Latest F1 news in brief – Thursday (Update)

UPDATE Update shown in red below.


  • FIA confirms 19, not 22-race calendar for 2014
  • 2014 rules 'an opportunity for small teams' – Capelli
  • Honda concerned over rivals' progress
  • Horner: We won the title early, enabling us to focus on the RB10 New
  • Ferrari can veto Horner's appointment to top F1 job New

FIA confirms 19, not 22-race calendar for 2014
(GMM) The FIA has confirmed that previously-scheduled races in New Jersey, Korea and Mexico will in fact not take place in 2014.

It is believed that South Korea is dropping out as organizers baulk at the high sanctioning fees.

"Losing the 2014 race had been expected to a degree," an official is quoted by the Yonhap news agency. "We will push hard to get it back for 2015."

Mexico, meanwhile, has been unable to get its former 1992 grand prix venue ready in time.

"I believe 2015 can really happen," Mexican driver Sergio Perez is quoted by the Mirror.

"We are a lot closer now than we were a couple of months ago."

Like the similarly-dropped Korea and Mexico, New Jersey also wants a place on the 2015 schedule.

"There is great demand for a race in New Jersey, and I have no doubt we'll be racing at Port Imperial in 2015," Bernie Ecclestone said on Wednesday, after the World Motor Sport Council approved a 19-race calendar.

The F1 chief executive had been under pressure to slash the 2014 schedule from a controversial 22 races, but he says New Jersey remains on track to host a grand prix eventually.

"New races can take many years to get started, but there is significant momentum and we are close to realizing a New York City F1 race," added Ecclestone.

Organizer Leo Hindery acknowledged that one of the problems has been financial.

"Bringing a world-class race to the world's largest media market is a huge undertaking that has required balancing construction of our road course, without tapping any public money, with the sport's own timing demands," he said in a statement.

Elsewhere in America, however, the final 2014 schedule was causing other controversy, as it emerged the US grand prix is set to clash in November with another high-profile race in Texas.

"It's a foolish move by formula one," Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage, referring to F1's clash with the Nascar Sprint Cup race, is quoted by AP news agency.

"It isn't the smartest move to try to compete with that. I'm sure regardless of what they say publicly, the folks at the Austin track are pulling their hair out over this one," he added.

Much happier about its 2014 race date is Abu Dhabi, having successfully wrested the season finale slot from Brazil.

"It is very good news," Yas Marina boss Richard Cregan told The National newspaper, "and it is something that we have pushed hard for."

2014 rules 'an opportunity for small teams' – Capelli
(GMM) A former grand prix driver thinks 2014 could be an opportunity for F1's smaller teams to compete with their powerful rivals.

Some believe that with the sweeping rule changes, the teams with the biggest budgets, best resources and longest experience will tower over their smaller competitors even more than in 2013, at the end of a period of relative stability.

But Ivan Capelli, a F1 driver in the 80s and 90s turned commentator for Italian television, is not so sure.

Referring to the change of engines, turbos, gearboxes, aerodynamics and energy recovery systems, he told Italy's "The big challenge will be to put it all together.

"This may be an opportunity for smaller teams to get closer to the top of the standings.

"Perhaps it's a little like the 80s, with what Leyton House did when I was driving, or Minardi with Martini, or the Tyrrell of Alesi.

"A revolution like this can mix the cards up a lot and give rise to this sort of beautiful thing that has been missing in F1 for a long time," added Capelli.

The 50-year-old Italian acknowledged, however, that arguably the more likely outcome is that F1's genius designer, Adrian Newey, sets the pace yet again with the next Red Bull.

But Newey, while confident, is not complacent.

"The biggest problem for next year's car," he told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport, "is the narrower front wing.

"150 millimeters may not sound like much, but it is a huge difference when you have to put the endplates in the middle of the front tires.

"The second challenge is the new engine — the installation is at least two or three times more difficult than the V8."

Newey also admitted that another of Red Bull's advantages in the recent era – in the area of the diffuser and exhaust – will be difficult to replicate under the new rules.

"We managed to integrate the exhaust with our aerodynamics better than most other teams," he acknowledged, "so that means we also have the most to lose.

"On the other hand, I have also made cars when there was no blowing onto the diffuser, and they also seemed to work. So, I'll try it again," the Briton smiled.

Honda concerned over rivals' progress
Honda has admitted that the progress other engine manufacturers make during the 2014 Formula 1 campaign could put it in a weaker position when it returns to the sport the following year.

Back in May, the Japanese brand announced that it will be supplying engines for McLaren from 2015, having been lured back by next year's regulation overhaul – spearheaded by turbocharged 1.6-litre V6 powerplants.

But with zero track time next season, Honda's Chief Officer of Motorsports, Yasuhisa Arai, holds fears that its rivals could be a step ahead by the time the company returns to the grid.

"There are both advantages and disadvantages of participating from 2014," said Arai in an interview with the FIA's Auto magazine. "Many things will happen during the F1 season, and we are in a fortunate situation to be able to observe what will happen.

"However, as we are only able to observe, we cannot physically be at the track to see the problems. Other teams can improve on their problems and progress as the race goes on.

"How they will progress will be a mystery to us and our engineers must rely on our imaginations."

Arai is confident, however, that the partnership will be a success, referring to the 1988 season during which McLaren and Honda together won all bar one race.

"We have had a great history together – 15 wins out of 16 races in 1988," he said. "But more important is the mutual respect we have for each other's work ethic and processes.

"We have the same mentality or feel when we pursue victory and that is very important."

Horner: We won the title early, enabling us to focus on the RB10
In what is a clear warning to rivals, Red Bull’s Team Principal Christian Horner has predicted that his World Champion team will hit the ground running next season when the all new V6 turbo era begins, because wrapping up their two titles early on – in October – has enabled the team to focus on their 2014 car earlier than they expected.

Horner told the media recently, “Thankfully we managed to secure this Championship reasonably early which has enabled all the focus to go on to [the] RB10 whilst obviously Ferrari and Mercedes have been battling each other for the runner-up position."

“Of course we’ve been pushing the boundaries and Adrian [Newey] is never famous for starting next year’s car early. That’s exactly the same case for RB10," added Horner.

Speaking to the official F1 website Newey revealed the design process ahead of the new turbo era, “The first thing that you do is to read the regulations – very, very carefully."

“You try to read what they actually say, rather than what they intend to say, as this is not always the same thing. After that I’m actually breaking it down into bite-size chunks."

“Then you try to understand from the regulations the aerodynamic and mechanical packaging that appears to be the best solutions for those different areas. You go away and research them and at some point try to bring it all back together again."

“For me that is the important bit: the end product should be a whole and not pieces thrown together into one cluster," explained the most successful designer in the history of the sport.

“The car that will brush aside all others will be a car having the combination of good engine and good chassis – if one side is letting you down you will have a problem. But who will come up with the ideal combination? That’s the big guessing game for all of us and will add spice to the 2014 season," added Newey. Apex

Ferrari can veto Horner's appointment to top F1 job
(GMM) Ferrari's political power extends even to the identity of Bernie Ecclestone's eventual successor.

Amid his legal troubles surrounding the Gerhard Gribkowsky corruption scandal, 83-year-old Ecclestone recently named Red Bull team boss Christian Horner as his preferred successor.

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo, however, dismissed Horner's naming as a "joke".

"As the years go by, he (Ecclestone) more and more enjoys making jokes and I'm happy he still has the desire to do so," he told Italian television Rai.

In the same interview, Montezemolo confirmed for the very first time long-standing paddock rumors that Ferrari has the unique ability to "veto" proposed changes by Ecclestone and the governing FIA.

"We are the only team with the right of veto," he said. "More political weight than that is impossible!

"We are aware of our strength in formula one, which without us, would be completely different."

Now, in an interview published by CNN, Ecclestone has played down his comments about Horner, arguing that he only mentioned his 40-year-old friend because he was "walking past" at the time.

And he told the F1 business journalist Christian Sylt: "Firstly CVC would never agree (to Horner's appointment) and secondly Ferrari would have a say," said Ecclestone.

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