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Latest F1 news in brief - Sunday UPDATE McLaren F1 Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh has dismissed F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone's idea of a budget cap as "unrealistic," according to Andrew Benson of BBC.co.uk. Ecclestone "has proposed a $250M limit on total spending, including driver salaries, for all team." Whitmarsh said, "It's a little bit unrealistic to have a global budget cap. It becomes difficult to pin down and know everyone is comfortably operating within it." Red Bull Racing "spent £176.8M last year, but that entity has only 52 employees." Whitmarsh said, "The philosophy of controlling costs in F1 is important to our sport. I think we all agree on that. There is a difference of opinion about how you best achieve that. Bernie wants one that controls driver salaries and all those things. I think what we should be trying to do is ensure we are spending money in the appropriate places. I think we should be controlling excessive spend in development." BBC.co.uk

  • Ecclestone pushing for F1 budget cap
    Ecclestone pushing for F1 'budget cap'
  • No orders, but Red Bull counting on Webber 'intelligence'
  • Mallya hits back at media hostility at home GP
  • Vettel hits back at Alonso's 'Newey' jibes
  • Perez apologized after Korea conflict - Button
  • Ecclestone now concedes V6s arriving in 2014
  • Ferrari allowed to keep navy stickers for race
  • Schumacher to keep 2012 Mercedes for collection
  • Ecclestone wants Force India switch for Karthikeyan
  • Ecclestone set to cooperate in F1 bribery case

Ecclestone pushing for F1 'budget cap'
(GMM)  Bernie Ecclestone has admitted he is pushing to introduce a 'budget cap' in formula one.

Reports indicate the F1 supremo envisages a team's maximum spending at US $250 million per year.

"We are definitely looking at a budget cap," the Briton, who turns 82 on Sunday, told the Times of India.

"The cap will include everything, even driver retainers," said Ecclestone.  "But at the moment it's my idea.  Only about 50 per cent of the people support me on this."

The smaller teams are undoubtedly among those who favor the idea of spending limits, but McLaren's Martin Whitmarsh thinks the $250m idea will not be too helpful to them.

"It sounds like quite a lot of money, so I don't know how much it's going to help too many teams," he told the BBC.

Whitmarsh does not, however, think Ecclestone's figure should therefore be lower, as he thinks the idea is too simplistic.

"It (a total cap) has the elegance that you can describe it very quickly but it is very difficult then to find out where that money is and (how) to control it," he said.

No orders, but Red Bull counting on Webber 'intelligence'
(GMM)  Dr Helmut Marko has fended off the team order issue by backing the "intelligence" and "team-player qualities" of his drivers.

The issue is pertinent ahead of Sunday's Indian grand prix, with Mark Webber effectively out of the fight for the world championship, but insisting he will not move over for Sebastian Vettel if he is running ahead of the German.

German Vettel's title fight is really with Fernando Alonso, whose Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa is fully supportive of the Spaniard.

The same is not true at Red Bull, with Marko insisting Webber - second on the grid behind the dominant sister RB8 in India - will not be ordered to play a subordinate role to Vettel.

"We have never had team orders," Marko told F1's official website, "but we bank on the intelligence of our drivers.

"As long as Mark has a theoretical, mathematical chance of winning the title it is understandable when he says that he is first and foremost driving for himself."

Asked however if Red Bull is counting on the 'team player qualities' of its drivers on Sunday, he admitted: "Yes."

Mallya hits back at media hostility at home GP
(GMM)  Vijay Mallya was not in a good mood when he was swamped by Indian media at his home grand prix.

The Indian billionaire had been branded an "absconder" by some of his countrymen as he holed up in London amid his ailing airline Kingfisher's crisis.

But he arrived at the Buddh circuit near New Delhi on Saturday, and immediately had to face a barrage of questions including whether his private Airbus had been "seized" by unpaid airline authorities.

"You believe that Indian papers have any credibility?" the Force India boss snapped.

"Wonderful," he scowled.  "I don't owe anybody money.  Why should my plane be at risk?  It's so stupid."

He also faced the accusation that he had finally stumped up the courage to appear at his F1 team's home race, despite the obvious hostility he was facing.

"Why should there be even one iota of doubt that I wouldn't be here?" said Mallya.

"If I am not at my home grand prix, why should I be anywhere else?"

Vettel hits back at Alonso's 'Newey' jibes
(GMM)  Sebastian Vettel has hit back at championship rival Fernando Alonso's claim that the Ferrari driver is really fighting against Red Bull's renowned designer Adrian Newey.

Watching his title hopes slip further under the wheels of Vettel's dominance in India, Ferrari's Alonso said after qualifying: "When we had similar cars to everyone, we were leading the championship.

"Now we are fighting against a Newey car," he added, in English.  "They are first and second all the time; it's not only Sebastian."

Alonso's comments were not just a momentary slip of frustration.

He is also quoted in Italian: "If you want to win the championship you need to have the same resources as your competitors.

"We had them before and were at the top, but now we don't and we are behind.

"We're not fighting with Vettel and Webber, but with Newey and his car."

And in the Spanish media, Alonso is quoted as saying: "Yes, Vettel is not a bad driver, but at the last race his teammate (Webber) had the pole.

"Sebastian is a double world champion, but he has a car that is first regardless."

When asked about Alonso's comments, championship leader and India pole-sitter Vettel said F1 is a "competition amongst teams and all of their members".

"So I don't think that this would be a fair statement towards any team member," he told F1's official website.

Alonso, meanwhile, sounded defiant when he said he remains "100 per cent sure" he will be champion late next month.

But he also admitted when contemplating Sunday's race: "If they (the Red Bulls) start well, go away and have an easy race, that's the worse news for us."

On a visit to India, Spanish king Juan Carlos I responded to Vettel's dominance with humor, predicting that for Alonso "to win, we need only to put some thumbtacks under Vettel's car".

Perez apologized after Korea conflict - Button
(GMM)  Sergio Perez apologized after almost wiping his 2013 teammate Jenson Button out of the recent Korean grand prix.

"Sergio said sorry, yeah," the McLaren driver told the Mirror.  "To the team actually."

Young Mexican Perez, currently driving for Sauber, will join Button at McLaren next year, to replace the Mercedes-bound Lewis Hamilton.

But his relationship with Button almost got off to a terrible start in Korea, when Perez narrowly avoided contact on the first lap, earning a rebuke from the 2009 world champion.

"I've spoken to Sergio.  I think his move was on the edge," Button confirmed in India.

Button was heavily critical after Korea, and he still thinks Perez - and some of his other young rivals - can afford to take more care in grands prix.

"Yeah he can but he does not need to do that," the 32-year-old said.

"It is a great opportunity for Sergio and I think he is an exciting talent for the team as well."

Ecclestone now concedes V6s arriving in 2014
(GMM)  Bernie Ecclestone has all but conceded that F1 will say goodbye to its familiar V8 engines late next year.

The F1 chief executive is worried about the tamer tones of the turbo V6 engines that are under development for 2014, and had indicated a delayed introduction of the radical new rules was possible.

But when asked about the issue in India, 82-year-old Ecclestone answered: "We're used to these (V8) engines.

"Maybe we'll get used to the new ones (too)," he is quoted by the Hindustan Times.

And Ecclestone issued a firm "no" when asked if some V8s might still be allowed on the 2014 grid, as per the 'equivalency' compromise of 2006 when the current engine rules were phased in.

"The rules should be the same for everyone," he insisted.

Ferrari allowed to keep navy stickers for race
(GMM)  Ferrari's F1 cars will still be wearing the Italian navy flag logo during Sunday's Indian grand prix, despite a huge controversy.

With the government and other Indian officials furious at the saga, the FIA has remained completely quiet on the issue, despite its foremost statute about refraining from politics.

Although Ferrari undoubtedly triggered the renewed political controversy about Indian/Indian relations over two soldiers on murder charges, the famous team insists it put the stickers on Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa's cars for entirely non-political reasons.

Bernie Ecclestone has been walking both sides of the street, initially vowing to "have a word" with Stefano Domenicali and then telling an Indian reporter that it was "not the behavior one expects from Ferrari".

But Italy's Tuttosport quotes him as saying later: "There is nothing wrong with putting the Italian flag or any other symbol on the cars".

India's motor racing federation has also moved to downplay the saga, its president Vicky Chandhok saying: "It's just a sticker.

"When we are convinced that it's not a political move why should I ask them to remove it?" he is quoted by the Press Trust of India.

Schumacher to keep 2012 Mercedes for collection
(GMM)  After contesting his 309th and final grand prix in Brazil late next month, Michael Schumacher will keep his 'Silberpfeil'.

Bild am Sonntag newspaper said Mercedes will give the W03 'Silver Arrow' to the great seven time world champion as a parting gift, before he makes room at the team for Lewis Hamilton in 2013.

The German newspaper said the 'step nose' single seater is worth about EUR 1 million.

Asked which Mercedes he would choose for his private collection, Schumacher answered: "Definitely the one for Monaco."

He is referring to the car in which he topped qualifying earlier this year, even though he did not actually start the race from pole due to a grid penalty.

But doesn't he think Mercedes' 2012 car is too ugly for his prized and priceless collection?

Schumacher admits: "Visually, because of the bend in the nose, it does take some getting used to!"

Ecclestone wants Force India switch for Karthikeyan
(GMM)  Bernie Ecclestone has vowed to talk directly to Vijay Mallya about putting Narain Karthikeyan at the wheel of a Force India.

Earlier this weekend in India, Mallya's deputy chief Bob Fernley ruled out signing F1's only Indian driver on the basis that Karthikeyan is not good enough.

But with the F1 chief executive keen to see his sport succeed in the lucrative Indian market, and 35-year-old Karthikeyan at risk of bowing out at the end of the year, Ecclestone admitted he thinks the two sides should get together.

"I think Narain should be driving a Force India but you have to talk to Vijay and see what he says," Ecclestone told the Times of India.

According to India's Telegraph newspaper, he added: "I think Narain should be driving for Force India.  I will talk to Vijay and see what he says."

Ecclestone set to cooperate in F1 bribery case
Formula One mogul Bernie Ecclestone is prepared to cooperate with public prosecutors in Germany in order to avoid prosecution in a bribery case, the daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported Friday.

In June, a German court sentenced the former chief risk officer for state-owned bank BayernLB to eight and a half years in prison for receiving tens of millions of euros (dollars) in bribes from Ecclestone.

The Munich regional court found 54-year-old Gerhard Gribkowsky guilty of taking US$44mil in bribes and failing to pay tax on the money.

In a shock revelation, Gribkowsky had admitted to the court that the charges against him were “essentially true.”

He was accused of receiving nearly US$44mil from Ecclestone in 2006 and 2007 in connection with the sale of Formula One rights to CVC, the private equity investor which owns most of the multi billion-dollar sport.

At the time, Gribkowsky was the chief risk officer for the state-owned German bank BayernLB, which had acquired the rights to Formula One in 2002. — AFP

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