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FIA Tells F1 Winners: Do A Doughy! Photo:
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TMR Team | Feb, 18 2014 | 2 Comments

Post-race celebratory 'donuts' have been legalised by F1's governing body.

Sebastian Vettel was given an official reprimand by the FIA after crossing the line in India to become world champion for the fourth time last season.

"Are you serious?" Lewis Hamilton said when told of Vettel's penalty. "That's crazy!"

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner agreed that race stewards "need to be empowered to give a little more leniency in extraordinary circumstances".

That is exactly what has happened.

As confirmed in the latest draft of the 2014 sporting regulations, race winners will from now on be exempt from having to drive straight to parc ferme.

Now, they are allowed to "perform an act of celebration" after crossing the finish line, provided the act is "performed safely" and "does not delay the podium ceremony".

(GMM)

 

Teams group FOTA set to collapse - report

The F1 teams group FOTA, once a powerful and influential alliance, is on the verge of collapse.

That is the claim of the Telegraph newspaper, revealing that with membership fees already going unpaid, the absence of FOTA chairman Martin Whitmarsh could now be the final straw.

Not only that, deputy FOTA chairman Eric Boullier, who has moved from Lotus to McLaren over the winter, "is expected to step back from any prominent role" with the association, correspondent Daniel Johnson claimed.

A source told Johnson that FOTA, now with just 7 of the 11 teams on its books, is also facing "substantial" financial problems, as members baulk at paying up due to disputes about the group's purpose.

Bob Fernley, the deputy team boss at Force India, said losing Red Bull and Ferrari was a key moment for FOTA.

"I don't think there's any question about that one," he admitted, "but we can't undo where we are today."

(GMM)

 

Red Bull, Renault deny F1 split rumours

Red Bull and Renault have denied rumours the reigning world champions could split.

Together, after Sebastian Vettel won the last nine grands prix of 2013, Red Bull and Renault are now embroiled in a technical crisis after the new V6 'power unit' struggled to merely run in the rear of Adrian Newey's RB10.

It has triggered rumours Red Bull is on the lookout for a new engine supplier.

Reports have emerged that Cosworth, without a customer for the 2014 season, has nonetheless completed its turbo V6 design that will not be raced this year.

The wilder rumours indicate Red Bull could take over the project and run its own engines for 2015.

When asked about the split rumours, Renault Sport's Remi Taffin told Sport Bild: "I know nothing about that.

"We are currently working very closely with Red Bull, and several teams of (Red Bull) engineers are even at our base in Viry and working on the integration of the power unit and chassis."

Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko also told the German publication: "We have a long term contract with Renault, which is of course linked with our results on the track.

"Nevertheless, we are not going to panic and are making a joint effort to solve the problems."

World champion Vettel also sounded calm about the current situation, whilst admitting he hopes to finally get up to speed this week in Bahrain.

"Of course the Jerez test did not go the way we wanted," he said. "Other teams did a lot more kilometres and that was important because we are talking about completely new technology.

"But it's better to have the problems in testing than at the races.

"Hopefully the situation in Bahrain will already be better, and I'll have a car not only that goes around the track, but that I can use at full throttle."

(GMM)

 

Rosberg expects to win 'a lot of races'

In a rare show of brash confidence, Nico Rosberg has admitted he is expecting to win "a lot" of races in 2014.

Bernie Ecclestone said recently that with Mercedes emerging from Jerez testing as the early season favourite, German Rosberg was his pick for the title.

"That's a cool statement from him," Rosberg told the Berliner Kurier newspaper on Monday at a sponsor event.

"We are in a good mood that this season we can win a lot of races," he added.

For the calculated 28-year-old Rosberg, and the corporately cautious Mercedes, it is a surprising statement.

But the silver camp has reason to be confident.

"The first test went really well," said Rosberg. "We are doing well. My new car was very reliable from the beginning, but how we are as compared to the competition, we don't know yet.

"Unfortunately it's still a bit early to talk about the title," he continued. "But on reliability it (Jerez) was a strong performance by the team.

"I did lap after lap when we have so much to learn, which is a nice feeling when you see that the others couldn't drive very much."

The main 'others', of course, are Red Bull, led in the cockpit by the reigning quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel.

Rosberg insisted: "There is no joy in seeing that they can't drive much; I'm happy if we are in a position to win.

"But it's obvious that Red Bull and Renault have problems with the new powertrain.

"We have done our homework better. But the important thing is to see where we are on the grid in Melbourne -- I would love to be able to fight against Sebastian," Rosberg added.

(GMM)

 

Ferrari engine stops spark to save fuel - report

Ferrari looks to have come up with another of the big innovations of the 2014 season.

It emerged last week that the new F14-T features an unique cooling system that allows the red single seater to have very small sidepods, notwithstanding the high demands of the all-new 'power unit' rules.

Now, Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport reports that Ferrari's new V6 engine is also highly innovative.

The report said the engine features a 'cut-off' system that works with the direct injection to keep engine temperatures low and save crucial fuel.

The system means that, at times, the flow of fuel into the combustion chamber is stopped altogether and the engine is not 'sparked'.

Meanwhile, Mercedes' Paddy Lowe has admitted he hopes the new rule limiting each driver to just 100 kilos of fuel per race does not dominate the 2014 season.

"Sometimes it is very frustrating, but fuel and tyre wear have been factors in formula one for years," he is quoted by Finland's MTV3, adding that the fuel factor will be greatly "exaggerated" in 2014.

"I hope it does not detract from the racing," added Lowe.

It has also emerged that Renault may not be prevented from fixing its obvious technical problems once the development 'freeze' deadline passes in just over a week.

"There is a 'fair and equitable' rule which gives us the opportunity to change any of the components if we have reliability problems," said Renault Sport's Remi Taffin.

"I have to say, however, that we do not have big problems with the parts, as we have done successful tests on the dynamometer. We just have to make them all work together."

(GMM)

 

Raikkonen could be next F1 father

Kimi Raikkonen could be the next father on the F1 grid.

The Finnish press is now reporting openly about the identity of the Ferrari driver's new partner, 26-year-old Mintuu Virtanen, following the end of his marriage to Jenni Dahlmann.

Amid unconfirmed rumours she is pregnant, the newspaper Seiska claims that Mintuu is now living in Raikkonen's luxury villa on the Helsinki island Kaskisaari.

At the same time, Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg told the German-language Speed Week that his fiance Vivian is planning hard for their wedding.

When asked about the prospect of having their first child, Rosberg said: "I congratulate Sebastian (Vettel) and of course we are thinking about it.

"One day it would be nice, but there's nothing certain yet."

(GMM)

 

Ecclestone no longer in race for Nurburgring

Bernie Ecclestone is no longer a serious candidate to buy the embattled Nurburgring.

The F1 chief executive revealed last month that he has made a bid for the fabled German grand prix venue, amid its financial problems.

"We want to make sure there is a formula one race in Germany every year in the future," said Ecclestone.

The 83-year-old Briton said at the time that there are "one or two other interested parties", and the Rhein newspaper now claims they are entities from Dusseldorf and the US, and a private equity firm.

Correspondent Dietmar Bruck said the parties all have until Monday to submit their final proposals, with Ecclestone apparently no longer in the running.

Meanwhile, Britain's Guardian newspaper claims the newly-retired former Mercedes boss Ross Brawn was approached to take over from Ecclestone, should the F1 chief executive lose his job amid the corruption affair.

Adding that F1 owners CVC refused to comment, correspondent Richard Williams said the approach to Brawn had been "unsuccessful".

(GMM)

 
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