More of the F1 news stories not making headlines elsewhere in the motorsport press – for a very good reason…
Three Seconds A Lap Could Wreck Tyres
Although the teams don't want to predict how much faster they'll be in 2015, F1's official tyre supplier Pirelli has given the press an insight into the progress that’s being made. Pirelli's Paul Hembery told Autosport that changes to the powertrain mean that there will be some significant jumps in speed this year.
"We know we are always chasing a moving target," said Paul, "and I think we are talking about maybe being two to three seconds per lap quicker than last season. That is a massive difference."
The extra power put through the tyres could have a dramatic effect on tyre wear : "It means for our tyres what was last year a conservative choice might actually be quite aggressive this season."
Meaning that where a Medium tyre would have produced a one-stop race in 2014, it might turn into a three-stop race in 2015. The only exception being Sochi where a computer model has shown that Nico Rosberg could have run 1016 laps on his Medium tyre without having to come in for another set…
Revealed: Marussia's Mystery Buyer
Marussia may have had one small auction, but the big sell-off has been halted after last-minute interest in the team from a 'mystery buyer'. All focus has turned to Ferrari and the new management of Maurizio Arrivabene, who some thought might be trying to set up a Ferrari Junior team, to aid development of engine systems for the senior squad. Especially now that the engine rules have been unfrozen and a Ferrari fits neatly into the back of a Marussia.
However an insider at the Administrator has let slip that it is actually BBC Worldwide who are negotiating the purchase of the team. BBC Worldwide's top-selling programme in global markets is Top Gear and the team would be re-named Team Top Gear to promote the top-rated programme/magazine/DVD collection. Jeremy Clarkson would be team principle and the drivers would be The Stig and the Original Stig.
The sale of the team would naturally end any plans for a future Argentine Grand Prix, and Lee McKenzie says the post-race interviews are going to make Kimi Raikkonen look positively chatty.
Sauber Go For Expreience At Jerez
Sauber have announced radical plans for their testing programme starting in Jerez. The Swiss team, who sacked experienced driver Adrian Sutil last year, are having to rely on the driving skills of Marcus Ericsson, a rookie in 2014, and Felipe Nasr who hasn't raced in F1 before. Consequently on Day One in Jerez driving duties will be handled by head of track engineering, Giampaolo Dall'Ara, while on Day Two Monisha Kaltenborn will step into the new C34.
Ferrari Boss Wants A Revolution In F1
Ferrari's incoming boss Maurizio Arrivabene wants to radically shake up F1. He says that it is vital for F1 to change to survive, and the sport needs to change quickly: "A real revolution is called for," said Maurizio, "with significant and radical changes. By that I mean more power, higher speeds.
"By 2017, I too would like to see cars that win over the fans, with cars that they can get closer to and that are aesthetically more appealing, maybe even producing a noise that gets your hair standing on end, like that produced by a heavy metal band."
He wants press conferences taken away from the circuits' media centres to bring drivers closer to the fans, he wants cost-saving on engines, he wants more social media and F1 available through the internet. He also wants a global TV survey to find out how the sport can make itself more attractive.
"It's interesting that Maurizio missed the most radical change of all," said one pitlane cynic, "that Ferrari should give up their automatic right to be the best-paid team on the grid. That would be a revolution…"
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