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Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday
  • Alex Zanardi with Stefano Domenicali and the Ferrari workers
    Nurburgring to host 2013 grand prix - reports
  • Kaltenborn excuses Frijns for Sauber criticism
  • Sutil 'still believes' in 2013 F1 return - manager
  • Zanardi visits Ferrari
  • Williams hybrid power wins award
  • Allison will remain with Lotus - Boullier
  • NOVA Chemicals and Scuderia Toro Rosso Extend Agreement New
  • OMP to become Technical Partner of the Sauber F1 Team New
  • 2013 McLaren unveil video teaser New
  • Video: Looking ahead to the 2013 Season with Sam Michael New
  • Ferrari F1 team secure first Chinese sponsor New

Nurburgring to host 2013 grand prix - reports
(GMM)  Nurburgring officials have reached an agreement with Bernie Ecclestone to host the German grand prix as scheduled in July.

That is the claim of the German newspapers Allgemeine Zeitung and Rhein Zeitung, following a long-running 'on again, off again' saga surrounding the fortunes of the financially beleaguered Nurburgring.

Mere hours before the latest reports, which were confirmed by Rhineland-Palatinate state spokeswoman Monika Fuhr, F1 chief executive Ecclestone had admitted the Nurburgring's future was still clouded.

"It's all a bit messy," he was quoted by the Daily Mail.  "At the moment the race is on, off, on, off, but we're doing our best to get it sorted."

SID news agency said a race will definitely be held at the Nurburgring in July, although "it is unclear whether it will be (called) the German or the European grand prix".

"It's all a little bit political," said Ecclestone, referring to the naming dispute between the Nurburgring-linked body AvD, and ADAC, a rival Hockenheim-linked German automobile club.

One report said ADAC had even submitted a proposal to host the race at the Nurburgring.

"It's all a bit messy with different political groups fighting each other," said Ecclestone.

SID reported that the news about the Nurburgring's July 7 race will be announced at a press conference on Thursday.

Kolner Express newspaper said "government sources" had confirmed the media reports.

"This is good news for the region," said state spokeswoman Fuhr.

Kaltenborn excuses Frijns for Sauber criticism
(GMM)  Sauber team boss Monisha Kaltenborn has hinted that new reserve driver Robin Frijns will get a Friday practice outing this season.

Earlier this week, 21-year-old reigning Formula Renault 3.5 champion and Dutchman Frijns complained that he will "not have much to do" in 2013.

He had told Dutch magazine Formule1 that he is not required by his new Swiss employer for the forthcoming winter test period, and it "looks unlikely I will be used during the Friday practice sessions".

"And Sauber has no simulator so I can't gain experience in that way," added Frijns.

Kaltenborn reacted to Frijns comments by excusing his implied criticism.

"Robin is still young," she told the Swiss newspaper Blick, "so we should not place his every word on golden scales.

"He said what he said, but he is also irritated because he has not yet found a place in GP2 for this season.

"The development (programs) for the young drivers is a real problem," Kaltenborn continued.

"The best thing for each team would be to give every reserve driver at least one go on a Friday (practice session)."

Sutil 'still believes' in 2013 F1 return - manager
(GMM)  Mere days before the pre-season test period begins, Adrian Sutil is still refusing to give up on his formula one comeback for 2013.

Once considered the hot favorite to return with his former team Force India this year, the long delay has caused some commentators to assume that German Sutil, 30, is now less likely to race.

But Sutil's manager Manfred Zimmermann insisted: "Basically, we still believe in the 2013 comeback."

He also admitted to DPA news agency, however, that he is "not sure" if Sutil will have a cockpit to occupy for the forthcoming opening 2013 test at Jerez.

"At the moment we are waiting for the final decision, and of course we would prefer it sooner rather than later," Zimmermann said.

As for whether Timo Glock's shock departure at Marussia had contributed to the delay, Sutil's manager said the events are "unrelated", whilst acknowledging that the pay-driver situation was "significant for F1".

Zanardi visits Ferrari
It was a surprise for everyone to see Alex Zanardi turn up at the Gestione Sportiva building, when the former car racing champion came to Maranello to see his friend Stefano Domenicali.

Along with the Scuderia Ferrari team principal, Alex visited the departments where the car that will take part in this year’s Formula 1 World Championship is taking shape. Last year, he became an iconic symbol for the London 2012 Paralympics, taking gold in the individual H4 (hand bike) time trial and the individual H4 road race and was part of the team that took silver in the H1-4 Team Relay.

The mechanics, busy with the final, delicate stages of assembling the car, gave him a very warm welcome, before posing together for photos.

“It was a very exciting evening for me!” said Alex, talking to www.ferrari.com.

“The thing that struck me the most when I went into the department where the new car was being built, was the smell, the same I used to smell when I went to the Chip Ganassi team headquarters in America. There too the car was red, but it definitely wasn’t a Ferrari! I know many of the guys who work at the Scuderia from a long time ago, but this was my first time in Maranello and it was a great experience. Finally, I can claim to have got my hands on a Red car! It’s true that these days, the top teams are pretty big, just like a real average-sized company, but at Ferrari, I could see there was still that passion for the job that only comes with a love of racing. Then, thinking back to how nice was the tortellini and cold cuts of meat, you can imagine what a great evening it was, without any regrets about breaking the rules regarding my diet…”

Williams hybrid power wins award
Williams Hybrid Power is today celebrating success following yesterday’s Low Carbon Champion Awards where it was honored in the category of Innovation by an SME for its ground breaking partnership with Go-Ahead Group, one of the UK’s leading public transport operators.

The awards are an initiative of the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) which celebrate outstanding and innovative practice in reducing road transport emissions. Williams Hybrid Power established a partnership with Go-Ahead Group in March 2012 and it was this partnership that was submitted as a case study for the category of Low Carbon Innovation by an SME.

This collaboration has seen the two companies work together to develop a number of hybrid buses that utilize Williams Hybrid Power’s electromechanical flywheel energy storage technology. Initially developed for the 2009 Williams Formula One car, this technology has since been adapted for a range of public transport applications and other motorsport series such as endurance racing. The technology appealed to the judging panel because of the 20% fuel efficiency savings on offer and attractive installation costs, a combination which has the potential to see mass market hybridization of public transport become a tangible reality.

Jonathan Murray, Deputy Director of the LowCVP and one of the awards category judges said; ”Williams Hybrid Power have shown true leadership by taking Formula One technology and, working with Go-Ahead Group, applying it successfully to deliver emissions and efficiency savings in buses.”

Speaking about the award Frank Thorpe, Head of Bus Systems for Williams Hybrid Power, commented; ‘’Our partnership with Go-Ahead is truly unique and is seeing two leading British companies come together and share their resources in a bid to reduce carbon emissions on Britain’s roads. This award is a great honor and validates the hard work of both companies to produce a number of hybrid buses. Energy efficiency is an important issue for Williams and initiatives such as this demonstrate how Formula One based technology can play a key role in helping to tackle an important global issue.’’

James Allison
Allison will remain with Lotus - Boullier
Autosport reports that James Allison was approached by McLaren as a potential replacement for Paddy Lowe, were he to move to Mercedes, and that the highly-rated Lotus man has also been sounded out by Mercedes and Ferrari.

But regardless of what moves happen elsewhere, Boullier is sure Allison is committed to Lotus.

"It's up to him, but my understanding is that definitely in 2013 he will be with us," Boullier told Autosport.

"He has a management style that maybe some other teams would like to copy and has obviously brought a lot to the team.

"A lot of people here trust him, me first of them because I was very actively working on making his job position secure within this team.

"I have a lot of trust in him and everybody does because he's a good communicator, a good coordinator, has very good technical skills and a good vision. He is very important in the organization."

NOVA Chemicals and Scuderia Toro Rosso Extend Agreement
NOVA Chemicals and the Scuderia Toro Rosso Formula 1 team are pleased to announce they have extended their current sponsorship agreement. 2013 will therefore be the third year that the Canadian plastics producer has been a partner of the team.

“NOVA Chemicals, along with Toro Rosso, is committed to being a leader. The same qualities that drive NOVA Chemicals every day; focused effort, collaborative teams, straightforward communication and responsible people, also create success on the race track,” commented NOVA Chemicals’ CEO, Randy Woelfel. “Our shared values and drive to outperform the competition make Toro Rosso the right platform to help us expand our brand recognition beyond North America.”

“We are delighted that NOVA Chemicals will be with us for another season,” added Toro Rosso Team Principal, Franz Tost. “Continuity is a vital component for success in Formula 1 and that is as true on the commercial front as it is on the technical side. We look forward to a successful and exciting season together.”

OMP to become Technical Partner of the Sauber F1 Team
OMP will enter a technical partnership with the Sauber F1 Team to supply the Swiss squad with racing gear and additional accessories.

From 2013, OMP will kit out the drivers and mechanics of the Sauber F1 Team with innovative racing suits and underwear, shoes and gloves. OMP will also provide the safety harnesses for the Sauber C32-Ferrari. They are made from Dyneema®, an extremely lightweight synthetic fiber, which will see the weight of the harnesses reduced by around 40 per cent compared to previous versions.

“OMP is a brand that has established itself in motor racing over many years,” notes Monisha Kaltenborn, CEO of the Sauber F1 Team. “For us the safety of our drivers and mechanics is paramount, which is why we very much welcome a leading partner in this field.”

“This partnership is a great source of satisfaction for us,” says Paolo Delprato, OMP Managing Director, “because it will allow us to showcase some of our most important innovations for 2013 on the most prestigious international race tracks. In particular, the new safety harnesses made from Dyneema® as well as the new ‘Dry System’ in our suits and underwear are the fruits of years of research and development in our company, which is a reference point for the car racing industry.”

2013 McLaren unveil video teaser

Looking ahead to the 2013 Season with Sam Michael
McLaren Sporting Director Sam Michael looks ahead to what the 2013 F1 season has in store for the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team - including a new team line up, regulation changes, pitstop challenges and key rivals.

Ferrari F1 team secure first Chinese sponsor
Ferrari said in a statement that the deal with Weichai Power would run to the end of the 2016 season.

Ferrari said in a statement that the deal with Weichai Power would run to the end of the 2016 season.

China is a major market for Ferrari, who have had a presence there for more than 20 years. The team were overall runners-up in Formula One last season and are the only ones to have competed in every championship since 1950.

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