Latest F1 news in brief – Tuesday (UPDATED)

UPDATE Updates shown in red below.


  • Ferrari to promote 'good people' for 2011 charge
  • Bortolotti disappointed by Ferrari axe
  • Rule changes to make racing 'spectacular' – Alonso
  • French body FFSA discusses 'major events' with minister
  • Ecclestone stole F1 from teams – Dennis
  • Virgin announces d'Ambrosio and Glock for 2011 New
  • F1 cars to have 'tea tray' front wings in 2013 New
  • Red Bull voted team of the year by ESPNF1 New

Ferrari to promote 'good people' for 2011 charge
(GMM) Pat Fry is the most obvious change to Ferrari's personnel structure for 2011, Luca di Montezemolo reveals.

After starting work on McLaren's 2011 car, Briton Fry switched to the famous Maranello based team mid-season to become deputy technical director.

There has been speculation since the race strategy blunder in Abu Dhabi that Ferrari would be making other major changes ahead of the marque's next championship campaign.

But president Montezemolo told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport: "We will not repeat the mistakes of the past.

"There will be a few job changes and adjustments but nothing dramatic, just the normal process of good people from the second row moving forward.

"With Pat Fry from McLaren, we have only brought in one man from the outside, and this happened long before Abu Dhabi," added the Italian.

Montezemolo said Ferrari's goal for 2011 is to end the habit of the past two seasons of kicking off a new campaign without possessing the best car.

"Even though we won the first race this year, we did not have the best car from the start, we won (in Bahrain) only because Red Bull had a problem.

"We improved significantly this year compared to 2009, but – as was the case the previous year as well – Red Bull had the best car," he admitted.

"Next time we must have the best car from the first race."

Bortolotti disappointed by Ferrari axe
(GMM) Despite being ousted by two F1 driver development schemes in the space of a year, Mirko Bortolotti is not giving up on his dream.

The Italian began 2010 by being dropped by the Red Bull program, and last week his new ties with the Ferrari Driver Academy were cut at the end of a disappointing GP3 campaign.

When still a teenager, Bortolotti had first caught attention by setting the fastest ever lap at Fiorano in the 2008 car, and was subsequently linked with a Toro Rosso race seat as well as the then injured Felipe Massa's Ferrari cockpit.

His run of progress now dashed, he admitted: "The change of course of the Ferrari Driver Academy is for me a bit unexpected and I am disappointed.

"From the F1 test engineers I've only had good feedback and they're always happy with my performance and my work," Bortolotti, to turn 21 next month, told

"To be honest, I've been thinking about making a career in touring or sports cars. I'm a racing driver, not a dreamer.

"On the other hand, I have had so much encouragement that I am still working on my goal and will not give up. And this encouragement, also from important people in formula one, motivates me a lot," he added.

Rule changes to make racing 'spectacular' – Alonso
(GMM) Fernando Alonso has tipped key technical rule changes for 2011 to contribute to more "spectacular" racing.

The Ferrari driver admitted that the return of energy-recovery KERS boost buttons next year, and the debut of moveable rear wings usable only by drivers who are closely chasing a rival, are "crucial" to the sport's next season.

"Each year there are rule changes to encourage overtaking, but I think that the ones in 2011 are really significant," he is quoted by the Spanish media at an event involving Santander boss Emilio Botin.

"I think that, finally, it will be much easier to overtake and hopefully the racing will be spectacular," Spaniard Alonso added.

Asked what his personal goal for 2011 is, the 29-year-old admitted: "When you are at Ferrari, the world championship as a target is obligatory.

"We will have a better car than this year and the goal remains the same as always," added Alonso.

"We know how difficult is our task because of the competitiveness of Red Bull, McLaren and Mercedes, so we need to work hard to find something they do not have."

Finally, Alonso was asked by a young questioner if he will be drinking Red Bull over the winter period to build his energy for 2011.

"No … no," he smiled.

French body FFSA discusses 'major events' with minister
(GMM) The French government has had a "very constructive" meeting with the country's motor racing federation.

Last week, new sport minister Chantal Jouanno admitted she actively opposed the abandoned Flins project, and said it is the national sanctioning body FFSA's task to "bear" the cost of an alternative plan to revive the defunct French grand prix.

Jouanno also revealed that she had advised FIA president Jean Todt "to initiate discussions to carbon-offset all the (F1) races".

The latest news, however, is more positive, with FFSA (Federation Francaise du Sport Automobile) president Nicolas Deschaux confirming a meeting with the minister.

"This meeting took place with a very constructive atmosphere," said Deschaux, with the FFSA confirming it took place at Jouanno's office.

Without mentioning F1 specifically, the body also confirmed that they discussed "the major issues concerning French motor sport".

Added Deschaux: "I came to realize that the minister has a very wise overview of the issues relating to our sport.

"We were able to discuss all of the major events as well as the fundamental tasks of the FFSA.

"The minister is very committed to the development and the evolution of French motor sport," he said.

Ecclestone stole F1 from teams – Dennis
(GMM) Hot on the heels of renewed talk of a F1 'breakaway' series, reports quote Ron Dennis as accusing Bernie Ecclestone of stealing the sport's commercial rights from the teams.

The McLaren supremo's comments appear in the new Ecclestone biography called 'Bernie'.

"Bernie effectively stole formula one from us," Dennis charged.

He is referring to the transfer of F1's lucrative commercial rights from the team-led Formula One Constructors' Association (FOCA) to Ecclestone's company in the 90s.

"He used this commercial benefit to persuade the teams to accept a contract that eliminated them from the passing of rights as had previously existed," Dennis said in the book.

McLaren – as well as Williams – contested the transaction, claiming that some of the profits of the rights' subsequent sale belonged to them.

The British teams also sued the law firms that represented them for giving bad advice, but Ecclestone insists they simply regretted not making a wiser decision.

"It's only when things started to look good and I invested the money and it started to work that they thought maybe they should have done it," said the 80-year-old.

Virgin announces d'Ambrosio and Glock for 2011
(GMM) Jerome d'Ambrosio will make his F1 debut in 2011 alongside Timo Glock, the Virgin team announced on Tuesday.

We reported earlier this month that the 24-year-old Belgian d'Ambrosio was on the verge of securing the second race cockpit, which in 2010 was occupied by fellow rookie Lucas di Grassi.

D'Ambrosio, reportedly bringing $5m to the new British team and managed by the Eric Boullier-led Gravity group, completed this season as Virgin's Friday driver and was recently only awaiting the approval of team partner Marussia for the 2011 ride.

"He has secured this seat absolutely on merit and I think coupled with Timo we have the perfect blend of youth, experience, speed and potential and we can't wait to see what they can achieve together next season," said team boss John Booth.

Booth thanked the departing di Grassi, who last weekend won Felipe Massa's annual charity kart event in Florianopolis and is now seeking a F1 role for 2011.

Virgin will launch its next car, the VR-02, prior to the first group test of the pre-season at the beginning of February.

F1 cars to have 'tea tray' front wings in 2013
(GMM) F1 cars will feature 1980-style 'tea tray' front wings in 2013, the BBC reported on Tuesday.

With KERS and adjustable rear wings to feature on the grid next season, and radical 4-cylinder turbo engines to debut in 2013, the report said the new front wings are the next significant change for formula one in two years.

To replace the big and wide front wings of today, the 2013 cars will reportedly generate the bulk of their downforce underneath the car, with the formula drawn up by veteran engineers Patrick Head and Rory Byrne.

The teams will receive the draft 2013 regulations – which will also see the cars wearing much smaller rear wings – this week before they are discussed in detail by the Technical Working Group in January.

"(In 2013) We are only going to have roughly 65 per cent of the amount of fuel and a (limited) fuel (flow) rate — that was a given," Head, engineering boss and co-owner at Williams, confirmed.

"We were just told 'That's what it will be, you've got to come up with a car spec that is not going to be more than five seconds a lap slower than a current F1 car'.

"So some circuit simulation was done by Rory at Ferrari and when we'd come up with some numbers in terms of drag and downforce it was then to try to come up with a geometry of a car that could try to achieve that," he added.

Red Bull voted F1 team of the year
Red Bull has been voted ESPNF1's team of the year by an ESPNF1 panel, including Sir Stirling Moss, Sir Jackie Stewart and Gerard Lopez.

Sebastian Vettel was voted driver of the year by the same panel and Red Bull made it a clean sweep, gaining votes in recognition of its outstanding season. It won both constructors' and drivers' championships in 2010, taking 15 pole positions and nine victories along the way.

Team principal Christian Horner was delighted with the award: "It's fantastic that we have been voted team of the year by ESPNF1 and thanks to everyone who voted on the panel.

"It was an incredible season for us, which resulted in four one-two finishes, nine wins, fifteen pole positions and two World Championships. It was the realization of a high target that we set for ourselves at the beginning of the year and it's thanks to the hard work that was put in by the team, all our suppliers and everyone at Red Bull along with the unwavering support from Mr. Mateschitz. We will now build on this result and get ready for new challenges in 2011."

On Wednesday ESPNF1 will publish the panel's views on the 2010 season with their predictions for next year published on Thursday.

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