Latest F1 news in brief – Tuesday

  • Valencia in talks to lower fee for 2014 return
  • Singapore removes unpopular 'sling' chicane
  • Williams has 'healthy budget' for 2014
  • Pirelli confirms 2014 tire size not changing
  • No driver announcement at Spa – Marko New

Valencia in talks to lower fee for 2014 return
(GMM) Valencia's formula one foray may not be over.

Last week, we reported that the only negotiations between organizers of the Spanish street race and Bernie Ecclestone are now about how much the port city should pay for breaking its contract.

But media reports including by the Europa Press news agency have now quoted Valencia vice-president Jose Ciscar as refusing to rule out a surprise return to the F1 calendar for 2014.

That is despite F1's other Spanish host, Barcelona, already selling tickets for a 2014 race.

Indeed, Ciscar said Valencia will only return if there is "a substantial reduction of the (race) fee".

"Right now there is nothing new (to say)," he added, "except that, for the government, it is essential to lower the payments even if in principle there are signed agreements that must be met."

Singapore removes unpopular 'sling' chicane
(GMM) Organizers of the Singapore grand prix will finally remove the controversial 'Singapore sling' chicane.

The slow and unusual chicane, featuring high and harsh curbs for the left-right-left flick, has been consistently criticized by drivers and teams since the sport arrived at the now highly-popular night race venue in 2008.

Speed Week correspondent Mathias Brunner reports this week that Turn 10 of the Marina Bay street circuit will now be a simple left-hand corner.

The report also said the layout at key sections including turns 1-2, 5-8 and along the esplanade will be resurfaced in order to make the track less bumpy.

This year's Singapore grand prix will be held on 22 September.

Williams has 'healthy budget' for 2014
(GMM) Deputy boss Claire Williams insists she is "happy" with the Oxfordshire based team's budget for 2014.

Her comments come amid reports many teams on the grid, like Sauber and even the title-charging Lotus, are struggling to survive.

"Our finances are open for everyone to see," Williams, referring to the Grove team's listing on the Frankfurt stock exchange, is quoted by Brazil's Totalrace.

"We have a healthy budget and have done a good job on the business side to ensure that we are in as competitive a situation as possible for next year," she insisted.

The daughter of team founder and boss Sir Frank Williams, however, said the fact Williams is in a healthy situation does not mean F1 should not do more to level the playing field.

"Williams has always embraced controls in spending," said Williams, "since they began to be implemented in 2009.

"It is very important for the sport.

"We are an independent team and so we can't afford to see costs increase when there is already such discrepancy in terms of (team) budgets.

"We must ensure that we can all compete more equally," she added.

Pirelli confirms 2014 tire size not changing
(GMM) Pirelli has confirmed reports the size of its F1 tires will not be changing.

Earlier, it was suggested that because the torque produced by next year's new V6 engines will be much greater, the Italian marque wanted to supply bigger and wider tires.

Indeed, motor sport boss Paul Hembery told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport that the 2014 data supplied by one engine supplier in particular – believed to be Mercedes – was "alarming".

This ties in with reports Mercedes' 2014 rivals, Renault and Ferrari, might be expecting to be outpaced at least initially by up to 100 horse power and therefore want the specification of next year's tires to stay the same.

Auto Motor und Sport correspondent Michael Schmidt reasons that the FIA and Bernie Ecclestone also argued against the introduction of bigger tires, despite Mercedes' preference.

"No matter who it is, nothing hurts business more than a superior package," said Schmidt.

Hembery confirmed: "Based on the information we have received from most of the teams, we have decided to keep the same tire dimensions (in 2014).

"But as the cars of next year will make very different demands of the tires, we have proposed that the regulations be amended so that the teams may use different compounds front and rear, should it be necessary."

McLaren's Martin Whitmarsh reportedly argued that bigger tires would have required teams to design and produce different gearboxes, due to the increased load on the drivetrain.

But he said work on the all-new, 2014-spec 8-speed gearboxes is now too advanced.

"That work (on the 2014 gearboxes) is now all but complete because, next to the chassis, it's the component with the longest manufacturing lead time," said Whitmarsh.

No driver announcement at Spa – Marko
(GMM) Dr Helmut Marko backtracked on Tuesday, revealing Red Bull will in fact not finalize its 2014 driver lineup this weekend in Belgium.

Earlier, amid reports the world champion team has decided to promote Daniel Ricciardo to replace the Le Mans-bound Mark Webber, Marko told Germany's Sport Bild that "we will make an announcement at Spa".

But on Tuesday, the Austrian was quoted by SID news agency: "We will express ourselves when the time comes, and that will definitely not be at Spa."

24 hours ago, Kimi Raikkonen's manager Steve Robertson said talks with Red Bull had ended. Reports suggested the 2007 world champion is now more likely to return to Ferrari in 2014.

Marko did not want to comment.

"What we will do will be the best for the team, in the medium term," said team owner Dietrich Mateschitz's right-hand man.

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