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DATE News (chronologically)
02/25/13
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Monday  UPDATE Updates shown in red below.

02/25/13
  • In 2013 the cameras atop the roll hoop behind the driver's head will be color coded red or yellow by driver
    Sutil will not stay in F1 as test driver
  • Marussia 'ahead of Caterham' - Chilton
  • Lotus to fight Red Bull for title - Gutierrez
  • Contract 'conflicts' cause of Marussia test snub - Razia
  • Williams removes controversial exhaust trick
  • Tight rules make today's F1 cars 'the same' - Forghieri
  • Teams 'will adapt' to new tire situation - Gutierrez
  • New Ferrari 'much better' than 2012 - Massa
  • Gutierrez expects Hulkenberg to beat him early in 2013
  • Mercedes 'in group of teams' behind Red Bull - Lauda
  • Camera colors for 2013 New
  • Sauber F1 Team lining up in Swiss running shoes by On New

Sutil will not stay in F1 as test driver
(GMM)  Should Adrian Sutil fail to secure his return to F1 this year with Force India, he will not linger in the paddock as a third, reserve or test driver.

"I'm a racer, not a tester.  I want to race," the German, who like Jules Bianchi is in the running to complete the 2013 grid, said after testing the VJM06 in Barcelona last week.

The Silverstone based team, pushing the duo's links with potential 2014 engine suppliers Ferrari (Bianchi) and Mercedes (Sutil), is expected to make its decision this week.

"This (Force India) is my only chance, so we are fighting for it," said Sutil.

"If it doesn't work, then let's look at what else there is in another category, but I do not think that being a test driver is right for me.

"I just want to race, and I'm ready," he added.

Marussia 'ahead of Caterham' - Chilton
(GMM)  Marussia looks set to begin the 2013 season with the upper hand over its usual rival Caterham.

Since F1's youngest teams entered the sport in 2010, Caterham has always finished the constructors' world championship with the lucrative tenth place.

That could change this year.

"It's good that we find ourselves ahead of Caterham again," Max Chilton, who drove Marussia's new car on all four days at Jerez last week, said as the test ended.

Ted Kravitz, the pit reporter for British broadcaster Sky, agreed that Caterham's 2013 single seater "doesn't seem to be too good".

He expects Marussia to have the upper hand at the initial four-race 'flyaway' races in Australia, Malaysia, China and Bahrain.

"I think we should only judge them (Caterham) when they put the upgrade package on for the first European race in Barcelona," Kravitz said on Sky Sports F1 HD television.

Lotus to fight Red Bull for title - Gutierrez
(GMM)  After spending some time from an elevated trackside vantage point in Barcelona last week, Esteban Gutierrez has tipped Red Bull and Lotus to fight for the 2013 title.

"I was out on track and had a look at a couple of the corners," the rookie Sauber racer is quoted by Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

"I was surprised by how different the cars are.  I think Red Bull is in a very good position, which can be seen easily from the outside.

"The Red Bull and the Lotus are the most stable," he continued, according to Italy's Tuttosport.

"They will fight for the title this season.

"I was very impressed with the Lotus in the cornering," the 21-year-old continued.

"It has incredible grip, far more than the others, not moving around at all.

"The Red Bull is also very smooth, with no uncertainty in the trajectory, very well balanced and very good at the front end."

In Switzerland's Blick, veteran correspondent Roger Benoit compiled the first tentative pecking-order list for 2013, with Red Bull and Lotus in first and second places.

Third is McLaren, ahead of Ferrari, Mercedes and Sauber.

Mark Webber told reporters on Friday: "We are in a good position to be strong in Melbourne, as you would expect from a team that has had our results in the past few years."

World champion Sebastian Vettel is also happy.

"It's true that I only felt comfortable in the car in the second half of last season," he is quoted by Sport Bild.

"It's also true that the handling of the new car is very similar."

After testing the impressive black and red E21 in Spain, Raikkonen headed to Moscow for a demonstration ice race.

"I can't promise that we are going to be able to fight for wins," the Finn told R-Sport, "but I think we will be up there and we will have ourselves a chance at least."

Contract 'conflicts' cause of Marussia test snub - Razia
(GMM)  Luiz Razia has confirmed that off-track "conflicts" caused him to sit out last week's Barcelona test.

Despite intending to run its new Brazilian driver for two days in Spain, Marussia left Briton Max Chilton in the 2013 car for the entire test week, explaining only that it benefitted from the "consistency" of the amended schedule.

Rumors suggested 23-year-old Razia's sponsors had missed a payment date.

"In the contract," the driver told Folha de S.Paulo newspaper, "there are parties with responsibilities.

"We trust them, but we have some conflicts," Razia explained.

Asked if the "conflicts" were the reason he sat out Barcelona last week, he admitted: "Exactly.

"We did the right things, it's just that it's out of our control.

"We will solve it.  We just need a few days."

Razia suggested Marussia's official explanation for the change of scheduling last week - that the team simply wanted Chilton to drive the whole test - was incorrect.

"I would not sign a contract with such a disadvantage," he insisted.

Folha de S.Paulo said a Marussia spokesperson did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Williams removes controversial exhaust trick
(GMM)  Williams has removed the controversial layout of its 'Coanda'-effect exhaust from its newly-launched 2013 car.

Despite designer Mike Coughlan believing his layout cleverly exploited a loophole in the rules, the FIA reportedly told the British team its solution was not legal.

"Charlie Whiting was here yesterday," British broadcaster Sky's pit reporter Ted Kravitz said on Friday as the Barcelona test concluded.

"(I think) he went to Williams and had a quiet word in their ear that they might want to take that (exhaust solution) off.

"We don't expect to see it reappear given the FIA's stance on that," he added.

Tight rules make today's F1 cars 'the same' - Forghieri
(GMM)  Legendary former Ferrari designer Mauro Forghieri has lamented today's F1 rules that make all the cars "look the same".

Now 78, Italian Forghieri was a leading figure at the fabled Maranello team from the 60s to the 80s.

"Now, I see them all as though they are karts," Speed Week quotes him as saying.

"I bet if they were all painted white, you could not distinguish them.  There are no freedoms; everything is overly regulated."

Forghieri said the result of the tight technical rules is that teams are forced to look more at one another's cars than delve deeply into the designers' creativity.

"It's really absurd," he said.

"When you see a new part, then the following week you see it on a lot of other cars."

Teams 'will adapt' to new tire situation - Gutierrez
(GMM)  Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber's new race driver, has given a less dramatic assessment of the tire situation heading into the 2013 season.

Last season dubbed 'the tire whisperer', Mexican Perez has subsequently switched to McLaren, where last week at Barcelona he said the degradation of Pirelli's new compounds is "extreme".

Back at Sauber, however, fellow Mexican Gutierrez is less panicked.

"The tire (situation) is obviously more dramatic than last year," he is quoted by Spain's Marca newspaper, "but gradually the teams will adapt.  It's a matter of finding the right fit.

"In testing we have already seen progress," the 21-year-old added.

Even Perez's teammate Jenson Button is not overly worried.

"This year is more difficult in terms of graining," he is quoted by Brazil's Totalrace, "but it's much easier now to understand the tire.

"You put it in your window of operation and know that it will begin to grain from the third or fourth lap.

"Last year," Button continued, "there were teams who could make the tire work, but they didn't know why.  For the others it was a knife edge."

Pirelli's Paul Hembery, meanwhile, is adamant the cool weather in Barcelona - "freezing" last Friday according to Mark Webber - made the degradation of the 2013 tires look much worse.

"We shouldn't see anything like it (the Barcelona weather) in the whole season," he is quoted by Spain's El Mundo Deportivo.

And some, like the famously phlegmatic Kimi Raikkonen, are not worried at all.

Asked to compare the 2012 Pirellis with this year's compounds, the Finn told Turun Sanomat newspaper in Russia on Saturday: "I don't see much difference."

New Ferrari 'much better' than 2012 - Massa
(GMM)  Felipe Massa has clarified his recent assessment that the 2013 Ferrari is "on a different planet" compared to last year's red car.

Although the Brazilian struggled for much of last season, the Maranello team and Fernando Alonso recovered sufficiently so that the Spaniard was a title challenger right until the last lap.

So if the F138 is "on a different planet", why then are commentators saying Red Bull, Lotus and possibly McLaren are currently looking better in pre-season testing?

Asked about the 'planet' comment, Massa told O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper: "Yes, I said it, but I was comparing it (the F138) with what we had at the beginning of last year's testing.

"This (2013) car is good," he added, "but still 'green'.  When we develop it, we will see.

"I have seen people doing good times, like Red Bull, Lotus McLaren.  As far as we can talk, we will have a package of new components here (in Barcelona) next week and then in Melbourne.

"But we are in a much better condition than in 2012," said Massa.

Gutierrez expects Hulkenberg to beat him early in 2013
(GMM)  Esteban Gutierrez is expecting his Sauber teammate to outpace him early in 2013.

A test driver for the Swiss team since 2010, the 21-year-old Mexican has finally moved into the race cockpit this year, as his Telmex-backed countryman Sergio Perez moves to McLaren.

Team founder Peter Sauber admitted earlier this month that he would like Gutierrez to match the more experienced Nico Hulkenberg "right from the beginning" in 2013.

Gutierrez said: "He has three years of experience, and I cannot compare with that, but for me he is definitely a great reference.

"I will use the opportunity to adapt quickly and be at his level this season, but just not right at the beginning," he told the Spanish newspaper Marca in an interview.

Mercedes 'in group of teams' behind Red Bull - Lauda
(GMM)  Mercedes has taken "an important step forwards" since the end of the 2012 season.

That is the claim of new team shareholder and chairman Niki Lauda, as Nico Rosberg expects race wins later this year and Lewis Hamilton plays down expectations.

"We're not looking at wins at the moment," Briton Hamilton, who has moved from McLaren over the winter, said after testing the new W04 late last week in Barcelona.

"As I've said, we're hoping to be fighting in the top ten."

Most insiders believe Hamilton's caution lies somewhere between pessimism and reality.

Triple world champion Lauda, at least, sounds more confident.

"I don't mean that we are better than Red Bull," he told Brazil's O Estado de S.Paulo.  "It seems they again have the fastest car.

"But we have taken an important step forwards compared to last year," added Lauda.

"Our car was born well, with no chronic problems, and with great potential to develop it, which is what we're doing.

"I think we have put ourselves in the group with McLaren, Ferrari and Lotus," he said.

"The differences between us are very small, as is the difference between the group (of chasing teams) and Red Bull."

Lauda thinks Hamilton is preparing to over-deliver on his expectations for his first season with Mercedes.

"I believe Lewis saw the challenge to win with Mercedes as great, but probably less now than what he (first) imagined," said the famous red cap-wearing Austrian.

Camera colors for 2013
With certain drivers frequently changing their helmet designs, the TV camera located on top of a car's airbox becomes the easiest way of differentiating teammates. To combat the issue, highlighted by the incredibly similar colors of Mercedes duo Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, GPUpdate.net has put together a helpful guide.

Red Bull
Red: Sebastian Vettel
Yellow: Mark Webber

Ferrari
Red: Fernando Alonso
Yellow: Felipe Massa

McLaren
Red: Jenson Button
Yellow: Sergio Perez

Lotus
Red: Kimi Raikkonen
Yellow: Romain Grosjean

Mercedes
Red: Nico Rosberg
Yellow: Lewis Hamilton

Sauber
Red: Nico Hulkenberg
Yellow: Esteban Gutierrez

Force India
Red: Paul di Resta
Yellow: Driver TBA

Williams
Red: Pastor Maldonado
Yellow: Valtteri Bottas

Toro Rosso
Red: Jean-Eric Vergne
Yellow: Daniel Ricciardo

Caterham
Red: Charles Pic
Yellow: Giedo van der Garde

Marussia
Red: Luiz Razia
Yellow: Max Chilton

As per the Formula 1 regulations, each car must be fitted with at least five camera housings at every race; the airbox mount is required to hold a camera at all times.

Sauber F1 Team lining up in Swiss running shoes by On
Swiss running shoe company On is now equipping the Sauber F1 Team with its award-winning performance running shoes. Motor racing is a team sport in which the best possible material plays a key role. The team's trackside endeavors demand a combination of endurance and quick reactions, and the patented technology developed by On blends comfort and speed – virtues that also boost the Sauber F1 Team drivers and physiotherapists in their race preparations and training camps.

"We're particularly pleased to be working with another Swiss company," says Monisha Kaltenborn, CEO of the Sauber F1 Team. "On is a young, innovative enterprise and an excellent fit for us, especially as many of the team use their brief periods of free time during race weekends to keep fit by jogging around the circuit."

"Sauber F1 is all about innovation, speed and precision – attributes that running shoes have lacked for a long time to this degree," says Olivier Bernhard, six-times Ironman champion and co-founder of On. "The radical new sole developed by On helps elite athletes to set new personal best times and run more efficiently. And countless amateur runners have also experienced a new running feeling with the shoes and are simply having more fun.

"On AG is a young Zurich-based running shoe company on a simple mission: the team strives to elevate running to a sport that is not just healthy but fun, too. The company was founded in 2010 and success has been quick to follow; leading elite athletes such as Ironman Vice World Champion Caroline Steffen run in On shoes.

The stand-out feature of On shoes is their unique CloudTec sole, which provides a soft landing and powerful takeoff. This patented technology was engineered in Switzerland and enables athletes to run more efficiently.

The On running shoe has just won the ispo Gold Award for the best performance shoe of 2013, the latest in a string of technology and design prizes the company has earned around the world.

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