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/08803http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08803Mercedes: 'We don't want to win all 19 races'Wed, 23 Apr 2014 20:19:58 GMTIn a rather odd admission, Mercedes chairman Niki Lauda says the Anglo-German outfit doesn't want to win all 19 races this season. The outfit has so far won four from four in dominant fashion, with the only challenge coming from an intra-team battle between Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton. But Lauda says it would be bad for F1 and it would see the sport in new ground, though both Ferrari and McLaren have come close. In 2004 Ferrari took 15 of the 18 wins on offer, whilst McLaren dominated the 1988 season to win all but one. It's not something the Austrian would like to see happen. "We do not want to win all the races," he told Blick. "It definitely wouldn't be good for Formula 1." However Lauda fully expects Mercedes' rivals to catch-up and apply some pressure later in the season, once the engine advantage has faded. "What we are going through now is the harvest of many months of work, particularly in the area of the turbo engine," he added. "But we do not think the current situation is normal. Our opponents will certainly be getting stronger."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08802http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08802Imagining the future of F1: Human Ignition (Ep.2)Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:06:39 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 second episode of 'Human Ignition', socio-ecological architecture firm Terreform are on a mission to turn dull, one-dimensional circuit design on its head to make the track a character of its own. In this second episode of Human Ignition Sci-Fi creeps closer to reality — but is their vision a feasible one? Best keep an open mind. Terreform's "intelligent" track has set new standards of F1 futurism. Where can we go next? Find out in Human Ignition - Episode 3, out on April 25.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08801http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08801Rosberg confident Mercedes can extend advantageWed, 23 Apr 2014 16:43:26 GMTNico Rosberg heads to the Spanish Grand Prix in two weeks time knowing he has the fastest car on the grid, but with the return to Europe comes major upgrades and the threat of a change to the order. The German though is confident Mercedes can take another step forward over its rivals to extend its already massive advantage which has seen it win all four races this year so far. "We want to go to Barcelona with the biggest step, that's our ambition," said Rosberg. "Barcelona is a chance for us to extend the advantage that we have and that's the approach that we have going to Barcelona, 100%." The 28-year-old suffered his worst qualifying performance of 2014 last week in China, taking fourth whilst team-mate and eventual race winner Lewis Hamilton secured pole. Rosberg though aims to take the fight to Hamilton after a weekend of damage limitation which saw him secure his third-consecutive second place. "To finish second in the end, on a weekend of damage limitation, is great," he added. "I collected some important points again, which makes me happy. "It's great to go back to Europe with the lead in the Championship. In Barcelona, the aim will be to have a normal weekend and be back in first place."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08800http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08800Red Bull hope new chassis will help VettelWed, 23 Apr 2014 16:01:28 GMTSebastian Vettel will be provided with a new chassis for the Spanish Grand Prix in an effort to get to the bottom of the four-time champion's troubles. Vettel has been unable to match team-mate Daniel Ricciardo throughout qualifying and the race and, whilst some of that is down to issues outside of his control, he is still losing time to the young Australian. Red Bull team principal Christian Horner put it down to set-up initially, but speaking to Sport Bild, Helmut Marko says the issue may lay with the chassis itself. "We don't understand why Vettel's tyre wear was so much higher than Ricciardo's," said the Austrian. "We are now investigating whether his chassis has a fault. "When a new one [chassis] is ready, Vettel will get it," he confirmed. It's believed Red Bull will have a new chassis available to the German for the Spanish GP. Should the chassis prove to be fine, Marko has no doubts Vettel will find the cause and be back to his best. "This year is so complex that even the engineers don't understand everything," he said. "That makes it even harder for Seb to tune the car to his needs. "But Sebastian is a perfectionist. He will tinker with it until he gets it right."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08799http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08799McLaren expect massive gains with upgradesTue, 22 Apr 2014 18:03:42 GMTMcLaren aren't too concerned by their lack of performance at the Chinese Grand Prix, which saw Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen fail to score. That's because they're confident they can make a huge step forward in performance with their latest upgrades, which will filter through over the next few races, according to racing director Eric Boullier. "I know what is going on [at the the factory], so I know we are on a very good development rate," he said during a media call. "What we picked up [in terms of downforce] now since a few weeks is good. Very good." Boullier is hopeful that the upgrades, some of which have long manufacturing lead-times, will be ready in time for Spain and Monaco. "I hope it is going to come sooner than later. In the windtunnel already we have picked up a lot of performance. "Back in the factory it is fine. It is just a question of preparing everything and shipping it to the track." When asked if the performance they've found in the wind-tunnel would be good enough to get them on a level with Red Bull, he replied: "Definitely. This is 100 per cent sure because we know already back in the factory what is going to happen in the next three or four races."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08798http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08798Rosberg lacks something compared to Hamilton - TambayTue, 22 Apr 2014 14:05:20 GMTNico Rosberg 'lacks something' when compared to his team-mate Lewis Hamilton, according to former driver Patrick Tambay. The winner of two races for Ferrari in '82 and '83 believes Rosberg is beginning to feel the pressure after coming second to Hamilton at the last three races. "With the equal status at Mercedes, Nico has shown to be lacking a little bit compared to Hamilton," Tambay told RMC. "Before, we saw this very jovial, very smiling Nico, but now it feels a little more tense." The 64-year-old says there is still for Rosberg to get back on terms with Hamilton though. "But the season is long," he added. "There is still a lot of races to go." Mercedes chairman Niki Lauda meanwhile has praised Hamilton's focus and reckons Hamilton could have made it four from from had his engine not failed in Australia. "The only thing he [Hamilton] has perhaps sometimes neglected in the past was the full focus," said the Austrian. "He was bringing the dogs to the track, he had a whole entourage of people. When the dogs were there I told him to just focus on himself, drop the baggage and concentrate 120 per cent. "Now he is doing the performance you expect from him. If he had not failed in Melbourne, he probably could have won there as well."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08797http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08797Red Bull hits back at Mercedes over fuel-gateTue, 22 Apr 2014 13:49:22 GMTRed Bull has accused Mercedes of becoming "rattled" and says the team is "sweating" over the champions current performance surge which has seen them, arguably, become the second quickest team. The team's so-called 'Red Bull Spy' believes Mercedes stance at the International Court of Appeal hearing, in which Mercedes demanded "a more severe sanction of a ban of no less than three races, plus a disqualification for a further six months, suspended for a year", is proof the team are beginning to fear that Red Bull may be catching up. "The big news we're digesting is that the playful scamps at Merc decided to have a good old sticky-beak at our appeal and requested we receive a three-race ban," read a post from the spy. "There's a few pursed lips from our management at that but they've decided to rise above it and not comment - but down here at the coalface you can be sure we're telling our mates in the next garage along where they can shove that three-pointed star. "Actually it's quite reassuring: it means we're getting close enough to get them rattled and sweating a bit. Back in February that looked pretty unlikely. At least that's what Spy thinks: it seems we've undergone a change in the last couple of weeks. "It's going to be a long time before we completely understand this car but we've gone past the stage of just trying to get it to work and are now into the stage of trying to make it go faster." Many however believe Mercedes call for tougher sanctions which simply to get back at Red Bull after they acted in a similar fashion last year when Mercedes were accused of private testing.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08796http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08796Lotus improved by two-seconds in China - LopezTue, 22 Apr 2014 11:00:32 GMTLotus team owner Gerard Lopez believes the outfit made a two-second step forward in China thanks to engine equality from Renault. It's widely known that Renault are focusing its updates on Red Bull and Toro Rosso before they filter down to Lotus and Caterham one or two races later. Lotus finally received the updated power unit for the Chinese Grand Prix, which Red Bull and its sister team had been using in Bahrain and Lopez believes it's seen the team make a major gain. "We saw a clear step up from Renault's side in China," he is quoted as saying by Autosport. "The guys are almost talking about two seconds, which is huge. "The car is good. Romain [Grosjean] had some diffuser issues on Saturday, but based on lap times and derivatives of that, we probably should have gone for P6 [in qualifying] if we hadn't have had any issues. "That is really where we believe the car belongs, despite knowing the Mercedes engine cars don't even need DRS to go around us." Lopez recently demanded equality from Renault, and its believed all four teams will receive a major update for the Spanish GP where the Belgian businessman expects a further step forward. "Renault is promising a fairly interesting step up for Barcelona," he added. "We're pretty hopeful we start coming into the top 10, and from then on it's fighting it out with whoever is there. "Ever since I saw the issues we were having with the power unit, I've essentially said our first race is going to be Barcelona, and I stick to that."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08795http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08795Tech Talk: Ferrari's blown wheel-nuts in ChinaMon, 21 Apr 2014 18:21:42 GMTFerrari made a step forward at the weekend to close in on, or possibly even pass, Red Bull as the second quickest team in race-trim after Fernando Alonso took third behind the Mercedes duo. One of the noticeable upgrades was the Italian team's blown front wheel hubs. This certainly isn't a new concept, with both Red Bull and Williams using similar systems last year. However this year, both have dropped the innovation. Not because it doesn't work, but because the FIA introduced tighter wheel-nut regulations to include a fail-safe should a wheel not be secured properly. This rendered both Red Bull and Williams solutions unusable without major redesigns - of which they're most likely working on. Ferrari have managed to design their blown-hubs with the fail-safe included - the idea is actually believed to have come from Lotus after Ferrari signed their head of aerodynamics, Dirk de Beer, late last year. Lotus are expected to race their version soon. The innovation takes airflow from the new enlarged brake-ducts which feed a channel running through the spinning axle. The airflow then exits out of the centre of the wheel-nut (see hollow wheel-nut above). Without the blowing effect (see green arrows below), the airflow coming off the front-wing endplate hits the front-tyre and then, due to the curved shape of the wheel, follows the contour and is directed toward the cooling opening. This is a waste of critical flow.  By pushing air through the wheel-nut, it pushes the wake coming off the front-wing endplate further outward (see orange arrows as they meet the blue arrows). This improves the outwash effect and channels the airflow toward the sidepods and crucially, toward the diffuser. The additional airflow also reduces drag by decreasing the low pressure area behind the front tyre and increases brake cooling efficiency. http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08794http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08794Hamilton can't remember being happier than nowMon, 21 Apr 2014 16:13:25 GMTLewis Hamilton says he's the happiest he's been in a long time after he took a third-straight win to put him within four points of the championship lead. The Briton has put his happiness down to a number of things including a settled personal life which, in recent seasons, has had its ups and downs. His positive attitude off-track is having a positive impact on his career too. Hamilton has qualified on the front-row at all four races this season, won three and would likely have been in contention to win in Australia had reliability gremlins not struck. "I am in the happiest mood that I can remember being in," he said. "It was just a really incredible weekend. In the race, to get a great start and pull away, and control it from there, it was an incredible feeling. "The job the guys are doing, and the guys that are around me, means I am so much more comfortable with the people I am working with this year." When asked what had changed in his life, he replied: "It is a combination of lots of things. It is where you are in your life, family, girlfriend, where I live. Everything. And having the right people in place. "My management, being in the right team, and then this year I am just able to arrive and drive with no other worries. "And of course I have a great car and a great group of people to work with."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08793http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08793Alonso dedicates first '14 podium to DomenicaliMon, 21 Apr 2014 08:22:58 GMTFerrari's Fernando Alonso dedicated the teams first podium of 2014 to former team principal Stefano Domenicali, who resigned from the position last week. The Italian's decision to step down came as a surprise and was motivated by recent form, with the team having failed to score a podium in the first three races. However that changed on Sunday in China when Alonso took third place behind the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. "I think this podium should be dedicated to Stefano, as everything we do up to July will also be the result of his efforts," said the Spaniard. Alonso is confident progress has been made since Australia, and even since the Bahrain GP a fortnight ago when he struggled to secure only ninth. "We have definitely made a step forward, because compared to two weeks ago, we have partly closed the gap to the leaders, but we are well aware there's still a long way to go and we have to keep our feet on the ground. "We felt more competitive and now...being here on the podium is some kind of surprise for us, a nice surprise finally," he added.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08792http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08792The best photos from the Chinese GPSun, 20 Apr 2014 18:00:20 GMThttp://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08791http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08791Raikkonen: 'Result f**k all to do with motivation'Sun, 20 Apr 2014 15:46:01 GMTKimi Raikkonen hit back at claims he lacks motivation after a reporter suggested it might be the reason why he can't match team-mate Fernando Alonso this season. The Finnish driver, who finished in eighth, 50 seconds behind third placed Alonso, has so far been unable to match the Spaniard who sits third in the championship with 41 points compared to Raikkonen's 11. When asked if he lacked motivation this year, he replied: "I don't know why you always come up with motivation. "If I were not motivated I wouldn't be here answering this kind of question. It's f**k all to do with that, we have bad races and that's an unfortunate thing but that's how it goes sometimes. Our aim is to improve and get where we want to be." Raikkonen is however confident they've made some improvements since Australia, even if it's not entirely noticeable from outside. "We improved things, we improved things at every race," he said. "If we would take from Australia to here we have made a lot of improvements. Obviously sometimes it's hard to see it outside but we know it ourselves and it seems to work. I was pretty happy with the car at the last race; obviously the race didn't go as I planned."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08790http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08790Ricciardo doesn't want conflict as Vettel ignores teamSun, 20 Apr 2014 12:41:31 GMTTensions could soon flare in the Red Bull camp after Sebastian Vettel refused to follow team orders to let his faster team-mate through during the Chinese Grand Prix. After the first round of stops, with Daniel Ricciardo closing up behind, Vettel's engineer came on the radio to ask his driver to move aside due to their different strategies. Vettel however refused. Engineer: "Sebastian let Ricciardo through." Vettel: "Which tyre is he [Ricciardo] on." Engineer: "Tyres. He stopped later than you." Vettel: "Tough luck." Ricciardo however has tried to diffuse the situation and says he doesn't want any conflict with his team-mate, adding that he'll likely chat to Vettel about the situation. "I was not aware of what he was saying during the race," said the Australian. "I wasn't sure what strategy we were both on but I got past. I don't want to start any conflicts. "Your team-mate is the first guy you always look at and I'm sure Seb won't be happy with his result today," he told Autosport. "It's not going to make him not talk to me. I'm sure we'll still chat. He'll just work a bit harder and see where he can improve for the next one. I won't rest either."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08789http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08789Hamilton overshadows Rosberg in Mercedes 1-2Sun, 20 Apr 2014 09:58:14 GMTLewis Hamilton took a commanding win in China to not only win his third Chinese Grand Prix, but to also take his first consecutive hat-trick of race wins. The Mercedes driver led from start to finish as he immediately opened a gap to second placed Sebastian Vettel. The Red Bull driver got a good start to jump team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, but dropped back during the race to eventually finish fifth. It was Hamilton's team-mate Nico Rosberg who took second. Despite dropping back to sixth on lap one, the sheer pace advantage of the Mercedes allowed the German to close up to eventually pass those ahead. Ferrari's Fernando Alonso took his teams first podium of 2014, holding off a late-charge from Daniel Ricciardo in third. Nico Hulkenberg also came under pressure in the closing laps from Valtteri Bottas, but fought hard to secure P6, whilst the Finn had to settle for seventh ahead of fellow Finn Kimi Raikkonen. Sergio Perez and Daniil Kvyat completed the top ten. Felipe Massa's race was ruined when he made contact with Alonso at the start. Although it didn't cause the Brazilian any trouble immediately, his first stop was hampered by the minor damage which resulted in a 60-second stop. Due to an error by a race official who showed the checkered flag a lap too early, the race was completed on lap 54, rather than 56, as per the regulations, therefore Kamui Kobayashi loses out on 17th as he passed Jules Bianchi on the final - now discounted - lap. Race Result - 2014 Chinese Grand Prix: #DriverTeamGapPts 01. L. Hamilton Mercedes 25 02. N. Rosberg Mercedes +18.0 18 03. F. Alonso Ferrari +23.6 15 04. D. Ricciardo Red Bull +27.1 12 05. S. Vettel Red Bull +47.7 10 06. N. Hulkenberg Force India +54.2 8 07. V. Bottas Williams +55.6 6 08. K. Raikkonen Ferrari +76.3 4 09. S. Perez Force India +82.6 2 10. D. Kvyat Toro Rosso +1 lap 1 11. J. Button McLaren +1 lap 12. J. Vergne Toro Rosso +1 lap 13. K. Magnussen McLaren +1 lap 14. P. Maldonado Lotus +1 lap 15. F. Massa Williams +1 lap 16. E. Gutierrez Sauber +1 lap 17. J. Bianchi Marussia +1 lap 18. K. Kobayashi Caterham +1 lap 19. M. Chilton Marussia +2 laps 20. M. Ericsson Caterham +2 laps 21. R. Grosjean Lotus Retired 22. A. Sutil Sauber Retired http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08788http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08788Red Bull's Total fuel causing sensor failures - FIASat, 19 Apr 2014 12:52:05 GMTRed Bull's official fuel supplier, Total, might be to blame for the various fuel flow sensor failures which have hit Red Bull and even cost them second place in Australia. The FIA's head of powertrain, Fabrice Lom, whilst giving evidence during the International Court of Appeal hearing, noted that a chemical used in Total's fuel, can damage a seal in the sensor, causing it to fail. "We discovered and now we have identified the issue," said Lom. "It is an issue that is now understood well and we know that it only affects the reliability of the sensor. "We discovered that there is a seam, an o-ring in the sensor, that doesn't support the Total fuel chemical composition so the seal is damaged by the fuel, which kills the sensor." He also believes another issue could be affecting the sensors - which have hit Red Bull harder than any other team - which could be down to modifications the team have made when installing them. "We identified the chemical composition issue of the Total fuel, but we also have another clue, which is the teams that are modifying the sensor," he added. "If you take the picture of the sensor, you have two connections, and some teams, Red Bull for example, are removing these connections and putting in their own connections. "If it [the replacement connection] is a bit too long inside, it can touch and tube where the measurement is done. This is the second cause we can have." The FIA has issued a directive in effect from the Spanish Grand Prix which will ban teams from modifying the sensors. Should that not fix the problem, they will request that Total modifies its fuel.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08787http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08787McLaren to launch legal action against Red BullSat, 19 Apr 2014 12:28:14 GMTMcLaren have confirmed that they will launch legal action against Red Bull in the High Court over an employment dispute. The Woking team believes it has a legally-binding employment contract for aerodynamicist Dan Fallows to work for them, however Red Bull announced last week that he would return to work for the Milton Keynes based team. McLaren got its lawyers involved in the matter and, with Red Bull and Fallows providing no answers, they have decided to take the matter to court. "Sadly, it's now likely that McLaren will have no alternative other than to pursue a High Court action against Red Bull, which will ask very serious questions as to that team's integrity and sense of fair play," team chairman Ron Dennis told Autosport. McLaren say Fallows signed an employment contract to begin working with them in March, but that didn't happen and they were only notified when their rival sent out a statement confirming Fallows as their new head of aerodynamics. "He had no legal basis on which to make that U-turn because he'd already formally accepted, and contracted himself to, our offer of employment," added Dennis. "Worse, our attempts to contact him were met with stony silence. The mystery was only solved many weeks later, when he was suddenly announced as Red Bull's head of aero."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08786http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08786Maldonado cleared to start Chinese GP from pitsSat, 19 Apr 2014 12:04:14 GMTThe Chinese Grand Prix race stewards have cleared Lotus's Pastor Maldonado to start the race from the pitlane after the Venezuelan failed to participate in qualifying. Lotus discovered a problem with his car on Saturday morning which required several hours to fix. He was therefore unable to get on track. The stewards will allow Maldonado to start the race having "set a satisfactory time during practice at this event," read a statement. Maldonado's team-mate, Romain Grosjean, starts the race from tenth having secured the team's best position so far this season after the Frenchman made the best of the wet conditions.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08785http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08785Vettel: 'Ricciardo is doing a better job than me'Sat, 19 Apr 2014 11:50:31 GMTSebastian Vettel has admitted that team-mate Daniel Ricciardo is doing a better job than he is this season so far after the Australian outqualified him for a third time. Ricciardo will start second behind Lewis Hamilton, whilst Vettel will line-up third having qualified half a second down on the other Red Bull in tricky conditions. Speaking after, he admits he needs to do a better job if he's to take the fight to Ricciardo. "This year is very, very different, the cars are different, you cannot compare last year to this year," said Vettel. "Daniel is doing a very good job. He has not had one good weekend, he has had all good weekends. "So far he is able to get the maximum out of the car, and on my side, maybe I am struggling a bit more. "But at the end we have the same car so if he beats me he beats me fair and square. That is not to my liking. Equally I know I have to do a little bit better."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08784http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08784Hamilton dominates wet qualifying to take poleSat, 19 Apr 2014 08:12:55 GMTLewis Hamilton dominated qualifying in Shanghai to go unchallenged for pole position for the Chinese Grand Prix, his fourth at the circuit. The Briton led all three sessions as he made the best of the wet conditions, ultimately to go six-tenths quicker than Daniel Ricciardo in second. Ricciardo saved his best until Q3 to jump ahead of team-mate Sebastian Vettel in third by almost half a second, putting him 3-1 in the Red Bull team-mate battle. Nico Rosberg couldn't match his Mercedes team-mate and looked under pressure as he ran wide on his second flying lap, chose to back-off for another, but span at the final turn as he once again pushed and exceeded the limit. Fernando Alonso was 'best of the rest' and unable to challenge Mercedes or Red Bull, but was easily ahead of Kimi Raikkonen. The Finn failing to make it out of Q2 and starts P11. Romain Grosjean was the surprise winner in the wet conditions to make the Q3 cut, albeit in tenth. Meanwhile the McLarens failed to escape the second session. Pastor Maldonado didn't take part in qualifying thanks to an oil leak. Qualifying - 2014 Chinese Grand Prix #Driver Team Q1Q2Q3 01 L. Hamilton Mercedes 1:55.516 1:54.029 1:53.860 02 D. Ricciardo Red Bull 1:56.641 1:55.302 1:54.455 03 S. Vettel Red Bull 1:56.058 1:54.499 1:54.960 04 N. Rosberg Mercedes 1:56.961 1:55.294 1:55.143 05 F. Alonso Ferrari 1:56.850 1:55.765 1:55.637 06 F. Massa Williams 1:56.501 1:56.757 1:56.147 07 V. Bottas Williams 1:56.501 1:56.253 1:56.282 08 N. Hulkenberg Force India 1:55.913 1:56.847 1:56.366 09 J. Vergne Toro Rosso 1:57.477 1:56.584 1:56.773 10 R. Grosjean Lotus 1:58.411 1:56.407 1:57.079 11 K. Raikkonen Ferrari 1:58.279 1:56.860   12 J. Button McLaren 1:57.783 1:56.953   13 D. Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:57.261 1:57.289   14 A. Sutil Sauber 1:58.138 1:57.393   15 K. Magnussen McLaren 1:57.369 1:57.675   16 S. Perez Force India 1:58.362 1:58.264   17 E. Gutierrez Sauber 1:58.988     18 K. Kobayashi Caterham 1:59.260     19 J. Bianchi Marussia 1:59.326     20 M. Ericsson Caterham 2:00.646     21 M. Chilton Marussia 2:00.865     22 P. Maldonado Lotus No Time     http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08783http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08783FP3: Ricciardo quickest as rain hits ShanghaiSat, 19 Apr 2014 06:44:14 GMTRed Bull's Daniel Ricciardo topped the timing screens on Saturday morning as rain hit Shanghai, dissuading his main rivals to avoid running. The intermediate was the tyre of choice and Ricciardo put himself top half way through the session, half a second clear of anyone else. It was Felipe Massa for Williams who popped up in second ahead of the Lotus of Romain Grosjean. Pastor Maldonado tried to make up for limited running during FP2 following his pitlane crash and posted 12 laps - one of just four cars to make double digits. Due to the conditions, the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, the McLaren of Kevin Magnussen and the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso, failed to set a time. FP3 Full Times - 2014 Chinese Grand Prix: #DriverTeamTimeGapLaps 01 D. Ricciardo Red Bull 1:53.958   5 02 F. Massa Williams 1:54.492 0.534 5 03 R. Grosjean Lotus 1:54.514 0.556 4 04 N. Hulkenberg Force India 1:55.032 1.074 6 05 K. Räikkönen Ferrari 1:55.062 1.104 4 06 P. Maldonado Lotus 1:55.228 1.270 12 07 D. Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:55.235 1.277 7 08 V. Bottas Williams 1:55.381 1.423 5 09 J. Button McLaren 1:55.673 1.715 4 10 S. Perez Force India 1:56.019 2.061 6 11 S. Vettel Red Bull 1:56.233 2.275 8 12 J. Vergne Toro Rosso 1:56.380 2.422 9 13 A. Sutil Sauber 1:56.760 2.802 8 14 M. Chilton Marussia 1:56.841 2.883 13 15 E. Gutierrez Sauber 1:57.468 3.510 9 16 K. Kobayashi Caterham 1:57.812 3.854 12 17 J. Bianchi Marussia 1:57.976 4.018 14 18 M. Ericsson Caterham 1:59.507 5.549 6 19 N. Rosberg Mercedes No time   4 20 K. Magnussen McLaren No time   3 21 F. Alonso Ferrari No time   1 22 L. Hamilton Mercedes No time   3 http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08782http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08782Red Bull ordered to pay ICA appeal costs in fullFri, 18 Apr 2014 18:27:11 GMTThe FIA's International Court of Appeal has ordered Red Bull to pay all costs associated with their failed hearing to get Daniel Ricciardo's second place at the Australian Grand Prix reinstated. Red Bull appealed the stewards decision to exclude Ricciardo after it was found the team had deliberately gone against the FIA's advice to reduce the amount of fuel going to the engine as, according to their data, it had exceeded the 100kg/h allowance. Red Bull believed the FIA homologated sensor was inaccurate and therefore chose to use their own data - a system which hadn't been pre-approved by the FIA. The appeal failed and the ICA upheld the stewards decision. In a detailed explanation released on Friday, the ICA doesn't believe Red Bull purposely broke the rules, but because the appeal failed, the outfit must bear the costs of the hearing in full. "The FIA, in its grounds in response received by the Court on 9th April 2014, invites the Court to confirm the Decision on all points and to order Red Bull to pay the costs of the appeal," read a statement. "In addition, and considering the technical issues at stake and the fact that this was the first official race under this new technology, the Court does not find that the Appellant’s (Red Bull) attitude in Australia was fraudulent. "Based on the foregoing, the Court finds that the penalty imposed on the Appellant by the Stewards is proportionate and that the Decision must be upheld." The full verdict can be read here.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08781http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08781Engine manufacturers convene to discuss noiseFri, 18 Apr 2014 16:07:29 GMTRepresentatives from all three engine manufacturers convened on Friday in the Chinese Grand Prix paddock to discuss ways of increasing the noise from the new V6 power units. FIA president Jean Todt promised the issue of noise would be looked at after a backlash from some fans over the quietness of the new formula. The first of several meetings to find a solution to the problem took place on Friday. It's expected the post-Spanish GP test will be used to trial some of the solutions. Andy Cowell (Mercedes) says it's unlikely they'll increase the rev limit of 15,000rpm, as most teams won't go above the optimum of 10,500rpm during a race weekend. If they were to rev to the 15,000rpm limit, it would require the FIA to drop or increase the maximum fuel flow limit of 100kg/h. "I don’t see that changing, I don't see the need for the revs to change to change the noise of the power unit," said Cowell. "The principal reason why the engine is quieter is the turbine wheel and the muffling effect that you get from that." He says the most likely course of action would be to change the exhaust layout and the way in which the exhaust gases exit the car. "[The turbocharger] is one of the key technologies for recycling the waste energy that would normally go down the tailpipe so it's a key aspect of the technology that we've got. There are other things we can do though with the tailpipe, perhaps, to change the noise." Rob White of Renault says they're "extremely limited" by what they can do to change or increase the noise, but says they'll look at all possibilities. "First thing to say is that the noise of the current engine is a consequence of the overall layout, the architecture and so forth," he explained. "I think in terms of the possible adjustments to change the noise it makes, I think we're at the beginning of a consultative process that will kick off in about an hour's time. "Andy's alluded to tail pipe changes – that's something that could be a way to go. I think the scope to fundamentally and profoundly alter the noise of the engines is extremely limited by the type of technology that we have deployed and therefore I think we need to be realistic about the scope of any action that we might take but of course we're sensitive to the subject and we'll certainly participate in any of the studies that might lead to actions being taken." Note: Honda's head of motorsport Yasuhisa Arai was also present, as was the FIA's technical delegate Charlie Whiting.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08780http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08780Button reckons Ricciardo will challenge MercedesFri, 18 Apr 2014 13:12:27 GMTJenson Button believes Mercedes might not have things all their own way this weekend after witnessing Daniel Ricciardo's long-runs during practice. The McLaren driver believes Ricciardo could be quick enough to muscle in on the action upfront, despite being almost half a second slower during FP2. The Red Bull driver was behind the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso, but Button doesn't expect the Spaniard to mount much of a challenge. "I would say that the Ferrari probably isn't the car that will take it to Mercedes," said the Briton. "In qualifying maybe, but in the race, Ricciardo in the Red Bull looks very strong. "He's [Ricciardo] a lot quicker than his team-mate and also able to do seven more laps I think on the long run. So he looks very good, the car is obviously working reasonably well in his hands so it's going to be a bit of a mix-up I think. "A lot of it I think is that some people are getting the tyres working and some people aren't. You can see the big differences up and down the pit lane with graining and not graining." Speaking of his own fortunes this weekend, Button admitted McLaren are currently off the pace. "There are a few things we can do overnight but I'm not sure we are quite as competitive as the last race here. But then again, in Bahrain we also struggled in P2 on the long run so maybe it will be better in the race."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08779http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08779Honda has no plans to supply a second team in '15Fri, 18 Apr 2014 12:27:23 GMTHonda has no plans to supply more than one team in 2015 when it returns to Formula 1, according to Honda's head of motorsport, Yasuhisa Arai. The Japanese company announced it would return as a supplier to McLaren next year, but failed to confirm whether it would look at supplying a second team. Arai confirmed during an FIA press conference on Friday that McLaren will be their sole focus, even hinting that they may not look at supplying other customers until "after 2016". "So, for year 2015, McLaren is our only customer," he said. "I don't think about the future, because we want to concentrate on next season. "Of course we want to have good results next season and see the results from other manufacturers. If teams want to use our engine or power unit, we can deliver after year 2016 but right now there are no plans." Arai also explained Honda's reasons for returning to F1 after pulling out at the end of 2008. "One of the major reasons for our decision was the new regulation introduced this year and that the various environment… I mean green technologies in the new F1 power unit, as well as the total energy management are both very challenging and significant. "The new regulations encourage each power unit supplier to pursue the ultimate combustions efficiency and high pressure direct injections. Thus the challenge is to convert each unit of gasoline into energy and this is expected to be reflected on the huge production mode."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08778http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08778Mattiacci: 'I got a call and thought it was a joke'Fri, 18 Apr 2014 12:11:06 GMTFerrari's new team principal Marco Mattiacci - a relative unknown in the Formula 1 paddock - revealed during an interview that he received a call from Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo out of the blue just hours before he was confirmed as Stefano Domenicali's replacement. The 43-year-old believed it was a joke at first, but soon realised that Di Montezemolo was being serious when he said a plane ticket was waiting to fly the Italian from America to Italy that same day. "I received a call at 5.58am on Friday morning," he said. "It was the chairman Montezemolo on the phone, and he told me this is my idea. And I thought that April Fools was already far away, it was 15 days later! Then after the second or third minute of discussion I understood that it was serious. I understood because there was already a ticket ready to go from New York, to Milan." Once he arrived at Ferrari's factory in Maranello, he spent some time with the outgoing Domenicali discussing the position. "Stefano is a great person, he's a friend of mine. We spent Saturday, a few hours, Monday, we spent the entire day together," he added. "He is a person that I have the utmost respect. First as a human being, second as a professional. So it was natural for us to discuss the role." Mattiacci believes his business background will help him and help the Scuderia get back to the front again. "In the last 20 years I have assembled a lot of teams, I've benchmarked a lot of business structures, and as I told you this is a different perspective. Probably not in terms of a sporting team, but definitely assembling teams, working with people, managing people from different nationalities, with diversity, diversity in the industry, diversity in nationalities. This is a very specific culture, I'm aware of that. Time of reaction is completely different, you need to do things that happened yesterday, not in two months, like in corporate. "I'm not an engineer but we have 800 people that are working to make the car faster, and as I said the best talented engineers. For me it's to get the highest motivation possible, and to define a certain project management. It's not me that's going to give one extra second to the car, it's the engineers who work for us."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08777http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08777FP2: Hamilton edges Alonso in second practiceFri, 18 Apr 2014 10:06:36 GMTLewis Hamilton narrowly edged Ferrari's Fernando Alonso out to go fastest in the second practice session for the Chinese Grand Prix. The Mercedes driver's 1:38.315 was just over a tenth quicker than the Spaniard who topped the first practice session. However Hamilton complained of problems toward the end of the session. The second Mercedes of Nico Rosberg was third, just ahead of Daniel Ricciardo and the other Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel. Pastor Maldonado's session was ended when he crashed as he came into the pits in an accident similar to Hamilton's 2007 crash at the same circuit which cost the Briton the championship lead. Marussia's Jules Bianchi impressed massively to post a 1:42.327, whilst two seconds off those ahead, it was a second quicker than team-mate Max Chilton and the Caterhams. FP2 Full Times - 2014 Chinese Grand Prix: #DriverTeamTimeGapLaps 01 L. Hamilton Mercedes 1:38.315   25 02 F. Alonso Ferrari 1:38.456 0.141 28 03 N. Rosberg Mercedes 1:38.726 0.411 30 04 D. Ricciardo Red Bull 1:38.811 0.496 30 05 S. Vettel Red Bull 1:39.015 0.700 31 06 F. Massa Williams 1:39.118 0.803 25 07 K. Räikkönen Ferrari 1:39.283 0.968 25 08 J. Button McLaren 1:39.491 1.176 29 09 R. Grosjean Lotus 1:39.537 1.222 36 10 D. Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:39.648 1.333 26 11 N. Hulkenberg Force India 1:39.736 1.421 30 12 K. Magnussen McLaren 1:39.744 1.429 29 13 J. Vergne Toro Rosso 1:39.759 1.444 28 14 V. Bottas Williams 1:39.830 1.515 25 15 S. Perez Force India 1:40.124 1.809 32 16 E. Gutierrez Sauber 1:40.359 2.044 32 17 A. Sutil Sauber 1:40.395 2.080 30 18 P. Maldonado Lotus 1:40.455 2.140 12 19 J. Bianchi Marussia 1:42.327 4.012 27 20 M. Chilton Marussia 1:43.473 5.158 30 21 K. Kobayashi Caterham 1:43.530 5.215 32 22 M. Ericsson Caterham 1:43.679 5.364 32 http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08776http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08776FP1: Alonso quickest during Chinese first practiceFri, 18 Apr 2014 07:06:31 GMTFerrari's Fernando Alonso was quickest during first practice on Friday in China as new team principal Marco Mattiacci oversaw proceedings for the first time. Alonso's team-mate Kimi Raikkonen however brought up the rear after the Finn failed to set a timed lap due to mechanical issues which couldn't be resolved. The relatively cold start to the day saw few cars take to the track until later in the session and those that did posted uncompetitive times to begin. The Spaniard's 1:39.783 couldn't be beaten, with Nico Rosberg coming closest, although the Mercedes driver remained almost four-tenths behind, whilst Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo was third after posting a 1:40.772. Nico Hulkenberg in fifth split the two McLarens, whilst Jean-Eric Vergne was seventh quickest. His team-mate meanwhile provided the drama with spins at turns two and 16. FP1 Full Times - 2014 Chinese Grand Prix: #DriverTeamTimeGapLaps 01 F. Alonso Ferrari 1:39.783   20 02 N. Rosberg Mercedes 1:40.181 0.398 16 03 D. Ricciardo Red Bull 1:40.772 0.989 23 04 J. Button McLaren 1:40.970 1.187 23 05 N. Hulkenberg Force India 1:41.175 1.392 16 06 K. Magnussen McLaren 1:41.366 1.583 20 07 J. Vergne Toro Rosso 1:41.505 1.722 26 08 L. Hamilton Mercedes 1:41.560 1.777 9 09 S. Vettel Red Bull 1:41.629 1.846 19 10 F. Massa Williams 1:41.699 1.916 14 11 D. Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:41.977 2.194 23 12 R. Grosjean Lotus 1:42.090 2.307 24 13 F. Nasr Williams 1:42.265 2.482 13 14 G. van der Garde Sauber 1:42.615 2.832 16 15 S. Perez Force India 1:42.733 2.950 13 16 P. Maldonado Lotus 1:43.731 3.948 22 17 K. Kobayashi Caterham 1:44.038 4.255 16 18 E. Gutierrez Sauber 1:44.162 4.379 17 19 J. Bianchi Marussia 1:44.270 4.487 7 20 M. Chilton Marussia 1:44.782 4.999 20 21 M. Ericsson Caterham 1:44.835 5.052 22 22 K. Räikkönen Ferrari     1 http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08775http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08775Maldonado fears penalties will ruin on-track actionFri, 18 Apr 2014 00:01:54 GMTPastor Maldonado believes on-track action could suffer as a result of overzealous race stewards handing out penalties for minor incidents which could be considered 'racing incidents'. The Venezuelan was one of the most heavily penalised last year after he was involved in numerous incidents. After just three races this year, Maldonado has already been given a five-place grid penalty for running into Esteban Gutierrez and flipping his Sauber. Maldonado believes it was simply a racing incident, dramatised by the angle in which the two collided which caused the car to roll. "It was a soft crash," he told Autosport. "In my opinion it was a normal race contact - but because of the low nose as soon as I touched his sidepod he took off immediately." The threat of a penalty for attempting an overtake might cause drivers to take an overly-cautious approach, according to the Lotus driver. "You cannot race," he added. "If you attack and your manoeuvre is not that clear, or the guy is defending the place and you have a gamble, and you are fighting, you can be penalised. "We are racing drivers and we are always taking risks. So they [the FIA] need to be slightly more flexible."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08774http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/08774Tech Talk: Mercedes engine advantage explainedThu, 17 Apr 2014 22:02:14 GMTMercedes have an obvious advantage over their rivals in the power unit department thanks to a clever design innovation which has been widely discussed. As you can see in our power unit diagram of the Mercedes V6 above, they have split the turbo. The 'turbo cool' (charge air) is located at the front of the engine near the driver, whereas the 'turbo hot' is at the back of the engine toward the exhaust outlet. This is unique to the Mercedes power unit. The reason for this is to keep the charge air (blue) as cool as possible. As you can see on the Renault V6 diagram below, the French manufacturer has followed the traditional route of placing the compressor and turbine together. The heat generated by the red turbo transfers to the blue, reducing its efficiency. Despite some heat shielding between the two, heat transfer still occurs. To make matters worse, the MGU-H to the left creates additional heat. Mercedes have circumnavigated this problem. A shaft running through the 'V' of the engine block keeps the turbo connected, but keeps the cooler element away from the heat generated by the MGU-H and the turbo heat. A cooler charge air increases the efficiency of the turbo and thus increases the power from the engine. It also means Mercedes have to run less cooling pipework. That has other tangible benefits such as saving weight, allowing them to run a smaller intercooler which reduces the need for large sidepods which increases airflow to the diffuser, making it more efficient. Another bonus comes from the fact that the MGU-H is located in the middle. This could allow Mercedes to have either or both sides working through one-way clutches, making the complete unit more efficient. The way in which this system generates electrical power, feeding the MGU-K, again increases power and reduces turbo-lag, providing immediate power the driver.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.