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F1: Newey Reveals Old Ferrari Offer, Engine Era Could End Red Bull Dominance Photo:
Mike Stevens | Nov, 05 2013 | 1 Comment

Adrian Newey has admitted he once came close to agreeing to work for Ferrari.

The future of the renowned Red Bull designer is currently the subject of hot speculation, amid news he met with Ben Ainslie in Abu Dhabi at the weekend.

British sailor Ainslie is putting together a British team for an America's Cup bid, and Newey has admitted he is interested in competitive yacht design.

"He (Newey) would be amazing," Ainslie told BBC radio 2, confirming that Newey's "design experience would be crucial".

For now, the 54-year-old is committed to helping Red Bull win a fifth consecutive world championship next year for the all-new turbo V6 rules.

And he told Italian television Sky: "Years ago I had the opportunity to go to Ferrari, but I had small children at school (in Britain) and so it was not an easy decision.

"But I think that being part of Ferrari, as an engineer, is the same sort of dream as it is for a driver. Unfortunately it never really came to fruition.

"I believe that Red Bull will be my last team, but to leave and start from scratch would not be so tragic," La Gazzetta dello Sport quotes Newey as saying.



Engine era could end Red Bull dominance in 2014

Mercedes and Ferrari could finally stop Red Bull's dominance in 2014.

While Sebastian Vettel has dominated at the wheel of Adrian Newey's cars in the current aerodynamically-fuelled era, the world of F1 will be shaken up next year as the all-new turbo V6 era begins.

Bild newspaper said F1 engine makers Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault have each had to invest at least EUR 100 million on the new engines.

But it emerges that while Mercedes has a staff of 400 working exclusively on the new V6, there are only 250 staff at work on the new Renault.

Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko admitted that "It is possible that the others will have better ideas than we do" for the start of the new era.

And world champion Vettel admitted that, even in the current V8 era, Renault has played a big role in Red Bull's success.

"They're doing a very, very good job," he said in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, after matching Michael Schumacher's feat of seven grand prix wins on the trot.

"I hope that next year we will have an engine that's as powerful and as reliable as this year's," added Vettel.

Franz Tost, the boss of Red Bull's sister team Toro Rosso, admitted to Marca newspaper that he is concerned one engine marque could dominate in 2014.

Asked who he has in mind, the Austrian admitted: "Let's say Mercedes.

"If they start strong, the gap could last for a long time," said Tost.



Ricciardo happy 2014 teammate Vettel only 'human'

Nov.3 (GMM) Daniel Ricciardo might be forgiven if his excitement is tempered by nerves as the last few races of the 2013 season play out.

On the one hand, the 24-year-old Australian is about to join F1's dominantly-competitive team, the reigning four time world champions Red Bull.

But his teammate will be Sebastian Vettel, the indomitable German who according to many paddock insiders has raced into F1 greatness this year alongside legends like Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher.

On Saturday in Abu Dhabi, however - the first qualifying session since Vettel wrapped up his fourth title - Vettel was outpaced by his retiring teammate Mark Webber, who will start Sunday's race from pole.

Ricciardo is taking countryman Webber's place for 2014.

"Something like that," said Ricciardo, referring to Vettel's qualifying defeat, "shows that he (Vettel) is human.

"Sebastian has always been very strong here, so I think Mark is very happy with that and it gives me a little hope for the coming year," he is quoted by Brazil's Totalrace.

Ricciardo is understandbly spending his last three races with Toro Rosso with a watchful eye over proceedings at the senior team, and his on-form 2014 teammate.

"He (Vettel) is in the form of his life," he admitted to the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag. "I don't see a single weakness.

"Maybe I should put something in his food," the Perth-born racer joked, flashing his characteristic and ever-present grin.

Ricciardo insisted, however, that he does not fear the prospect of going head-to-head with Vettel next year.

"I think that as a four-time world champion, Sebastian has a lot more pressure than I do," he said.

"I am just a young driver so no one expects that I will beat him."

Perhaps, however, he fears becoming a second incarnation of Webber, who after coming close to beating Vettel to the title in 2010 has since been utterly beaten by the successful German.

Some even believe in a 'conspiracy' at the energy drink-owned team, with Vettel getting preferential treatment and equipment. Undoubtedly, the relationship between Vettel and Webber has not been a friendly one.

"Everything that happened between Mark and Sebastian," Ricciardo insisted, "has nothing to do with me and nothing to do with next year."

He told Austria's Kleine Zeitung newspaper that nothing in his new contract makes him a 'number 2' driver.

Indeed, he said both his and Vettel's deal includes a clause that says one driver must support the other if the other is out of the fight for the title.

Theoretically, then, Vettel might have to ride shotgun for Ricciardo.

The Australian laughed: "Yes. If that's the case, it means I've had a very nice season!

"Obviously I know that is being very optimistic."



Hulkenberg 'not paid a penny' - Vettel

Hanging onto his Sauber seat is perhaps now Nico Hulkenberg's only chance of staying in formula one beyond 2013.

Almost signed by Ferrari, and earlier linked to McLaren, the German has also come close to a move to Lotus for 2014.

The latter option now appears off the table, as the Enstone based team's finances falter and bosses look to the lucratively-backed Pastor Maldonado to plug the budget hole.

"Every career is different," Hulkenberg told F1's official website on Saturday, "and mine seems to be as it is now with a few different teams, with a bit of movement, with a bit of nail biting."

Indeed, after capturing pole in the 2010 finale as a rookie, Williams let Hulkenberg go -- again because of Maldonado's millions.

"It definitely was a bad experience," he recalled, "how it all happened.

"Of course you then have that in the back of your mind and get more suspicious of what people tell you because I have been lied to, to my face."

Hulkenberg sat out 2011 as Force India's reserve driver, and returned to the grid last year. He then moved to Sauber for 2013, and to this date Force India still owes him money, according to the Swiss newspaper Blick.

The Sauber story hasn't been much better for Hulkenberg, despite several occasions when his undoubted talent was able to shine through.

World champion and countryman Sebastian Vettel said it is a travesty Hulkenberg is yet again waiting to be paid.

"It's a shame he doesn't have a car (for 2014) yet," Vettel is quoted by DPA news agency, "because he is one of the fastest drivers in the field.

"It's a difficult time for some teams in F1," he added, "but also for some drivers. He (Hulkenberg) is yet to get a penny," Vettel claimed.

Monisha Kaltenborn, Sauber team boss, refused to comment on Vettel's assertion that Hulkenberg has not been paid at all in 2013.

"I do not feel compelled to comment on everything that is said in the paddock," she insisted.

The fact that Hulkenberg and Sauber do not want to get into a Raikkonen-Lotus-style spat could be a sign that the relationship will continue into 2014.

Hulkenberg confirmed that is a possibility.

"Yes," he said when asked if he can imagine staying at the Swiss team. And "I think so," the 26-year-old added when asked if Sauber can imagine keeping him.

"Why not? For now we are having a good go. The spirit is up."



Hulkenberg spotted in Force India talks

The possibility of a return to Force India for Nico Hulkenberg has grown.

It was believed the Silverstone based team was not an option for the German, as he had annoyed supremo Vijay Mallya by deciding to leave for Sauber after just a single season together in 2012.

It is also rumoured that Force India still owes Hulkenberg money.

But as the 26-year-old looks desperately for a seat for 2014, it must be noted that Hulkenberg, his manager Werner Heinz, and Force India's sporting director Otmar Szafnauer were spotted deep in conversation at a table in the Abu Dhabi paddock.

According to Auto Motor und Sport, Hulkenberg dismissed the significance of the meeting on the basis that he has known Szafnauer "for a long time".

Force India, however, has a seat vacant for 2014, as Paul di Resta is increasingly nervous about his future.

"It's a bit of a nightmare," the Scot admitted in Abu Dhabi.

"Vijay and the other guys are giving off good signals about next season but I would like to know for sure," di Resta told BBC television.



Alonso to have more medical checks

Fernando Alonso on Monday admitted he is still in pain after a violent impact during the Abu Dhabi grand prix.

The Spaniard crashed over the kerbs with such force in his duel with Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne that it triggered the alarm signalling a mandatory medical check.

The alarm is triggered when a force exceeding 15G is reached.

But Germany's Auto Motor und Sport said that although Alonso's medical light was triggered, the impact was actually lower than 15G.

Officially, however, the impact registered at over 15G, reportedly because the sensor had not been properly secured in Alonso's chassis.

"The doctors gave the all-clear," said correspondent Michael Schmidt.

But the photo emerging from the medical check were alarming, as his manager Luis Garcia Abad depicted the Ferrari driver covered with a space blanket and strapped to a spinal board.

Ferrari's post-race statement made no mention of Alonso's injuries, but the 32-year-old revealed to reporters he was suffering from "pain" in his back.

And on Monday, he told his 1.9 million fans via Twitter: "The night was so-so. I will do more tests this afternoon and try to be 100 per cent as soon as possible."

The next grand prix, in Austin in two weeks, will be the second last race of this year's 19-event calendar.



Peter Sauber to return to paddock in 2014

Peter Sauber should return to the F1 paddock next year, following some minor health problems in 2013.

That is the news of the Swiss team's team boss Monisha Kaltenborn, who was asked by the Russian website f1news.ru to explain the recent absence of the Sauber founder.

"He's alright," Kaltenborn answered.

"There have been a few small problems, he has some difficulty with walking, but generally he is fine.

"He is not planning any more visits to the races this year," added Kaltenborn, referring to Peter Sauber, who is 70.

"But next year, I think he will definitely come back to the paddock."



Sir Frank Williams plans 'to contact' Brawn

A few days ago, deputy boss Claire Williams said the Oxfordshire based team has had "no conversations" with Ross Brawn.

But her father - the team's famous founder, principal and majority owner Sir Frank Williams - has now revealed that talks with Brawn may in fact take place.

Brawn's future is currently the subject of hot speculation, as he could step down as Mercedes' team boss at the end of the year.

Team chairman Niki Lauda has said he wants to keep the 58-year-old at Brackley, but Williams has now revealed he may launch a bid to lure Brawn to Grove.

Brawn began his F1 career in the 70s when Sir Frank Williams gave him a job as a machinist.

"When he was with us he was really extraordinarily clever in terms of engineering -- he is very gifted," Frank Williams told the British broadcaster Sky.

"I am sure he has accumulated infinitely more knowledge ... so if he was to come he would be a great addition.

"I wasn't aware he was available. I may now have to contact him. I can say no more," he added.

"The reason I am being hesitant is that I do employ people already and it is very unlikely that we could afford Ross, or that he would want to come to us, so all I would be doing if we didn't get him would be offending everyone at the team already," said Williams.



McLaren to announce 2014 drivers soon - boss

Nov.3 (GMM) McLaren is racing towards confirming that Sergio Perez will join Jenson Button in the British team's driver lineup for a second consecutive season in 2014.

It was earlier rumoured that Nico Hulkenberg, McLaren junior Kevin Magnussen or even Fernando Alonso could replace the Mexican, who only joined McLaren from Sauber at the beginning of the year.

But Perez finished a season-best fifth in India last Sunday, and paddock whispers are growing louder that the 23-year-old has secured a new deal for 2014.

"When will we make our driver announcement? I expect we will be making it quite shortly," team boss Martin Whitmarsh told reporters in Abu Dhabi.

"I think Sergio did a great race last week and that's the sort of thing that we love to see," he added.

It could be that Perez's new deal will be shortly followed by news that a Mexican company like Claro will succeed the departing Vodafone as title sponsor.

However, there has also been speculation that a brand not linked directly to Perez, like the US razor company Gillette, has secured the deal for 2014 and beyond.

Whitmarsh on Sunday said the driver and sponsor announcements will be made separately.

"That will be beyond the end of the season," he said, when asked about the sponsor announcement, "because obviously we're respectful of the partnerships we have at the moment."


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