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09:47 10:23 10:35 11:26 12:03 12:34 13:34 13:47 15:08 (updated – Silverstone test drivers lineup) 16:28 (updated – Silverstone test drivers lineup) 19:34
Ricciardo to drive for Red Bull at Silverstone
As we hinted at yesterday in the news yesterday – the cat is out of the bag and Daniel Ricciardo will again drive for Red Bull at the YDT this week following the private test TJ13 revealed he undertook for the team in Idiada on Sunday. Antonio Felix da Costa and Carlos Sainz Jnr will test each morning and Ricciardo will drive Wednesday afternoon, Webber on Thursday and Vettel on Friday.
The teams agreed at the Nurburgring last week that race drivers would only be able to complete one day of running apiece across the test, ensuring that inexperienced drivers wouldn’t lose out on seat time altogether. So Red Bull are still within the 2 days allowed for the current drivers to take part in testing this week.
This clearly is an indication by the team that they are looking to promote Daniel from the Red Bull young driver programme into Webber’s vacant seat in 2014. TJ13 has been saying for some time Red Bull have considered Kimi to be potentially problematic – rightly or wrongly – and that the seat would be going to Ricciardo. Of course this is not confirmed.
TJ13 is led to believe one of the reasons for recruiting from Toro Rosso team is that the Red Bull driver academy has fallen somewhat into disrepute in recent times. Of course it delivered the youngest triple world champion in the sports history, but recently the academy offered a place to Robin Frijns who turned them down believing the opportunities were limited.
This must be a bitter pill to swallow for Jean Eric Vergne who has out scored his Australian team mate both last year and so far this year too. JEV is included in the test schedule for Scuderria Toro Rosso which is as follows
Day 1: Johnny Cecotto Jr/Johnny Cecotto Jr
Day 2: Carlos Sainz Jr/Daniel Ricciardo
Day 3: Jean-Eric Vergne/Daniil Kvyat (another young Russian driver)
The Red Bull young driver programme has in the past 10 years seen 12 drivers enter F1, though there has been only 5 since the emergence of Sebastian Vettel.
|Christian Klien||2004–06, 2010||Jaguar, Red Bull, HRT|
|Narain Karthikeyan||2005, 2011–12||Jordan, HRT|
|Robert Doornbos||2005–06||Minardi, Red Bull|
|Vitantonio Liuzzi||2005–07, 2009–11||Red Bull, Toro Rosso, Force India, HRT|
|Scott Speed||2006–07||Toro Rosso|
|Sebastian Vettel||2007–13||BMW Sauber, Toro Rosso, Red Bull|
|Sébastien Buemi||2008–11||Toro Rosso|
|Jaime Alguersuari||2009–11||Toro Rosso|
|Karun Chandhok||2010–11||HRT, Lotus|
|Daniel Ricciardo||2011–13||HRT, Toro Rosso|
|Jean-Éric Vergne||2012–13||Toro Rosso|
If Ricciardo does get the Webber seat then this will create an opportunity for another driver in the programme to step up to the plate and drive for the Red Bull sister team – though in all likeleyhood there will be 2 seats to fill as JEV would probably be on his way too. Current drivers are
|Tom Blomqvist||2013||FIA European Formula 3 Championship||Formula Renault UK|
|António Félix da Costa||2012–2013||Formula Renault 3.5||Formula Renault 2.0 NEC|
|Daniil Kvyat||2010–13||GP3 Series||Formula Renault 2.0 Alps|
|Callan O’Keeffe||2012–13||ADAC Formel Masters|
|Carlos Sainz, Jr.||2010–13||GP3 Series||Formula Renault 2.0 NEC|
|Beitske Visser||2013||ADAC Formel Masters|
Marussia to use Ferrari power
The worst kept secret in F1 is finally official. Marussia have announced they will be using Ferrari V7 Turbo engines from 2014. Marussia of course are the only team to have no agreement with the commercial rights holder but Andy Webb emphasises their commitment to the sport.
“The Marussia F1 Team is delighted to be entering into a technical partnership with Scuderia Ferrari for the supply of a full powertrain from 2014,” Webb said. “The importance of this development to our Team cannot be overstated. Not only will we benefit from a customer supply from the most successful engine manufacturer in Formula One’s history, but this also provides further confirmation, if it were needed, of our commitment to the sport and determination to maintain our progression towards our long-term ambitions.
The new powertrain regulations being introduced next year represent the most substantial engine development within the sport since the introduction of the V8 formula and are all the more significant for the increased contribution of the Energy Recovery System. We look forward to working with Scuderia Ferrari during this exciting new era of Formula One competition.”
Marussia are operating in 2013 with a Cosworth engine which is believed to have a significant power deficit to the others. It has been suggested were they running another power train, they would be consistently leading Caterham and close to the midfield. However it all shakes up in 2014, at least the team will be on an equal footing with Sauber from a power output viewpoint.
Symmonds to join Williams – Coughlan out
The good news for Marussia is their deal to be powered by Ferrari engines, the bad news is that they will be losing technical consultant Pat Symonds, who is leaving the team with immediate effect to join Williams as Chief Technical Officer.
Symonds was responsible for the twin title successes of the former Renault team with Fernando Alonso in 2005 and 2006 but also suffered the ignominy of being thrown out of F1.
In July 2009, Piquet Jnr claimed Symonds asked him to deliberately crash at the 2008 Singapore GP in order to fix the result of the race and help team-mate Fernando Alonso win. The ING Renault F1 Team released a statement on 16 September 2009 stating that Symonds was no longer part of the team. Symonds was subsequently suspended from F1 events for 5 years after expressing his “eternal regret and shame” to the FIA World Motor Sport Council
However, his ban was overturned by the French Tribunal de Grande Instance on January 5, 2010, and he was also paid €5,000 in compensation. In April, he and Briatore reached an out-of-court settlement with the FIA where he could return to F1 in 2013 but may be a consultant to a current Formula 1 team in the meantime.
In 2011 Symonds returned to F1 as a consultant for the Virgin Racing (now Marussia F1) team in order to conduct a thorough overview of its operation following a disappointing start to its second season in the sport. Shortly afterwards, the team parted company with existing technical director Nick Wirth; Symonds is believed to have effectively taken his place, although he was still only a consultant due to the terms of his ban.
Symonds says today, “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with the Marussia F1 Team over the course of the past two and a half seasons,” Symonds said. “The Team has developed immeasurably during that time and it now has all the right people and resources in place to achieve great things in the future. I wish the Team the success it so richly deserves.”
John Booth of Marussia expresses their gratitude to Symonds, “For the Marussia F1 Team, each new season has seen a significant step change in terms of our growth and development at every level of the operation. The extent to which we have progressed was particularly evident as we embarked on the 2013 season, when our performance demonstrated just how much we have matured from a technical point of view.
We have some very talented design and engineering groups in place who have achieved great things over the past few seasons and who are excited about maintaining our current positive trajectory, boosted of course by our new powertrain partnership with Scuderia Ferrari. We would like to thank Pat for the contribution he has made to the development of that structure. We look forward to announcing plans for our continued growth when it is appropriate to do so.”
Of course this can mean only 1 thing, Mike Coughlan has to go. TJ13 reported from the Jerez test this year that there was disquiet in the Williams camp and that the departure of the talented Mark Gillan (Chief operations engineer) was felt to be due to disagreements with Coughlan. The official line given was that Gillan “wanted to spend more time with his family”.
The BBC in fact reported that “Gillan is no longer working at the Williams factory, but is officially on ‘gardening leave’ until the formal end of his employment”. This merely served to fuel the speculation of unrest in the Grove camp. Around that time Willams lost other personnel including Tom McCullough – Senna’s race engineer (to Sauber) and Mark Barnett – strategy engineer (to Force India).
TJ13 was informed in Jerez that there was no doubt who had been holding ‘the smoking gun’ when Gillan unexpectedly announced he was leaving Williams to tend to the foliage. It would not be a bad idea if Marussia went knocking on Mark Gillan’s door.
Pat Symonds is delighted at the opportunity ahead saying today, “Williams is a team steeped in success and engineering excellence and I’m honoured to be asked to play a role in returning the team to its rightful place at the pinnacle of Formula One. “Sir Frank, Mike [O’Driscoll] and Claire have put in place the foundations for success and I’m immensely excited to begin this new challenge.”
Sir Frank Williams adds, “I’m delighted that Pat is joining the team. His technical capabilities and sporting successes speak for themselves and I’m sure that his knowledge and leadership will contribute considerably to the success that all of us at Williams are working hard to achieve.”
Force India testing schedule
Never let it be said that a leopard changes it’s spots as the dithering associated with Mallya and Force India in January over the driver confirmation for 2013 appears to have returned. The team will announce each morning who their drivers for the day will be for the YDT at Silverstone.
Mallya suggests the bulk of the work may be done by the 2 race drivers when he says today, “The priority this week is to give the team a better understanding of the new Pirelli tyres due to be introduced next week in Budapest.”
Although there is good news for James Calado who Mallya announces will also drive, “We are pleased to give James the opportunity to test with us at Silverstone. As a graduate of the Racing Steps Foundation, his talent and determination have brought him to our attention and this is the ideal occasion to evaluate him further.”
Calado is currently contesting his second season in GP2 and sits fifth in the Championship having headed into the campaign as the title favourite. He was runner-up in Formula Renault UK, British F3 and GP3 in 2009, 2010 and 2011 respectively.
James is clearly excited as he tweets, “It will be my first time in a Formula 1 car. I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity,”
WHAT IS GOING ON??? The young driver test is in danger of having lots of young drivers testing by the look of things. F1 never ceases to amaze huh?
Too early for Sirotkins?
Andreas Jenzer, owner/manager of Jenzer Motorsport, believes Sergei Sirotkins will eventually take Formula 1 by storm. The Jenzer team competes in the Formula Arbarth series which Sirotkins won when he was their driver, however his old boss feels the young Russian may be running before he can walk. “I’m not sure about him competing [immediately] in F1”, Jenzer tells the Daily Gazette.
“He is very focused and works very hard” adds Jenzer which makes him stand out from others he has worked with. “I have looked after some boys at this age, and felt it was only the parents taking things seriously, the son in the cockpit less so.”
It is clear that Esteban Gutierrez is struggling to adapt to F1 even though he spent the last two years in GP2. Sirotkin is currently competing in the Formula Renault 3.5 series, but Jenzer suggests that another year of preparation would not hurt him: “Formula Renault is certainly a good series, but Sergei should but compete for a year in GP2 and gain experience.”
Suspicion over Sauber’s Russian investors spreads
TJ13 reported yesterday that a Swiss TV Moscow correspondent had cast scorn on the tripartite organisation of Russian investors assembled to save the ailing Sauber F1 team. Today the German media to have stories querying the nature of the deal and the actual value of who gets what from this.
The Swiss publication Blick has surveyed it’s readers on whether they felt the deal was good for Sauber or whether they found it suspicious. Two thirds responded expressing concern.
Tages-Anzeiger surveys whether it’s readers believe it is right for the Swiss F1 team to take on board Russian investors, 40% are saying No and the rest agree. The mood in the Swiss media appears to swing between joy and relief to fear and suspicion.
David Nauer of Tages-Anzeiger comments. “Apart from the money that flows presumably from Moscow, the benefit for the Swiss team remains nebulous. The benefits for the Russian side are easily recognisable. The Swiss team is the entry ticket to the Formula 1 circus for the political elite of the country; investing in the Sauber team is only one part of a larger strategy of the Kremlin”.
The Aargau newspaper observes, “The Swiss Formula 1 team has along with its three new partners brought on board a former KGB agent. Sergey Ushakov is President of the Foundation Board of the “International Investment Cooperation Fund” which will supply the Formula 1 racing team with new money. Ushakov started his career with the Soviet KGB in St. Petersburg, where the Russian President Vladimir Putin also originates. Ushakov is very well connected at the highest political level. He is also advisor to the head of the presidential administration. “Former spies sit today in the command centres of the Russian economy,” adds Nina Khrushcheva, Professor of International Relations in New York”.
The St. Galler Tageblatt publication remarks, “If Russian sponsors take a liking to a project, they do not skimp. But the three partners were previously not involved in any sport, it is therefore impossible to estimate what Sauber is getting involved in”.
Philip Muschg writes, “The appearance of investors coming into the Formula 1 is in no doubt because of the Kremlin. President Putin pushed for to Formula 1 in Sochi 2014 and sooner rather than later he also wants his hometown of St. Petersburg host a Grand Prix. It is hardly a coincidence that one of the partners is a state fund for the development of that region exactly where also St. Petersburg is located.”
TJ13 comment: I did note yesterday that there was a lot of corporate and management speak, but little detail of the technology partnership which is supposed to underpin this deal. This is clearly the reason for concern rather than some irrational fear that ‘the Russians are coming’.
It could simply be the Russian authorities wish to join the F1 circus, have an annual race and a national team and pay for it via spurious vehicles of investment. Peter Sauber doesn’t seem to mind.
Engine failures for 2014
The biggest shake up in F1 regulations for years will arrive with the new turbo engines in 2014. Ross Brawn tells AMuS, “We will go back to a time such as 20 years ago. The technology is so complex that I expect a lot of failures. So there will be a new element of surprise”.
Each driver will just have 5 engines instead of the current 8 to use for the entire season but Brawn see’s the complexity of the new powertrains as an area of reduced reliability. “And the failures will be not just the engines, but the individual components”. So should a turbocharger or the energy recovery system’s batteries fail next year, replacing the component will attract the same penalty of a ten-place grid demotion, once the drivers’ engine allocation has run out.
Reliability could indeed be the key to who wins the drivers title in 2014, not the fastest car.
Silverstone test drivers lineup
Interesting choice from Ferrari following the outburst from the Horse Whisperer following the International Tribunal banning Mercedes from the YDT. Half a day of tyre testing and 2 and a half days of car setup/parts development work.
Also, Fernando has put his foot down and refused to attend, saying “I don’t work for Pirelli”. Mmm.
So the race drivers not appearing at Silverstone this week are, Alonso, Button, Perez, Grosjean, Bottas, Gutierrez, Chilton, Bianchi… and of course Hamiton and Rosberg.
Mercedes will be given the results of the test data by Pirelli, which of course will be an interesting read.
… and most surprising of all we have 16 genuine ‘young drivers’.
Team Wednesday Thursday Friday
Red Bull de Costa/Ricciardo de Costa/Webber Sainz Jr/Vettel
McLaren Magnussen Turvey Paffett
Ferrari Rigon Rigon Massa/Rigon
Lotus Prost Valsecchi Räikkönen
Williams Juncadella Maldonado Wolff
Toro Rosso Cecotto Sainz Jr/Ricciardo Vergne/Kvyat
Force India Schedule TBD Calado, di Resta & Sutil
Sauber Frijns Frijns/Hulk’berg Sato
Marussia Ellinas Gonzalez Gonzalez
Caterham Rossi Stevens Pic/de Garde
Red Bull draft in some help for the pit stop crew practice
Pirelli’s offerings for the Silverstone test
In agreement with the FIA, the annual allocation of tyre sets for testing purposes has been increased by five to 105 in total. Within their remaining tyre sets available, it is up to the teams to decide how many of those tyres they wish to use during each test, and which compounds they would like to assess at every test venue. No team has chosen the supersoft at Silverstone, for example, as its characteristics do not match those of the fast and flowing Northamptonshire circuit: one of the quickest on the calendar.
In addition to the test allocation of 105 sets (minus those already used), Pirelli will bring seven further sets of tyres to Silverstone, which are made up of three hard compound tyres, two medium compound tyres and two prototype hard compound tyres, the latter having already been available for testing during the Friday practice sessions of the Spanish and British Grand Prix this year. Current race drivers (who may only take part in this test on condition that they do tyre testing based on run plans supplied by Pirelli) may use this additional tyre allocation.
The tyres that will be used in Silverstone this week are all in the specification that will be used from Hungary onwards, with a 2012-style Aramid construction matched to the current compounds. All the remaining sets from each team’s existing test allocation have been reproduced to match the new constructions.
Although the overall specification of the tyres tested at Silverstone is new, the teams will still be very familiar with their characteristics, as they have plenty of data on the construction from last year and this year’s compounds. The work done will consist mainly of refining the car-tyre package to get the most out of the new specification.
Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery said: “This young driver test presents a valuable opportunity for the teams to assess the new specification of tyre, and also to run their young drivers. With the occasions for testing minimal during the year, it’s important for every team as well as ourselves to get the very most we can out of these opportunities. The experience of the race drivers is bound to bring a lot and we look forward to hearing their feedback. We’re not expecting the new specification of tyre to feel considerably different to the previous specification to drive, and the general characteristics should be similar. Nonetheless, there will be plenty of useful work that the teams should be able to carry out within the next three days.”
Overtaking and aero design
Here’s one from F1technical for those of you who like to debate the design regulations…