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Posted on Monday, December 2, 2013

Grosjean not sure if Lotus budget in place

Romain Grosjean has admitted he is not sure if Lotus' money problems have been solved. The Enstone based team had been delaying signing its preferred option to replace the disgruntled Kimi Raikkonen - Nico Hulkenberg - until the money from the much-vaunted 'Quantum' investment came through. Ultimately, while re-signing the impressive Frenchman Grosjean, Lotus announced on Friday that his new teammate will be Pastor Maldonado. The press release made no mention of the Venezuelan's backing, but it is well known that he brings around EUR […]

Posted on Monday, November 25, 2013

Hulkenberg and Perez for Force India in 2014

Nico Hulkenberg physically signed on the dotted line of a 2014 Force India contract in Brazil on Sunday. That is the claim of Germany's reliable Sport Bild, as it emerged that the German had until midnight to take up an option granted recently by the Silverstone based team, for whom Hulkenberg raced last year. The 26-year-old had joined Sauber for 2013 after Force India became late in its payments, but it was the Swiss team that found itself in the deeper financial trouble this year. […]

Posted on Friday, November 22, 2013

Maldonado and Hulkenberg keys to 2014 'silly season'

Pastor Maldonado and Nico Hulkenberg remain the keys to the last phase of F1's 2014 'silly season'. PDVSA-backed Maldonado, a grand prix winner, is the powerful 'pay driver' on the move, reportedly with EUR 40 million in tow and on the lookout for a new team after his Williams split. It is believed that if Lotus' 'Quantum' investment deal falls through, locking the highly-rated Hulkenberg out, Maldonado is in pole position to replace Kimi Raikkonen in 2014. But Maldonado muddied the waters at Interlagos on […]

Posted on Thursday, November 14, 2013

Maldonado visits Sauber's Hinwil base

Pastor Maldonado has leapt into contention for a Sauber seat in 2014. Blick newspaper's veteran F1 correspondent Roger Benoit reports that the Venezuelan, whose lucrative backer PDVSA has already exited its deal at Williams, "was at Hinwil" this week. Benoit, who said Maldonado was accompanied to Switzerland by his manager Nicolas Todt, said Sauber did not confirm or deny the news. The EUR 40 million per year PDVSA deal would be desperately welcomed by Sauber, who have struggled financially throughout the season. It was believed […]

Posted on Sunday, November 3, 2013

Ecclestone backs Raikkonen over strike threat

Bernie Ecclestone has backed Kimi Raikkonen's threat to strike after the Finn revealed he has not been paid "a single euro" in 2013. Raikkonen only travelled to Abu Dhabi at the last minute, but he is now warning he will sit out Austin and Brazil if the team does not pay him a reported EUR 15 million. "He has signed a contract with somebody and they need to pay him," F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone told the Mirror. "I feel sorry for him but he […]

Posted on Friday, October 25, 2013

Kaltenborn confirms meeting with Petrov

Monisha Kaltenborn has admitted she recently met with Vitaly Petrov. It emerged on Thursday that Russian Petrov, reportedly with EUR 30 million in Gazprom sponsorship in his pocket, could return to F1 next year in the place of Sauber's intended 2014 race driver Sergey Sirotkin. Team boss Kaltenborn told the Russian website f1news.ru: "We saw Vitaly in Sochi (for a F1 demonstration) in September and, as we know, we talked. "No more than that," she insisted. However, Sauber's rhetoric about Sirotkin appears to have changed. […]

Posted on Thursday, October 17, 2013

Marussia names Magnussen as potential Chilton successor

Marussia has named McLaren protege Kevin Magnussen as a potential race driver for 2014. It is already known that the Ferrari-linked French rookie Jules Bianchi is staying with the team beyond this season. But a few days ago, his 2013 teammate Max Chilton admitted his own future is not yet secure. "I feel I'm showing I deserve a seat for next year," the Briton, who brings substantial backing to Marussia, is quoted by the Independent newspaper. "I admit, at times, I haven't got things right, […]

Posted on Thursday, October 3, 2013

FIA backs Vettel amid cheat claims

The FIA has backed Sebastian Vettel amid claims he is strolling to the 2013 title with a questionably-legal Red Bull. Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko has already dismissed the claims the RB9 is mimicking illegal traction control as "nonsense". But former F1 team owner Giancarlo Minardi had said he saw and heard evidence with his own eyes and ears recently in Singapore, when Vettel was putting down the power 50 metres earlier than his rivals, while the Renault engine emitted traction control-like tones. However, F1 […]

Posted on Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Petrov set for F1 return as powerful pay-driver

Vitaly Petrov could be set to burst back into F1 as a powerful pay-driver, it has emerged. Once racing for Renault and Caterham, the Russian's former manager, Oksana Kosachenko, claimed last week that Petrov has managed to come up with an impressive EUR 25 million in sponsorship to offer a 2014 team. Speaking to Russia's Championat, 29-year-old Petrov did not deny Kosachenko's claim. "I think Oksana always knows more about everyone, in all the projects," he said sarcastically. "There is nothing to comment on. I […]

Posted on Monday, September 9, 2013

Renault to woo Alonso to Lotus?

As the Formula One paddock emptied at Monza, one rumour had moved into the realm of fact -- Kimi Raikkonen is returning to Ferrari in 2014. The news was being confidently reported by broadcasters, including Germany's RTL, the major daily Bild, and even perhaps the most respected correspondent in the paddock, Auto Motor und Sport's Michael Schmidt. Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo will reportedly inform Felipe Massa that his services are no longer required in a personal meeting at Maranello on Wednesday. It would go […]

Posted on Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Lotus owner committed to F1 for now

At least for now, team owner Gerard Lopez insists he is committed to Formula One. In the past weeks, he has consistently played down the importance of the confirmed news that Lotus, the Enstone based team formerly known as Renault and Benetton, has debts of EUR 120 million. Lopez said that the actual number is not significant to Genii, the investment firm he leads. So, asked if he is sticking with F1 and with the name Lotus, Lopez answered: "I think so. "I have already […]

Posted on Saturday, August 24, 2013

Lopez denies Lotus in financial strife

Team owner Gerard Lopez on Saturday played down reports of financial strife at Lotus. Reportedly in debt to the tune of EUR 120 million, behind in payments to lead driver Kimi Raikkonen and with the new Infinity Racing investment in doubt, Lopez insisted at Spa-Francorchamps that Lotus is in fact in good health. Indeed, some believe the team's debt is actually just 28 million. "It is 120 million," Lopez confirmed, "but four-fifths of it we owe to ourselves, to Genii, because we do not sponsor […]