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Esteban Guerrieri on his way to an Indy Lights victory in 2012 at Iowa
Leading Argentinean racing driver Esteban Guerrieri is chasing a drive in the Buenos Aires ePrix.
The Superleague Formula, Indy Lights and Formula Renault 3.5 race winner tested for China Racing in Punta del Este and wants to drive the all-electric single-seater in his home race on January 10, 2015.
"There's a possibility to race with China Racing in Argentina," he said. "They are keen to work together and they have a seat available. I will be working with a couple of sponsors and investors in Argentina. I trust it will happen."
Guerrieri had a brief run in the car Antonio Garcia drove in the Punta del Este ePrix at the post-race test, and was impressed by the experience.
Tombazis and Fry to depart Ferrari as house cleaning continues (2nd Update)UPDATE #2 This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. New Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene has announced a shake-up of the Italian squad's management, designed to provide 'a flat structure and clear assignment of responsibilities'. The changes include the departure of engineering director Pat Fry and chief designer Nikolas Tombazis.
Fry joined Ferrari from McLaren in mid-2010, becoming technical director (chassis) in 2011 and taking up his present position when fellow Englishman James Allison joined the team as technical director last year. Tombazis' Ferrari career dates back to 1994 and he started his present stint in 2006.
Allison retains his current role, with Italian engineers Simone Resta and Mattia Binotto reporting to him as chief designer and power unit director respectively, the latter supported by chief designer power unit Lorenzo Sassi.
Allison will also direct track engineering activities on an interim basis, while the Scuderia's Formula One activities will be managed by Massimo Rivola.
Bernie shows Mercedes who is boss, Mercedes ready to now compromise
Bernie's facial expression tells you what he thinks about the current F1 engines. He wants the scream back.
(GMM) Mercedes is reportedly ready to compromise amid the engine regulations dispute.
Backed by struggling Ferrari and Renault, F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone is so concerned about the current turbo V6 rules that at Thursday's Strategy Group meeting he will vote to repeal them for 2016.
He rails against the noise, the cost and the complexity, but his major issue is that the regulations as they stand could mean Mercedes' huge competitive advantage is not tracked down even by 2020.
"We can all put our money together and have a wager that Mercedes will win the championship next year which is not really the sort of thing we are looking for," he told reporters including Forbes' Christian Sylt in London last week.
F1 bankrupts another race promoter According to AR1.com sources, the F1 Russian GP promoter filed for bankruptcy in the Arbitration Court of the Krasnodar region this past Friday. The company is 100% owned by the Krasnodar Territory said the Department of Property Relations. The arbitrator is trying to recover 2.5 million Rubles from the previous owners of the company - Alexander Bogdanov and Sergei Bondarenko, as well as ex-business manager Alexei Belousov. Bogdanov led the company from August 2012 to April 2013.
According to the plaintiff, the defendants "acted in violation of public law, in accordance with the objectives of its activities and made unreasonable expenditures of money.
Alonso to join Hulkenberg at Le Mans (2nd Update)UPDATE #2
Alonso says no to LeMans
This rumor is downgraded to 'false' today. Fernando Alonso says he will not be following Nico Hulkenberg's lead by splitting his F1 duties with Le Mans next year.
There has been speculation the Spaniard could join Force India driver Hulkenberg at Le Mans in the third Porsche prototype entry.
But having signed a reportedly $50 million per year deal to spearhead McLaren's new works Honda project from 2015, Alonso was quoted by Marca newspaper as saying he will focus entirely on formula one for now.
"I would not feel comfortable if I was not devoting 100 per cent to McLaren throughout the year," Alonso said.
Korea trick tweaks engine rules for 2015 (Update)UPDATE Bernie Ecclestone has admitted that organizers of the Korean Grand Prix don't want to host a race next year, but he was forced to put it on the calendar for legal reasons.
The race at the Yeongam circuit made its Formula 1 debut in 2010, but it was dropped this year due to poor facilities and poor attendance records.
However, several eyebrows were raised when the race made an appearance on the schedule for 2015 with the weekend of May 3 penciled in. "They (local organizers) would rather it not happen," Ecclestone is quoted as saying by Reuters.
Brabham to enter more Formula E races? (Update)UPDATE This rumor is updated to fact. See announcement on AR1 Hot News page.
As you can see from this report on the Formula E website, Mazda Road to Indy standout Matthew Brabham is listed as the driver of the #28 Andretti Autosport car for this month's Punta del Este ePrix in Punta del Este, Uruguay.
Frenchman Charles Pic ran the series opener for Andretti in Beijing, and came home fourth. Brabham was in the #28 a week and a half ago at Putrajaya, where he finished 13th.
Shank could be switching from DP to P2 and Ford to Honda for 2015 season (Update)UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. Michael Shank Racing has confirmed its engine partnership with Honda, where it will power the team's new Ligier JS P2 chassis in the 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season.
The official confirmation came Friday during the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) trade show in Indianapolis.
Additionally, the team has revealed a new livery, which is actually a reincarnation of a prior orange and black livery run more than five years ago.
Last week, Shank took delivery of the chassis campaigned Stateside by OAK Racing the last two TUDOR Championship races this season.
Ferrari to move fiscal residence outside Italy to avoid oppressive taxes (Update) Fiat Chrysler Automobiles today denied a report that suggested it was considering to move the tax residence of its luxury sportscar unit Ferrari outside Italy.
Bloomberg reported on Wednesday that Ferrari is considering moving its fiscal residence outside Italy to save on corporate taxes, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter.
The possibility of Ferrari's tax base move caused some hand-wringing in its home country. "Ferrari Fleeing to London," was the front page headline in the Milan daily newspaper Il Giornale.
FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne said in October he would spin off Ferrari from the group next year, sell a 10 percent stake via a public offering and distribute the rest of FCA's stake in the unit to its shareholders.
Mazda to badge new Indy Lights engine (Update)UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' with today's announcement.
12/10/14 Mazda will be the manufacturer that badges Indy Lights engines in 2015. The news will be confirmed Thursday at the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show in Indianapolis, Autoweek reports. The deal is part of Indy Lights getting a much-needed equipment package for the 2015 season. Not to mention, it always figured that the Mazda Road to Indy program would be powered at its highest level by Mazda engines, and that’s now going to be the case.
The series' new engine, built by AER, is a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder unit projected to produce 450 horsepower. Series owner Dan Andersen said about a half-dozen of the engines have been delivered to teams so far, and there’s an opportunity to test next week at Florida's Palm Beach International Raceway. A full-series open test is set for next month at the same track.
Button to be Alonso's teammate in 2015 (Update)UPDATE (GMM) As expected early on Thursday, McLaren announced that Jenson Button has kept his race seat at McLaren for 2015.
For months, it has been assumed Danish rookie and in-house protege Kevin Magnussen would be Fernando Alonso's Honda-powered teammate, but the 22-year-old has instead been assigned the role of reserve driver next year.
"All three men will play crucial roles in re-establishing the ascendancy of one of global sport's most iconic unions," the British team said.
Thursday ended the long and controversial wait for the identity of the second McLaren driver for 2015, but also finally confirmed the much-anticipated return to Woking of Spaniard Alonso.
Ferrari to move fiscal residence outside Italy to avoid oppressive taxes This is what happens when tax-and-spend political party's think they can steal from the rich and give to the poor - the rich just leave and only the poor remain. We see this in places like Detroit where the government eventually went bankrupt and many other cities teeter on the brink of insolvency. Tax the rich too much and they are gone.
Ferrari is considering moving its fiscal residence outside Italy to save on corporate taxes as the supercar maker prepares for its spinoff from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.
The carmaker, which uses the colors of the Italian flag in its logo, may follow in the footsteps of Fiat Chrysler, which is registered in the Netherlands, listed on the New York Stock Exchange and based in London for tax reasons, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private.
Stick a fork in Magnussen - Denmark's Lego rules out McLaren deal (Update)UPDATE
In the 'have money will drive' F1 series Magnussen just could not bring a big enough check
If this latest rumor is true, then it's true Magnussen could not drum up enough money Lego Denmark money to buy the 2nd seat at McLaren.
12/04/14 (GMM) Kevin Magnussen's hopes of retaining his McLaren seat may have taken a hit on Thursday.
Reports indicate the British team's board is meeting on Thursday to decide the identity of Fernando Alonso's Honda-powered teammate for 2015.
Danish rookie Magnussen had earlier seemed the favorite, particularly following reports team supremo Ron Dennis had been in Denmark recently for talks with local companies Bestseller as well as Lego, the famous toy brand.
Dennis told local media: "I wish Denmark woke up and realized what a unique opportunity they have to endorse someone (Magnussen) who could easily become a sporting legend in this country."
New F1 boss to 'rein in' Ecclestone (Good Luck with that)
Trying to rein in Ecclestone will likely get this reaction
(GMM) A source has reinforced reports Bernie Ecclestone could be 'reined in' by the incoming new F1 chairman.
Last week, the Financial Times (FT) reported that F1 supremo Ecclestone's long reign is under threat by former Diageo chief Paul Walsh, who is being lined up to take over from current chairman Peter Brabeck.
"Paul has been courted for nine months now," a source close to Walsh told Management Today.
The FT had claimed CVC chief Donald Mackenzie is behind the impending change because he wants "a more professional approach to the running of" the sport.
Marquez to evade high Spanish taxes by moving out Spanish MotoGP driver Marc Marquez "will soon leave his home and move to Andorra." He has reportedly requested residence there from the Andorra government and "will receive it in the coming weeks." The "move is for fiscal reasons, as Marquez could enjoy tax benefits in the small country in the Pyrenees."
Andorra sits on the border of northern Spain and Southern France northwest of Barcelona. The rich always have the wherewithal to move if you tax them too much. Tax them too much and you get zero. Tax them reasonably and you will get something.
Winning in NASCAR appears to be tanking Chevy car sales
It seems racing a car in NASCAR does nothing to help sales. Fans don't give a hoot. Chevy SS (Chevy's Sprint Cup car) sales for the year through October totaled a paltry 2,281 cars
The SS is the first Chevrolet-badged V8 sedan launched in the last 17 years, yet it seems GM (General Motors) is not all that content with it and will not give it a follow-up model. It was confirmed to Motoring, on the sidelines of the SEMA show in Las Vegas, when they asked for information on a possible next rear-driven Holden Commodore (now a rebadged SS). We (almost) know for a fact that the next Commodore will be an Opel Insignia based model (or a rebadged Buick made in China), and therefore fwd-biased and unable to carry a V8 under its bonnet. It will be a very different vehicle to the current Commodore/SS and it will be curious to see what GM replaces it with in the US. CarSnoops
AND When reached for comment by Autoblog, Chevy spokesperson Michael Albano said the automaker isn't able to discuss the SS beyond the 2015 model year. Autoblog
Lamborghini Targeting LMP1 car for LeMans While set to debut the new Super Trofeo and GT3 versions of the Huracan next year, Lamborghini not only has set its sights on GT racing but also a return to Le Mans and potential move to LMP1 ranks in the future as well.
Giorgio Sanna, Lamborghini's motorsport coordinator and lead development driver, laid out the Italian manufacturer's ambitions in a recent interview with Top Gear.
"I not only want to participate in Le Mans, I want to win," Sanna said. "Our racing program and budget currently extends to 2018. F1 is completely out of our mind because VW is not interested.
Yates to buyout Jack Roush? (Update)UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'strong' today. According to AR1.com sources, the Ford/Yates takeover of Roush Fenway Racing will start in 2016.
12/06/14 Roush Yates Engines CEO Doug Yates responded yesterday to rumors that he will replace Jack Roush at the helm of Roush Fenway Racing when Roush steps down in the near future.
"Jack is committed to NASCAR racing," said Yates, son of legendary NASCAR engine builder and team owner Robert Yates. "He loves two things besides his family; racing and flying airplanes. He is not planning to stop the racing part, anyway. I know that for a fact."
Yates admitted, however, that he is interested in following his father into the ownership ranks one day.
Wallace seeks exit from JGR contact?? (Update)UPDATE As you can see from this Fox Sports.com article, the team has granted Wallace his release. This rumor is upgraded to 'fact'.
Darrell Wallace, Jr.
The Charlotte Observer is reporting that Darrell 'Bubba' Wallace, Jr. has asked for a release from his contract with Joe Gibbs Racing.
The 21-year-old Mobile Alabama native signed with JGR as a development driver in 2010, and won 5 NASCAR Camping World Trucks Series races over the past two seasons. However, the team has thus far been unable to secure sponsorship for Wallace in any national series, which has apparently prompted the driver to seek opportunities elsewhere. A possible destination according to the Observer is Roush Fenway Racing, where Wallace would be able to move into the NASCAR XFinitiy Series for 2015.
(Editor's note: This is a translated article from French Motorsport.com saying that Red Bull Global Rallycross and Formula E driver Nelson Piquet, Jr. may run this year's Verizon IndyCar Series race in Brasilia. One would figure that Piquet might run with KVSH Racing as the article mentions. Piquet, of course, drives for SH Racing in Global Rallycross. Of particular interest in this article however, is the quote of $500,000-$700,000 necessary to run the race, which seems high.)
Certainly, many drivers would like a steering wheel IndyCar under the tree ! After including Vergne and Alexander Rossi is now Nelson Piquet Jr who would go in the main category of cars in the US , but only for a race.
The former Formula 1 driver would indeed take the start of the opening round of the 2015 championship, played on the Autodromo Nelson Piquet in Brasilia hometown of Piquet.
RLL's 2015 Tudor lineup appears to be taking shape
Hearing that Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing's 2015 Tudor United Sportscar Championship GTLM lineup is set for 2015. The team will have two BMW Z4 cars with the primary drivers being Bill Auberlen, John Edwards, Dirk Werner and Lucas Luhr. We're also hearing that in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the legendary BMW CSL, the cars will carry numbers 24 and 25.
Any backing Charles Pic has will go a lot further in IndyCar
According to racer.com, F1 driver Charles Pic is has decided IndyCar could be in his future.
"For the moment, I'm looking into all the opportunities I have for next year – the program I will do next year is not set," he told RACER.
"I'm still looking at which opportunity will suit me the best, and for the future. I think it's important to look medium to long term, three or four years ahead, and decide what is best. IndyCar is of course one of the options; I think IndyCar is very interesting and very competitive. It depends on the opportunity, and they are not the same with every team, but I would like to do IndyCar."
Is Formula One on the verge of a coup d’état to oust Bernie Ecclestone?
[Editor's note: This BBC Sport article suggests that VW Group is considering entering Formula One particularly in light of the success competitor Mercedes enjoyed in 2015. However, VW is known not to be too keen on one Bernie Ecclestone, as friction has long existed between the two. Is VW working in conjunction with Eddie Jordan and others to oust the longtime F1 boss?]
The Volkswagen Group, the world's second biggest car maker, is conducting a feasibility study into a potential Formula 1 entry.
Sources say the review is being conducted by ex-Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali, who was hired by VW's Audi brand earlier this year.
Its interest is being piqued by the global marketing success achieved by rivals and new F1 champions Mercedes.
No word yet on who will drive the second McLaren in 2015
This Eurosport article says that the ongoing saga of who will pair with Fernando Alonso at McLaren remained undecided after a board meeting Thursday in Woking.
Following weeks of deliberation at McLaren about whether or not Button's experience or Magnussen's longer-term potential were best to partner with Fernando Alonso in 2015, all eyes were on the outcome of a board meeting that took place in Woking on Thursday.
However, despite lengthy discussions relating to a host of McLaren issues, a team spokesman confirmed that no agreement was reached on what it would do with its drivers in 2015.
Take a look at all the hardware hanging off the Mercedes F1 engine. It's complicated, it's expensive and the engine sounds horrible. Fans are running for the exits and race attendance will be down in 2015
AR1.com predicted that fans would stop following F1 in droves now that the thrill of the screaming engines is gone, replaced by the boring, very costly green engines that fans hate.
F1 could be set to lose one of its major free-to-air broadcasters in a key market, according to Germany's Sport Bild.
Last week, RTL blamed "incomprehensible rules" and "counterproductive external representations" for a significant ratings decline in Germany this year. AR1 blames the boring parade put on by Mercedes and cars that no longer thrill anyone.
Although the German Nico Rosberg, driving a works Mercedes, was in the hunt for the title to the very end, RTL said its average audience had dropped by almost a million viewers per race this season compared to 2013.
IndyCar Providence Rhode Island race dead (8th Update)UPDATE #8 Like so many other IndyCar races - stick a fork in it, it's done. The rumored Providence, RI IndyCar race is dead according to this NBC Sports article. With the race on NBC Sports network there would be miniscule exposure for the city, so why should they fund such a project?
Providence mayor Angel Taveras' said, "It would have been great to make an announcement as a candidate, but if it's not fiscally prudent and if it's not fiscally responsible, then it's not good for the city, so from my perspective that's what we need to look at," he said.
New England Grand Prix president Mark Perrone has told local radio station WPRO that the lack of a Providence deal came down to economics.
WR Planning Biogas-Powered Garage 56 Entry for 2016 Longtime Le Mans participant WR is set to return to Circuit de la Sarthe in 2016 as a potential Garage 56 entry with a biogas-powered prototype.
The French squad, which last took part in the twice-around-the-clock endurance classic in 2010, has launched a new project that will showcase alternative technology.
The car will utilize a 1.6-liter 3-cylinder engine running on biogas, which is primarily made up of methane and carbon dioxide. It will be outfitted with a cryogenic fuel tank and will feature liquid injection.
Caterham could be sold "within the next month" according to administrator Finbarr O'Connell.
O'Connell took control of the floundering F1 team when it went into administration earlier this season and, turning to crowdfunding, was able to get Caterham back onto the grid for the season-ending Abu Dhabi GP.
With the team remaining a viable option for a buyer, the Irishman has revealed a possible buyer is lurking in the wings.
"I am honestly talking to somebody who would like to take this over within the next month," he told Press Association Sport.
"This is somebody who feels the same as me, that if we don't do something quickly then the team will drift away.
If Ron Dennis can get the Denmark billionaires to cough up money, Magnussen will be a shoe-in for the 2nd McLaren seat
When in doubt, follow the money, and that is exactly what Ron Dennis is doing. The difference between F1 and IndyCar is that McLaren is pursuing the money instead of waiting for the drivers to pursue the money and bring them the check. McLaren has a past winning reputation to sell to a sponsor, some IndyCar teams who rely on ride buyer money never win championships so what do they have to sell a sponsor? NBCSN 0.3 TV ratings?
You understand the point - it's a revolving door of ride-buyer after ride-buyer.
The McLaren F1 team still has to decide who will join Fernando Alonso (although the Spaniard has still not yet been officially confirmed) but the choice seems to be between Jenson Button, Kevin Magnussen and Stoffel Vandoorne. There has been talk of Telefonica coming in to sponsor the team with its Movistar brand and in recent days Ron Dennis was spotted in Denmark. He is believed to have been in talks with Anders Holch Povlsen, the owner of the fashion retail business Bestseller, who is reckoned to be worth around $4.8 billion from apparel and accessories sold under 11 different brand names.
Montezemolo to quit Ferrari for Alitalia Airline? (3rd Update)UPDATE #3 Former Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has been appointed President at Italian airline Alitalia. Montezemolo replaces Roberto Colaninno who resigned as president following a deal with Etihad in August which saw the Abu Dhabi airline purchase a 49% stake in Alitalia for a reputed 560m euros.
Luca di Montezemolo
We are upgrading this rumor from early August to 'fact' today. No longer Ferrari's long-time president, Luca di Montezemolo's next move is now clear.
Authoritative reports including the ANSA news agency say the flamboyant 67-year-old, deposed recently by Sergio Marchionne as the Fiat Chrysler group hit the stock market, has been appointed to lead the Italian flag carrier Alitalia.
"The board of the old Alitalia designated Montezemolo ... who will eventually be nominated by the board of the new company," a source told the Reuters news agency, referring to the merger between Alitalia and Abu Dhabi's Etihad.
UFD did come through on payments to Andretti Autosport
James Hinchcliffe in the #27 UFD Honda at Barber
It was suggested earlier this week in Robin Miller's Mailbag on Racer.com that United Fiber & Data had not come through on their payments to sponsor to Andretti Autosport.
The Pennsylvania-based fiber networking and broadband solutions company started by members of the band Live served as the primary sponsor of the #27 Andretti Autosport Honda piloted by James Hinchcliffe in the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series. Hinchcliffe, of course, announced last month, he was leaving Andretti for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports beginning in 2015, in part, because Andretti did not have a sponsor lined up for the Canadian.
Miller notes: "I was told that United Fiber & Data hadn’t paid anything since last April so I guess that classifies as the sponsor not jelling with the team. Hinch didn’t want to leave, he was told to go look for work because Andretti couldn’t promise him anything for 2015."
Sneak peek at next-gen IndyCar (Update)UPDATE To be clear, this was never a mockup of the 2018 IndyCar. The point of the rumor was to show once again that an IndyCar with a canopy could be a great looking car instead of the hideous looking existing car with a blob of bodywork in front of the rear wheels that looks downright ridiculous. The car is actually a single seat Nissan SYNAPTIQ concept car of the future.
Rumor has it that the next generation IndyCar due out in 2018, complete with canopies to protect the driver, could look like the photo to the right. Because they are called open-wheel, not open-cockpit, cars, we suspect the air deflectors shown over the wheels may get the purist's panties in a knot, but other than that it's a design that should generate new IndyCar fans.
Will the final car look like this? Absolutely not, it looks to good.
(GMM) Valtteri Bottas' managers have played down rumors linking the on-form Finn with a move to Ferrari.
Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport reported this week that, perhaps in view of replacing its current Finn Kimi Raikkonen in 2016, Ferrari has made exploratory advances towards 25-year-old Bottas in recent days.
With his sixth podium of the season in Abu Dhabi, Bottas actually leapfrogged 2015 Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel to take fourth place in this year's points standings.
Formula E Reportedly In Talks With CVC Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag and stakeholder Enrique Bañuelos "want to end their common interest in Formula E," according to Hernanz & Rubio of EL CONFIDENCIAL.
After "just two races of the first season, both businessmen are reportedly negotiating with various investment firms." Currently, the best-positioned is F1 majority shareholder CVC, "which is performing due diligence to evaluate the quantity of a possible offer."
Contrary to Bañuelos, Agag "wants to take advantage of CVC's link to F1 to offer it an alternative to the circus of F1."
Ecclestone orchestrated Ferrari Super Team (Update)UPDATE
Vettel listens intently as Ecclestone dictates how he put together a Ferrari Super Team with Vettel getting paid double what Alonso and Hamilton will make
Added photo to right of Bernie Ecclestone talking and a happy Sebastien Vettel listening intently. What were they talking about? We surmise in the photo caption.
11/24/14 No one knows better than Bernie Ecclestone how important Ferrari is to F1. He has given them the best financial deal for years because he knows they have the largest fan base and most history in the sport.
Ecclestone knows that when Ferrari cars win races TV ratings and attendance increases. So it has pained him to watch Ferrari languish for years.
Who would have thought Vettel would be leaving Red Bull in May 2013 when AR1 first rumored it. The team was having so much success no one thought it possible
With four straight titles and being groomed by Red Bull since he was a kid, no one expected Sebastian Vettel to leave Red Bull and master designer Adrian Newey when we rumored it 18 months ago and he was at the top of the world - headed to his 4th straight world title. Readers called us nuts.Read more & Comment...
Ecclestone's Formula For Compromise Set To Divide Paddock
Divide and conquer. Ecclestone tells Horner expect to get less because the minnows are begging
F1's struggling teams "could have an answer to their financial woes within days" if F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone is "as good as his word," according to Kevin Eason of the LONDON TIMES.
There were "fevered negotiations" as the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix played to its conclusion. CVC Capital Partners Founding Chair Donald Mackenzie flew into Abu Dhabi "to lead negotiations, underlining the seriousness of the crisis engulfing the sport his business owns."
Whether Mackenzie and Ecclestone can find a compromise agreement "remains to be seen." Revelations that the European Union competition commission could be tempted to launch an investigation into F1’s arcane finances "appear to have triggered a new sense of urgency. "
South East England region MEP Anneliese Dodds is expected to meet Europe’s new Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager on Tuesday. An investigation "could lay bare the intimate and secret details of F1’s financial affairs and put the sport on hold for months." LONDON TIMES
Alonso's and Hamilton's salary will pale in comparison to what Ferrari will pay Vettel (Update)UPDATE Lewis Hamilton's latest championship triumph is "poised to net" him a new $157M, five-year contract with Mercedes, "cementing his status" as the U.K.'s most wealthy active athlete at $32M per year, half of the $64M per year Vettel will reportedly make at Ferrari.
Screwed over by Renault and Red Bull this year, Vettel headed to Ferrari a rich man
FOX SPORTS' Pete Gill reported Fernando Alonso's contract with McLaren-Honda "will reportedly be the 'biggest in F1 history.'" According to Spanish newspaper AS, the deal "will be 'the largest in the history of Formula 1 and presented as a multi-year agreement.'" Alonso "is believed to have sought a one-year deal that would have enabled him to join Mercedes in the event of a 2016 vacancy arising at F1’s latest behemoth outfit." Instead, the price to be paid for an estimated salary of A$46M ($40M) "will be a binding two-year contract with an option for a third season." Fox Sports
However, Alonso will only be top dog in the salary category for a day or so when it is announced before the Abu Dhabi race. Sebastian Vettel "is thought to have been offered a three-year deal" worth $64M a season, which "will make him the highest paid driver in the sport's history."
The word at Suzuka last month is that Sebastian Vettel pulled off a masterstroke. Not only did he expose Fernando Alonso's Ferrari split and revealed that Red Bull's doors were closed to the Spaniard, the reigning world champion has reportedly single-handedly brokered perhaps the most lucrative deal in F1 history.
Incredibly, British newspapers claim Vettel's new Ferrari deal - which is yet to be announced - could be worth up to an astonishing $64 million per year, making him easily the highest paid driver in F1 and 60% higher than Alonso. We're sure Alonso will be stewing over that for a very long time.
New engines for Formula 1 in 2016? Formula 1 could have a new rule book in 2016 if a campaign by a number of major players is successful. The group is demanding the introduction of a technologically dumbed down 1.6 liter twin turbo V6 engines using a spec hybrid system.
"The costs are too high and I think one of the crucial aspects in those costs is the power unit and that's something the strategy group, as well as the other players within Formula One have a duty of care to look at very carefully and I think. I think an awful lot can be done for 2016 and maybe we need to even go as far as looking at a different engine. Maybe still a V6 but maybe a more simplified V6 that controls the cost. Cost of development, cost of supply to a team and to the privateer teams" Red Bull Team Boss Christian Horner argued at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Marlboro chief to replace Ferrari boss Mattiacci (2nd Update)UPDATE #2 This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' after today's announcement. Two (Vettel and Arrivabene) of the four pieces are now in place for the Ferrari Super Team. Next up will be the rumored return of Aldo Costa and Ross Brawn. Stay tuned......
Ross Brawn (above) will replace Mattiacci if Arrivabene doesn't
(GMM) Marco Mattiacci has done little to reject rumors he is set to depart as Ferrari's team boss.
Reports throughout the Abu Dhabi weekend suggested the Roman and former Ferrari North America chief, who arrived at Maranello in April to replace the suddenly-ousted Stefano Domenicali, is on the verge of himself being replaced.
The rumors say Marlboro executive and F1 Commission member Maurizio Arrivabene, or perhaps even Ross Brawn, are set to succeed Mattiacci.
When asked if Abu Dhabi was his last race, Mattiacci said on Sunday: "At the moment I am very focused on my job just as I was when I started in April."
Alonso to McLaren, Vettel to Ferrari (18th Update)UPDATE #18 This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. Vettel is confirmed at Ferrari and the former King of Spain, Juan Carlos, has confirmed Fernando Alonso is joining McLaren. It's hardly breaking news, but Alonso has refused to confirm that he will return to McLaren next year since announcing that he will leave Ferrari at the end of the season.
However, Juan Carlos did it on his behalf ahead of the season finale in Abu Dhabi and Alonso admitted after the race that the king is "always right".
Asked about the revelation, the two-time World Champion replied: "What the king says I cannot go against. The king is the king. He is always right."
Start of the 1982 Las Vegas GP in the Caesars Palace Parking Lot
AR1 is hearing that the location for the proposed Las Vegas Formula One race is a street circuit at the south end of The Strip circling the Mandalay Bay resort. That part of town would put the race under Clark County jurisdiction and not the jurisdiction of the City of Las Vegas.
Honestly, we'll believe a Grand Prix around Mandalay Bay, or anywhere in Las Vegas for that matter, when we see it. Vegas is a fabulous destination town, but casinos make money with tourists inside not outside. While AR1 could not obtain a proposed layout, one insider told us that any sort of circuit design in that area of The Strip would amount to "Caesars 2." This in reference of course to the much-maligned Caesar's Palace Grand Prix parking lot circuit which played host to Formula 1 in 1981 and 1982 then CART in 1983 and 1984.
In the end Sauber boss Monisha Kaltenborn took the biggest ride-buyer checks she could get for 2015 as the cancer destroying open wheel racing continues unabated
(GMM) Giedo van der Garde was denied access to the Abu Dhabi paddock, the Swiss newspaper Blick reports.
The Dutchman has been Sauber's reserve driver in 2014, and this weekend was reportedly scheduled to drive in the first Friday practice session.
Ultimately, it was Adderly Fong, a Hong Kong driver, who appeared on track in Abu Dhabi.
Like Adrian Sutil, van der Garde appeared to have signed a Sauber race contract for 2015, but the Swiss team has instead announced that Felipe Nasr will drive alongside Marcus Ericsson next year.
Blick newspaper reports that the van der Garde camp including his wealthy backers are threatening legal action, moving Sauber boss Monisha Kaltenborn to retract the driver's team-connected paddock pass for the 2014 finale.
"The Sutil camp has also apparently become active on the legal side," the report added.
This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. Emerson Fittipaldi will make a return to racing at the age of 67, at his home round of the World Endurance Championship at Interlagos.
The Brazilian will drive an AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia and will share the GTE Am entry with Alessandro Pierguidi and Jeff Segal after Belarusian Alexander Talkanitsa Sr. stepped down to make way for the racing legend.
Team boss Amato Ferrari, who confirmed that the entry for Fittipaldi was made yesterday, said: "Emerson was a hero of mine when I was young, so it is a pleasure to have him in one of my cars. There will be no chance for him to test the car, but I feel he is very motivated and can do a good job."
Villeneuve to run 2015 Indy 500? Possibly more? (Update)UPDATE "I want to run the whole season of IndyCar. Of course, if there is only one race available, I prefer to run the Indianapolis 500 again. There is no doubt about that," Villeneuve told LANCE Net during the Brazil GP Formula 1 weekend.
This year, the Canadian returned to the cockpit of an Indy car for the Indianapolis 500, finishing 14th, just eight seconds behind the winner, American Ryan Hunter-Reay.
"It was an amazing experience. I really missed racing at that speed and in an open wheel car. I felt alive again. When I sat in the car, driving like that, running well ... I definitely felt alive again," said the former Canadian pilot.
'Forza Rossa' Romanian F1 entry (2nd Update)UPDATE #2 The defeat of Romanian Prime Minister, Victor Ponta, in the country’s presidential election over the weekend appears to be a major blow to the ambitions of the Forza Rossa F1 project, that was aiming to enter the sport in 2015. The project, which was supported by Ponta’s government, has been very quiet since the summer, largely because of the messy election campaign, where a government-funded racing team might have caused unnecessary controversy.
Before the elections began in September, however, there was speculation that the purchase of Caterham F1 by new investors might have been related to the Romanian team. Recent investigations indicate that there was a connection, but not as obvious as was being suggested. From what we understand from Romania, the plan was for the new team to race with cars built for it by an independent entity called CF1 Manufacturing, under the leadership of John Iley. The company would not have used the Caterham base at Leafield but rather a different facility, into which much of the Caterham machinery and staff would have been transferred. The team itself would have been a separate entity.
AR1 is hearing that the very well financed Max Chilton will likely get the nod to drive alongside Kamui Kobayashi at Abu Dhabi this weekend for the Caterham F1 Team. Chilton, of course, started the first 16 races of the season for Marussia with a best finish of 13th at Australia and Bahrain. Like Caterham financial problems forced the Marussia team to the sidelines.
Beschir in Caterham link, Sainz to test Red Bull (GMM) The list of potential teammates for confirmed Caterham driver Kamui Kobayashi in Abu Dhabi is growing by the hour.
Names including Andre Lotterer, Roberto Merhi, Rubens Barrichello, new GP2 champion Jolyon Palmer and Max Chilton have all been linked with the drive, after Swedish regular Marcus Ericsson terminated his contract last week.
Now, Italiaracing reports that Lebanese driver Khalil Beschir is another candidate, perhaps given his high profile in Abu Dhabi as a television pundit and also a manager of up-and-coming Middle Eastern drivers.
(GMM) Max Chilton has emerged as a surprise candidate to race the second Caterham in Abu Dhabi this weekend.
The Briton has driven all season for Marussia, who like Caterham went into administration last month and sat out the Austin and Brazil grands prix.
Bernie Ecclestone says the backmarker teams must return for the Abu Dhabi season finale this weekend or lose their places in formula one, although some reports suggest the teams can in fact miss three races and still return in 2015.
Caterham's administrators have raised the funds they need to get the team back up and running in Abu Dhabi, while Marussia has ceased trading and laid off staff.
Merhi to drive for Caterham at Abu Dhabi??? (Editor's note: With the team in administration, the staff being made redundant, and everything else surrounding the circus that is Caterham, who knows what drivers they plan to run at Abu Dhabi. However, as you can see below, 23-year-old Spaniard Roberto Merhi, who has won three times in Formula Renault 3.5 this season, believes he has a contract in place to race at Abu Dhabi.)
From Autosport -- Roberto Merhi believes he has a valid contract to make his Formula 1 race debut with Caterham in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The 23-year-old Spaniard has made three Friday practice appearances for the team and had already been in the running for a race shot earlier in the season.
Sainz may be shock contender for McLaren seat (Update)UPDATE
Carlos Sainz Jr.
This rumor is downgraded to 'false' today. McLaren denied rumors the Red Bull-backed Spanish youngster Carlos Sainz Jr is a dark horse candidate to join his countryman Fernando Alonso at the team in 2015.
"Media reports claiming that Carlos Sainz Jr is being considered by McLaren for a race seat in 2015 are incorrect," said a McLaren spokesman.
The Spanish sports daily AS, however, insists there is some truth to the rumor, adding that Sainz would be backed by the potential sponsor Movistar and could be signed as a test driver.
But AS acknowledged that the Sainz camp also denied the reports.
Simona De Silvestro is interested in returning to the Verizon IndyCar Series after she learned that her checkbook was not large enough to buy a race seat in F1.
De Silvestro, who raced in the series from 2010-13, saw her Formula One pursuit with Sauber suspended last month after her money ran out, and the 26-year-old Swiss driver told friends at last week's U.S. Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, that she made a mistake in leaving.
"She's keen to return," IndyCar president Derrick Walker said. "I'm trying to help her spread the word."
Walker said De Silvestro is "the most talented female driver in open-wheel racing, period." In part from IndyStar.com
Formula 1 May Be Forced To Delay IPO Due To Problems Plaguing Marussia, Caterham (Update)UPDATE (GMM) The crisis of collapsing and complaining teams looks set to once again spoil plans for F1's stock market floatation.
The sport's majority shareholder CVC wanted to float formula one in Singapore in 2012, but the plans were delayed amid market uncertainty and Bernie Ecclestone's high profile legal troubles.
Those concerns have since lifted, and the financial news service Bloomberg claims that CVC was back on track to float F1 early in 2015.
The report said CVC has commissioned Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and UBS to work on the possible initial public offering.
(GMM) Ferrari has given the strongest sign yet that Kimi Raikkonen will definitely still be wearing red in 2015.
With many prominent Ferrari figures having departed this year, and Fernando Alonso and a flurry of his engineers to be the next, it has been rumored Raikkonen's future might also be in doubt.
The 35-year-old Finn is already signed up for 2015, but he has notably struggled alongside Alonso this year and at the end of 2009 was ousted by Ferrari despite having a year to run on his contract.
Team boss Marco Mattiacci, however, hailed the 2007 world champion's performance last weekend in Brazil, and a report posted on Ferrari's official website on Thursday gave more evidence that Raikkonen is staying put.
Christian Horner calls for return of V8 engines. Mercedes says they would quit. Others say don't let the door hit you on the way out as your engines have made our sport a boring parade
Red Bull boss Christian Horner is spot on in calling for a return to V8 engines in F1. Who cares that today's F1 engines are more fuel efficient. Fans come to see a race, not a fuel economy parade. 0.000% of fans care what fuel mileage an F1 engine gets.
F1's new V6 turbo engines and complex energy recovery systems have resulted in fans complaining about the lack of noise while the significantly higher costs have contributed to the financial struggles of half the teams.
"Nobody likes to go backwards, but sometimes you have got to consider that desperate means require desperate measures," Horner said. "You're looking at the costs of these power units - how sustainable is it for all the teams and indeed the manufacturers?
"I think it's extremely unlikely [we'll go back to V8s] but if we were rational about it then yes we would."
"Sometimes you have to put your hand up and say 'we got it wrong'. With the engine regulations the people involved got it wrong. Not only have we got an enormously expensive engine, we've got an engine we're not allowed to develop as well, or have very limited advantage. All you do is freeze in an advantage that you currently see.
GP2 driver Daniel Abt eyes move to IndyCar (3rd Update)UPDATE #3
Daniel Abt will likely drive 4th Andretti Honda
The fourth full-time car for Andretti Autosport is one of the hot-button items this Verizon IndyCar Series offseason, and while budget isn't fully finalized for the car yet, team principal Michael Andretti still hopes to have it completed shortly.
"We're working on it; we're working on four, and hoping for five (cars)," Andretti told MotorSportsTalk in an interview promoting the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana this weekend.
The team is finalizing its commercial partnership with United Fiber & Data, which served as primary sponsor for both James Hinchcliffe in IndyCar and Matthew Brabham in Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires this past season. Hinchcliffe has since departed for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, where he will become that team's lead driver.
F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has denied that a request has been made to Red Bull and Ferrari to field third cars next season, but reiterated that such a provision does exist in the regulations.
According to reports, F1 superpowers Red Bull and Ferrari have indicated that, if asked, they will run three cars next season.
The Times newspaper claims that both teams will field an additional car in 2015 if, as expected, neither Marussia nor Caterham return to the sport.
“If the numbers drop below a certain number - which I think is 16 - we are obliged to run a third car, that is in our contract. But that is not the case and we haven’t been requested to,” Red Bull boss Christian Horner told Sky F1.
Force India bleeding money, next to fold The future of Force India, the Northamptonshire-based Formula 1 team co-owned by Indian tycoon Vijay Mallya, has been called into question by its auditors after it posted a loss of $50+ million in its latest accounts.
F1 heads into today's Brazilian Grand Prix in crisis after two teams – Caterham and Marussia – went into administration last month. Marussia ceased trading on Friday.
Though estimates say Mallya is worth $750 million, his Kingfisher airline has been grounded since 2012 due to debt defaults.
Could customer cars be a solution to control F1 costs?
In this AR1 Hot News item Formula 1 commercial chief Bernie Ecclestone says there are no plans to provide financial assistance to cash-strapped teams. Ecclestone also notes that as of now, there are no plans for teams to run third cars.
However, towards the end of the article, Ecclestone does note that customer cars are a possibility. Of course, Formula One has long required teams to build their own chassis. However, with costs spiraling out of control, maybe one solution is for smaller teams to purchase cars from larger teams. Ecclestone says there would be a new 'teams championship' set up in addition to the Constructors' Championship.
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