Latest F1 news in brief – Tuesday

  • Lotus dispute to hit High Court next week
  • Kolles confirms pay-driver to complete 2011 grid
  • Better quality on-board cameras in 2011
  • Pirelli tires to force multiple pitstops in 2011

Lotus dispute to hit High Court next week
(GMM) Time is running out for the Lotus naming dispute to be solved before it hits London's High Court.

Group Lotus CEO Dany Bahar said on Monday that he thinks the branding debacle, with the entirely separate Team Lotus also intending to use the name this season, will be "solved" before British legal action kicks off.

But it has emerged that the court hearings are scheduled to commence next week, after both sides appointed lawyers.

On January 24 (Monday), the High Court will hear Group Lotus' application for a summary judgment — a ruling that would not require a subsequent trial.

Chief executive Riad Asmat said Team Lotus is pushing ahead for the 2011 season with no plans for a further rebranding.

"We know we are Team Lotus, so it's really not an issue for us," he told the BBC. "It (the dispute) is what it is.

"We have a five-year plan. It's unfortunate they (Group Lotus) decided to go their own way for reasons which to me are trivial."

Asmat also played down Bahar's comments on Monday about the matter being solved amicably before the court action begins.

"We haven't heard anything from them — we haven't talked to them recently," he revealed.

Kolles confirms pay-driver to complete 2011 grid
(GMM) EUR 10 million would buy a driver the second race seat at HRT alongside Narain Karthikeyan.

That is the claim of Germany's Bild newspaper, with speculation linking a handful of drivers with the last remaining place on the 2011 grid.

The report said Christian Klien, Davide Valsecchi and Pedro de la Rosa are in the running, but team boss Colin Kolles played down claims the seat is being "sold" to the highest bidder.

"No one needs to come with a suitcase full of cash. It will be enough to have the guarantees of sponsors," he said.

"We're not the only ones doing that," insisted Kolles.

Bild said the EUR 10 million dowry would represent a third of HRT's entire budget for the season.

Another high profile 'pay driver' this season is Renault's Vitaly Petrov, but as boss Eric Boullier confirms, his sponsors are not his only quality.

"My requirement (for a driver) is sporting success," the Frenchman is quoted by

"Of course, there is pressure from Bernie Ecclestone and (team owner) Gerard Lopez, each of them with obvious reasons concerning the conquest of new and interesting markets," added Boullier.

Better quality on-board cameras in 2011
(GMM) The quality of F1's on-board camera footage will also be improving in 2011.

When it was recently announced that the sport is switching to HD this year, reports said technical complexity meant that the on-board cameras will still capture only standard definition.

But French commentator Jean-Louis Moncet wrote in his latest Auto Plus column that on-board cameras have not been left out of F1's new plans.

French broadcaster TF1's formula one producer Noel Carles said: "FOM has been changing its equipment for the past two years and the issue of on-board cameras was finally resolved."

Pirelli tires to force multiple pitstops in 2011
(GMM) Pirelli has followed through with its pledge to produce tires that require drivers to make multiple pitstops in 2011.

Having replaced long-time supplier Bridgestone, incoming sole tire marque Pirelli announced last year it wanted to contribute to the 'show' by designing aggressive compounds.

According to a report in Autosprint, the Italian marque's 2011 generation of tires is designed to require two or three pitstops per driver per race.

The report said the request for aggressive tires was made by FOTA's technical division, with the harder compounds designed to last only 30 laps on average.

Pirelli's 2009 Toyota test mule is back in action in Pedro de la Rosa's hands this week in Abu Dhabi, where the action kicked off under lights on Monday on an artificially-watered track.

It is reportedly during this final private session that Pirelli will finalize its compound selections for 2011, even though the teams may ask for additional changes after the forthcoming group tests in February.

"These tests will provide us with useful information to finalize our tire development process for formula one," confirmed Pirelli's F1 boss Paul Hembery at Yas Marina.

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