Latest F1 news in brief - Friday (2nd Update) UPDATE #2 Latest updates shown in red below.
12/06/13 Updates shown in red below.
Father, ex-manager reveals Hamilton screwed him
|Lewis Hamilton screwed his own father out of $millions|
- McLaren denies Dennis power struggle on cards
- Hamilton tells Ricciardo to 'attack' Vettel
- Grosjean plays down reports of 2014 Lotus car delay
- Van der Garde a candidate for Caterham, Force India
- Infiniti Red Bull Racing confirms 2014 test driver line-up
- Caterham eyes established star for 2014
- Ecclestone Reveals Ferrari Has Veto Over His Successor
- FIA confirms Todt staying president New
- Fry doubts big engine differences in 2014 New
Father, ex-manager reveals Hamilton screwed him
(GMM) 2008 world champion Lewis Hamilton never paid his father and former manager Anthony, it has emerged in court this week.
Hamilton Snr has been testifying in London as he sues another former charge, Scottish driver Paul di Resta, for wrongful dismissal and loss of earnings.
But arguably the most interesting details were divulged in court on Thursday, when it emerged not only that
Mercedes driver Hamilton never paid Anthony as his career-making manager, but that the 28-year-old driver reneged on a $4 million 'gift' to his father after they split in 2010.
"I never asked Lewis for a penny," Anthony Hamilton told the court.
"When he won the world championship in 2008, he thanked me and that was all I needed for 18 years of graft."
Hamilton Snr, who earned his living through his own IT company and has a mortgage on his home, revealed that his son decided to fire him because he thought, "You know what dad, I am fed up listening to you".
But the winner of 22 grands prix did promise to make his father a cash gift, believed to be in the amount of between $3 and 4 million.
"Maybe he was feeling guilty and wanted to say thank you to everybody," Anthony said.
But Hamilton Snr admitted that, as their relationship deteriorated to barely speaking terms, his son changed his mind.
Asked why, Anthony said: "I don't have the answer to that. It just never happened. I am comfortable with it.
It's not my business.
"If he says he's going to do something and he doesn't that's his loss. It's not my place to go money-grabbing."
McLaren denies Dennis power struggle on cards
(GMM) McLaren has denied claims former team boss Ron Dennis is shaping up to take more control of the Woking based company.
Amid the famous British team's woefully bad 2013 season, there have been rumblings Martin Whitmarsh's place as team principal might not be secure.
The rumors suggested Dennis, McLaren's long-time team boss and continuing non-executive chairman of the parent company, was shaping up to grasp back control of the F1 outfit.
This week, the business reporter for British broadcaster Sky, Mark Klein man, reported that Dennis was considering upping his power by buying out fellow McLaren co-owner Mansour Ojjeh's 25 per cent stake.
"Mr. Dennis is said to be distressed at the current performance of the (team)," Klein man wrote, adding that a power struggle with Whitmarsh might ensue.
He added that Dennis might be looking to China to help finance the deal.
The 66-year-old this week joined UK prime minister David Cameron on an official delegation to the world's most populous country.
"No country is more important to my global vision for McLaren than China," Dennis said in a statement.
A McLaren spokesperson, however, played down Kleinman's claims, denying Ojjeh, who recently had a double lung transplant, has "expressed any desire to sell" his stake.
"It's business as usual," the spokesperson is quoted by the Telegraph.
Hamilton tells Ricciardo to 'attack' Vettel
(GMM) Lewis Hamilton has advised Daniel Ricciardo to "attack" his high-profile teammate from the very first corner of 2014.
As a rookie in 2007, Briton Hamilton was paired at McLaren with the reigning world champion Fernando Alonso.
But Hamilton got his grand prix career off to a surprising start, overtaking Alonso at the very first corner in Melbourne.
"When Ron (Dennis) told me I would be much slower than Fernando, I thought 'He's wrong'," Hamilton is quoted by Brazil's Totalrace.
"Attacking from the first race was one of the best things I could have done in formula one," he added.
Although Ricciardo has more experience, Hamilton likens the start of his own career to the Australian's
graduation to Red Bull for 2014, where he will be paired with the reigning quadruple world champion, Sebastian Vettel.
Hamilton says Red Bull's promotion of Ricciardo "makes sense", even though the energy drink-owned squad could have picked a higher-profile name.
"It was a surprise to me when it was announced," Hamilton said, "but as they have a team just for the young guys to gain experience, it is good to see that it is working.
"He will come in with a good car, in a seat that many others would like to have -- not me, because I already have a good car," he insisted.
"So I'm cheering for him and hoping that he can handle the pressure -- because it is always very high when a young guy comes into a top team. But I'm sure he will do well."
Asked how Ricciardo should handle the early part of his career alongside Vettel, Hamilton urged him to attack, saying that he would "love to see" Ricciardo emulate his own feat of 2007 by passing Vettel at the very first corner.
"He does not need to do that, but it would be fantastic for any driver," said Hamilton. "Hopefully I'll see it happen in my rear mirror."
Grosjean plays down reports of 2014 Lotus car delay
(GMM) Romain Grosjean has played down concerns Lotus is way behind its major rivals in simulator testing of the 2014 car.
While the Enstone based team's top rivals including Red Bull, Ferrari, Mercedes and McLaren have been computer simulating their new V6-powered cars for months, a different picture has emerged from the Lotus camp.
Although highly competitive in 2013, there have also been reports of financial troubles at Lotus, amid rumors the crucial Quantum buy-in has failed.
Indeed, the team's preferred choice of driver for 2014, Nico Hulkenberg, has signed instead for the less competitive Force India, while Lotus replaces the Ferrari-bound Kimi Raikkonen with the lucratively-sponsored Pastor Maldonado.
And another troubling sign emerged from Lotus' headquarters this week, when test driver Nicolas Prost tweeted that Monday was the "last day" of simulator testing of the 2013-specification E21.
"Now flat out on 2014 car!" the Frenchman added.
The team's continuing race driver Romain Grosjean has also admitted that he is yet to drive the 2014 Lotus in the simulator.
"I hope to do this in late December," he told Brazil's Totalrace.
Asked why Lotus' preparations have been so delayed, Grosjean answered: "It is because it (the simulator) is a new tool for us.
"We are still working to make it as accurate as possible.
"When we get this synchronicity between the behavior of the car on the track and in the simulator, we can change the focus to the car of next year," he explained.
Van der Garde a candidate for Caterham, Force India
(GMM) Giedo van der Garde has emerged as a strong player at the tail-end of the 2014 'silly season'.
At the final races of the 2013 season, strong paddock rumors suggested the Dutchman's backing going forwards was stronger than that of his French teammate Charles Pic.
Indeed, in the Dutch press this week, van der Garde's wealthy backer Marcel Boekhoorn sounded confident the 28-year-old has a strong future in F1.
"Negotiations are underway, but it will work out," he insisted.
"I assure you: Giedo will be on the grid next year -- 100 per cent for sure," Boekhoorn told the Quote publication.
Off the back of those rumors, it emerged this week that 2013 Sauber driver Esteban Gutierrez, backed at the struggling Swiss team this year by Telmex, had visited Caterham's UK factory.
That would be bad news for Heikki Kovalainen, who was hoping to return to the grid full-time next year with Caterham, despite his lack of sponsorship.
But van der Garde might not be staying at Caterham after all.
Dutch businessman Michiel Mol is a key shareholder at Force India, who are yet to name Nico Hulkenberg's teammate for 2014.
Mol is quoted as saying countryman van der Garde is in the running.
"The opportunity is there that Giedo could come to us to drive," he said.
"I would find that very appealing, but although I do have an interest in Force India, I do not have a say this is a decision of the management.
"All I can do is convey my enthusiasm about Giedo, and I do so frequently," smiled Mol.
Infiniti Red Bull Racing confirms 2014 test driver line-up
Infiniti Red Bull Racing is pleased to announce that Sebastien Buemi and Antonio Felix da Costa will make up the team’s test and reserve driver line-up in 2014.
For Sebastien, 2014 will represent a third consecutive year in the role of Test and Reserve Driver at the team. The Swiss racer first filled the role in 2008 before graduating to an F1 race seat with Scuderia Toro Rosso in 2009. In his 55 grands prix with our sister team he scored 29 championship points and completed over 13,000km across more than 2,600 laps of racing.
Since returning to Infiniti Red Bull Racing as test and reserve driver in 2012, he has mixed team duties with sportscar racing, making his Le Mans 24-Hours debut in the same year. In 2013, an expanded World Endurance Championship program saw him and his team-mates take victory at the final round in Bahrain and score three other podium finishes, including second place at Le Mans.
Antonio Felix da Costa, meanwhile, already has experience of the Test and Reserve Driver role at the team, having substituted for Sebastien at a few races during the 2013 season. The Portuguese racer also has extensive experience of Infiniti Red Bull Racing F1 machinery having tested for the team at the 2013 Young Drivers’ Test in Silverstone, the 2012 Young Drivers’ Test in Abu Dhabi and having conducted a number of show car runs for the team during the past year.
In 2013 Antonio raced in the Renault Renault 3.5 series, taking three wins on his way to third place in the championship. He also backed up his 2012 Macau Grand Prix victory with second place in this year’s edition of the prestigious F3 race.
Confirming the team’s test driver line-up, Infiniti Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner said: “It’s great to be able to announce the signing of Sebastien and Antonio for 2014. Next year sees the biggest change to the Formula One regulations for some time and the return of multiple in-season tests. To therefore be able to call on two such capable drivers is of huge benefit to the team.
“In Sebastien we have a great resource, a driver with extensive grand prix experience and that will be invaluable. Antonio, on the other hand, is an up-and-coming talent with whom we already have a good working relationship. I’m sure that his contribution will be just as important during what is sure to be an intensely busy season.”
Caterham eyes established star for 2014
Caterham is hoping it can sign an established Formula 1 star to lead its 2014 lineup alongside a less experienced teammate.
The team hired race winners Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli for its first campaign under the Team Lotus banner in 2010, but this season had rookie Giedo van der Garde alongside second-year driver Charles Pic.
Kovalainen stayed on as a reserve driver after losing his race seat this season, but has been strongly linked to a return to a frontline Caterham drive next year.
Van der Garde is believed to have a better chance than Pic of being kept on. Mexican Esteban Gutierrez reportedly visited Caterham's Leafield, UK base on Wednesday.
Caterham team boss Cyril Abiteboul said the aim is to have a balanced driver pairing for 2014.
"A combination of experience and younger blood is something that will make sense," he said. "As Caterham, we are committed to young people, to young talent. So I think that will stay.
"Experience is nice to have because it gives everyone confidence in terms of feedback and analysis, because next year we will be completely blind at the start. Of course there will be plenty of data, but there will be so much information to digest that it may be useful to have a driver who gives proper orientation just to save you time.
"What I don't want to have is the excuse that, 'It is not the car, it is the driver.' A driver who we know is capable is something we would like to have." More at Racer.com
Ecclestone Reveals Ferrari Has Veto Over His Successor
F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone has revealed that Ferrari "has a veto over who will succeed him as the boss of Formula One," according to Christian Sylt for CNN.
The British billionaire has managed F1's commercial rights since '78 "but there has recently been speculation over who could replace him" as CEO. Ecclestone revealed that Ferrari "needs to give consent to his successor, a detail that is written in the prospectus for the stalled flotation of F1 on the Singapore stock exchange."
Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo also sits on F1's nomination committee, whose responsibility is to "review and recommend candidates for appointments to the Board ..." according to the prospectus. A Ferrari spokesperson declined to give additional comment and said, "It is premature at the moment to discuss this topic further."
As F1's controlling shareholder, CVC "would also be closely involved with choosing Ecclestone's successor." CNN
FIA confirms Todt staying president
(GMM) Jean Todt's continuing role as FIA president was confirmed officially on Friday.
Last month, it became clear the Frenchman would not be dethroned, as his only formal challenger, David Ward, pulled out of the race due to a lack of support.
"I would like to offer my congratulations to Jean Todt who will secure a second term uncontested if not unopposed," Ward said in November.
The news became official on Friday morning, as former Ferrari boss Todt, 67, was elected for a second consecutive four-year term during the FIA's annual general assembly in Paris.
Fry doubts big engine differences in 2014
(GMM) Ferrari technical boss Pat Fry on Friday said he doubts one engine maker will get a big head start on its rivals in 2014.
There are paddock rumors that suggest Mercedes will have up to a 100 horse power advantage over engine rivals Ferrari and Renault with its new turbo V6 technology.
On the other hand, it has been said Ferrari is delighted with the 2014 rules, because it gives the Italian marque a chance to impress with its expertise in engine design, after an era mostly obsessed with aerodynamic gains.
Fry, however, told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport: "Aerodynamics will be as important next year as it was in the last 15 years."
He thinks outright engine power and performance will not be the crucial factor.
"The differences between the different engines will mainly be determined by reliability," said the Briton.
"The technology is so complex that five units per driver is really very little. I believe large differences performance-wise will not arise -- perhaps in the race, when the fuel consumption determines the power."
At the same time, Fry thinks it is possible the start of the new era in 2014 will open the door to a major technical innovation, a la the double diffuser of 2009.
"The aerodynamic regulations are pretty clear," he said, "but I do see a few ways to interpret things differently.
"There will be solutions that have not previously been seen," revealed Fry.
Meanwhile, after Red Bull's Adrian Newey admitted his 2014 car is 'ugly', Fry refused to say the next scarlet single seater will be similarly unseemly.
"If it wins," he smiled, "then no."