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DATE News (chronologically)
05/28/13
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Tuesday (Updated)  UPDATE Updates shown in red below.

05/28/13
  • Kobayashi is a Ferrari driver now
    No engine price drop for 2014 - Renault
  • Rival teams not asked about 'secret' Mercedes test
  • Kobayashi tested Ferrari at Fiorano
  • Raikkonen delivers punchy quote after Perez run-in
  • Hamilton hits back at Vettel's 'silver buses' jibe
  • Di Resta signed new deal on eve of Monaco GP
  • Boullier will have a word with Grosjean
  • Grosjean: Ricciardo at fault in tangle
  • Chilton unaware of Maldonado's position
  • Buemi the key to Red Bull's Monaco turnaround New
  • Valsecchi 'not yet' in line for Grosjean's seat New
  • Prost resigned to Vettel's quadruple success New
  • Suspension failure caused Massa's crash in the Monaco GP New

No engine price drop for 2014 - Renault
(GMM)  Renault will look to reduce the price of its new turbo V6 engines over time, the French carmaker's president Carlos Ghosn said.

Reports have indicated that Renault's new engine for 2014 is millions more expensive than any of its rival F1 suppliers, causing Williams to jump ship to Mercedes.

It is also rumored that, while Caterham looks set to stay with Renault, Lotus is in talks with Ferrari.

Already signed up with Renault for 2014 are Red Bull's two teams, including Toro Rosso.

"We will not be surprised if the third one will come soon," said Ghosn.  "We may have more but we don't need more.

"There is some concern about the cost of the engine, I understand it, but our commitment is to work to reduce these costs," Ghosn said in Monaco at the weekend.

He insisted, however, that the initial cost of the engines to customers - believed to be over EUR 20 million per season - will not be reduced.

"We are not going to drop the price for anybody for 2014," said Ghosn.

"But our commitment is every year we will be working hard to make this engine more efficient, to reduce the costs and then try to pass part of the cost reduction to the users."

Rival teams not asked about 'secret' Mercedes test
(GMM)  The furor over Mercedes' secret Pirelli test looks set to deepen, as rival teams claim they were not informed by F1's tire supplier.

As it refused to rule out "penalties", the FIA said Pirelli and Mercedes would have got the green light for the test "provided every team" was also offered the same opportunity.

It has emerged Ferrari did a secret test for Pirelli before Barcelona with a 2011 car, with Pedro de la Rosa at the wheel.

And Red Bull confirmed it was asked about conducting a test for Pirelli, "but we very clearly said no," Dr Helmut Marko told Austrian television Servus TV.

"In our opinion, such a test is not covered by the regulations.  It is a clear violation."

There are reports that Pirelli distributed an email about the possibility of tire testing, but many teams reportedly deny ever receiving it.

"We feel cheated," Sauber founder Peter Sauber is quoted by 20min.ch.

According to Germany's Auto Motor und Sport, Williams also denies knowing about the possibility of Pirelli tire testing.

And asked if his team was consulted, Lotus boss Eric Boullier is quoted by Brazil's Totalrace: "No."

Force India's Bob Fernley said the issue came up in a FOTA meeting, but it was not a formal invitation to test.

"I don't remember getting a letter from Pirelli on the subject," he insisted.

In fact, the Telegraph newspaper refers to an email to teams from the teams association FOTA, explicitly warning that in-season testing is not allowed unless there is "unanimous" consent by all teams.

The matter is now in the FIA's hands.

"I don't expect there to be a judgment before Montreal," Marko said.  "I would say by Silverstone at the earliest."

Red Bull and Ferrari are reportedly proposing that, if Mercedes was allowed to test, they should as well.

"We want to have the same test in order to get to the same level," said Marko.  But it is clear that not all teams, particularly those who are happiest with Pirelli's difficult 2013 tires, will agree to that remedy.

"There will certainly be a penalty, because Mercedes' tire advantage in Monaco was obvious," Marko is quoted by Bild newspaper.

"There is also a question of cost, because such a test costs nearly a million euros."

Another factor, said Marko, is the long-life engine rule, with Mercedes' three race distances at the secret test supposedly now excluded from its allocation of eight engines per driver.

"There is a long list of things," said the outspoken Austrian.

"We also want to have this test.  Logistically, it can only happen at Silverstone, which means that we have lost two races until we have the same knowledge."

Mercedes chairman Niki Lauda, meanwhile, is accusing Red Bull of sour grapes.

"Red Bull was also asked (about the test) but we were simply faster to accept," he said.  "So they are just sore losers.

"I have made a bet with Helmut Marko - 50 euros - that there will be no consequences for Mercedes," the Austrian legend added.

Finally, Marko said Red Bull is not questioning the validity of Nico Rosberg's Monaco win.

"We deliberately put in the protest before the race, because our protest is about the test, not Nico Rosberg's victory.  It was a great performance and we can live with second and third places," he insisted.

Kobayashi tested Ferrari at Fiorano
(GMM)  Kamui Kobayashi has tested a Ferrari formula one car at the Italian team's Fiorano circuit.

Some immediately interpreted the news as a sign the Maranello based squad might be shaping up a potential replacement for Felipe Massa, who went to hospital for checks after two high speed crashes in Monaco at the weekend.

In fact, the former Toyota and Sauber driver - who is now under contract as a Ferrari sports car driver - was simply trying Ferrari's 2010 car ahead of a forthcoming demonstration event scheduled for Russia.

"I raced against this car and I knew how quick it was, so it was very important to get some experience of it," the Japanese driver said.

Raikkonen delivers punchy quote after Perez run-in
(GMM)  Kimi Raikkonen has delivered another punchy quote to his legions of fans, after his run-in with Sergio Perez in the Monaco grand prix.

Furious about being run into by the McLaren driver at the exit of the tunnel, Finn Raikkonen initially called his Mexican rival an "idiot" and "stupid".

"We've lost a lot of points to Sebastian (Vettel) in the championship and you can't afford to lose ground like that," said Raikkonen.

Asked if he will seek Perez out for talks, Raikkonen insisted: "No, that won't help."

Asked what will, he suggested: "Maybe someone should punch him in the face."

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso also had trouble with Perez in Monaco, skipping the chicane after an attack and having to give the place to his rival.

"Only McLaren has to be happy with him," former McLaren driver Alonso said coyly afterwards.

Team boss Martin Whitmarsh, however, insisted McLaren is indeed happy with the feisty 23-year-old, saying run-ins are "what happens in Monaco occasionally".

"I am happy with his spirit and his challenge," he said.

"You can over push sometimes but I think he did some great overtakes.  I have got to be pleased that he is there, he is committed and racing," added Whitmarsh.

Hamilton hits back at Vettel's 'silver buses' jibe
(GMM)  Lewis Hamilton has hit back at Sebastian Vettel's description of the Mercedes cars in the Monaco grand prix as "buses".

Red Bull's world champion Vettel, who finished second on Sunday behind Nico Rosberg, said of the opening laps in Monaco: "You expect two silver arrows and there were two buses going for a cruise".

Hamilton, who switched to Mercedes over the winter, told Press Association news agency he didn't appreciate the analogy.

"He has had the fastest car for the last four years, so it's easy for him to say that.  He's got it easy," said the Briton.

"We are making our way up, we are learning, growing, improving with a car that has great potential, so I don't agree with him."

Hamilton was more reluctant to talk about the furor caused by Mercedes' 'secret' tire test, insisting he has to focus instead on getting up to speed with the on-form Rosberg.

"I just have to focus on myself and try and get my act together," he said.

Di Resta signed new deal on eve of Monaco GP
Sahara Force India driver Paul Di Resta has signed a personal sponsorship deal with Aberdeen Asset Management on the eve of Formula One's showpiece Grand Prix in Monaco.
The 27-year old Briton, who is competing in his third season in Formula One, will wear the asset management company's logo on his race suit and helmet for the rest of the season.

It is the first time Aberdeen Asset Management has been active in Formula One. The company has also signed former team owner Eddie Jordan, now a pundit for British broadcaster the BBC, as an ambassador. Jordan will host regular question and answer sessions with Di Resta at Grands Prix.

“This Formula One sponsorship is a new venture for us and the new association with Paul is great for our brand," said Martin Gilbert, Aberdeen's chief executive.

"The Grand Prix circuit visits many of the countries in which we operate and has a global television audience of around 500 million people; it will therefore give us the opportunity to raise our brand profile through this hugely popular sport."

He added: “At Aberdeen we see great value in aligning our brand with hardworking, dedicated sports professionals and Paul appears to be the perfect example of this."

Di Resta, who finished a career-best fourth at April's Bahrain Grand Prix, added: “I realize this is a first for Aberdeen and so I’m hoping that my performance on the track will pay dividends for them; I’ve got a great deal of respect for many of their other sporting ambassadors and so to be part of their sponsorship team is fantastic!”

Boullier will have a word with Grosjean
Romain Grosjean had a frustrating weekend in Monaco. The Frenchman driving at Lotus was a regular client at Monaco's barriers. During the Grand Prix he climbed on the back of Ricciardo, an incident that could have been prevented. Lotus' Boullier has said the team will sit down with Grosjean to talk about the weekend.

“We'll sit down with him and go through the weekend,” Boullier said. “It's always the same story, especially in Monaco. He had the pace, we could see it. It's even more frustrating because of that. Thursday's accident didn't help but it happens. The rest of the story went worse on Saturday morning.

“I think building up his frustration was Ricciardo, who didn't allow him to complete the Q2 like he should have done and 13th on the grid just finishes the frustration. I think we just need to cool him down and have a proper discussion when we are back in the factory."

Grosjean: Ricciardo at fault in tangle
Romain Grosjean believes Daniel Ricciardo was at fault for the crash that put both out of the Monaco Grand Prix and earned the Lotus driver a penalty.

The Franco-Swiss driver had a difficult weekend in the Principality, crashing twice in practice, failing to make Q3 and then rear-ending Ricciardo's Toro Rosso in the race.

That collision earned Grosjean a 10-place grid penalty for the upcoming Canadian Grand Prix, but he believes the crash was a result of Ricciardo being very slow at that stage of the race.

When asked by AUTOSPORT for his take on the incident, Grosjean said: "I was following him for 61 laps and he was really struggling with his rear tires with a lot of graining and no more grip.

"I was close in the tunnel and got caught out by the fact that he was braking early in the middle of the track."

Chilton unaware of Maldonado's position
Max Chilton says he was unaware of Williams rival Pastor Maldonado's exact position before they collided at the Tabac corner during Sunday afternoon's Monaco Grand Prix, with the resulting impact leading to a lengthy red flag phase for trackside repairs.

Having avoided Esteban Gutierrez's Sauber at the Nouvelle Chicane, Marussia driver Chilton was out of position on the approach to Tabac before banging wheels with Maldonado, the latter being sent uncontrollably into the TechPro barriers as a result.

Chilton, who was given a drive through penalty, revealed that he quickly apologized to Maldonado, and has drawn positives from his ultimate finishing position of 14th.

"Esteban Gutierrez made a late lunge into the chicane and I could see he was locked up so I had to take action to avoid him, which meant missing the chicane," explained Chilton. "I rejoined coming out of Turn 11 and the apex to Turn 12 was fast approaching. I was aware that someone was behind me but not alongside me.

"The stewards determined a drive-through penalty for me and I accept that decision. After the race I went to see Pastor to check he was OK. The incident made for a difficult rest of the race but all I could do was concentrate on the best result for the team and, problems aside, I think we have to be pleased with the end result."

Chilton's teammate, Jules Bianchi, retired from the race with a brake disc failure.

Buemi the key to Red Bull's Monaco turnaround
(GMM)  Test driver Sebastien Buemi was the key to Red Bull's turnaround on the streets of Monaco, it has emerged.

On Thursday in the Principality, the RB9 did not look like a competitive car.

"We were one second too slow," Dr Helmut Marko told Servus TV.

But by Saturday, Sebastian Vettel was disappointed to have just missed pole position.

Marko said Buemi, Red Bull's Swiss test driver, had turned no fewer than 400 laps in the simulator at Milton-Keynes, seeking a solution.

Buemi then headed to Monaco, and according to Auto Motor und Sport, he was spotted at Heathrow airport with two huge boxes of baggage -- reportedly new front wings.

"On Saturday we were on the pace," said Marko.

"After the initial problems, we are more than happy with the result -- we have been able to extend our lead in both championships," he added.

Valsecchi 'not yet' in line for Grosjean's seat
(GMM)  Lotus boss Eric Boullier is refusing to rule out Davide Valsecchi for a future in Romain Grosjean's seat.

Having only narrowly hung onto his drive for 2013, Frenchman Grosjean is back in the wars this week in the wake of his four crashes in Monaco.

He will start ten places down the Montreal grid for the Daniel Ricciardo incident, reinvigorating talk that boss and manager Boullier could finally lose patience and replace Grosjean with the reigning GP2 champion Valsecchi, a 26-year-old Italian.

Valsecchi was signed by Boullier for 2013 to be Lotus' new reserve driver.

"I don't wish anything bad against Grosjean," the Italian driver had said last December, "but if he's not there then I see myself as the favorite."

Now, in the wake of Grosjean's latest troubles, Boullier was asked if Valsecchi is once again in pole position for his F1 debut.

According to Sporting Life, he answered: "Not yet."

Instead, Boullier backed Grosjean but said he will sit down for talks with the 27-year-old.

"We want him to keep the pace and make sure he is back in control, like he was at the beginning of the season," said Boullier.

Prost resigned to Vettel's quadruple success
(GMM)  Alain Prost could see his unique tally of four world championships equaled by Sebastian Vettel in 2013.

Indeed, the possibility took a step forward in Monaco, when the German increased his lead over Kimi Raikkonen from just 4 points to 21.

Asked if it worries him that he might soon be only one of two quadruple world champions, French legend Prost said: "I've always told myself -- change the things you can change.

"And don't worry about those over which you have no control.  What should I do about it?" he told Germany's Welt newspaper.

"He will probably surpass me one day.

"When I lost my record for the most grand prix wins to Michael Schumacher, that was something else," the 58-year-old admitted.

"I was not happy about it.  If you're at the top, you want to stay there.

"But now, if I am the second, third or fourth most successful driver in formula one history, nothing changes," added Prost.

Prost admitted he rates Vettel highly, and doesn't detect any "serious" weaknesses in the 25-year-old Red Bull driver.

"In recent years, it was always said that he can only win races from the front," he said.  "Well, he has refuted that in the past season.

"I spoke with him last summer, when Fernando Alonso was far in front of him.  I said 'Can you do it?' and he answered 'Yes, clearly'.

"It takes this sort of conviction to be a great driver," added Prost.

He admitted, however, that Vettel's bad relationship with teammate Mark Webber could spoil the momentum.

Prost is famous for his toxic rivalry with Ayrton Senna, and admitted: "That can happen, yes.  I lost the title in 1990 because of Nigel Mansell.

"It can happen very quickly."

It is for that reason that Red Bull is reportedly considering pairing Vettel with his friend Kimi Raikkonen next year.

Prost insisted: "But when you are fighting for the title with his teammate, is he your friend?  My experience is quite the opposite."

Prost also commented on the controversial tire situation in F1, where Pirelli is expected to supply slightly altered rear tires in Canada next time out.

"There are three possibilities," he said.  "First, there is a safety problem, then this decision is absolutely correct.

"Secondly, in future there will be two or three pitstops instead of four, which I also think would be good because the races have become very confusing.

"But third, if it (the changes) is due to the influence of external forces, that would be a disaster," said Prost.

"I don't know which is true, but two of the three alternatives are positive, so I think that's a passable statistic," he laughed.

More seriously, however, Prost was asked if it is not fair that the changes might positively affect Mercedes and Red Bull, and hurt Lotus and Ferrari.

"I know," he answered.  "But I believe that this change will not change so much.  Lotus and Ferrari will not lose the advantage that they have."

Suspension failure caused Massa's crash in the Monaco GP
Ferrari has revealed that Felipe Massa's crash in the Monaco Grand Prix was caused by suspension failure.

Although the accident appeared identical to his one in free practice on Saturday, which was caused by driver error, Ferrari technical chief Pat Fry confirmed after the race that the second shunt was caused by an unspecified mechanical problem. Following detailed investigations by the team, a statement issued by Ferrari said: "The findings validated the first impressions of the engineers, confirming that the accident was caused by an element of the front left suspension breaking.

"With all the required inspections completed to analyze what happened at the Monegasque circuit, the car assembly department can now start work in preparing the car for the Canadian Grand Prix."

Team principal Stefano Domenicali said: "The best news to come out of the Monaco weekend is that Felipe is fine.

"Two big accidents, just over twenty four hours apart and all he has to show for it is a bit of muscle pain. Fortunately there were no other injuries."

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