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Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday UPDATE Updates shown in red below.

  • The new Sauber has small sidepods
    Small sidepods good enough for Malaysian heat - Sauber
  • Sauber wants Gutierrez to match Hulkenberg
  • New Ferrari 'quite good' at Jerez - Rosberg
  • De la Rosa to stay GPDA president
  • Pirelli surprises F1 with Melbourne 'supersofts'
  • Hamilton's Merc move about money, management - insider
  • France moves to pay TV model with Canal+ New
  • No more false promises, says Caterham New

Small sidepods good enough for Malaysian heat - Sauber
(GMM)  Sauber's ultra-slim sidepods work well, team co-owner, founder and former boss Peter Sauber has revealed.

The Swiss team stunned its opposition when it launched the new Ferrari-powered C32, featuring the smallest sidepods seen in modern times in formula one.

The innovation, whilst providing an obvious aerodynamic benefit, raised questions about whether the tight packaging could house radiators good enough for adequate cooling.

"We had not the slightest problem with the cooling system," Sauber, referring to the car's impressive and reliable debut at Jerez, told Switzerland's Motorsport Aktuell.

Jerez, however, was notably cool, raising the question of whether the cooling system will be good enough for much hotter locations.

"The values were good enough that we can extrapolate for temperatures up to 35 degrees," said Sauber.

"The bottom line is that the cooling will work just fine in Malaysia."

Sauber wants Gutierrez to match Hulkenberg
(GMM)  Peter Sauber has declared himself happy with 2013 team racer Esteban Gutierrez, following the Mexican rookie's first test of the pre-season at Jerez.

"Last year we were not entirely satisfied with his performance in GP2," the Swiss team's founder, co-owner and former boss told Motorsport Aktuell.

"Sometimes we were even disappointed, so we didn't know exactly what we could expect from him," added Sauber.

21-year-old Gutierrez, third in last year's GP2 standings, has replaced the McLaren-bound Sergio Perez, ostensibly to keep major team backer Telmex happy.

So what is Sauber expecting from the youngster?

"I would prefer, of course, if he could go at Hulkenberg's level right from the beginning," said Peter Sauber.

New Ferrari 'quite good' at Jerez - Rosberg
(GMM)  Ferrari appeared to find its way with the new F138 car following a difficult start at Jerez.

That is the summary of Mercedes' Nico Rosberg, who told Germany's Sport Bild he noticed Felipe Massa struggling with the new red car at the beginning of the first winter test.

"On the first two days," he said, "the Ferrari did not look good."

But Brazilian Massa ultimately went on to set the fastest lap time of the entire four-day test.

"Obviously, they found a solution to the problem," Rosberg surmised, adding that the 2013 Ferrari ultimately seemed "quite good".

But perhaps not as good as the Red Bull or McLaren, he added.

"They drove as though on rails," said Rosberg.

Ferrari's early struggles could be explained by a delay to the F138's development program, caused by the push to the death for the 2012 title.

"If we talk about the aerodynamics of the F138," technical director Pat Fry is quoted by Russia's f1news.ru, "we started about three months later than we would have liked.

"We will do everything to make up for this delay," he added.

Fry referred to a stream of forthcoming "innovations" for the new red and black car.

One of them may be a mysterious hole beneath the nose tip that emerged in the final moments of the Jerez test.

"We will see at the next test in Barcelona if the hole is there or not," read a report in Italy's Autosprint.

De la Rosa to stay GPDA president
(GMM)  Pedro de la Rosa looks set to continue his role at the head of the F1 drivers' union, despite dropping off the actual racing grid for 2013.

The veteran Spaniard, however, will still be at the grands prix in his new role as Ferrari's development test driver, and so according to El Mundo Deportivo newspaper he will likely remain president of the Grand Prix Drivers' Association (GPDA).

"I am ready to go on, if the other drivers want me to," he is quoted as saying.

It is reported de la Rosa's re-election will take place in Australia, ahead of the 2013 season opener next month.

Pirelli surprises F1 with Melbourne 'supersofts'
(GMM)  Pirelli has surprised the F1 world by revealing an aggressive selection of tire compounds for the start of the 2013 season.

The big surprise is the choice for the Melbourne opener, as Pirelli opts to supply to teams the 'supersoft' and 'medium' compounds.

"These (supersoft) tires offer great grip, but have a short life," noted O Estado de S.Paulo correspondent Livio Oricchio.

Indeed, this is the "first time that Pirelli has nominated the softest compound" for Australia, the Italian marque announced.

Last year, Pirelli supplied the soft and the medium compounds to teams in Australia.

"The full step in the compound choice should ensure a performance gap between the cars that allows strategy to come into play," added Pirelli in a media statement.

There is also an all-new selection for April's Bahrain grand prix; the 'hard' and 'soft' compounds, compared to the 2012 selection of soft and medium.

Paul Hembery said the idea is to shake up the team's growing knowledge of Pirelli's tires.

"We found that by about the middle of last season, the teams had adjusted almost a little too well to our compounds," said Pirelli's motor sport director.

"So, in close consultation with the FIA, we have made the task more difficult," he is quoted by Speed Week.

Hamilton's Merc move about money, management - insider
(GMM)  One of F1's most respected and experienced insiders thinks Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes switch was about money and management.

"If you compare the two (teams), you must come to the conclusion that there were no sporting reasons for him to leave McLaren," Tony Dodgins, a veteran British journalist, is quoted by the Swiss magazine Speed Week.

"No, I think it's because Lewis is strongly driven by his management," he added.

Dodgins is referring to Simon Fuller, the American Idol creator who has handled the 2008 world champion's career since his split with father Anthony Hamilton.

"Fuller is obviously a highly successful manager," said Dodgins, "but I would not call him a racer.  I'm not even sure if he is interested in the sport.

"No, this management is extremely money-oriented," he added, referring to Fuller's abilities to exploit the fortunes of his clients beyond their mere retainers.

"Fuller strongly advised Hamilton to go to Mercedes, for the simple reason that he could make more money than if he was at McLaren," said Dodgins.

France moves to pay TV model with Canal+
France has followed in the footsteps of the UK and Italy by introducing a pay television model for its Formula 1 coverage, with broadcaster Canal+ claiming the rights.

Fans wishing to follow the sport in the country, which produces one of Europe's biggest audiences, will now be required to pay 35 euros (30 pounds) a month for the privilege. The exclusive deal also pushes well-known broadcaster TF1 out of the sport, a channel which had been fronted by Romain Grosjean's wife, Marion Jolles.

In 2013, France will continue with at least three Formula 1 drivers. Grosjean, Jean-Eric Vergne and Charles Pic have all retained seats, while Jules Bianchi is one of the leading candidates for the vacancy alongside Paul di Resta at Force India.

No more false promises, says Caterham
After three seasons in Formula 1 that have not lived up to expectations, Abiteboul concedes Caterham has over-promised in the past.

Abiteboul was promoted to the role of Caterham team principal last September.

He believes 2012 drivers Heikki Kovalainen and Vitaly Petrov were among many people that Caterham "let down" with previous bold statements.

"The relationship with our [previous] drivers was good, but I think to some extent we let them down," Abiteboul told AUTOSPORT.

"We disappointed them just like we may have disappointed the public, the fans, the followers on Twitter, because maybe we made some promises, representations of where we wanted to be, but maybe not exactly where we were expecting to be or being realistic about where we would end up being.

"We have not made any representation that we will be fighting in the middle of the midfield at the first race to anyone [this year]. That is something we have been very clear about."

For 2013, he believes that the team should look to capitalize on every opportunity that comes its way but thinks that points will only come if it is lucky.

"I want us to make sure that we perfectly understand all that is happening on track, which is a big change from last year," Abiteboul said.

"I want us to be fully in control of why something is working or not working.

"I also want us to make sure that we seize any possible opportunities, including opportunities to score, because that is something that at some point of the season - not for the first races, but at some point - might happen.

"We might be able to catch the midfield on merit and, when there is enough activity going on on track, score a point.

"Scoring a point on merit is not something that is going to happen this year, but scoring a point when something strange is happening is not something that can be ruled out." Yahoo! Eurosport UK

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