The F1 Times.com - News http://www.f1times.co.uk Catch up on all F1 news, here at TheF1Times.com's RSS Feed! 1 http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08773http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08773Raikkonen doesn't expect miracles from MattiacciThu, 17 Apr 2014 18:06:40 GMTKimi Raikkonen isn't expecting any miracles from Stefano Domenicali's replacement, Marco Mattiacci, who takes on the role of team principal this weekend following the former's resignation. "I don't know him but we've probably met before," he said. "He will have great people around him and lots of people to help him, so I don't think there will be any issues. I'm sure he will be very good at whatever he does and will do everything in his power to push us forwards. "It will not change things suddenly around and will not make any miracles. We know where we are and we know where we have to improve and it doesn't change overnight." The Finn admitted it was sad to see Domenicali leave, but the team can handle big change like this and things will go as normal. "Everybody was a bit surprised but obviously that was Stefano's own decision as I understand," he added. "If he felt like that then fair enough and life goes on. "It's sad because obviously he was a great guy and I worked with him for many years. Even when I didn't race for him I spoke with him. That's how it goes and I'm sure we can handle this kind of thing."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08772http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08772Mercedes set to finally debut radical new noseThu, 17 Apr 2014 17:46:49 GMTMercedes are set to debut their radical new nose design at the Chinese Grand Prix in a bid to move further ahead of the F1 field. Whilst the nose will be on the car for the first time in China, the team had actually hoped to race it in Australia, but it failed to meet the FIA's mandatory crash test ahead of the race weekend. It was revised and tested again ahead of the Malaysian GP, but once again failed. Then it failed again ahead of the Bahrain GP, but after some changes, the nose has finally been declared safe should Nico Rosberg or Lewis Hamilton suffer a frontal impact. Mercedes chairman Toto Wolff revealed that the shorter nose - which according to sources is far shorter than any nose on the grid - was actually the nose they hoped to debut with. "The car was designed for the short nose," said the Austrian. "What we have had until now has been only a stopgap." It's hoped the design will provide a relatively large step forward, hence why Mercedes have devoted so much resource to ensuring it makes it onto the W05.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08771http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08771Red Bull will accept that fuel sensors are correctThu, 17 Apr 2014 16:40:45 GMTRed Bull team principal says the outfit must now accept that the fuel flow sensors provided by the FIA and Gill are correct, despite concerns over their accuracy. The Austrian outfit chose to ignore the sensors data in Australia which resulted in Daniel Ricciardo's disqualification. That decision was upheld during an appeal and therefore Horner says they must accept the data. "I think all that it [the appeal verdict] has resolved is that the fuel flow sensor is de facto," he told reporters in China. "Even if it is 25 per cent out, it is the point of reference. I think that is the conclusion that we have to conclude from the hearing." Horner is hopeful that the sensors will prove more accurate the more familiar teams become with them. "It cannot be disputed that there has been quite a few issues with these sensors. "Hopefully with more experience and time they will become more and more reliable, but we didn't have those issues in Bahrain and hopefully that will continue to be the case."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08770http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08770Rosberg and Hamilton to have 'clear the air' talksThu, 17 Apr 2014 14:18:15 GMTNico Rosberg says he and team-mate Lewis Hamilton will sit down with their team ahead of this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix to clear the air after the pair battled wheel-to-wheel during the Bahrain GP and nearly made contact on several occasions. The pair were given the go-ahead to race one another, but Rosberg complained over the radio at one point that Hamilton was pushing things too far. After the race however the German admitted that overall it was a fair battle. "The only example which I thought was above the limits was where I came on the radio," he said on Thursday. "All the other examples were really tough racing but with the necessary respect." "Let's go for the majority at Bahrain, which was tough but respectful racing," he added. "Let's stick with that rather than picking out one minor example." Rosberg confirmed talks would take place to analyse what was too much and what was fair, should the same scenario present itself again. "It's completely normal that as a team, when there are situations or races where a lot has happened and which are intense battles, you are going to sit down and discuss," he said. "We make sure everybody knows everybody's opinions and we review and then completely put it behind us and push on full attack."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08769http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08769The F1 Magazine - Chinese Grand Prix (Ep.5)Thu, 17 Apr 2014 09:38:50 GMTIn the fifth episode of The F1 Magazine, we look back at the very exciting Bahrain Grand Prix, review all the new stories including the ICA verdict on the case FIA vs. Red Bull and Michael Schumacher's health condition. We also let you know about a new part of Ferrari Museum in Maranello, in Red Bull they have prepared a very interesting guide into the Formula 1 for this season and once again we visit Ferrari again as Luca Baldisserri introduces us the Ferrari Driver Academy. And in the end we don't forget to show you Lewis Hamilton's lap around the Chinese Grand Prix cirucit in the simulator.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08768http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08768F1 looking to launch Historic Masters SeriesThu, 17 Apr 2014 00:07:44 GMTThe likes of Nigel Mansell, Nelson Piquet and Martin Brundle might soon be taking to the Formula 1 circuits after Bernie Ecclestone revealed there are plans to launch a historic masters series. The idea, which has already been made popular by sports such as golf and tennis, would see ex-drivers getting behind the wheel of their classic F1 cars to compete in a masters series which would likely be a support event for F1. It could see the likes of a V10 Williams FW14 as driven by Mansell in 1991 going up against V12 Ferrari F412T1 as driven by Gerhard Berger in 1994. Speaking about the idea, ex-Ferrari driver Berger lent his support. "I am sure that it will be successful and that all former drivers would like to participate," he told the Wall Street Journal. Sky Sports commentator Martin Brundle is also up for the challenge and believes the fans would welcome such a series where they could witness historic cars and engines. "Whatever the format I'd want to be part of it especially if it was supporting the F1 calendar," he said. "A well structured F1 masters series would be very popular with drivers and fans, and therefore TV and new media channels and sponsors too." Ecclestone recently trademarked the name 'Historic Formula One', prompting rumours that the idea could soon be launched. When questioned, the 83-year-old confirmed it was on the cards. "A series with former drivers is a good idea," he said. "We have talked about it and it is something we ought to do. Many of these old drivers are still absolutely good enough. You would put them in the cars they used to drive." The proposal could present some issues and it's likely only certain cars which meet strict safety regulations would be used.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08767http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08767Red Bull surprised by Mercedes stance at hearingWed, 16 Apr 2014 20:37:50 GMTRed Bull's Helmut Marko has admitted to being "amazed" by Mercedes stance at the International Court of Appeal hearing earlier this week. The Anglo-German outfit sent their own lawyer to the hearing and called for further punishment for the current champions, after describing their decision to go against the FIA's advice as a "flagrant and deliberate" breach of the rules. Marko says the language Mercedes' representative used and his aggressive manner came as a surprise. "We are obviously bitterly disappointed [by the result]," he told Austrian newspaper Kleine Zeitung. "We cannot say any more until we get the detailed reasons for the judgement, but what amazed us even more was the language and aggressiveness that our competitor Mercedes used to argue against us," he said. The ICA upheld the stewards decision to exclude Daniel Ricciardo from second place, but didn't follow Mercedes advice to further punish the team.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08766http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08766Di Montezemolo will be more involved in F1 teamWed, 16 Apr 2014 16:35:57 GMTLuca di Montezemolo says he'll step up his involvement with the Ferrari F1 team after a difficult period for the Italian marque. The company's president took a step back when Stefano Domenicali became team principal in 2008, replacing now-FIA president Jean Todt. However with the Italian's resignation this week and the appointment of Marco Mattiacci to the position, Di Montezemolo will ramp up his involvement to support Mattiacci. "I will help him, I will do like I did in the past: I will stay closer to Formula 1, I'll spend more time on it," he told Gazzetta dello Sport. "The first person at being not satisfied at the moment is me, but don't worry, I'm putting myself on the line: Mattiacci is the right choice, we'll get back to winning ways very soon. "I've decided to go for a young manager I strongly believe in, and on a person from the Ferrari family, thus avoiding me going around the world looking for some mercenary. "Let's look ahead: we all must roll up our sleeves in order to be competitive again."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08765http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08765Montoya brands Haas 'mad' for basing team in USWed, 16 Apr 2014 11:49:30 GMTFormer F1 driver turned NASCAR and IndyCar driver, Juan Pablo Montoya, has branded Gene Haas 'mad' for basing his team in the United States. Whilst the Colombian supports the idea of an American team joining the grid, he believes it must be based in Europe. "If he wants to build [the team] here in the States I think it's completely mad," said Montoya during the Long Beach GP weekend. "You can't even call it mad because it makes no sense. "You are not going to get people from England to move to Charlotte." The seven-time F1 winner also warned against th sport's move away from Europe as it seeks to expand its footprint across the globe with races in Asia, the Middle East and the Americas. "I think Formula 1 has to be careful not to discard Europe too much," he added. "That is where the original fans are, where the car fans are. You don't want to keep driving away from Europe. "I know other places will give them more money to go but if you take the British GP, or the Spanish GP away, imagine that. "There are a lot of big races and you don't want to screw that."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08764http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08764Ferrari aim to establish themselves as second bestWed, 16 Apr 2014 08:14:49 GMTFerrari have acknowledged that Mercedes are too far ahead to challenge at present, but are hopeful of establishing themselves as the second best team this season. It comes amid Stefano Domenicali's resignation and the appointment of Marco Mattiacci who will take over the position of team principal with immediate effect. The team's engineering director, Pat Fry, says Ferrari's short-term aim is to get ahead of McLaren, Williams, Force India and Red Bull, and they're looking at every possible area for improvements. "We are naturally working as hard as we can on closing the gap to the top teams, with Mercedes having a reasonable lead over the rest of the field," Fry said on Tuesday. "Currently, our first priority is to establish ourselves as the second best team," he added. "We are looking at all areas of the car – power unit, aero, suspension. We are trying to make as big a step as we can for each and every race." The team sit fifth in the constructors' championship with Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen only managing ninth and tenth respectively in Bahrain.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08763http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08763Canadian GP set to sign eight-year extensionWed, 16 Apr 2014 00:13:02 GMTThe Canadian Grand Prix is likely to remain on the calendar until 2022 at its home in Montreal according to the city's mayor, Denis Coderre. Speaking during a visit to New York, Coderre said the city was closing in on a new contract with Formula One Management to keep F1 for at least another eight years. The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve's current contract is due to expire after this years June 8th race. "Sleep tight, it [F1] will be there next year," he said, adding: "We are within weeks of signing [the contract]. We just need to make sure that everything is in place." Bernie Ecclestone recently demanded the facilities be upgraded due to their age and it seems the organisers have managed to convince the Quebec government to help with the estimated £24 million ($40m) cost of doing so. Speaking on Monday, 83-year-old Ecclestone said F1 would be happy to return. "We're in the process of getting things sorted out and I'm sure we'll do that," he told the Montreal Gazette. "We'll be happy to be back there." The race brings in an estimated £54m ($90m) in direct income for the region according to Tourisme Montreal, with more than 70 per cent coming from outside visitors.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08762http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08762Three wins in a row would be incredible - HamiltonTue, 15 Apr 2014 22:41:23 GMTLewis Hamilton is eyeing a hat trick of wins as he heads to China in high spirits following his dominant win in Malaysia and a tense battle for victory in Bahrain. The Mercedes driver is confident he can chalk up another 25 points at a circuit he's always done well at, having won twice and scored in all but two of his races there. "The last race in Bahrain was fantastic: not just for us as a team but for the sport and I'm sure it won't be the last time we see a great show this year," said the Briton. "I'm in a really good place at the moment and walking around the garage too, you can see the positive energy within the team right now. Everyone is focused on getting the maximum from these early races and continuing to build beyond the strong start we've made to the season. "I've had some ups and downs in China. On one side I've only finished outside of the podium places twice at this circuit. On the other, in my first season in F1 I threw away a championship lead here by going into the gravel coming into the pits. "The aim, as always, is to win and if I could make it three in a row this weekend that would be incredible." One man who's hopefuly of stopping him - and arguably the only man with a car capable of doing so - is team-mate Nico Rosberg. "Even though the last race was a bit disappointing from my perspective in terms of the result, it's been great to see all the positive comments that came afterwards. "I've got good memories from China after taking my first pole position and race win in F1 at this circuit in 2012. The layout seems to suit my driving style, it's a track I enjoy racing at and I want to be back on that top step of the podium this weekend."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08761http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08761Small teams accuse big teams of breaching EU lawTue, 15 Apr 2014 18:07:14 GMTSome smaller outfits have accused six of the larger teams and the FIA of breaching a European competition law. Force India, Sauber, Caterham and Marussia have written to the FIA to express their belief that the six teams which form the F1 Strategy Group are abusing their dominant position illegally. Red Bull, Ferrari, Mercedes, McLaren, Williams and Lotus make up the group alongside FIA president Jean Todt and F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone. The group has the ability to agree upon and scrap new rules without gaining unanimous agreement, as long as a majority within the group share the same view. Following the FIA's decision to drop a new cost cap for 2015 - because those six teams and Ecclestone failed to support it - Force India, Sauber, Caterham and Marussia have warned that the sport risks "financial disaster" if it doesn't take steps to bring down spending in the sport. In their letter to the governing body, it's believed they have accused the Strategy Group of abusing its powers in favour of their own gain, rather than for the better of the sport, which they believe breaches the EU's competition laws. Speaking last year, Force India's Bob Fernley raised similar concerns, but didn't take any action. "Some teams have no say in how the sport is run," he said. "It could certainly be deemed abuse of a dominant position." The letter was delivered to Todt prior to last week's World Motor Sport Council in which the Frenchman called upon all 11 teams to meet to discuss different options to reduce spending. It's likely in response to the claims in the letter.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08760http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08760Alonso says two championships 'are not enough'Tue, 15 Apr 2014 17:40:25 GMTFernando Alonso says he won't be happy retiring with just two championships to his name, despite never imagining even winning a race in F1, let alone a title. The Spaniard tasted success twice with Renault in 2005 and then 2006. However since a move to Ferrari, he's not been able to replicate that success, though he's come close on more than one occasion. "I never thought I'd become a Formula 1 driver, I never thought to win one Grand Prix so I was not sure I could win two championships," Alonso told CNN during in interview which is due to be broadcast later this month. "I'm extremely proud and extremely happy with my career. If you ask me right now and I am in a middle of a competition, I am hungry for victories, hungry for success and I will tell you that two championships are not enough." The 32-year-old also took the opportunity to play down rumours he and team-mate Kimi Raikkonen don't really get along behind the scenes. "I think he's very talented so that is a huge help and a huge motivation for myself first and also for the team because the team knows it has to deliver a good car because Kimi will deliver a good result. I think from the outside it's always exaggerated how the relationships between team-mates are," he added. "It's true that you should beat your team-mate to have a better reputation or to have a better result in that weekend. But believe me when we are in a meeting or a debrief after a race, people should see the atmosphere inside the team. "There are zero problems, there are only good things or positive things…helpful comments from the other driver. There's a huge communication and a huge teamwork despite what you read or what you see from the outside."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08759http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08759Ricciardo more motivated to get back on podiumTue, 15 Apr 2014 11:41:46 GMTDaniel Ricciardo says he's more motivated than ever to finish on the podium after his maiden top-three finish was taken away from him by the Australian Grand Prix race stewards. The decision to exclude the Red Bull driver was upheld by the International Court of Appeal on Monday. Reacting to that news, Ricciardo said: "It's disappointing not to get the 18 points from Australia, but if anything it gives me more motivation to get back on the podium as soon as possible. "I've had a few set-backs in the first couple of races this year, but in Bahrain I demonstrated that, if anything, I'm stronger for it and hungrier than ever to get back on the podium. Not that I need any more motivation, I'm pumped! "I'm still really happy with my performance in Australia and for having had the experience of being on the podium in front of the home crowd," he added. "I said that week, I'd rather have a great race, finish on the podium and then be excluded than to have had a rubbish race and then retire with a car problem half way through."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08758http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08758Red Bull disappointed but accept appeal rulingTue, 15 Apr 2014 10:41:07 GMTRed Bull released a short statement on Tuesday morning, in response to the International Court of Appeal's ruling that the stewards were right to disqualify Daniel Ricciardo's car from the Australian Grand Prix for breaching the regulations with regards to fuel flow limits. The team said iw as disappointed, but accepts the ruling and will now move on from the event to concentrate on the remainder of the season, starting with this weekened's Chinese Grand Prix. "Infiniti Red Bull Racing accepts the ruling of the International Court of Appeal today," it read. "We are of course disappointed by the outcome and would not have appealed if we didn’t think we had a very strong case. We always believed we adhered to the technical regulations throughout the 2014 Australian Grand Prix. "We are sorry for Daniel [Ricciardo] that he will not be awarded the 18 points from the event, which we think he deserved. "We will continue to work very hard to amass as many points as possible for the team, Daniel and Sebastian [Vettel] throughout the season. "We will now move on from this and concentrate on this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08757http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08757Red Bull lose appeal over Ricciardo disqualificationTue, 15 Apr 2014 09:56:54 GMTThe International Court of Appeal has sided with the Australian Grand Prix race stewards and upheld their decision to exclude Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo from second place. A lengthy ICA hearing on Monday in Paris saw Red Bull present evidence in an attempt to prove it had complied with the 100kg/h fuel flow regulations. The team were confident they could overturn the stewards decision to disqualify the Australian from his home race. However a statement on Tuesday morning from the ICA confirmed that those presiding over the case; Mr Harry Duijm, Mr Rui Botica Santos, Mr Philippe Narmino, Mr Antonio Rigozzi and Mr Jan Stovicek agreed with the stewards and the FIA's ruling that Red Bull breached the regulations. "The Court, after having heard the parties and examined their submissions, decided to uphold the Decision N°56 of the Stewards by which they decided to exclude Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s car N°3 from the results of the 2014 Australian Grand Prix," read a statement. The ICA will issue a full explanation by the end of the week.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08756http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08756Button: 'McLaren has a point to prove in China'Mon, 14 Apr 2014 22:54:52 GMTMcLaren feels it has the second quickest car behind the dominant Mercedes. A point proven in Australia where Kevin Magnussen finished second and Jenson Button third, but they've been unable to repeat that success since. Button is hoping to prove that point again in China, where he is confident of scoring a handful of points after some midfield performances in both Malaysia and Bahrain. "After a disappointing race in Bahrain, I think we head to China with a bit of a point to prove – we need to get some points on the board, and get another race under our belts that demonstrates the pace that we feel this year’s car has," said the Briton. The 34-year-old believes the tight field means any mistake can mean the difference between a podium finish and missing out on the points. "Bahrain showed that, the top two cars aside, the racing this year is fast, fraught and very evenly matched," he said. "The margins are so slim that it’ll require us to get everything right: a focused practice, problem-free qualifying sessions and a clean race to try and establish ourselves at the forefront of that chasing pack. "But I've always enjoyed racing in China – I won here in 2010, and I’ve always had good results here for McLaren. While it’s not necessarily a track that perfectly suits our package, I think we can pull everything together and have a stronger weekend."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08755http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08755Imagining the future of F1: Human Ignition (Ep.1)Mon, 14 Apr 2014 20:11:29 GMT Formula 1 is an ever changing and adapting sport. The cars have come a long way since the sports beginnings back in the 1950s with the introduction of aerodynamics, ground-effect and now hybrid-engines. What might the distant future hold for the sport? As part of a collaboration between energy-drink Burn, Lotus and a handful of designers, we take a look at some extreme examples. In the first episode of 'Human Ignition', art collective Marshmallow Laser Feast (MLF) have been set the ultimate challenge: to create an immersive F1 experience — for the future. They're no F1 experts, so it's to Enstone first for a behind the scenes tour before heading out to LA to meet Hollywood car designer Harald Belker. Belker's devised a "breathing" F1 car concept, but will it inspire or confuse MLF's initial plans? Can MLF deliver a realistic future vision? Tune in next time to find out. Human Ignition - Episode 2 lands on April 18.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08754http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08754Subway reportedly considering F1 sponsorshipMon, 14 Apr 2014 19:32:46 GMTAmerican sandwich chain Subway is reportedly considering a wide-ranging Formula 1 sponsorship package to push its presence in Europe and Asia. The company, which has annual revenues of £10 billion ($18bn), is hoping to double the number of stores it has in the United Kingdom and Ireland by 2020, as well as expanding in other regions. Zak Brown, chief executive of marketing company JMI, which handles Subway's motorsport sponsorship in NASCAR, believes F1 would be the "perfect fit" to do just that for the company. "I took the Subway chief marketing officer to meet Bernie in Montreal last year, and I would say they have been exploring it for a year," Brown told the Daily Telegraph. "They are all about the consumer, they are massive media buyers so they would look at a sport and see if it stacks up from a media point of view and Formula 1 does." Brown believes Subway would follow a similar model for F1 that it does for NASCAR, by sponsoring a race, a team and more than one driver - a different approach to most sponsors. "It is not rocket science but people just haven't done it," he explained. "If you look at their NASCAR strategy, they sponsor a team, an event and a driver but they use the driver as the centrepiece so I can see Subway being a global partner of F1 as well as sponsoring four to six drivers in different teams and using them collectively. "So you could imagine, and it would be quite ground-breaking for F1, a clever advertisement of Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel going into a Subway and racing to get there. When was the last time you saw Alonso, Vettel and Lewis Hamilton in a television commercial? It has never been done." With the expansion of F1 in America, following the success of the race in Texas, the possible additions of New Jersey and Long Beach, plus a new American team in Haas Formula, it's expected that more US sponsors will look to F1 as Coca-Cola has with its Burn/Lotus deal.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08753http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08753Haas may delay F1 team debut until 2016Mon, 14 Apr 2014 18:11:32 GMTHaas Formula - as the new American Formula 1 team will officially be known - may choose to delay its on-track launch until the 2016 season according to team owner Gene Haas. The American NASCAR team co-owner was speaking during a press conference on Monday to reveal some of the finer details about his plans to join the F1 grid after the FIA granted the team a licence. The team will be based in North Carolina, in a new facility next to the current NASCAR factory. "What we're going to do is take a portion of the building, that will be the F1 headquarters right here in Kannapolis. "That's the first thing we're working on, matter of fact they're just putting the roof on the building now. So we figure that’s another few months away." » Analysis: Does it make sense to base a team in America? Whilst the licence allows Haas Formula to join the 2015 grid, Haas says a decision as to whether they'll pursue 2015 or 2016 will be made within the "next four weeks" and will be dependent on finding a power unit supplier which he says is the next step. "The next thing to do is sit down and have some very serious negotiations with our partners. There's currently three engine suppliers for F1 – Renault, Mercedes and Ferrari – so we have to narrow down the partner we’re going to work with. "And that's a very important part of it, figuring out who can provide us with the technical expertise that we're going to need." The 61-year-old also suggested the team will take a similar route to many of the smaller outfits such as Williams and Force India, which have formed technical partnerships with larger teams, allowing them to use their entire powertrain and gearbox assembly. "We're going to do something very similar that we did in NASCAR, which is partner say like with a Hendrick Motorsports where we can rely on them for a lot of technical expertise. Because let's face it, we're new at this, there's going to be a long learning curve. "To sit there and say that we can understand what's going on with these cars in a year or two is not reasonable. It's going to take us a while to learn and we’re going to lean heavily on a technical partner to help us."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08752http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08752Mercedes pushing for further Red Bull punishmentMon, 14 Apr 2014 17:57:28 GMTMercedes were among several teams in attendance at the International Court of Appeal (ICA) hearing in Paris on Monday to hear Red Bull's appeal against Daniel Ricciardo's exclusion from second place at the Australian Grand Prix. The ICA plans to deliver its verdict by Tuesday morning at the latest after hearing evidence from both the FIA and Red Bull. Mercedes meanwhile took the opportunity to have its say during the hearing, as it's fully obliged to do under the ICA rules. Representing the current championship leading team was lawyer Paul Harris, who called upon the ICA to punish Red Bull further than the race stewards already have, to ensure the team avoids "knowingly breaking the rules" in future. "There is a real risk that they will do it again," he said. "The most effective way of ensuring that Red Bull do not flout further written and oral instructions from the FIA for at least the remainder of this season is for this court to recognise the severity of their infringement and to impose a further sanction upon them." Evidence presented by Red Bull showed they initially adhered to the FIA's advice and turned down Ricciardo's fuel flow meter between laps 12 and 17. However upon realising they were losing 'around' four-tenths per lap, they decided to revert back to the original settings. Whilst the Milton Keynes team continues to insist the faulty sensor was giving an inaccurate reading therefore forcing them to use their own, non-FIA approved measurement, Harris suggested this system wasn't accurate either. He said the Gill supplied FIA sensors are "rigorously tested and rigorously calibrated," whilst the system Red Bull chose to use is "not 100 percent accurate. "Red Bull thinks it is entitled to pick and choose between the measurements whenever it suits Red Bull," he added. "If FIA allows Red Bull not to follow fuel-flow instructions, then what is to stop a team ignoring the FIA when it comes to other measurement systems, for instance the weight of the car?" The ICA's verdict is due on Tuesday morning and could either see Red Bull's Ricciardo reinstated, the FIA's verdict upheld, or further punishment for the team.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08751http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08751Mercedes technical director Bell to leave teamMon, 14 Apr 2014 16:05:17 GMTMercedes has confirmd that technical director Bob Bell is to depart the team at the end of the season, having resigned in December. The 56-year-old leaves "with the intention of pursuing new challenges outside the company." The Northern Irishman joined the team from Renault in 2011 to support Ross Brawn in his role of taking Mercedes back to the front of the grid. His role of technical director will be done away with according to a statement from the team, with executive director Paddy Lowe taking on Bell's responsibilities as part of an excercise in "streamlining the technical organisation" within the team. Although Bell officially resigned in December, the rumour mill will surely link him to Ferrari following the resignation of Stefano Domenicali who will temporarily be replaced by Marco Mattiacci.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08750http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08750Domenicali resigns as Ferrari team principalMon, 14 Apr 2014 13:40:48 GMTFerrari team principal Stefano Domenicali has resigned from his position at the Italian outfit, admitting he is to blame for their troubles. The 48-year-old will step down with immediate effect. Marco Mattiacci, president and CEO of Ferrari North America, will take up the role going forward. Speaking about the decision, Domenicali took the blame for a lull in Ferrari's performance which has seen them without a championship since 2007 and without a podium in 2014 so far. "There are special moments that come along in everyone's professional life, when one needs courage to take difficult and agonising decisions," he said. "It is time for a significant change. As the boss, I take responsibility for our current situation. "This decision has been taken with the aim of doing something to shake things up for the good of this group. "I hope Ferrari will be back where it deserves to be very soon. I only regret that we have been unable to harvest what we worked so hard to sow in recent years." President of Ferrari, Luca di Montezemolo, praised Domenicali for taking such a difficult decision in the interest of the team. "I thank Stefano Domenicali, not only for his constant dedication and effort, but also for the great sense of responsibility he has shown, even today, in always putting the interests of Ferrari above all else," he added. "I hold Domenicali in esteem and I have watched him grow professionally over the 23 years we have worked together. I wish him every success for the future. "I also wish all the best to Marco Mattiacci, whom I know to be a highly regarded manager and who knows the company well. "He has accepted this challenge with enthusiasm."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08749http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08749Schumacher interacting on a limited basis - KehmMon, 14 Apr 2014 00:09:01 GMTMichael Schumacher is showing "small signs of progress" according to his manager, Sabine Kehm, who visits the German on a daily basis along with his family. Kehm, speaking to Germany's ARD, confirmed that the seven-time champion is often conscious and can "interact on a limit basis" with his surroundings. "There are short moments of consciousness and he is showing small signs of progress," she said. "There are moments when he is awake and moments when he is conscious. "Of course I am not a doctor, but medically, there is a distinction between being awake and being conscious, the latter meaning there is an ability to interact with his surroundings. "I don't want to disclose details out of respect for the family, but we have no doubt at all in the abilities of the doctors treating Michael, they are experts in their field." She stressed that any interaction is "on a very limited basis", adding that "a medical prognosis is not possible" at this time, due to the severity of the injury. Kehm also urged fans and doctors who haven't even seen or treated the German, to avoid speculating about his condition. "What upsets the family most is media quoting doctors who are not treating Michael and untruths are constructed from these," she added. "It has been a problem when outsiders comment and it means we have to set the record straight, even when we don't want to."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08748http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08748Ricciardo won't attend Monday's appeal hearingSun, 13 Apr 2014 21:01:15 GMTDaniel Ricciardo has confirmed he will not be in attendance during Monday's International Court of Appeal (ICA) hearing against his exclusion from second place at the Australian Grand Prix. The Red Bull driver stands to gain 18 points, which would put him third in the drivers' standings, should his team provide enough evidence to overturn the FIA's decision. Despite this, he says it would be pointless him attending. "I'll obviously wait to hear the result from the team, I'm sure they'll give me a call," he told Crash.net. "There's nothing that I can do, there's nothing that I can really worry about. The Australian has already come to terms with the loss of his maiden podium, so regaining it, he says, would be a bonus. "As far as I'm concerned let's say the damage was done on Sunday night in Melbourne. I'm not going to be any more upset than I was then. "Obviously I would love to get them back; I would be pleased but in a way I've sort of dealt with it now and whatever happens, happens."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08747http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08747Judgement day looms for both FIA and Red BullSun, 13 Apr 2014 20:52:49 GMTMonday sees the International Court of Appeal convene to oversee Red Bull's appeal against Daniel Ricciardo's exclusion from second place at the Australian Grand Prix. Red Bull are fighting to get that second place and those all important 18 points back, whilst the FIA is fighting for its credibility. Should Red Bull succeed, they will move up to second in the constructors' championship, but more importantly, it will have wide-ranging implications on the sport itself. Red Bull are not only challenging a ruling, they're challenging the FIA, the way it governs the sport and the way the technical regulations are written. Red Bull chose to ignore a technical directive from the governing body explaining what to do in the event a fuel flow sensor 'drifts' of fails completely. Ricciardo's did drift, according to the team, so they chose to use a back-up system which hadn't been pre-approved by the FIA. Because the team ignored the FIA's advice during and before the race, they were disqualified. Team principal Christian Horner claims they had every right to ignore the FIA's advice - via a technical directive - because it's exactly that, advice, not legally binding as per the technical regulations. If the Milton Keynes outfit succeeds, it will throw into question how much credence the FIA's advice holds and whether technical directives can be largely ignored, opening up a world of potential complaints, protests and appeals. As Marussia's Graeme Lowdon put it, "it would open the floodgates." "That's why we have this system where the FIA give their opinion. It happens on things all the time," he explained. "We seek Charlie Whiting's opinion on a lot of things and he gives it and I think there's a general view that it's good for the teams to follow that advice, even though it might not necessarily constitute a part of the regulations. "It is an opinion and if we were just to ignore all of those opinions and constantly test them in a court then the sport would just stutter along endlessly."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08746http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08746Busch urges American fans to get behind HaasSun, 13 Apr 2014 19:43:29 GMTGene Haas is serious about succeeding in Formula 1, according to Kurt Busch, who drives for the Stewart-Haas Racing team in NASCAR. Busch has urged American fans to get behind the project after several failed attempts by American owned or backed teams in F1. "It will be an incredible challenge. He [Haas] knows that," Busch told the Associated Press. "He's serious. You just don't drop $40 million (£24m) on a wind tunnel and not think that you're serious about racing." Most recently, USF1 attempted to join the grid in 2010 when it was granted a licence. The outfit folded before the first race of the season. Busch is confident Haas Racing has a brighter future. "It's a matter of the fans getting behind it, supporting Gene and trying to give F1 another chance. We've had Michael Andretti, before him was his dad. We had Scott Speed as a driver. Now we have an owner." With regards who will drive for the team, the 35-year-old admits, despite a desire to try F1, that he's too old. Many have already linked American youngsters Alexander Rossi and Conor Daly with the team, though nothing has been confirmed. "It will be interesting to see how the driver line-up shapes up," he added. "My time has passed to be a competitive driver in F1. But a test session? I'd jump on that every time. They're going to have hard time keeping me out of the shop, from hanging out."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08745http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08745Tech Talk: Mercedes Bahrain-spec front-wingSun, 13 Apr 2014 12:02:50 GMTMercedes have been testing and trialling a new front-wing since the Australian Grand Prix, but this weekend it finally made it onto the race-spec car for the first time. The new wing features a change in endplate ethos (see above) whilst the smaller outer cascade has been replaced with a vertical fin. At the last race in Malaysia the team continued to use the same front-wing as we had seen them utilise since pre-season testing, but allied to this were small vortex generators placed on the flaps in order to raise the efficiency of the rear strakes. Mercedes utilised the new wing at the start of the Bahrain GP weekend and didn't look back. They did however learn from the specification used at the last race with vortex generators found on top of the lower-flaps in order to assist the rearward strakes (below). http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08744http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08744Early races showing up our weaknesses - BottasSun, 13 Apr 2014 11:06:34 GMTValtteri Bottas believes the opening few races of the 2014 season have begun to show where Williams' weaknesses are. The team went in to the new year as favourites behind Mercedes, but those results have yet to materialise, with Bottas's fifth in Australia their current highlight. "Sundays have not been a complete success for us," Bottas told MTV3. "Certain things, like strategy, have left [a lot] to be desired. "[Our top-speed] also reflects a weaknesses of our car. Maybe we have a little less drag than the others, because we also have less downforce. "Sometimes, what we gain on the straight, we lose in the corners. "But we think really good results are still to happen, hopefully as soon as possible." The team are one of four using Mercedes power unit which is highly regarded as the most powerful, reliable and fuel efficient. However Williams are last of the Mercedes-powered teams in the championship. Bottas is hopeful that they can capitalise on their engine advantage before their rivals catch-up - something he says is gradually beginning to happen. "Especially in Melbourne we felt that the engine was a definite advantage," he explained. "But the difference was smaller in Malaysia and Bahrain, as the others are developing all the time."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08743http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08743Haas - too much home comfort? Thoughts on the new entrantSat, 12 Apr 2014 19:51:39 GMTF1's final frontier. Its unfinished business. Its itch that it just can't scratch. Call it what you will, but it has applied to the sport's relationship with America for years and decades.  America is important to F1. Like it or not it's nothing short of absurd that anything purporting to be a world championship should not have significant presence there. The potential benefits to F1 – in terms of fan base, commerce and investment – of getting it right in America are considerable. And if got right having its own American team would be a massive help. Yesterday we had a significant step towards establishing this last point. American NASCAR team owner Gene Haas confirmed that he’d been told by the FIA that his proposed team had – after a careful evaluation process – received a licence to join the F1 firmament from the 2015 season. And indeed later that day the FIA confirmed that in its World Motor Sport Council meeting in Marrakech it had indeed ‘accepted the candidature of Haas Formula LLC’ for F1. And just about everyone it seems is very happy with this. With as outlined good reasons too that extend even beyond the usual the more the merrier considerations. And, contrary to the claims of some who should know better, there is no inherent reason for F1 to fail in the US. There have been many successful F1 races in the country with lots of local interest; indeed we have one on the calendar now. While any glance around F1-related social media will reveal the existence many US-based F1 fans. Even though Haas has convinced the FIA that his effort has the bucks, gravitas and infrastructure to clear this first hurdle, it cannot be denied that the hard work starts now (and Haas himself said as much). The clock already is ticking before pre-season testing for the 2015 season. The nine months between then and now will be gone in what seems like no time. And without wishing to sound like a doom-monger right now is much more end of the beginning than beginning of the end of what is required before the team’s race debut; plenty of fledgling efforts – including some backed initially by a lot of fanfare – have floundered after this point, often before they’ve come close to turning a wheel.  The challenge of building an F1 team from scratch is not to be underestimated, especially not in an age wherein effective cost control in the sport remains an elusive as ever; indeed FIA President Jean Todt revealed in recent days that the cost cap previously pencilled in for 2015 has been dropped in just the latest episode of an attempt to resolve the matter coughing its last.  And the sport’s previous two US-centred efforts – Team Haas (no relation) in 1986 that fizzled out just as quickly as it had fired into life, and US F1 intended to take part in the 2010 season but which did not even live to see its debut race – are not encouraging precedents. But only a churl wouldn’t wish all concerned luck. It remains to be seen what happens next. Details are to follow next week, and some murmurings of the operation buying an existing team have reverberated. But the most common understanding is that the Plan A is to build its own operation, and to base it in the USA itself, in North Carolina. And this possibility will likely cause a shudder in a few. North Carolina of course has a motorsport infrastructure all of its own, being the US equivalent of the motorsport Silicon Valley, where many Indycar squads, NASCAR squads and others are based. But one wonders if this fact will be enough to make up all of the difference required to hold a successful F1 effort. The concept of a North Carolina-based F1 team has floated in the ether for some time, although it has invariably been met with barely-concealed guffawing by many in the paddock (reflecting in some part the snootiness many in F1 have about all things American). Still, the best evidence is that while, in comparison to F1, North Carolina isn’t as bad as many in F1 assume it is, it still isn’t as good as North Carolina thinks it is. Not in comparison to F1 at any rate. Yet F1 has a Silicon Valley of its own, in the Oxfordshire area of south-eastern England. And moreover this Silicon Valley exists for a reason. The benefits of being based there – just as clustering benefits many industries – are manifold. Not only is it much easier to recruit experienced staff from other F1 teams (e.g. you don’t have to convince them to move house, move their children to another school etc etc) the team can also benefit from the network of supplier and sub-contractors that necessarily exist to serve the teams there. And the teams that have suffered – all the way to the bottom line of the stopwatch – from being placed elsewhere roll off the tongue: Toyota (in Cologne); HRT (in a variety of locations in Spain and elsewhere); Ligier (in Magny-Cours in France). Heck, even Ferrari – F1’s strongest brand and wealthiest collective – based in Maranello is often said to suffer from it. Underlining how critical it can be, Caterham even found that being based in Norfolk rather than Oxfordshire was an impediment.  But it’s a time-honoured problem for those entering F1 that they don’t know what they don’t know. F1 is peculiar, and that such individuals (usually) are the self-made, strong-willed sort, possibly wedded to whatever worked for them in whatever field that they had their success in, hardly helps matters. Perhaps the most apposite example of such comes from the mid-1970s however, with Copersucar. It was a Brazilian team backed by Brazilian money which arrived in the sport in a blaze of promise. After a year it even managed to attract one of the top drivers of the age in Emerson Fittipaldi, who was tempted by a combination of patriotism and family loyalty (as his brother was involved in the management of the team) to jump ship from the top-line McLaren team. But Copersucar’s results were paltry, and probably the greatest cause for the underachievement was that the team’s Brazilian backer insisted on a team based, and cars built, in Brazil. McLaren's long-standing Team Coordinator Jo Ramirez who used to work for the Copersucar team when asked to reminiscence about his time there said: ‘Mmmm, well, for a start, can you imagine building an F1 car in Brazil? I don't need to say any more, do I?’ Karun Chandhok on Sky’s F1 Show had similar matters in mind when foreseeing the Haas F1 effort’s likely experiences in seeking to direct matters from North Carolina: ‘I think we don’t realise because we’re quite cut off from it, but there’s a huge motorsport industry there. The problem will be, can you get experienced F1 personnel? And logistics I don’t think is as big an issue as it used to be in terms of getting the stuff around because of the number of flyaways outside Europe, but in terms of suppliers I think there will be an issue’.  Johnny Herbert meanwhile described an American base for an F1 team as ‘logistically a total nightmare’. You’d think the Haas team would be better served doing something akin to Force India, in that even if it is minded to wrap itself in a national flag then why not do it with an effort based in England? And if that sounds rather absurd then remember that given Force India is Indian owned, has an Indian figurehead, is officially registered as Indian and has cars painted in Indian colours no one minds too much that in actuality it’s based in Silverstone with an overwhelmingly English workforce. Establishing a successful F1 team isn’t easy whatever way you do it, as mentioned. But at least that way Gene Haas would give himself a much better chance.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08742http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08742Mosley: 'Quieter engines are better for fans'Sat, 12 Apr 2014 19:10:31 GMTFormer FIA-president Max Mosley believes the quieter engines, which he says he's to blame (or thank) for, are better for the fans. The 73-year-old had a hand in introducing the new V6 power units when he was president, so accepts some of the criticism, but having lost his own hearing through years of 'loud' engines, he says fans should welcome the new quieter, but just as exciting formula. "If anybody should be 'blamed' it's me," Mosley told the Daily Mail. "We were the ones who looked at bringing in the new technology. It was 10 years in the making, and I actually like the noise. "I wear these things in both my ears (hearing aids) because the noise of the engines went right through me for 40 years or more. It's too late to save my hearing but not for the next generation. The quieter engines are better for families. You can take children to races without fear of their being deafened." He says F1 is missing a trick by not promoting the new efficient and technically advanced power units to the public. "It is important for F1 to evolve. Safety was the big challenge of the 20th Century and the environment is the big challenge of the 21st. If that that fact is not understood and embraced, the sport runs the risk of becoming irrelevant. "Corporate social responsibility is important for car manufacturers, so there is a need to move in this direction so the sport does not lose sponsors and manufacturers. They see how important this technology is in the development of road cars."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08741http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08741Should we thank Maldonado for Bahrain drama?Sat, 12 Apr 2014 10:41:32 GMTLet us take a moment to quickly recap the desert scrap which is being billed as one of the greatest races in F1. Everyone will have a different view point on this stance and this note is only meant to spawn thought and introspection. The least obvious view point might all be thanks to Pastor Maldonado. As the lights went out, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg lead from the front row as expected. Felipe Massa makes a cracking start to propel himself into third from seventh. Nico Hulkenberg overtakes Fernando Alonso just a few laps before Jenson Button and Hulkenberg both slip passed Valtteri Bottas. Segio Perez takes third place from Massa like snatching ice cream from an unsuspecting child. After twelve laps, it’s obvious that it is now a race for “best of the rest”. Rosberg keeps Hamilton honest staying just one second or so behind the punchy Brit for 19 laps as if stalking his prey before pouncing on him for the lead. They tussle side by side with Rosberg eventually giving up the chase before Hamilton pits from the lead on the following lap. With Rosberg some 32s ahead of the pack, he’s told to pump in some hot laps in order to keep the lead ahead of team-mate Hamilton as he rejoins. After the young German makes his first stop, he exits the pits but it becomes apparent that he didn't build enough of a cushion as he emerges behind Hamilton. Just before the half-way marker, there are some battles between Bottas, Massa and Hulkenberg. Perez is nearby, carefully studying his unsuspecting team-mate and takes the place like a mate swooping in at a bar to snag the cute blonde from his flat-mate’s grasp. With just over 30 of 57 laps run, there seems to be a fair amount of overtaking and action on track. Hamilton continues to increase his lead and by lap 34, Mercedes makes a very loud statement without uttering a single word. At this point, seven of the top ten competitors are running Mercedes power. The next few laps are relatively uneventful until lap 42 when Maldonado jets out of the pits and forks Esteban Gutierrez causing his Sauber to roll, drop and stop like Toronto Mayor Rob Ford in one of his drunken stoopers. Gutierrez climbs out of the cockpit of his car which conveniently lands right-side-up, shaken but not stirred like a good Martini. The harpooning incident causes a safety car which sets up the final ten laps of the race to be perhaps some of the most exciting racing in the modern Formula 1 era. From this rather brief and let’s face it, rubbish recap of the Bahrain Grand Prix, even a casual follower of the sport might be able to conclude that it was more than a typical and common F1 procession. While most of the feedback I’ve observed over the last few days has been positive, there have been some that have not seen it as such. Dr. Helmut Marko, consultant to reigning champions Red Bull Racing, believes that the race was not really the “great” race some claim it to have been, until after the safety car bunched up the field. At first I pondered his stance and thought to myself that he was just bitter because his team has gone from dominant to dormant. A stark disinterest and disapproval of the new regulations along with Ferrari’s Luca Di Montezemolo have made both underachieving teams vocal and negative. It is true, if I put myself in their positions, figuratively speaking, I can certainly understand how difficult it must be for them to admit Mercedes simply has done a better job (by leaps and bounds). Mercedes has the most powerful, efficient and reliable power plant on the grid and the team has done a remarkable job to solidify their place at the front of the pack. But does Marko have a valid point? Was it truly the last ten laps which made this the great race which most fans are raving about? I think he might. Firstly, everyone’s definition of a “great” race will be different. Were the first 47 laps “great” or were they “good”?  Has the previous Red Bull domination and recent processional style races desensitised the viewing public where we believe that any action on track is “great”? Or was it well and truly worthy of being considered epic? After the desert sands settle and the bright night lights in Sakhir tick and click as they cool, I find myself in unfamiliar territory agreeing with the Dr. Marko. I also find myself wondering if this is the ultimate contradiction for those who considered this an epic race and yet claiming the sport is full of gimmicks and artificial passing with DRS and ERS etc… Marko’s concern stems from the current formula which he claims is damaging to the sport. Though I believe it might just be because of his team’s inability to adapt to it. As I get on with age, I fail to remember things such as Marko or Di Montezemolo making similar plights of concern when their respective teams were dominating. The fact remains that Mercedes has not been challenged for the lead nor will it, in the “not so distant” future. Paddy Lowe and Mercedes should be applauded for the radio message given to both drivers which allowed them to both race each other and bring both cars home. The philosophy of allowing the drivers to battle for position may well have been the key ingredient. As Marko suggested however, had the safety car not played a role in the race, we would not have been treated to the wonderful finale. I wonder how many of us might have had a different opinion on the race had neither the safety car nor Lowe’s instructions been factors. In the end we can thank Maldonado for creating the situation which ultimately lead to us discussing the “greatness” of an F1 race.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08740http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08740Lotus: 'We're only half a second off Williams'Fri, 11 Apr 2014 23:18:27 GMTLotus claim they're not far from regularly scoring points this season according to technical director Nick Chester, who also believes they're about half a second off McLaren and Williams. Whilst the team have suffered several setbacks this year, Romain Grosjean managed to finish 11th in Malaysia and 12th in Bahrain, whilst Pastor Maldonado managed 14th. Chester reckons the Venezuelan would have been in the points had it not been for his collision with Esteban Gutierrez. "The E22 has tremendous potential even if we are only gradually unlocking it," he said. "Although we were still not quick enough in Bahrain, we actually don't need to find much more performance before we can be regularly in the points. We are about level with Toro Rosso for pace at the moment. "Were it not for the safety car incident in Bahrain, Pastor would have been fighting for our first point. "Our qualifying pace hasn't been on the same level to our race pace. Our race-pace gap to the Williams and McLaren is now half a second and it was over a second in Sepang, so we've made a decent incremental improvement. "That's not where we want to be, but we're on the edge of the points during what are still very early days for the E22." The Briton revealed that the team will be bringing a new nose to China to evaluate during practice as well as other ugrades and power unit improvements. "We're going to attempt to get as much as we can out of FP1 and FP2 in Shanghai to test new parts," he explained. "We have a lot of aero parts we want to evaluate throughout the E22, including an evolution to our nose. "We’ve also got some aerodynamic developments that should be interesting to evaluate for China, when we are hoping for a bit more out of the power unit as well, both reliability and pace wise. Expect to see some bodywork upgrades in China and then a bigger upgrade in Barcelona."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08739http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08739FIA summons F1 teams to cost cutting meetingFri, 11 Apr 2014 20:25:06 GMTThe FIA has called an urgent meeting to discuss ways to reduce costs in Formula 1 following a World Motor Sport Council meeting on Friday. The governing body will meet with Bernie Ecclestone and representatives from all 11 teams on May 1st in a bid to agree on several measures to bring costs down, after the FIA abandoned attempts to introduce a budget cap for 2015. The decision to drop the budget cap has been met with some criticism from smaller teams which are struggling to compete with those larger outfits which are against the idea. However the FIA hopes to find alternative ways of making F1 more affordable. "The FIA, the Commercial Rights Holder (CRH), and all the F1 teams have recently confirmed their commitment to work on cost reduction," read a statement. "Accordingly, the FIA President Jean Todt and the CRH Bernie Ecclestone will organise a meeting with all the F1 teams on 1 May 2014, followed by a F1 Strategy Group meeting, to clarify the means to achieve a substantial F1 Team cost reduction." The statement also confirmed news that the FIA will investigate ways of increasing the sound coming from the new V6 engines. "As already announced, a study on engine noise is under way with preliminary results expected shortly."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08738http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08738America's Haas granted F1 entry for 2015 seasonFri, 11 Apr 2014 18:42:33 GMTThe 2015 Formula 1 grid will welcome an American team after Gene Haas confirmed he has officially been granted a slot by the FIA. The NASCAR team co-owner applied to become F1's 12th team after the governing body opened a tender to interested parties earlier this year. Confirmation of which entrant had been successful had been expected in early-March, but the decision was delayed to ensure Haas could provide evidence his venture has the necessary financial backing in place to avoid a repeat of the USF1 failure from 2009. In a statement, Haas confirmed the news: "Obviously, we're extremely pleased to have been granted a Formula 1 licence by the FIA," he said. "It's an exciting time for me, Haas Automation and anyone who wanted to see an American team return to Formula 1. "Now, the really hard work begins. It's a challenge we embrace as we work to put cars on the grid. "I want to thank the FIA for this opportunity and the diligence everyone put forth to see our licence application come to fruition." Haas hopes to release further details about the outfit next week. The FIA also confirmed it is considering an application from a company called 'Forza Rossa' as a potential 13th team.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08737http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08737Dennis urges F1 chiefs to hold back on criticismFri, 11 Apr 2014 16:53:14 GMTMcLaren chairman Ron Dennis believes those criticising the sport and spreading negative comments need to discuss the matter internally and not in the open as it could damage the sport. The Briton has been open in his support for the current regulations and in his criticism of those complaining about numerous factors. "These are the regulations we all worked on," he said during the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend. "Let's just get on with it. Let's stop the whinging." Luca di Montezemolo, Christian Horner and Bernie Ecclestone are the main culprits with various meetings being held during the weekend to discuss engine noise; fuel flow sensors; the length of a race; and claims by Di Montezemolo that F1 is "boring" and similar to "taxi-cab racing". 66-year-old Dennis insists these comments must be discussed behind closed doors to avoid tarnishing the public's opinion of F1. "There are a variety of reasons why we have ‘this’ F1: engine manufacturers wanted more relevant technology, the FIA wanted more relevant technology. Bernie just wants a show and the teams don't want high costs. Of course, it hasn't worked out to everybody's satisfaction, but we've got what we've got," he told the official F1website. "I strongly feel that any issues should stay in the family and using the media - either as a team or a promoter or track owner or driver - is completely counterproductive to solving problems and addressing the future. "It is not difficult to address some of the issues that are there, but it would be so much better if we would do it without bringing this negativity into the public domain."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08736http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08736Todt hints at double points rethink for 2015Thu, 10 Apr 2014 12:50:58 GMTFIA president Jean Todt has hinted that Formula 1 might drop the double points rule for 2015, but he will only make a final judgement after the Abu Dhabi race. The Frenchman himself isn't against the idea, but says he was surprised by the huge backlash from fans - greater so than the reaction to the new noise which the FIA and F1 chiefs are set to act on. Todt revealed that he put the proposal to ditch double points forward at the last F1 Strategy Group meeting, but it was batted back by a number of teams. "To reconsider it we need unanimous agreement, and if we do not get unanimous agreement we cannot change it," he said. "We had the strategy meeting and I said, 'do you want to reconsider?' The answer was no. Do not ask me who said yes or no. So I said, 'okay we will see at the end of the season what is the reaction'." He says the sport must listen to the fans and consider their voice more carefully in future, including on the subject of double points. "Personally I was surprised to get so much emotion for this thing that I do not feel is a huge change in F1. "But again we need to listen to that and hopefully we will take that into consideration [for next year]."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08735http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08735Red Bull more confident of Melbourne appeal winThu, 10 Apr 2014 10:56:27 GMTRed Bull's Christian Horner believes their case against Daniel Ricciardo's exclusion from the Australian Grand Prix has grown stronger with every passing race. The Australian was disqualified for apparently exceeding the fuel flow limit of 100kg/h after Red Bull opted to use their own data, rather than that from the FIA homologated sensor. A hearing is due to take place on Monday in which the team will hope to provide enough evidence to prove that the sensor was inaccurate and Horner says every race since has backed up their case. "Those points are vital, every point is vital," he told ESPN. "I think we've got a very strong case. "As more races have progressed, issues have become more evident and understanding has come to light. Hopefully we can present our case fairly and get the second place back that Daniel deserves from Melbourne." If Red Bull succeed, Ricciardo will move up to third in the drivers' championship behind Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton whilst the team itself will take up second.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08734http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08734Group of teams looking to buy F1 from CVCWed, 09 Apr 2014 22:47:40 GMTIt has been reported that a group of Formula 1 teams are looking to buy the sport from its current majority owner, CVC Capital Partners. The investment company is keen to offload its remaining 35.5 per cent stake and is legally bound to do so by 2018. Bernie Ecclestone says a group of unnamed F1 teams are putting a plan together to take CVC's stake and therefore control of the sport. "We'll see what the group comes up with," the 83-year-old told Bloomberg. "Maybe they will get enough together to buy shares." It isn't clear which teams are involved, but it's believed both Ferrari and Red Bull could be, after both showed an interest in the idea previously. Ecclestone added: "It's just a conversation [at the moment and] may not go anywhere." The sport is valued at around £5.6 billion ($9.5bn, €6.8bn) meaning the teams would need to raise around £2 billion ($3.3bn, €2.4bn) to acquire CVC's shares. However negative comments from Ecclestone, Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo and Red Bull team principal Christian Horner about the sport's new rules, might be aimed at tarnishing the sport and therefore reducing its value before they launch a takeover bid. WHY DO THEY WANT OWNERSHIP? At present, F1's profits are split 63/37. The teams get to share 63 per cent of the profits, whilst its owners share the remainder. If the teams could take control of the sport, they could choose to increase the prize money, or simply profit from the revenues. It would also give those involved a greater say in how the sport is run, how the rules are created and which countries the sport visits.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08733http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08733Hamilton ends Bahrain test quickest for MercedesWed, 09 Apr 2014 22:20:35 GMTLewis Hamilton kept Mercedes on top during the second and final day of testing at the Sakhir International Circuit in Bahrain on Wednesday. The Briton, fresh from his race win at the same circuit, posted an unbeatable 1:34.136 during the morning session and then went on to complete the most running. Jean-Eric Vergne's late afternoon run moved him to second on the timing screens, albeit over 1.4 seconds down on the dominant Mercedes pace. Kevin Magnussen also made a late sprint to place third, knocking Sergio Perez down to fourth. Ferrari enjoyed a terrible day, completing just 12 laps with Fernando Alonso behind the wheel before they found a crack in the chassis, resulting in them calling it a day before the session had ended. Lotus suffered yet another engine-failure after just 16-laps, despite running reduced power. In-Season Test - Bahrain (day 2): #DriverTeamTimeGapLaps 01 L. Hamilton Mercedes 1:34.136   118 02 J. Vergne Toro Rosso 1:35.557 1.421 63 03 K. Magnussen McLaren 1:36.203 2.067 26 04 S. Perez Force India 1:36.586 2.450 62 05 D. Ricciardo Red Bull 1:37.310 3.174 65 06 J. Bianchi Marussia 1:37.316 3.180 93 07 G. van der Garde Sauber 1:37.623 3.487 77 08 F. Alonso Ferrari 1:37.912 3.776 12 09 M. Ericsson Caterham 1:39.263 5.127 66 10 F. Nasr Williams 1:39.879 5.743 64 11 R. Grosjean Lotus 1:43.732 9.596 16 http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08732http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08732Legal dispute brewing between McLaren, Red BullWed, 09 Apr 2014 15:30:16 GMTA recent announcement that Dan Fallows will take up the position as head of aerodynamics at Red Bull has angered McLaren who have referred the matter to its legal team. The Woking squad had believed that Fallows would be heading their way after signing, what they say, is a legally binding employment contract. However, having left Red Bull for a short break last year, the Milton Keynes outfit confirmed on Wednesday morning that he would be returning to take up the position previously held by the outgoing Peter Prodromou - who is also set to join McLaren this year. Prodromou was one of several new members of staff McLaren announced would be joining the team, a list which included Fallows. A team spokesperson confirmed the matter was being dealt with by McLaren's lawyers. "Dan Fallows has a legally binding contract with McLaren, and the matter is now in the hands of our lawyers," read a short statement.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08731http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08731Marussia no longer owned by Marussia MotorsWed, 09 Apr 2014 11:18:22 GMTThe Marussia F1 team is no longer owned by Marussia Motors, according to team spokesperson Tracy Novak. The outfit was sold to businessman Nikolai Fomenko in 2010 and then renamed Marussia to sit alongside his supercar business. However operations at Marussia Motors have ceased, but Novak insists it doesn't mean anything for the F1 team which is now owned by a company independent of the Marussia brand. "The supercar project was ambitious, but it is disappointing that it was unable to get to market," she told R-Sport. "There is no impact whatsoever on the Formula 1 team's operation." The break-up isn't expected to harm Marussia's financial situation, with Novak confirming the team and Russian supercar company split some time ago. "The Formula 1 team has been an independent operation for some time," she added.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08730http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08730Fallows replaces McLaren-bound Prodromou at Red BullWed, 09 Apr 2014 11:05:45 GMTRed Bull have confirmed that Dan Fallows will replace Peter Prodromou at head of aerodynamics following the latter's move to McLaren later this year. Fallows, who previously held the position of aerodynamics team leader, will take up the position with "immediate effect" having returned to the team after a short break last year. Prodromour meanwhile will begin a six-month period of gardening leave before he can job McLaren, according to Red Bull. "We can confirm that Peter Prodromou has commenced a period of gardening leave; we would like to thank him for his valuable contribution during his time with the team."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08729http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08729Coulthard ranks Bahrain as Hamilton's finest winTue, 08 Apr 2014 23:33:35 GMTDavid Coulthard is of the opinion that Lewis Hamilton's Bahrain Grand Prix victory was probably one of the Briton's "finest". Whilst Hamilton himself refused to rank the victory amongst his best, former-F1 driver Coulthard believes, for several reasons, that it deserves a place near the top of the list. "Rosberg still leads the championship, but that win for Hamilton in Bahrain, on top of the drubbing he gave Rosberg in Malaysia the week before, will be starting to really hit home with Nico," wrote Coulthard in his BBC column. The Scot expects a season-long fight from the pair, but ultimately believes Hamilton, who he considers "the best driver in F1" in his current form, will be the final victor. "There is a lot of fight left in the German in this world championship but we are getting confirmation of why Mercedes head-hunted Hamilton from McLaren," he added. "He is in a happy place right now and, when he’s on form like this, Hamilton is arguably the best driver in Formula 1. "It was an unbelievable achievement by Hamilton to hold on to the lead in the closing laps. He had the disadvantage of not having access to DRS – which Rosberg did – and he was on worse tyres. "Rosberg tried and tried. In many ways it is easier for the guy charging and following. Add all that up and it's why this race really stood out as one of Hamilton's finest."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08728http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08728Hamilton says he'll study Rosberg's data in detailTue, 08 Apr 2014 18:29:58 GMTLewis Hamilton says he'll study Nico Rosberg's Bahrain Grand Prix data in a bid to ensure he's one step ahead at the next event. The Briton went into the Bahrain on the back of a dominant win in Malaysia. Hamilton topped all three practice sessions, but when it came to qualifying, Rosberg managed to outpace his team-mate. Hamilton believes the reason Rosberg found so much pace is because he studied his data from Malaysia. "I'm relaxed, I'm happy," said the 2008 world champion. "But I also know there is a lot of work to do. "I know that I lacked a little bit of pace, I didn't have the pace that I had last week [in Malaysia]. "So I'm going to study hard these next two weeks and I'm going to be giving it a lot of thought." Hamilton revealed that a member of the Mercedes team identified several reasons why he managed to dominate Rosberg the weekend before. "Someone in the team did a huge study on my pace last week and, as I arrived here this weekend, there was this big document with all the reasons why I was quick. And he used that to his advantage," said Hamilton. "So I'll do the same and hope that it works for me."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08727http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08727Rosberg tops day one of Bahrain testingTue, 08 Apr 2014 17:49:21 GMTNico Rosberg set the pace on day one of the two-day Bahrain test, topping the timing chart by over three-tenths from Force India's Nico Hulkenberg. The times were far slower than those posted during the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend, with Rosberg 2.5 seconds down on his pole lap alone. Fernando Alonso was third, almost a second down on the Mercedes driver's best time, whilst McLaren's Kevin Magnussen wasn't far behind the Spaniard. Whilst Rosberg completed 121 laps, the most of anyone, Williams and Lotus managed just 28 and 16 respectively. Whilst Williams were pleased, having completed their test programme, Lotus admitted it as frustrating after struggling with its power unit. In-Season Test - Bahrain: #DriverTeamTimeGapLaps 01 N. Rosberg Mercedes 1:35.897   121 02 N. Hulkenberg Force India 1:36.064 0.367 69 03 F. Alonso Ferrari 1:36.626 0.929 68 04 K. Magnussen McLaren 1:36.634 0.937 102 05 V. Bottas Williams 1:37.305 1.608 28 06 M. Chilton Marussia 1:37.678 1.981 60 07 D. Ricciardo Red Bull 1:38.326 2.629 91 08 S. Sirotkin Sauber 1:39.023 3.326 76 09 R. Frijns Caterham 1:40.027 4.330 63 10 P. Maldonado Lotus 1:40.183 4.486 16 11 D. Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:40.452 4.755 67 http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08726http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08726Vettel: 'Too early to say if Ricciardo is better'Tue, 08 Apr 2014 10:41:09 GMTSebastian Vettel believes it is too early to judge if his new team-mate, Daniel Ricciardo, is better than his former team-mate, Mark Webber. The Red Bull newcomer has put in some impressive performances, but suffered terrible luck in the opening two races. Whilst it's hard to compare Ricciardo and Webber, the younger Australian has outperformed his German team-mate on a few occasions this season already. Ricciardo finished second in Australia before the stewards excluded him on technical grounds. He was then running just behind his team-mate in Malaysia before a pit error and then finished fourth in Bahrain, two places ahead of Vettel. Ricciardo is also winning the qualifying battle at two-to-one. Vettel however says it's too soon to say whether the former Toro Rosso driver is a match, or better, than the now retired Webber. "It would be unfair to say that after just three races," said Vettel. "Daniel certainly is doing his job very well, but a fair comparison is very, very difficult." Former driver turned broadcaster, Martin Brundle, suspects Vettel is taking a little longer to get used to a car which isn't top of the class. “Sebastian is not used to driving cars that are not perfect," he noted. "Daniel is."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08725http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08725Mallya: 'Proof we can compete with the big boys'Mon, 07 Apr 2014 23:34:16 GMTForce India are currently treading on new ground having never sat higher than fourth in the constructors' championship, but after their first podium in five years, that's where they find themselves. Team principal and co-owner Vijay Mallya was ecstatic to see the team take their second podium finish and he believes they've been building up to it since the first race in Australia. "It is a very special moment," he told the official F1 website. "My job was always to make this team climb up the ladder, steadily. I always believed that 2014 - with all the new regulations - gave us a new opportunity. And so far what a good season it has been! We finished sixth in Australia, we improved to fifth in Malaysia, and I think I hinted in Malaysia that I hoped that we could improve further, and there you have it: the podium in Bahrain." The businessman reckons an ever better result was on the cards had it not been for a safety car period thanks to Pastor Maldonado and Esteban Gutierrez coming together. However he's happy to see the team walk away from the race with 25 points on merit, beating out some of the sports most highly regarded outfits. "You still have the great Ferraris, the great Red Bulls, and the great McLarens of this world - but in the end it is the result that counts," he said. "It was a fair race, a tough race and the safety car compromised us as we should have finished three and four - because of the safety car we lost the gap - but we still raced and we won third and fifth places on merit and not because of somebody else’s misfortune or somebody else's hard luck story. "That shows that we are competitive and capable of challenging all the big teams. Of course the Mercedes are very, very strong so I am not so sure if we could catch them - but we will try," he said with a smile. "Compared to everybody else we are on a limited budget, and I am very glad that we are proving that on limited resources we are still able to be competitive."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08724http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08724Mercedes insist they won't ever use team ordersMon, 07 Apr 2014 12:06:51 GMTMercedes insist they won't employ team orders during a grand prix this season after witnessing Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg battle it out during the Bahrain GP. The Mercedes duo fought wheel-to-wheel from start to finish with Hamilton eventually coming out on top. Whilst Mercedes executive director of racing, Paddy Lowe, warned the pair to "be careful and bring the cars home", his words didn't carry any specific order. When asked if their stance on team orders adopted during the Bahrain GP would remain for the rest of the year, Lowe replied: "There's no reason to not do it." Toto Wolff meanwhile described the battle as "the best advert for F1" during a period in which many fans and F1 chief's were talking the sport down. "It's great watching two drivers of that level racing fair and square," he said. "Not risking the other car and still delivering a mega-show; it doesn't get any better advertising for F1, in a moment when lots of people were talking F1 down. "You need the drivers to know that it is important not to risk the image of such a brand. We are representing a big brand and they need to know what to do, and they did it in a fantastic and spectacular way." The Austrian added that it was only fair to allow the pair to battle it out on track. "Imagine if we'd imposed team orders from lap two or something," he added. "What a terrible thing that would be for F1 and the Mercedes philosophy in motorsport. "It is something we owe to ourselves and the sport. And to the drivers. They are great drivers. They are professionals. You want to give them the opportunity to race."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08723http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08723The best photos from the Bahrain GPMon, 07 Apr 2014 10:33:18 GMThttp://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08722http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08722Agreement reached to make engines louderMon, 07 Apr 2014 10:01:54 GMTThe teams, the FIA and Bernie Ecclestone have all come to a unanimous agreement that the engines need to be louder and therefore they will investigate ways of making them so. Following a meeting in Bahrain on Sunday, it was agreed that the noise was such a concern amongst fans, which could therefore damage the sports popularity, that urgent action must be taken. "It's something we have been addressing with all the manufacturers involved in F1," said FIA president Jean Todt. "So we must see if we can implement in short, medium, long term, a bigger noise. And that we will do and we will get unanimous agreement." The FIA will set up a working group where engineers from the teams and engine manufacturers will work together to come up with ways of increasing the volume. When asked when he believed the cars might be louder, Todt admitted he wasn't sure, but said on-track tests would happen after the Spanish Grand Prix. "It's very difficult for me to give you an accurate answer [timeframe]. "After Barcelona there will be two days testing, so hopefully there is something that can be tested."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08721http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08721Maldonado given Chinese GP grid penaltyMon, 07 Apr 2014 00:48:32 GMTPastor Maldonado has been handed a five-place penalty for the Chinese Grand Prix for causing a collision with Esteban Gutierrez. The Lotus driver exited the pits as Gutierrez was heading into turn one. An attempt to dive down the inside of the Sauber launched the car into the air where it rolled over, bringing out the safety car. Maldonado was handed a ten-second stop/go penalty during the race, but because of the severity of the incident, the stewards also handed down the grid penalty as well as three penalty points. Jules Bianchi was also given two penalty points for his contact with Adrian Sutil - an incident which left both cars with punctures.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08720http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08720Hamilton wins sensational Bahrain GP from RosbergSun, 06 Apr 2014 18:27:32 GMTLewis Hamilton took a well earned victory in Bahrain to move closer to Nico Rosberg in the championship after his team-mate came in second to give Mercedes a second 1-2. Hamilton forced his way through at the start to claim the lead, but the pair traded places throughout the opening laps before Hamilton managed to open up a gap with half the race to go. It wasn't until a big accident for Esteban Gutierrez, in which his Sauber flipped over after contact with Pastor Maldonado, which brought out the safety car and eroded Hamilton's lead. That left Hamilton with Rosberg on his tail for the final ten laps, with the pair once again trading places with wheel-to-wheel racing. Sergio Perez came from 4th place to take Force India's first podium of 2014 and only their second ever podium since the team joined F1. Daniel Ricciardo was fourth with the second Nico Hulkenberg just behind, to split the Red Bulls. It was an intense race with wheel-to-wheel action from start to finish up and down the grid, with the Mercedes, Williams, Force India, Red Bull and Ferrari duos all enjoying race long fights. Race Result - 2014 Bahrain Grand Prix: #DriverTeamGapPts 01. L. Hamilton Mercedes 25 02. N. Rosberg Mercedes +1.0 18 03. S. Perez Force India +24.0 15 04. D. Ricciardo Red Bull +24.4 12 05. N. Hulkenberg Force India +28.6 10 06. S. Vettel Red Bull +29.8 8 07. F. Massa Williams +31.2 6 08. V. Bottas Williams +31.8 4 09. F. Alonso Ferrari +32.5 2 10. K. Raikkonen Ferrari +33.4 1 11. D. Kvyat Toro Rosso +41.3 12. R. Grosjean Lotus +43.1 13. M. Chilton Marussia +59.9 14. P. Maldonado Lotus +62.8 15. K. Kobayashi Caterham +87.9 16. J. Bianchi Marussia +1 lap 17. J. Button McLaren +2 laps 18. K. Magnussen McLaren Retired 19. E. Gutierrez Sauber Retired 20. M. Ericsson Caterham Retired 21. J. Vergne Toro Rosso Retired 22. A. Sutil Force India Retired http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08719http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08719Ecclestone says double points 'probably not fair'Sun, 06 Apr 2014 15:53:05 GMTBernie Ecclestone has admitted that the double points regulation is "probably not fair", but says it's the right thing for the spectacle. The 83-year-old was asked about the rule which awards 50 points for a win at the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi. It has come under fire from F1 fans - with over 80 per cent of our readers voting against the idea - but Ecclestone, despite admitting it being unfair, says it's right. "I wouldn't have suggested it if I'd have thought it wasn't the right thing to do," he told Sky Sports. "I was concerned that the championship would still be maybe open with two or three races to go and then somebody could catch up." However he added: "Somebody's done all that work early on, got so many points, and somebody can just pop in and do [it] in a couple of races. It's probably not fair."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08718http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08718FIA must take immediate action on driver weightSun, 06 Apr 2014 15:07:49 GMTFormula 1 needs to implement an urgent regulation change at once. Luca di Montezemolo has recently been saying the same. But we're not reading off the same hymn sheet as the petulant Italian. Forget engine noise. Forget fuel flow limits. There is a far more important aspect that needs addressing urgently before it does any more damage. The weight regulation. It might not sound like a big issue, but with the revelation that Jean-Eric Vergne was hospitalised between the Australian and Malaysian grands prix due to extreme weight loss and Adrian Sutil's decision not to race with a drinks bottle because it adds weight, it's something that must be looked at with the utmost urgency. At present, the weight limit (the minimum a car must weigh throughout the F1 weekend) stands at 691kg. That includes everything - including the driver - but not fuel. As a result, drivers are having to lose weight to ensure they're not penalised. The teams are trying to do their part to reduce the cars weight, which allows for more ballast to be placed, but they can only do so much. Sauber for example are already 20kg over the weight limit and will soon introduce a lighter chassis in the hope of gaining back the five-tenth loss. A proposal to increase the weight limit has been discussed, as has a driver/seat weight equality rule. In effect that would mean a driver who weighs 75kg would have a seat weight of 5kg to total 80kg, whilst a 65kg driver would have 15kg of ballast added to their seat to balance things out. Some lighter drivers have rejected the proposal to protect their weight advantage. Felipe Massa is strongly opposed to the idea. At 59kg he is the lightest on the grid. "If you have a team with a heavier engine or a heavier car then it's up to them to do a better job. This is part of the situation now," he said in Bahrain. "I am light and I'm happy to be light, but even if I was 10kg heavier I would still not have any problem with the car for my weight. "So it's about how each team does their job to be as light as possible with the car. It's not just the drivers, it's different things." Vergne, who confirmed he had to go to hospital as he felt "very weak" after the Australian GP, described the current situation as "stupid". "The weight difference between myself and my team-mate was making me lose four-tenths," he revealed. "I did a diet this winter but you get to certain limits that the body can no longer take. "Frankly, this is stupid. Formula 1 cars are very difficult to drive and we need all of our skills. Being forced to lose weight is not good." It's come to a point where this is becoming dangerous. It's the FIA's job to ensure the safety of every driver. The governing body has the power to implement urgent regulation changes on safety grounds without consulting the drivers or teams. It's about time the FIA stepped in and removed this danger.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08717http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08717Two new teams for 2015 claims EcclestoneSun, 06 Apr 2014 12:05:56 GMTThe Formula 1 grid could expand to 13 teams in 2015 after Bernie Ecclestone revealed that two new teams have been given the green-light. It's well-known that NASCAR team co-owner Gene Haas entry is at an advanced stage and Ecclestone says "they will be accepted". However the 83-year-old told reporters in Bahrain that a second team has also been given the go-ahead for 2015. "We've also accepted another team as well," he said. "Whether they'll make it or not is another story. We are happy to have another couple of teams. "I've spoken to [FIA president] Jean Todt and we agreed yesterday that another two teams want to come in, we'll let them in." The second entrant is believed to be a Romanian-backed team led by former-HRT boss Colin Kolles. Whether the grid will actually expand to 13 isn't known, as Sauber, Lotus and Caterham are all believed to be in financial difficulty.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08716http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08716Todt backs Mercedes, criticises Di MontezemoloSun, 06 Apr 2014 11:52:10 GMTFIA president Jean Todt has thrown his support behind Mercedes and, at the same time, criticised his former boss at Ferrari, Luca di Montezemolo. Di Montezemolo is due to hold a meeting with Todt and Bernie Ecclestone on race day in Bahrain to try and persuade the FIA to back urgent regulation changes. Some believe these changes are motivated by Mercedes' dominance in the opening two races, but Di Montezemolo insists it's to increase the spectacle after two "boring" races. Todt however says Ferrari and its rivals simply haven't done a good enough job when compared to Mercedes and they should focus on catching up, rather than changing the goalposts. "Making a judgement after two races is like George Lucas or Brad Pitt speaking ill of their next film - [as if to say] 'don't come to the movie!," Todt told Auto Motor und Sport. "Mercedes, Renault and Ferrari knew for five years what engines they would need to use this year," he added. "Mercedes has simply done a better job. Such is motor sport." With regards mid-season changes, he said: "Everyone would have to agree, but why should the Mercedes teams do that?" The Frenchman does however sympathise with fans over the power unit's sound, which he says is being looked at. "I can understand if people think the sound is too quiet. So we will look at ways we can make them a little louder." Todt then went on to criticise his former boss who claims F1 is now about "economy runs" and is like "taxi-cab racing". "Luca should first talk with his engineers and then he would be better informed," said Todt. "There has always been fuel saving, even with the V8 engines of last year. How many times did we hear on the radio ‘you have to save fuel’?"http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08715http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08715Revised starting grid for the Bahrain Grand PrixSun, 06 Apr 2014 09:07:04 GMTThe application of two penalties changes the starting grid for the 2014 Bahrain Grand Prix slightly, with 14 cars benefitting from Daniel Ricciardo and Adrian Sutil's misfortune. The Red Bull driver qualified third, but starts 13th thanks to a ten-place grid penalty from the Malaysian GP for an unsafe release from his pit box. Sutil meanwhile was given a five-place penalty for impeding Romain Grosjean during Q1 and will now start last. Starting Grid - 2014 Bahrain Grand Prix #DriverTeamTimeChange 01 N. Rosberg Mercedes 1:33.185  - 02 L. Hamilton Mercedes 1:33.464  - 13 D. Ricciardo* Red Bull 1:34.051  -10 03 V. Bottas Williams 1:34.247  +1 04 S. Perez Force India 1:34.346  +1 05 K. Raikkonen Ferrari 1:34.368  +1 06 J. Button McLaren 1:34.387  +1 07 F. Massa Williams 1:34.511  +1 08 K. Magnussen McLaren 1:34.712  +1 09 F. Alonso Ferrari 1:34.992  +1 10 S. Vettel Red Bull 1:34.985  +1 11 N. Hulkenberg Force India 1:35.116  +1 12 D. Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:35.145  +1 14 J. Vergne Toro Rosso 1:35.286  - 15 E. Gutierrez Sauber 1:35.891  - 16 R. Grosjean Lotus 1:35.908  - 17 P. Maldonado Lotus 1:36.663  - 22 A. Sutil* Sauber 1:36.840  -4 18 K. Kobayashi Caterham 1:37.085  +1 19 J. Bianchi Marussia 1:37.310  +1 20 M. Ericsson Caterham 1:37.875  +1 21 M. Chilton Marussia 1:37.913  +1 http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08714http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08714Mercedes brand mid-season rule tweaks 'absurd'Sat, 05 Apr 2014 22:34:37 GMTThe idea of tweaking the regulations after just two races is "absurd" according to Mercedes boss Toto Wolff who says their rivals simply haven't done a good enough job. Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo will meet with Bernie Ecclestone and FIA president Jean Todt this weekend to air concerns that the new Formula 1 isn't as exciting as expected. They're expected to discuss changes which could include shorter races and lifting the maximum fuel flow limit of 100kg/h. Wolff says it simply makes no sense and believes the changes are motivated not by excitement, but to change the competitive order after Mercedes dominated both the Australian and Malaysian grands prix. "The interesting bit is that some engine manufacturers or teams are saying we have not managed to make the car efficient and fast with 100kg [of fuel], so what we are trying to do is let's add 10kg," he explained. "Well, sorry they didn't do their job in the way we have done. I find this whole discussion absurd." The Austrian says it's wrong for F1 chiefs to criticise the sport as a whole after Di Montezemolo branded it "boring" and like "taxi-cab racing". Instead they should identify specific areas which need changing. "If this is the agenda then we should not talk the sport down as a total," he said. "We should say, hold on a minute. Mercedes has done a better job. "We just have to understand what the fans don't like," he added. "If it is the noise then we have to address the noise. "Is it that races have become boring by a team or car dominating? Maybe we have had that phenomenon in the last 20 years. "Was it boring that Sebastian [Vettel] won the last nine races? For sure it is more boring if you have somebody who is dominant - and I see that as a fan as well."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08713http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08713Sutil gets grid penalty for impeding GrosjeanSat, 05 Apr 2014 20:45:24 GMTAdrian Sutil has been given a five-place grid penalty for impeding Romain Grosjean during Q1 for the Bahrain Grand Prix. The German, who qualified 18th, was deemed to have forced the Lotus driver off track and onto the run off during an attempt to improve his lap time. Grosjean managed to make it through to Q2 despite the battle. As well as a grid drop, Sutil was awarded two penalty points on his super licence as part of a new regulation for 2014 where a driver can accumulate 12 points before a race ban is imposed. Speaking after, Grosjean played down the incident: "It probably looked quite close on television but it wasn't. "That's okay, it's qualifying," he replied when asked if he expected an apology from Sutil.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08712http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08712Rosberg outpaces Hamilton to secure Bahrain poleSat, 05 Apr 2014 17:14:54 GMTNico Rosberg will start the Bahrain Grand Prix from pole position after outpacing his team-mate during the final shoot-out to secure the top spot. The German put the pressure on with his first lap during Q3 which was already three tenths quicker than Lewis Hamilton's, but a lock-up at turn one for the Briton on his final flying lap wrapped pole up for Rosberg. Daniel Ricciardo qualified an impressive third, several places higher than team-mate Sebastian Vettel. The champion couldn't manage to break out of Q2. Ricciardo will however start P13 due to a ten-place penalty carried across from the Malaysian GP. Valtteri Bottas therefore starts third alongside the Force India of Sergio Perez. The Mexican looked well down on pace compared to team-mate Nico Hulkenberg, but when it mattered, he put the time in whilst Hulkenberg had to settle for P12. Kimi Raikkonen outqualified Fernando Alonso for the first time this year with seventh compared to the Spaniard's tenth. Between that duo are Jenson Button, Felipe Massa and Kevin Magnussen. Qualifying - 2014 Bahrain Grand Prix #Driver Team Q1Q2Q3 01 N. Rosberg Mercedes 1:35.439 1:33.708 1:33.185 02 L. Hamilton Mercedes 1:35.323 1:33.872 1:33.464 03 D. Ricciardo* Red Bull 1:36.220 1:34.592 1:34.051 04 V. Bottas Williams 1:34.934 1:34.842 1:34.247 05 S. Perez Force India 1:34.998 1:34.747 1:34.346 06 K. Raikkonen Ferrari 1:35.234 1:34.925 1:34.368 07 J. Button McLaren 1:35.699 1:34.714 1:34.387 08 F. Massa Williams 1:35.085 1:34.842 1:34.511 09 K. Magnussen McLaren 1:35.228 1:34.904 1:34.712 10 F. Alonso Ferrari 1:35.251 1:34.723 1:34.992 11 S. Vettel Red Bull 1:35.549 1:34.985   12 N. Hulkenberg Force India 1:34.874 1:35.116   13 D. Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:35.395 1:35.145   14 J. Vergne Toro Rosso 1:35.815 1:35.286   15 E. Gutierrez Sauber 1:36.567 1:35.891   16 R. Grosjean Lotus 1:36.654 1:35.908   17 P. Maldonado Lotus 1:36.663     18 A. Sutil Sauber 1:36.840     19 K. Kobayashi Caterham 1:37.085     20 J. Bianchi Marussia 1:37.310     21 M. Ericsson Caterham 1:37.875     22 M. Chilton Marussia 1:37.913     http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08711http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08711Bahrain to remain a night race for future GP'sSat, 05 Apr 2014 14:56:55 GMTThe Bahrain Grand Prix will remain a night race for the foreseeable future according to race organiser Zayed Al Zayani. The circuit installed floodlighting as part of its 10th anniversary celebrations and will hold its first F1 night race this weekend to celebrate the occasion. However Al Zayani says the change in start time from 3pm to 6pm has had a positive effect on ticket sales and makes financial sense considering the large investment to install lighting. "It would not have been wise to just do the night race as a one-off," he told Autosport. With Sunday being a working day in Bahrain and the surrounding Middle Eastern countries, the Bahrain organisers have struggled to sell tickets, but a later start time has had a positive effect. "With a 6pm start time it will make it easier for them [fans] to finish up their normal working routine on Sunday and be here on time to watch the race," he added. "It also gives us an opportunity to capture the Saudi market, the largest market in thr Gulf, because they have time to come over."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08710http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08710FP3: Mercedes complete practice clean sweepSat, 05 Apr 2014 14:37:29 GMTA Mercedes victory would be hard not to imagine happening in Bahrain after Lewis Hamilton topped all three practice sessions for the Bahrain Grand Prix. The Briton also led team-mate Nico Rosberg in all three two to give Mercedes a practice clean sweep to put them in a very dominant position. Half a second behind Hamilton was Force India's Sergio Perez. The Mexican narrowly edged the Williams pair led by Valtteri Bottas. McLaren's Jenson Button was sixth ahead of Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and the second Force India of Nico Hulkenberg. FP3 Full Times - 2014 Bahrain Grand Prix: #DriverTeamTimeGapLaps 01 L. Hamilton Mercedes 1:35.324   12 02 N. Rosberg Mercedes 1:35.439 0.115 12 03 S. Perez Force India 1:35.868 0.544 10 04 V. Bottas Williams 1:36.116 0.792 10 05 F. Massa Williams 1:36.364 1.040 8 06 J. Button McLaren 1:36.394 1.070 8 07 F. Alonso Ferrari 1:36.454 1.130 12 08 N. Hulkenberg Force India 1:36.455 1.131 11 09 D. Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:36.680 1.356 16 10 K. Räikkönen Ferrari 1:36.772 1.448 13 11 K. Magnussen McLaren 1:36.822 1.498 8 12 J. Vergne Toro Rosso 1:37.030 1.706 11 13 D. Ricciardo Red Bull 1:37.119 1.795 11 14 E. Gutierrez Sauber 1:37.325 2.001 18 15 A. Sutil Sauber 1:38.089 2.765 24 16 K. Kobayashi Caterham 1:38.400 3.076 17 17 J. Bianchi Marussia 1:38.736 3.412 15 18 P. Maldonado Lotus 1:38.880 3.556 21 19 M. Ericsson Caterham 1:38.971 3.647 18 20 R. Grosjean Lotus 1:39.208 3.884 17 21 S. Vettel Red Bull 1:39.225 3.901 8 22 M. Chilton Marussia 1:39.597 4.273 14 http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08709http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08709Rosberg handed reprimand for 'reckless' drivingSat, 05 Apr 2014 10:44:26 GMTNico Rosberg has been handed a reprimand for what the race stewards deemed "reckless" driving during second free practice in Bahrain. The Mercedes driver impeded Sergio Perez when he suddenly slowed, causing the Force India to take evasive action to avoid a collision. The stewards reprimanded the German for slowing "unnecessarily and recklessly in front of car 11 between Turns 13 and 14." Sauber's Esteban Gutierrez was also the subject of an investigation for impeding Felipe Massa, but no action was taken.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08708http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08708British GP fans to get Thursday pitlane accessSat, 05 Apr 2014 10:38:03 GMTBritish Grand Prix fans will get the opportunity to roam the pitlane on the Thursday before the race weekend. The pitlane tour will give fans an opportunity to see the cars close-up and experience what the pits are like as the teams prepare for the race. The circuit organiser was given the green light following discussions with Bernie Ecclestone and the teams and they expect upwards of 10,000 visitors. Speaking about the fan day, Silverstone's managing director, Richard Phillips, said: "We've spoken to Bernie, and he has confirmed that it is okay. "We have considered doing something like this before, and we are delighted that it is going to happen this year."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08707http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08707FP2: Hamilton and Rosberg lead again in BahrainFri, 04 Apr 2014 17:44:06 GMTLewis Hamilton was fastest yet again as second practice came to a close in Bahrain, once again topping the times ahead of team-mate Nico Rosberg. The Briton's best was over three-tenths quicker than his German team-mate could manage, whilst those behind fell further back compared to FP1. Rosberg however will need to visit the stewards after he was deemed to have blocked Sergio Perez during the Force India's flying lap. It was Ferrari's Fernando Alonso who came third yet again, but a time of 1:35.360 was well off Hamilton's best and points toward another dominant race from the Mercedes duo. Daniel Ricciardo was the best placed Red Bull in fourth, whilst Sebastian Vettel could only manage seventh, a tenth off his team-mate. Lotus had an eventful session with Romain Grosjean complaining of a misfire, whilst team-mate Pastor Maldonado went airborne as he hit the kerbs at turn four a little too quickly. FP2 Full Times - 2014 Bahrain Grand Prix: #DriverTeamTimeGapLaps 01 L. Hamilton Mercedes 1:34.325   28 02 N. Rosberg Mercedes 1:34.690 0.365 31 03 F. Alonso Ferrari 1:35.360 1.035 28 04 D. Ricciardo Red Bull 1:35.433 1.108 28 05 F. Massa Williams 1:35.442 1.117 13 06 J. Button McLaren 1:35.528 1.203 21 07 S. Vettel Red Bull 1:35.606 1.281 30 08 D. Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:35.640 1.315 31 09 K. Magnussen McLaren 1:35.662 1.337 22 10 S. Perez Force India 1:35.802 1.477 40 11 V. Bottas Williams 1:35.920 1.595 9 12 J. Vergne Toro Rosso 1:35.972 1.647 33 13 N. Hulkenberg Force India 1:35.998 1.673 18 14 K. Raikkonen Ferrari 1:36.366 2.041 33 15 A. Sutil Sauber 1:36.962 2.637 13 16 E. Gutierrez Sauber 1:36.975 2.650 35 17 P. Maldonado Lotus 1:37.259 2.934 25 18 R. Grosjean Lotus 1:37.599 3.274 23 19 J. Binachi Marussia 1:37.800 3.475 15 20 M. Chilton Marussia 1:38.247 3.922 10 21 K. Kobayashi Caterham 1:38.257 3.932 32 22 M. Ericsson Caterham 1:39.136 4.811 30 http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08706http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08706FP1: Hamilton leads Mercedes 1-2 in BahrainFri, 04 Apr 2014 14:37:32 GMTLewis Hamilton continued his Malaysian dominance to top the times during first free practice in Bahrain on Friday. The Briton's quickest lap was two-tenths faster than team-mate Nico Rosberg to give Mercedes a 1-2, whilst Ferrari's Fernando Alonso was almost half a second slower than Hamilton. Alonso had to abort an early run after he was sent out on three medium tyres and one soft, but the problem was quickly fixed as he returned to the garage for a matching set. Nico Hulkenberg looked set to challenge Alonso's third, but narrowly missed out with Jenson Button coming in fifth ahead of the second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen. FP1 Full Times - 2014 Bahrain Grand Prix: #DriverTeamTimeGapLaps 01 L. Hamilton Mercedes 1:37.502   14 02 N. Rosberg Mercedes 1:37.733 0.231 13 03 F. Alonso Ferrari 1:37.953 0.451 17 04 N. Hulkenberg Force India 1:38.122 0.620 10 05 J. Button McLaren 1:38.636 1.134 16 06 K. Räikkönen Ferrari 1:38.783 1.281 12 07 K. Magnussen McLaren 1:38.949 1.447 15 08 D. Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:39.056 1.554 24 09 S. Perez Force India 1:39.102 1.600 21 10 S. Vettel Red Bull 1:39.389 1.887 16 11 F. Massa Williams 1:39.533 2.031 11 12 J. Vergne Toro Rosso 1:39.862 2.360 26 13 F. Nasr Williams 1:40.078 2.576 14 14 D. Ricciardo Red Bull 1:40.406 2.904 19 15 A. Sutil Sauber 1:40.652 3.150 20 16 P. Maldonado Lotus 1:40.793 3.291 31 17 J. Bianchi Marussia 1:40.889 3.387 20 18 G. van der Garde Sauber 1:40.913 3.411 20 19 R. Grosjean Lotus 1:41.036 3.534 24 20 M. Chilton Marussia 1:41.794 4.292 20 21 R. Frijns Caterham 1:42.417 4.915 35 22 M. Ericsson Caterham 1:42.711 5.209 21 http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08705http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08705Schumacher showing 'moments of consciousness'Fri, 04 Apr 2014 11:17:20 GMTSeven-time champion Michael Schumacher has shown "moments of consciousness" according to his manager, Sabine Kehm. The 45-year-old has been in a coma since his skiing accident in December. Attempts have been made to wake the German, but have so far failed. However, Kehm now says progress has been made and Schumacher is beginning to show some signs of consciousness which will be welcome news for his family and fans. "Michael is making progress," the latest statement said. "He shows moments of consciousness and awakening. "We are on his side during his long and difficult fight, together with the team of doctors at the hospital in Grenoble and we remain confident. "We would like to thank you all for your continued sympathies. "At the same time we again ask for understanding that we do not intend to disclose further details. This is necessary to protect the privacy of Michael and his family."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08704http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08704FIA to clampdown on fuel flow sensor modificationsFri, 04 Apr 2014 08:12:15 GMTThe FIA hopes that by stopping teams from modifying the standard fuel flow sensor supplied by British company Gill sensors, it will put an end to complaints that they're unreliable and inaccurate. It's thought that the Renault-powered cars account for 90 per cent of the failures or misreadings, with Red Bull highly critical of the technology which team principal Christian Horner described as "immature". It's therefore thought that Renault are having to modify the sensor slightly to suit the installation alongside their power unit, and that is the reason for the issues which haven't plagued the Mercedes or Ferrari-powered teams to the same degree. Therefore the FIA plans to issue a technical directive stating that all fuel flow sensors must be fitted as intended by the manufacturer from the Spanish Grand Prix onwards. Germany's Auto Motor und Sport, claims that if problems continue, the FIA will analyse fuel samples from each of the teams to see if that's the cause. All four Renault-powered teams - Red Bull, Lotus, Toro Rosso and Caterham - use fuel supplied by Total, despite Toro Rosso's CEPSA sponsorship. http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08703http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08703Ferrari complaining because they're not winning claims HamiltonThu, 03 Apr 2014 23:05:31 GMTWith news that Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has branded the new Formula 1 "boring" and says this is backed by a fan poll run on the Ferrari website, Lewis Hamilton has spoken up on the matter. Di Montezemolo held discussions with Bernie Ecclestone in London on Wednesday, and plans to hold a meeting with Jean Todt in Bahrain this weekend to discuss urgent changes to spice the sport up. Hamilton though questions whether the Italian is simply reacting to Ferrari's lack of competitiveness which currently sees them in third in the Constructors' championship with less than half Mercedes' points tally. "Di Montezemolo didn't say a thing when Michael [Schumacher] won those five world championships [in a row]," said Hamilton who won in Malaysia in a dominant fashion. "It's the same when McLaren won all their championships that they didn't say anything, and the same with Red Bull when they won, they weren't saying anything," he added. "Someone else gets in the lead and they'll say something. It's the nature of the game."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08702http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08702Williams apologises for Malaysian GP team ordersThu, 03 Apr 2014 18:23:26 GMTThe Williams team has issued an apology to its drivers and fans of the team after it attempted to impose team orders on Felipe Massa during the Malaysian Grand Prix. The outfit told Massa that "Valtteri [Bottas] is faster than you, do not hold him up" during the closing laps before repeating the order when Massa refused to allow Bottas past. Deputy team principal Claire Williams said the situation wasn't handled correctly and she said the team would learn from their mistake. "For our fans, we want to apologise for that because we didn't handle it in the best way," she said on Thursday in the Bahrain paddock. "It's disappointing for people that look at Williams and expect to see our guys being able to go out there and fight for things and to let them down or whatever. It's not the way we want them to go. "We didn't handle the situation for either of our drivers particularly well, so of course we've apologised to our drivers." Williams said the team sat down with both Massa and Bottas and went over what happened during the race and added that it's something they hope to avoid in future. "We all learn from our mistakes pretty quickly, so we have spent the last few days after Malaysia going through the grand prix in minute detail, looking at the mistakes that we made and how we can rectify them so we don't have a repeat in the future. "It was a team effort. We all sat with the drivers, the engineers and went through it. "That's the most important thing to come out of a situation like that, you can have an open and honest discussion and then you can put new procedures in place that allow you to move on so that you don't make a repeat in the future."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08701http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08701Ecclestone tips Haas to get 2015 grid spotThu, 03 Apr 2014 14:00:08 GMTBernie Ecclestone has tipped Gene Hass's application to join the 2015 Formula 1 grid as the most likely to succeed, despite no formal confirmation. The American NASCAR team co-owner submitted an application after the FIA opened up a tender to find a 12th team. Whilst a decision was expected in late-February, the FIA chose to delay any announcement. Haas remains committed to the project, but unless the FIA makes a decision soon, any entry might be delayed until 2016. Ecclestone though is confident the American outfit will get approval. "I think Haas will be accepted," he told The Independent. "They have got the money but it's a question of whether they are going to spend it. "A billion would last a new team owner four years," he added. "I've spoken to Haas but I don't know what they are going to do. It's America, so I don’t know." The project is believed to have already secured a deal with Ferrari to use its V6 engine.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08700http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08700Ferrari calls urgent meeting amid 'boring' F1Thu, 03 Apr 2014 11:56:48 GMTFerrari president Luca di Montezemolo has called an urgent meeting in Bahrain to discuss ways to improve the Formula 1 spectacle, after he admitted he was unimpressed by the first two races of the season. The Italian met with Bernie Ecclestone in London on Wednesday to hold preliminary discussions about increasing the "excitement". He will meet with Ecclestone again this Friday during the Bahrain Grand Prix. FIA president Jean Todt will join the pair, but it's not clear whether other team bosses will be invited. The 2014 regulation changes, which included a new 1.6 litre V6 turbo-charged power unit, were expected to increase the on-track action and overtaking, but that's not quite materialised in Australia or Malaysia which were both won in dominant fashion. Whilst it's not certain what ideas they're set to discuss, it's believed one of the proposals tabled is to drop the fuel flow limit of 100kg/h. Whilst it would result in a less fuel efficient formula, it could stop criticism that F1's new era is about economy runs and it could result in louder engines according to Renault's Remi Taffin.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08699http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08699Renault: Impossible to make the engines louder without major regulation changesWed, 02 Apr 2014 23:55:35 GMTThe engines can't be made louder without making major changes to the regulations, the way the power unit operates and the exhaust layout, according to Renault's Remi Taffin. It's been reported that Bernie Ecclestone has asked the three engine manufacturers to advise on the best way of 'turning the volume up' for 2015, but Taffin says it's impossible to do, without widescale changes. "There's two big items that drive [noise]," he told Autosport. "Firstly revs: we went from 18,000 to something like 12,000 this year. "It's important to say it's based on the regulations, because they set 15,000 as a maximum, but the fuel flow limitation means the maximum we're running, whether it's a Ferrari, a Mercedes, or a Renault, is 12,000 and at the end of the straight it could be 10 or 11,000. "The other item is the turbo. You put one thing through the path of the exhaust gases, which is like if you would put a pillow on someone's face. It acts as a muffler. "If you combine these two, we've got the result we've got." He suggested the FIA would need to scrap the current fuel flow limit of 100kg/h, which would in turn reduce efficiency, and then increase the maximum rev limit. "If you want to have a different noise you have to go up on revs, but there would be no point going up on revs if you look at the fuel flow, because you would have to get the fuel flow up. But then you bring get your efficiency down," he concluded. FIA president Jean Todt recently admitted he would be in favour of reduced fuel efficiency in return for a louder noise, if that's what fans wanted.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08698http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08698Force India encouraged by best ever startWed, 02 Apr 2014 23:42:51 GMTForce India are encouraged by their start to the 2014 season which co-owner Vijay Mallya says is their best since the days when the team was owned by Eddie Jordan. Nico Hulkenberg already has 18 points to his name thanks to a 6th and 5th in Australia and Malaysia respectively. Sergio Perez has suffered some bad luck, scoring just one point in Australia, whilst he failed to even start in Malaysia due to a software issue. At present though, the team has nine points more than they had at the same time in 2013 to put them fifth in the Constructors' championship, and Mallya is confident they can move forward. "It's always nice to see a Sahara Force India in front," he said of Hulkenberg's brief stint in the lead last weekend. "You can't just find yourself leading a grand prix by accident. Things have got to be in the right place at the right time, and you must be good enough to be able to be up there in front. "We've still got some catching up to do if we want to be a regular podium contender," he added. "We've had our best start to a season in our history, since the Jordan times, and despite only one car finishing in Malaysia we are sitting in fifth in the championship. Let's hope we put on a strong show going forward." Had Perez started the race, Mallya believes they would have had both cars in the points, which would have seen them leapfrog Williams to fourth in the championship. "We always knew that we could be competitive and were capable of fighting with the traditional frontrunners, as Nico demonstrated once again. He's got that huge competitive spirit in him and he's obviously hugely talented. "It was sad that we encountered some unexpected issues with Checo's car and that he had to sit out the race, otherwise judging from what Nico did, we could easily have expected a strong double points finish."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08697http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08697Raikkonen expects better performance in BahrainWed, 02 Apr 2014 23:26:53 GMTKimi Raikkonen believes he made a step forward in understanding the F14-T in Malaysia after he looked competitive throughout practice, but an early collision with Kevin Magnussen hid his pace. The Finn reckons Bahrain will provide a true indication of the progress he's made and he fully expects a better result. "In Malaysia, you couldn't see it because of what happened on the first lap, but I felt I made a step forward in terms of understanding the tools I have to work with," he said. "So I think we can be better prepared this weekend. That should give us faster lap times and better positions." Bahrain is amongst one of the most power heavy circuits and is therefore one of the most fuel hungry, but Raikkonen isn't expecting it to be too much of an issue. "Obviously, every circuit can be different in terms of its effect on fuel use and tyres: looking at Bahrain, fuel saving will play a more important role than in the last two races, but it might not turn out to be too bad, as it was less of an issue than we had expected in Melbourne," he added. "Also on the tyre front, I think Sakhir could be a bit easier to deal with than Sepang and also if we can get the car perfectly right, it will make life much easier."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08696http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08696Horner expects bigger Mercedes advantage in BahrainWed, 02 Apr 2014 11:30:49 GMTRed Bull team principal Christian Horner fears that Mercedes will enjoy a far larger advantage in Bahrain than has currently been seen this year. Whilst Mercedes dominated both Australia and Malaysia, the nature of the Bahrain circuit, which features four long straights, is expected to benefit the power advantage the Brackley team has, leading Horner to believe their rival will be further ahead. "I think their advantage in Bahrain will possibly be larger than it was in Malaysia, because that is quite a power dominated circuit," he said. "Our middle sector in Malaysia was closer than the third sector, but the first sector was where they killed us all weekend - and it is effectively two straights. "On average there was 0.5 second [advantage] on those two straights [for Mercedes]." The Briton also believes the lack of rain in Bahrain could further hurt their chances. "It doesn't tend to rain in Bahrain, so we are going to try to make as much progress as we can in the week," he added.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08695http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08695Red Bull to look elsewhere if Renault don't improve within 'two to three months'Wed, 02 Apr 2014 08:04:44 GMTRed Bull's Helmut Marko has issued power unit supplier Renault with a deadline to show improvement or risk being replaced for next season. The outspoken Austrian warned the French company that should they not see changes within a couple of months, then they would have no alternative but to dump their supplier of eight years. "If there is no noticeable improvement in two or three months, we will definitely be talking about an alternative," Marko told Bild. The 70-year-old advisor to billionaire owner Dietrich Mateschitz is growing increasingly impatient, after he took engineers from both Red Bull and sister team Toro Rosso and installed them at Renault's Viry facility to help solve some of the issues. Whilst progress has been made since pre-season testing, the unit is still down on maximum power when compared to its rivals; Mercedes and Ferrari. Marko is hoping that for now, they can rely on trouble at Mercedes. "We cannot put additional horse power in the engine ourselves," he added. "But we can hope for trouble between [Nico] Rosberg and [Lewis] Hamilton and then drive past them." Whilst the pair haven't shown any signs of falling out or coming together on track just yet, even Mercedes chairman Toto Wolff admitted it was a possibility. "We are spending quite some time discussing those things, discussing scenarios and discussing situations [that might arise]. "What makes a difference is that these guys [Hamilton and Rosberg] have known each other for such a long time and they have a fair relationship with each other. "But it doesn't mean that they are not extremely competitive and that they will try to use every advantage they can," he added.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08694http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08694Sauber hope to gain sixth tenths with new chassisTue, 01 Apr 2014 13:57:19 GMTSauber are working on a new lightweight chassis which they hope to debut at the Spanish Grand Prix, in the hope of meeting the minimum weight allowance. The team have been struggling to meet F1's new 692kg weight limit this year due to a new heavier power unit, heavier tyres and a heavier safety structure. The C33 is believed to be about 20kg overweight and the team are hopeful of losing that amount, which it estimates is costing them about six tenths a lap. The revised chassis should be ready in time for the first European race in May, according to team principal Monisha Kaltenborn. "We are planning a big upgrade for Barcelona introducing measures on the weight side," she told Autosport.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08693http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08693Van der Garde and Sirotkin get Sauber outingsMon, 31 Mar 2014 18:23:21 GMTGiedo van der Garde and Sergey Sirotkin will both get behind the wheel of the Sauber C33 next week during and after the Bahrain Grand Prix. Van de Garde will replace Esteban Gutierrez during first free practice in Bahrain - his first official outing since joining the Swiss team. The Dutch driver will also take part in the first in-season test of 2014. He will drive on day two - the Wednesday after the race. Russian driver Sirotkin meanwhile will drive on day one of the test in order to secure his super licence. That call-up suggests Sauber's Russian investment deal might be back on.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08692http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08692Gap to Red Bull not that big claims DomenicaliMon, 31 Mar 2014 14:24:35 GMTFerrari aren't that far away from Red Bull claims team principal Stefano Domenicali, but admitted there is a "big gap" to Mercedes. Whilst Fernando Alonso finished fourth, nine seconds behind Sebastian Vettel, the Italian believes that was down to tyre difficulties for the team, rather than outright pace. "I don't think the gap to Red Bull was that big to be honest," he said. "With these hard tyres in this heat the drivers were complaining about traction, about the fact they did not feel the cars as they wanted. "I think to Mercedes there is a big gap, but with Red Bull and the others we are more or less close to that field, but we need to aim to be on top. For sure, what we have seen is not easy to solve, but I have asked my engineers to make sure that they know what they have to do and put in a plan to close that gap, because it's pretty clear." It's thought that Ferrari's biggest deficit to Mercedes in particular is straight-line speed, but Domenicali argued that it's a number of things including aerodynamics. "When we speak about the power unit, it could be the power delivery," he explained. "It's part mechanical and part electric, and that's an important part, but also on the car side I want to make sure the aerodynamic parts of the car is more efficient and better. I think that has improved but not enough."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08691http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08691Horner defends Vettel after swearing outburstMon, 31 Mar 2014 08:05:23 GMTSebastian Vettel should be applauded for speaking his mind about the noise of the new power units according to Red Bull team principal Christian Horner. The German described the noise as "shit" and said it's quieter than being in a bar." His use of a swear word is believed to have angered FIA president Jean Todt who, in 2012, wrote to all the drivers asking them to refrain from using bad language. Horner however says he's heard nothing from the FIA about the matter and says Vettel's outburst was a good thing. "No-one's spoken to me about it over the weekend. He should be applauded for saying what he thinks," said the Briton. "We live in quite a politically-correct world but part of Red Bull's philosophy, which has sometimes been quite uncomfortable, is to allow the drivers freedom of expression. "Sebastian has expressed his opinion and I don't think anyone would blame a driver for making an opinion. He's not alone. There are different opinions and he's entitled to his." Reports in the media suggest Todt could punish Vettel under a regulation which stipulates that drivers "cannot bring the sport into disrepute", which includes openly criticising it.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08690http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08690Hamilton claims he 'blew Rosberg away' in MalaysiaMon, 31 Mar 2014 07:56:24 GMTLewis Hamilton believes he blew team-mate Nico Rosberg away in Malaysia after opening up an early lead to finish over 17 seconds ahead. The Mercedes driver looked incredibly comfortable in the lead and managed to pull away from the very start, even turning his engine down after just 30 laps whilst Rosberg came under pressure from Sebastian Vettel. "It's massive," he told the Telegraph. "I don't remember the last time in my career I had a gap like that, particularly with a team-mate driving the same car." Whilst Rosberg was victorious in Australia, Hamilton - who started from pole - retired after just two laps due to a broken cyclinder. Hamilton says he's pushing himself harder than ever and that's where his advantage is coming from. "I'm pushing myself more than my teammate is pushing me," he added. "That's where the push is coming from. "Nico is very quick, he's won the first race, he's always there, so naturally we are pushing each other. "But this year I'm pushing myself that extra. I'm eking out more than I've ever been able to eke out and it worked and that is why I blew him away". Former team-mate, Jenson Button, believes the ease in which Hamilton won, will be a psychological blow for Rosberg. "Looking at what Lewis did it's going to hurt [Rosberg] a little bit. He was super-fast," he said. "That is a lot to put between you and your team-mate when you have both had a clear race. I am sure that is strike one to him."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08689http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08689The best photos from the Malaysian GPMon, 31 Mar 2014 00:59:08 GMThttp://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08688http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08688Ricciardo given 10-place grid penalty for BahrainSun, 30 Mar 2014 17:42:59 GMTDaniel Ricciardo has been handed a ten-place grid penalty for the Bahrain Grand Prix after his Red Bull mechanics allowed him to exit his pit box before it was safe to do so. The Australian exited his pit box and almost immediately stopped after noticing his front-left wheel hadn't been securely attached. His team ran down the pit lane to retrieve him and he rejoined the race a lap down. He was then handed a 10-second stop/go penalty before his front-wing failed, which completely ruined his race. Despite the penalty handed out during the race, the stewards deemed that he had been unsafely released and therefore, under the rules, must take a grid drop at the next race. His team branded the penalty harsh: "The rules are pretty clear," said Horner. "For an unsafe release, it is a stop-go penalty of 10 seconds and a 10-place grid penalty for the next race, so the punishment is harsh for the crime. It is the rules, so that is what it will be." Red Bull were also reprimanded because one of their mechanics wasn't wearing head protection during a pit stop.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08687http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08687Massa: 'I was right to ignore team orders'Sun, 30 Mar 2014 17:34:01 GMTFelipe Massa insists he did the right thing by ignoring team orders to allow team-mate Valtteri Bottas past during the Malaysian Grand Prix. The Williams driver was told: "Bottas is faster than you", and that he "shouldn't hold him up". Massa though continued to push and even duelled with the Finn to maintain position. The Brazilian says his decision was justified as Bottas wouldn't have been able to catch Jenson Button ahead, so the result wouldn't have changed. "What I did was correct. I am trying to do my best for the team and that's the most important thing," he told Autosport "I'm sure the result would not have changed even if I had let him by, so it's the same. "The team respects me 100 per cent and they showed they respect me after the race, so I have no problem at all."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08686http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08686Hamilton dominates as Mercedes secure 1-2Sun, 30 Mar 2014 10:58:33 GMTLewis Hamilton signed off a flawless weekend to secure victory in Malaysia ahead of team-mate Nico Rosberg by over 17 seconds. The Briton led from start to finish and dominated to the extent that the team chose to turn his engine down after just 50 per cent race distance. Rosberg's second place gave Mercedes their first 1-2 since the 1955 Italian Grand Prix and puts them in charge of the Constructors' Championship. Third placed Sebastian Vettel lost out to both Rosberg and team-mate Daniel Ricciardo on the opening lap, but managed to get the place back from Ricciardo before the Australian's luck ran out. Ricciardo eventually retired after his team failed to secure his front-left wheel during his second stop, before his front-wing failed and a ten second penalty ruined his race. That allowed Fernando Alonso to take fourth, just ahead of an impressive performance by Force India's Nico Hulkenberg to secure fifth. Jenson Button was sixth, but benefitted from Felipe Massa's decision to ignore team orders to allow team-mate Valtteri Bottas past, with the Williams team believing Bottas could have challenged Button had Massa conceded the position. Kevin Magnussen and Daniil Kvyat completed the points paying positions. Race Result - 2014 Malaysian Grand Prix: #DriverTeamGapPts 01. L. Hamilton Mercedes 25 02. N. Rosberg Mercedes +17.3 18 03. S. Vettel Red Bull +24.5 15 04. F. Alonso Ferrari +35.9 12 05. N. Hulkenberg Force India +47.1 10 06. J. Button McLaren +83.6 8 07. F. Massa Williams +85.0 6 08. V. Bottas Williams +85.5 4 09. K. Magnussen McLaren +1 lap 2 10. D. Kvyat Toro Rosso +1 lap 1 11. R. Grosjean Lotus +1 lap 12. K. Raikkonen Ferrari +1 lap 13. K. Kobayashi Caterham +1 lap 14. M. Ericsson Caterham +2 laps 15. M. Chilton Marussia +2 laps 16. D. Ricciardo Red Bull Retired 17. E. Gutierrez Sauber Retired 18. A. Sutil Sauber Retired 19. J. Vergne Toro Rosso Retired 20. J. Bianchi Marussia Retired 21. P. Maldonado Lotus Retired 22. S. Perez Force India DNS http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08685http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08685Vettel vents his anger at Rosberg during conferenceSat, 29 Mar 2014 18:01:10 GMTSebastian Vettel took the opportunity during the post-qualifying press conference to vent his anger at Nico Rosberg, face-to-face, after accusing the Mercedes driver of blocking him. Vettel claimed Rosberg had slowed ahead, which meant he caught Rosberg during his hot-lap, but the spray from the Mercedes blinded him which caused him to miss out on the apex of the corner. "Nico couldn't see much in his mirrors, I guess," said Vettel during the conference. "Obviously I was on a flying lap and Nico was preparing his hot lap, if that’s correct, and not much happened. "Obviously I was pissed off at the time because... sorry, I was angry at that time, at that moment because I turned into turn 12 not knowing where to turn in because I couldn’t see anything. The lap was lost but equally I think there was another car in front of Nico..." Rosberg however claimed it wasn't him, leading the pair to debate the matter further. "I don't think that was me," said Rosberg, before Vettel added: "No? So then it was Lewis [Hamilton]. I think it was a Mercedes." The pair continued the discussion as Hamilton began to answer a question from a journalist, prompting the British driver to speak up. "Hey guys, I can’t even hear myself talk," he said, to which Vettel replied: "We're still figuring out who it was..." Note: It was actually a McLaren.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08684http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08684Hamilton: 'I wasn't pushing on my pole lap'Sat, 29 Mar 2014 17:23:55 GMTLewis Hamilton admits he could have gone quicker after making a mistake on his final flying lap, but he still claimed pole with his slower, banker lap. The Mercedes driver's pole lap was just 0.055 seconds quicker than second-placed Sebastian Vettel. However Hamilton's quickest lap was his first lap, which he says was a careful banker to ensure he registered a time early on in the session. "For the first lap in Q3, we have to be a little bit more within the limit to make sure you definitely get a lap in, just in case you have something like a yellow flag," he said. "If I had another lap as Sebastian did, I think I would have been able to eke a bit more time out. "But it doesn't matter. I got what I needed out of it."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08683http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08683Bottas gets grid penalty and two penalty pointsSat, 29 Mar 2014 17:05:36 GMTValtteri Bottas has been handed a three-place grid penalty and two penalty points for impeding Daniel Ricciardo during the second qualifying phase for the Malaysian Grand Prix. The Red Bull driver complained that Bottas had blocked him during an out-lap which ruined the Australian's flying lap. He did however make it through to Q3. "He was on his out-lap," said Ricciardo. "I'll have a word with him. There were a lot of times last year, to be honest... "We raced each other a lot in the junior categories and I thought we had a lot of respect for each other, but it's a little difficult how many times he's done that now." The Finn drops from 15th to 18th and is the first driver to receive penalty points on his super license. The new rule for 2014 allows a maximum of 12 points before a driver is forced to miss a race. Bottas didn't believe he'd receive a penalty for the incident. "It was a difficult situation - we had a radio problem and in turn nine the team told me that I had either a gap in front or behind Ricciardo. "So I thought I would try to stay in front. Obviously he was coming very quickly and it was a bit closer in the last few corners than maybe it should've been. "I thought it would be OK and there would be no penalties."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08682http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08682Hamilton snatches Malaysian pole from Vettel Sat, 29 Mar 2014 10:23:04 GMTLewis Hamilton took his 33rd pole position in Malaysia to match Alain Prost and the British record held by Jim Clark after he pipped Sebastian Vettel by five hundredths of a second. The qualifying session was delayed by 50 minutes due to heavy rain, but eventually got underway with the Mercedes drivers topping all three sessions until Q3 when Sebastian Vettel split the pair to take second. Nico Rosberg will start third ahead of the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso who narrowly managed to make it through to Q3 after contact with Daniil Kvyat - the incident is under investigation. The second Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo starts fifth, with Kimi Raikkonen in sixth and Nico Hulkenberg seventh. Kevin Magnussen, who managed to escape a trip through the gravel, beat team-mate Jenson Button yet to again to start eighth with Jean-Eric Vergne splitting the McLarens.  Lotus improved on their Australian GP form to take 16th and 17th with Romain Grosjean leading Pastor Maldonado, whilst Marcus Ericsson suffered a heavy crash during Q1 to bring out the red flags. Qualifying - 2014 Malaysian Grand Prix #Driver Team Q1Q2Q3 01 L. Hamilton Mercedes 1:57.202 1:59.041 1:59.431 02 S. Vettel Red Bull 1:57.654 1:59.399 1:59.486 03 N. Rosberg Mercedes 1:57.183 1:59.445 2:00.050 04 F. Alonso Ferrari 1:58.889 2:01.356 2:00.175 05 D. Ricciardo Red Bull 1:58.913 2:00.147 2:00.541 06 K. Raikkonen Ferrari 1:59.257 2:01.532 2:01.218 07 N. Hulkenberg Force India 1:58.883 2:00.839 2:01.712 08 K. Magnussen McLaren 2:00.358 2:02.094 2:02.213 09 J. Vergne Toro Rosso 2:01.689 2:02.096 2:03.078 10 J. Button McLaren 2:00.889 2:01.810 2:04.053 11 D. Kvyat Toro Rosso 2:01.175 2:02.351   12 E. Gutierrez Sauber 2:01.134 2:02.369   13 F. Massa Williams 2:00.047 2:02.460   14 S. Perez Force India 2:00.076 2:02.511   15 V. Bottas Williams 1:59.709 2:02.756   16 R. Grosjean Lotus 2:00.202 2:02.885   17 P. Maldonado Lotus 2:02.074     18 A. Sutil Sauber 2:02.131     19 J. Bianchi Marussia 2:02.702     20 K. Kobayashi Caterham 2:03.595     21 M. Chilton Marussia 2:04.388     22 M. Ericsson Caterham 2:04.407     http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08681http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08681Raikkonen more comfortable after positive dayFri, 28 Mar 2014 12:46:19 GMTKimi Raikkonen believes he has made a step forward with the F14-T's set-up following difficulties in Melbourne. The Finn described Friday's running as "positive" after he finished practice just three hundredths off Nico Rosberg's quickest time. "This was definitely a positive day and I had a better feeling compared to Friday in Melbourne," he said after. "I was more comfortable with the F14-T today." However he's aware that even if they have an error-free weekend, there is still a long way to go to catch the Anglo-German outfit. "Even if we had no problems whatsoever, we know there's still a long way to go and a lot to do. "Our programme concentrated on car set-up and on testing the compounds that Pirelli has brought here," he explained. "The handling seemed to be good even if, as we found on the race simulation, we will have to pay very close attention to degradation, which is particularly high here. "Now we will spend the evening carefully analysing all the data we gathered over the day, to try and work out how to improve."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08680http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08680FP2: Rosberg leads from Raikkonen in MalaysiaFri, 28 Mar 2014 10:05:43 GMTNico Rosberg put Mercedes top for a second time in Malaysia following Lewis Hamilton's time topping lap in FP1. The German's lap, a 1:39.909, was just quicker than that of Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen and Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel - the pair within a tenth of Rosberg. Hamilton came in fourth ahead of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa. Lotus's Romain Grosjean managed a time good enough for P17, whilst team-mate Pastor Maldonado was consigned to the garage due to ongoing issues. Caterham meanwhile completed 31 laps with Marcus Ericsson, whilst Kamui Kobayashi, like Maldonado, failed to leave the pits for a single lap. FP2 Full Times - 2014 Malaysian Grand Prix: #DriverTeamTimeGapLaps 01 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:39.909   30 02 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:39.944 0.035 30 03 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:39.970 0.061 30 04 L. Hamilton Mercedes 1:40.051 0.142 32 05 F. Alonso Ferrari 1:40.103 0.194 29 06 F. Massa Williams 1:40.112 0.203 34 07 D. Ricciardo Red Bull 1:40.276 0.367 29 08 J. Button McLaren 1:40.628 0.719 28 09 V. Bottas Williams 1:40.638 0.729 35 10 N. Hulkenberg Force India 1:40.691 0.782 34 11 J. Vergne Toro Rosso 1:40.777 0.868 33 12 K. Magnussen McLaren 1:41.014 1.105 20 13 A. Sutil Sauber 1:41.257 1.348 28 14 D. Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:41.325 1.416 32 15 E. Gutierrez Sauber 1:41.407 1.498 34 16 S. Perez Force India 1:41.671 1.762 25 17 R. Grosjean Lotus 1:42.531 2.622 14 18 M. Chilton Marussia 1:43.638 3.729 20 19 J. Bianchi Marussia 1:43.752 3.843 29 20 M. Ericsson Caterham 1:45.703 5.794 31 21 K. Kobayashi Caterham No time   0 22 P. Maldonado Lotus No time   0 http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08679http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08679Ecclestone: 'It's a little louder than I thought'Fri, 28 Mar 2014 06:54:49 GMTBernie Ecclestone has admitted, during his first visit to hear the new Formula 1 cars in person, that they're louder than he first thought. The 83-year-old has long complained about the new V6 power units and following complaints from Australian Grand Prix organiser Ron Walker that they're not getting what they paid for, he travelled to Malaysia to hear them in person. Whilst he claims he's being bombarded with complaints, he did admit that they're louder than they come across on television. "That's exactly the problem," he said in response to the Singapore GP organiser joking about lowering the hosting fee because of the noise. "All the promoters are complaining," he said. "It sounds terrible on television. The problem isn't that. The problem is the people coming here and the whole atmosphere of F1. "It's a little louder than we thought. If we can get it up a little bit more, if I can get it up, it will be alright."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08678http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08678FP1: Hamilton tops first Malaysian practiceFri, 28 Mar 2014 05:44:21 GMTLewis Hamilton got off to a flying start to set the quickest lap of first free practice using his Australian GP engine which will be an added bonus for the Briton. The Mercedes driver jumped ahead of Kimi Raikkonen by a tenth and a half to knock the Finn down to second. Raikkonen was clearly happier with his car after struggling in Melbourne. The second Mercedes of Nico Rosberg was third, just ahead of the McLaren duo of Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen. The Dane however looked to have suffered a power failure, but the team quickly reset a sensor and he was back out. Jean-Eric Vergne was the highest placed Renault-powered car, just ahead of Sebastian Vettel in seventh whilst Daniel Ricciardo was back in 12th. Several cars took to the gravel a they discovered a very green circuit in Sepang. That included Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa. Meanwhile Lotus's struggles continued at the back of the pack with just a handful of laps completed between the pairing. FP1 Full Times - 2014 Malaysian Grand Prix: #DriverTeamTimeGapLaps 01 L. Hamilton Mercedes 1:40.691   19 02 K. Räikkönen Ferrari 1:40.843 0.152 20 03 N. Rosberg Mercedes 1:41.028 0.337 19 04 J. Button McLaren 1:41.111 0.420 20 05 K. Magnussen McLaren 1:41.274 0.583 18 06 J. Vergne Toro Rosso 1:41.402 0.711 15 07 S. Vettel Red Bull 1:41.523 0.832 9 08 N. Hulkenberg Force India 1:41.642 0.951 19 09 F. Massa Williams 1:41.686 0.995 23 10 V. Bottas Williams 1:41.830 1.139 22 11 F. Alonso Ferrari 1:41.923 1.232 14 12 D. Ricciardo Red Bull 1:42.117 1.426 20 13 A. Sutil Sauber 1:42.365 1.674 21 14 D. Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:42.869 2.178 21 15 E. Gutierrez Sauber 1:42.904 2.213 23 16 J. Bianchi Marussia 1:43.825 3.134 18 17 M. Ericsson Caterham 1:45.775 5.084 24 18 M. Chilton Marussia 1:46.911 6.220 10 19 K. Kobayashi Caterham 1:51.180 10.489 5 20 S. Perez Force India No time   2 21 P. Maldonado Lotus No time   2 22 R. Grosjean Lotus No time   4 http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08677http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08677Button: 'Don't like the sound? Race elsewhere'Thu, 27 Mar 2014 19:59:23 GMTAmid criticism from some drivers about the sound of the new V6 power units, Jenson Button has told them to go somewhere else if they're not happy. Whilst the new cars are much harder to drive thanks to the increased torque from the new engines, they're unhappy with the quieter sound they create. Sebastian Vettel described the noise as "shit", but Button says nobody is forcing him to race the cars. "Go and race something else if you are not happy," said the Briton. "As drivers we don't have an opinion of where the cars are in terms of sound and look. "When you cross the finish line first you have won a grand prix. You don't care what it sounds like or what it looks like. "You have beaten the best in the world and that is all you are about."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08676http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08676Williams Malaysian upgrades not ready in timeThu, 27 Mar 2014 18:33:55 GMTWilliams showed great pace in Australia with Valtteri Bottas set for a podium finish had it not been for his brush with the wall, whilst Felipe Massa's form remained an unknown thanks to a first corner incident. The team however had hoped to further close the gap to the front with its Malaysian Grand Prix upgrade package, however that won't be ready in time according to Felipe Massa. "We are missing a little bit or rear downforce and we are working on that to improve," he said on Thursday. "Pieces were not ready for this race, so we have the same car, more or less, as we had for Australia. "This is a different track so we need to see how the car behaves here, but we are definitely working 100% in the factory to improve. There are some areas we need to improve and I'm sure when we fix them the car will grow. "The car will show a better balance definitely and I think that will be positive for us as well." As a result, the team will bring a bigger than expected package to China were Massa is hopefuly of making some big gains. "From now until Barcelona you will see many different results and different improvements from other teams and for us as well. We are working to have a big package for China and we will see how it happens race-to-race and we hope we can be competitive like we were in Australia."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08675http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08675F1 to honour passengers of missing MH370 flightThu, 27 Mar 2014 17:31:25 GMTFormula 1 teams and drivers will carry messages of support in tribute to the passengers aboard the missing Malaysian airlines flight, MH370. The plane went missing mid-flight with 239 passengers and crew aboard. Despite no debris having been formally identified, Malaysia's prime minister, Najib Razak, says "beyond reasonable doubt" that the aircraft crashed in the Indian Ocean with no survivors. F1 will hold a minute's silence ahead of the race, whilst messages such as #PrayForMH370 as seen on the Mercedes' cars, will be prominent up and down the grid and on drivers helmets. The F1 event in Malaysia is a high point on the country's calendar, but a subdued atmosphere can already be felt around the circuit.  Meanwhile an after-race concert featuring Christina Aguilera has been cancelled. Razlan Razali, CEO of the Sepang circuit, said: "We remind ourselves that this is a huge international event, regardless of our state of mourning. As a result, a far smaller crowd than usual is expected. "The world will be on us to see how fragile or how strong [we are]. So we have a huge responsibility to put on a good show."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08674http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08674'I'm over the disappointment now' - RicciardoThu, 27 Mar 2014 14:49:38 GMTDaniel Ricciardo says he's had time to get over the disappointment of being disqualified from his maiden podium at his home race in Australia. The Red Bull driver finished second in Melbourne, but was later excluded after the race stewards found his car had "consistently exceeded the maximum fuel flow" limit. Whilst Red Bull have appealed the ruling, Ricciardo says he's "over it" despite earlier earlier feeling down about the decision. "I've obviously had a bit of time to get over it, so I'm alright now," he said on Thursday. "On Sunday evening it was a bit disappointing and obviously not the news you want to hear when you're trying to celebrate. Sunday night I had a bit of time to think and on Monday I had a few cameras in my face at the airport and that let me know about it. "I couldn't really escape it for 24 hours but after that I was home and did some good training, spending time with friends and family. I was staying occupied and not thinking about it too much more. If anything I took more positives out of the weekend than negatives." He admits he knew nothing of the sensor problem, despite the FIA informing the team throughout the race that they were breaching the 100kg/h limit. "I knew nothing about it," he confirmed. "Obviously during the race we're doing the whole fuel-saving thing and the team is giving us information about how much to save during a lap, but nothing more than that."