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New Canada GP contract to be announced (Update)UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. The future of the Canadian Grand Prix is secure for the next ten years after officials announced a new deal in Montreal this weekend. The new contract will see the race remain on the calendar until 2024 and will coincide with $32 million worth of investment in the paddock and control tower facilities at the circuit. This year's race was the last on the current contract, but circuit bosses and local government officials announced the extension of the deal following final practice on Saturday. Montreal hosted its first Canadian Grand Prix in 1978 and has been done every year since with the exceptions of 1987 and 2009.
06/06/14 (GMM) Canada looks set to hold on to its popular place on the annual F1 schedule.
Montreal race promoter Francois Dumontier has sounded alarmed in recent weeks and months, as the backing of the event by the varying levels of Canadian government was holding up the signing of a new ten-year contract beyond 2014.
But La Presse, the French-language Quebec newspaper, said formula one will continue at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve until 2024, "barring a catastrophe".
Haas F1 team won't make the 2015 grid (Update)UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. Gene Haas has confirmed reports his new formula one team will not debut until 2016.
Recently, it was reported the Nascar team co-owner's 'plan A' for his newly-granted F1 entry Haas Formula was to join the grid next season.
But he confirmed this week to F1 business journalist Christian Sylt: "From a personal standpoint, I really would have liked to go racing in 2015. It was hard to sit there and say no.
"Trust me, I really wanted to go," Haas told Forbes. "The first year is always going to be going to be tough but I think that by waiting a year we will probably only have six months of it being really tough because we will be better prepared."
Penske to run Montoya in more taxicab races Penske is hoping to expand Juan Pablo Montoya's NASCAR program in 2015 alongside his IndyCar deal.
The Colombian returned to IndyCar with Penske this year after a six-year stint in NASCAR with Ganassi.
Team owner Roger Penske told AUTOSPORT that Kurt Busch's success at the Indianapolis 500 - where he finished sixth with Andretti before returning to Charlotte later that day for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race, where he retired with engine failure - could open the door for more IndyCar/NASCAR crossovers, including from within his team.
FIA to approve 'Forza Rossa' F1 entry (Update)UPDATE The FIA is understood to have finally granted an entry to the Romanian-backed FRR F1 Team project, although no official announcement has been forthcoming.
The FIA’s last public reference to the bid came on April 11, when the World Motor Sport Council granted an entry to Gene Haas but said it was “in the process of conducting further investigations for Forza Rossa,” using the name that forms part of the official FRR identity.
For reasons unknown this extra vetting process dragged on for more than six weeks. However, the governing body appears to have finally acknowledged last week that the project is financially viable.
Carlos Huertas to run the high banks of Texas Motor Speedway this weekend.
One thing we forgot to mention yesterday is that Carlos Huertas will drive for Dale Coyne Racing this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. If you remember, the 22-year old Colombian was confirmed at the beginning of the season to contest all the road and street course rounds. Huertas, of course ran the Indy 500, and it looks as though he may in fact run all the ovals. For now, he will in the car this coming weekend at Texas.
Also, Pippa Mann, who ran a third Coyne entry at Indy, may still run the remaining Triple Crown races (Fontana and Pocono) for DCR later in the year. However, Mann will not run TMS for Coyne this weekend, as she did in 2013.
We hear KV Racing Technology affiliated driver Mikael Grenier may drive for the team later this season at the Mid Ohio and Sonoma rounds of the Verizon IndyCar Series. The 21-year old French Canadian driver tested for KV at Sebring in November and has been a regular with the team at the races this season. He says that his main goal is still to be a full-time IndyCar driver in 2015, and he still needs to secure his speedway license. However, he is likewise hopeful that he can gain some experience in 2014.
Jeff Gordon has had no recurrence of the sharp pain he had in his back last week at Charlotte Motor Speedway, indicating that he won’t need a backup driver this weekend at Dover International Speedway.
Gordon appears to have a handle on the degenerative discs in his back, which required an epidural and shots of cortisone last week.
After missing most of practice Saturday at Charlotte, he made it through the entire Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday, finishing seventh, and has continued with stretching and icing to prevent the knifing pain.
Kentucky Speedway could get repaved soon Look to add Kentucky Speedway to the repave list in the near future. Track president Mark Simendinger says that the racing surface, while providing outstanding action thanks to its advanced age, is on its last legs. The track is doing everything they can to keep it together and hold off on the repaving project as long as possible, but a date to pour new asphalt appears inevitable. Sources say Goodyear's tire test recently was, in part designed to see if a compound can be built to withstand the current surface well enough to "ward off" such a process within the next year or two. (The speedway was bit by several tire failures in 2013). Frontstretch
Honda to buy into McLaren (Update)UPDATE This rumor is downgraded to 'false' today. McLaren on Thursday denied reports Honda is looking at buying into the Woking based team.
Rumors in Japan this week said the Japanese carmaker, returning to formula one next year as McLaren's works engine supplier, might also be contemplating buying the 50 per cent team share currently held by the Bahrain-owned Mumtalakat company.
Initially, a team source played down the speculation by saying any transfer of shares would have to be agreed to by McLaren's other co-owners, Ron Dennis and Mansour Ojjeh.
Will it be Busch or Karam for Rookie of Year at Indy? NASCAR veteran Kurt Busch was the highest placed rookie in the Indy 500 and one might assume he will be named the rookie of the year. But maybe not. 19-year old Sage Karam is still in high school, think about that for a moment!
Yet he came from the last row on the grid to finish 9th, an improvement of 22 places, many more than Busch improved. Given it was Karam's first big time race of any sort, and given Busch is a veteran of many big races in NASCAR, could it be that Karam will win the Rookie of the Year award? It's going to be a close vote.
Overheard at Indy - Sunday Rumor has it that there is still an outside chance that the Baltimore race could return to the IndyCar schedule. While the odds are against it we hear the Andretti Sports Marketing team is still going to give it the old college try.
Speaking of Andretti Sports Marketing, we did a bit more digging on the New Orleans race and we learned the track owner Laney Chouest, though he is getting a $4.5 million government subsidy to help with track improvement, is very wealthy (the largest employer in New Orleans - ship building) is ready to do whatever it takes to make it into a first class facility.
We hear the suites already in place are top-shelf state-of-the-art and more are going to be added. Grandstands will be built up off the ground so fans have a good view of the circuit.
Mario wanted to shakedown Hinchcliffe's carUPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. The Indy Star reports it wasn't a rumor.
"One hundred percent (true)," Andretti said Wednesday.
Imagine that: The 74-year-old hopping in the Indy car that Hinchcliffe nearly won the Indianapolis 500 pole with. (Hinchcliffe will start second in Sunday's race after qualifying the Andretti Autosport car at 230.839 mph).
EJ Viso, who drove for the team last year, got the gig for the five days until Hinchcliffe returned.
"EJ happened to be there and somehow he upstaged me," Andretti said.
Petty team to switch to Toyota? (Update)UPDATE During a visit to Goodlettsville on Monday, Richard Petty says he is considering move his racing team from Ford.
"We talk to everybody all the time; I've been talking to Volkswagen," said Petty, who visited Dollar General's annual Race Day at the company's headquarters.
After getting a few chuckles from a group of reporters Petty's tone became more serious as he talked more about his team's future. Richard Petty Racing currently has two Fords driven by Aric Almirola and Marcos Ambrose in the Sprint Cup Series.
News outlets have reported that Petty met with representatives from Toyota in April to talk about a possible alliance.
Parker Kligerman eyes IndyCar future (Update)UPDATE NASCAR driver Parker Kligerman is spending time at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Kligerman, 23, began his racing career in open-wheel cars and is looking at evaluating running in the Verizon IndyCar Series in the future. He is also the standby driver for Stewart-Haas Racing for Kurt Busch, should Busch be unable to race in the Coca-Cola 600.
PARKER KLIGERMAN: "I’ve been to the 500 as a fan in 2007, and in 2008, I lived out here for the summer when I was racing midgets (cars). I lived a block away from the Speedway, so I’ve been here before and have always been interested in the 500 as a fan. But to be here and be a little more behind the scenes is great. Schmidt Peterson Motorsports have been nice enough to show me around a little bit. I’ve been hanging out with Simon Pagenaud and it’s been fun. It’s cool to see the speed. Yesterday I went up to the spotter’s stand in Turn 1 and saw the guys get a little loose and see how the cars react, and that was awesome. I’m enjoying it."
Mercedes to have 100hp advantage in 2014? (Update)UPDATE This rumor from last August is upgraded to 'fact' now that Mercedes has completely dominated the 2014 season leading every lap and every session by a wide margin, showing off their 100 HP advantage. Unfortunately it has made the 2014 season a borefest.
08/15/13 (GMM) Mercedes could be set to power into F1's new V6 era with a huge advantage.
With the development-frozen V8 engines to be replaced by radically-different turbo units in 2014, a new era where power is more important than aerodynamics looks likely.
And Mercedes, already a leader at the tail end of the long V8-powered era, could be in pole position to usurp Red Bull's position at the very top of the tree.
Hungary winner Lewis Hamilton is now an outside chance for this year's title, but the Briton was actually lured to Mercedes "on the promise that he will be able to take on (Sebastian) Vettel in 2014," wrote Auto Motor und Sport correspondent Tobias Gruner.
Nazareth High School senior to start in 2014 Indy 500 (Update)UPDATE This rumor from last October is upgraded to 'fact' now that Sage Karam has made the Indy 500 field and will race before his high school class graduates.
Karam will still be in high-school if he enters the 2014 Indy 500
Sage Karam says he was "kind of joking around, but being quite serious" when he told his Nazareth High School friends that one day "I want to be in the Indy 500 my senior year in high school."
"Nobody believed me. They kind of laughed about it," Karam added.
After what happened on Saturday in Fontana, Calif., Karam's friends won't be sloughing off those kinds of remarks anymore because the possibility of their buddy competing in arguably the world's best-known open-wheel race became much more realistic.
Rumors are that Carl Edwards may go to drive for Joe Gibbs Racing. Joe Gibbs told Motorsport.com it would take a lot for JGR to add a fourth team. "I'm not going to guess on stuff and the rumors and everything," Gibbs said. "We get into this every year and there's a period we kind of got to go through, I've come to feel."
"So many times when the top guys come available, everybody in the sport kind of looks at it. There's a couple of guys this year - that are on their last year, so it kind of happens."
"But it's hard to do (add a 4th car). Like I've said, it's extremely hard to do cause you've get so many things to work to make it happen. I'd say for the last four to five years we've looked at it, but it's hard to do and we haven't been able to think it's best for us."
Video: The secret to Mercedes' F1 power advantage Craig Scarborough uncovers the secrets of what is currently the best engine in F1. There's a twist in the tail, too: with his own illustrations, Craig shows us what ISN'T depicted on the official film.
Perhaps the single biggest development in the Mercedes power unit is that the turbocharger and the compressor sit on opposite sides of the engine; the turbo still sits at the back, but the compressor is at the front of the 1.6-liter V6 and the two are connected by a long shaft that runs through the engine's vee. Locating the compressor away from the turbo allows cooler, denser air to enter the engine, providing more power, and shortens the length of ducting necessary to get the air from the compressor through the intercooler and into the cylinders, meaning less turbo lag.
We may yet have bumping at Indy this year There is a rumor circulating here in the Indy paddock that Michael Andretti and Honda are so pleased with EJ Visio that if James Hinchcliffe is cleared to drive by Saturday and funding can be obtained that Andretti Autosport would consider a sixth car on Sunday. The pit crew would consist of mechanics from Michaels other series.
If this rumor is true and it happens, Viso would be the 34th driver to attempt to qualify and we would see at least one driver bumped. this would place added pressure on James Davison who is running a partial program with limited running time. He was hoping to be assured a spot in the 500. He would have to earn it if this rumor comes to fruition.
AR1.com has called Vettel's Red Bull a lemon since the start of off-season testing. Not only did it keep breaking down, but it has now been revealed the chassis was built crooked. A true lemon. He got another chassis for the Spanish GP, but it broke down in qualifying and he had to start 15th. When it finally made it through the entire race Vettel set fastest lap and came through the field to finish 4th. Is he still the best driver in F1? We were beginning to have our doubts. Perhaps we should not jump to conclusions too soon.
(GMM) The chassis used by Sebastian Vettel in the first four races of 2014 was bent, according to Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.
The reigning quadruple world champion notably struggled alongside fresh-faced teammate Daniel Ricciardo until Spain, where he spectacularly scythed through the field and declared for the first time that driving in 2014 is "fun".
Although no obvious chassis flaw was found between the Chinese and Spanish grand prix, Red Bull nonetheless put Vettel at the wheel of the winter testing chassis in Barcelona.
"I do think it made a difference," the German declared after the race.
Auto Motor und Sport correspondent Michael Schmidt said further investigations have been taking place at Milton Keynes after Barcelona.
He confirmed: "The chassis he (Vettel) used in the first four races was in fact crooked."
Schmidt said Vettel, the winner of the last nine grands prix of 2013 on the trot, had suspected something was wrong with his car after China.
"A second down (to Ricciardo) was too much. I had not forgotten how to drive," said the German.
Latest Gdansk Site Plan showing the main circuit plus ancillary units
AR1.com has more inside information about this project in this exclusive report. SDG and its owner Hans-Jorg Fischer, who has recently successfully setup Moscow Raceway in Russia, and Eurospeedway before that, is involved in the project together with Hermann Tilke. SDG is advising the project initiator, a public funded Gdansk development agency.
The track is about 2.65-miles long and a lot of other motorsports, business and entertainment units are incorporated in the development. It is still in the preliminary planning stages.
The location is great, Gdansk a great polish city along the Baltic sea with a great infrastructure and potential (airport, hotels, restaurants, catchment area, seaside location, traffic infrastructure etc.).
Ferrari wants Brawn, Bell and Newey (GMM) Bob Bell could be the next piece of the puzzle, as Ferrari looks to end its slump and return to the top of formula one.
Already reported by multiple authoritative sources is that the fabled Maranello team is prepared to 'break the bank' and sign Red Bull's Adrian Newey, who is already paid a rumored $12 million per year.
"Ferrari badly want Adrian Newey," a Ferrari source told the Guardian newspaper.
"I don't know whether they have talked to him yet, but if not, they will."
But Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said the 55-year-old is happy at Milton Keynes.
Does Chevy IndyCar engine have a glitch? Both cars that stalled on the grid at Indianapolis this past Saturday had Chevy engines - polesitter Sebastian Saavedra and Juan Montoya. In the Houston GP last year James Hinchcliffe had his engine die when he dropped the clutch on the standing start. He also had a Chevy engine (this year Andretti Autosport switched to Honda power.)
So why are these Chevys stalling on the starting grids when the driver dumps the clutch? Is it an electrical issue, computer issue, or is it something else?
In all fairness Josef Newgarden stalled his Honda on the grid in Toronto last year due to an engine sensor malfunction, but a Honda has not stalled since.
James Hinchcliffe's tough IndyCar start is getting more clouded.
E.J. Viso replaced the injured Canadian on Sunday in the opening practice for the Indianapolis 500 and it's still unclear when the popular Hinchcliffe will turn his first laps on the famed 2.5-mile oval.
Hinchcliffe, from Oakville, was injured Saturday in the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis when debris from Justin Wilson's car flew into the cockpit, striking Hinchcliffe in the head. He was taken away from the track on a stretcher, transported to a hospital and diagnosed with a concussion. He was hoping to be re-examined Sunday, but that never happened and now he's out until at least Tuesday.
"We'll have a better feeling then," team owner Michael Andretti said. "They just said rest and they don't want to see him again until Tuesday."
Rolling start crash at the 2011 St. Pete race. Ever see the carnage photos from the rolling starts at Indy and other ovals over the years? Many a driver died.
Standing Starts won't be going away anytime soon in IndyCar racing because the fans like them and they are the fairest way to start a race. And IndyCar drivers always crash on rolling starts too. They crashed today on a rolling restart just like they crashed on a rolling restart in St. Petersburg and elsewhere. They crashed five years in a row on a rolling start in St. Petersburg and when they used to race in Cleveland they crashed for ten years in row in the first corner on a rolling start, yet when they switched to a standing start the crashes stopped.
And did you ever see the strung out rolling starts at Long Beach and the Indy 500? They are a complete joke. As Helio Castroneves said in the post race interview, "I wish we would do all the starts the same way. This switching back and forth makes it harder. But that is what makes this series unique - we race on street courses, road courses, short ovals and high speed ovals, and we do both rolling and standing starts."
Ryan Hunter-Reay was asked if IndyCar should implement electronic aides to help the drivers on standing starts. He said "no, I like it the way it is, it is 100% up to driver skill."
Davison to run Indy 500 for KV Racing (2nd Update)UPDATE #2 This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' with today's announcement.
05/08/14 I ran into James Davison talking to Jimmy Vasser in the KV Racing garage at Indy today. When asked whether an Indy 500 deal will come together with KV Racing Davison responded, "Nothing is signed yet, but it is progressing. We hope to have something done in a day or two." He appeared happy, so our guess it is going to happen. Mark C. reporting from Indy
05/05/14 There will be 33 cars in the 98th Indianapolis 500, as RACER has learned that James Davison secured the fourth car for KV Racing. We are posting it as a rumor because the team has not announced it yet.
Davison, a former Indy Lights winner for Tony George, made two IndyCar starts in 2013 (at Mid-Ohio and Sonoma) but has never run an Indy car on an oval and Monday was Rookie Orientation at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. As of noon, Davison was not running along with other rookies Kurt Busch, Sage Karam, Jack Hawksworth, Martin Plowman, Mikhail Aleshin and Carlos Huertas.
The Australian native will join Sebastian Bourdais, Sebastian Saavedra and Townsend Bell in the KV lineup and it gives Chevrolet 15 cars (Honda will field 18). Racer.com
Backmarker Caterham ousts technical boss Smith (Update)UPDATE This rumor is now upgraded to 'fact.' Caterham F1 Team has announced that it has instigated a restructuring of its senior management team to create a more streamlined, efficient management process that will allow the team to address the challenges of modern Formula One.
A new Technical Committee has been formed to oversee all technical and operational aspects of the team’s activities on and off track. Additionally, Technical Director Mark Smith and Caterham F1 Team have parted company with immediate effect and his role will not be directly replaced. Instead, John Iley, Jody Egginton and Gerry Hughes will now each take responsibility for specific areas of the team’s operational activities as the newly created Technical Committee, reporting directly to Team Principal Cyril Abiteboul.
(GMM) Mercedes' rivals may block the introduction of the 'megaphone' exhaust, according to reports.
Already utterly dominating the 2014 season, Mercedes will try the trumpet-like exhaust attachment at Barcelona during next week's post-Spanish grand prix test.
Earlier reports suggested that, following widespread criticism of the milder sound of this year's engines, the Mercedes exhaust would get F1's volume half-way between the volume of the current V6s and the old, screaming V8s.
But before the exhaust can be introduced at grands prix, "the other manufacturers, Ferrari and Renault, would have to agree", Austria's APA news agency reports.
Overheard at Indy - Friday The weather at the Indy track Friday certainly was not as good as Thursday. Off and on rain made it challenging for the competitors and the few thousand fans alike. The was a stiff cool wind blowing all day down the front straight toward the RC turn 1.
Speaking of fans, word in the paddock is that they sold around 30,000 tickets so far for the GP of Indy. They are hoping for a big walkup crowd. 30,000 to 50,000 is not a bad crowd for an IndyCar race, but the massive grandstands will look empty and IndyCar will come off looking like a complete loser on nationwide ABC TV.
It was a nice day at the Speedway today with sunny skies. The crowd was small, as expected, but it was a Thursday and it was a work day. With rain in the forecast tomorrow, this place may be a ghost town again, which would be unfortunate. The jury is still out as to whether fans come out for a road course race at the Speedway. Track personnel are hopeful and about 2/3 of the 225,000 permanent seats will be open for the race. There are infield mound viewing areas as well. Even if they get 50,000, it is not going to look like 50,000. 50,000 is not a bad IndyCar crowd.
The key for the Speedway is that ABC TV is doing this race, qualifying and then the Indy 500. So the buildup for the 500 will be good.
Although he knew all about the Indy 500, did you know that Russian rookie driver Mikhail Aleshin had never been to the USA until this past November? "Although I followed the Indy 500, I had no reason to come to the USA until now, but I have been living in Indy since January and I really like it. It is as cold as Moscow, which I did not expect. By living at Indy I am able to be at the shop every day with the team, which is good."
Azerbaijan could replace Russia on 2014 calendar (Update)UPDATE This rumor is downgraded to 'false.' Azerbaijan on Wednesday denied reports it could step in to replace this year's endangered Russian grand prix.
Earlier, Germany's Welt newspaper said the oil-rich former Soviet state was ready to step in, should the escalating Crimean crisis force the cancellation of the scheduled inaugural Russian grand prix later this year.
First, the Russian promoter denied the Sochi race is even in doubt.
"In light of a number of reports, I can declare that a postponement or cancellation of the Russian grand prix is not discussed," Sergey Vorobyev told Championat.
Berger, Brawn or Bell to replace Domenicali (3rd Update)UPDATE #3
Ross Brawn is expected to replace Domenicali at Ferrari. And it was Brawn who oversaw the design of the current dominating Mercedes.
(GMM) Ross Brawn and Ferrari have played down the former Mercedes boss' visit to Maranello this week.
Specialist Ferrari journalist Leo Turrini on Tuesday revealed that the 59-year-old Briton, who was Ferrari's technical director during the ultra-successful Michael Schumacher years, was at the team's headquarters and Fiorano test track.
Brawn, however, played down suggestions of an impending return to F1 and Ferrari, telling Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport his trip to Italy this week was "never a secret".
And he told the BBC that he was at Ferrari "with a group of friends as part of a tour of Italy, no more than that!"
Brawn said the group, who are also visiting "as many vineyards as possible", drove Ferrari road cars around the Fiorano track.
Houston and New Orleans IndyCar races to fail due to scheduling The Houston IndyCar race has great sponsors, but the race is scheduled in late June and the fans will wilt in the heat and humidity. They will experience that heat and not be back.
Rumor has it that the New Orleans race will be scheduled in June as well, a guaranteed recipe for disaster for the same reason Houston will fail. Ever been to New Orleans in June, July and August? Could this idiotic rumor be true?
Both races should run in the winter- the week prior to Super Bowl for Houston (late January) , and the week after Mardi Gras in New Orleans (February). Both races would be a huge success.
As for those overseas races early in the season - the first three weeks in January are wide open.
Crimean crisis could be putting F1 Russian Grand Prix in doubt (Update)UPDATE F1 "could be forced to abandon the inaugural Russian Grand Prix as tensions continue to tighten between Moscow and Ukraine," according to Kevin Eason of the LONDON TIMES. The sport "could find itself trapped" between the political battle "as many fear that the dispute over Ukrainian territory is edging closer to war." British politicians "are closely watching events unfold, although unwilling yet to call for the grand prix to be scrapped."
House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee Chair Richard Ottaway described the grand prix as “wildly unrealistic” against a background of mounting tension between the West and Russia, and warned that further sanctions "could put paid to the event." Ottaway: “If a new round of tougher sanctions is introduced, Formula One may find it impossible to put on a race because of restrictions on the flow of cash.” The race "was already going to be one of the more bizarre events" with F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone told by local organizers that spectator viewing "would probably be limited to a single, purpose-built grandstand in front of the pits complex."
Ecclestone insisted the race "will be safe," but political events are accelerating faster than an F1 car and it seems certain that the race "will become a target for activists" unless the Ukraine crisis is resolved before October. London Times
Prosecutors admit Ecclestone was bribed, then Ecclestone wins trial?
No wonder Ecclestone has been in a good mood. This trial is just free PR for F1. Think about it, every year there is some big controversy that brings F1 free PR. Hmm.......
German prosecutors have made the stunning revelation that they believe Bernie Ecclestone was blackmailed by a former banker who received £26m ($44m) from the Formula One boss according to an article in the Daily Mail by Christian Sylt.
For the past three years Ecclestone's legal situation has hung over F1 like a dark cloud. In January 2011 former banker Gerhard Gribkowsky was arrested in Germany for receiving £26m from Ecclestone and his family's Bambino trust. The prosecutors soon revealed that they believe the payment was a bribe so that Gribkowsky would steer the sale of F1 in 2005 to Ecclestone's preferred buyer.
(GMM) A $25 million termination payment from Pastor Maldonado's sponsor helped Williams to drive back into profit.
The publicly-listed British team released its 2013 financial results on Friday, showing a $20m operating profit despite a poor season on track.
The Telegraph newspaper said the result was helped by a one-off termination payment made by the Venezuelan oil company PDVSA, who wanted to move their backing of driver Maldonado to the Lotus team for 2014.
The report said the payment "is believed to be in the region of $25m", in the wake of a more than $8 million loss recorded by Williams just a year ago.
Toyota to move U.S. sales HQ to Texas (Long Beach to suffer? 3rd Update)UPDATE #3 We have been told that Toyota is moving out of California for the same reason Honda did (to Ohio). The anti business climate in California is not going over very well with the Japanese automakers. The tax and spend California government has managed to drive business out of the state and put workers on the unemployment line. They are following in the footsteps of Detroit. They taxed business and rich people so much they left. The only thing left in Detroit are the freeloaders who live off government handouts, so the city went bankrupt. Meanwhile the gap between the richest people and the low and middle income classes in the USA is the biggest it has ever been. Only 43% of the adults in the USA have a fulltime job of 30 hours per week or more. Less that 40% have a 40-hour per week job. Employment is at a 30-year low. And you wonder why race attendance is down? People cannot afford to buy race tickets and travel to races.
04/30/14 A paragraph from yesterday’s LA Times. "The car company will keep about 2,300 workers in California at its design studio in Newport Beach, a motor-racing division in Costa Mesa, a parts factory in Long Beach and at other facilities. But no Toyota workers will remain at the company's 2-million-square-foot office complex in Torrance. The company said it has not yet determined what it will do with the property."
04/29/14 This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. Toyota Motor Corp. will combine and consolidate its far-flung U.S. operations into a single campus in Plano, Texas, with a targeted move-in completion date of late 2017, the automaker said today.
Following a week of rumor regarding the relocation of Toyota’s sales and marketing operations based near Los Angeles came confirmation of a much larger-scale relocation of nearly all Toyota’s North American processes and operations to the suburb north of Dallas.
Montoya to drive for Penske in Brickyard 400? (Update)UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' with today's announcement.
04/29/14 Former Indianapolis 500, CART champion and current Team Penske IndyCar driver Juan Pablo Montoya may be running in the Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for Team Penske this year. The team has scheduled a press conference with Montoya at the Brickyard tomorrow morning at 9 AM.
Will NASCAR someday replace Goodyear's exploding tires with Michelin?
Clint Boyer's tire catches fire in Richmond. Sometimes they explode, sometimes they burn.
Just days after several Sprint Cup champion contenders had issues with where the rubber meets the road in Richmond, NASCAR officials met with representatives from Michelin at the R&D Center in Concord, N.C.
The timing of the Tuesday meeting is coincidental considering the rash of failures experienced by competitors in both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series last weekend.
According to a Michelin source, however, it was a "mid-level meeting" that was scheduled before the Richmond race.
Will high freight costs stifle V8 Supercars overseas aspirations? V8 Supercars is pushing hard to slash the cost of its air freight as it continues talks with international promoters about joining the championship in 2015 and beyond.
Last weekend’s ITM 500 Auckland is the only fly-away on this year’s schedule following a succession of ultimately unsustainable events in China, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates over the last decade.
A planned return to Austin, Texas, next year currently appears unlikely unless a partner event can be found in the region with which the Circuit of the Americas can share the freight costs.
The trip to the United States was the championship’s most expensive yet, with the total freight cost understood to have approached $2.5 million.
With F1's thrilling sound gone, Sepang to drop F1 race? Sepang is considering whether it gets value for money as the host of the Malaysian Grand Prix after getting approval to negotiate a new contract for the race.
Next year's grand prix will be the last at Sepang on its current contract, with negotiations taking place over a potential extension. However, speaking exclusively to Crash.net, Dato' Razlan Razali – chief executive officer of the Sepang International Circuit – said there were a number of considerations that need to be weighed up before the track decides whether it wants to sign a new contract or not.
Dreyer & Reinbold back for Indy (Update)UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today after the announcement that Ganassi signed Sage Karam but he will drive a Dreyer & Reinbold car.
04/24/14 Veteran IndyCar Series team Dreyer & Reinbold Racing will make its season debut next month at the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 according to Racer.com. Speaking with team owner Dennis Reinbold, who took sole control of the team last year after an amicable split with Robbie Buhl, DRR is close to announcing its full plans for the month of May.
"We don't have every single thing signed at the moment, but it's really, really close," he told RACER. "It's definitely happening, and it will be Dreyer & Reinbold/Kingdom Racing. We're close on having our driver deal done and our engine deal as well."
"Until I have it all signed, I don't want to get ahead of things," added Reinbold. "I think we're going to come back pretty strong, and as we just said in the race shop, we move into the garages in eight days, so it's happening and happening fast."
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