Latest F1 news in brief – Wednesday

  • Marussia team has decisions to make

    Marussia undecided over engine for future

  • Marussia undecided over second driver for 2013
  • Hamilton admits guarding emotions in 2012
  • New boss says 2014 Russian GP plans on track
  • Nurburgring set for F1 race demise
  • Ecclestone 'interested' in F1 Olympic stadium plans
  • Vettel insists Webber not Red Bull favorite
  • Man faces jail after Ecclestone blackmail
  • Ecclestone's rules plan could hit legal roadblock
  • Haug plays down Vettel-to-Mercedes likelihood
  • De Villota family not commenting on Marussia statement

Marussia undecided over engine for future
(GMM) Marussia has not decided which engine to use for F1's new turbo regulations in 2014.

The back-of-the-grid team is currently powered by Cosworth, but there is speculation the independent British engine supplier is set to pull out of the sport.

When asked about Marussia's engine plans for 2014, chief executive Andy Webb said: "It's a difficult decision, because a lot will depend on the financial side."

There is great consternation among F1's 'customer engine' teams at present about the likely high cost of buying the new V6 engines.

"They're going to cost somewhere between EUR 10 and 25 million," Webb is quoted by the Russian website Championat.

"A team like ours will need some help in order to afford something like that."

Webb also revealed that, starting next year, Marussia has decided to use KERS for the first time.

"The only question is whose system we will have," he said. "It depends on what engine we choose for the future."

Marussia undecided over second driver for 2013
(GMM) Marussia is yet to decide whether or not to keep French rookie Charles Pic on board for 2013.

Since the team's inception as Virgin in 2010, Timo Glock's teammate has been constantly changing.

In 2010 the German was paired with Lucas di Grassi, last year it was Jerome d'Ambrosio, and this year the second cockpit is occupied by 22-year-old Pic.

Pic told Ria Novosti news agency: "I think I have to stay focused on this year and make a good job, and if I do a good job it (a new contract) will come naturally for next year."

Team chief executive Andy Webb admitted a decision has not been taken.

"Usually those decisions are made at the end of the season.

"We are constantly studying the situation with the drivers, but I will say that we are happy with Charles Pic," he is quoted by the Russian website Championat.

Hamilton admits guarding emotions in 2012
(GMM) Lewis Hamilton has admitted he has deliberately kept his emotions in check in 2012.

Last year, amid his tumultuous 2011 campaign on and off the circuit, the Briton often let his high emotions show publicly — such as when he opined that his run-ins with the FIA could be "because I'm black".

But so far in 2013, coinciding with a return to form for the 2008 world champion, the McLaren driver seems much more serene, both on and off the circuit.

"I think I made some conclusions from situations that have happened in previous years," Hamilton is quoted by the Russian website Championat.

"I race just as passionately as ever, but I understand that not everyone in our business wants to see displays of emotion like that.

"I speak naturally from the heart, but not everyone can understand that. Yes, this year my approach has been slightly different.

"I speak through my performances on the track," he added.

New boss says 2014 Russian GP plans on track
(GMM) The new boss of Sochi's 2014 Russian grand prix project insists the race plans are on track.

There has been speculation the event could be delayed until 2015 because the resort city's hosting of the 2014 winter Olympics is the priority.

But new chief Alexander Bogdanov said: "There is only one objective. There is a contract signed with FOM, with Bernie Ecclestone, and my goal is to fulfill the obligations.

"There have been rumors, and one reason is that there was a kind of information vacuum," he admitted to the Russian website Championat.

"There will be no more problems like that.

"Right now is a very active phase of construction — the pits, the team buildings, the medical centre.

"They should be ready for the 2014 Olympics, because they will be used.

"The project is most ambitious, but it is doable and the two sides (F1 and Olympics) will help each other."

Bogdanov said Sochi is still in regular contact with Ecclestone.

"Yes, the last one was during the British grand prix. We discussed the progress of construction and the preparation for the (Russian) grand prix.

"We invited him to visit, and he confirmed his willingness to come to Sochi."

Ecclestone 'interested' in F1 Olympic stadium plans
(GMM) Bernie Ecclestone insists he remains "interested" in plans to stage a grand prix in and around London's Olympic stadium.

The proposal was once again making headlines in Britain on Tuesday, as the London Legacy Development Corporation confirmed the bid is among four others to utilize the stadium in the wake of the forthcoming Games.

The F1 bid was submitted by a company called Intelligent Transport Services.

"If they were to get permission to do it, then we would be more than happy to do something with them," F1 chief executive Ecclestone is quoted by the Guardian.

"But we have nothing to do with putting in a bid."

The 81-year-old was also quoted by Bloomberg news agency: "We've told them it's a good idea and we would be interested."

Vettel insists Webber not Red Bull favorite
(GMM) Sebastian Vettel insists his bid for a third consecutive drivers' title remains on track.

But with his teammate 16 points ahead and now fully signed up for 2013, while rumors of a Ferrari switch continue to swirl around Vettel, one theory is that Red Bull could be set to throw its full weight behind Mark Webber's campaign.

Vettel doesn't think so.

"Both Mark and myself can go for the title; the team supports us equally," the 25-year-old told Bild newspaper.

"He (Webber) is doing very well, but I firmly believe that the championship is absolutely possible for myself.

"With victory at Hockenheim, the situation would immediately look very different," insisted Vettel.

Man faces jail after Ecclestone blackmail
(GMM) A 41-year-old man in Britain faces jail after pleading guilty to trying to blackmail formula one boss Bernie Ecclestone.

The Telegraph reported that the man, who works as a dental technician, phoned the 81-year-old billionaire several times, claiming he had kidnapped his daughter Tamara.

Ecclestone called the police after the man demanded 200,000 British pounds for her release.

"Amateurish it might have been, but it was a targeted offence," said the prosecutor. "The family is vulnerable and Mr. Ecclestone took it seriously."

The Southwark Crown Court judge reportedly said the offence will lead "inevitably … to a significant and substantial prison sentence".

The man will be sentenced in September.

Ecclestone's rules plan could hit legal roadblock
(GMM) Bernie Ecclestone plans to see F1's major teams decide the technical regulations could hit a legal roadblock.

When revealing that all the teams have agreed to a new Concorde Agreement for 2013, the sport's chief executive said recently: "Now what we've got to do is look at how the technical regulations are made.

"It should be the teams, though not all the teams, who do that. They are the people who have to come up with the money, not the FIA.

"It would be the established teams who are here to stay – Ferrari, McLaren, Red Bull, Mercedes and probably Williams as old timers – deciding what to do."

A 'legal insider', however, questioned Ecclestone's plan to have the teams make the rules and the FIA simply police them.

"It affects competition," the source told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport, "because it gives the teams that determine the rules – and therefore know what they are before anyone else – an unfair advantage.

"That would amount to an abuse of power," added the source.

The FIA, who currently write the F1 rules, is yet to sign up to the 2013 Concorde.

The insider said the Jean Todt-led federation, or the teams not selected to write the rules, could legally challenge Ecclestone's plans.

Haug plays down Vettel-to-Mercedes likelihood
(GMM) Norbert Haug has indicated that Mercedes is not currently in the running to secure Sebastian Vettel's services.

Although the extension of Michael Schumacher's contract appears likely, the cockpit alongside Nico Rosberg is theoretically open for 2013.

"We will sit down with Michael and make a decision together," Mercedes' motor racing director Haug told DPA news agency. "There is no rush."

Scottish racer Paul di Resta has been named as a possible successor to Schumacher, with Haug confirming that Mercedes will "not necessarily" look to pair Rosberg with another German.

"We are always looking for the best drivers available. That was the case even with Nico and Michael," he insisted.

But what about Vettel, who is under contract to Red Bull for 2013 but possibly not 2014?

Again and again, Ferrari is mentioned as a possible next employer for the reigning double world champion, but what about Germany's unofficial national team?

When asked how big Mercedes' interest is in the 25-year-old German, Haug answered: "Not so big that we need to talk about it in the media."

De Villota family not commenting on Marussia statement
(GMM) Maria de Villota's family is awaiting the findings of subsequent investigations before commenting on the recent Duxford crash.

Marussia said in a statement this week that an internal "detailed investigation" showed that the car was not to blame for the 32-year-old Spaniard's crash into a stationary truck.

The implication was that driver error was the cause, but the British-based team did not actually say that.

An official investigation is being conducted by the Health and Safety Executive, the independent UK regulator for work-related accidents.

"This is their (Marussia's) version, but it's not an explanation," someone 'very close' to de Villota's family told the Spanish newspaper Marca.

The newspaper reported that de Villota does not remember anything about the crash.

"Maria is not yet in the sufficient condition that would allow her to take part in any of the investigations," a statement issued by her family said.

"There will be no comment until all the current investigations are finished," the family added.

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