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F1: Lauda And Wolff Buy Into Mercedes Photo:
TMR Team | Jan, 22 2013 | 1 Comment
  • Lauda And Wolff Buy Into Mercedes
  • Marussia admits money reason for Glock exit
  • Caterham to launch at Jerez
  • Alonso snubbed Red Bull 'several times'
  • New season will be as close as 2012 - Domenicali
  • Bottas not worried about Williams' 2013 car delay

Lauda And Wolff Buy Into Mercedes

Mercedes on Monday announced that Niki Lauda and Toto Wolff are buying into the Brackley based F1 team.

It had already emerged that Wolff, who like Mercedes' F1 chairman Lauda is from Vienna, is leaving Williams, despite becoming executive director only last July.

But Grove based Williams said on Monday that Wolff, whilst leaving the famous British team, "will retain his shareholding".

"Positions such as the one offered to him by Mercedes do not come around often," Sir Frank Williams said.

"Toto has a long history with them and I certainly was not going to stand in the way of him accepting this once in a lifetime opportunity."

As well as continuing to co-own Williams, 41-year-old Wolff will "acquire a significant minority interest" in Mercedes' F1 team, the German carmaker announced.

He will also "head that company (the Mercedes team) as its executive director", a media statement added.

“Mercedes is one of the most important participants in motorsport worldwide. I am not only a big fan, but also a longstanding friend and enthusiast of the brand. I am looking forward to the challenge and, along with preparing for a successful racing season, also want to focus on the targeted promotion of new talent," Wolff said.

“I am leaving Williams on good terms and I will miss the team and friends I have made there. I'd also like to wish Frank and the whole of Williams the best of luck for the future."

Mercedes did not disclose the size of triple world champion Lauda's new team share.



Marussia admits money reason for Glock exit

Marussia on Monday admitted the need for money is behind the decision to part with the team's long-time lead driver Timo Glock.

It is believed German Glock, 30, was being paid about EUR 3 million per season.

Reportedly yet to agree a new Concorde Agreement deal with Bernie Ecclestone, and narrowly missing out on the lucrative tenth place in the 2012 constructors' championship, Marussia will almost certainly now replace Glock with a 'pay driver'.

"The ongoing challenges facing the industry mean that we have had to take steps to secure our long term future," team boss John Booth said in a media statement.

"Tough economic conditions prevail and the commercial landscape is difficult for everyone, formula one teams included."

Booth praised Glock's contribution and talent and also the fact that he is leaving despite having a "valid contract".

It is rumoured his next move will be to BMW's DTM team, even though there are suggestions he could become Paul di Resta's teammate at Force India.

Booth said Glock's replacement at Marussia will be revealed "in due course".

Glock is quoted as saying: "I would like to wish the team good luck in navigating this next period and thank everyone for the great times we shared and the support I have received.

"Although it is not the path I expected to be taking, I am in fact very excited about what the future holds in terms of my own career and I hope to comment on that very soon."



Caterham to launch at Jerez

Caterham's 2013 car will emerge on the first day of winter testing at Jerez.

The team, tenth in last year's championship, announced on Monday that the new car will be called CT03, even though the 2012 single seater was the CT01.

"The first road car from our partnership with Renault is CT02, hence CT03. Simple!" Caterham said on Twitter.

It will be launched on 5 February, which is the opening day of the first official pre-season test in southern Spain.

"Caterham ... will commence its programme immediately after taking the wraps off its new car," the team added in a statement.



Alonso snubbed Red Bull 'several times'

Dr Helmut Marko is bitter because he was turned down "several times", Fernando Alonso has claimed.

Following Red Bull and Ferrari's 2012 title battle, a verbal spat broke out between Spaniard Alonso and Austrian Marko, who is Red Bull team owner Dietrich Mateschitz's right-hand man.

Marko claimed that while world champion Sebastian Vettel is fully focused, Alonso is too "busy with politics and funny comments".

Alonso retorted: "Some (people) say they don't read them (Alonso's comments), don't hear them and don't see them, before adding that they are not influenced by them -- so clearly they do read them, maybe at night."

Now, the feisty 31-year-old Ferrari driver has hinted Marko is bitter because of how many times he rejected Red Bull's interest in his highly-rated services.

"After hearing 'no', it always hurts a little more each time," Alonso is quoted by Brazil's Totalrace.



New season will be as close as 2012 - Domenicali

Ferrari is expecting another closely-fought world championship contest in 2013.

Last year, no fewer than six separate teams won grands prix - a rarity in formula one - and for 2013 the regulations are not changing significantly.

"The stability of the regulations is always a condition that favours greater similarity in the performance of the competitors," team boss Stefano Domenicali is quoted by Brazil's O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper.

"I don't think anyone will come up with anything critical, as Brawn GP did in 2009 or Red Bull in 2011, to create a great imbalance," the Ferrari chief added.

Steve Nielsen, Toro Rosso's new sporting director, agrees.

"The operation of the exhaust to generate downforce will remain the key this year," he is quoted as saying.

"But the teams basically depleted the possibilities for discovering something really new in that area last year," he added.

It is for that reason that some expect the drivers to have a greater influence than usual on the results in 2013.

"Lewis (Hamilton) arriving definitely strengthens Mercedes," said Sir Jackie Stewart. "He is able to get more out of a car that is not the best than anyone else.

"Sorry -- Fernando as well," the triple world champion added.

Felipe Massa, however, thinks that even within the confines of the similar 2012-2013 rules, Ferrari still has room to improve.

"We finished the last season well," said the Brazilian. "Not as well as McLaren and Red Bull, but we may have been the fastest in development.

"Our margin for progress is still great," he insisted.



Bottas not worried about Williams' 2013 car delay

Valtteri Bottas insists Williams' late launch for its 2013 car is not a worry.

Ahead of the 22-year-old Finnish rookie's March debut, it emerged that the famous British team will buck the trend by only unveiling its new Renault-powered FW35 after the opening pre-season test at Jerez.

"We have always prepared in order to use last year's car in the first test session," Bottas is quoted by Finland's Turun Sanomat newspaper.

"We will be experimenting with a lot of parts for the new car, but of course the main focus is to get a feel for this year's Pirelli tyres," he added.

"They are different to last year's (tyres) and only in the testing will we see how they really behave," said Bottas.

It also emerges that Bottas' race engineer this year will be a newcomer to that role, Briton Jonathan Eddolls, a former Williams data engineer.

"He is a really smart, young guy, who last year worked with me in the last few (Friday) practice sessions," Bottas is quoted by the broadcaster MTV3.

Bottas also has a new trainer, 32-year-old Finnish decathlete Jaakko Ojaniemi.

And Turun Sanomat reports that although Lewis Hamilton "would have liked very much to take his trainer with him" to Mercedes this year, Finn Antti Vierula will in fact work with his successor at McLaren - Sergio Perez - in 2013.


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