Latest F1 news in brief – Wednesday

  • Get over it. 19 races is just fine says Bernie

    2013 calendar could drop to 19 races – Ecclestone

  • Todt plays down Ecclestone-Ferrari spat
  • Frijns could split F1 with DTM in 2013
  • Jaguar scraps $1m Williams supercar
  • 20-race F1 calendar 'on the limit' – Webber
  • Di Resta hoping for top team switch in 2014
  • Red Bull 'worried' before 2012 season – Newey

2013 calendar could drop to 19 races – Ecclestone
(GMM) It is likely F1's 2013 calendar will drop from 20 to 19 races, Bernie Ecclestone has told an Austrian newspaper.

It has been rumored the F1 chief executive was being urged by Red Bull, the owners of the former A1-Ring, to revive the Austrian grand prix.

F1 chief executive Ecclestone has already reserved a twentieth race date on the 2013 calendar, in the wake of New Jersey's demise.

But when asked about the Red Bull Ring being a serious candidate, the 82-year-old told Kleine Zeitung: "Oh, really? Who says that?

"I haven't spoken to anyone about it."

When pressed, Ecclestone insisted: "Right now I'm thinking about Istanbul.

"But I rather think that next year we will have only 19 grands prix. That would be no problem."

Asked why Austria is not a likely candidate for the twentieth race, he answered: "Well, the hotel situation is still just a disaster.

"It was always a problem. I think it's not suitable for today's formula one."

Ecclestone said he will make a decision "I think by early next week".

Another rumor is that former San Marino grand prix host Imola could be an option.

But the Italian town's major Daniele Manca is quoted by Tuttosport: "It's impossible for something like that to be in motion without the track telling me."

Todt plays down Ecclestone-Ferrari spat
(GMM) Jean Todt has played down the spat between F1's most important team, Ferrari, and the sport's powerful chief executive Bernie Ecclestone.

Ecclestone and Luca di Montezemolo became embroiled in a war of words last week, over the Interlagos yellow flag saga and the Ferrari president's claim that 82-year-old Ecclestone is now too old to be in charge.

"We will handle the issue in due course and in a pragmatic way, as always," the Italian news agency Ansa quotes FIA president Todt as saying.

As for Ferrari's continued push for a reduced influence of aerodynamics in F1 and more testing, Frenchman Todt replied: "Ferrari has just completed a great season and I am sure they will have an even better one."

Frijns could split F1 with DTM in 2013
(GMM) Sauber's new reserve driver Robin Frijns could split his formula one role next year with the German touring car series DTM.

Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reports that the reigning Formula Renault 3.5 champion, who is now replacing Esteban Gutierrez as Sauber's 2013 reserve, recently tested a DTM car.

The report said the highly regarded 21-year-old Dutchman drove one of Mercedes' DTM machines at Estoril, on the basis of his "strong performance" in 2012.

"I drove as hard as possible and we'll see where it leads," Frijns confirmed.

Jaguar scraps $1m Williams supercar
(GMM) Plans for a $1 million hybrid Jaguar supercar in collaboration with F1 team Williams have been scrapped.

In 2011, it was announced the famous Oxfordshire based team had teamed up with the Tata-owned British carmaker Jaguar to create the 200 mile per hour, ultra low-emission C-X75.

In May of that year, the now-ousted Williams chairman Adam Parr said the deal was "fundamental to understanding our business going forward".

"A core element of the strategy set out to investors … was a partnership with a leading car manufacturer," said Parr.

"Our new association with Jaguar Land Rover demonstrates the strategy is on track."

According to Autocar, however, Jaguar has axed the C-X75 project due to the world's financial situation.

"We feel we could make the car work, but looking at the global austerity measures in place now, it seems the wrong time to launch (an expensive) supercar," said Jaguar's global brand director Adrian Hallmark.

He confirmed that the Williams partnership will lapse in May but didn't rule out working together again in the future.

20-race F1 calendar 'on the limit' – Webber
(GMM) F1's bustling 20-race calendar is "on the limit" of what is physically possible for the sport's participants.

That is the claim of Australian Mark Webber, who after this year's longest ever schedule in the history of formula one is currently recuperating after having the last metal rod removed from his once badly-injured leg.

Asked by Brazil's Totalrace about the now 20-race calendar, the Red Bull driver said: "We're on the limit.

"People talk about Nascar (with 36 rounds in 2012), but it's all in one country.

"As well as travelling, we need to be fit from the first week of February until the last in November.

"It's part of being a professional and I understand that. I'm not crying. But it's difficult for everyone."

Webber continued: "In the past we had 16 races, but more tests. On the other hand, there were ten races in Europe. Now there is almost no testing but very little (racing) in Europe, and a lot in very faraway places.

"And don't underestimate the work we have to do in the simulator.

"I think the ideal would be 18 (races). And more in Europe."

Di Resta hoping for top team switch in 2014
(GMM) Paul di Resta has admitted he is hoping to step up to a better team in 2014.

Still yet to be confirmed by Force India for 2013, the Scot is however expected to stay with the Silverstone based squad for his third consecutive season on the grid.

But the 26-year-old was openly disappointed this year when overlooked by top teams for the 2013 season, such as McLaren who instead signed Sergio Perez to replace the departing Lewis Hamilton.

Di Resta's 2012 Force India teammate Nico Hulkenberg has left for Sauber.

And now the Scot has admitted he is also eyeing a move as soon as possible, despite a mid-season performance slump alongside Hulkenberg this year.

"The end of my season wasn't great," he admitted.

"Next year is a big one for me," di Resta is quoted by the Sun. "I need to do my stuff because it will be performance-based.

"I think there'll be a few movements at the top and hopefully I'll be a part of that."

Red Bull 'worried' before 2012 season – Newey
(GMM) Adrian Newey has admitted he began the 2012 season feeling "worried" about the likely performance of his latest Red Bull.

Ultimately, the history books show that the energy drink-owned team has utterly dominated the past three championships, capturing every drivers' and constructors title consecutively since 2010.

But 2012, according to Red Bull's lauded technical boss, was different.

"Unfortunately, we realized even before the season that it would take some time to understand the car," Newey told Italy's Autosprint magazine.

"We were worried.

"The problem was with the 'blown' exhausts that we introduced in 2010 and around which we completely designed the 2011 car.

"Everything, including the position of the batteries, was based on it."

Told that he obviously resents the FIA's exhaust rules clampdown, Newey admits: "Oh yes, because it is a restriction.

"If you limit the regulations too much, for me it becomes 'GP1' — just a brand and not formula one."

Even ahead of the 2013 season, the FIA is still tweaking the rules to close loopholes: the next cars will, for one, pass even stricter nose flexibility tests.

"You see," Newey insists, "the fact is that the so-called 'spirit of the regulations' doesn't really exist.

"If you find a gap that allows you to defeat the purpose of the existing rule, but without violating the letter of the regulation, then we need to see if it is feasible.

"That is the true nature of F1. Yes, we have found some possibilities that maybe the rules do not provide for, but are not prohibited.

"It makes other people mad, but I get sick of being constantly under attack, as the reality is that the other teams and the FIA have always kept an eye on us.

"But they never find any rule that we have broken."

And Newey suggested that the bleating of other teams is not only annoying, but also hypocritical.

"Like the famous 'hole in the floor' we introduced in Bahrain," he said. "At another point in the year Ferrari was running an identical solution."

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