Latest F1 news in brief – Friday (Update)

UPDATE Updates shown in red below.


  • Louie Hamilton can't admit that Vettel is just a better driver

    Mateschitz, not Horner, knew about Webber exit

  • Vettel will have say over 2014 teammate – Marko
  • FIA to block 'custom engines' for 2014 – report
  • Massa admits 'good chance' of new Ferrari deal
  • Ferrari should quit F1 if Monza axed – Lombardy
  • 2014 Renault deal 'important' for Caterham – boss
  • Barcelona not sorry for selling 2014 F1 tickets
  • Sutil, di Resta eye better teams for 2014
  • Jealous Hamilton – Vettel 'fantastic driver' in 'awesome car'
  • Williams F1 Team and ShoreTel Announce New Technical Partnership
  • Sauber gives Frijns two days at rookie test
  • Webber decided to quit six months ago New
  • Ecclestone tells race organizer Monza future safe New
  • McLaren confirms Sauber designer coming to Woking New
  • FIA ends 'blown exhaust' era for 2014 New

Mateschitz, not Horner, knew about Webber exit
(GMM) An irked Christian Horner has revealed he found out about Mark Webber's decision to leave Red Bull only an hour before the rest of the world.

"I suppose an hour's notice is a bit short," the Briton told reporters at Silverstone.

"I think the guys at the factory would be disappointed to learn about it on the internet."

Horner's comments sparked immediate rumors of ill feeling as the Australian departs F1 for Porsche, with memories of the 'Multi-21' affair and strained relations with Sebastian Vettel and Helmut Marko still fresh.

"I informed Christian before the announcement which contractually I should do, so that's what we did," said Webber.

The 36-year-old said the way the news broke was not supposed to be a slight on his colleagues on the factory floor at Milton-Keynes.

"They've been superb for me on the floor there," said Webber, "but Porsche were very keen to make the announcement. It was about Porsche and Mark Webber today."

And in fact, it seems Red Bull's billionaire owner – and key Webber ally – Dietrich Mateschitz knew about the plans well in advance.

A sponsorship deal for 2014 and beyond may even have been done during the week.

"It (Webber's move) has been known by us for a few weeks," Austrian Mateschitz is quoted by Speed Week.

"We have been talking about it quite a few times," he added, amid reports Webber visited Mateschitz in Salzburg this week before returning to Britain.

"Mark will remain a part of the Red Bull family," said Mateschitz.

Vettel will have say over 2014 teammate – Marko
(GMM) Kimi Raikkonen has admitted he has had "small talks" with Red Bull about replacing Mark Webber next year.

Earlier reluctant to discuss his future beyond saying his Lotus contract is expiring, the 2007 world champion is now admitting that moving to the reigning world champion team is a real option.

Sebastian Vettel has made clear he would like to share the 2014 garage with his Finnish friend.

Raikkonen admitted: "It would be interesting to drive against him in the same car.

"It would be a big challenge, but that is why we are here. If you have a chance to be there you should take it.

"I would say Lotus or them (Red Bull) is the only options," the 33-year-old told British broadcaster Sky.

A key to a Raikkonen-Red Bull marriage would be to emulate his situation at Lotus, where the introverted Finn does minimal sponsor appearances.

"They might sound like stupid, small things but I've been long enough in the business to know what I want," he admitted.

It is thought that, Raikkonen aside, the only other candidates Red Bull would seriously consider are Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne, who currently drive for the energy drink company's junior team, Toro Rosso.

But Australian Ricciardo admitted his cause has not been helped by a competitive dip in recent races.

"I haven't really come off a strong few (races) to give me bragging rights to say 'That's mine, everyone'," he smiled, according to Reuters.

Ricciardo said Red Bull continues to back young drivers with the ultimate aim that they emulate Vettel's feat and graduate to the top team.

But Toro Rosso boss Franz Tost said the prerequisite is title-winning potential.

"Both drivers would have to show an extraordinarily good second half of the season," he told Speed Week, "because, and we must never forget, we are talking about the champion team."

Vettel is making no secret that he is pushing hard in Raikkonen's favor, but on the other hand he is also not rubbishing Ricciardo or Vergne's chances.

"I don't think it's fair to compare Kimi with Daniel or Jean-Eric. Their careers are totally different," he is quoted by Brazil's Totalrace.

Ultimately, however, the triple world champion will have a say.

"It's not my decision, but if I am asked, I will speak my mind," said the German.

Dr Helmut Marko told Bild newspaper: "This is a team, and so we need to ensure the greatest possible harmony.

"The best decision is one that is made in agreement on all sides. This includes Sebastian."

FIA to block 'custom engines' for 2014 – report
(GMM) Engine makers will have to supply identical packages to each partner team when the new V6 formula kicks off next year.

But Germany's Auto Motor und Sport reports that Red Bull and Renault fought hard against the FIA's plans, with the reigning champions having wanted to involve team sponsor Infiniti – Nissan's luxury arm – in the development of its power unit.

But the entire Renault 'power unit' will now have to be homologated, meaning all of Renault's customers – including Toro Rosso and probably Lotus and Caterham – receive exactly the same package.

Auto Motor und Sport said that rule will be ratified by the World Motor Sport Council on Friday.

The German report said Mercedes argued strongly against allowing different engine specifications for individual teams, which might have driven up costs and deepened the gap between the big and small teams.

A paddock source is quoted as saying: "Infiniti can build their own engine if they want to."

Massa admits 'good chance' of new Ferrari deal
(GMM) Felipe Massa has admitted he has "a good chance" of staying at Ferrari in 2014.

Team boss Stefano Domenicali said in Canada that the Brazilian is "absolutely" likely to remain Fernando Alonso's teammate next year, despite a recent run of crashes.

"I think I have a good chance to stay here," Massa told Brazil's Agencia Estado at Silverstone.

"I have to keep working and getting good results because, after all, it's the results that count.

"But I'm confident of doing well until the end of the season."

Asked how long it might be before Ferrari present him with a 2014 contract to sign, the 32-year-old answered: "I don't think a long time."

He denied that his recent run of crashes in Monaco and Montreal had hurt his confidence.

"I have never been a driver with problems of accidents, as happened in the last two races," said Massa.

"So I don't think you can put pressure (on yourself) because of that."

Ferrari should quit F1 if Monza axed – Lombardy
(GMM) Ferrari should pull out of formula one if historic Monza is axed from the calendar.

That is the view of Roberto Maroni, the president of Lombardy, in the wake of Bernie Ecclestone's warning this week that even Monza might not be safe as he looks to scrap "a couple of races" in Europe in favor of "emerging markets".

Maroni is quoted by La Repubblica: "He (Ecclestone) thinks he's father and master of the world, but he cannot decide such a thing without even consulting with people.

"If he does (axe Monza), there would only be one thing to do — Ferrari withdraw from the grand prix and the formula one circuit," he added.

As for whether Lombardy could intervene directly, Maroni confirmed he is "interested in any solution".

2014 Renault deal 'important' for Caterham – boss
(GMM) Caterham is now "very close" to signing up with Renault for V6 power in 2014.

"The talks have entered their final phase," said team boss Cyril Abiteboul.

Renault, whose new 1.6 liter turbo is believed the most expensive on offer for next year, has already concluded 2014 deals with Red Bull and Toro Rosso.

Lotus is also expected to stay with the French marque.

"Renault is a great partner," Frenchman Abiteboul told Russian website, "I have worked in this company so I have complete trust.

"Additionally, we have a joint project – Caterham and Renault – so it is important that on the formula one and the sports car side there is the same manufacturer.

"I can say that I am very actively pushing for Renault," he added.

But he said that the first Caterham-Renault road car will not be on the market until 2016, giving the F1 team time to move up from the back of the grid.

"So we have time," Abiteboul continued, "and formula one in this case is a marketing tool."

Asked whether his 2016 timeframe might not impress Caterham's team owners, he insisted: "The shareholders are well aware of our plans and our goals."

However, the F1 team originally had higher targets than merely tenth in the constructors' championship this year.

Abiteboul responded: "I have to cope with the problem — that's my commitment to the shareholders.

"If I cannot do it, they will decide if I am able to continue to lead the team or not."

Barcelona not sorry for selling 2014 F1 tickets
(GMM) Barcelona is unapologetic after putting tickets on sale for a 2014 Spanish grand prix.

Valencia, absent from this year's schedule, this week expressed surprise that tickets for a F1 race at the Circuit de Catalunya have gone on sale.

Valencia vice president Jose Ciscar said a "verbal agreement" between the port city and Barcelona to alternate a single Spanish F1 race, starting with Valencia in 2014, is now "in force".

But Barcelona circuit president Vicenc Aguilera told Spain's Marca sports newspaper: "We have a contract until 2016 and we will organize (a race) every year until then.

"Indeed, if we can, we'll do even more years," he added.

Sutil, di Resta eye better teams for 2014
(GMM) Seven races into the 2013 season, neither Paul di Resta nor Adrian Sutil are committing their futures to Force India.

The Silverstone based team has impressed the paddock with its Toro Rosso, Sauber, Williams and even McLaren-beating car this year.

But German Sutil, who returned to F1 with Force India in 2013 after a forced sabbatical, admitted he is eyeing the newly-vacant seat at Red Bull.

"Many drivers would like to race for that team," he is quoted by Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

"I would be delighted if they want to take my services. But there have been only seven races and at the moment I'm happy with Force India."

Sutil's teammate di Resta, on the other hand, has been often critical of Force India this year, having admitted his disappointment at missing out on the 2013 vacancy at McLaren that was ultimately filled by Sergio Perez.

"I have always wanted to be in a winning car — I want to be winning races and championships," the Scot said ahead of his home race at Silverstone.

"Where I am next year I do not know. That's the way it is but I've got a good management team behind me," he is quoted by the Sun newspaper.

Jealous Hamilton – Vettel 'fantastic driver' in 'awesome car'
(GMM) Lewis Hamilton has repeated his depiction of Sebastian Vettel as a "fantastic driver" at the wheel of an "awesome car".

Earlier this week, triple world champion and 2013 points leader Vettel insisted he is not fazed by the likes of Hamilton or Fernando Alonso, who constantly herald one another's talents but hail only Vettel's Red Bull car.

When asked about that sort of criticism, 2008 world champion Hamilton accused the media of being "unfair".

"It's unfair to say we criticize him and say he (Vettel) doesn't belong with Fernando and I. He does belong in that group, definitely," the Briton is quoted by the Mirror.

Hamilton said Vettel is "an absolutely fantastic driver", but "he really does have an awesome car".

"I think he would have a much tougher time if he was positioned with some different drivers," he added.

"My comments are from what I see when I get to race wheel to wheel with him — well, the few seconds that I do before he flies off into the distance.

"I am sure in the back of every driver's mind is 'What would it be like if I was in that car?'" [Editor's Note: OK, Louie, then why are you able to beat Mark Webber in that Red Bull but not Vettel? That's right, maybe that Red Bull car is not as awesome as you think, and it is Vettel that is just better than you.]

However, two pundits believe Hamilton should be looking at himself rather than others as he assesses why he only has a single title to his name.

"I think something happened a few years ago when he was looking for something in life outside of formula one," Gary Anderson, a leading F1 engineer turned broadcaster, told Speed Week.

"In my opinion he lost some focus. He needs to understand that what you do on Sunday is not enough — you have to think about nothing else than success, seven days a week.

"I no longer see that in him."

1996 world champion Damon Hill has a similar view.

"I don't want to say Lewis is naive," he told the London Evening Standard, "but he has a lot to learn.

"He genuinely wants to pursue his career in his own way. But the sport that he's in is a very Machiavellian place.

"To succeed in formula one you have to be a bit ruthless, have a focus, and almost a business mindset," added Hill.

On the other hand, although Hamilton eventually railed against the level of control exerted upon him, Anderson thinks Hamilton was the right man for McLaren.

Considering the great British team's seemingly endless 2013 crisis, he wonders: "Is Jenson Button just too nice for the situation they're in?

"I'm sure Lewis would make more fuss about it."

Williams F1 Team and ShoreTel Announce New Technical Partnership
The Williams F1 Team is pleased to announce a new technical partnership with ShoreTel, a leading provider of unified communications platforms including business phone systems, applications and mobile UC solutions.

The partnership will see ShoreTel become an official technical supplier of the team, integrating communications within Williams’ on-track activities at Grand Prix venues around the world. ShoreTel will also supply unified business communications solutions across the broader Williams group at the Williams factory in Oxfordshire and the Williams Technology Centre in Qatar. This partnership will allow ShoreTel to benefit from a global marketing platform, with the company’s logo being displayed on the team’s transporters, hospitality unit and garage from the 2013 British Grand Prix onwards – where Williams is celebrating its 600th race in Formula One.

Speaking about the new technical partnership Adrian Hipkiss, ShoreTel’s EMEA vice president and managing director, said; “This exciting new partnership with the Williams F1 Team positions ShoreTel at the cutting edge of technology in an increasingly relevant international market. We are joining forces with a company that shares our forward-thinking vision and one that also thrives on delivering state-of-the-art technology. This new partnership allows us to demonstrate our award-winning telephony solutions with one of the world’s leading engineering companies, whose day-to-day operations, both at the factory and at 19 Formula One races around the world, rely on brilliantly simple unified communications."

Claire Williams, deputy team principal and commercial director of the Williams F1 Team, added; “I’m pleased to welcome ShoreTel as an official technical supplier of the team in what promises to be a rewarding relationship for both parties. Williams is a diverse and multi-disciplined engineering business which relies on high quality, mission critical communications so this new partnership is one which will benefit not only the Formula One team but every area of our business as we continue to diversify and expand into new areas."

Sauber gives Frijns two days at rookie test
Sauber test and reserve driver Robin Frijns will be given two days of running at the Silverstone Young Driver Test next month, the team has confirmed to

The reigning Formula Renault 3.5 Champion, who is now competing in GP2, tested for the outfit at Abu Dhabi last November, but it yet to conduct miles in the C32.

The Young Driver Test takes place from July 17-19, with Red Bull announcing earlier on Friday that it is to run junior drivers Antonio Félix da Costa and Carlos Sainz Jr.

Webber decided to quit six months ago (when first reported it)
(GMM) Mark Webber has admitted he made the decision to quit formula one at least six months ago.

The Australian told his boss, Red Bull principal Christian Horner, of his decision to switch to Le Mans with Porsche next year just an hour before the announcement was made early on Thursday.

But Webber told Melbourne newspaper The Age: "It's been on the cards for a long while, towards the back end of 2012 for myself.

"The decision was made before Christmas," he added.

"That's why I had all you guys (reporters) out for dinner in Melbourne. I knew that was my last race in Australia."

Webber, 37 in August, therefore insisted that the 'Multi-21' fallout with teammate Sebastian Vettel had nothing to do with his decision.

Rather, "You can't be at this level with the motivation not at tip-top," he explained.

Ecclestone tells race organizer Monza future safe
(GMM) Italian grand prix organizer ACI on Friday insisted Monza will not be dropped from the formula one calendar.

F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone told an Italian magazine earlier this week that the historic circuit could be the victim of the sport needing to push into more "emerging markets".

But Automobile Club of Italy president Angelo Sticci Damiani met with Ecclestone on Friday at Goodwood, where a World Motor Sport Council meeting is taking place.

He said Ecclestone "told me that he had never said there were problems with Monza and, above all, that the future of the Italian grand prix is at risk".

Damiani added that the F1 supremo had given him "specific assurances" about Monza's future.

McLaren confirms Sauber designer coming to Woking
(GMM) McLaren on Friday confirmed that Sauber's departing chief designer Matt Morris is now headed to the Woking based team.

We reported earlier that Briton Morris could be "heading to McLaren".

Team boss Martin Whitmarsh confirmed to broadcaster Sky on Friday: "He (Morris) is coming to McLaren.

"Matt is coming to head our engineering drawing office. It is probably something for Sauber to announce but I am not going to deny it," he added.

FIA ends 'blown exhaust' era for 2014
(GMM) F1's 'blown exhaust' and 'Coanda' era will be definitely over in 2014.

Germany's Auto Motor und Sport reported on Friday that the FIA has dictated that the turbo V6s only have one exhaust outlet, and that it must exit beyond the diffuser.

That will mean that, unlike in previous years, the phenomenon of engine exhaust gases having an aerodynamic effect will be almost completely removed.

Even the "area behind the exhaust pipe is a forbidden zone", Auto Motor und Sport added.

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