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DATE News (chronologically)
Report links Kolles entry with carmaker Dacia (Update)  UPDATE (GMM)  The low-cost Romanian carmaker Dacia has denied reports linking it with formula one.

The unlikely name was mentioned in connection with Romanian former Force India and HRT boss Colin Kolles, who has reportedly expressed interest in entering a team to fill the vacant eleventh pitlane slot in 2015.

But Dacia, known for its unspectacular Logan and Duster models, and owned since 1999 by Renault, denied the news.

"We know nothing about these rumors," a spokesperson is quoted by the Dutch website Racexpress.  "There has been no mention of interest, and time is much too short." More ...

More Upgrades Coming to Belle Isle  One of the better stories of last year's IndyCar season was the series' successful weekend in Detroit. Of course after a rather forgettable 2012 event, Chevrolet Belle Isle Grand Prix of Detroit promoter Roger Penske made significant upgrades to the race surface, and redesigned the track layout. The result was this year's very successful debut of the doubleheader in Detroit. More ...
McLaren 2014 Car May Not Be Ready for Testing  According to this Autosport article, McLaren is "in a race against time," to get its 2014 car ready for opening testing at Jerez. Apparently, the issue with the 2014 car is that it has yet to pass crash testing.

The launch of the McLaren car is scheduled for next Friday January 24th. The first day of the test at Jerez is January 28th.

McLaren 2014 F1 car fails crash test?  rumor has it that the McLaren MP4-28, designed by Matt Morris has failed several mandatory FIA crash tests.

The result could mean that McLaren could miss the opening test in Jerez, along with Lotus who have already confirmed they will not be attending the first 2014 Formula one pre-season test.

A delay with the car would also mean that a concept of the car would be revealed at the online launch on 24th January.

Kolles, Stefan also bidding for F1 in 2015  (GMM) Two more potential teams are bidding to join the formula one pitlane.

Bernie Ecclestone revealed on Thursday that he is in talks with two new outfits, and the first reared its head in the form of Nascar co-owner Gene Haas.

But Germany's Auto Motor und Sport reports that there is not one more potential bidder for the eleventh and final pitlane garage in 2015, but two. More ...

Valsecchi to IndyCar?  
Davide Valsecchi
Davide Valsecchi expects to leave Lotus and is keen on securing a move to IndyCar as he isn't prepared to spend another season as a reserve driver.

Having joined Lotus at the start of 2013 - fresh from winning the GP2 championship - Valsecchi was overlooked in favor of Heikki Kovalainen for the final two races of last year when Kimi Raikkonen needed replacing. Lotus has yet to announce its reserve driver for 2014 - with Marco Sorensen tipped to join the team - but has seen a reshuffle at management level with Patrick Louis resigning as CEO and being replaced by Matthew Carter.

In an interview with F1Passion.it Valsecchi said he doesn't expect to stay at Lotus but revealed he has been contacted by Louis who wants to speak to him in person. Asked what he expects from the meeting, Valsecchi replied: "I really don't know.  More ...

Simona to Leave IndyCar (Update)  UPDATE Mike Conway wasn’t at the meetings either.  Ed Carpenter was though. Mike is, however, testing Friday at Sebring in the No. 20 car.

01/15/14 Reportedly, Simona de Silvestro is not in attendance at this morning's IndyCar Drivers' Meeting in Indianapolis.

Now, we're not going to draw any firm conclusions simply based on this. And it should be noted that Takuma Sato, who is signed to race for A.J. Foyt, is not at the meeting. Contrarily, Conor Daly, who is not signed with an IndyCar team is in attendance. So, read into that what you will. More ...
Fierberg to retire from Formula 2000  
Fierberg leads at Fontana in 2013
We hear that Pacific Formula 2000 runner up Ira Fierberg is not entered in the Pacific F2000 season opener January 18-19 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana.  Fierberg will not defend his six consecutive race win streak at Auto Club Speedway. 

In 2013 Fierberg won all three races at ACS in a triple race weekend, and in 2012 Fierberg swept pole and first place honors in both races. 
Vettel's daughter born in Switzerland?  
Vettel and girlfriend Hanna Prater
(GMM)  Sebastian Vettel has reportedly kicked off the new year by becoming a father.

The news of the world champion's impending parenthood broke only in December, when the German newspaper Bild said Vettel's girlfriend Hanna was eight months pregnant.

On Wednesday, the Darmstadter Echo newspaper claimed it had learned exclusively that Hanna gave birth to a Swiss-born girl on Sunday.

Lotus F1 Team could be rebadged as De Tomaso F1 (Update)  UPDATE Lotus owner Gerard Lopez played down reports of a link with the Italian marque De Tomaso.

"There is currently nothing to it," he said, but he did admit that he is looking into developing a carbon sports car, and "De Tomaso is an option".

"But this has nothing to do with formula one," added Lopez.

01/15/14 Just before Christmas the Italian newspapers picked up a story that suggested that the Italian regional authorities in Piedmont and Tuscany had received a non-binding expression of interest from “an English group, backed by a Luxembourg fund” to acquire the assets of the De Tomaso automobile company, which has been in administration since 2012. The Italian regional politicians are keen to save the 900 jobs at the De Tomaso factory in Grugliasco, a Turin suburb, and another 120 at Livorno in Tuscany. The court overseeing the administration agreed to delay shutting down the business until May 4, to allow for negotiations to continue. More ...
Frijns to Caterham? (Update)  UPDATE
Robin Frijns
(GMM)  Robin Frijns looks set to secure a role in the F1 paddock for 2014.

The only remaining vacancies on next year's grid are at Caterham, but the green-colored team looks set to sign former Sauber driver Kamui Kobayashi, and Swedish rookie Marcus Ericsson.

That would be bad news for Caterham's existing race drivers Giedo van der Garde and Charles Pic, who in that scenario would be locked out of formula one for now.

For Dutchman Frijns, however, Caterham could be his F1 lifeline, after the highly-rated 23-year-old lost his reserve seat at Sauber last year amid the Swiss team's financial troubles. More ...

racing news
IMS will add a vintage race in June 2014  A post on the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association, or SVRA, website revealed that IMS will host an SVRA Vintage race in June 2014 on the newly reconfigured 2.44-mile road course. For all the history that exists about IMS, this will actually be the first ever vintage race at the speedway.  But why not a vintage IndyCar race as well?
Jakes to DCR (Update)  UPDATE Our 2014 IndyCar Silly Season page has been updated with this news.

01/14/14 According to this Racer.com article, James Jakes could be close to signing with Dale Coyne Racing. Jakes, of course, ran for DCR in 2011 and 2012, before spending 2013 with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.

While Jakes did mention that sports cars were a possibility, he noted that he anticipated an offer from Coyne in the next week or two.

For now, we'll rate Jakes to DCR as speculation.

Indy 500 pole to break tradition again  UPDATE Curt Cavin is reporting via USA Today that Indy 500 Pole Day will in fact move to Sunday. We await official word.

01/12/14 Question: Do we know that it is "official" that the pole for this year's Indianapolis 500 will be set on Sunday, May 18, and not Saturday as year's past? I can't find the definitive answer. (Jackson, South Bend, Ind.)

A: We don't have official word, but from the sources I have and the TV broadcast schedule that's been released, I can tell you that the pole will be determined on Sunday and most assuredly in the 1-3 p.m. time slot. It also seems clear the format will look dramatically different than in year's past, possibly with drivers required to qualify both days. We also don't know if there will be practice time added to the month, important because of the new IndyCar road course race on Saturday, May 10. The teams are really going to be taxed for a quick turnaround, and if qualifying is extended to Sunday, there won't be much time, if any, for race prep after qualifying. A news conference is expected to be Tuesday at 4 p.m., so maybe we'll get details on how this will work, but my guess is there are still many things to work through. Curt Cavin/Indy Star

2014 cars to have 'anteater' noses  (GMM)  Nose solutions for the 2014 regulations could leave F1 cars resembling "anteaters", the Italian magazine Autosprint has revealed.

The report published an image apparently originating from the mandatory FIA crash test undergone recently by Caterham's new car.

It depicts an impression of the 2014 nose on the so-called 'control plate' after the impact, confirming some observers' fears that the likely solutions are aesthetically questionable. More ...

Lotus to go belly-up?  The future of historic British motor marque Lotus has been called into question after the company made a £167.8m net loss in 2013 writes Christian Sylt in the Daily Telegraph.

The Norfolk-based manufacturer is an official partner of the eponymous Formula One team but it does not own a stake in it. Being a partner is not the only connection between the two as Proton, the Malaysian company which owns Group Lotus, is understood to have given the team a £35m loan in 2012 so the health of the manufacturer could have consequences for F1.

There is a long-standing joke in the motor industry that Lotus stands for 'Lots Of Trouble Usually Serious' and that couldn't be a better description of its financial predicament. More ...

Vautier to switch to sports cars  Tristan Vautier admits that he could switch to sports cars this year if he is unable to find the necessary funding to remain in IndyCar.

The Frenchman earned IndyCar's Rookie of the Year title last season, but admits that he is yet to secure the budget needed to build upon his first year in the series. His seat at Schmidt Peterson, which was funded in part by the $1 million prize he earned for winning the 2012 Indy Lights title, has already been taken by Mikhail Aleshin.

"There are really no seats available unless you're bringing a significant budget," Vautier said. "I'm keeping my fingers crossed that something will happen. I'm trying." More ...

Ducati Considering Switch To MotoGP's Open Class  Ducati Racing "is hoping a shock change to its MotoGP program will help take the struggling Italian team back to the front of the field," according to William Dale of FOX SPORTS. Reports suggest that the team is "considering running all of its bikes in MotoGP's 'Open' class instead of as a 'Factory' team." The Open class is "the new designation for the former 'Claiming Rules Team' category, as part of the changes to MotoGP's 2014 regulations." Under the rules, Open bikes "are allowed to use 24 liters of fuel compared to the Factory teams' 20." Another advantage is that Factory teams "are restricted to using just five engines per bike throughout the season and are not allowed to develop them between the start and end of the year." Open teams are allowed to go through 12 and "can upgrade their engines in the quest for performance." FoxSports
Rumor - Ferrari already track testing V6 turbo (Update)  UPDATE (GMM)  Rumors Ferrari is already testing its all-new turbo V6 engine have only gained in strength in the last days and weeks.

Citing video evidence, we reported last month that a LaFerrari supercar had lapped the Maranello marque's private Fiorano circuit amid the distinct tones of a turbo engine.

Germany's Auto Motor und Sport now has more details.

It has published detailed photos that depict the supercar, with a camouflaged livery, also featuring a "suspiciously large" air intake on the roof.

The car also had a "giant wing" at the rear. More ...

Force India to have unique chassis 'hump' - report  (GMM)  Force India will feature Telmex colors in 2014 and an unique 'hump' on the top of the monocoque, the Italian publication Omnicorse reports.

Swiss rival Sauber announced just before Christmas that, with Mexican Esteban Gutierrez staying on board for 2014, the logos of magnate Carlos Slim's brands Telmex and Telcel will still be worn by the team this year.

Force India, however, has signed McLaren refugee Sergio Perez for 2014, another Mexican driver prominently backed by billionaire Slim.

As well as some details of the 2014 livery, Omnicorse also claims to know that the Silverstone based team's technical boss Andy Green has "a few surprises" for the F1 paddock up his sleeve for when the new VJM07 is unveiled. More ...

Lotus to replace reserve driver Valsecchi (Update)  UPDATE
Davide Valsecchi learns in F1 it's not how good you are, but how big your check is - a cancer inflicting all open wheel series
(GMM)  Davide Valsecchi has admitted he is likely to vacate his role as Lotus' reserve driver ahead of the 2014 season.

As reigning GP2 champion, but having failed to secure a race seat, Italian Valsecchi, 26, served as Lotus' official reserve driver last year.

But he admitted to being "angry" when, at the tail end of the season, Lotus overlooked him as the replacement for surgery-bound regular Kimi Raikkonen.

"Perhaps I lack experience but what chance do you have to gain any?" he said at the time.

We reported early this week that Lotus looks set to replace the departing Valsecchi with the Eric Boullier-managed, 23-year-old Danish driver Marco Sorensen for 2014. More ...

A whopping 620 HP for the new Corvette Z06  We won't get a complete look at the specs of the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 until it makes its official debut at the upcoming Detroit auto show, but a web coding blooper means we get a sneak peak at some of its vital stats before the reveal. Specifically, it's set to get 620 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque -- a big boost over the 450 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque the base 'Vette enjoys.

How did this happen? According to Jalopnik, Chevy built an empty placeholder web site for the Z06 ahead of the reveal but kept some specifications in the page's metadata. A keen-eyed Jalopnik reader noticed. We did our own search and found the info before GM pulled it. More ...

Blaney may have part time Cup ride  As far as Dave Blaney's 2014 plans, he's building a second sprint car and plans to do a lot more sprint car racing starting in Florida next month. He'll do some Sprint Cup racing as well for a new team. Dave Blaney won two sprint car races in the region last year including Port Royal Speedway's season opener and PA Sprint Speedweek at Hagerstown Speedway in Maryland.
Hornish to share Nationwide ride with Busch  Last November, Sam Hornish promised he wasn’t going to settle for any ride just to be able to “say I’m a race-car driver.”

Thanks to Joe Gibbs Racing, Hornish won’t have to.

Sources tell FOXSports.com that the three-time IndyCar Champ and Indianapolis 500 winner will share seat time with Kyle Busch in the No. 54 Toyota in the Nationwide Series (or whatever the series will be called) this season.

Hornish could not be reached for comment.

Michael Schumacher was injured while helping kids (Update)  UPDATE
Another photo (left) of the Schumacher accident scene showing the rocks he actually hit.

Rocks where Schumacher sustained serious head injury
According to the U.K.'s Mirror and Germany's Bild newspaper, Formula One legend Michael Schumacher suffered his catastrophic head injury while trying to keep an eye on some family friends' kids while skiing in the French Alps. The seven-time champion's accident occurred in an area between groomed slopes at the Meribel resort.

The Bild report states: "Suddenly the daughter (of a friend) of a friend crashed. Schumi helps the girl, leaving the groomed area and moves about 20 meters in the deep snow between the slopes Biche and Mauduit.

"Both sides of the groomed slopes are marked with flags. Has Schumacher not seen the instructions? Unclear. More ...

Bestwick to Anchor IndyCar ABC Broadcasts in 2014 (Update)  UPDATE
Allen Bestwick
This rumor is upgraded to strong today.  Allen Bestwick will remain with ESPN /ABC after it loses its NASCAR contract and work primarily as play-by-play announcer for the network's broadcasts of IndyCar Series events.

According to a report in the Charlotte Observer, ESPN/ABC motorsports broadcaster Allen Bestwick will remain with the company once NASCAR leaves following the 2014 season and will work primarily on the network's IndyCar Series coverage.

Bestwick currently serves as the lead play-by-play commentator for ESPN's NASCAR coverage and has been a presence in the stock car world since the late 1980s.

Bestwick will begin his IndyCar broadcasting career this upcoming season and while working on a variety of other ESPN properties after NASCAR departs, sources told the Observer's Jim Utter. An ESPN spokesman would not comment when asked. More ...

Orange might take over from Vodafone at McLaren  With the key sponsor of the McLaren Formula One team, Vodafone, not set to return for next year’s season, the British racing squad has obviously been on the lookout for a new title sponsor for quite some time. While that sponsor has yet to be revealed, reports have emerged suggesting that the team could return to its bright orange paint job used in year’s past.

The team’s 2014 Formula One car is currently tipped to debut on January 25th and will be dubbed the MP4-29.

For those that didn’t know, McLaren once used bright orange liveries for both their F1 and Can-Am racing cars starting with the M5A way back in 1968. If the new McLaren MP4-29 does indeed sport such a scheme, it will obviously add an awesome bit of color to the F1 field generally dominated by silver, grey, white and blue with the obvious exception of Ferrari’s red.

IndyCar to South Africa (Update 2)  UPDATE #2 After speaking with some high-level motorsports figures in South Africa, we have some new information regarding the possibility of IndyCar racing in South Africa.

For one, an official from MotorSport South Africa (the FIA auxiliary of South Africa) confirmed that IndyCar requested and were granted preliminary approval in May to hold an event at Phakisa Freeway in 2015. This official did not know if progress had been made on the commercial end.

Also, while we mentioned the Phakisa oval, and suggested it might not be up to safety standards, we can confirm that IndyCar was looking to race on the 2.6-mile Phakisa road course. Multiple sources confirmed that Phakisa is likely the only viable permanent circuit currently in South Africa. More ...

Rossi to drive Ferrari at LeMans (Update)  UPDATE The plot thickens and just keeps thickening when it comes to Ferrari's potential return to Le Mans. Antonello Coletta, the head of Ferrari's sports car racing program, first suggested that the new regulations being implemented by the ACO could potentially see the Prancing Horse marque compete in the top-tier LMP1 class. His thoughts have since been echoed by Stefano Domenicali, the head of the Scuderia's F1 team, and by chairman Luca di Montezemolo. And now we're hearing rumors over its potential driver lineup. More ...
McLaren to have Magnussen, Alonso in 2015 (9th Update)  UPDATE #9 Luca di Montezemolo believes Fernando Alonso is committed to the Ferrari cause, despite ongoing reports linking the Spaniard with a return to McLaren.

The two-time World Champion's future has been the subject of much speculation recently after a public reprimand by the Ferrari President after Alonso criticized Ferrari's development efforts during 2013.

Since then, it has become public knowledge that Alonso's management team contacted both Red Bull and Lotus about their future driver line-ups, while McLaren boss Michael Whitmarsh admitted that he is hopeful of bringing the 32-year-old back to Woking. More ...

Formula E could get Macau race  Autosport.com reports that Formula E could race on the streets of Macau in the future, according to FIA President Jean Todt.

The all-electric series has targeted city races for its inaugural campaign next year, with Berlin, Rome and London all set to host events. Macau hosts its Formula 3 Grand Prix annually in mid-November, which fits with Formula E's 2014-15 calendar split. Todt says Macau is a logical destination for the series to explore. More ...

Montezemolo tips axe for 'double points', but Bernie wants more (Update)  UPDATE
Ecclestone absolutely does not want the title decided before the final F1 race each year
(GMM)  The days of the highly controversial new 'double points' rule for the season finale appear numbered.

Many fans and drivers have made clear they are not happy with the change, designed to keep the title alive right to the end by offering twice as many points in Abu Dhabi next November.

"I think it's wrong," Toro Rosso driver Jean-Eric Vergne told Italy's Corriere dello Sport, "because it devalues the work a driver has done throughout the whole season.

"As drivers we are not excited about it," added the Frenchman. More ...

Ferrari wants F1 weight limit increase?  
Stefano Domenicali
(GMM)  Ferrari has denied rumors it was among the teams who wanted the minimum weight limit to be further increased for 2014.

The rumors suggested the Maranello based team's all-new turbo V6 and 'ERS' systems were tipping the scales beyond expectations.

But in fact, team boss Stefano Domenicali insists it is others in the paddock who are using the argument about heavy drivers as cover for their own desire for a weight limit increase. More ...

Kamui Kobayashi to return to F1 with Caterham (Update)  UPDATE
Kobayashi last raced in F1 for Sauber in 2012
(GMM)  Sauber's announcements on Saturday mean that the only race cockpit vacancies on the 2014 grid are now with Marussia (one seat) and Caterham (two).

We reported on Friday that former Sauber driver Kamui Kobayashi was spotted at Caterham's factory this week.

Michael Schmidt, the respected correspondent for Germany's Auto Motor und Sport, said the Japanese as well as rookie Marcus Ericsson are on pole position for the race seats. More ...

Sauber's Gutierrez visits Caterham, but to stay with Sauber (Update)  UPDATE #2 This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' with today's announcement.

12/19/13 (GMM)  Esteban Gutierrez is set to secure one of the four last race seats on the 2014 grid.

Bianca Garloff, the correspondent for the German publication Sport Bild, reported exclusively that Sauber will make the announcement about Adrian Sutil's teammate on Friday.

The news will heighten speculation Sauber's Russian rescue deal is on the rocks, as the teen Sergey Sirotkin was expected to make his grand prix debut next year for the struggling Swiss team.

Mexican Gutierrez, 22, made his F1 debut this year for Sauber, which has been backed by the Mexican telcom Telmex since Sergio Perez drove in 2011 and 2012. More ...

Formula E and IndyCar to team up in Miami?  So Formula E is going to happen, and I’m starting to wonder if IndyCar won’t join them for a street race in Miami on March 15, 2015.

Andretti Sports Marketing has been working on staging a race in Ft. Lauderdale for several years now, but haven’t been able to get enough funding. Then Andretti was named the organizer of the Formula E race in Miami, on March 14, 2015 a Saturday. I could be putting two unrelated stories together, but given Andretti’s ties to IndyCar, and the fact that Formula E races on Saturdays it seems like a natural pairing. More ...

Van der Garde talking to three teams  Giedo van der Garde's management has informed GPUpdate.net that it is in discussions with all three teams that still have a seat available for the 2014 Formula 1 campaign, Caterham, Sauber and Marussia.

The Dutchman recently revealed that he was talking to current team Caterham, Sauber and Force India about a seat, although the latter option has now evaporated after the team confirmed Nico Hülkenberg and Sergio Perez.

Since then, rumors have grown that van der Garde is pushing hard to secure a deal at Sauber, where he would become Adrian Sutil's team-mate after the German completed a switch from Force India last week. More ...

IndyCar to stream Franchitti Press Conference (Update)  UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today but it will only be for media members, not the general public.

12/17/13 We hear IndyCar is working on streaming Dario Franchitti's Thursday press conference. Look for a confirmation shortly.
Coyne to test Giuseppe Cipriani  Rumor has it that today in Sebring one of the drivers Dale Coyne will be testing is 46-year old Giuseppe Cipriani.  Despite his age he has done a good job in the Auto GP series
Chilton 'close' to new Marussia deal  
Max Chilton supports the cancer that is killing open wheel racing by bringing a big check to buy his ride
It looks like Max Chilton will remain on the Formula One grid in 2014 with Marussia revealing they are closing in on a new deal.

The 22-year-old made his debut for the Banbury squad at the start of this year, partnering fellow F1 rookie Jules Bianchi and helping Marussia to finish ahead of rivals Caterham in the Constructors' Championship.

Bianchi, who is basically on loan from Ferrari, has already had his contract extended by a year and it now appears he will once again have Chilton as his teammate. More ...

Ashley Judd's Sister Wynonna Put Tracking Device on Car  Actress Ashley Judd has accused her half-sister, country music star Wynonna Judd, of trying to spy on her after a tracking device was found in her car.

A mechanic found a wireless GPS in a car owned by Ashley Judd, 45, according to a police report filed in the sisters’ home state of Tennessee last month.

The Mini Cooper, at the time, was being driven by an unnamed female.  The police report, which was obtained by ABC News, states that Ashley Judd proved she “had custody” of the driver. More ...

Potential buyers visit Sauber's Hinwil HQ  
Did the Russian teen Sergey Sirotkin deal fall through?
(GMM)  Sauber is still scrambling to secure its future, according to the latest reports.

The Swiss team has now announced that Adrian Sutil is replacing the Force India-bound Nico Hulkenberg in 2014.

But Sauber said late on Friday: "The second driver will be announced at a later date." More ...

Boullier denies team switch rumors  
Eric Boullier
(GMM)  Eric Boullier has denied rumors he is set to leave Lotus.

The Enstone based team's boss took to his personal Twitter account to declare: "I have never received any (other) offers and I have not resigned".

The rumors were triggered by well-known F1 correspondents including Bianca Garloff, of the German magazine Sport Bild.

"Just heard that Eric Boullier might have resigned from his job.  He does not want to be responsible for the chaos there anymore," she said, adding that the information came from a Renault source. More ...

Paul di Resta's options - DTM (Yes) or IndyCar (No) (3rd Update)  UPDATE #3
Paul di Resta looks set to leave the cancer that is destroying open wheel racing (cancer = drivers buying their ride), and return to DTM where drivers get paid to drive
Bathgate’s Paul di Resta moved closer to a return to the German Touring Car Championship (DTM) next season after the IndyCar vacancy at Ganassi Racing was filled.

The 27-year-old Scot, replaced in Force India’s Formula One team this week by Sergio Perez – who brought with him around €15 million in sponsorship – had been talked about as a replacement in IndyCar for his cousin Dario Franchitti.

But following Franchitti’s enforced retirement through injury, team boss Chip Ganassi today confirmed he has signed the Australian driver Ryan Briscoe for the 2014 IndyCar season. While Briscoe will drive the No 8 Ganassi car, Brazilian driver Tony Kanaan – winner of the Indy500 this year, and a close friend of Franchitti – has been given the honor of taking the Scot’s No 10 car. More ...

Lewis Hamilton trying to buy Nicole Scherzinger's love, but will it backfire?  
Nicole and Lewis
Lewis Hamilton  will spend over £100,000 on his Christmas reunion with Nicole Scherzinger.

Lewis Hamilton  is said to be ready to spend over £100,000 to make his Christmas reunion with Nicole Scherzinger as "perfect" as possible as he looks to repair their relationship.

The Formula 1 star is said to be planning to splash the cash as his on/off girlfriend of seven years joins him in Switzerland to celebrate the festive season. More ...

Gribkowsky's lawyer insinuates that Ecclestone controls Bambino trust  The long-running trial against Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone came to a close in London's High Court Friday but a verdict won't be known until early next year.

The gap gives the media plenty of time to produce summaries of the events in court and the first of these came last night on BBC's Newsnight. Its investigation into the Ecclestone trial was carried out by the BBC's chief sports correspondent Dan Roan and can be seen here. It featured an interview with Pitpass' business editor Christian Sylt but we dare say that he was by far and away not the star of the show. That accolade goes to Daniel Amelung, the lawyer for Gerhard Gribkowsky, former manager of German bank BayernLB. More ...

Indy ramblings  Among the other interesting nuggets uncovered this week at the Performance Racing Industry trade show that runs through Saturday (closed to the public):

- Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials said they have sold more than 300,000 tickets to May 2014 activities. The goal is to sell 400,000, keyed by the addition of the road course event May 8-10 and a headliner concert on May 24, the Saturday prior to the 500. More ...

MIS might be interested in an IndyCar race for the right price  
How soon we forget how empty the massive Michigan grandstands were when the IRL last ran there in 2007.  Albert Einstein once said, "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results."
Earlier today at the Performance Racing Industry trade show in Indianapolis, the President of Michigan International Speedway, Roger Curtis, told More Front Wing Co-editor Paul Dalbey that both his facility and International Speedway Corporation “as a whole” are interested in bringing IndyCar events back to their schedules.

Curtis also indicated that he “would not be surprised” to see IndyCar return to Michigan International Speedway within three to five years, though he says it would not happen before 2016 as he wants to see at least a year of stability in the organization first.

When asked about potential dates, Curtis was most open to a September weekend. The late July date on which Indy cars traditionally ran at the track is now booked by a major music festival. On whether it would be wise for IndyCar to face off against college football in his area, he stated that in his opinion it simply needs to be done. More ...

Sam Bird still eyes IndyCar Series with Coyne?  
Sam Bird
With his recent run to second place in the 2013 GP2 championship for the Russian Time team behind him, England's Sam Bird continues to work on taking the next step in his open-wheel career. As RACER revealed in October, the 26-year-old would like to shift his attention toward America, and specifically, toward the IndyCar Series.

Drawing from five years of experience across GP2 and the Formula 3 Euro Series, Bird hopes his top-tier training in Europe will draw more interest from IndyCar teams. More ...

Who will replace Franchitti in the No. 10 Target IndyCar?  UPDATE We may be on the verge of finding out who will replace the retired Dario Franchitti in the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet (pictured) for the 2014 IndyCar Series.

This afternoon, TCGR confirmed a press conference for tomorrow morning at the Performance Racing Industry trade show that’s currently ongoing in Indianapolis.

The release noted that team officials would make “major announcements” concerning the upcoming season. More ...

Michael Andretti would enter team in F1  
Could you imagine the popularity of the Andretti team if Michael were allowed to run a privateer Ferrari team with American drivers?
Mario Andretti says his son Michael "would be straight in" to Formula One if customer cars were allowed.

Current regulations prevent teams selling cars to another team, but the formation of the F1 Strategy Group featuring Red Bull, Ferrari, Mercedes, McLaren, Lotus and Williams raised the possibility of the larger teams being able to request customer cars. While the majority of the teams remain opposed to the idea, Andretti told ESPN that it might only be a matter of time before they are introduced in order to cut costs and attract new entries.

"If you imagine opening it up so that any given team could sell to another; to a privateer," Andretti said. "Maybe just start with you can only sell it to one. You would have teams like my son Michael's that would probably enter Formula One. We've talked about it, he said 'If Ferrari would sell me a car, McLaren would sell me a car, Red Bull would sell me a car, we would be straight in'. More ...

racing news
Will teams someday be able to zap their opponents?  [Editor's Note: Imagine a team member setup in the infield of a track with this equipment in their van. It would be dastardly. Oh, your gaining on my driver are you, I'll fix that. What is even more interesting is that this very topic is broached in this new book by Alan Wilson.  Alarming.  You have been warned. Better start installing improved shielding around those engine management control units now!]

A British company has demonstrated a prototype device capable of stopping cars and other vehicles using a blast of electromagnetic waves.

The RF Safe-Stop uses radio frequency pulses to "confuse" a vehicle's electronic systems, cutting its engine.

E2V is one of several companies trying to bring such a product to market.

It said it believed the primary use would be as a non-lethal weapon for the military to defend sensitive locations from vehicles refusing to stop. More ...

Fearing for his life, Ashley wanted Dario out of IndyCar  UPDATE #2 Ashley Judd feared for Dario Franchitti's life back in 2007 when he announced his move to NASCAR.  Rumor has it that their recent split was an argument over Dario being back in IndyCar.  Now that he is retiring note they are back together again.

10/03/07 Actress Ashley Judd wasn't by her husband's side Wednesday, but she played a part in Dario Franchitti's decision to move from the Indy Racing League to NASCAR.  Franchitti announced Wednesday that he will drive the No. 40 Sprint Cup car for Chip Ganassi Racing next season.

And with Franchitti comes the famous actress.

"She was very much included in the decision," Franchitti said. "We talked about it quite a lot. She's excited about it - she's real excited about it.

"She's been a great supporter throughout my open-wheel career. She's ready to go." More ...

Ron Dennis plots return as McLaren F1 team boss?  
Ron Dennis
McLaren executive chairman Ron Dennis could be poised to replace Martin Whitmarsh and return to head the company's F1 team, it has been alleged.

According to reports by Sky News, in an article headlined: 'McLaren Boss Dennis Plots £125m Share Swoop', Dennis “is in talks about financing a buyout of a fellow shareholder in the automotive group as a possible prelude to a return to the helm of its F1 team.”

The report by Sky News city editor, Mark Kleinman, adds: Dennis “is understood to be targeting a deal that would see him acquiring the 25% stake in McLaren Group owned by Mansour Ojjeh, a Saudi businessman. More ...

Scherzinger 'turned down Lewis Hamilton's proposal'  
Hamilton and Scherzinger
Nicole Scherzinger reportedly turned down Lewis Hamilton's proposal this summer.

The singer enjoyed an on/off relationship with the Formula One star from 2008 until they separated earlier this year.

Recent reports suggest they've rekindled their romance and E! News now claims Lewis popped the question in August in a bid to 'win her back', but his plan backfired.

'[Lewis] proposed to Nicole on the beach in Malibu,' a source said. More ...

Ferrari says it could build LMP1 Le Mans car using new turbocharged F1 engine  Ferrari has hinted of a possible LMP1 sports-car entry in the future using a powerplant based on its 2014 turbocharged Formula One engine.

Antonello Coletta, who heads up the Italian manufacturer’s non-F1 sporting activities, revealed that Ferrari is studying the new energy-based LMP1 rulebook that comes into force next season in the FIA World Endurance Championship. He didn’t rule out an entry in the series with a Ferrari-built chassis and the F1 turbocharged V6 at some undetermined point in the future. More ...

Maldonado to buy Lotus ride for $50M (7th Update)  UPDATE #7 Lotus admits in this article that they need Maldonado's money.

11/29/13 See related Lotus announcement.

11/29/13 (GMM)  Sources close to Lotus report that the Enstone based team is ready to announce the Williams-departed Pastor Maldonado as Romain Grosjean's teammate for 2014.

Earlier, the talented Nico Hulkenberg was Lotus' top choice to replace the Ferrari-bound Kimi Raikkonen.

But that was dependent on the team's new investment millions from the 'Quantum' group arriving in time, but the conclusion of the deal has been repeatedly delayed. More ...

Franchitti and Judd reunite  Ashley Judd and her estranged husband Dario Franchitti are reportedly back together after the married couple of 11 years announced they had separated in January.

Ashley and Dario, a three-time winner of the Indianapolis 500 and four-time Indycar champion, issued a statement at the beginning of the year stating that they were splitting after marrying in a private ceremony in Scotland back in 2001. More ...
NJ race back on 2014 F1 calendar? No! (7th Update)  UPDATE #7 The 2014 F1 schedule has been released and for the 2nd year in a row the NJ race has been dropped after having been added to the provisional calendar. 

12/03/13 (GMM)  Bernie Ecclestone has now confirmed reports that New Jersey will not be on next year's formula one calendar.

Asked about recent reports that said the scheduled race amid the Manhattan skyline would have to be delayed for a second consecutive year, the F1 chief executive said a week ago: "We will not have Mexico and India next year."

But Ecclestone, 83, has now told the Wall Street Journal that the New Jersey street race is off again.

He said the postponement, likely to be confirmed with the FIA's publication of the official 2014 calendar on Wednesday, is "for lots and lots and lots of reasons".

"We are not satisfied it's going to happen in time," said Ecclestone.  "What we're aiming for is 2015." More ...

Hot rumor - Hulkenberg's future now secure at Force India (7th Update)  UPDATE #7
Deal done at Force India
(GMM)  One of the last significant pieces of the 2014 'silly season' puzzle will fall into place on Tuesday, the German news agency SID reports.

The reports said Nico Hulkenberg's switch from Sauber to Force India, where he tested and raced in 2011 and 2012, will be announced officially by the Silverstone based team later on Tuesday afternoon.

It is believed the highly-rated 26-year-old's teammate will be the Mexico-backed McLaren refugee Sergio Perez.

But Adrian Sutil, the Force India incumbent, might not yet be out of the frame, although he has been strongly linked with a move to Sauber to replace Hulkenberg at the Swiss team. More ...

Marussia to merge with Sauber or Williams (Update)  UPDATE Mercedes Exec Dir Toto Wolff has revealed that "talks have taken place about merging Marussia and Williams though he says they are 'getting nowhere' as it would lead to the closure of Marussia," according to Reid & Sylt for ESPN.

Wolff is at the center of the discussions as he "owns a 12.2% stake in Williams." The team "is floated" on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and has a market value of $244M, meaning that Wolff's stake is worth $29.8M. He has owned shares in Williams since '09, when he "became a director of the team." Earlier this year, "it came to light that Marussia had been in talks with Caterham about a merger, but it was thought that it had given up on the strategy." Recent rumors suggested that Marussia Owner Andrey Cheglakov "had been in discussion with Sauber and Williams about a merger and Wolff confirmed it." More ...
Rumor - Renault also testing 2014 turbo engine  (GMM)  Hot on the heels of reports Ferrari may have track tested its turbo V6 engine, it emerges that Renault might also have done the same.

A video on the internet depicting an unidentified Ferrari road car obviously running a turbocharged engine sparked rumors the Italian marque had found a loophole to give its all-new 2014 'power unit' an early track debut. More ...

track news
Another NASCAR track to rip out 40,000 seats  SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's Muret & Mickle reported Charlotte Motor Speedway "has discussed tearing down its backstretch grandstand, a move that would eliminate almost 40,000 seats and make it the latest in a series of NASCAR tracks to reduce capacity." Sources said that CMS President Marcus Smith has "talked about the idea of eliminating the Diamond Tower Terrace and funneling fans into the main grandstand, where they can see the facility's video board and pit road." The terrace, which "runs from Turn 2 to halfway down the backstretch, holds 37,000 spectators and 37 suites." The track has 140,000 total seats SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL
Paul Walker -- Death Car May Have Malfunctioned  The exotic sports car in which Paul Walker violently died, crashed as a result of mechanical failure -- very possibly a steering fluid leak ... this according to sources closely tied to the auto shop where the vehicle was stored and maintained. 

Sources connected to Always Evolving -- the shop co-owned by Walker and the Porsche driver Roger Rodas -- tell TMZ they saw evidence of a fluid burst and subsequent fluid trail before the skid marks at the accident scene.

The AE sources point to the fact there is a noticeable absence of skid marks until just before the point of impact. They say if Roger had lost control the skid marks would show swerving, but instead the marks were in a straight line. They feel this cements the theory the driver didn't have steering control. More ...

Van der Garde's future father-in-law eyes F1 team (Update)  UPDATE
Giedo van der Garde - sometimes it does pay to marry rich.
This rumor is downgraded to 'false' today. Giedo van der Garde's father-in-law has denied he is considering buying into a formula one team.

In recent weeks, the Dutch billionaire and businessman Marcel Boekhoorn, who sponsors van der Garde's Caterham race seat via the McGregor brand, was linked with buying stakes in the Williams or Force India teams.

"The rumors are false," van der Garde's management insisted in a Dutch-language media statement. More ...

Future Unclear for Austin WEC/TUSC Event  The future of the shared sports car weekend at Circuit of The Americas is unclear, as the FIA World Endurance Championship has proposed changes to the event’s timetable before confirming its U.S. event for next year.

Series boss Gerard Neveu revealed that discussions are underway between IMSA and COTA regarding the organization of the weekend.

This year’s inaugural double-header in September featured a two-hour and 45-minute American Le Mans Series race on Saturday afternoon, with the six-hour WEC round the following morning. More ...

F1 driver Silly Season  
How many of these drivers will be wearing a different uniform in 2014?
The F1 Silly Season has been in full force since Mark Webber announced his retirement.  He are the best rumors as to who will drive where:


Confirmed: Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo


Confirmed: Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg More ...

Servia to KV Racing  Rumor has it that Oriol Servia may drive for KV Racing in 2014 with backing from Hippino.

Hippino is a mobile marketing platform specializing in tools to help merchants engage their consumer base and help build customer loyalty while supporting non-profits.
FIA considering pole trophy and permanent numbers  The FIA is considering a couple of changes to the sporting regulations in Formula One for next season, notably a trophy for pole position and drivers having permanent numbers.

According to Autosport, both ideas were raised during the sport’s strategy group meeting that is made up of Ferrari, Red Bull, Williams, Lotus, McLaren and Mercedes, with the decision for a ‘pole trophy’ being borne out of a proposal to give the pole-sitter a point as found in many other racing categories.

The idea of a point for pole has been banded about in Formula One for many years as a way of placing extra importance on qualifying and encouraging drivers to push for first place on the grid. Although the changes made to the points system in 2010 addressed this issue in the races, it has been felt that potentially having championships decided on a Saturday before a race could be damaging for the sport’s reputation. Under this system, Lewis Hamilton would have won the 2007 world championship whilst Mika Hakkinen would have enjoyed a more comfortable gap to Eddie Irvine in 1999. More ...

Mercedes to announce Brawn exit on Thursday (3rd Update)  UPDATE #3 This rumor is now upgraded to fact.  As predicted, Mercedes on Thursday confirmed reports team boss Ross Brawn is stepping down.

In a media statement, the Brackley based team said the 58-year-old, to officially depart Mercedes on the last day of the year, "has chosen to hand over" the reigns to Toto Wolff and Paddy Lowe.

"We have had long discussions with Ross about how he could continue with the team," said chairman Niki Lauda, "but it is a basic fact that you cannot hold somebody back when they have chosen to move on." More ...

track news
Is NASCAR's first family behind Iowa Speedway purchase?  UPDATE NASCAR announced today that they did indeed buy Iowa Speedway so this rumor is upgraded to 'fact.'  Although IndyCar has a multiyear agreement with Iowa Speedway, you can take this prediction to the bank - IndyCar will no longer be racing at Iowa Speedway in a few short years as NASCAR maneuvers to put IndyCar out of business.  The walls are closing in and IndyCar and all those that supporting the killing off of CART by supporting the IRL and Tony George have no one to blame but themselves.  NASCAR has a monopoly on oval racing in the USA and the move to buy Iowa was their latest 'checkmate' maneuver.  And to think, the Hulman George family (initiated by Tony George) lets their enemy race at the IndyCar shrine (Indy Motor Speedway) so as to diminish the IndyCar product.  How long before the Indy 500 becomes a NASCAR race? More ...
Ferrari to abandon pullrod layout for 2014  
AR1.com engineer Mark Cipolloni declared the Ferrari pull-rod front suspension a huge mistake when it was revealed.  The Ferrari has been a loser ever since.
(GMM)  Ferrari has "almost certainly" abandoned its novel approach to front suspension layout ahead of the 2014 season.

That is the claim of the authoritative Italian publication Autosprint, after Ferrari came close to winning last year's title with the 'pullrod' system not seen on the F1 grid for more than a decade.

Ferrari, however, fell well short of having the fastest car in 2013, despite Fernando Alonso managing to finish runner-up behind Red Bull's dominant Sebastian Vettel. More ...

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