- Russia to claim 'force majeure' for late FIA application
- Vergne 'very happy' to stay at Toro Rosso
- Sauber 'never close to bankruptcy' – Kaltenborn
- Hamilton happy to have changed Lauda's opinion
- Mercedes reveals sound of its F1 V6
Russia to claim 'force majeure' for late FIA application
(GMM) Russia's hopes of holding its inaugural grand prix next year may rest on officials being able to convince the FIA its application was lodged late due to 'force majeure'.
Due to a conflict between race organizer Omega and the Russian automobile federation (RAF), the July 31 deadline for the official 2014 application to be lodged to F1's governing body was missed.
An email to RAF from the FIA has emerged, in which RAF is told the deadline must be respected "except in the case of force majeure".
But a FIA spokeswoman told the Ria Novosti news agency that missing the deadline does not necessarily mean the Russian grand prix will not be held.
Indeed, RAF executive director Sergei Ivanov confirmed that the application will be filed "in the force majeure format … as soon as the promoter fulfils its obligations".
According to RAF's vice president Igor Yermilin, however, it will be up to the FIA whether the late application is accepted.
"Of course it (the reason for missing the deadline) is not force majeure," he told Russia's f1news.ru. "This is our internal problem.
"But, most of all, there will not be very serious difficulties with the inclusion of the race in the calendar, because the Russian grand prix is important for everybody, from the country's leadership to the fans.
"What is important is that the promoter understands that the grand prix is not something that can be put together in two weeks, but that it is an enormous task.
"The main problem, in my opinion, is a lack of understanding of the enormity of the project.
"However, I am more than optimistic. The only problem is that time is running out."
For example, Yermilin said senior personnel of the Russian grand prix were scheduled to travel to Spa, Monza and Singapore for specific training.
And FIA personnel were scheduled to travel to Sochi for crucial meetings regarding the race, including safety and medical procedures.
"But today," he said, "without a contract with the promoter, the Russian automobile federation formally has nothing to do with the grand prix of Russia," he said.
Vergne 'very happy' to stay at Toro Rosso
(GMM) Jean-Eric Vergne has admitted being left out of Red Bull's plans initially left him "upset".
Earlier in the running to replace the Le Mans-bound Mark Webber, Red Bull made clear Vergne's fading candidature when only Toro Rosso teammate Daniel Ricciardo was called up to test the title-leading RB9 recently at Silverstone.
"I was a little upset that it was him and not me, which is a normal reaction," the Frenchman told the French magazine Auto Plus.
"But then the leaders of Red Bull explained things clearly to me.
"Daniel has more experience in F1 than me, so it's part of the logical process.
"I had a long discussion with the management of Red Bull Racing and everything is now very clear between us.
"I do not need to read the news to find out what they think of me.
"But then there is what is said in the media, and as a result there is a wave of negative consequences, including what Christian Horner said that was misinterpreted."
Red Bull's development programs are known to be harsh, with drivers often discarded after a couple of years of support.
But the energy drink company has made clear that Vergne will minimally keep his place at Toro Rosso in 2014.
Vergne agreed: "I would be very happy to continue with Toro Rosso in 2014. There is an interesting challenge with the new technical regulations and the arrival of the Renault engine.
"On the other hand, I would be lying to say that the opportunity to take Mark's seat is not in a corner of my mind. I still have my chance and I'll push hard for it."
He said the paddock perception that he is definitely out of the running is not necessarily true.
"If there's one thing I've learned about formula one," said Vergne, "it's that the truth of one day is not necessarily that of the next.
"A series of good or bad results, and things can change very quickly, in any direction.
"I know exactly what I have to do," the 23-year-old added.
Sauber 'never close to bankruptcy' – Kaltenborn
(GMM) Monisha Kaltenborn has denied Sauber was ever close to "bankruptcy".
Having admitted it was having trouble paying increasingly impatient suppliers, the Swiss team recently announced new partnerships with Russian entities that many in the media described as a 'rescue deal'.
But team boss Kaltenborn insisted: "We were never close to bankruptcy.
"We have been through difficult times in the past, and know how to survive.
"We also had other options, but we realized that this was the best one for the team to have a long-term future," she is quoted by tio.ch.
Hamilton happy to have changed Lauda's opinion
(GMM) Lewis Hamilton has warmly welcomed the "great compliment" made by triple world champion Niki Lauda after the recent Hungarian grand prix.
Having won his first race for Mercedes from pole since switching from McLaren, Hamilton's drive was lauded by team chairman Lauda as "the best I've ever seen in my life".
"We were not as quick as the Red Bull but Lewis really made it all up, especially the way he passed people. He was outstanding," said the F1 legend.
But two years ago, before Lauda decided to head-hunt the 28-year-old Briton from McLaren to replace Michael Schumacher, the outspoken Austrian had a vastly different opinion.
After one particularly incident-marred race in 2011, Lauda said of Hamilton: "You cannot drive like this — it will result in someone getting killed."
So it's for that reason that Hamilton so happily accepts Lauda's Budapest praise.
"Coming from Niki Lauda, it's a great compliment. I'm very happy he's said something like that," Hamilton is quoted by Brazil's Totalrace.
"It's crazy, because when I was at McLaren, he didn't know me and he had a very different opinion.
"Now we spend a lot of time together and his opinion has changed a lot," the Briton added.
Mercedes reveals sound of its F1 V6
The clip, which is a full dyno lap of Monza that has been synchronized with video from Mercedes' simulator, provides the latest clue as to what the new generation of cars will sound like.
While the simulation gives the closest indication so far of the V6 turbo noise, Mercedes engine chief Andy Cowell has made it clear that it will be different when the real engines are running on track.
"Doing a recording in a test cell is quite challenging because you need to extract the exhaust fumes and extract them safely from the factory that the test cell is within," he said.
"An awful lot of technology goes into making sure these fumes are extracted and filtered, which naturally takes some of the sound with it.
"Then, a test cell is a room with flat walls, which causes the noise to bounce around and reduces the purity of the sound. It's an engine dyno – not a recording studio!"
F1 has lost its signature sound. Will it destroy the sport's popularity?