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Latest F1 news in brief - Wednesday UPDATE Updates shown in red below.

  • Andrew Craig
    Sauber hoping to keep future drivers on board
  • Ferrari updates 'no great revolution' - Gene
  • Mercedes designing 'completely new' 2013 car - Lauda
  • Founder of ex-Sauber, Lauda sponsor jailed
  • Ex-CART boss Andrew Craig tips CVC to 'sit tight' amid F1 corruption scandal
  • Karthikeyan denies considering IndyCar switch
  • Scuderia Toro Rosso's Abu Dhabi Young Driver Test Line-up New
  • Renault Sport F1 Preview to the Indian GP New

Sauber hoping to keep future drivers on board
(GMM)  Monisha Kaltenborn thinks that if Sauber can provide its drivers with a good car every season, the Swiss team can prevent them from jumping ship.

After two years with Sauber, the Hinwil based team has lost its impressive youngster Sergio Perez to McLaren, and is now expected to promote another Telmex-promoted young Mexican - Esteban Gutierrez - into the race cockpit for 2013.

"We wanted Sergio to stay, but it was not possible," team boss Kaltenborn is quoted by Brazil's Totalrace.

"However, if we can (always) have a competitive car like this season, we can prevent this situation from happening again in the future," she added.

Gutierrez's teammate in 2013 is expected to be German Nico Hulkenberg, who is moving from Force India to Sauber, but has also been linked this year with a switch to Ferrari.

"We have a great history of bringing young talent into the sport and giving them all the support they need to develop, learn as quickly as possible and move forward," Kaltenborn continued.

Sauber is currently sixth in the 2012 constructors' championship, between Mercedes (5th) and Force India.

"I think what we did this year is very important for the team's strategy for the coming years," Kaltenborn insisted.

Ferrari updates 'no great revolution' - Gene
(GMM)  Ferrari has travelled to India with some improvements for its 2012 car, test driver Marc Gene has revealed.

Despite admitting its wind tunnel has not always been up to scratch this year, the Italian team remains determined to fight back after Fernando Alonso lost his long-standing championship lead to Red Bull's on-form Sebastian Vettel two weeks ago in Korea.

Spaniard Gene is quoted by the EFE news agency as admitting Ferrari has brought "a number of improvements" to India, the fourth-last stop on the 2012 calendar, but insisted it does not add up to a "great revolution".

"But we do hope they help," he said.

"All the time there are less and less races, so we are doing everything to end the championship with even a single point more than second place," added Gene.

Spain's Marca newspaper said the changes to the F2012 are in the area of the exhaust, the wings and the diffuser, amounting to "between 0.2 and 0.4 seconds" per lap.

Chief designer Nicholas Tombazis confirmed Ferrari tried the improvements during a straight-line track test last week, after finding that parts tested only in the wind tunnel ahead of recent grands prix brought "unpleasant surprises".

"We ran control tests on these updates to really understand what the problem was.  We got some very interesting answers which we believe will allow us to recover from those problems," he said.

F1 legend Niki Lauda, however, warned that it might already be too late for Ferrari, particularly as he has heard that Red Bull has also travelled to India with some car developments.

"If that goes well (for Red Bull), then it becomes very difficult for Alonso," he told the broadcaster RTL.

Mercedes designing 'completely new' 2013 car - Lauda
(GMM)  Mercedes is working on a "completely new car" for the 2013 season, Niki Lauda has revealed.

Lauda, the F1 legend and triple world champion, is Mercedes' brand new non-executive chairman -- the main link between the Stuttgart carmaker and the Ross Brawn-led, UK-based team.

With this year's W03, Nico Rosberg won in Shanghai and Michael Schumacher lapped the quickest in qualifying at Monaco, but otherwise the silver machine has often been a disappointment.

With the regulations staying essentially stable next year, ahead of the radical changes for 2014, most teams are working on evolutions of their current cars for next season.

But with Lewis Hamilton arriving from McLaren for 2013, simply evolving the W03 is not going to be Mercedes' approach, Austrian Lauda suggested to the broadcaster RTL.

"We are working on a concept for a completely new car.  The current one is simply not fast enough," he said.

Founder of ex-Sauber, Lauda sponsor jailed
(GMM)  Former Niki Lauda and Sauber sponsor Money Service Group's founder Michael Seidl has been sentenced to jail for nine years.

Last week, F1 legend Lauda testified against Seidl in a Liechtenstein court, after he lost EUR 500,000 in an investment, and was underpaid to the tune of EUR 800,000 after Money Service Group sponsored his famous cap in 2011.

Seidl was tried for commercial fraud, and according to the major Volksblatt daily he was sentenced unconditionally to nine years in jail.

A court spokesman confirmed the verdict to the Austrian APA news agency, adding that Seidl has lodged an appeal.

As did Lauda, the Swiss team Sauber terminated its sponsorship deal with Money Service Group mid last year.

Ex-CART boss tips CVC to 'sit tight' amid F1 corruption scandal
(GMM)  Former motor racing chief Andrew Craig (who led IndyCar Racing through its greatest growth period) has tipped F1's owners to "sit tight" rather than float the sport while Bernie Ecclestone is embroiled in the Gerhard Gribkowsky bribery scandal.

While German prosecutors are currently considering whether to charge F1's long-time chief executive with corruption, owner CVC has delayed the stock market floatation of its sport, ostensibly due to adverse market conditions.

But Craig, who was CEO of the now-defunct US open wheeler series CART throughout the category's premier success until 2000, has told leading F1 business journalist Christian Sylt that he sees a link between the stalled floatation and Ecclestone's legal troubles.

"CVC's best option," he told Sylt, "may be to sit tight until after the criminal case is resolved."

And that, according to widespread sources and even Ecclestone himself, could take a long time.

Ecclestone told Sylt and Eurosport: "I don't see how it (the case) can come to an end really."

Sylt quoted someone close to CVC as saying: "It's hard to know (if the prosecutors are going to press charges against Ecclestone).

"Bernie is pretty blase about it.  It's hard to know to be honest."

It was reported in the German press earlier in October that one solution could be Mercedes recruiting other influential players in F1 to push for Ecclestone's removal as chief executive.

"We would not wait for a months-long process, but (we) would act," a Mercedes source told the Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.

Karthikeyan denies considering IndyCar switch
(GMM)  Narain Karthikeyan has played down reports he is eyeing a switch to IndyCar racing for 2013.

While Pedro de la Rosa is expected to remain at HRT next season, the Spanish team is believed to be assessing its options regarding the sister cockpit.

35-year-old Karthikeyan, however, insists he deserves to stay in 2013.

"I think I have been driving well and out-qualifying a senior pro like Pedro de la Rosa on a couple of occasions has given me immense confidence," he told the IANS news agency ahead of his home grand prix in India this weekend.

"I am fit and good enough to be in F1 for another two/three seasons."

The Indian, who was establishing a Nascar career in 2010 until he returned to F1 with HRT, denied he is now looking at returning to the American scene by seeking an IndyCar test.

"I don't know where these rumors of me switching to IndyCar emanated from," said Karthikeyan.  "The brightest thing for 2013 will be another season with HRT."

Scuderia Toro Rosso's Abu Dhabi Young Driver Test Line-up
At the Young Driver Test to be held in Abu Dhabi in the week following the eighteenth Grand Prix of the season, Scuderia Toro Rosso will run two drivers: Luiz Razia and Johnny Cecotto Junior.

Razia will have two days at the wheel of the STR7 on Tuesday and Thursday. The 23 year old Brazilian finished second in this year’s GP2 series, having come up through the ranks of the usual junior formulae. His previous experience in a Formula 1 car consists of a young driver test for Virgin Racing in 2010 and in 2011 he drove for Lotus in FP1 at the Chinese Grand Prix, as well as taking part in that year’s young driver test.

Johnny Cecotto will drive on the Wednesday. The twenty three year old Venezuelan shares his name with his father, a former racer and motorcycle world champion. Cecotto Junior has raced in GP2 since 2009. He finished ninth overall in this year’s championship, his best result to date. Highlights of the season include a pole position and win in Monaco and another victory in Hockenheim.

Renault Sport F1 Preview to the Indian GP
The FIA Formula One World Championship enters its final furlong this weekend with the penultimate double header of the season. First in the back to back weekends will be the Indian Grand Prix, held at the Buddh International Circuit in the Greater Noida suburb on the outskirts of the Indian capital, New Delhi.

The event made its first world championship appearance last year to great acclaim. The 5.125km track was designed by Hermann Tilke and features a multitude of different corners, cambered turns, long straights, gradient changes and challenging conditions to test drivers and engineers alike.

The Renault-powered Red Bull Racing of Sebastian Vettel won the inaugural race last year.

Indian Grand Prix facts and figures

The track follows the contours of the gently undulating countryside. Over the course of a lap the track rises and descends in gradient, notably the first corner that falls steeply downhill before climbing back up again towards turn three.

The Buddh circuit features three long straights; the pit straight, the long run between turns three and four and the shorter spurt from there down to turn five. The power sensitivity is therefore slightly higher than average, with approximately 65% of a Qualifying lap spent at full throttle. The longest straight is 1.2km, with the engine running at wide open throttle for 14s as the car negotiates the dips and crests that characterize this circuit.

As per usual, seventh gear selection will be governed by the longest straight, as well as the compromise between qualifying and race DRS usage. With the start-finish and main straight running opposite directions, any change in wind direction will at least be partially offset by the corresponding benefit along the other straight. Turns one and four are both possible overtaking opportunities.

The second part of the track is much twistier, shifting the emphasis from outright power to engine drivability. Turns 10 and 11, a radial turn with a profile similar to the Spoon Curve in Japan, is one of the most challenging. The drivers ‘play’ with the pedal over a relatively prolonged period as they attempt to find the limit of the car. This sustained period of lateral G will also test the engine’s oil and fuel systems to their limits.

The dust kicked up from the sandy fields around the circuit creates a very hazy atmosphere and small particles may be ingested into the engine. The robust air filter based on desert rallying will help preclude any blockages, but the filters will be thoroughly checked between sessions and replaced where necessary to avoid any power loss.

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull Racing

I have good memories of India from last year. It is a great track that challenges every element of the car and driver. The first half of the circuit is a little like Korea with long straights and a lot of time spent at full throttle. You need the engine to be strong at the top end in this part. Then after turn 5 the track becomes a lot twistier. There are some different speed corners, which go off camber at times, and this is where you need the engine to be very smooth so you can get the right lines. We know that this will play to the strengths of the Renault engines so let’s see how we go this weekend.

Remi Taffin, Renault Sport F1 head of track operations

The Buddh International Circuit is an interesting circuit, with a variety of corners and speeds throughout the lap. Like Korea, the first part of the circuit is mainly long straights linked by low speed corners, so we work to deliver good top end power and acceleration but also rear stability under braking. Additionally, the circuit is very slippery with the dust, and any additional grip will be reflected in the lap time.

There are several long, radial turns, such as the turn 10 and 11 complex, where delivering sustained torque in the medium rev range is required. Balancing out the need for high top end power with the requirements for good medium and low speed drivability adds to the challenge, but with one year of running at the track we now have a lot of data available to fully optimize the engine for the circuit before arriving.

This year, with the championship in a crucial stage, getting all elements of the package on point will be crucial, so any extra advantage will be rewarded. No pressure...!

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