Latest F1 news in brief – Monday

  • Petrov to return?

    Petrov eyes F1 return with Williams, Marussia

  • Renault chief thinks 2014 cars to be faster
  • Coulthard doubts Alonso real option for Red Bull
  • Ferrari drivers 'come and go' – Montezemolo
  • Summer break a 'win' for F1's hard workers
  • Gutierrez not worried about 'speculation'
  • Ecclestone vows to help F1 hopeful Felipe Nasr
  • Setback For Ecclestone After FOG, CVC Ordered To Release F1 Sale Documents

Petrov eyes F1 return with Williams, Marussia
(GMM) Vitaly Petrov may have some new power behind him as he pushes to return to formula one.

Earlier, after losing his Caterham seat and splitting with his manager, the Russian admitted he needed private backing if he wanted to get his career back on the grid.

But Petrov was at the German touring car series DTM's Moscow round at the weekend, wearing a Mercedes team shirt.

And he hinted to the Russian news agency Ria Novosti that organizers of next year's inaugural grand prix at Sochi are helping him find his way back to F1.

"Even the race track itself, they are helping quite a lot because they are talking with people. We are working together to find a seat for next year," said the 28-year-old.

Fellow Russian Sergey Sirotkin is heading to F1 next year due to the Sauber rescue deal, while Williams could also have a Russian on the grid after forming a partnership with the GP2 team Russian Time.

Asked about the Williams link, Petrov told "I would be interested in discussing this project."

Marussia, the F1 team owned by the Russian supercar maker, could be another logical place for Petrov.

"I need to understand their plans, what they want and how they want to be in F1 — just to have a car and drive or they want to grow up," he said.

Petrov said he will attend next month's Italian grand prix at Monza.

Renault chief thinks 2014 cars to be faster
(GMM) Renault chief Remi Taffin does not think the cars will lose much of their speed as F1 moves from V8 to V6 power next year.

"I don't think we'll lose so much," the French marque's head of track operations told Russia's Championat.

"Formula one is formula one, and we want the cars to still be the quickest. And they will be fast," he said.

"I think that at the beginning of the season they will be slower than the current cars by a second, but after mid-season they could even be faster.

"It's always been like that, (such as) when we moved from V10 to V8, and when there were big changes in the aerodynamics in 2009," Taffin added.

What will definitely change dramatically next year, however, is F1's sound. Recently, Renault released an audio clip of its new turbo power, and now Mercedes has followed suit.

The Mercedes clip, which can be heard here (, depicts a development engine at the German marque's Brixworth base simulating a lap of Monza.

Renault's Taffin thinks F1 will be loud enough next year.

"Have you heard the GP3 cars?" he asked. "If you find yourself in the pitlane during their races, you are unlikely to last the whole race without earplugs.

"Yes, the sound of the (F1) engines will be quite different in 2014, but it will still be very loud. It will still be formula one."

Finally, Taffin said there has been progress with 2014 Renault engine deals for existing customers Caterham and Lotus.

"The fact that the contracts are not signed yet does not mean we are not already working with them (for 2014)," he revealed.

"But the signing of the contract is not so simple: we're talking about technical matters, marketing, finance.

"We know that the talks will end positively, but some questions still remain to be answered."

Coulthard doubts Alonso real option for Red Bull
(GMM) Daniel Ricciardo and Kimi Raikkonen are both "good options" as Red Bull looks to replace the departing Mark Webber for 2014.

That is the view of former F1 driver David Coulthard, who thinks reports Fernando Alonso is yet another option for the world champion team are wide of the mark.

"His manager did what any good manager should do — talk with all of the teams," the Scot, a Red Bull consultant, told the Dutch magazine Formule 1.

"Fernando is undoubtedly frustrated that he is not winning as often as someone of his ability would expect.

"But Ferrari is a top team and they will undoubtedly go back to winning grands prix," Coulthard added.

Much more likely is that Red Bull is simply weighing up between the genuinely available Finn Raikkonen, and the best Red Bull-backed junior, Daniel Ricciardo.

Coulthard, a former teammate of the 2007 world champion, said: "With Kimi, you know what you are getting. His track record speaks for itself."

But he also thinks Ricciardo, 23, would be a good choice.

"When Sebastian Vettel joined Red Bull," said Coulthard, "he had won only one race. But there is no doubt that he deserved the chance.

"Daniel Ricciardo has also shown that talent. Red Bull also knows him well, and he would represent the brand very well," he added.

"It's not my decision," said Coulthard, "but if I had to decide, I would do as anyone would do — look at all the data from all the angles and make a judgment based on the overall picture."

Ferrari drivers 'come and go' – Montezemolo
(GMM) Luca di Montezemolo has fired yet another warning at Fernando Alonso, insisting Ferrari has never had trouble filling its race seats.

"Even if I have lots of problems," the Maranello team's president told Corriere della Sera, "finding drivers for the future is not one of them."

Ferrari had already revealed that Montezemolo "tweaked" the Spaniard's ear after Hungary, when the number 1 driver dared to criticize the Italian team's lack of recent competitiveness.

During the same race weekend, Alonso's manager held talks with Red Bull team boss Christian Horner.

Montezemolo, however, has Alonso and sponsor Santander under firm contract for the next few years, and thinks the Spaniard is going nowhere.

"Fernando Alonso is a great, I have said it before," said the Italian.

"He has proved it and he will prove it again."

At the same time, Montezemolo warned that the most important thing is Ferrari, not its drivers.

And he took issue with Alonso's claim that he wants "someone else's car" as a birthday president.

"Please," said Montezemolo, "let's not forget that last year for a few laps at the very last race, Alonso was virtually world champion, and he was driving a Ferrari, not another car.

"This team knows how to be competitive.

"Let me make it clear that it's Ferrari I'm interested in," Montezemolo continued to tell the Italian newspaper.

"Drivers, we've had a lot: some very good, some great, but drivers come and go while Ferrari remains."

The next driver to 'go' could be Brazilian Felipe Massa, who after eight years may finally have run out of time at Maranello.

"Felipe is a quick driver and a great guy," said Montezemolo.

"But in the past days, we were very clear with him: both he and us need results and points.

"At some point, we will look one another in the eye and decide what to do."

At the same time, Montezemolo insisted team boss Stefano Domenicali's place at Ferrari should not be similarly in doubt.

"When one talks about Domenicali, one truth is king," he said. "Under his management we have one constructors' title and come very close to three drivers' titles.

"Two of those we could easily have won and then people's opinion of Domenicali would be very different."

Finally, Montezemolo took an obvious swipe at F1's dominant team, Red Bull.

"We do not make drinks, and I say that with all the possible respect for those who do.

"We are not a sponsor," the 65-year-old added, "we design and manufacture machines of the highest level."

Summer break a 'win' for F1's hard workers
(GMM) F1's 'summer break' is a rare slice of relief for the sport's hard-working men and women.

"The level of dedication (in F1) is quite high," said former Toro Rosso technical director Giorgio Ascanelli, explaining that outside the top teams, wages are not particularly high.

"Life in formula one is a life of self-denial," he told Brazil's O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper.

During the month-long break between the Hungarian and Belgian grands prix, teams must close their factories for a mandatory two-week period.

"Of course," Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko admitted to Salzburger Nachrichten newspaper, "you don't switch the minds off too."

But at the very least, the situation does force everyone involved in the sport to ease back the throttle.

Even the Christmas and New Year's period is "intense", former Ferrari spokesman Luca Colajanni admitted, because the new cars are now launched in January.

So the August break is "a win for everyone in formula one," Toro Rosso sporting director Steve Nielsen said.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner added: "Everyone has earned the chance to recharge their batteries."

Gutierrez not worried about 'speculation'
(GMM) Esteban Gutierrez insists he is not worrying about speculation his F1 career might end after just a single season.

Amid Sauber's struggle for pace and survival in 2013, the rookie Mexican has also struggled to make an impression alongside teammate Nico Hulkenberg.

And even though boss Monisha Kaltenborn has denied the rumors, it is suggested the arrival of Sauber's new Russian partners could mean the team's existing Mexican sponsors – and Gutierrez – leave at the end of the season.

"All I know is that there is a lot of speculation," the 21-year-old is quoted by Brazil's Totalrace.

"There are many people (drivers) around, many cars (for 2014), and this generates a lot of rumors and information that is not accurate," said Gutierrez.

"Right now, the most important thing is that nothing has changed this season. I'm focused on doing a good job.

"The entire career of a driver depends on results, and this is what I am focused on.

"It doesn't matter much what I did or did not do in the first half of the season. The important thing is what I do in the second, and in this way I think I have much to gain and little to lose.

"I am determined and will make every effort to achieve what I have always wanted in my life," he added.

Ecclestone vows to help F1 hopeful Felipe Nasr
(GMM) As one Brazilian driver's future hangs in the balance, yet another looks set to step onto the 2014 grid.

Livio Oricchio, the respected correspondent for Brazil's O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper, reported recently that GP2 driver Felipe Nasr is likely to make his debut next year.

The 20-year-old, currently second in the GP2 standings, admitted in June he is "not far" from making the big step up to formula one.

Now, Brazil's Globo has quoted F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone as telling Nasr: "I'm here. Anytime you need advice, you can shout.

"I need a Brazilian driver," he added.

Indeed, if Felipe Massa – currently F1's only Brazilian – does not get a new Ferrari contract for 2014, he has not ruled out simply quitting the category.

Ecclestone hinted that some F1 teams are interested in Nasr.

"I have talked to them a few times and people are really impressed with how he has developed over the last few years," said the 82-year-old Briton.

Nasr, however, warned: "The dream of reaching the top of world motor sport is close, but not easy.

"It depends on good results but also financial support," he admitted.

Setback For Ecclestone After FOG, CVC Ordered To Release F1 Sale Documents
F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone’s "legal problems deepened after Formula One Group and owners CVC were ordered by a London court to release hundreds of documents relating to the sale of the motor racing series seven years ago, amid claims it was undervalued," according to Roger Blitz of the FINANCIAL TIMES.

Ecclestone and other defendants "face a claim from German media group Constantin Medien for damages of at least $171M." Ecclestone's legal team "must now prepare for the Constantin Medien court case," which has been set for Oct. 28 and is scheduled to last six weeks. Ecclestone "is expected to be called as a witness," along with F1 CFO Duncan Llowarch.

Among the documents the judge ordered CVC to disclose "are due diligence reports on F1 at the time of the sale and the refinancing; appendages to the disclosure letter from Mr. Ecclestone to CVC at the time of the transaction relating to F1 revenue streams; CVC’s loan application to RBS relating to its purchase; investment committee minutes; financial models it relied upon for its offer; and a Deloitte tax report prepared for CVC at the time of refinancing."

The judge said that FOG "had to disclose in-house financial models projecting revenues and costs, a memorandum of understanding signed by F1 teams that committed them to F1 until 2012, documents relating to the purchase of sponsorship and hospitality businesses; and documents relating to the addition of a race in Abu Dhabi to the F1 calendar." FT

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