Latest F1 news in brief - Tuesday
McLaren replaces Mercedes-bound Lowe
- Caterham exhaust 'legal' insists van der Garde
- Gutierrez plays down link to Carlos Slim
- Danica Patrick 'not interested' in F1 switch
- 2014 French grand prix 'possible' - Prost
- Red Bull still best in 2013 - Tost
- Wikland is new Official Partner of the Sauber F1 Team
McLaren replaces Mercedes-bound Lowe
(GMM) Paddy Lowe is no longer McLaren's technical director.
Hot on the heels of reports the 50-year-old has been placed on 'gardening leave', the British team announced that long-time McLaren engineer Tim Goss has replaced Lowe.
"The great mystery is no more," Tobias Gruner, the correspondent for Germany's Auto Motor und Sport, said.
"The only thing missing is the official confirmation."
He is referring to speculation Lowe will almost certainly be joining Mercedes after his 'gardening leave'.
McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh said: "He's been a good and successful F1 technical director, and we wish him well when he embarks on a fresh challenge in 2014."
Whitmarsh's comment will increase speculation Lowe has been drafted by Mercedes to replace team boss Ross Brawn.
"I cannot officially say anything," Niki Lauda, Mercedes' new shareholder and executive chairman, told Reuters.
"If Paddy Lowe is coming or not, I cannot tell you now ... (but) Ross is in his position and will stay in his position. Everything is under control."
Prior to the news about Lowe's 'gardening leave' breaking, Brawn told F1's official website on Monday: "I am responsible for the sporting side; running the team on an operational level.
"If we can maintain that then there will not be a problem."
A report in the UK newspaper Express said confidently: "Brawn feels his status has been undermined and will not hang around the new regime."
Caterham exhaust 'legal' insists van der Garde
(GMM) After Williams removed its controversial solution for the 'Coanda'-effect exhaust late last week, heads are now turning in Caterham's direction.
Williams' move to remove the solution reportedly followed the FIA's Charlie Whiting telling team designer Mike Coughlan at Jerez that he deemed it illegal.
But while Williams' solution attempted to find a loophole in the regulations, Coughlan said recently he thought Caterham's similar approach is "clearly not allowed".
A Caterham spokesman said: "We are continuing to evaluate a range of options at the pre-season tests as per our normal program."
But the team's new Dutch racer Giedo van der Garde is not so sure that means Caterham will remove the solution.
"I am told that it is legal, so I am not worried," he is quoted by the Dutch magazine Formule1.
"I expect to find the same exhaust on the car in Barcelona."
The third and final four-day pre-season test begins on Thursday.
Gutierrez plays down link to Carlos Slim
(GMM) Esteban Gutierrez has denied he was given the news about his F1 debut this year straight from the mouth of Carlos Slim.
21-year-old Mexican Gutierrez is replacing Sauber's McLaren-bound Sergio Perez, presumably to keep the Swiss team's main backer Telmex happy.
Telmex is the Mexican company headed by billionaire Carlos Slim, whose son and namesake is directly involved in the handling of Perez's career.
But it's a slightly different situation for Gutierrez.
Asked if Slim told him he would be stepping up from the reserve role after three years to finally race for Sauber in 2013, Gutierrez said: "No. I have had a contract for four years with Sauber.
"My deal is with them," he insisted to Spain's El Confidential.
"Obviously, the relationship with Carlos is very close because they are my sponsors, but unlike Checo (Perez) they have not been my managers.
"We have always worked with them as a sponsor, and they have been very supportive, but I have my relationship with Sauber and a program that has been developed over time with them," added Gutierrez.
Danica Patrick 'not interested' in F1 switch
(GMM) Danica Patrick has played down suggestions she might switch to formula one.
Speculation the 30-year-old American could have a future on the grand prix grid was kindled by her high-profile pole position for NASCAR’s premier Sprint Cup opener at Daytona.
Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko was quoted by Bild newspaper as saying while Patrick is not "on the top ten" of his list of promising F1-worthy candidates for the future, he would offer her a test.
According to Austria's Kleine Zeitung newspaper, Patrick described Marko's offer as "nice" but insisted: "I do not need to be in formula one to have a full life."
She said she has "never been really interested" in exploring any F1 options.
"It is speculation in the media," she added, "but it has never been seriously discussed."
That is despite Williams test driver Susie Wolff admitting recently that Bernie Ecclestone is "massively pushing" for a female driver to be on the F1 grid.
"At some point I think in the future we will definitely see it happen," she said last week.
2014 French grand prix 'possible' - Prost
(GMM) Alain Prost, the quadruple world champion, is hopeful France could finally return to the F1 calendar next year.
Recently, following his native country's five year absence from the schedule, Magny Cours and Paul Ricard were linked with a possible French grand prix for 2013.
"I still read in the press that there are opportunities for 2013," Prost, who was involved in the talks, is quoted by France's Sport24.
"It is of course impossible. However, for 2014, there are possible openings (for France).
"There are a few grands prix in doubt but also many new projects considered by (Bernie) Ecclestone," said Prost.
Red Bull still best in 2013 - Tost
(GMM) Red Bull is still F1's top team, according to Franz Tost.
Austrian Tost is the boss of the energy drink company's Italian based second formula one team, Toro Rosso.
Asked to ponder the 2013 pecking order following two of the three pre-season tests in Spain, Tost answered: "The teams are close together, but by and large, not much has changed.
"Red Bull Racing will be the measure of all things in 2013," he said in an interview with Speed Week.
"Hopefully Toro Rosso will make a significant step forward," added Tost.
Wikland is new Official Partner of the Sauber F1 Team
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.