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F1: Marko Relationship Will Ensure Equality - Ricciardo Photo:
 
 
TMR Team | Mar, 13 2014 | 0 Comments

Daniel Ricciardo is not expecting to slot into predecessor Mark Webber's awkward position within the Red Bull hierarchy.

Australian Webber, who has left F1 for Porsche's new Le Mans foray, often hinted that his side of the garage was not treated as fairly as was teammate Sebastian Vettel's.

Now, another Australian, 24-year-old Ricciardo, has stepped straight into Webber's shoes.

"Obviously," countryman and 1980 world champion Alan Jones told the Sydney Morning Herald this week, "if there is any sort of leaning in that team, it's probably slightly Germanic."

But as far as Ricciardo is concerned, Webber's situation may simply have been created by his slightly awkward relationship with Red Bull powerbroker Dr Helmut Marko.

The blunt Marko famously groomed Vettel from boyhood, but Ricciardo has similarly worked his way through the very same Red Bull development programme.

"It definitely doesn't hurt," Ricciardo told Fairfax Media in Melbourne this week.

"Knowing Dr Marko for a long time and him knowing me, knowing that I've had his full support since day one, it's not going to make me question anything, put it that way.

"I'm 100 per cent sure they are going to give me as much opportunity as Seb," he insisted.

"Where Mark, for whatever reasons, maybe did (question the equality), it won't be the case (with me)," said Ricciardo. "I'll come in with a positive approach."

(GMM)

 

New V6 era is 'pure F1' - Berger

Gerhard Berger is no longer critical of F1's technological revolution.

Having counted himself among the 'purists' who dislike the complicated energy recovery systems and fuel-saving limitations, the former Ferrari and Benetton driver told APA news agency he has now changed his mind.

"From my perspective," he told the Austrian agency, "it is a big step forward.

"Until my visit to (the) Bahrain (test), I was critical," said 54-year-old Berger, currently recovering from badly breaking his arm in a skiing crash.

"At first I found it too technical, too complicated for the fans," he explained. "But I need to revise that. This is pure formula one.

"The cars are 20kph faster on the straights and they also have real power out of the corners."

10-time grand prix Berger, perhaps best known as F1 legend Ayrton Senna's McLaren teammate, also said he has no problem with the milder tones of the new V6 engines.

"The criticism (of the sound) is coming mainly from people who have not heard them," he said.

(GMM)

 

Di Resta yet to secure Mercedes F1 role

Now mere hours before the engines are fired up in Melbourne, Paul di Resta still has not secured a new F1 role for 2014.

Having lost his Force India seat and secured a return to the DTM series this year, the Scot was hoping to become Mercedes' new F1 reserve driver.

"I hope he gets that opportunity," former F1 driver David Coulthard told the Scotsman newspaper recently.

"If he doesn't, it might be difficult to find his way back into F1, simply because of the political and financial nature of the business."

Now, two days before practice kicks off at Albert Park for the 2014 season opener, di Resta admits he has "nothing yet" lined up with DTM employer Mercedes' F1 programme.

"My desire is to be involved in formula one in some way, shape or form," the 27-year-old told the PA Sport news agency.

"Staying as actively as you can in the sport is important, and if there is any chance to get back then hopefully that can happen," di Resta added.

"Obviously I'm sad not to be there (in Melbourne), but I'm planning on trying to get to a few races, and when it comes back to Europe it will be far easier."

(GMM)

 

India GP problems 'money related' - Ecclestone

The promoter of India's beleaguered formula one race breached its contract, F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has revealed.

Last week, as Ecclestone announced the New Delhi race will not be run either in 2014 or 2015, the 83-year-old said the problems were mainly related to tax and bureaucracy.

But he has now told the IANS news agency: "The race promoters there (Jaypee) have not been able to comply with parts of the contract and they (the breaches) are mostly money related."

Ecclestone said he is hoping the problems can be resolved so that F1 can return to India.

"India is among the few new F1 venues where people understand the sport and want to understand it better," said the Briton. "That is why I have greater faith in India than China.

"I must clarify here that we still have very good relations with the (Indian) promoters and we still want to see through the remaining two years of our contract.

"But that can happen only if we get the financial guarantees," Ecclestone added.

Last week, Ecclestone said an Indian grand prix was unlikely to return in 2015, but he has now opened the door to that possibility.

"I am still trying for 2015 and we have got about two months time to make that happen," he said. "We really want to get back."

(GMM)

 

F1 co-owner says deal 'a mistake'

One of F1's owners has admitted buying into the sport was "a mistake".

In 2012, Norway's central bank Norges bought a 21 per cent share in formula one along with two other investors, asset managers Waddell and Reed, and Blackrock.

But within Norway, the deal was heavily criticised, and that criticism is now reaching boiling point amid F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone's legal troubles.

"We have clearly indicated that we have a zero tolerance to corruption," the Norwegian sovereign oil fund director Yngve Slyngstad told business daily Dagens Naeringsliv this week.

"Yes, we have made a mistake," he admitted.

Ecclestone will be tried on bribery and corruption charges in a German criminal court next month, and according to F1 business journalist Christian Sylt, the latest twist is that Ecclestone's former lawyer Stephen Mullens has also been charged.

Norges' Slyngstad added: "Obviously if this affair is not handled properly we would not want to be a shareholder. In that case we would not hold on to our shares."

(GMM)

 

New Nurburgring owner to keep 'affordable' F1

F1's Nurburgring future now appears brighter, after the embattled German grand prix venue was bought for a reported EUR 100 million.

A week ago, it was reported that Miami-based private equity company HIG Capital was the high bidder for the fabled venue, having pledged EUR 60-70 million.

But it now emerges in the pages of Der Spiegel that the buyer is in fact a Dusseldorf based automotive group called Capricorn.

Boss Robertino Wild confirmed the news at a press conference, saying Capricorn is committed to keeping formula one at the Nurburgring "as long as it remains affordable".

SID news agency said Capricorn is paying EUR 77 million euros, as well as immediately pumping in an additional 25 million to invest in the circuit.

Wild said the Nurburgring will "basically go as it was before", with the exception of the disastrous amusement park and roller coaster, to be shut down.

(GMM)

 
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