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Williams confirms new partnership with Petrobras

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Press Release: Williams is pleased to announce that it has signed a new multi-year partnership agreement with Brazilian multi-national energy company Petrobras.

Williams and Petrobras have had a history of technology collaboration dating back to 1998 when the team started using Petrobras’ fuel for the first time in a partnership which lasted for 11 years.

This new agreement will see the Williams and Petrobras technical collaboration continue once more as the two parties work together to develop a new specialist motorsport fuel for use by the team from the 2015 season.

With new engine regulations coming into effect from 2014 that require teams to use more efficient fuels, Petrobras’ expertise will ensure that the team is well placed to meet the demands of greater energy efficiency within the sport.

Petrobras will use the global platform of Formula 1 to further brand awareness through the placement of its logo on the side of the Williams Mercedes FW36 chassis and across the team environment and apparel.

Petrobras is a Brazilian company and global leader in energy production through deepwater oil and gas exploration and production.

Today they are the pioneers in one of the world’s most promising oil and gas reserves: the pre-salt formation, which will aid the company in doubling its production by 2020. This increase will significantly impact global energy supply and further the development of society.

Petrobras President Maria das Graças Silva Foster celebrated the return of the company to a F1 by saying: “We are very happy to be going back to the biggest motorsport competition in the world. During the 11 years that Williams was by our side we made significant advances in product development, such as Podium gasoline. Participating in this competition is a huge challenge, since it requires us to always be ready to meet the highest standards for quality and efficiency demanded by the category. We are very excited to start this new challenge.”

Speaking about the new partnership Sir Frank Williams, Founder and Team Principal of Williams, said: “Petrobras and Williams have had a successful partnership before and we are both looking forward to reuniting for 2014. Technologically they are very strong and that will be important for the team as the new regulations have made fuel efficiency increasingly important. They are also a very ambitious global company and we are looking forward to working together to further their marketing goals.”

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Alonso on duty first as Ferrari focuses on engine in Bahrain

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Fernando Alonso will be in action for Ferrari on the first two days of Formula 1 pre-season testing in Bahrain.

Alonso will spend Wednesday and Thursday at the wheel of the Ferrari F14T, handing over the cockpit to Kimi Raikkonen for his two day stint on Friday and Saturday.

The team revealed, “The emphasis over the next four days will be mainly on checking all the systems and control parameters of the F14T.”

“In addition, the programme will include set-up work, helped by the fact that Sakhir is a more representative circuit for comparing the data obtained over the past few days in the simulator, as well on the tyre front.”

“The engineers will also be relying on the expertise of Alonso and Raikkonen to move forward with the development of the car.”

“Finally, great attention will be paid to the behaviour of the 059/3 power unit, which has been the focus of a lot of work in the last few weeks.”

In fact, the Power Unit has to be presented to the FIA to be signed off as homologated by 28 February.”

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Hamilton and Rosberg to alternate driving days in Bahrain

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Lewis Hamilton will kick off Mercedes’ testing programme in Bahrain on Wednesday, with Nico Rosberg taking over on day two at Sakhir.

Mercedes announced on Twitter that their drivers will alternate driving duties with Hamilton in the cockpit of the W05 on Wednesday and Friday, alternating with Rosberg who will be on duty on Thursday and Saturday.

Mercedes will be looking to build on their highly successful Jerez test, during the first four days of testing in Bahrain.

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Williams set to reveal new Martini livery in Bahrain

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Williams are expected to launch their new Martini livery in Bahrain, ahead of testing.

Earlier, with the iconic Italian drinks brand set to return to Formula 1 in 2014, it was believed that the British team would only officially unveil its new title sponsor and much-anticipated Martini livery ahead of the season opener in Australia.

But, actually, Williams – having tested its new Mercedes-powered FW36 in all-blue colours so far – said only that it would launch its race livery in time for Australia, not necessarily in Australia.

Indeed, Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport reports that the official wraps will come off the new partnership “during the second week of testing in Bahrain”, set to take place in the island Kingdom late next week.

The end of pre-season running in Bahrain will then start the two-week countdown before the red lights go out on the Melbourne grid.

Correspondent Tobias Gruner said that the ‘Williams Martini Racing’ 2014 livery will include the iconic white, blue and red Martini stripe, made famous by the brand’s involvement over decades in Formula 1, Le Mans and rally.

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Lotus announces driver schedule for Bahrain test

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Lotus have announced their driver line-up for their first Formula 1 pre-season test of the 2014 season, starting in Bahrain on Wednesday, 19 February.

First on duty will be Romain Grosjean who will be on duty in the eagerly anticipated E22 on the first two days – Wednesday and Thursday, thereafter team newcomer Pastor Maldonado will take over the cockpit for the final two days – Friday and Saturday.

This will be first public running of the Renault V6 turbo powered Lotus E22, which made its track debut at Jerez last week under controlled conditions of a ‘promotional event’ as allowed by the regulations.

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Marussia releases driver schedule for Bahrain test

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Marussia have released their driver schedule ahead of the forthcoming Bahrain test, starting on February 19.

Jules Bianchi will be at the wheel of the Marussia MR03 for the first day (Wednesday) and the final day (Saturday), with Max Chilton on duty on Thursday and Friday at Sakhir.

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Williams and Oris partnership continues for twelfth year

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Press Release: Williams is pleased to announce that its long-term Official Watch Partner, Oris, has renewed its sponsorship of the team ahead of the 2014 FIA Formula 1 World Championship.

This will be Oris’ twelfth full season as an Official Partner of Williams, after entering into partnership in 2003 and having subsequently enjoyed a strong relationship. For 2014, the Oris logo will feature in a new position on the cars’ noses. Oris will also continue its presence on the driver and mechanic overalls, driver gloves, driver helmets and the kit worn by team personnel.

Oris has a heritage of over 110 years of watch manufacturing in Holstein, Switzerland and is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of mechanical watches. Its watch designs always incorporate a hallmark red rotor as an integral element of the design mechanism. The Oris designers work with the latest technology at the cutting edge of watch making to meet the highest quality standards while remaining true to the company’s characteristic designs.

Ulrich W. Herzog, Executive Chairman of Oris, commented; “The prestigious world of F1 continues to be the perfect platform to promote Oris. The competitive racing environment and commitment to quality and success have always resonated with our brand. Renewing the partnership for a twelfth season reinforces our continued support and commitment to Williams and I’m looking forward to what promises to be an exciting season.”

Sir Frank Williams, Team Principal of Williams, added; “Oris feels like a part of the family having been a partner with us for twelve years now, and I’m delighted to announce that this relationship will continue once again for 2014. We have enjoyed a successful partnership because our brands are highly complementary: we are family run businesses with a strong heritage, a history of innovation, and a desire to embrace new technologies. Strong partnerships are the lifeblood of an independent team like Williams and the continued support of Oris will help us fight for success this season.”

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Ecclestone no longer in contention to save Nurburgring

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Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone is no longer a serious candidate to buy the legendary Nurburgring.

The Formula 1 Chief Executive revealed last month that he had made a bid for the fabled German Grand Prix venue, amid its financial problems.

“We want to make sure there is a Formula 1 race in Germany every year in the future,” said Ecclestone at the time.

The 83-year-old Briton said at the time that there are “one or two other interested parties”. The Rhein newspaper now claims that they are entities from Dusseldorf and the US, and a private equity firm.

Correspondent Dietmar Bruck said that the parties all have until Monday to submit their final proposals, with Ecclestone apparently no longer in the running.

Meanwhile, Britain’s Guardian newspaper claims that newly-retired former Mercedes boss Ross Brawn was approached to take over from Ecclestone, should the Formula 1 chief executive lose his job amid the corruption affair.

The Guardian added that Formula 1 owners CVC refused to comment. Correspondent Richard Williams said that the approach to Brawn had been “unsuccessful”.

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Akebono increases technical integration with McLaren

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Press Release: Akebono Brake Industry Co., Ltd. (Akebono) and the McLaren Mercedes Formula 1 team are pleased to announce a new, extended technology partnership.

For the 2014 Formula 1 season onwards, Akebono is elevated to the status of ‘Technology Partner’ of the McLaren Mercedes team and will design and integrate an all-new braking system in response to the latest changes in the Formula 1 regulations.

Furthermore, Akebono retains its supply status of racing calipers and brake pads for the hugely successful McLaren 12C GT3 race cars as well as being the brake partner of choice for the next generation McLaren P1 high performance sports car.

In 2014, Formula 1 sees the introduction of new ‘Power Units’ that combine power output from a 1.6-litre V6 combustion engine with that of a brand new hybrid Energy Recovery System (ERS). The change means that the rate at which cars can harvest energy under braking has increased five-fold from 400 kJ per lap to 2,000 kJ per lap, thus significantly affecting the braking effort at the rear wheels.

Akebono’s dedicated team of engineers and specialists have developed an electronic ‘brake-by-wire’ rear brake control system to aide the braking effort at the rear, negating the need for the driver to constantly alter the brake bias, and thus contributing in preventing rear lock-up.

Akebono’s Chairman, President & CEO, Hisataka Nobumoto said: “This is the third extension to our partnership with McLaren since we began the relationship back in 2007 and becoming a fully-integrated technology partner to McLaren Mercedes is another step in being recognised as the best brake manufacturer in the world.

“Formula 1 represents the greatest of engineering challenges and the new regulations introduced this year give us an excellent opportunity to design and integrate a brand new electronic system that will further showcase our technical prowess.

“Supplying the McLaren Mercedes Formula 1 team, the McLaren 12C GT3 race cars and the breath-taking McLaren P1 is an outstanding achievement for Akebono and our associates and shareholders ought to take great pride in what Akebono has accomplished in such a short period.”

Jonathan Neale, Chief Operating Officer, McLaren Mercedes said: “Akebono has been a committed, unwavering ally of the team since 2007 and has continually innovated its product offering, not least in the face of this year’s new regulations which see a huge increase in energy recovery under braking. Akebono’s all-new electronic brake system will be a valuable technical asset.

The “status of ‘Technology Partner’ at McLaren is not to be taken lightly – it is a mark of technical excellence and product performance – and is well deserved by Akebono which now supplies bespoke brake systems to all of McLaren’s race cars across Formula 1 and GT as well being the OEM partner to the awe-inspiring McLaren P1.”

Akebono began its collaboration with McLaren Mercedes in 2007, developing and refining its braking technologies at the sharp end of global motorsport competition. These processes have produced an ultra-reliable brake system that boasts significantly reduced weight and exceptional cooling capacity while also being able to withstand high temperatures and maintain structural rigidity.

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Red Bull and Renault deny Formula 1 split reports

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Red Bull and Renault have denied reports that the reigning Formula 1 World Champions could split, amid a problem packed start to the 2014 season.

Together, after Sebastian Vettel won the last nine grands prix of 2013, Red Bull and Renault are now embroiled in a technical crisis after the new V6 ‘Power Unit’ struggled just to run in the rear of Adrian Newey’s RB10.

The dasastrous testing sessions at Jerez triggered reports that Red Bull is on the lookout for a new engine supplier.

Reports have emerged that Cosworth, without a customer for the 2014 season, has completed its turbo V6 engine prototype – a design that will not be raced this year.

The wilder reports claim that Red Bull could take over the project and run its own engines for 2015.

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When asked about the split up reports, Renault Sport’s Remi Taffin told Sport Bild: “I know nothing about that.

“We are currently working very closely with Red Bull, and several teams of [Red Bull engineers are even at our base in Viry and working on the integration of the power unit and chassis.”

Red Bull’s Helmut Marko also told the German publication: “We have a long term contract with Renault, which is of course linked with our results on the track.

“Nevertheless, we are not going to panic, and are making a joint effort to solve the problems.”

World Champion Vettel also sounded calm about the current situation, whilst admitting that he hopes to finally get up to speed this week in Bahrain.

“Of course the Jerez test did not go the way we wanted,” he said. “Other teams did a lot more kilometres and that was important because we are talking about completely new technology.

“But it’s better to have the problems in testing than at the races.

“Hopefully the situation in Bahrain will already be better, and I’ll have a car not only that goes reliably around the track, but that I can use at full throttle.”

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Red Bull signs Playstation Gran Turismo ace for GP3 season

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The latest driver chosen to join Red Bull prestigious single seater talent programme has been plucked out of the world of video gaming.

22-year-old Briton Jann Mardenborough honed his skills on the Playstation game Gran Turismo, winning the Nissan-sponsored virtual competition GT Academy and then moving into real-life GT, Le Mans and F3 single seaters.

“The traditional route to Formula 1 of karting and single-seaters is a tried and tested success, but Nissan and Playstation have gone down a very different road and started to find some very talented drivers who have been doing all their practising on a games console,” said Red Bull Driver Development Chief Andy Damerum.

Mardenborough has been signed up by the energy drink company, and in 2014 he will move into the third-tier Formula 1 feeder series GP3 with Christian Horner’s Arden team.

It is the very seat that last year was occupied by Russian Daniil Kvyat, who has leapt straight into Formula 1 for 2014 with the energy drink company’s second team Toro Rosso.

“This season is my opportunity to impress more people in the sport who make the decisions on who makes it into Formula 1 and who doesn’t, and I’m going to give it my best shot,” Mardenborough said.

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Court action may threaten Kolles’ F1 plans

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A court action could scupper Colin Kolles’ ambitions of returning to Formula 1.

The former HRT and Force India boss had been linked with a return to the sport with his own team, after the FIA recently invited interested parties to apply for the vacant pitlane spot.

But the German-language Spox reports that Kolles’ bid might be derailed by a legal dispute between his racing outfit, Kodewa, and former designer Stephane Chosse.

Chosse, who worked on Kolles’ sports car foray as well as in Formula 1 with HRT, is pursuing the Romanian-born German for €2 million in unpaid fees, with the dispute set to be heard in Nuremberg on Friday.

Chosse’s lawyer Horst Becker confirmed the action.

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Ferrari V6 turbo engine uses clever method to save fuel

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Ferrari looks to have come up with another of the big Formula 1 innovations of the 2014 season.

It emerged last week that the new Ferrari F14T features an unique cooling system that allows their new challenger to have very small sidepods, notwithstanding the extreme cooling demands of the all-new ‘Power Unit’ rules.

Now, La Gazzetta dello Sport reports that Ferrari’s new V6 turbo engine is also highly innovative.

The report said the engine features a ‘cut-off’ system that works with the direct injection to keep engine temperatures low and save crucial fuel.

The system means that, at times, the flow of fuel into the combustion chamber is stopped altogether and the engine is not sparked.

Meanwhile, Mercedes’ Paddy Lowe has admitted he hopes the new rule limiting each driver to just 100 kilos of fuel per race does not dominate the 2014 season.

“Sometimes it is very frustrating, but fuel and tyre wear have been factors in Formula 1 for years,” he is quoted by Finland’s MTV3, adding that the fuel factor will be greatly “exaggerated” in 2014.

“I hope it does not detract from the racing,” added Lowe.

It has also emerged that Renault may not be prevented from fixing its obvious technical problems once the development ‘freeze’ deadline passes, in just over a week.

“There is a ‘fair and equitable’ rule which gives us the opportunity to change any of the components if we have reliability problems,” said Renault Sport’s Remi Taffin.

“I have to say, however, that we do not have big problems with the parts, as we have done successful tests on the dynamometer.

We just have to make them all work together.”

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Brundle slams Villeneuve for F1 criticism

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Martin Brundle has taken issue with Jacques Villeneuve, after the 1997 Formula 1 World Champion dissed the sport’s new V6 turbo engine era.

As his new foray in the world rallycross series was launched last week, 42-year-old French Canadian Villeneuve slammed not only Formula 1′s new ‘greener’ guise, he also denounced the drivers of 2014 as “mediocre”.

“(It) angers me when ex Formula 1 drivers stick a boot into Formula 1 for publicity,” Brundle, now a highly-respected commentator for British television, wrote on Twitter, without referring to Villeneuve by name.

“They had privileged chances, success, cash. Give something positive back,” he added.

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Magnussen to kick off Sakhir test

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Kevin Magnussen has revealed he will be driving the MP4-29 on the opening two days in Bahrain.

Swapping to 1.6-litre V6 engines for this year's Championship, the teams were keen to avoid the cool temperatures in Europe.

The FIA agreed and after one outing in Spain Formula One is making its way to the Sakhir circuit in Bahrain.

With the air temperature set to reach a high of 21'C after the four days, Magnussen will be in action on days one and two before handing over to Jenson Button.

Last time out in Jerez, Magnussen set the week's fastest lap time while Button was fourth quickest.

McLaren finished third on the log for most laps completed.

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What is a ‘seat fitting’ in F1

Thanks to Nico Hulkenberg, Adrian Sutil’s seat fitting went rather smoothly but how do they do a seat fitting and what is entailed?

Sauber provides us a nice video explaining some of the nuance of a Formula 1 seat fitting.

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Pirelli to test for tyre warmer ban in Bahrain

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Pirelli will bring an extra set of tyre for this week’s test in Bahrain to allow teams to test for the forthcoming ban on the use of tyre warmers.

Tyre warming devices, which have been in use in F1 since the mid-eighties, are set to be banned in 2015.

Pirelli will supply an extra set of medium tyres to each team in order for them to test how well they heat up without the use of tyre warming blankets.

The soft, medium and hard tyre compounds will be available for the teams to use in the four-day Bahrain test, which starts tomorrow.

They will also be able to use the ‘winter’ version of Pirelli’s hard tyre, which was used in Jerez, to evaluate its performance in hotter temperatures.

“In Bahrain, we’re expecting better weather and more running, which will allow ourselves and the teams to assimilate more data and knowledge of the tyres,” said motorsport director Paul Hembery.

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Red Bull's Adrian Newey says double points will cheapen Formula 1

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Red Bull chief technical officer Adrian Newey has criticised Formula 1's double points finale format, suggesting it cheapens the sport.

The squad's team principal, Christian Horner, has already warned about the dangers of double points in the wake of fan outcry about the change.

Now Newey has slated the move, which he believes is bad for F1 as a whole.

"It's a personal view, but I'm not a fan of it at all," Newey told AUTOSPORT.

"To me it just seems very artificial that third place [in Abu Dhabi] will now be worth more than first place at Monaco or another race.

"It's a shame that in the drive to try to keep the championship alive to the very last race you take this artificial route to it. [it] just seems to me to be cheapening the sport.

"It makes it just a little bit WWF to me."

Newey does not believe that there is any chance of the double points rule being repealed for this season.

He suspects that viewer interest will dictate whether or not it is abandoned for 2015.

"I think for this year, no," he said when asked whether the rule would change.

"Whether it gets changed for subsequent seasons or not is going to depend on public opinion post the end of the season.

"If, of course, viewing figures are much higher and people aren't turning off in protest then it will be deemed a success and will continue."

Had double points been in force last season, it would have made no difference to when Sebastian Vettel clinched the world championship.

He would still have done so with victory in the Indian Grand Prix.

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Lewis Hamilton can handle Formula 1's fuel economy rules - Mercedes

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Lewis Hamilton will not be held back by the greater importance of fuel economy during the 2014 Formula 1 campaign, insists Mercedes technical chief Paddy Lowe.

Hamilton has repeatedly expressed his frustration when required to drive below his car's limit for tactical reasons in recent years, with the need to preserve tyres in 2013 irking him particularly.

The new limit of 100kg of fuel per race is set to make fuel management a decisive element in 2014 grands prix.

But asked how he thought Hamilton would cope with this challenge, Lowe doubted that it would be any harder for the Briton than recent years.

"I think you may be overplaying that aspect," he said.

"Certainly it's a factor in the races but I hope we won't see it as a dominating factor.

"There were occasions where we saw that last year it was stopping a driver, and Lewis would be an example, from pushing to the limit every lap, and that's sometimes very frustrating.

"But actually that's been the case in Formula 1 over most of its many years of existence that managing fuel and tyres has been a factor.

"I hope it won't be so dominating it's putting off the spectacle."

Hamilton will be at the wheel for Mercedes when F1 testing resumes in Bahrain on Wednesday morning, and will then alternate days with team-mate Nico Rosberg.

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Getting very excited for the start of this season, so many variables. My hopes are that Mercedes AMG can finally pull it off and win the championships this year. Looks good so far but who knows, even Williams/Massa could become dark horses for multiple victories. I predict disharmony and problems for the duo of Kimi and Alonso so ferrari may have to wait another year. Go Nico and Hammy!!!

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Getting very excited for the start of this season, so many variables. My hopes are that Mercedes AMG can finally pull it off and win the championships this year. Looks good so far but who knows, even Williams/Massa could become dark horses for multiple victories. I predict disharmony and problems for the duo of Kimi and Alonso so ferrari may have to wait another year. Go Nico and Hammy!!!

Agree on all accounts.

I too hope Mercedes do well this season.

My drivers are spread out across multiple teams.

Hoping Romain Grosjean also does well and Felipe Massa for Williams.

I drive past Albert Park every morning and already they have the fencing coming up!!!ok.gif

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I'm very envious of you Mika, being able to see the the first race of a new generation of F-1 cars in your backyard. It will require a very select rotation of cigars over the weekend. I'm off to Hockenheim in a few weeks to see my daughters fiancé's first race of the year in DTM. He is driving for Mercedes AMG DTM racing team (Robert Wickens) who won his first DTM race last year. He also tested for Renault F-1 and Marussia last year.

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I'm very envious of you Mika, being able to see the the first race of a new generation of F-1 cars in your backyard. It will require a very select rotation of cigars over the weekend. I'm off to Hockenheim in a few weeks to see my daughters fiancé's first race of the year in DTM. He is driving for Mercedes AMG DTM racing team (Robert Wickens) who won his first DTM race last year. He also tested for Renault F-1 and Marussia last year.

Wow Mike, I myself am envious as whilst I'm a fan, you actually know someone who drives DTM and tested for F1!! photog.gifpeace.gif

It is nice to have a home Grand Prix so close by and attend most years.

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Cautious Ferrari still learning and not chasing lap times at this stage of testing

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Ferrari have admitted that fast lap times are not a priority despite Fernando Alonso finishing second fastest on the first day of the second Fomrula 1 preseason test in Bahrain, which at this stage remains a voyage of discovery as teams come to terms with the all new regulations.

Deputy chief designer Simone Resta said that hotlaps is not on the work list just yet, “That will be the next step. Now we just want to rack up the kilometres. The final updates for the Australian Grand Prix will arrive at the next test here in Bahrain and that’s when we will also start trying to get the performance out of the car.”

“Having said that, making a comparison with last year’s car is worthwhile only up to a certain point. Everyone is talking about the engines, but there are two other elements to take into consideration: the new rules mean we have less aerodynamic downforce and the weight of the car has increased,” explained Resta.

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“I think it is still too early to say just how satisfied we are, as we are still learning how the F14 T behaves in various situations and we are trying to gather as much data as possible. One thing we are focusing on at this test is how the new power train is working and its interaction with the driver.”

“Every new component is being watched carefully, such as the brake by wire system and all the software linked to the car, both of which we have worked on a great deal over the past two weeks.”

“The fact we had to change the power unit [to V6 turbo] allowed us to modify the entire package, on which we have worked very hard, investing a lot. But best not to commit the sin of arrogance in believing we have an advantage,” cautioned Resta.

Alonso said after his first day back in the cockpit of the F14T, “We are in a phase where we are discovering things, and with every lap we learn something new. For everyone, there is still a lot to do to be well prepared for Melbourne, so it will be important to make the most of every day we have available to us.”

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Bahrain Day 2: Magnussen fastest by far as Renault finally sees light at the end of the tunnel

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McLaren rookie Kevin Magnussen topped the timing screens at the end of the second day of Formula 1 testing, setting a sensational lap in the MP4-29, while a Renault renaissance of sorts appears to be underway.

Magnussen’s best lap time of 1.34.910 came during a flurry of fast laps in the afternoon, with a set of Pirelli Supersoft tyres bolted on to the McLaren. The time compares to the 1:33.702 set by Jenson Button during qualifying for last year’s Bahrain Grand Prix.

A remarkable achievement for brand new engines with a mere six days of real world running. Predictions that the new turbo era will be slow are now proving to be way off the mark.

Time spent in the pits during the course of the day, limited the Magnussen’s running to 46 laps, but his best time was a huge 1.5 seconds up on Nico Hulkenberg who amassed 59 laps in the Force India, making it one-two for Mercedes power at the end of the day.

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Next best was Alonso who racked up 97 laps on his way to setting the third best lap time, late in the day, as again the Reds appeared to be sticking to their programme with little focus on hot laps.

Nico Rosberg, on his first day in the cockpit of the W05, was fourth fastest in the Mercedes, despite two stoppages for minor issues the German ended with 85 laps on his chart.

Busiest of all during the course of the day was Valterri Bottas who managed 116 laps in the Williams FW36, which made up for the team all the time that the team lost on the opening day, when fuel system problem sidelined Felipe Massa for most of Wednesday.

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For Renault day two in Bahrain may well signal the turning of the tide, as all their teams, bar Lotus, managed to get some relatively meaningful track time.

Best of the Renault posse was Caterham, with Kamui Kobayashi sixth fastest and 66 laps to his credit, at the end of his first day at the wheel of the CT05.

Next up was quadruple World Champion Sebastian Vettel, who clocked up 59 laps, setting the seventh best time albeit half a second down on the Caterham and a whopping 5.430 seconds adrift of Magnussen’s best.

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The other Red Bull owned team, Toro Rosso also enjoyed some meaningful running and pretty much shadowed what the sister team did on the day – Jean Eric Vergne was eighth fastest with 58 laps on the board.

The Ferrari powered Sauber and Marussia were five seconds off Alonso’s best, with Esteban Gutierrez ninth in the C33 and Max Chilton slowest and doing the least laps of all, in the MR03, thanks to a fuel feed issue.

Lotus’ late start to the 2014 pre-season testing, having missed Jerez, appears to be plaguing them as Romain Grosjean could only manage 18 laps in total, and ended down in tenth, and way off the pace in the twin tusk E22.

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