Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has extended his contract to remain with the Milton Keynes squad for “several years” despite interest from Mercedes.
The 39-year-old took up the position in 2005 when Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz bought and rebranded the Jaguar team.
German newspaper Bild reports that Mercedes, during a board meeting, expressed an interest in hiring Christian Horner to replace the outgoing motorsport boss Norbert Haug.
Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko confirmed the extension and the rival approach.
“Last week Horner extended his contract for several years,” confirmed the Austrian, adding: “The Mercedes board were too late.”
Formula 1’s race on the streets of New Jersey will go ahead, say organisers, despite doubts about its contract and state of readiness.
The Grand Prix of America has been handed a June 16 slot on the 2013 calendar that is ‘subject to confirmation’ by the FIA, after F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone suggested that parts of its contract had not been met by race chiefs.
But race promoter Leo Hindery has moved to alleviate fears about the race. He insists contractual matters will be sorted and the infrastructure will be ready in time.
“We will be racing,” he was quoted as saying by the Bloomberg news agency.
“We don’t have existing, fixed facilities that can be inspected today, so when he [Ecclestone] says we’re subject to review, we’ll be subject to review until the race date just because of the nature of a street course racing for the first time.”
It is understood that Ecclestone has travelled to New York this week to meet race organisers and push on with the event, which is set to be the second race in the United States.
And Hindery made it clear that there was little his team could do to prove its state of readiness before the race takes place, because the grand prix was being held on a street circuit.
“Every first-year race is problematic until it isn’t,” he said. “We still have a few pieces to put together, but the sport’s now behind us and we’re thrilled to be on the calendar.”
Source: Autosport F1
Only a matter of days after a provisional calendar for the 2013 F1 season emerged featuring a date in June for the first F1 event in New Jersey, the inaugural event has been called into question after Bernie Ecclestone revealed that the existing contract has been cancelled.
Reports in recent months following the departure of event president Tom Cotter had suggested that the race could be heading for financial problems but it still featured on the 20-race schedule circulated to teams prior to the Singapore GP.
However, Ecclestone has now suggested that the race might not take place after organisers missed deadlines in the agreement they had in place with the commercial rights holder, meaning the contract they had is no longer valid.
“[They] have not complied with the terms and conditions of the contract which is now gone anyway,” he told the Guardian. “They don’t have a contract.”
The race was due to be confirmed on the calendar later this week when the FIA World Motor Sport Council meets and Ecclestone said there was still time for the issues in place to be rectified.
“We are pretty close to the final deadline,” he added. “We have got a world council meeting coming up. I think if somebody got behind them it could happen in 2013 because they have come a long way with the circuit.”
The Singapore Grand Prix will remain on the calendar for at least the next five seasons.
Shortly after the end of third practice, organisers of the event announced that the Marina Bay Street Circuit will continue to host a race until 2017.
“All of us wthout exception like being here. We are all here for another five years”, said Bernie Ecclestone.
The circuit arrived on the F1 calendar in 2008 and has quickly established itself as one of the focal points of the season.
Lewis Hamilton has denied reports that he has already signed a contract with Mercedes or any other team including his current outfit.
The McLaren driver is currently in India for a Vodafone promotional event and says the reports which suggest he has agreed terms with Mercedes already are “rubbish”, adding that his focus is 100 per cent on the championship battle.
“I have not signed up with anyone,” said the 27-year-old. “I don’t have a timeline [to sign by]. I have to get that [contract] sorted out. People are doing this in the background.
“Lot of stories are written about it, a lot of speculation… don’t get distracted by this rubbish.
“I am 100 per cent focused on the world championship. At present, this is my target.”
Meanwhile reports suggest McLaren are tired of waiting for his decision and have begun to put a ‘plan B’ together in case Hamilton does leave – with speculation that Sergio Perez and Heikki Kovalainen are amongst those which have been contacted.
Source: The F1 Times