Latest F1 news in brief – Wednesday

  • UPDATE: FIA in race to enforce new fuel flow rule for 2014
  • Kvyat denies sponsors powered F1 debut
  • Official fears 2013 to be India's last GP
  • Rosberg to marry
  • Ferrari admits it wanted Kubica

UPDATE: FIA in race to enforce new fuel flow rule for 2014
(GMM) F1's governing body is in a race against time to ensure teams obey the radical new rules next year.

Germany's Auto Motor und Sport reports that sensors designed to ensure teams are sticking by the new maximum fuel flow rate next year have proved not accurate enough in initial testing.

Next year, with the arrival of the new turbo V6 regulations, fuel will only be allowed to flow into the engine at a prescribed speed.

Correspondent Tobias Gruner said a British company called Gill Hyspeed was awarded the contract by the FIA to supply the fuel flow rate sensors, which were tested at the young drivers test earlier this year.

"The result was worrying," Gruner revealed. "Instead of the maximum permitted deviation of 0.5 per cent for the specified flow rate, the error (margin) was actually up to 1.5 per cent."

Hyspeed contacted GMM on Tuesday to explain that while it was involved in developing the F1 fuel flow sensor, its "work with Gill on this project ended in March 2013".

Auto Motor und Sport reports that work to fix the sensor problem is underway, but if the solution is ultimately deemed not good enough, the FIA would have to rely on information provided only by F1's engine suppliers.

And accusations of cheating would surely follow.

The fix is expected shortly, and could be tested either at the Pirelli tire test at Vallelunga, or in a forthcoming Friday practice session, because as Gruner explains, "bench testing alone is not enough".

The sensors will then be supplied to the manufacturers a few weeks before the opening winter test.

Kvyat denies sponsors powered F1 debut
(GMM) Daniil Kvyat has denied his surprise promotion to Toro Rosso for 2014 is being powered by Russian sponsors.

"To come into formula one, especially with Toro Rosso, all that matters is the performance and the results," the 19-year-old GP3 driver told Championat.

Kvyat admitted, however, that his "door is open" to potential partners.

"We might be able to make some announcement," he told the Russian publication, "but I think we are far away from that."

It is also believed Kvyat's signing, ahead of Carlos Sainz jr and Portuguese Antonio Felix da Costa, could be related to the inaugural Russian grand prix next year.

Former Toro Rosso co-owner Gerhard Berger, however, said Kvyat's talent is obvious.

"He is a natural," the grand prix winner is quoted by APA news agency.

"He has brought strong results despite not having the best car."

Berger said he thinks Kvyat will cope, even though he is skipping the recognized final steps to F1 such as GP2 or the Formula Renault 3.5 series.

"Toro Rosso is a good school, and a good driver will always manage," he said.

Kvyat told the Russian website that he felt his chances intensify as he built momentum this year with strong results in GP3 and F3.

"All of the key people at Red Bull saw that I was able to win races in two different series," he said. "I think this led to the decision."

At the same time, hot favorite da Costa was struggling in Formula Renault 3.5.

"This year, he had to fight for the title," said Kvyat, "but it didn't come together, let's say, smoothly.

"With me, the opposite happened — at first it was not easy, but I learned to cope with it well and I think all the right people appreciated it."

He insists he is not too young or inexperienced for F1.

"I have done about 160 races in the junior categories, and had many podiums and victories," said Kvyat.

"Kimi Raikkonen did I think 32 races and then came into formula one, so I don't see any problems. Vettel debuted at about the same age."

Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko agreed: "Everyone who has been involved in the decision said Daniil, through his performance, his speed and his maturity, was the ideal candidate."

He told Spain's El Confidencial that speculation linking Kvyat's deal with the Russian grand prix is wide of the mark.

"We looked for what is best for Red Bull and what is best for Toro Rosso in the medium term," said Marko.

He said Kvyat will be given some time to get up to speed with experienced teammate Jean-Eric Vergne.

"Of course he will have to learn how it works in formula one, learn the tracks, but I would say that after six or eight races he should be in a position to stand up to Vergne," said Marko.

Official fears 2013 to be India's last GP
(GMM) This weekend's Indian grand prix could be the last, concerned motor sport chief Vicky Chandhok has admitted.

There have been conflicting explanations as to the reason India has dropped off the 2014 calendar, amid reports of scheduling difficulties, tax hurdles and financial problems.

But the New Delhi round is provisionally scheduled to return in 2015. If it does not, Indian motor sports clubs president Chandhok fears India's F1 foray will be over.

"If it doesn't come back in 2015, it may never come back at all," he told the Guardian newspaper. "That is my concern. Once you lose a race it can be gone forever."

So Chandhok called on Indian locals to make the 2013 race one "to remember", but organizer Jaypee has admitted it expects its 100,000-capacity circuit to be only half full this weekend, Bloomberg reports.

Sebastian Vettel is likely to secure his fourth title in front of that crowd of 50,000, the news agency added.

"We're hoping sales will increase as the race nears," chief executive Sameer Gaur said. "Things should be ok."

65,000 attended last year's Indian grand prix, down from 95,000 in 2011.

A man selling tickets close to the Buddh circuit this week told the Indian Express that business has been slow in 2013.

"Very slow," he added. "Today, the booth has been open since 8 in the morning. Nine hours later, we have sold a total of 25 tickets."

Rosberg to marry
(GMM) Nico Rosberg is engaged to marry his long-term girlfriend Vivian Sibold, according to German reports.

"Yes, it's true," the Mercedes driver told Kolner Express newspaper. "We're getting married," added Rosberg, referring to Vivian, an interior designer.

"It all feels very, very nice.

"When and where it happens is still in the stars," added Rosberg.

The German driver lives with Vivian, who is also 28, in Monaco and Ibiza.

Ferrari admits it wanted Kubica
(GMM) Stefano Domenicali has admitted Ferrari was targeting Robert Kubica for a future seat until his career-altering rally crash of 2011.

It has been rumored the Italian team wanted Pole Kubica, who is now a full-time rally driver after substantially recovering from near-fatal injuries, to be Fernando Alonso's teammate.

Asked if the rumors were true, team boss Domenicali said: "Yes, we were keeping an eye on him.

"Unfortunately, I don't think he will be back (in F1), because with his physical problem, he would struggle in certain limited situations which require reactivity. It's a shame," he added.

Domenicali's comments, posted on the Ferrari website, originated from a meeting he had at Maranello this week with two Italian fans who have been heavily critical of the fabled team in recent months.

In the revealing interview, Domenicali admitted both he and Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo had been highly critical of Alonso recently, after the Spaniard made disparaging comments about the team.

"If I have something to say to him, as would be the case with my engineers, I would do it behind closed doors and in a harsh manner," he said.

"But externally, I will always defend the team. When he (Alonso) crossed the line, president Montezemolo intervened and in private, so did I."

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