- 2013 Ferrari to hide 'step' in nose - report???
- New Mercedes boss Wolff starts work on Monday
- Lotus says tech boss Allison not leaving
- Toro Rosso better than Sauber in some areas - Key
- Sainz jr moves even closer to F1 future
- Schumacher to race karts in 2013
- Ecclestone banned from Twitter
2013 Ferrari to hide 'step' in nose - report
Ferrari will hide the 'step' in the nose of its 2013 car, it has emerged.
The FIA has allowed teams to install a "structurally irrelevant" laminate over the unseemly step for this year's cars, following the public's reaction to the dubious aesthetics of the 2012 field.
The 'modesty panel', however, is not mandatory, even though Valtteri Bottas revealed earlier this month that Williams will take advantage of the new rule for its 2013 car.
Now, a few days before the 2013 Ferrari appears officially, Spain's Marca reports that the latest Maranello-built creation also has a smooth nose section.
"Visually, there is no step on the nose, but the nose remains high to allow the airflow under the car," wrote correspondent Marco Canseco.
He added that the 2013 Ferrari's front and rear wings "may not be shown in detail" at the forthcoming car launch, "to avoid giving clues to its rivals".
The Marca report also said the new Ferrari will have smaller sidepods, front pull-rod suspension as per the 2012 car, and a Red Bull-style Coanda exhaust layout.
New Mercedes boss Wolff starts work on Monday
Mercedes' new recruit Toto Wolff has revealed he will be based at Brackley.
A new team shareholder and officially called executive director, 41-year-old Austrian Wolff is in essence replacing Norbert Haug, Mercedes' long-time motor sport vice-president.
"These are very large shoes to fill," he said in an interview with Austrian broadcaster ORF. "He (Haug) did a lot of things extremely well.
"It has not gone as expected last year and now we have to figure out what happened," said Wolff. "But Norbert certainly was not working on the car.
"Anyway, I think it is important to be on site. I hope I do a good job in England," he added.
Niki Lauda, the team's chairman, will also be in Brackley this week, but the triple world champion will not be based in the UK full-time.
Wolff explained: "It is important that there is someone on site who understands the English mentality."
Also still a Williams shareholder and co-owner of Mercedes' DTM company HWA, Wolff has bought 30 per cent of the Brackley based team.
"I would really like to say (how much he paid), but I have signed something that obliges me to secrecy," said Wolff.
"Niki and I are partners, we therefore carry some of the risk, which was important for Mercedes. We have a big responsibility and I am very proud to own a company together with Mercedes -- how many people can say that?
"I am responsible for business operations and therefore Brackley, Niki is chairman of the company -- so the formula one team and the formula one engine company.
"He (Lauda) has no operational role, but he is of great help with his valuable contacts and know-how.
"Ross Brawn is responsible for the technical side," added Wolff.
Lotus says tech boss Allison not leaving
Lotus' James Allison is staying put.
That is the claim of an insider at the Enstone based team, despite admitting that Mercedes' Niki Lauda came calling for the highly rated British technical director.
Last week, as the Paddy Lowe saga unfolded, we reported that Allison had been earmarked by McLaren as a possible replacement, in case Lowe jumped ship.
Actually, the Lotus insider confirmed that it had been Mercedes' Lauda on the phone.
"Lauda calls Allison every day," the source is quoted by Speed Week, "but James' contract is bullet-proof."
Moreover, "He also doesn't want to leave," the Lotus insider added.
Toro Rosso better than Sauber in some areas - Key
James Key, Toro Rosso's new technical boss, says the Faenza based team is "superior" to Sauber in some ways.
Briton Key moved to Red Bull's second team late last year, replacing Giorgio Ascanelli.
He is quoted by Russia's f1news.ru: "After Force India and Sauber, Toro Rosso is the third team I have worked with.
"On the one hand, they are all a bit alike, but as they are three teams from three different countries, they each have an unique culture.
"In Toro Rosso I have to solve some new problems compared to Sauber, but also the resources of this team (Toro Rosso) are much more, both human and technical.
"Toro Rosso is at a decent level, although in some areas it is inferior to those I have worked with before. I'm focusing on (those areas)," said Key.
He revealed he is "pleased" with the progress of the 2013 Toro Rosso, the STR8, which will be launched at the first Jerez test next week.
Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo confirmed: "We have changed some things with the team.
"I hope to get some more points this season and get into the fight with teams like Force India, Sauber and Williams," he is quoted by Spain's AS newspaper.
Toro Rosso finished the 2012 championship ninth.
Sainz jr moves even closer to F1 future
Carlos Sainz jr, now the cream of Red Bull's driver development programme, is excited about 2013.
Spain's El Confidential reports that the 18-year-old Spaniard - the son of the famous former world rally champion - has been signed by Christian Horner and Mark Webber's GP3 team.
Sainz jr is also sponsored by Cepsa, the Spanish oil company and sponsor of Red Bull's second formula one team Toro Rosso.
Last year, he raced in the British and European F3 categories.
"I am seeking more consistency," said Sainz jr, "because GP3 is a very serious thing, with laptimes only six seconds behind formula one.
"Christian Horner has the ultimate responsibility, so I'll be even more linked to Red Bull," he added, revealing that he is moving to live in Milton Keynes.
"It's a whole new experience and I really want to get started."
Schumacher to race karts in 2013
Now back in retirement, Michael Schumacher will return to his karting roots in 2013.
In the days after the seven time world champion's last grand prix late last year, we reported that the 44-year-old had signed up to be a test driver for the Italian kart maker Tony Kart this year.
Spain's El Mundo Deportivo newspaper reports that the great German will in fact be racing in 2013.
Preparing for his new race seat in the KZ category, Schumacher was testing his Tony Kart at the Lonato circuit in Italy last week and - reportedly - his laptimes were "very good".
Meanwhile, the Kolner Express newspaper reports that - with Hermann Tilke on board as designer - Schumacher has commissioned a new world championship-standard karting circuit near Cologne.
"We will build the best track in Europe," Gerhard Noack is quoted as saying.
Tilke confirmed: "The plans are ready."
Ecclestone banned from Twitter
Bernie Ecclestone is banned from using Twitter.
Former Olympic chief Michael Payne now works as the F1 chief executive's special advisor.
France's RMC Sport quotes him as saying: "I suggested to him (Ecclestone) that he should be on Twitter.
"But he told me that his lawyers have forbidden him, fearing a catastrophe," Payne laughed.
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