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Latest F1 news in brief - Wednesday
  • Andretti backs giving Ricciardo a shot
    Sirotkin to attend Monza race with Sauber
  • 2014 Austrian GP race date still moving
  • Di Resta, in Italy, admits Ferrari 'a dream'
  • F1 legend Andretti backs Ricciardo move
  • Lotus owner committed to F1 for now - Lopez
  • Tavares exit could impact Renault in F1 - reports
  • Lauda to receive Ecclestone award
  • Simply ready to race
  • Autodromo di Monza: three corners in detail

Sirotkin to attend Monza race with Sauber
(GMM)  Sauber will have a fourth driver on hand this weekend at Monza.

Always present for the Swiss team at races are Nico Hulkenberg and Esteban Gutierrez, and also the 'third' or reserve driver Robin Frijns.

But Speed Week reports that, making his paddock debut in Sauber colors in Italy this weekend will be Sergey Sirotkin.

The teenage Russian, although currently without a F1 super license, has signed a contract to race for the Hinwil based team in 2014, as part of Sauber's Russian rescue deal.

Sirotkin, who turned 18 late in August, will have "only three things to do at Monza," according to Speed Week correspondent Mathias Brunner.

"Learn, learn and learn."

2014 Austrian GP race date still moving
(GMM)  The formula one calendar for 2014 appears still to be in a state of flux.

Initially, when the new agreement between Red Bull magnate Dietrich Mateschitz and Bernie Ecclestone was announced, it was said next year's Austrian grand prix would take place on July 6.

Then it emerged that the date had been brought forward by a week, to June 29.

"This is no problem," a local hotelier told Kleine Zeitung newspaper.

"We had expected this, so we just move all the bookings in parallel."

APA news agency now reports that yet another change to the provisional Austrian grand prix date for 2014 has been made.

The race at the refurbished Red Bull-Ring has now sped forward by another week, to June 22.

"According to what we know now," a Red Bull spokesperson confirmed, "the race will - at a probability of 99 per cent - take place on the weekend of June 22."

Di Resta, in Italy, admits Ferrari 'a dream'
(GMM)  Paul di Resta has been in Italy in recent days.

That might not sound like noteworthy news, particularly in the days leading into the country's annual grand prix.

But with a race cockpit at fabled Ferrari potentially available for 2014, di Resta's pre-Monza holiday destination might actually be significant.

Actually, probably not.  The Scot has been vacationing in the hamlet town of Corigliano Sessa Aurunca, which is located more than 500 kilometers from Ferrari's Maranello headquarters.

Not only that, the town is reportedly the ancestral home of di Resta's grandfather, Felice, who moved to Scotland some six decades ago.

Nevertheless, when questioned in Italy this week, the 27-year-old did not deny his ambition is to move to Ferrari.

"Driving for Ferrari would be a dream for me and my family," he is quoted by Ansa news agency.

"I feel at home (in Italy)," he smiled.

"But for now I am focused on Force India and the grand prix at Monza, where I want to do well," he added.

F1 legend Andretti backs Ricciardo move
(GMM)  Mario Andretti, F1's world champion of 1978, has backed Red Bull's decision to sign Daniel Ricciardo.

Some, including the German newspapers Welt and Bild, have criticized the signing of young "nobody" Australian Ricciardo over a champion candidate like Kimi Raikkonen.

But Andretti insisted: "I can understand the decision absolutely.

"They have this training team, Toro Rosso, that has already created Sebastian Vettel.

"So why would they have a training team if not for situations like this?" said the 73-year-old, referring to Mark Webber's departure for Le Mans.

"This is a great signal to all young racing drivers that there is a way without having a big name," Andretti told Welt.

And, anyway, some take serious issue with the description of 24-year-old Ricciardo as a "nobody".

"He is one of the most talented drivers," said Colin Kolles, who was Ricciardo's first F1 team boss at HRT.

"His driving style is similar to the young Fernando Alonso and Ayrton Senna," he added.

However, even if Ricciardo does live up to that promise, it is unlikely he will be fully up to speed by the very first race of 2014 in Australia.

Dr Helmut Marko has said the Australian will be given a grace period of "three to five races", by which time he will be expected to get "at least enough points for the constructors' championship".

Indeed, while Marko has revealed Ricciardo's contract is for "at least three years", Italy's Autosprint said the deal would include an initial assessment at the mid-point of next season.

One thing Ricciardo can bank on, however, is a pay rise.

Andrew Heathcote, rich list editor at the Australian business magazine BRW, said the driver's current $600,000 salary will rise to "about $2 million" now that he is at Red Bull.

That is an awful lot cheaper than Raikkonen, but another factor may also have played against the laconic Finn.

"A very important consideration is the new set of rules next year," Marko told Austria's Servus TV.

"This requires a lot of work with the technology and in the simulator, for both drivers.  This made a difference for Daniel," he said, perhaps hinting that blase Raikkonen's work ethic would not have been as good.

Finally, Red Bull designer Adrian Newey played down the saga about Ricciardo's wide hips, insisting the 24-year-old will fit in the 2014 car.

"Actually it's slightly easier now," said the Briton, "as he is not as tall as Mark."

Lotus owner committed to F1 for now - Lopez
(GMM)  At least for now, team owner Gerard Lopez insists he is committed to formula one.

In the past weeks, he has consistently played down the importance of the confirmed news that Lotus, the Enstone based team formerly known as Renault and Benetton, has debts of EUR 120 million.

He told Russia's f1news.ru that the actual number is not significant to Genii, the investment firm he leads.

So, asked if he is sticking with F1 and with the name Lotus, Lopez answered: "I think so.

"I have already said that we will stay in formula one as long as we are interested.  That was the case two years ago, also last year, and nothing has changed.

"However, not everything depends on us.  I cannot say what formula one will be like in three to five years.

"Our interest depends a lot on whether we are among the best teams in the championship.  To win, to fight the best -- this is our main motivation to stay," he insisted.

Indeed, he said Lotus cannot be compared to Mercedes or Ferrari, given that Genii "do not sell cars".

F1, for an investment firm, "is a platform, not an advertising space", said Lopez.

"Generally, having a formula one team in itself is definitely not a project that can bring profits.  For us it is enough that the team is just not unprofitable," he added.

For that reason, Lopez said, Lotus is not for sale.

"We do not hide that we are looking for partners, we talk about it openly, but we are not talking about a sale of the team.  It's not the same thing," he insisted.

Tavares exit could impact Renault in F1 - reports
(GMM)  A management reshuffle at Renault could impact the French carmaker's formula one program, according to media reports.

Renault, whose racing arm Renault Sport supplies engines to multiple F1 teams including world champions Red Bull, has announced that chief operating officer Carlos Tavares is stepping down to pursue "personal projects".

"In order to reinforce Renault's industrial and commercial performances, an adaptation of the management's organization will soon be decided and announced," Renault added.

A report in the Business Standard reports that motor racing enthusiast Tavares' exit coincides with "tough times" for Renault's road car operations "in the European market".

Another report at Racecar Engineering added: "It is almost certain that this change of leadership will have some impact on Renault's motor sport activity."

Lauda to receive Ecclestone award
Three-time Formula 1 World Champion Niki Lauda will be presented with the 2013 'Bernie Ecclestone Award' ahead of this weekend's Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

The prize came to life in 2011 when Alberto Bombassei, Chairman of brake supplier Brembo, recognized Ecclestone's entrepreneurial efforts. For the following year, the F1 supremo opted to reward other personalities in conjunction with the company.

Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo was the first to be recognized, with Lauda – who is to receive the trophy on Sunday afternoon – the next name added to the list.

Simply ready to race
Infiniti Red Bull Racing is proud to welcome Italian Supermarket chain Simply as an official race partner for this weekend's Italian Grand Prix in Monza. With more than 1,500 stores across Italy and more than 9,500 employees, Simply has been providing quality produce, convenience and high standards since 1961.

The partnership means that Simply's logo will feature on the front wing of the RB9, as well as on the race suits of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber. The agreement renews a relationship which began last year, when the Simply chain featured on the RB8 in Monza.

Autodromo di Monza: three corners in detail
Pit straight
The pit straight is one of four bursts of full throttle on the circuit. With the highest top speeds of the season also requiring the longest gear ratios through necessity, the RS27 will run throughout the entire rev range during these stretches. The drops between the gears are forcibly relatively large, which means that the entire power curve is tested at Monza, and not just the top end as commonly believed. The main challenge is to have the engine touch the rev limiter late on the straight: hit the limiter too early and you are a sitting duck, passed easily by those close enough behind. Go too long and the result is the same, too slow at the end of the straight. They may look easy, but the straights really aren’t – any mistakes in gear ratio selection will become evident very quickly, and replicated during each period of wide open throttle.

Variante della Roggia
Although the straights of Monza justifiably hog the limelight, the chicanes also demand close attention. The first two require the drivers to brake from over 300kph to under 80kph, and then accelerate back up again to over 300kph. Drivers try to cut the chicanes to shorten the lap, but in doing so they also run over the curbs. When they do so the car can take off, if only for a split second, unloading the drivetrain and sending the engine crashing into the rev limiter. Engineers will also play with the overrun settings to improve rear stability under braking which, combined with the lowest downforce settings of the year, is of paramount importance. In fact the chicanes and their curbs, which take less than two seconds to negotiate, are usually the cause of the biggest overall lap time loss if the car is not set up correctly.

The Parabolica
The Parabolica is probably the trickiest corner on the circuit, a radial turn taken in fourth gear at close to 180kph. The engine must provide a roughly constant level of torque throughout, similar in essence to the last corner at Budapest but much faster. This is a relatively unusual set of circumstances for an F1 engine, with most corners simply being “point and squirt”, so Renault’s engineers will ensure that the RS27 continues to produce the exact torque requested by the driver throughout corner exit. There cannot be any sudden changes in the power delivery, which can destabilize the car and incur a lap time loss. Equally the driver must be very precise with the throttle pedal, teasing it to the just right level to keep the car balanced throughout the corner.

Remi Taffin, Renault Sport F1 head of track operations:
Monza represents the ultimate test for an engine’s outright performance and reliability. Over three quarters of the lap is spent at full throttle and the maximum speed goes over 320kph four times per lap. In fact the RS27 will be at full throttle for nearly 20secs in two sections of the track – twice as long as a drag car strip. It is only the grip generated from the wings stop the cars from lifting – a small plane would take off in the time and the speed reached down the pit straight.

The cars will also be at the highest average speed of the year; very close to the 240kph mark. Only three chicanes break the flow of the lap so drivers try to straight-line them as much as possible, however this places its own demands on the engines as the drivers ride the curbs, momentarily unloading the internals of the units. The phases of heavy braking and acceleration run huge loads through every part so we tend to use a new engine where possible.

Even though the engine is running at full throttle for three quarters of the lap, fuel consumption is actually one of the lowest of the year and the race starting fuel load is one of the lowest of the season. It is actually the most fuel efficient of the year as the engine is working at a largely consistent level and the car is running a highly efficient downforce package.

However this is really the only ‘easy’ thing about Monza for engines! It’s the race where you’ll see every engine engineer looking even more nervous than usual…

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