Latest F1 news in brief – Tuesday

  • Maldonado will be next victim of open wheel racing's cancer

    Toro Rosso to work more closely with Red Bull in 2015

  • Tost flags Toro Rosso future for Sainz Jr
  • Haas building 200-strong F1 workforce – report
  • Maldonado's Venezuelan backing could end
  • Magny Cours on pole for 2015 F1 return
  • Race chief says 'no risk' of Russia GP axe
  • Sauber F1 Team and Chelsea FC prize competition
  • Monaco: On Board with Lewis Hamilton in the F1 Simulator!

Toro Rosso to work more closely with Red Bull in 2015
(GMM) Red Bull's two formula one teams will work even more closely together from 2015.

Already in 2014, after Toro Rosso's switch to Renault power, the Faenza team and Red Bull Racing have been working together to solve the French supplier's problems with its troubled new V6 engine.

Now, Speed Week reports that from 2015, Toro Rosso will use the same rear suspension layout as designed by reigning world champions Red Bull Racing.

Correspondent Mathias Brunner said 2014 is in fact a transitionary phase to a closer collaboration between the two Red Bull teams.

For instance, while Toro Rosso is already using the internals of Red Bull's new eight-speed gearbox this year, the second team is still producing the casing.

But from 2015, Toro Rosso's use of the entire Red Bull gearbox will allow both teams to have exactly the same suspension geometry as well.

The Faenza based team, formerly Minardi, has also been ramping up its staff numbers in recent years.

"Compared to 2008-2009 when we had about 135 people, now it is up to 325," team boss Franz Tost told Spain's El Confidencial.

"We are growing and the process is not complete," he explained.

Tost also said Toro Rosso is refining its role as a F1 driver development team, having already produced Red Bull's current duo, Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo.

Until recently, Toro Rosso has run a pair of young, unproven talents, but this year the impressive teen rookie Daniil Kvyat is alongside the much more experienced Jean-Eric Vergne.

"The general philosophy will not change dramatically," said Tost, "because bringing drivers from the Red Bull junior team into formula one was the reason Dietrich Mateschitz bought Minardi.

"The question is whether you bring in one driver or two (at a time), because in the past we changed both, which is risky.

"If we have a skilled and fast driver, it is easier when you bring in a young super-talent," he added.

Tost flags Toro Rosso future for Sainz Jr
(GMM) Carlos Sainz Jr is the next driver in line at Red Bull's F1 junior team, Toro Rosso.

This year, Russian 20-year-old Daniil Kvyat has impressed despite stepping straight into F1 as the reigning GP3 champion.

Only a few months younger than Kvyat is Carlos Sainz Jr, whose father and namesake is the well-known two-time world rally champion.

Son Sainz, 19, has concentrated on single seaters, and so far in 2014 his F1 aspirations are on track as he is leading the highly-rated Formula Renault 3.5 series.

He is undoubtedly the next in line for a Red Bull-powered future in F1.

"He is on the right track," confirmed Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost, referring to Sainz's winning season so far in 2014.

"The season has just started and there are a couple of good drivers in the world series and we want to see how they develop during the season.

"But Carlos is doing a good job," Tost told Spain's El Confidencial. "If it continues I am sure he will sit in a Toro Rosso in a test or on a Friday.

"It really depends on the driver," he continued. "He is the one who steps on the gas. I always tell the drivers 'It is you who decides your future, not us'.

"Last year at this point I was sure Antonio Felix da Costa would be driving for us — I would not have bet that (Daniil) Kvyat would be instead."

Tost also hailed Daniel Ricciardo's progress in 2014 after stepping up from Toro Rosso.

But, unlike Red Bull figures Christian Horner, Dietrich Mateschitz and Helmut Marko, the Austrian said he has not been "surprised" by Ricciardo's pace at Red Bull.

"I expected him to be very competitive and comfortable in a very short space of time," said Tost, "so it has not been a surprise to me.

"Ricciardo gives very clear and detailed technical feedback, and so maybe he has just adapted to the circumstances more quickly than Vettel" he added.

Haas building 200-strong F1 workforce – report
(GMM) Amid the F1 paddock's usual skepticism, the sport's newest team is pushing ahead with its plans.

Gene Haas – a top Nascar team co-owner and boss of Haas Automation, a world-leading machine tool maker – has secured a two-year license to make his F1 debut either in 2015 or 2016.

After a visit to Haas' North Carolina headquarters, Auto Motor und Sport correspondent Michael Schmidt says the Gunther Steiner-led team's "plan A" is to race next year.

Schmidt said Steiner, who has worked with Jaguar and Red Bull, is now rapidly building a workforce, with many experienced F1 people showing interest because Haas can offer new challenges and high-ranking positions.

"There are many interested parties," a source said, "but we can only hire people when we know who our engine partner is."

The front-runner is Ferrari, who are also keen to supply a lot of other components to Haas.

Mercedes has already ruled itself out of the running to fill Haas' needs.

"We can only offer engines and transmission," said team chairman Niki Lauda.

The Haas car will almost certainly be built by Dallara.

Schmidt reports: "A 200-strong staff is under construction. In September, the factory in Mooresville will be ready."

At the same time, Haas is also looking for somewhere to base itself in England, the report added.

Maldonado's Venezuelan backing could end
(GMM) The F1 party may soon be over for Pastor Maldonado.

Until now, the 29-year-old Venezuelan's formula one career has been powered by state millions, through the oil company PDVSA and the personal backing of president Hugo Chavez.

Chavez, however, died last year, preceding a period of intense political turmoil, and at the same time PDVSA's plowing of state millions into Williams and Lotus was already highly controversial within Venezuela.

Now, Venezuela has a new sports minister, Antonio Alvarez, who has indicated this week that motor racing is being totally cut from the country's list of priorities.

"I know I'm going to win a lot of enemies," he is quoted by Venezuela's Ultimas Noticias.

"But there will be not one more dollar for motor racing. Venezuelan sport has other priorities, and it would be unfair to use state resources for disciplines that are not in line with the development of the country," said Alvarez.

Magny Cours on pole for 2015 F1 return
(GMM) Magny Cours is on pole position to return to the F1 calendar next year, the boss of the former French grand prix venue has said.

"If the will of a number of people is confirmed in the coming weeks, we are very close," Magny Cours chief Serge Saulnier told France's Infosport on Monday.

France has been absent from the F1 calendar since Magny Cours, located in the centre of the country some 250 kilometers from Paris, lost the race after 2008.

"We are still in negotiations with FOM," Saulnier added, referring to F1's commercial rights company that is run by F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone.

"We are a candidate for a date in 2015, but for now nothing is signed," he said, revealing that representatives of local regions have been asked to contribute towards the race fee.

"I am hoping," Saulnier continued. "We have been working on it for more than three years, it has built slowly but surely, and I feel that the time has arrived to sign this agreement.

"I hope and I would like it to be done before the summer," he added.

Race chief says 'no risk' of Russia GP axe
(GMM) There is "no risk" Russia will not stage its inaugural grand prix in October.

That is the claim of Alexander Saurin, the administration chief of the local Krasnodar territory, and in charge of the resort city Sochi's post-Olympics plans.

"We are on schedule. The necessary inspections have been made and there is no risk to the first grand prix of Russia," he told the German news agency DPA.

There have been reports the Sochi race will have to be cancelled, amid the threat of war between Russia and Ukraine and escalating European and US sanctions.

"We are preparing everything to make our guests feel at ease," said Saurin. "We do not connect these political things with formula one.

"It is safe to go to Sochi right now and it will be safe in October still," he insisted.

"We guarantee the safety of our visitors — this is our standard and that will continue."

Saurin said the economic sanctions, which have seen funds and bank accounts frozen already by the West, will not affect the region's running of the F1 event.

"We have a contract and we hold ourselves to it," he said. "We have guarantees. And at the moment we see no financial problems for the event.

"We have 12 million viewers of formula one in Russia, and 80 per cent of the tickets are reserved already — the race will be sold out," Saurin claimed.

Sauber F1 Team and Chelsea FC prize competition
Hinwil, 20th May 2014 – The Sauber F1 Team and Chelsea Football Club meld the passion for racing and football while offering sports fans a unique chance to win an unforgettable trip. Besides visiting one of the world’s most famous and successful football teams, the lucky winners will also enjoy the Sauber F1 Team race action during this year’s Formula 1 British Grand Prix in Silverstone.

Fans of sport from around the globe are able to take part in the ‘Pitch to Podium’ competition. The six lucky ones are going to experience a unique adventure including return flights to the UK for themselves and a guest, accommodation and transfers, with behind-the-scenes exclusive access to Chelsea’s training headquarters and a tour of Stamford Bridge, their iconic central London home. Afterwards, they will get to know the exciting world of Formula 1 at the Silverstone race circuit on 6th July. A VIP Sauber F1 Team garage tour is waiting for them, where they will meet both drivers, Esteban Gutiérrez and Adrian Sutil, as they prepare for the race. The winners will also be able to follow the race action from a prime grandstand seat. Besides that, six Sauber F1 Team-Chelsea FC packages signed by the drivers can be won.

Since 2012 the Sauber F1 Team has enjoyed a remarkable partnership with the British Premier League Club Chelsea FC, which both teams have benefited from. They have offered several exciting prizes to fans across the globe, shared social media questions and answer sessions between players and drivers, and worked together to inspire children in Europe and Asia through Formula 1 and football events.

For more information and to enter the ‘Pitch to Podium’ competition, please click here.

Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber F1 Team driver:
“I think it is a great idea, not everyone is a motor racing and football fan at the same time, so I think it is a good exchange in order to increase the interest and to build a relationship between racing and football. I like football, I follow the Chelsea FC matches and enjoy watching them a lot. The prize contest is a great thing, and I am sure the winners will have a fantastic time. I am more than glad to welcome them in Silverstone and I will give them some insights into racing."

Ron Gourlay, Chelsea Chief Executive Officer:
“We are delighted to join up with the Sauber F1 Team to offer this excellent prize to sports fans around the world. The British Grand Prix is one of the standout events on the sporting calendar, while the opportunity to see behind the scenes at Cobham and Stamford Bridge is a fantastic opportunity for any Chelsea supporter."

Monaco: On Board with Lewis Hamilton in the F1 Simulator!

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