Latest F1 news in brief: Friday 2
Ecclestone meets Gribkowsky at Munich trial
- Renault losing patience with late-paying F1 teams
- Small teams want mid-season car spec 'freeze'
- 'Trumpets' will get F1 sound close to V8s - report
Ecclestone meets Gribkowsky at Munich trial
(GMM) F1's most familiar face was missing on Friday as the sport practiced in Barcelona.
That is because, more than 1000 kilometers away, F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone was in a Munich court, fighting for his future and freedom.
Friday's events in Germany are perhaps the most significant yet in the corruption scandal, as the man 83-year-old Ecclestone is alleged to have bribed to the tune of $44 million began his role as the prosecution's star witness.
Fascinatingly, prosecutors do not totally dispute Ecclestone's claim that Gribkowsky blackmailed him. According to the Guardian newspaper, the jailed former F1 banker on Friday even admitted he tried to "create pressure to reach an agreement".
On the face of it, Gribkowsky's testimony on Friday may have helped Ecclestone's case.
SID news agency quotes Gribkowsky as saying he and Ecclestone did not discuss "at any time" precisely what the millions in payments were for.
"I never asked the question," he added.
Renault losing patience with late-paying F1 teams
(GMM) Renault on Friday said it is losing patience with some of its F1 team customers.
The French supplier's F1 chief Jean-Michel Jalinier revealed to reporters in Barcelona that more than one partner team is late in paying for its turbo V6 engines.
"I must say we are not at an acceptable situation, because some of the teams are just late in payments, and at the time you need to spend resources to catch up you cannot afford to have those (late) payments," Reuters quoted him as saying.
Renault supplies four F1 teams with engines this year: world champions Red Bull and sister team Toro Rosso, as well as Lotus and Caterham.
It is known that Lotus fell behind in its payments to drivers and suppliers last year, while Caterham and Renault recently scrapped a joint program to develop road cars.
Jalinier, however, did not name the late-paying customers.
He said Renault would put up with the situation "up to a certain point", but indicated that a final deadline to pay up was looming just "weeks away".
Asked if cutting off the teams' engine supplies was possible, Jalinier said: "That is an option. You first need to work with your team and get back to some kind of financial situation."
Small teams want mid-season car spec 'freeze'
(GMM) F1's smallest teams have proposed a mid-season development freeze to cut costs from 2015.
After the powerful 'Strategy Group' teams recently vetoed plans for a budget cap, the FIA told disgruntled smaller teams to come up with alternate cost-saving measures that could be added to the sporting and technical rules next year.
According to Germany's Auto Motor und Sport, the headline proposal is for a freeze to car development after 1 July each season.
"After that, only homologated parts may be used until the end of the season," revealed correspondent Michael Schmidt.
Another proposal by the small teams is that the expensive flying-in of new car components will be banned after scrutineering at each grand prix.
Not only that, teams would be free to buy steering wheels and chassis components from other outfits in the pitlane, while Friday morning practice will be axed, with cars entering 'parc ferme' conditions on the same day.
Any proposals would have to be agreed by majority before June 30 in order to be included in the regulations for 2015.
'Trumpets' will get F1 sound close to V8s - report
(GMM) 'Megaphone' exhausts will get this year's turbo V6s half-way to the volume of the popular V8s of last season.
At the post-race Spanish grand prix test next week, Mercedes will try a trumpet-like attachment to the exhaust that is designed to spice up the controversial sound of F1 2014.
"Initial tests have shown that the decibels are significantly increased," said Auto Motor und Sport correspondent Michael Schmidt.
Schmidt said the FIA has involved three acoustic engineers in the development of the megaphone solution, who have already tested it in their laboratories.
"The tail pipe is shaped like a trumpet or megaphone," he explained. "It changes not only the volume but the tone.
"Measurements have shown that the decibels will be half-way between the old V8 and the current V6 engines," added Schmidt.