Latest F1 news in brief – Friday

  • Juncadella gets Force India Reserve role

    Mercedes happy about Ecclestone's lesser F1 role

  • FIA no longer mentioning 'cost cap'
  • Sam Michael tipped to be new McLaren boss
  • Ecclestone thinks F1 entry for Haas 'unlikely'
  • Renault says Jerez absence a setback for Lotus
  • New Force India also has 'anteater' nose
  • No date set for end of Schumacher coma – report
  • Winter knee surgery for Perez
  • Astana-backed Juncadella is Force India reserve
  • Scuderia Toro Rosso signs sponsorship agreement
  • The 2014 F1 rules versus 2013 rules
  • Increased track time for Infiniti Red Bull Racing and Casio
  • Team principal Whitmarsh out in the cold
  • F1 plans 2015 tire warmer ban

Mercedes happy about Ecclestone's lesser F1 role
(GMM) Mercedes has welcomed Bernie Ecclestone's departure from the F1 board.

The embattled 83-year-old Briton remains chief executive, but his decision-making power has been diminished while he faces criminal court in Germany over the bribery affair.

Mercedes, known for its sensitivity when it comes to ethical matters, welcomed Ecclestone's diminished role at the top of the sport.

"With the start of the court procedures Bernie Ecclestone is suspending his duties as director of (F1 parent company) Delta Topco with immediate effect," a spokesman for the German carmaker said.

"We welcome these measures," the spokesman told F1 business journalist Christian Sylt, according to City A.M.

FIA no longer mentioning 'cost cap'
(GMM) F1's governing body has toned down its rhetoric on cost-cutting, having said in December it wanted to install a highly-controversial "global cost cap".

But on Thursday, after a meeting of the World Motor Sport Council in Geneva, the FIA said only that the adoption of "cost reduction and cost control regulations" has been agreed, following a meeting involving Bernie Ecclestone and the F1 teams.

The FIA said the cost control regulations will be installed in 2015.

The full statement can be read at

Sam Michael tipped to be new McLaren boss
(GMM) Martin Whitmarsh will not be present as McLaren's 2014 car is launched on Friday.

That is the claim of Britain's Daily Mail newspaper, following reports the team's F1 boss for the past five years will also not attend the forthcoming Jerez test.

The Daily Mail said the launch absence will effectively confirm Briton Whitmarsh's demise, following what the Telegraph describes as the "internal coup" that led to McLaren supremo Ron Dennis regaining full control.

Sporting director Sam Michael is being tipped to step into the team principal role, after the 42-year-old Australian – and not Whitmarsh – was quoted in the statement announcing Stoffel Vandoorne as 2014 reserve.

"Whitmarsh has not even been in the team's Woking headquarters since Ron Dennis wrested back overall control of formula one affairs last week," said Daily Mail correspondent Jonathan McEvoy.

McEvoy tipped Whitmarsh to be "shuffled to another post within McLaren Group or out of the door altogether after five disappointing years in charge".

Ecclestone thinks F1 entry for Haas 'unlikely'
(GMM) Bernie Ecclestone does not think multimillionaire Nascar team owner Gene Haas can afford to enter formula one in 2015.

Haas, with an estimated net worth of $740 million, announced recently that he has responded to the FIA's 'call for expressions of interest' in filling the vacant slot in pitlane.

Haas co-owns the Nascar team Stewart-Haas, heads one of the best wind tunnels in the world, and according to Auto Motor und Sport he would start in F1 with a healthy three-digit million budget.

But F1 chief executive Ecclestone told Racer he thinks it "most unlikely" Haas will enter F1, because of the sport's huge costs.

"They (Haas) have been talking about it for three years," F1 business journalist Caroline Reid quoted Ecclestone as saying.

"Somebody can have 10 billion in the bank but it doesn't mean they are going to spend it."

Renault says Jerez absence a setback for Lotus
(GMM) Not testing at Jerez next week is a setback for Lotus.

That is the view of the team's engine supplier Renault, despite Lotus saying it will not be disadvantaged by the absence because other users of the French engine – Red Bull, Toro Rosso and Caterham – will be in southern Spain collecting shared data.

But Rob White, Renault's technical chief, said that reasoning is not quite right.

"The basic power unit is the same for all of the clients," he is quoted by Italy's Omnicorse, "and the information will be shared.

"But each installation is unique," he insisted.

"Of course, simulations are possible," White added, "but you can't understand everything with simulations alone."

New Force India also has 'anteater' nose
(GMM) Force India's 2014 car will also feature a Williams-like 'anteater' nose.

Although the Silverstone based team beat Williams to releasing a computer-generated image of its new car, Force India's picture depicted the VJM07 only from the side.

It was therefore not possible to see if the orange, black and green car has the same 'anteater' nose as Williams'; a solution expected to be adopted up and down pitlane as teams interpret the new aerodynamic rules.

Asked what the 2014 Force India's nose looks like from the front, technical boss Andy Green answered: "Thin — like the nose of an anteater."

Green admitted to Germany's Auto Motor und Sport that the solution is not pretty, but "function is more important than appearance".

But he also said he is expecting other teams to come up with different solutions than the 'anteater'.

"I know of three or four other concepts," said Green. "Our solution is pragmatic and conservative.

"As a smaller team, it means we could pass the crash tests without problem, and do the initial tests without worrying that we got the nose completely wrong."

No date set for end of Schumacher coma – report
(GMM) It is completely open as to how long doctors will keep Michael Schumacher in his induced coma.

It is now approaching a month that the seven time world champion has been lying unconscious in a Grenoble hospital, following his late December skiing crash.

There are unconfirmed reports that the great German may never wake up, or that if he does he could be in a permanent vegetative state.

Germany's Bild newspaper reports that "there is still no date set for when the doctors will wake him up from deep anesthesia."

Winter knee surgery for Perez
(GMM) Sergio Perez underwent knee surgery during the winter period, he has revealed.

The Mexican admitted that his switch from F1 grandee McLaren to the midfield team Force India was not the only major event in his life since the end of the 2013 season.

"I had a knee operation, from which I have fully recovered," said the 23-year-old, who will be paired this year with the highly rated Nico Hulkenberg.

"Since then, I have been doing some really good work with my trainers, back home. They came over to Mexico and we did both rehabilitation and a lot of physical work to get fully fit for the first day of testing," added Perez.

Astana-backed Juncadella is Force India reserve
(GMM) Daniel Juncadella has become a reserve driver at Force India.

It was already rumored the 22-year-old Spaniard would join the Silverstone based team, after the logo of his sponsor Astana, promoting the Kazakh capital, appeared on the livery of the 2014 car.

Juncadella "will attend all races with the team and take part in several Friday practice sessions", Force India said in a statement.

Scuderia Toro Rosso signs sponsorship agreement
Scuderia Toro Rosso has signed a sponsorship agreement with Sapinda Holding B.V. for the upcoming season.

The Sapinda Holding logo will be visible on the drivers’ and mechanics’ race suits and on the mirrors and front wing end plates of the cars.

Sapinda Holding is a privately owned Principal Investment holding company, which focuses on investment opportunities across continental Europe, Asia and Africa. Sapinda manages a global portfolio of long-term holdings in selected sectors and industries, with current focus on agriculture, mining, oil & gas and technology. The group invests across the capital structure in both the private and public sectors. As an international company with plans to expand into other markets, Sapinda sees Formula 1 as a relevant global networking platform and expects the partnership with Scuderia Toro Rosso to be a key step within their global business development.

Sapinda Holding B.V. is based in Amsterdam, Netherlands, while its largest office is located in London. The group has offices across Europe, Africa and Asia, including London, Berlin, Amsterdam, Johannesburg, Moscow and Hong Kong, and employs a large team of professionals in management, back office and execution functions.

The 2014 F1 rules versus 2013 rules
In 2013 the engines were 2.4 liter V8s.
In 2014 they will be 1.6 liter V6s boosted with a turbocharger and greater energy recovery systems.

In 2013 teams had eight engines per season: engine units had to last 2000kms
In 2014 they'll have just five before grid penalties kick in: engine units have to last 4000kms

In 2013 engines had indirect injection
In 2014 engines will have direct injection into cylinders, with fuel pumped in at 500 bar.

In 2013 engines produced around 750HP at up to 18,000rpm
In 2014 they'll knock out around 600HP at up to 15,000rpm. The engines will be fuel flow restricted (the last generation of unrestricted 1.5 liter turbos could produce 1500HP!)

In 2013 gearboxes had seven forward gear ratios
In 2014 gearboxes will have eight, which teams must determine ahead of the season.

In 2013 teams weren't limited to a fuel weight, though typically they'd have 160kg on board when they started.
In 2014 they'll have to manage with just 100kgs. Monza here we come!

In 2013 you could have two exhaust pipes which could be directed over the rear bodywork.
In 2014 there will be one exhaust pipe, angled straight up and with no bodywork placed behind it for cunning plans like exhaust blowing and blown floors.

In 2013 KERS was good for around 6-7 seconds a lap delivering 80HP
In 2014 ERS will deliver 160HP plus, and will be available for around 30 seconds per lap

In 2013 KERS harvesting was done using brake energy to drive a generator
In 2014 ERS will generate energy from two sources – kinetic energy from braking, ERS-K, and heat energy ERS-H.

In 2013 drivers would adjust the brake bias manually to change the KERS harvesting
In 2014 with so much energy needed to be recovered there will be a system controlled by the ECU that manages braking.

In 2013 drivers used a push-button to call up KERS energy.
In 2014 the ERS will be delivered through the throttle pedal, it will be up to the drivers to vary engine maps to control how they use it.

In 2013 a failure of KERS might cost 0.3 to 0.4 seconds a lap.
In 2014 an ERS failure will drop drivers over a second a lap and may give them a double whammy of having to save more fuel and go even slower.

In 2013 a car weighed 642 kgs
In 2014 with all the weighty energy recovery systems incorporated that has gone up to 690kgs (and really should have gone 5kgs higher, except Mercedes supposedly blocked it)

In 2013 the nose height of cars was 550mm
In 2014 it will be a much droopier 185mm

In 2013 front wings were almost as wide as the car at 1800mm wide
In 2014 they'll be obviously narrower at 1650 wide

In 2013 teams experimented with beam wings below the main rear wing.
In 2014 these will be gone. And no playing around with dummy camera mounts either. Planet F1

Increased track time for Infiniti Red Bull Racing and Casio
Infiniti Red Bull Racing is pleased to announce that its partnership with Casio is to be extended through the 2014 and 2015 seasons, continuing a relationship that first began in 2009.

Represented by its EDIFICE brand of men’s metal analog watches, the Casio logo will again be present on the driver’s race suits, as well as on the team kit worn at races. The logo will also be displayed on the nose of this year’s RB10 car and its 2015 successor.

Welcoming the renewal of the Team Partnership, Infiniti Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner said: “We are delighted to announce the continuation of our relationship with Casio, who are one of our longest-standing partners, having first joined us in 2009. Since then we have built up a close alliance, which is due to our mutual understanding of the exacting nature of the environments we operate in. Accuracy, attention to detail and reliability are core values of Formula One, Infiniti Red Bull Racing and Casio. We’re very pleased that this partnership will continue until at least 2015."

Hiroshi Nakamura, Senior Managing Director and Senior General Manager of the Global Marketing Headquarters, Casio Computer Co. Ltd., added: “Our partnership with Infiniti Red Bull Racing, the World Champion four years running, has been very effective for worldwide promotion of the EDIFICE brand."

As part of the team’s partnership with Casio, Infiniti Red Bull Racing will collaborate with the watchmaker on a number of special edition watches.

Team principal Whitmarsh out in the cold
Martin Whitmarsh's demise as McLaren team principal will effectively be confirmed by his absence from the launch of their new car on Friday.

Whitmarsh has not even been in the team's Woking head-quarters since Ron Dennis, the group chairman, wrested back overall control of Formula One affairs last week.

Although there has been no official statement on Whitmarsh's position as team principal, it is thought he will soon be shuffled to another post within McLaren Group or out of the door altogether after five disappointing years in charge. He has already lost his chief executive's title to Dennis.

Whitmarsh attended the funeral of John Button, father of McLaren driver Jenson, in Monaco earlier this week and is thought to be having a break at his house at Ile de Re on the French west coast.

Significantly, his name did not appear on two press releases issued by McLaren yesterday – one confirming the appointment of Belgian Stoffel Vandoorne as their test driver, the other announcing that Santander would continue their sponsorship.

However, there seems no chance of Dennis, 66, installing himself as team principal because he is said to be enjoying his status as a grandee far too much for that.

Instead, he would like to bring in a big name. Ross Brawn, a championship winner at three teams who left Mercedes at the end of last season, is the only available name of the desired stature.

But it remains to be seen whether Brawn, 59, is free enough from his Mercedes contract to take charge in time for the start of the new season in March.

F1 plans 2015 tire warmer ban
Previous efforts to introduce a ban have been scuppered because of safety concerns, amid worries from drivers about racing on cold tires.

But as part of a raft of changes proposed for 2015, the FIA announced on Thursday that all forms of tire heating devices will be outlawed.

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery said in 2012, when there was last talk of a tire warmer ban, that if there was enough preparation time then a ban could work.

"What we have found in the past, when we have tried to discuss it, is that the drivers have tended to be worried about such a move, as they feel that it can create a safety issue," he said.

"From our point of view, yes we can do it but we need time to do it – because it changes completely the compounds that you use."

Further changes for 2015 include the fact that teams will no longer need to design and manufacture their own unique suspension and brake ducts, which should help reduce costs.

A wider range of budget controls, and the framework for a cost cap, should be agreed by June this year.

The FIA has also ratified that the minimum weight of cars will increase by 10kg to 701kg in 2015 – which should help alleviate concerns that heavier drivers are put at a disadvantage.

There will also be tweaks to the technical rules to prevent the front part of the chassis climbing too steeply. Yahoo/Eurosport

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