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DATE News (chronologically)
Latest F1 news in brief - Wednesday
  • If you can't beat him, you change the rules
    Red Bull, Vettel slam new 'double points' rule
  • Vettel to be father in one month - report
  • Lotus asks for delay of first 2014 test
  • Webber tests Porsche's Le Mans car
  • Di Resta admits Perez likely to replace him
  • McLaren's Magnussen experiment could fail - Kovalainen
  • How revised F1 point system would have changed who was World Champion
  • Bernie's 2013 Christmas Card

Red Bull, Vettel slam new 'double points' rule
(GMM)  F1's reigning champions Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull have broken ranks and slammed the new 'double points' finale.

Germany's Sport Bild reports that Red Bull voted against the highly controversial change agreed in the strategy group and F1 Commission meeting on Monday, which is being introduced after Vettel utterly dominated the 2013 season.

Next year, while the winner of classics like Monaco and Monza will collect just 25 points, victory in the Abu Dhabi finale will attract 50 points, with the FIA explaining that the move is to "maximize focus on the championship until the end of the campaign".

German Vettel slammed the new rule.

"Imagine there is suddenly double points in the last Bundesliga match," he told Sport Bild.

"This is nonsense, and punishes those who have worked hard for the rest of the season.

"I like the old traditions of formula one and don't understand this new rule," added Vettel.

Sport Bild reports that, while also against the wishes of Abu Dhabi's rival race promoters, the rule was pushed through by Bernie Ecclestone and Jean Todt, and teams including Ferrari and Mercedes.

"We were against it," confirmed Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko, "but our team boss Christian Horner was overruled.

"At first the double points was planned for the last four races, but that would have made the rest of the world championship almost meaningless," he added.

Vettel to be father in one month - report
(GMM)  Although news of girlfriend Hanna's pregnancy broke only this week, fatherhood is set to arrive imminently for world champion Sebastian Vettel.

Germany's Bild newspaper reports that Hanna Prater is already eight months pregnant, meaning the Red Bull driver will be a dad by the time he next gets behind the wheel of a formula one car for 2014 winter testing.

At the end of October, in India, Vettel denied a paddock rumor that Hanna was pregnant.

And in late August, the 26-year-old turned down another opportunity to confirm the news of his impending fatherhood.

Asked by the correspondent for French television Canal Plus if he felt ready to be a dad, Vettel answered at Spa-Francorchamps: "Oof, I don't know.  Maybe.

"We are still in free practice!" he joked.

Lotus asks for delay of first 2014 test
(GMM)  Lotus has requested that the first official test of the 2014 pre-season, at Jerez late in January, be postponed for a week.

That is the news of Speed Week correspondent Mathias Brunner, reporting that the financially-struggling Enstone based team asked for the postponement early this week at the F1 Commission meeting in Paris.

It was already known that, despite every team being invited to test next year's Pirelli tires with 2013 cars next week in Bahrain, Lotus was not among those who took up the offer.

And now, it emerges that the black and gold-liveried team is struggling to be ready for the start of official 2014 testing, when the turbo V6 engines are set to run for the very first time.

Brunner quoted an unnamed team boss as saying: "Everyone knew the date for Jerez, and everyone made their plans accordingly.

"If someone is not ready, that is not anyone else's problem."

Speed Week said another team figure rated the chance of a postponement at Lotus' request at just 30 per cent.

Meanwhile, although the FIA said this week that Red Bull, Mercedes, Ferrari, Toro Rosso, Force India and McLaren will all test Pirelli's 2014 tires next week, it emerges that the latter two teams will in fact not be in Bahrain.

A McLaren spokesperson confirmed that news.

Webber tests Porsche's Le Mans car
(GMM)  Mark Webber has got his Le Mans career off to an early start, testing Porsche's new prototype at the Algarve circuit in Portugal.

Testing the car in camouflaged livery, the newly-retired formula one driver said driving the Porsche scarcely two weeks after his final grand prix in Brazil was "an intense experience".

"I would like to thank Red Bull for giving me the chance to join the project so early," said the 37-year-old, who will continue to be sponsored by the energy drink company for whom he raced in F1 for seven years.

"We have a long way to go and it involves a lot of hard work," Webber said of the Porsche project.  "I have no misconceptions about this."

Di Resta admits Perez likely to replace him
(GMM)  Paul di Resta has admitted that his formula one career appears over.

The Scot is being sued in London's High Court by former manager Anthony Hamilton, and during testimony on Tuesday, the 27-year-old admitted he is unlikely to return for a fourth season with Force India in 2014.

"They (Force India) may be interested, they may not," di Resta told the court.

"I believe they are in talks with Sergio Perez.  It's looking likely that I will not be driving.

"The only team that really has any possibility is Sauber, (but) there has been nothing other than a chat with my manager.

"I am speaking to Mercedes-Benz for DTM," he added.

Di Resta, who outscored his teammate Adrian Sutil in 2013, drove for Mercedes throughout his earlier DTM career, becoming the German touring car series' champion in 2010 before entering formula one.

McLaren's Magnussen experiment could fail - Kovalainen
(GMM)  Heikki Kovalainen says there is no guarantee Kevin Magnussen will thrive at McLaren, insisting 2014 could make or break the Danish rookie.

The famous British team, for whom Finn Kovalainen drove alongside Lewis Hamilton in 2008 and 2009 before losing his seat, recently made the surprise decision to oust Sergio Perez in favor of the 21-year-old Magnussen.

"I'm still surprised by the team's decision," Mexican Perez, who it is believed will switch to Force India for 2014, told Brazil's Totalrace this week.

"I didn't know the news was coming and, in fact, my contract was already signed.  So I was surprised.

"Time will tell if it was the right decision," added Perez, referring to McLaren's signing of the new Formula Renault 3.5 champion Magnussen over him.

Finn Kovalainen, who is also hoping to find a race seat for 2014, told the Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat he also cannot be sure that McLaren's gamble on Magnussen will pay off.

"There are two possibilities: Kevin will do well, or he will do badly," said the 32-year-old, who despite his experience struggled late in 2013 when he replaced Kimi Raikkonen in the competitive Lotus cockpit.

"It is difficult to say which one of the possibilities is the most likely," added Kovalainen, referring again to Magnussen's chances.

"McLaren seems to really believe in him, but I don't really know him, other than knowing that he is fast and a good driver," he continued.

McLaren is hoping Magnussen can emulate the feats of its impressive 2007 rookie Lewis Hamilton, but Kovalainen warned that the team's most recent experiment with a new driver - Perez - appeared not to pay off.

"Hamilton was able to fight for the podium from the first race, but in the past season Sergio Perez has not met expectations," he explained.

"They were expecting they could polish the diamond, but it didn't turn out like that.

"In any case, McLaren is a very strong team with excellent facilities and vast resources, so at least in theory they can create the conditions to solve all of a driver's problems.

"There is no guarantee that Magnussen will succeed, but at least he will have a great chance," added Kovalainen.

How revised F1 point system would have changed who was World Champion
The following analysis was done by Autosport:


Real points: 1 Ascari, 34.5; 2 Fangio, 28; 3 Farina, 26
Revised points: 1 Fangio, 37; 2 Ascari 34.5; 3 Farina, 32


Real points: 1 Fangio, 30; 2 Moss, 27
Revised points: 1 Moss, 36; 2 Fangio, 32


Real points: 1 Hawthorn, 42; 2 Moss, 41
Revised points: 1 Moss, 50; 2 Hawthorn, 48


Real points: 1 Rindt, 45; 2 Ickx, 40
Revised points: 1 Ickx, 49; 2 Rindt, 45


Real points: 1 Scheckter, 51; 2 Villeneuve, 47
Revised points: 1 Villeneuve 56; 2 Scheckter, 51


Real points: 1 Piquet, 50; 2 Reutemann, 49; 3 Jones, 46
Revised points: 1 Jones, 55; 2 Piquet, 52; 3 Reutemann, 49


Real points: 1 Lauda, 72; 2 Prost, 71.5
Revised points: 1 Prost 80.5; 2 Lauda, 78


Real points: 1 Schumacher, 93; 2 Raikkonen, 91
Revised points: 1 Raikkonen, 99; 2 Schumacher 94


Real points: 1 Hamilton, 98; 2 Massa, 97
Revised points: 1 Massa, 107; 2 Hamilton 102


Real points: 1 Vettel, 281; 2 Alonso, 278
Revised points: 1 Alonso, 296; 2 Vettel, 289

Bernie's 2013 Christmas Card
Every year Bernie Ecclestone sends out a Christmas Card.  Below is this year's version:

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