Latest F1 news in brief - Saturday
- Boycott could cost drivers F1 licenses - Ecclestone
- Host of 2014 Spanish GP still unclear - Ecclestone
- Susie Wolff to test Williams at Silverstone - reports
- Ecclestone considers buying Nurburgring
- Fire in Williams' garage
Boycott could cost drivers F1 licenses - Ecclestone
(GMM) F1 drivers risk losing their mandatory FIA super licenses if a boycott of this weekend's German grand prix goes ahead.
That is the warning at the Nurburgring of F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone.
"I can understand their position," the 82-year-old told Germany's Die Welt newspaper.
"It's not Pirelli's neck, or my neck, on the line.
"But there is a big difference between thinking something and going through with it.
"If they do boycott the race, which wouldn't help anyone or solve the problems any faster, then they could lose their super license," Ecclestone warned.
The inimitable Kimi Raikkonen, not a member of the Grand Prix Drivers' Association, counted himself out of any boycott threat.
"Everyone has their opinion," the Finn is quoted by Brazil's Totalrace.
"I will race when I want and that's it."
Mercifully, the quick-fire changes made by Pirelli and the FIA since Silverstone have apparently solved the tire-exploding problem, as three smooth hours of practice went ahead on Friday.
"It's extremely unlikely that those problems will come back," Mercedes' Nico Rosberg said on Friday.
Ecclestone backed the embattled Pirelli.
"A tire manufacturer, no matter what it's name, cannot develop reliable tires if it cannot test properly," he said.
He likened Silverstone 2013 to Imola 1994, when Ayrton Senna's death put the issue of driver safety right at the top of the agenda.
"It (Imola) was extremely sad, but it saved many lives afterwards. So now it's the same with the tire problem.
"Thank god no one was injured, but we must quickly learn the lessons from it. That's the only positive (from the tire-exploding saga)," the Briton said.
It is possible the once-controversial shift from steel to Kevlar-belted tires will shuffle the pecking order, but Lewis Hamilton thinks any change will be minor.
"Force India aren't just going to start winning, that sort of thing," he is quoted by the Mirror.
But Force India's Adrian Sutil - another driver who like Raikkonen will not necessarily join a boycott - thinks the change of tires for the Nurburgring and beyond is still controversial.
"Well," he is quoted by Speed Week, "it is clear that the tires are made for the top teams.
"That's how formula one has always been. Too bad, because we are punished for our good work, the others get their new tires and go back to the front, and formula one is boring again," Sutil moaned.
Host of 2014 Spanish GP still unclear - Ecclestone
(GMM) Bernie Ecclestone has shed little light on the uncertainty surrounding the identity of next year's Spanish grand prix host.
Reportedly, a verbal agreement between the regional presidents should see Valencia and Barcelona annually alternate a single Spanish F1 race from now on.
The port city of Valencia, absent from the 2013 schedule, was set to kick off the arrangement in 2014, but the Circuit de Catalunya has already put tickets on sale for a Spanish grand prix next year.
"If they are doing that," Valencia vice president Jose Ciscar said, "you will have to ask Catalunya as to why."
Asked on Friday at the Nurburgring to clarify the identity of next year's Spanish grand prix host, F1 chief executive Ecclestone answered: "I don't know yet.
"We have to wait," he is quoted by the Spanish sports daily AS.
"We'll see what happens," Ecclestone added.
Susie Wolff to test Williams at Silverstone - reports
(GMM) Susie Wolff will drive Williams' 2013 car during the young driver test at Silverstone later this month.
The news is being reported by Germany's Bild newspaper and the specialist Auto Motor und Sport, while her husband and Williams co-owner Toto Wolff confirmed: "She is tremendously glad about it."
Scotland-born Wolff, 30, is already the famous British team's test driver, but her participation at Silverstone - her first proper circuit test in a F1 car - was not assured until now.
The German publications said her test in the Renault-powered FW35 will be the first official F1 action for a female driver since Giovanna Amati in 1992.
Auto Motor und Sport said Wolff, a former DTM driver who until now has been limited to simulator and aerodynamic test runs, will drive on the first of the three-day test.
Meanwhile, Italiaracing reports that the FIA has backtracked on an earlier stipulation that race drivers will be limited to only tire testing at the Silverstone test.
Earlier, it was thought only the inexperienced 'young drivers' will be allowed to focus on real car development.
The clarification follows Fernando Alonso's claim that he is not interested in simply testing tires at Silverstone, because he is "not a Pirelli test driver".
An unimpressed Pirelli chief Paul Hembery hit back: "I'm sorry for him, but Vettel and the other drivers will be there," he is quoted by Italy's Tuttosport.
Ecclestone considers buying Nurburgring
(GMM) Bernie Ecclestone has revealed he is thinking about securing the future of the Nurburgring's formula one race, by buying the embattled circuit.
Weighed under by financial problems and now for sale, this weekend's round at the famous track in the Eifel only survived on the 2013 calendar because the F1 chief executive heavily reduced his sanctioning fee.
Asked by Die Welt newspaper about the Nurburgring's future beyond the German grand prix on Sunday, Ecclestone answered: "It's quite possible that I'll buy it (the circuit).
"At least I'm thinking about it.
"If I do that, it would mean the German grand prix is secure in the future, taking into account of course the existing contracts with Hockenheim."
The 82-year-old Briton said he will make his final decision "in a few months".
"At any rate," Ecclestone insisted, "the German grand prix next year will be at Hockenheim. There are binding contracts and I will keep to them."
The F1 supremo also said he is hoping "two new races" in America will complement the now annual Austin race, "namely in Long Beach and New York (New Jersey)".
And Ecclestone said F1 is also planning races in Thailand, as well as Baku -- the capital of Azerbaijan.
Fire in Williams' garage
At 08.30 this morning the Williams F1 Team suffered a KERS failure on Pastor Maldonado’s car. The car was in the garage at the time. The resulting smoke was contained quickly and efficiently by the team and circuit fire marshals. No personnel were injured.
The team are currently investigating the cause of the failure, and assessing any further damage to Pastor’s car.
More information will be released once the team are in a position to do so.