Daily #F1 News and Comment: Wednesday 7th August 2013

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Williams to have a Russian Driver next year? 13:13

Montezemolo demands more clarity on tyre issues 12:00

Pirelli’s unclear future 12:00

More women talk: Beitske Visser and Susie Wolff 12:00


Williams to have a Russian driver next year?

Reports suggest Williams F1 have formed a partnership with GP2 team Russian Time which is adding fuel to rumours they may have a seat for a Russian for the 2014 season.

This is coming to light after Vitaly Petrov was linked to the Williams seat due to the possible Mercedes backing TJ13 reported on Monday however it is not clear how Petrov fits in with Russian Time.

Williams is one of the teams that have yet to make announcements for their 2014 driver line-up. While everyone is waiting for Red Bull to announce who will replace Mark Webber most drivers have their eyes on potential competitive seats (Lotus – should Kimi move, Force India – should Di Resta go to Lotus or Ferrari, Ferrari – should Massa move and or Alonso go to Red Bull, which will mean Kimi will may go to Ferrari… this is getting confusing!).

It is safe to assume Maldonado may also be on the move if PDVSA will not continue to fund his career as they did while Chavez was still alive.

Where does Susie Wolf fit into this though, would she have a shot at the Williams seat?


Montezemolo demands more clarity on tyre issues

Ferrari boss LdM comes to Pirelli’s defence, but warns that tyres may need to be changed mid-season in 2014 again.

The ‘new tyres’ a mixture of 2012 construction and 2013 compounds that were introduced in Hungary caused great pains for the Ferrari camp. A thorough ‘investigation’ into the Hungary result, ordered by LdM, came to the conclusion that the new tyres are the main contributor to the loss of Ferrari’s early season race pace.

But now LdM back-paddles on his criticism of Pirelli: “It is true that we are a bit too dependent on the tyres, but you also have to acknowledge that Pirelli has shown great courage and competence. As Italians we have to be proud of our companies that are involved in Formula 1.

Polemics aside, I only pointed out that I don’t think it is good to change the tyres mid-season as the cars were designed for a different type of tyres.”

As a result he demands more clarity for 2014 to prevent his team being caught out like that again. “Who knows if we don’t face the same situation again next year? There are already preparations and research going on for 2014. We need more clarity on that.


Pirelli’s future unclear

Pirelli has been complaining about the lack of a 2014 contract for months now and it still looks like little news is to be expected on the issue. On the contrary, rumours about an imminent Michelin announcement have resurfaced, so for Pirelli the wait isn’t over yet.

The bizarre situation is that Pirelli already has a signed contract with Mr. E for the trackside ads next year. In an interview with ESPN Hembery said, “We really are in a strange position. We’ve come to an agreement with most of the involved people, but there is no clearly defined process. We sign contracts with the teams and have a contract with the promoter. We’re working for 2014.

According to the statutes, FIA is obliged to determine the supplier in a bidding process. It is known that FIA president J. Todt favours Michelin, but last time out he lost out to Mr.E who favours Pirelli. So now Todt appears to let Pirelli stew.

As a result of that Pirelli works on the 2014 tyres without a guarantee that they will be the supplier in 2014. And although Pirelli was due to provide teams with the 2014 tyre specifications by the 1st September they have agreed an extension with the teams in Germany. Tyre specifications for 2014 will now be communicated to the teams on the 1st October.


More women talk: Beitske Visser and Susie Wolff

Probably fitting for today’s news following on from Women in Motorsport Part III.

Motorsport Total says dutch lady racer Beitske Visser, who recently became the first female member of Red Bull’s junior programme, might bizarrely have caught the eye of Mateschitz and Co due to a crash.

In her first ever single-seater season, racing in Formula ADAC in 2012, Visser scored 2 wins en route to an 8th position in the championship. The result could have been even better, were it not for a rather up and down race at Zandvoort.

After a heavy crash in qualifying she was hospitalized for observation. “They didn’t find any substantial injuries,” she said calmly in an interview with SpoX. “I got some pain-killers and missed the first race. The second – I won.

A week later the doctors had to correct their initial diagnosis. Visser had actually suffered a spine injury and was forced to sit out the next races. The fact that she was so tough and still had won the second race at Zandvoort earned her a lot of respect from her peers and obviously the attention of the Red Bull camp.

It appears however that Susie Wolff is getting a bit tired of ongoing criticism and allegations that Toto is the only reason for her being anywhere near Formula 1. She also refused to be seen as a trail-blazer.

I’ve been racing since I was 8. I’ve always been doing it out of love for the sport, not to prove anything as a woman,” she said in an interview with SportsDirect News. She doesn’t feel any impact from the criticism she receives saying, “If you are in the sport as long as I have been, you get used to it. I don’t care what other people think and say.


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