Latest F1 news in brief - Wednesday UPDATE #2 Additional updates shown in red below.
01/30/13 Updates shown in red below.
|Glock thinks Bernie is driving the small teams out of business|
- Ecclestone model 'starving' small teams - Glock
- Nurburgring not giving up on 2013 German GP
- OMP Racing renews with Scuderia Toro Rosso
- DEKRA to be Official Partner of the Sauber F1 Team
- New Ferrari design to be called the F138
- Horner has new Red Bull deal 'until 2017' - Marko New
- Sir Jackie Stewart warns Lewis Hamilton New
- Are pay drivers an essential part of F1? New
Ecclestone model 'starving' small teams - Glock
(GMM) F1's funding model is 'starving' the smaller teams, Marussia refugee Timo Glock claims.
The 30-year-old German has had to leave formula one for the DTM touring car series for 2013, because Marussia need to replace him with a pay-driver.
"I learned the hard way," said Glock, "that it is extremely difficult for a small team to come out of the cellar.
"The top teams get a lot of money from Bernie Ecclestone, starving the small teams a little bit.
"Finding partners to improve the budget is increasingly difficult," he insisted.
Indeed, the smaller teams are apparently becoming increasingly reliant on 'pay drivers' to boost their coffers, and it is expected that - like Glock - the next victim of this trend will be Caterham's Heikki Kovalainen.
"There have always been pay drivers," Glock admitted. "I won't say that they have no talent.
"Pastor Maldonado and Sergio Perez have proved that you can have good partners behind you and drive fast as well. It's perfectly legitimate.
"But it's too bad that formula one is increasingly developing in this direction."
He said Marussia in particular was caught out by the political wranglings of a few years ago, when small teams' interest was sparked by former FIA president Max Mosley's plans for a budget cap.
"The approach of building a car only with CFD could have worked if the budget cap had come in," said Glock. "But it didn't.
"We then determined early on that you can't do it just with CFD, you also need the wind tunnel, and by then the collaboration with McLaren had come too late.
"Last year, we showed that we can make a step forward, and found more than 1.5 seconds (per lap). But in order to make the big step, you need double the budget."
Der Spiegel reported last week that Marussia only managed to vacate Glock's cockpit for 2013 after paying him his retainer.
He responded: "Then they know quite a lot, or more than I do. On contractual things I can't say much. It's mine and Marussia's business only."
As for whether he has closed the chapter on F1, having reportedly signed a three-year contract with BMW, Glock insisted: "Let's wait.
"At the moment I'm focusing on what lies ahead. What happens in the next few years, we wait and see."
Nurburgring not giving up on 2013 German GP
(GMM) The Nurburgring has not given up on hosting this July's German grand prix.
Amid the circuit's financial troubles, F1 chief executive was quoted on Sunday in the German press: "We do not accept it (the Nurburgring's proposal) as financially feasible and therefore end the negotiations".
But Nurburgring Automotive GmbH chief Jorg Lindner is not giving up.
He told the Rhein Zeitung newspaper on Tuesday: "We have the exclusive rights to formula one at the Nurburgring, and we insist on it."
Ecclestone said on Tuesday: "I am doing my best to make sure we have an event in Germany.
"At the moment I can't say whether it will be Hockenheim or Nurburgring," he told the Associated Press.
OMP Racing renews with Scuderia Toro Rosso
OMP Racing, the Genoese company with over 40 years of history, a leader in the field of design and creation of safety equipment for the car racing sector and Scuderia Toro Rosso have renewed their important cooperation agreement for the supply of safety equipment and technical clothing for the race drivers and the entire team, for its participation in the upcoming Formula 1 World Championship.
The agreement also provides for the possibility of installing new super-light seatbelts inside the cockpit of the STR8, this year’s car, which will be officially presented on February 4. These seatbelts have been produced by OMP with Dyneema "the world's strongest fiber". Developed and made by the R&D Centre of the Genoese company after two years of study and research, the belts are the result also of a recent agreement for a worldwide exclusive use agreement with the producer of this special material.
March 15 is the official date of the start of the 2013 Season for the FIA Formula 1 World Championship, at the Australian Grand Prix, where Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne, the Faenza team’s young drivers, will wear technical gear, fire resistant suits, shoes, underwear and gloves made by OMP, as will team personnel.
The OMP fire resistant suits and underwear are the result of constant, ongoing research performed by the company in Genoa. The fruit of this is the patented "Dry System" for suits and underwear, that perform particularly well in terms of weight and comfort, thanks to bringing together materials of the latest generation and innovative technologies, with a manufacturing procedure that still bears the hand-crafted imprint.
The Scuderia Toro Rosso drivers will also wear the latest shoes created with a brand new OMP HI-TECH technology, able to optimize sensitivity for driving, thermal isolation and comfort.
"Renewing the agreement with Scuderia Toro Rosso is yet another testament to our leadership in accessories for the racing sector, and above all, is a confirmation of the continuing technical evolution of our products used at the highest levels in Motorsport,” commented Paolo Delprato, Vice President and C.E.O. of OMP."
"OMP and the Toro Rosso team represent two points of excellence for Made in Italy in the world of racing, a sector where performance and safety are naturally brought together with innovation, high technology and creativity."
"We are pleased to continue our relationship with OMP," commented Gianfranco Fantuzzi, Scuderia Toro Rosso’s team manager. "Over the years, we have developed an excellent relationship and OMP is always attentive to our requests, supplying items to our specific needs to the highest standards, while always meeting the tight deadlines that are part of working in the Formula 1 environment. And of course, as an Italian team, we appreciate not only the excellent quality but also the Italian style element of everything we get from OMP."
DEKRA to be Official Partner of the Sauber F1 Team
DEKRA will be an Official Partner of the Sauber F1 Team and as such will continue its longstanding relationship with Nico Hülkenberg.
The DEKRA logo will appear on the side of Nico Hülkenberg’s cap with immediate effect. The partnership between the DEKRA Group and the German Formula One driver goes back to the beginnings of his racing career.
“It’s gratifying to be able to combine the interests of all three parties in this way,” notes Monisha Kaltenborn, CEO of the Sauber F1 Team. “In DEKRA the Sauber F1 Team welcomes a partner that has been a firm fixture of the Formula One scene for many years. We keenly anticipate this new partnership and look forward to a successful season.”
Clemens Klinke, Member of the Executive Board at DEKRA SE with responsibility for the Automotive Business Unit, comments: “We are delighted to have entered into partnership with the Sauber F1 Team for the coming Formula One season and thus build on our longstanding association with Nico Hülkenberg as well. A long shared history already unites us and we are fully committed to continuing this from 2013. Nico’s success has already been followed with great enthusiasm by DEKRA management and staff all over the world since his rookie season in 2010. And we are convinced that he will cause even more of a sensation having switched to the Sauber F1 team.”
New Ferrari design to be called the F138
(GMM) Until now, insiders have referred to the famous Italian team's next contender as '664' -- its working project title.
But following last year's car F2012, there has been speculation Ferrari would not simply call its successor F2013 -- perhaps because Fernando Alonso failed to win the title with the conventionally numbered '12', and because of the prominence of the unlucky number 13.
Ferrari, however, explained on Wednesday that the 2013 car is called F138 in deference to the year ('13) and the number of cylinders in the engine (8).
Indeed, 2013 is the final year of F1's long-standing normally aspirated V8 rules, ahead of the sweeping change to turbo V6s for 2014 and beyond.
Ferrari confirmed that the '8' in the 2013 car's title is "partly to mark the fact that this will be the last year that the V8 engine configuration will be used" in F1.
F138 will be launched at Maranello on Friday.
Before that, McLaren's MP4-28 will be unveiled at Woking on Thursday, preceding a flurry of launch activity.
On the same day as Ferrari's launch, Force India's VJM06 will be revealed at Silverstone, before Sauber's C32 is unveiled at Hinwil on Saturday.
The next day, Red Bull's RB9 will emerge at Milton Keynes, while over at Jerez - ahead of the week's debut test action - Mercedes will launch the W04.
Then, as the engines begin to fire at Jerez on Tuesday, Caterham will launch the CT03. Williams' new FW36 will not be seen until the second test, at Barcelona, while Marussia has not said when its 2013 car will be revealed.
Horner has new Red Bull deal 'until 2017' - Marko
(GMM) Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko has hit back at rumors team boss Christian Horner could be defecting to Ferrari.
It recently emerged that Briton Horner, the 39-year-old who has sat at the helm of the Milton Keynes based team as Sebastian Vettel raced to triple consecutive titles, visited Maranello.
Now, it subsequently became clear that Horner was not the only F1 figure at Ferrari's headquarters, as Bernie Ecclestone, Martin Whitmarsh and Niki Lauda met to discuss the Concorde Agreement with Luca di Montezemolo.
But that didn't silence every rumor about Horner's future.
Marko, however - Red Bull team owner Dietrich Mateschitz's right hand man on F1 matters - insists Horner is firmly under contract.
He told Sport Bild: "How could Christian be negotiating in Maranello if we've just extended his contract until 2017?"
That is bad news for Ferrari - and every other team - for another reason, given that Horner and F1's lauded designer Adrian Newey traditionally renew their contracts in unison.
Sir Jackie Stewart warns Lewis Hamilton
Sir Jackie Stewart has warned Lewis Hamilton to solely concentrate on his driving if he is to succeed at Mercedes.
The 28-year-old signed a three-year deal with the Brackley based outfit in September 2012, leaving the McLaren team to whom he had been attached since the age of thirteen.
Hamilton has allowed his title charges to falter in recent seasons, leading to much speculation regarding his true commitment to the sport.
Speaking to Sporting Life, Stewart – a triple world champion – vented his concerns regarding Hamilton’s attitude and willingness to add to his 2008 crown.
The 73-year-old, now an ambassador of Lotus F1 Team, stated: “Personally, if I’d been Lewis, I wouldn’t have left McLaren.
“But as a 28-year-old, he should know what he is doing now.
“You just have to be damn careful you don’t get carried away with your own importance, your own celebrity, or your own schedule outside of being in the cockpit. It can be quite intoxicating.
“What Lewis needs to do is have more consistently good drives, never mind the mechanical issues, and he shouldn’t be distracted, something he should keep in the back of his mind.
“It’s about who you hang out with, what you do in your off time, how you are committing your off time towards your real time – and your real time is being a racing driver.”
However, Stewart believes that Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn will extract the most out of Hamilton, should the former Ferrari and Benetton technical director remain in his position at Brackley.
The former Tyrrell driver continued: “The Ross Brawn factor is important.
“He knows how to do it, and Lewis will have to work with him and depend on him, and Lewis, in time, will have to deliver.
“Ross has worked with drivers who have really delivered. He worked with [Michael] Schumacher from Benetton all the way through, and he knows how much Michael put in.
“Therefore he will think Lewis will have to put as much into that team, time-wise, commitment-wise, not just race-time wise, as Michael did.
“That’s going to be quite demanding, but there’s no reason why he shouldn’t go straight in and be competitive up front, not at all.” RichlandF1.com
Are pay drivers an essential part of F1?
With Marussia terminating Timo Glock’s contract due to the tough economic conditions it has highlighted F1s reliance on pay drivers to maintain the sport. Whilst some F1 fans may think that pay drivers are bad for the sport, the reality is they have been and always will be part of F1.
It is fair to say that since the introduction of three new teams to F1 in 2010 the pay driver has been more widely recognizable. Caterham, Marussia and HRT were dependent on pay drivers to build their teams in a world where the economy was and still is struggling.
Both Marussia and Caterham had previously built their teams on one salaried driver and one pay driver but the current economic climate has seen this nearly impossible to do. Whilst Glock would have brought sponsorship to the Marussia team this was not enough to compensate for the three million Euros he was paid in 2012. Compare this with ‘pay driver’ Charles Pic who brought around 5 million Euros to the team but was paid just 150,000 Euros it is clear to see that the team could struggle financially.
The situation was similar at Caterham where it now looks as though Heikki Kovalainen will face 2013 outside F1. The Finn was being paid roughly four million Euros in 2012 whilst teammate and pay driver Vitaly Petrov was being paid just 500,000 Euros but brought £12 million in sponsorship. Petrov ended up finishing ahead of Kovalainen in the drivers’ standings and helped Caterham to 10th in the constructors showing that pay drivers can prove their worth.
Many fans complain that pay drivers do not deserve to be in F1 since they do not have the ability of their non-paying colleagues. However whilst these drivers bring money they do bring talent too. Take for example Pastor Maldonado and Sergio Perez. Both are pay drivers with money from Venezuela and Mexico respectively and they have proved that they are just as good as paid drivers. Maldonado may be wild but he won the Spanish Grand Prix and Perez may be inconsistent but he scored three podiums in 2012.
Conversely there are examples of teams exploiting the pay driver, namely HRT. In the 2010 season HRT fielded four drivers- all of which were pay drivers- with two (Karun Chandhok and Sakon Yamamoto) receiving no paid salary. There was a similar occurrence in 2011 where three drivers raced for HRT, however one of these was Daniel Ricciardo a Red Bull protege. Red Bull ‘paid’ for Ricciardo’s drive hence without the funding and being a ‘pay driver‘ Ricciardo would never have got his chance in F1.
The way that HRT appeared to exploit the pay driver set-up is nothing new. In the 1975 and 1976 seasons Frank Williams Racing Cars- the predecessor to Williams F1- had ten different drivers who drove for the team. As a consequence of this rules regarding the number of drivers that could be used in each season were tightened.
The idea of the pay driver is not a novel one and many famous drivers- even world champions- have been pay drivers at some point in their careers. Both Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso started out as pay drivers in their early careers, as did three time world champion Niki Lauda.
Similarly Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton’s careers would not have been possible without financial support and backing from Red Bull and McLaren. Every driver one way or another has had some financial backing to reach F1 and the backing is crucial to the teams to help develop the sport.
Whilst not everyone is going to agree with F1 teams recruiting pay drivers the reality is the sport needs these drivers, especially in the tough economic climate. The pay driver is an essential part of F1 with sponsorship harder to find. Despite negativity towards today’s pay drivers they are more talented and competitive than ever and they are deserving of their place in the sport. PureF1.com