Latest F1 news in brief - Monday
Bottas not worried about Williams' 2013 car delay
- Force India to launch new car without second driver
- New season will be as close as 2012 - Domenicali
- Williams' Wolff to succeed Haug at Mercedes
- Alonso snubbed Red Bull 'several times'
- Caterham F1 Team Confirms 5th February CT03 Launch Date at Circuito de Jerez
Bottas not worried about Williams' 2013 car delay
(GMM) Valtteri Bottas insists Williams' late launch for its 2013 car is not a worry.
Ahead of the 22-year-old Finnish rookie's March debut, it emerged that the famous British team will buck the trend by only unveiling its new Renault-powered FW35 after the opening pre-season test at Jerez.
"We have always prepared in order to use last year's car in the first test session," Bottas is quoted by Finland's Turun Sanomat newspaper.
"We will be experimenting with a lot of parts for the new car, but of course the main focus is to get a feel for this year's Pirelli tires," he added.
"They are different to last year's (tires) and only in the testing will we see how they really behave," said Bottas.
It also emerges that Bottas' race engineer this year will be a newcomer to that role, Briton Jonathan Eddolls, a former Williams data engineer.
"He is a really smart, young guy, who last year worked with me in the last few (Friday) practice sessions," Bottas is quoted by the broadcaster MTV3.
Bottas also has a new trainer, 32-year-old Finnish decathlete Jaakko Ojaniemi.
And Turun Sanomat reports that although Lewis Hamilton "would have liked very much to take his trainer with him" to Mercedes this year, Finn Antti Vierula will in fact work with his successor at McLaren - Sergio Perez - in 2013.
Force India to launch new car without second driver
(GMM) Force India has confirmed reports it will not be making a driver announcement prior to the launch of the 2013 car early next month.
It has been reported Adrian Sutil and Jules Bianchi are the frontrunners to join Paul di Resta at the Silverstone based team this season.
But amid claims of a financial crisis - which have been strongly denied by the Vijay Mallya-led team - Force India confirmed reports the seat alongside di Resta will be left open for now.
Force India will launch its 2013 single seater at Silverstone on February 1.
"The launch will be devoted entirely to the new VJM06," deputy team boss Bob Fernley is quoted as saying by the website of French sports magazine L'Equipe.
The report claimed di Resta's teammate will be announced between the launch and the start of the first pre-season test at Jerez a few days later.
New season will be as close as 2012 - Domenicali
(GMM) Ferrari is expecting another closely-fought world championship contest in 2013.
Last year, no fewer than six separate teams won grands prix - a rarity in formula one - and for 2013 the regulations are not changing significantly.
"The stability of the regulations is always a condition that favors greater similarity in the performance of the competitors," team boss Stefano Domenicali is quoted by Brazil's O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper.
"I don't think anyone will come up with anything critical, as Brawn GP did in 2009 or Red Bull in 2011, to create a great imbalance," the Ferrari chief added.
Steve Nielsen, Toro Rosso's new sporting director, agrees.
"The operation of the exhaust to generate downforce will remain the key this year," he is quoted as saying.
"But the teams basically depleted the possibilities for discovering something really new in that area last year," he added.
It is for that reason that some expect the drivers to have a greater influence than usual on the results in 2013.
"Lewis (Hamilton) arriving definitely strengthens Mercedes," said Sir Jackie Stewart. "He is able to get more out of a car that is not the best than anyone else.
"Sorry -- Fernando as well," the triple world champion added.
Felipe Massa, however, thinks that even within the confines of the similar 2012-2013 rules, Ferrari still has room to improve.
"We finished the last season well," said the Brazilian. "Not as well as McLaren and Red Bull, but we may have been the fastest in development.
"Our margin for progress is still great," he insisted.
Williams' Wolff to succeed Haug at Mercedes
(GMM) Toto Wolff, the Williams shareholder who manages Valtteri Bottas and only last July became an executive director, is leaving the Oxfordshire based team.
The mass-circulation German newspaper Bild reports that the 41-year-old Austrian, a former racing driver, is replacing the recently departed Norbert Haug as Mercedes' motor sport chief.
He has almost certainly been appointed by the marque's new F1 chairman Niki Lauda, the triple world champion who - like Wolff - is from Vienna, Austria.
As well as owning shares in Williams, Wolff also has a stake in HWA, the German company that runs Mercedes' DTM program.
Mercedes would not comment, and neither would Williams.
But Bild claimed the news is likely to be announced officially at the DTM test in Valencia, which starts on Tuesday.
Reports estimate the value of Wolff's Williams shareholding at up to EUR 40 million.
Alonso snubbed Red Bull 'several times'
(GMM) Dr Helmut Marko is bitter because he was turned down "several times", Fernando Alonso has claimed.
Following Red Bull and Ferrari's 2012 title battle, a verbal spat broke out between Spaniard Alonso and Austrian Marko, who is Red Bull team owner Dietrich Mateschitz's right-hand man.
Marko claimed that while world champion Sebastian Vettel is fully focused, Alonso is too "busy with politics and funny comments".
Alonso retorted: "Some (people) say they don't read them (Alonso's comments), don't hear them and don't see them, before adding that they are not influenced by them -- so clearly they do read them, maybe at night."
Now, the feisty 31-year-old Ferrari driver has hinted Marko is bitter because of how many times he rejected Red Bull's interest in his highly-rated services.
"After hearing 'no', it always hurts a little more each time," Alonso is quoted by Brazil's Totalrace.
Caterham F1 Team Confirms 5th February CT03 Launch Date at Circuito de Jerez
Caterham F1 Team has confirmed that its 2013 race car, the CT03, will be unveiled on 5th February 2013 at 0845 in the pitlane of the Circuito de Jerez in Spain.
5th February is day one of the 2013 pre-season F1 tests and Caterham F1 Team will commence its test program immediately after taking the wraps off its new car.
2013 F1 launch dates:
McLaren - Thursday 31 January
Force India - Friday 1 February
Ferrari - Friday 1 February
Sauber - Saturday 2 February
Red Bull - Sunday 3 February
Mercedes - Monday 4 February
Toro Rosso - Monday 4 February
Caterham - Tuesday 5 February
Williams - Tuesday 19 February