Latest F1 news in brief – Wednesday

UPDATE Updates shown in red below.


  • Newey 'a little late' with 2013 Red Bull
  • Backer says Bottas not like other pay-drivers
  • Marussia not offered 2013 Concorde Agreement deal
  • Button wants improved tires New
  • Rolex becomes F1's official timekeeper New

Newey 'a little late' with 2013 Red Bull
(GMM) Team boss Christian Horner has admitted car designer Adrian Newey is "a little late" with next year's Red Bull.

The Briton made the admission on the Red Bull-sponsored Austrian television channel Servus TV.

Pre-season testing for the 2013 season will begin in Spain in early February.

The fact the RB9 is running behind schedule is undoubtedly due to the fact that, while many other teams turned their attention to next year during the 2012 season, Red Bull continued to develop its title-winning RB8 right up until the recent Interlagos finale.

"2012 was the hardest season I've ever been involved in," Newey is quoted as saying.

"In 2010 we had a fast car, maybe not totally reliable, but very good," he said.

"Last year the car was good and reliable.

"This year we sometimes had a very good car and sometimes had a reliable car, and we didn't always understand it, which initially was frustrating.

"The biggest change was the exhaust system which we had developed for two years and suddenly we had to start from scratch," added Newey.

Backer says Bottas not like other pay-drivers
(GMM) Valtteri Bottas is not like other 'pay drivers' on the F1 grid, his main backer insists.

The young Finn, set to debut for Williams next year, is backed by Antti Aarnio-Wihuri, whose company Wirhuri is a global industry and trade conglomerate.

Aarnio-Wihuri is quoted by Turun Sanomat: "I have a personal acquaintance with Frank Williams, which played a role.

"On next year's car we will have big ads. We are talking about substantial sums, but not tens of millions, as has been mentioned for some of the other (F1) drivers.

"We hope to get back the money we have invested through the advertising."

Marussia not offered 2013 Concorde Agreement deal
(GMM) Marussia is the only team on the official 2013 entry list that is yet to be offered a new Concorde Agreement deal.

The German website reports that the news could be particularly bad for the Russian-owned British backmarker, as Bernie Ecclestone is apparently considering scrapping the so-called 'column 3' benefits for the sport's new teams that debuted in 2010.

Presumably, Ecclestone wants to scrap the column-3 entitlements because Caterham has moved into a higher status due to regularly finishing tenth in the constructors' world championship.

And HRT has not applied to compete in 2013.

Marussia is therefore the only active team that has not even been offered a new Concorde Agreement deal by Ecclestone.

"The last thing we were told was that the columns 1, 2 and 3 will still be there. But to be honest, as long as there is no agreement, who knows?" said the team's sporting director Graeme Lowdon.

He insisted: "It has no effect on us in terms of us being here. We will be here, no question."

But the situation has raised the question of whether Marussia will ever be offered a Concorde Agreement deal.

"I don't know, it's up to Bernie," Lowdon explained. "It is strange that some teams have one while others don't.

"You would have to ask the owner of the commercial rights or the FIA."

Button wants improved tires
Jenson Button believes tire manufacturer Pirelli should widen the operating window of its products so that the Formula One playing field is more level.

The unpredictability of the different tire compounds Pirelli provided played a significant part during the initial stages of the 2012 championship, with seven different drivers claiming victory in the first seven races.

For example, in Malaysia Mercedez struggled and Fernando Alonso barely managed to hold off Sergio Perez, while in China Nico Rosberg claimed his first win in a race Mercedez dominated.

Button believes some of the teams and their drivers "lucked in" to working tires, while others were unable to.

"I think it would be nice to see the working range of the tire changed a little bit," Button said.

"As a lot of teams have, we've struggled to get it working and in the right region, and there just needs to be a bigger band of working range for everyone.

"It just makes it a little bit more fair.

"Some guys luck in to the tires with their car at the start of the year and others luck out.

"It's so hard to find a way of getting tires in the right range, and you have to change your car dramatically in terms of cooling in order to make it work."

Nevertheless, the Brit paid tribute to Pirelli's 2012 compounds, adding that the one-stop races proved how effective its high-degradation focus has been in improving races.

"I think the degradation of the tires has not been too bad all year," he explained.

"The new asphalt has changed things in terms of one stop, which worked in the USA, but not at others, which were not so exciting.

"I think Pirelli and the FIA are all pushing for more degradation."

Rolex becomes F1's official timekeeper
(GMM) Luxury watchmaker Rolex has signed up as F1's official timekeeper.

F1's official website said the "major" deal is a "long-term" one.

"This is an exciting step for us at Rolex as the fit between formula one and our brand feels very natural and, like all great partnerships, needs little explanation," Rolex CEO Gian Ricciardo Marini said.

Until now, the logo of Korean electronics brand LG has featured on F1 timing.

Wednesday's statement said Rolex "will give the time in different locations during each grand prix", while the logo will be featured around the circuits.

"Without question Rolex is the partner of choice for a world class sporting series like formula one," said F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone.

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