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F1: Red Bull Backpedals, Says No Driver Announcement Due At Spa Photo:
 
 
TMR Team | Aug, 21 2013 | 0 Comments

Dr Helmut Marko backtracked on Tuesday, revealing Red Bull will in fact not finalise its 2014 driver lineup this weekend in Belgium.

Earlier, amid reports the world champion team has decided to promote Daniel Ricciardo to replace the Le Mans-bound Mark Webber, Marko told Germany's Sport Bild that "we will make an announcement at Spa".

But on Tuesday, the Austrian was quoted by SID news agency: "We will express ourselves when the time comes, and that will definitely not be at Spa."

24 hours ago, Kimi Raikkonen's manager Steve Robertson said talks with Red Bull had ended. Reports suggested the 2007 world champion is now more likely to return to Ferrari in 2014.

Marko did not want to comment.

"What we will do will be the best for the team, in the medium term," said team owner Dietrich Mateschitz's right-hand man.

(GMM)

 

Raikkonen not ruling out Ferrari return - manager

Kimi Raikkonen's manager is not ruling out a return to Ferrari for the 2007 world champion.

On Monday, Steve Robertson admitted talks with Red Bull about Raikkonen replacing the Le Mans-bound Mark Webber had been "unsuccessful".

But the 33-year-old Finn, who currently drives for Lotus, has also been linked with a return to Ferrari, despite the Italian team having replaced him with Fernando Alonso with a year to run on his contract at the end of 2009.

Asked if Ferrari is an option, manager Robertson told the BBC: "Until they confirm their seats, my job is to speak to all the teams and see what's available."

Robertson also told Brazil's O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper on Monday that Raikkonen has more than one alternative to Lotus for 2014.

"I'm not worried," he said, "because we have other options -- plural."

Brazilian correspondent Livio Oricchio said Red Bull's Christian Horner and Christian Horner pushed hard to sign Raikkonen, but Dr Helmut Marko ultimately got his way.

Marko reportedly convinced team owner Dietrich Mateschitz that Red Bull should take young Australian Daniel Ricciardo, because it better balances the lineup alongside the likely reigning quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel.

Ricciardo's signing also proves the worth of the Red Bull junior team Toro Rosso, and gives the next rising youngster, Antonio Felix da Costa, his 2014 debut.

Meanwhile, a post on Twitter by Ferrari's Fernando Alonso might be seen as a return of fire, after Luca di Montezemolo publicly criticised the Spaniard's outbursts in the wake of the recent Hungarian grand prix.

Reverting to the wisdom of the Samurai, Alonso said: "The warrior that uses the sword when insulted cannot be considered brave.

"Brave man does not flinch, because he has higher goals."

(GMM)

 

Singapore removes unpopular 'sling' chicane

Organisers of the Singapore grand prix will finally remove the controversial 'Singapore sling' chicane.

The slow and unusual chicane, featuring high and harsh kerbs for the left-right-left flick, has been consistently criticised by drivers and teams since the sport arrived at the now highly-popular night race venue in 2008.

Speed Week correspondent Mathias Brunner reports this week that Turn 10 of the Marina Bay street circuit will now be a simple left-hand corner.

The report also said the layout at key sections including turns 1-2, 5-8 and along the esplanade will be resurfaced in order to make the track less bumpy.

This year's Singapore grand prix will be held on 22 September.

(GMM)

 

Pirelli confirms 2014 tyre size not changing

Pirelli has confirmed reports the size of its F1 tyres will not be changing.

Earlier, it was suggested that because the torque produced by next year's new V6 engines will be much greater, the Italian marque wanted to supply bigger and wider tyres.

Indeed, motor sport boss Paul Hembery told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport that the 2014 data supplied by one engine supplier in particular - believed to be Mercedes - was "alarming".

This ties in with reports Mercedes' 2014 rivals, Renault and Ferrari, might be expecting to be outpaced at least initially by up to 100 horse power and therefore want the specification of next year's tyres to stay the same.

Auto Motor und Sport correspondent Michael Schmidt reasons that the FIA and Bernie Ecclestone also argued against the introduction of bigger tyres, despite Mercedes' preference.

"No matter who it is, nothing hurts business more than a superior package," said Schmidt.

Hembery confirmed: "Based on the information we have received from most of the teams, we have decided to keep the same tyre dimensions (in 2014).

"But as the cars of next year will make very different demands of the tyres, we have proposed that the regulations be amended so that the teams may use different compounds front and rear, should it be necessary."

McLaren's Martin Whitmarsh reportedly argued that bigger tyres would have required teams to design and produce different gearboxes, due to the increased load on the drivetrain.

But he said work on the all-new, 2014-spec 8-speed gearboxes is now too advanced.

"That work (on the 2014 gearboxes) is now all but complete because, next to the chassis, it's the component with the longest manufacturing lead time," said Whitmarsh.

(GMM)

 
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