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

  • Pedro de la Rosa
    Sauber 'capable of winning' in 2013 - Perez
  • Caterham not ready to complete 2013 lineup
  • First races of 2013 key to title - Domenicali
  • 2013 Red Bull could miss first winter test
  • De la Rosa aiming for reserve driver role
  • McLaren could have kept Hamilton - Dennis New
  • F1 Update for 2013 New
  • Sahara Force India teams up with 3D Systems New

Sauber 'capable of winning' in 2013 - Perez
(GMM)  Sauber will reveal its 2013 car, the C32, in the days before it makes its track debut at the start of winter testing.

Team founder Peter Sauber had already announced that the new Ferrari-powered single seater will run for the first time at Jerez on February 5.

The Swiss team on Thursday invited the media to an official launch event at its Hinwil headquarters, on 2 February.

Nico Hulkenberg, Sauber's new driver replacing Sergio Perez, has already had his seat fitted.

The German's teammate will be the Mexican rookie Esteban Gutierrez.

McLaren-bound Perez, who finished on the podium three times in 2012, is quoted by Swiss magazine Speed Week: "Sauber will be strong again, I am firmly convinced.

"The rules are fairly stable, the team has understood its car well, so why should they be worse than 2012?

"I even think there could be races they are capable of winning."

Perez continued: "Sauber has done a lot for me, so I want them to do well more than any other team -- with the exception of McLaren of course!"

In other pre-season testing news, Reuters correspondent Alan Baldwin wrote on Twitter that he believes Mercedes has booked the Jerez circuit for filming on the day before the first official test begins.

"Wonder who will be first in the car," said Baldwin, contemplating Mercedes' 2013 lineup of Lewis Hamilton alongside Nico Rosberg.

Caterham not ready to complete 2013 lineup
(GMM)  Caterham is not yet ready to announce its full 2013 driver lineup.

The team has already filled one of this year's race seats with 2012 Marussia rookie and Frenchman Charles Pic.

Rumors on Thursday suggested an announcement about his teammate was imminent, with Bruno Senna and Vitaly Petrov thought to be the front-runners.

Russian Petrov's teammate last year was Finn Heikki Kovalainen.

As for Thursday's rumblings about an imminent announcement, Finnish MTV3 commentator Oskari Saari said: "It was just a rumor then.

"Caterham says nothing is being announced in the foreseeable future as all options are still being explored."

First races of 2013 key to title - Domenicali
(GMM)  The opening races of this season's world championship will be crucial, according to Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali.

In 2012, runner-up Ferrari had a dire start to its campaign, while eventual champion Red Bull also took some time to establish its full potential.

But with the sweeping rule changes of 2014 looming large, Domenicali said the dynamics of this season's battle will be different.

"Next season (2013) will be decided in the first races," he is quoted by Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

"The teams will do their work for 2013 and then move on to the preparations for 2014," the Italian added.

"I think this switch will happen in July, so you will need to start the year well."

Referring to the 2014 rules, featuring the move from V8 to turbo V6 engines, Williams' technical director Mike Coughlan confirmed: "It's a huge change.

"There are very few teams who will be able to do a fully-focused run on the 2013 championship and the year after," he is quoted by the Sun newspaper.

However, Domenicali said he is confident Ferrari will succeed where it failed in 2012.

"What happened to us last year in the Jerez test will not be repeated this year," he insisted.

"Now we are sure that the wind tunnel will not give us surprises," added Domenicali, referring to the closure of the Maranello facility for a revamp, and Ferrari's looming exclusive work in Toyota's state-of-the-art Cologne tunnel.

2013 Red Bull could miss first winter test
(GMM)  Reigning champion Red Bull's 2013 car might not be ready for the first pre-season test in early February.

We have already reported designer Adrian Newey's admission that late development work to ensure the 2012 title somewhat delayed progress of the RB8's successor.

He said in an official Red Bull film that 2012 was "one of the toughest seasons I've been through".

Newey is now quoted by the Sun newspaper: "We had to keep pushing which made it difficult to introduce developments and simultaneously develop next year's (2013) car.

"This has compromised the timescales of the new car more than we would have liked."

The BBC reports that Red Bull will confirm next week if the 2013 car, the RB9, will be ready for the first Jerez test on 5 February.

De la Rosa aiming for reserve driver role 
Pedro de la Rosa has set his sights on securing a test or reserve driver role for the 2013 Formula 1 season, having been left on the sidelines after HRT's exit from the sport. The Spaniard, who described the experiences of his sole season at the outfit as 'beautiful and very special', is hopeful of joining a front-running team.

"I will try to become a test or reserve driver in a good team," de la Rosa told Spanish newspaper Diario AS. "With the teams that remain it is like an auction and the one who brings the most money will get it, but we do not have sponsors to do that."

De la Rosa went on to talk about his previous ties with McLaren, having tested and raced for the Woking-based outfit between 2003 and 2009. Although admitting to frequent conversations with team boss Martin Whitmarsh throughout the 2012 campaign, the 41-year-old insists that negotiations over a potential reserve driver position have not yet taken place.

"We were talking all year (2012) about many things, but in no real depth, so I do not know if they want me or not. To this day I have not taken steps to find a seat yet and I am in no hurry. First I want to sort the ideas, finalize my objectives and then go for it."

Since breaking into the sport as a test driver for Jordan back in 1998, de la Rosa has been a team member at Arrows, Prost, Jaguar, McLaren, Sauber and HRT.

McLaren could have kept Hamilton - Dennis
(GMM)  Ron Dennis has hit back at suggestions Lewis Hamilton simply chose Mercedes over McLaren for his future.

Dennis, the Woking based company's 'supremo' who groomed Briton Hamilton from child prodigy to world champion, is understood to have fallen out badly with the 27-year-old as the two sides negotiated a new deal.

Ultimately, Hamilton signed with Mercedes, but "I think it's wrong to portray that Lewis left this team," Dennis told CBI magazine.

"At the end of the day, you end up with a situation where you're going to separate if the circumstances aren't right.  Life isn't about one person deciding anything.  It's never that way.  It's about circumstances," he added.

Indeed, Hamilton's departure has been portrayed as a bitter loss for McLaren, but the stoical and admittedly emotional Dennis insisted: "Everybody says 'Am I bitterly this or bitterly that?'  What?  I'm a realist.

"Did we have the ability to create a situation where we could have stayed together?  Categorically, yes.  Would that have been the right thing to do?  We didn't think so."

Hamilton's successor is Mexican Sergio Perez, who moves from Sauber.

F1 Update for 2013
The 2013 F1 season, which will begin on March 17 in Melbourne and end on November 24 at Interlagos, is set to consist of 19 events following the cancellation of the proposed New Jersey GP.

Despite the omission of Valencia and the British GP at Silverstone losing its July slot for only the fifth time in the event's history, the calendar predominantly follows the same path as the 2012 campaign.

In a minor tweak, Japan and Korea have swapped positions while both the German and Belgian GPs have been brought forward by a week either side of the now-traditional mid-season August break.

Meanwhile, the much-anticipated inaugural street race in New Jersey has been postponed until 2014, with F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone confirming that although race organizers had run out of time to prove its state of readiness he remains fully committed to the event.

Amid speculation that the French or Turkish GP could return to the schedule, it remains to be seen whether a 20th race will be added - but by moving the German race forward a week, it creates a gap for a race on July 21.

F1 itself will return to action at the start of February when the first of three four-day tests commence on February 5th at Jerez.

Car launches
McLaren - January 31st, venue to be confirmed.
Force India - February 1st, Silverstone.
Sauber - February 2nd, Hinwil.

Unofficial Winter Test Dates
Jerez - February 5th to 8th February.
Barcelona - February 19th to 22nd.
Barcelona - February 28th to March 3rd.

The F1 2013 Calendar:
Australian GP - March 17.
Malaysian GP - March 24.
Chinese GP - April 14.
Bahrain GP - April 21.
Spanish GP - May 12.
Monaco GP - May 26.
Canadian GP - June 9.
British GP - June 30.
German GP - July 7.
Hungarian GP - July 28.
Belgian GP - August 25.
Italian GP - September 8.
Singapore GP - September 22.
Korean GP - October 6.
Japanese GP - October 13.
Indian GP - October 27.
Abu Dhabi GP- November 3.
United States GP - November 17.
Brazilian GP - November 24. Sky Sports

Sahara Force India teams up with 3D Systems
Sahara Force India Formula One Team is pleased to announce the signing of a technical partnership with 3D Systems Corporation, a leading supplier of 3D content-to-print solutions.

The multi-year deal strengthens the relationship between the two organizations allowing Sahara Force India to fully exploit its existing 3D Systems machinery and reduce the manufacturing time of wind tunnel model components. 

Dr Vijay Mallya, Team Principal and Managing Director of Sahara Force India: “We’ve been working with 3D systems as a customer for many years, so we are delighted to forge stronger links with a company that is the market-leader for rapid prototyping technology. We use their technology on a daily basis to manufacture wind tunnel model components and this new relationship will hopefully allow us to get performance to the car faster.”

“We are excited to launch this technical partnership with the first ever Indian Formula One team,” said Kevin McAlea, Senior Vice President and General Manager of 3D Production Printers, 3D Systems. “The opportunity to partner with emerging innovators like Sahara Force India provides tangible customer benefits that extend well beyond motorsports.”

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