Caterham to get new nose
Mercedes to limit warring drivers' pit strategies
- New Caterham chiefs to axe ugly 2014 nose
- Titanium skids for safety, not sparks – FIA
- F1 legend Forghieri slams 'ridiculous' DRS
- Hamilton sees Germany as 'fresh start'
Mercedes to limit warring drivers' pit strategies
(GMM) Mercedes will restrict the race strategies that can be adopted by its drivers as Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg fight for the 2014 title.
Until now, the dominant team has given its driver duo almost free rein to battle for the championship, despite constant speculation that Mercedes and its parent Daimler might prefer to see German Rosberg ultimately triumph.
Italy's Autosprint now reports that one of the ways Mercedes is moving to demonstrate absolute equality between the pair is to limit them to very similar pit strategies.
"The drivers must comply with the same number of pitstops," said correspondent Alberto Antonini.
That aside, the Hamilton and Rosberg camps will be free to wage their battles, even at the risk of some loss of 'transparency' as outlined by boss Toto Wolff recently.
"As an individual, you cannot dominate alone in motor racing," Wolff is quoted by Speed Week. "Our position is a testament to how well we work together.
"But of course there are areas where you keep certain details to yourself to develop an advantage, and this is also accepted by the team.
"But it must not have a negative influence on the development of the team," he insisted.
New Caterham chiefs to axe ugly 2014 nose
(GMM) The distinctive nose at the front of Caterham's 2014 car could be the popular victim of a development push by the backmarker team.
"New management, new nose, new hope," read a report in the German-language Speed Week, as it referred to Caterham's plans to press ahead in the wake of the Tony Fernandes era.
Caterham is currently last in the constructors' standings, after its traditional backmarker rival Marussia finally broke into the points in Monaco.
Finishing last in 2014 – a statistic new bosses Colin Kolles and Christijan Albers are determined to avoid – could mean the loss of about $20 million in official prize-money.
And so it seems Caterham's mysterious new Swiss-Middle Eastern owners have approved a timely development push.
Italy's Omnicorse claims departed backer Fernandes had essentially 'blocked' the further development of the uncompetitive CT04 car while he contemplated selling the Leafield based team.
The new management has now 'unblocked' that program.
The report said that, on Tuesday, a 60 per cent model of the car entered the state-of-the-art Toyota wind tunnel in Cologne, with the fruits of the work scheduled to debut at the Belgian grand prix after the summer break.
The headline improvement will be a "more efficient nose", Speed Week claims.
The curious 'double nose' on the CT04, arguably one of the ugliest innovations in F1 history, is tipped to be gone at Spa-Francorchamps in August.
But, before that, the new nose would require a new FIA crash test.
"We obviously have a lot of work to do," said team boss and former Minardi driver Albers, "but we're prepared for the challenges ahead."
In 2015, it is expected that every car on the grid will feature much more aesthetically-pleasing nose designs.
Next year's rules have addressed the issue of the unseemly and unpopular 'anteater'-style noses.
"We can't legislate against ugly cars," said the FIA's Charlie Whiting, "but what we can do is to try to get closer to what was originally intended."
The 2015 rules mandate larger minimum cross-sections of the noses, he confirmed.
"They (will) have to be a certain height and a certain width and they must be symmetrical about the car centre line," said Whiting.
Titanium skids for safety, not sparks – FIA
(GMM) F1 is not mandating titanium be fitted underneath next year's cars solely to create sparks, the governing body insists.
After tests on a couple of cars were carried out during Austrian grand prix practice last month, the FIA has now committed to introducing new rules for 2015.
It was reported that the sole reason for adding titanium to the skid blocks was to create the kind of spectacular sparks that characterized the 80s.
But, in the wake of criticism that F1 is too often reverting to 'artificial' rules to inject excitement, the FIA insists the new skid block rules are in fact to "ensure they are made from a lighter material and are better contained".
"The skids have formerly been made of a heavy metal, which has been very resistant to wear, and they (the teams) put the skids around the points in the plank where thickness is measured," said F1 race director Charlie Whiting.
"This metal is extremely heavy and when pieces detach they can be extremely harmful. We saw two punctures in Spa previously because of bits of this metal that lay in a curb and caused damage," he added. "In a worst case scenario they could fly off and hit someone."
So Whiting said the FIA is mandating the use of titanium next year primarily for safety reasons.
"Secondly," he explained, "the titanium wears some two to 2.5 times more quickly than the metal currently used. Thus cars will have to be run a little bit higher to manage wear and teams won't be able to drag them on the ground quite as much as they have in the past.
"The third effect is that you will see a lot more sparks, which some people think will look a little more spectacular," Whiting acknowledged.
F1 legend Forghieri slams 'ridiculous' DRS
(GMM) Legendary Ferrari designer Mauro Forghieri has a couple of simple suggestions to spice up formula one.
Amid a dwindling television audience in 2014, most of the blame has fallen on the brand new engine rules, with smaller, quiet turbos replacing the screaming V8s of the past.
But Forghieri, a leading figure at the fabled Maranello team from the 60s to the 80s, actually backs the new 'hybrid' age.
"All the major manufacturers want hybrids, and I think it's good that they only need 70 per cent of the fuel of the past, or even less, for the same distance," he told motorline.cc.
"Where I cannot agree with the FIA is the monitoring of fuel consumption lap after lap," the 79-year-old, who designed the legendary 312 series and Niki Lauda's title-winning cars, added.
"In my very personal opinion, formula one is a show of power and so this rule is unacceptable from a sporting perspective."
Unsurprisingly, Forghieri is also no fan of the rear wing overtaking aid called 'DRS', which has been similarly denounced by other F1 purists.
"Get rid of the DRS," he exclaimed. "DRS is ri-di-cu-lous," he emphasized.
"I dislike the whole aerodynamics of the current cars — I don't understand why it is not reduced in order to allow normal overtaking without DRS.
"Now, if one's opponent is less than a second behind, he can only watch as his pursuer goes past — and that cannot be correct.
"A world champion needs to be in a position to overtake his opponent without help — otherwise, in my eyes, he is not a world champion," Forghieri insisted.
He said another rule change that would improve the racing is in the area of braking.
"How many road cars use discs made of carbon?" he asked rhetorically. "So why is it used in formula one?
"If we would use normal discs in F1, the braking distances would be double and overtaking would be so much easier."
Hamilton sees Germany as 'fresh start'
Lewis Hamilton says he is viewing the German Grand Prix as a "fresh start" to his championship challenge.
The Mercedes driver slashed team-mate Nico Rosberg's advantage from 29 points to four by claiming victory at Silverstone last time out, benefitting from the German's terminal gearbox issue after two retirements of his own.
And with this weekend's race marking the season's midway point, Hamilton has his sights set on a smoother run.
"I feel like I've been on the back foot all year, only briefly leading the championship despite taking the wins I've had, so to have got myself just about level was exactly what I needed," explained the 2008 Hockenheim winner.
"It's almost a fresh start heading into the second half of the season and it's going to be a really close battle."
Hamilton added that he has taken plenty of encouragement from his and the team's performance in Britain.
"There were lots of positives to take from Silverstone," he said. "Knowing I'm going into the next race with the best car, having shown that I've got good pace, and that if I do a good job I can be ahead is a good place to be."