Latest F1 news in brief – Monday

  • Ferrari wants Alonso to stay in their car

    Alonso should spend career at Maranello – Piero Ferrari

  • Lopez hits back at Genii financial reports
  • Lotus to drop 'tusk nose' for 2015
  • Di Resta 'determined' to return to F1
  • Axed Marmorini hits back at Ferrari
  • Verstappen not too young for 2015 debut – Lammers
  • Ravetto confirms new nose for Caterham at Spa

Alonso should spend career at Maranello – Piero Ferrari
(GMM) Enzo Ferrari's only living son says he wants Fernando Alonso to stay with the Maranello team for the rest of his F1 career.

The Spanish driver, widely recognized as perhaps the best and undoubtedly the highest paid on the grid, is under contract to Ferrari but also linked with a potential move to a rival team like next year's Honda-powered McLaren.

"Honestly," Piero Ferrari said, "I hope Alonso remains at Maranello until the end of his career.

"I do not follow the chatter of the market," Ferrari, whose father founded the great Italian marque, told Italian insider Leo Turrini's blog.

"I am not responsible for negotiations, I speak only of the value of the driver and I still think Fernando is the right man for our hopes.

"After that it is up to us to give him and Kimi a competitive car," he added.

Unsurprisingly for a senior figure of the Italian marque, Ferrari was also highly critical of F1's current regulations, although he insisted it should not be an "excuse" for the team's situation in 2014.

"Among the many stupidities of modern formula one is this rule requiring the closure of the racing teams in August," he said.

"Dad would turn in his grave — he hated to leave; he was always in the office in mid August.

"Today everything is forbidden," Ferrari complained. "Testing during the season, the frozen engines. I hardly see formula one anymore.

"But I know in advance the counter (argument)," he added. "Even Ferrari agreed to certain solutions that, in the end, were wrong."

Lopez hits back at Genii financial reports
(GMM) Gerard Lopez has lashed back at reports suggesting Lotus team owner Genii is in dire financial health.

The Luxembourg newspaper Tageblatt reported recently that Genii, headed by Lopez and his business partner Eric Lux, is recording ever-growing losses and debts.

Britain's Independent newspaper said Lopez, although based in Luxembourg, flew in his private jet to Genii's London headquarters to "put the record straight".

"It's absurd to say that Genii has financial problems," he insisted. "Yes, Lotus has lost money, like every other F1 team in the world."

Lopez said the Enstone based team cost Genii "about EUR 50 million" last year and debt is currently about 100 million, but "the rest of Genii is profitable".

"We support Lotus with debt, not sponsorship like the other big teams," he explained. "People are trying to compare apples with pears when it should be apples and apples."

The newspaper also said Lotus' accounts for 2013 will show improved figures.

"What's amusing to us," Lopez continued, "is that Lotus – the David against the Goliaths – is always in the public eye more than the big teams like Red Bull and Ferrari.

"But F1 is a bitchy world and smear campaigns between rival teams are commonplace."

Lotus to drop 'tusk nose' for 2015
(GMM) Lotus will drop its unique 'tusked' nose solution for the 2015 season.

Although the Enstone team has struggled this year, technical director Nick Chester insists the innovative nose is a "pretty good solution" that will stay on the current car for the rest of the season.

But with the FIA changing the regulations to end the unseemly 'anteater'-style noses elsewhere on the grid, Lotus will also have to make changes for 2015.

"No. The way the nose structure rules are written, it would be very hard to do," Chester told F1's official website when asked if Lotus will stick with its double-pronged solution next year.

"It is actually easier to design a more conventional low nose, so going that route it's easier to pass the crash test," he added.

Chester admitted, however, that Lotus might run an early iteration of a more conventional nose later this season during a Friday practice session.

But in the actual races, the forked nose is staying put for now.

"There's not really a benefit (to changing it in 2014)," Chester said, "because all the work we have done in the tunnel says we would lose downforce by doing it."

Di Resta 'determined' to return to F1
(GMM) Former Force India driver Paul di Resta is not ready to give up on his formula one career.

The 28-year-old Scot lost his seat with the Silverstone based team at the end of last year and returned to the German touring car series DTM with Mercedes.

He was linked with a potential F1 reserve role with the German marque's Brackley based team this year, but for now he is committed to improving in DTM.

"When I came back (to DTM), I thought I might be able to get to the front straight away, but that clearly hasn't happened and we are not where we want to be just now," said the former series champion.

"It's too early to say what my plans are for 2015 and my thoughts are completely devoted to chasing better results in DTM and helping Mercedes in any way I can," he told Scotland's Herald newspaper.

"But I am positive I can gain another drive in F1 and, if anything, I am even more determined than I was.

"The decision isn't up to me, but I delivered good, steady performances and I have no doubt I can build on that," di Resta added.

Axed Marmorini hits back at Ferrari
(GMM) Luca Marmorini has lashed out at Ferrari after being ousted as the fabled team's engine boss.

Also well-known for his position at Toyota, the Italian's F1 career dates back more than two decades to Maranello.

But he was ousted by new team boss Marco Mattiacci a few weeks ago, amid the general feeling that he was to blame for Ferrari's underpowered turbo V6 'power unit'.

Marmorini told Italian F1 insider Leo Turrini that he had no intention of getting involved in any "needless controversy" in the wake of his departure.

"Unfortunately there are people in Maranello who should be silent who like to blame," he said. "So I open my mouth in response to a series of provocations."

Marmorini hit out the hardest against the notion that "all the woes of the F14 T are the fault of the power unit.

"As if a company with the history of Ferrari has forgotten how to make engines!

"I mean, I accept any criticism, but do not tell me that there are people at Maranello who do not know the business of turbos, hybrids.

"Let's set the record straight — with my colleagues I made a smaller size (engine) than Mercedes and Renault because that is what Mr. (Nikolas) Tombazis, the project manager of the car, asked for.

"He said he wanted a very compact PU, with small radiators, because the reduced power would be compensated by aerodynamic solutions that give us an advantage over the Mercedes and Renault cars.

"It was exactly like that, except that when we found the competition, we had less power but the compensation from the aerodynamics was not there."

Marmorini said he was dismissed by Mattiacci, even though "in three months we saw each other twice — first for a greeting, the second when he gave me a letter that confirmed my departure from the company".

"Look, I don't want to accuse anyone," he added. "Really. But Ferrari is entrusting its racing department to inexperienced people who are putting blind faith in certain people who so far have shown nothing."

Marmorini said he is referring to Britons Pat Fry and James Allison.

"Ferrari also runs the risk of damaging the bedrock on which the many past successes were built," he added. "I don't speak for me as I'm already gone.

"But I'm sorry for the good engineers who are still there and demoralized."

Marmorini also responded to reports his future lies at Renault, another marque that has struggled at the start of F1's all-new 'power unit' era.

"It's not true that I have signed already with Renault," he insisted.

"Indeed, at the moment in a formula one that imposes an engine freeze, I like it very little. But I'm honest — grands prix have their charm and maybe in a month I will change my mind," said Marmorini.

Verstappen not too young for 2015 debut – Lammers
(GMM) Former grand prix driver Jan Lammers thinks 16-year-old Max Verstappen is ready for formula one.

Verstappen, the fresh-faced son of another former Dutch F1 driver Jos, has signed up with Red Bull's famous driver development program after an impressive transition from karting to F3.

The Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf has reported repeatedly in the past days that Verstappen will be announced shortly as a Toro Rosso race driver for 2015.

The reports say the news could be made official ahead of this weekend's Belgian grand prix.

If true, that would make Verstappen, at the age of 17 next March, the youngest F1 race driver in the sport's entire history.

Former F1 driver Lammers said: "In terms of age it is no problem.

"At the age of 4, Max was already in a kart. And the transition from Formula 3 to formula one is not illogical. Alain Prost, Kimi Raikkonen, myself, we all did it.

"No one should forget that Max is a talent of the highest quality," he added.

"Personally, I think 17 is very young, but some just mature earlier than others. I look at myself — I was absolutely not ready for formula one at that age.

"But of course it helps that in Jos he has a father who knows exactly how everything works in formula one."

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