The stories not making the news on April 7th
Ross Brawn is getting testy about FIA inspections, Ferrari are creating a Ferrauber and Christian Horner reveals Seb’s love of Madgascan lemurs…
JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT IT WAS GETTING LESS COMPLICATED
In a surprise move, Group Lotus have ended their title sponsorship with the Lotus team with immediate effect. Group Lotus owners, Proton, have sold the business to a Malaysian automotive conglomerate – they have also cancelled an option to buy 50% of the team from owner Genii Capital. F1 fans will remember that last year there was a protracted legal battle between Team Lotus and the Group Lotus sponsored Lotus-Renault team over who owned the rights to name their car Lotus. Now with Group Lotus exiting and Team Lotus changing to Caterham, and with the Lotus-Renault team needing a new title sponsor, we could end up with no Lotuses on the grid. One pitlane pundit commented: “It’s like two dogs wrestling over a stick. It wasn’t about the stick, it was about who won the wrestling. Now it’s all finished, nobody cares about the stick.”
Stick owner Gerald Lopez says he’d like to keep the name Lotus as he’s already painted the cars black.
DECISION ON W-DUCT BEFORE CHINA
Ross brawn is getting a little testy after his innovative wing-stalling device got referred back to the FIA for a third time. The DRS-activated ‘F-duct’ – sometimes dubbed the W-duct – has been called into question by the Red Bull team on several occasions. FIA technical delegate Charlie Whiting has deemed it legal on two occasions and Brawn revealed that their device has been under discussion for quite some time.
“We are confident the system is legal. As far back as 2010, in working group meetings, the FIA was stating that it considered such a system to be legal. I think the FIA has been fairly consistent in their position, they’ve looked into our W-duct and given it the all clear.”
Results from Charlie Whiting’s colonoscopy will be available before the Chinese Grand Prix but nobody is much looking forward to the photographs.
FERRARI LOOK TO SAUBER FOR INSPIRATION
Ferrari say that they will have their new B-spec F2012 ready for the Mugello test at the end of May. According to reports in Autosprint magazine the new car will retain the original front half of the F2012, but have a near-as-damnit Sauber C31 rear half. That’s because Sauber already use a customer Ferrari engine and gearbox, and as was proved in the Malaysian GP, they can make the combination go very quickly. Jourmalists at Autosprint have quickly dubbed the new car a ‘Ferrauber’ and eagerly await the debut of the new machine at Mugello on May 31st where it will be driven by Felipe Perez and Fernando Kobayashi.
BBC DELUGED WITH VETTEL COMPLAINTS
The BBC are investigating over 100 complaints from viewers after the screening of the Malaysian GP highlights. During the transmission, the on-board footage showed Sebastian Vettel making repeated middle-finger gestures to Narain Karthikeyan as the two clashed in the race. The programme went out on Sunday afternoon in family viewing time, and unlike a ‘live transmission’ could have had that footage edited from the tape. A spokesman for the BBC said they were very sorry if they had upset people by showing the offensive material and assured viewers it would not happen again. They also asked for 34 appearances of Eddie Jordan to be taken into account.
“SEB’S AN ARDENT WILDLIFE FAN”
In a separate development Christian Horner refused to condemn his driver for his actions and pointed out that the educated Sebastian is a big wildlife fan. “He’s always got his head in wildlife books in the motorhome and he was probably imitating the Madagascan lemur, the Aye aye, which has a long boney middle finger,” revealed Horner. “The slow-moving, nocturnal Aye-aye uses his extraordinarily long middle finger to tap on the bark of trees to reveal insects which it feeds on. Sebastian was simply saying “don’t be such a lemur!”. “And not, ‘go f————’”
HILL RED FLAGS BAHRAIN
Damon Hill has said that maybe the FIA should look at cancelling the Bahrain Grand Prix after he’d previously given it the thumbs up in December. The former F1 World Champion said that the situation in the kingdom had deteriorated since his visit and he no longer thought that it would be a unifying event. Hill’s comments come at the same time as a British MP, Richard Burden, is calling for the race to be vetoed. With unrest on the streets and escalating tension, several human rights organisations have also said the race should not go ahead along with a blind man on a galloping horse.