Pedro de la Rosa is currently unemployed, as his HRT team didn’t find a buyer in time, and although there has not been an official statement, it seems the Spanish adventure in Formula One is over for good. “It is time to turn the page, and look to the future,” de la Rosa told the Spanish Marca magazine.
FOM CEO Bernie Ecclestone admitted he could be forced out of office by the Gribkowsky bribery scandal, the Formula One boss allegedly paid the German banker a $44 million bribe for the sale of the BayernLB bank’s Formula One shares to investment company CVC in 2005.
The 2012 season saw the return of the Iceman, Kimi Raikkonen, who had been lured out of retirement by the Lotus F1 team, who made the Finn an offer he could not resist.
Ex-Formula One driver Robert Kubica has recently been successful in rally sport, but at the start of 2011 it was the same passion for the rally sport that almost killed the Pole. During the Ronde di Andora rally in Italy his Skoda Fabia was impaled by a large piece of guard rail. His right arm, hand and leg were almost severed and doctors at the scene even considered to amputate his arm while he was still trapped in his car.
During the annual Christmas press meeting in Maranello, Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo defended his choice to keep Felipe Massa for 2013. “The Brazilian improved a great deal in the second half: in fact in the first part, it seemed he’d gone on a round the world holiday,” Montezemolo said jokingly.
Briton Max Chilton will make his Formula One debut next year as he signed a contract with Marussia to race alongside Timo Glock. The 21-year old will be the fourth Briton in Formula One next year, as Jenson Button will race for McLaren, Lewis Hamilton for Mercedes and Paul di Resta, although not yet officially confirmed, will race for Force India.
Ex-Sauber driver Kamui Kobayashi has given up his attempts to conquer a seat for the 2013 season, he reported on his website. The Japanese driver lost his seat to Mexican Esteban Gutierrez, but was still hoping to find a competitive team for next year. Thanks to his fans he gathered 8 million Euro to support his bid, but apparently ran out of options.
December 17 Lotus confirm Romain Grosjean for 2013
Romain Grosjean has something else to celebrate after he on Sunday won the title Champion of Champions during the annual Race Of Champions (ROC) in Bangkok, as Lotus today announced they have retained the services of the young Frenchman for 2013.
Romain Grosjean, whose Formula One future is in doubt for the past few months, won the 2012 Champion of Champions crown after two thrilling battles in the final against the eight-time Le Mans winner and the true ROC legend, Tom Kristensen, at the Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.
Ex-Force India driver Adrian Sutil is working on a return to Formula One, after being ousted by the Indian team at the end of 2011. Sutil was dropped by his team after he had been accused of assaulting Lotus’ Eric Lux in a Shanghai nightclub during the 2011 Chinese Grand Prix.
Formula One drivers Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher won the ROC Nations Cup for the sixth consecutive time this weekend in Bangkok. The German duo beat Team Australia’s Jamie Whincup and Mick Doohan in the semi-finals and later, during the grand final, beat Team France’s Romain Grosjean and Sebastien Ogier.
After 22 years Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Norbert Haug will retire at the end of this year. The Mercedes-Benz company reported the 60-year old German will end his career ‘with mutual agreement’. Haug actually started his career as a motorsport journalist, not without success, as he in 1988 became deputy chief editor of the German Auto, Motor und Sport magazine, the German authority on motorsports worldwide.
Runner-up in the 2012 championship, Fernando Alonso, thinks Sebastian Vettel deserved the title this year. “Vettel is a worthy champion: he scored more points than anyone else and that is clear for all to see,” the Spaniard said during a sponsor meeting in Madrid.
FOM CEO Bernie Ecclestone has rubbished rumours that the Austrian Red Bull Ring would be a candidate for the mystery Grand Prix scheduled for July 21 next year, he said to the Austrian “Kleine Zeitung.”
Formtech Composites, supplier of carbon fibre products, claims the financially stricken HRT team had already gone into liquidation early November. The Leafield-based company says in a statement the Spanish outfit owes them a ’substantial amount’ of money. According to the company HRT went into liquidation on November 12, the same day the Spanish Thesan Capital investment company put the team up for sale.
Mercedes driver Jamie Green moves to Audi next year, Audi confirmed today. The ‘King of the Norisring’, as he has won the event four times, made the switch after an eight-year stint with Mercedes. Audi called the move a ‘spectacular transfer’ in one of the most beloved touring car series in Europe: the German DTM series.
The Red Bull Ring in Austria and the Turkish Istanbul Park circuit are candidates for the mystery Grand Prix scheduled for July 21 next year. Last week he FIA decided to move the German Grand Prix to July 7, to accommodate the mystery Grand Prix after the New Jersey race in the United States was postponed until 2014.
Officials of the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) are not happy with the current date of the 2013 United States Grand Prix, and are trying to move it to another date, the Austin American Statesman reported. The Formula One race takes place on November 15-17, but on November 16 the University of Texas football team will play a home match against Oklahoma State University, an event that usually draws more than 100,000 fans to Austin.
During a meeting of the FIA World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) in Istanbul, Turkey, amendments have been made to the 2013 and 2014 Sporting and Technical Regulations. Formula One’s governing body has tweaked the regulations regarding deflection of wings and the problem with cars running out of fuel during qualifying has also been addressed.
I didn’t take long for Bernie Ecclestone to react on Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo’s comments that the Formula One boss would be ‘too old’ for his job. “The one thing he is correct about is my age — there is no doubt about that. I can’t do anything about that. I’m 82 years old and that’s how it is,” said Ecclestone to the BBC.
Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo heavily criticized Formula One, and ridiculed FOM CEO Bernie Ecclestone, the man who runs the Formula One show, as well. Montezemolo is still not happy with the testing ban and he also reacted on Ecclestone’s attack on the Maranello-based team regarding their stance in what became known as the ‘yellow flag saga’.
During Ferrari’s end of the season event ‘Finali Mondiali’ at the Spanish Ricardo Tormo circuit, Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso hailed the 2012 season as ‘a season with unforgettable moments’. Exactly one week after the Spaniard lost the title to Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel by only three points, Alonso finally had some time to sum-up the season.
December 2 HRT team not on official FIA 2013 entry list
Only 22 cars are on the official 2013 entry list published by the FIA yesterday, as the HRT team is missing from the list. The Spanish outfit originally founded by Spanish ex-Formula One driver Adrian Campos also failed to pay the 500,000 Euro entry fee. Last month the team was put up for sale by current owner Thesan Capital and in a press release said that they were ‘in talks with a number of groups interested in buying the team’.
Ferrari Team Principal Stefano Domenicali once again said that his star driver Fernando Alonso deserved the 2012 title. Domenicali, who participated in a forum organised by Spanish newspapers Marca and El Mundo, said, “It was an incredible season and I believe Fernando really deserved the title. I’m not just saying that because he is one of our drivers, because I share that opinion with the great majority of his colleagues and observers.”