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DATE News (chronologically)
04/04/13
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday  UPDATE Updates shown in red below.

04/04/13
  • Bernie focused on making sure F1 cars sound good
    F1 could amplify sound of V6 engines - Ecclestone
  • No more Indians close to F1 - Chandhok
  • 'Pointless' to ban team orders - Tost
  • 2013 could be Alonso's year - Villeneuve
  • Villeneuve thinks Raikkonen could win title
  • Vergne - Red Bull or bust for 2014
  • Planzer is new Promotional Partner of the Sauber F1 Team
  • Red Bull Racing are set to retire the controversial "Multi-21" directive New

F1 could amplify sound of V6 engines - Ecclestone
(GMM)  The calmer tones of F1's new-generation turbo V6 engines could be artificially enhanced, according to Bernie Ecclestone.

The F1 chief executive is worried the sport will lose some of its appeal to fans when next year's engines fail to live up to the dramatic noise of the current V8s.

The grand prix circuit promoters, led by Australia's Ron Walker, are also worried.

"As Bernie will attest," Walker told F1 business journalist Christian Sylt, "it (the V6) sounds like a lawnmower engine, and we will be fighting this tooth and nail."

Less publicly worried are the engine makers themselves, who see the new regulations as a welcome step into the automobile's modern era.

It is also expected that Honda could now return to F1, amid rumors Volkswagen and Toyota are also interested in the V6 rules.

But Ecclestone thinks the radical change of regulations is actually a risk for the suppliers.

"The danger is that what will happen is what always happens with the manufacturers, which is that if it doesn't work they will stop," he told Autoweek.

And another risk is that the 'lawnmower' tones of the V6s will also drive the spectators away.

"What Ron (Walker) is saying is that you have to make sure that the engines will make it to 16,000 revs," said Ecclestone.

"That was agreed and now we know they won't rev to anything like that.  The fuel flow has been agreed so even if you have big tanks it still can't rev (to 16,000)."

Admitting it is not his preferred option, Ecclestone nonetheless revealed that artificially enhancing the V6 engine sound is a possibility.

"Maybe we can make them sound like the current engines," he said.

Walker added that in 2011, "(FIA president Jean) Todt told me in Australia that the next thing is they are going to have a hybrid.

"I said 'what about the noise' and he said they will put a squeak box on the back of the car.  God almighty!"

No more Indians close to F1 - Chandhok
(GMM)  India is facing a long wait for another formula one driver, Karun Chandhok has warned.

Not too long ago, both Chandhok and Narain Karthikeyan were representing the populous nation on the grid.

Now, they have been priced out of the market.

"F1 is F1, everyone knows the financial situation," Chandhok, who now races in Le Mans-style sports cars, told the Press Trust of India.

"F1 is difficult at the moment unless you have millions."

The 29-year-old lamented that, while he and Karthikeyan are locked outside of F1, there are no countryman poised to take their place in representing India.

"(The) next F1 driver from India?  At the moment don't see anyone else," said Chandhok.

"If any Indian has to be in F1 in future it would be either me or Narain.

"To be able to do well in F1, you need to win in Europe and so far only I and Narain have been able to win in GP2, A1GP and Formula 3.

"No other Indian has been able to do it.  Have you seen anyone in the junior ranks?  There are a few but no one is winning," he added.

'Pointless' to ban team orders - Tost
(GMM)  After the 'Multi-21' affair re-fired the old debate about team orders, Franz Tost insists it is "pointless" to reintroduce a ban.

In Malaysia recently, Sebastian Vettel ignored Red Bull's order to stay behind his teammate Mark Webber.

And behind them, in third and fourth positions, Nico Rosberg grudgingly followed the sister Mercedes to the line, having been told by Mercedes to resist the urge to pass.

The legality of team orders was reintroduced by current FIA president Jean Todt a few years ago, but the 'Multi-21' affair has intensified the calls for a new ban.

Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost told Speed Week: "Generally I am not a great fan of team orders, because we want to see battles and overtaking maneuvers.

"Therefore, we keep it to an absolute minimum at Toro Rosso."

On the other hand, he answered "yes" as to whether Toro Rosso does sometimes impose orders to the benefit of the Faenza based team.

And he agreed that Vettel's controversial behavior at Sepang reinforced that "Discipline is one of the most important requirements for success".

Tost added: "Team orders have always been there (in F1) in some form, so it's pointless to ban them."

Right or wrong, Vettel's mischievous pass on Webber in Malaysia has divided opinion in the paddock.

Caterham rookie Giedo van der Garde told De Telegraaf newspaper that Sepang was "typical Vettel", but also the reason he "wins races and world championships".

1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve is far less forgiving, telling Spain's caranddriverthef1.com that the German showed a total "lack of respect to both Mark and the team".

"A huge lack of respect," he added.  "In the circumstances, with engines turned down, it's not a race.

"Yes, in formula one you have to win at all costs, but you do need to respect some things.

"He (Vettel) is super fast but he's a man without honor and respect, so for me he is not a great champion or a great man," added Villeneuve.

2013 could be Alonso's year - Villeneuve
(GMM)  Felipe Massa could be a key to a successful championship tilt by Fernando Alonso this year.

That is the view of 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve, who said in Milan this week that he thinks Spaniard Alonso was "tired" at the end of a hard-fought campaign with a less competitive Ferrari last season.

"This could be Ferrari's year," the French Canadian told the Italian media.

"The car is fast, although maybe it's a bit difficult to drive.

"Perhaps he will also have the support of Massa this year," he added.

The Maranello based team has produced a much better car for 2013, although currently the Ferraris are behind the Red Bulls and even Lotus' Kimi Raikkonen and Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton in the drivers' points standings.

Referring to Alonso's first-lap contact in Malaysia and the decision to stay out on track rather than pit for a new nose, Villeneuve said: "Ferrari has already done its big mistake for the year."

Villeneuve thinks Raikkonen could win title
(GMM)  Jacques Villeneuve, the 1997 world champion turned TV pundit, thinks Lotus' Kimi Raikkonen would be a good bet for this year's championship.

"I said before Australia that it would be Alonso and Hamilton for the title, now I think I would bet everything on the Spaniard and the Finn," he is quoted by France's Auto Hebdo.

The Enstone based team, however, had a much less impressive weekend in Malaysia, just a few days after Raikkonen's Melbourne win.

"It's true, we didn't have a good race at Sepang," technical boss James Allison is quoted by Speed Week.

"But the damage was done in the first few laps, when we fell half a minute behind, but Romain (Grosjean) was only 35 seconds behind Vettel at the end.

"Sepang didn't show what our car can really do," he added.

However, Grosjean and Raikkonen have both spoken about how good the black E21 is, whilst expressing fears Lotus might not be able to keep up with the development pace of the better funded top teams.

Allison insists: "The most expensive thing is bringing the car to the track, not developing it.

"We've also noticed that it is relatively easy for us to find promising developments in the wind tunnel.  And we have lots of ideas about how to develop mechanically."

Team boss Eric Boullier told Brazil's Totalrace: "I think Romain has all the same upgrades as Kimi for China.

"We have parts arriving for every race and will keep working hard.  It will be interesting."

Vergne - Red Bull or bust for 2014
(GMM)  Jean-Eric Vergne has hinted just how high the stakes are at Toro Rosso this year.

His teammate Daniel Ricciardo came out fighting in 2013 by declaring his friendship with the Frenchman is over as he pushes to "blow it apart" this season.

Vergne, 22, is quoted by Brazil's Totalrace as admitting the stakes at Toro Rosso - the 'junior' Red Bull-owned team - are high.

While Mark Webber's contract at the senior team is running out, a new crop of Red Bull-sponsored youngsters are knocking loudly at Toro Rosso's door.

Vergne admitted: "If my performances are good, I'll get a spot at Red Bull (Racing).

"Otherwise, they will replace me and I'll lose my place.

"But I am in Toro Rosso at the moment, I deserve my place and I have to prove it to everyone by getting results."

Planzer is new Promotional Partner of the Sauber F1 Team
In Formula One speed is pretty much everything – not only on the track, but off it as well. One minute new parts are being developed at the factory, the next they are needed for action on the track. All of which makes the choice of logistics partner critical. To this end, the Sauber F1 Team has signed up Swiss company Planzer as a Promotional Partner to handle transportation within Switzerland and across its borders with immediate effect.

The Sauber F1 Team and Planzer have worked together in the past, with Planzer taking responsibility for transporting the air freight containers required for overseas races to the airports in Munich and Milan, from where the materials and racing cars are flown to their final destinations.

“The partnership with Planzer has already worked out very well in the past, so it was a logical move to extend this cooperation,” says Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal of the Sauber F1 Team. “Smooth logistics provides the basis for success on the track, so it’s extremely important for us as a team to have such a reliable partner in this field.”

“As a partner of the Sauber F1 Team, the Planzer Group will be demonstrating its commitment to a shared set of values,” says Nils Planzer, Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO at Planzer Transport AG. “For both companies, the right emphasis on speed, the required degree of stability and the ongoing drive to explore new avenues are critical factors in achieving success. And at both companies individuals are only as good as the perfectly harmonized performance of the team around them.”

Planzer has been ensuring people and goods reach their destinations for over 75 years now – by rail and road, during the day and night, in Switzerland and beyond its borders in Europe. But that’s not the whole story; Planzer also takes care of storage, order picking and assembly. Today, the Swiss market leader in transport and storage logistics services employs a workforce of around 3,600 skilled employees, and yet it remains a 100 percent family-owned company. With 47 locations in Switzerland and neighboring countries, the Planzer Group has a strong regional base, which guarantees close proximity to its customers and maximum flexibility.

Red Bull Racing are set to retire the controversial "Multi-21" directive
Red Bull Racing are set to retire the controversial "Multi-21" directive after a dramatic Formula One Grand Prix at Sepang, Malaysia, where defending world champion Sebastian Vettel ignored team instruction to hold station and made a daring pass on teammate Mark Webber in the latter stages of the race to claim victory.

After the dramatic finish to the 2nd race of the 2013 F1 season, “Multi-21″ became a viral sensation by briefly becoming an international trending topic on Twitter, as well as spawning numerous memes on the Internet. A website even offered T-shirts sporting the directive for sale.

Speaking on SkySports' F1 show, team principal Christian Horner revealed the full meaning of “Multi-21″ as well as its counterpart, “Multi-12″.

“Multi-21 means car two ahead of car one. Multi-12 means car one ahead of car two,” explained Horner. “It’s not complicated. It’s not that difficult to translate, but both our drivers in the last three races have failed to understand both of those messages. I think we’re going to give up on that code. We need to probably try something else.”

Horner also took the opportunity to defend the team’s decision to instruct Webber and Vettel to maintain their positions during the last 13 laps of the Malaysia Grand Prix.

“Team orders happen up and down the grid,” said Horner. ”They have happened for as long as Formula One has existed.

“Our biggest concern was managing that race to the end with the issues that we’ve had earlier in the week. We could see that we weren’t the best in terms of making the tires go the longest.

“When you’ve got drivers fighting each other in the slipstream, that’s where you do the most damage. Our primary concern was making those cars last the end of the race on those tires without needing to make another stop. That was our overriding desire after that final pitstop.

“Nothing that we did wasn’t within the regulations. Sometimes as a purist, you want to see the drivers race, and actually the show they put on was fantastic. It was great wheel to wheel racing. But when you’re steering the ship and your responsibility is to the 600 people. They don’t get paid on what the driver does – They get paid on what the team’s constructor finish is. The responsibility is to make sure the team achieves its maximum job, it’s maximum potential, its maximum points.”

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