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DATE News (chronologically)
Latest F1 news in brief - Wednesday
  • Ferrari begins 3-day test
    Ecclestone still wants F1 future for India - Chandhok
  • Marussia wants to keep both drivers for 2014
  • Sainz Jr not ready for F1 - Tost
  • Tost wants one more Toro Rosso season for Ricciardo
  • Ferrari begins three-day test in France
  • Ferrari 'not pleased' with latest Pirelli shakeup
  • Investment key to Raikkonen staying at Lotus

Ecclestone still wants F1 future for India - Chandhok
(GMM)  Dropping off the 2014 calendar does not mean India's F1 dream is over.

That is the claim of Karun Chandhok, one of only two Indians to ever race in formula one, and the son of the Indian motor sport chief Vicky.

Chandhok, who contested grands prix for HRT and Caterham (nee Lotus) a few years ago, was reportedly involved in the latest talks between his father and Bernie Ecclestone over the troubled future of the Indian grand prix.

"We are trying to work out a way for the Indian GP to coexist in a now packed calendar, for both sides -- (organizer) Jaypee Group and the Formula One Group," sports car driver Chandhok told the Indian broadcaster NDTV.

It has been confirmed that India will not be on next year's calendar, but that it will return early in 2015.

Chandhok insisted: "I was on call with Bernie earlier today and what we've come to know that everyone must understand is that both sides want an Indian grand prix."

He said the idea of 'rotating' races - or two host countries alternating a single annual F1 date - is possible as more and more grand prix venues scramble to join the calendar.

"However," Chandhok said, "then you have to figure out whether hosting a race every alternate year will be a viable option for all host countries or not.

"Let's not forget that a lot of investment is done for hosting a race, for keeping the safety norms in place.  Does it then makes sense to invest so much on the circuits just for one year?

"There will be much deliberation on such matters," added Chandhok, who raised the possibility of India sharing its date with Malaysia.

He said: "But much of it is just speculation.  We just need to see how the cards unfold."

Marussia wants to keep both drivers for 2014
(GMM)  Marussia would like to keep its current race drivers in 2014, boss John Booth has revealed.

Recently, just as Pat Symonds was set to announce his departure for Williams, Marussia's former technical boss admitted 2013 drivers Max Chilton and Jules Bianchi had left the team with "tied hands".

"We need to have drivers who also bring money," he lamented.

But when asked if the inexperienced 2013 duo had done enough to secure their seats for another season together, boss Booth insisted: "Absolutely.

"I'd like to keep them both for next year," he is quoted by Sky Sports.

"At the moment it depends on a variety of (contract) options and option expires and things like that."

But Booth insisted that, despite Marussia taking a "massive gamble" on two rookie drivers, Chilton and Bianchi have done a good job.

"It's been really impressive as to how few mistakes they've both made," he said.

"With two rookies it could have finished in a right old mess, but you can count on one hand the mistakes made between them."

Briton Chilton is substantially backed by his wealthy father, while Bianchi is the cream of Ferrari's driver development 'academy'.

The Frenchman's seat seems secure in light of Marussia's new engine deal with the Italian marque.

But Booth insists: "The two deals are totally separate.  The powertrain deal has no bearing on Jules' future at all."

Sainz Jr not ready for F1 - Tost
(GMM)  Team boss Franz Tost has played down rumors Carlos Sainz Jr is ready to make the step up to formula one with Toro Rosso.

Spaniard Sainz, whose namesake and father is the world rally legend, impressed recently as he tested for both the Faenza based team and big-brother Red Bull Racing during the young driver test at Silverstone.

Afterwards, the 18-year-old said he now has "a small percentage chance" of stepping up to F1 next year.

And then in Hungary, although the meeting triggered the Fernando Alonso-to-Red Bull rumors, Sainz's manager Luis Garcia Abad was spotted in conversation with Red Bull team boss Christian Horner.

Toro Rosso chief Tost, however, suggested Sainz Jr is not yet ready for F1.  Indeed, it is believed much more likely that, if the team has a vacancy for 2014, it will be filled by Antonio Felix da Costa.

"I told him (Sainz) that he needs to win races in GP3," Tost is quoted by Speed Week.

"He is 18 years old now.  I assume that he could be at formula one maturity in about two or three years.

"He has not yet attained the results in GP3 that are expected of him," he added.

Tost wants one more Toro Rosso season for Ricciardo
(GMM)  Franz Tost has admitted he would be happy if Daniel Ricciardo spends another year at Toro Rosso.

Australian Ricciardo has earned a place in contention for the departing Mark Webber's 2014 seat at Red Bull.

But also in the running is Kimi Raikkonen, amid F1's hottest rumor that Fernando Alonso also might want to be Sebastian Vettel's teammate next year.

But Toro Rosso team boss Tost told Speed Week he sees "no reason" why Red Bull shouldn't choose 23-year-old Ricciardo over his title-winning rivals.

"Personally," he admitted, "I would rather see him get another year in the maturing process at Toro Rosso.

"I mean, we are talking here about Red Bull Racing, the champion team of the last three years," Tost said.

"Daniel has never been on a formula one podium, he has not won a race -- because our car was not good enough.

"That's the only negative I see for him.  Otherwise, I think he will have great successes in formula one."

On the other hand, Tost insisted a young Sebastian Vettel was not so different to Ricciardo when the now reigning triple world champion stepped up from Toro Rosso.

"The biggest difference between Vettel and Ricciardo was that Vettel went to Red Bull when it was not a winning team.  They grew up together.

"But Ricciardo must immediately be on the podium and fighting for wins.

"Perhaps the chance has come a year too early," added Tost.

Ferrari begins three-day test in France
(GMM)  Ferrari has begun a three-day test at the former French grand prix venue Magny Cours.

That is the claim of the authoritative Italian sports newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport, reporting that Pedro de la Rosa is at the wheel of a 2011-specification single seater.

The report said Ferrari is conducting the test privately, not in conjunction with F1's tire supplier Pirelli, in the wake of Mercedes' highly-controversial Pirelli test with a 2013 car at Barcelona in May.

Demonstration Pirelli tires are being used by Ferrari, the report added, while Spain's El Mundo Deportivo said the team is working to improve the correlation between the wind tunnel, the simulator and the track.

Ferrari 'not pleased' with latest Pirelli shakeup
(GMM)  The big news following the race debut of Pirelli's latest tire specification is that Mercedes' long struggles could finally be over.

Ferrari, on the other hand, thinks the move to the new specification combining the 2013 compounds with the 2012 Kevlar construction has hurt the Italian team's performance.

"There is no doubt that it will be better for some than it is for others," Mercedes' Ross Brawn is quoted by Brazil's Totalrace, "but I still have no idea where we are."

The tempting analysis, of course, is to surmise that Lewis Hamilton's first win of the 2013 season, from pole position in Hungary, showed that Mercedes is the big winner of the tire shakeup.

Brawn warns: "But it doesn't mean the same will happen in Spa."

But even Paul Hembery, Pirelli's motor sport boss, thinks Hungary might be evidence Mercedes' troubles are finally over.

"The big difference is that they didn't have the overheating problems that we saw them have on the rear tires in the past 18 months," he said.

"If they've solved those problems, Mercedes will be very strong in the second half of the season," Hembery added.

At the same time, in a post-race media statement, Ferrari made clear that the new 2012/2013 tires "definitely did not suit" the F138 in Hungary.

"Pirelli's choice contributed to artificially altering the hierarchy in the field, something that has not pleased the president (Luca di Montezemolo) or the men of the Scuderia," Ferrari added.

"This topic will be the subject of further debate in the near future," the statement concluded.

A slightly more cautious team boss, Stefano Domenicali, told Totalrace: "We need to understand if it has to do with the structure of the tire, or whether it will depend on the compounds that are taken to each race.

"What is clear is that Mercedes have solved their problems with these new tires," said the Italian.

Investment key to Raikkonen staying at Lotus
Lotus's hopes of convincing Kimi Raikkonen to stay next year are set for a boost later this week, with the team hoping to finalize its investment deal with Infinity Racing.

The Enstone-based outfit announced recently that the group of investors were to buy a 35 per cent stake in the team to help provide a much more secure financial setup.

Team principal Eric Boullier hopes that matters will be finalized in the next few days. “I think by the end of this week everything should be clear," Boullier told AUTOSPORT.

"The deal gives us more than optimism for the future.

"It gives us the means to bring all the resources to go to the next step in terms of stability, size and, let's say power."

"We are not the biggest team after the big four, and clearly the strategy we had since the beginning is that you have build in cycles.

"We put everything all in to make the team better, and now we are better we can attract sponsors and investors. That is what we are doing now.

"It obviously takes more time than expected, but we are talking about a big deal.

"And once this deal is cleared, which it should be this week, we know for the next years, many years, the platform will be one step up."

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