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F1 Commission Agrees V6 engine Rules For 2014 - Report Photo:
 
 
Mike Stevens | Jun, 23 2011 | 1 Comment

Formula One has taken another step to overturning the scheduled 2013 engine rules.

We reported recently that Bernie Ecclestone summoned a meeting of the F1 Commission to take place at Heathrow airport on Wednesday.

On the agenda was the formal scuttling of Jean Todt's four-cylinder regulations because F1 chief executive Ecclestone as well as engine makers Ferrari, Mercedes and Cosworth were opposed.

Ecclestone is arguing that Todt improperly introduced the four-cylinder rules without first going to the F1 Commission, and the whisper on Wednesday is that the body has now "unanimously" rubber-stamped an alternative.

Telegraph correspondent Tom Cary revealed on Wednesday that F1 will stick with its current V8 engines through 2013 and then switch in 2014 to a new turbo 1.6 litre V6 formula.

"Unconfirmed as yet," he clarified.

The Times' Kevin Eason agreed: "A whiff of compromise. Fascinating engine configuration though."

Cary said the new rules will be voted on via fax by the World Motor Sport Council on Monday.

(GMM)

 

Red Bull preparing for blown exhaust ban - Marko

Red Bull's preparations for the FIA clampdown on so-called 'hot' exhaust diffuser blowing are well advanced, Dr Helmut Marko has warned.

Marko said on Austrian television Servus TV that he regards the clampdown as a move against Sebastian Vettel's dominance, after Red Bull pioneered and perfected the technology for its RB7 car.

But team owner Dietrich Mateschitz's right-hand man on F1 matters warned: "We would not be Red Bull if we did not already have ideas about how to mitigate the effect (of the ban)."

Off-throttle hot-blowing will be effectively banned from Silverstone next month, and on Tuesday it emerged that the FIA has immediately banned teams from running highly aggressive engine maps in qualifying and then switching to a more reliable race mode for the grand prix.

Marko has compared the FIA's moves with the end-of-season banning of double diffusers and F-ducts, noting that "This time it (the ban) seems to be in a hurry.

"I would say it is about (the dominance of) Red Bull," he said.

But the Austrian thinks McLaren will be similarly affected by the clampdown because "they copied our system very well", while Ferrari "never really got it under control".

Marko, meanwhile, predicted Renault - with unique front-exiting exhausts - to be hit particularly hard.

But Renault's technical director James Allison responded: "Some teams will lose more and some teams less; it is hard to know exactly what relative loss we will suffer."

Meanwhile, a FIA spokesman explained that the immediate engine-mapping clampdown is because the spirit of the 'parc ferme' rules was being exploited.

Charlie Whiting's technical note to the teams on Tuesday insisted that cars "should be raced exactly as they qualified".

(GMM)

 

Vettel doubts clampdown to dent Red Bull dominance

Sebastian Vettel has warned those expecting Red Bull's dominance to be seriously dented by the blown exhaust ban to instead expect a "surprise".

At Valencia this weekend, teams will no longer be able to run different off-throttle engine maps in qualifying, and two weeks later at Silverstone the practice of 'hot blowing' will be effectively banned altogether.

"I am very interested to see how the situation will evolve with the redefined regulations," Renault driver Nick Heidfeld told Luxembourg newspaper Tageblatt.

"It's though at the moment that Red Bull is getting the most from their system," he added. "We will have to see whether after the regulations change that is still the case."

German reigning world champion Vettel, 23, is apparently running away with this year's title but in the pages of Sport Bild he sounded cool as the FIA moves to break down his advantage.

"It doesn't particularly worry me," he said on Wednesday. "I think our car is the best of all in its overall concept and is therefore not dependant on just one component."

Vettel adds: "Anyone who believes Red Bull will be the most disadvantaged I think will be surprised."

(GMM)

 

PM targets Paul Ricard for French GP revival

The French Prime Minister has confirmed high-level efforts to revive the country's Formula One race.

FIA president and Frenchman Jean Todt revealed recently that "many people ... at the highest levels of government" are pushing to end France's three-year hiatus since Magny Cours stopped hosting its annual event.

We reported on June 7 that the most likely venue for a reinstated French Grand Prix is Paul Ricard at Le Castellet, a circuit with close links to F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone.

At the same time, the Journal du Dimanche said French PM Francois Fillon has appointed countryman and Renault team boss Eric Boullier to help with the efforts to organise the event.

"It's true that I have put together a team," the L'Equipe sports daily quoted Fillon as having told the Var Matin newspaper on Tuesday.

"It (the team) is led in particular by one of my former colleagues Gilles Dufeigneux, working with the French motor sport federation, the FIA and also Eric Boullier and the director of Le Castellet, Gerard Neveu," confirmed the prime minister.

The last Grand Prix at Le Castellet, which has since been redeveloped as the Paul Ricard High Tech Test Track, was won by Alain Prost in 1990 before the French event moved to Magny Cours.

(GMM)

 

Button to mark 200th Grand Prix in Hungary

Jenson Button intends to celebrate his 200th Grand Prix next month in Hungary, the scene of his first formula one race win in 2006.

F1's official website lists the 2009 world champion as having "entered" 198 Grands Prix, meaning his double centenary could technically be marked at his home event at Silverstone.

But the typical practice is for the sport to only count Grands Prix that drivers actually start.

Button, 31, did not start in Monaco in 2003 after a practice crash, while in 2005 at Indianapolis all the Michelin runners pulled into the pits after the formation lap.

"I only count my race starts," the Briton confirmed to Roger Benoit, the veteran correspondent for the Swiss newspaper Blick.

"So my 200th will be on the 31st of July in Hungary," Button said.

On August 6, 2006, then contesting his 113th Grand Prix at the wheel of a Honda, Button recorded his first Formula One win at the Hungaroring.

Only Jarno Trulli (118) and Rubens Barrichello (123) took longer than Button to become Grand Prix winners, while with 179 races under his belt Nick Heidfeld is still trying to join them.

Only 11 F1 drivers have contested more Grands Prix than Button, with current rivals Rubens Barrichello (310) and Michael Schumacher (274) topping the list.

The Briton will climb to eighth on the all-time list by the end of the 2011 season, by surpassing the records of Alain Prost (198), Jean Alesi (201) and Nelson Piquet (203), and equalling Andrea de Cesaris' 208.

Fellow ten-time Grand Prix winner Gerhard Berger retired after his 210th Grand Prix.

(GMM)

 

Hollywood film about Lauda called 'Rush' - report

A Hollywood movie about Niki Lauda will be called 'Rush'.

We reported in April that British script writer Peter Morgan, best known for The Queen and Frost/Nixon, was working on a screenplay to immortalise F1's 1976 season.

35 years ago, Austrian great Lauda almost burned to death in a fiery crash but returned six weeks later to battle James Hunt for the title.

It was recently believed that Bourne Ultimatum and Green Zone director Paul Greengrass would direct Rush, but the LA Times quotes a source as saying The Da Vinci Code's Ron Howard is now being touted to lead the project.

The film, having gained the financial backing for the project, "aims to shoot this year in Europe", added the report.

(GMM)

 
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