it at the same time, so nobody has an advantage and that is being supplied to a timetable now.

"We are making some changes to the tires – and it will have a difference particularly on aero. The tire will also behave dynamically different."

The lack of understanding that teams had of the tires at the start of this season led to an unpredictable start to the campaign, with seven different winners from the first seven races. Yahoo! Eurosport UK

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