Constructors champion Red Bull Racing have decide to pay every member of its staff with a bonus $16,000 after winning the Formula One Drivers’ and Constructors’ championships for a third, consecutive time in 2012, the Telegraph reports.
This will cost the energy drink-owned squad millions, but not as much as the financial windfall of winning the title as spelled out in the Concorde Agreement brings them. According to Telegraph’s Tom Cary McLaren failing to leapfrog Ferrari for second place in the constructors’ standings in Brazil cost them about $12 million.
Red Bull will switch to a new specification of alternator for the final race of the season in Brazil this weekend following Mark Webber’s alternator failure in yesterday’s United States Grand Prix.
Mark Webber suffered Red Bull’s third alternator failure in a race this season at Austin, losing him a chance of a podium finish.
That problem prompted concerns from the team about that area of the car, which has left engine partner Renault in no doubt that Red Bull must switch to the newer spec for this weekend’s Interlagos showdown.
Renault’s head of trackside operations Remi Taffin told AUTOSPORT about the plans for Brazil: “It is very simple. We go for the new spec. It has passed all the tests.”
Red Bull elected not to use the newer specification, which was raced by other Renault teams, because it felt safer using the older specification that had so far proved trouble-free.
When asked why that decision had been made if the newer units had passed all reliability tests, Taffin said: “Because they are human beings and at some point as humans they have some feelings.
“It was a common decision, so we put everything on the table and we decided altogether we should go that way. We had everything to fit either the old or new design.
“But the feeling was generally that there is some sense to keep on using something that we have known for years with low mileage and stuff like that, even if we had a new solution that we knew had gone through all the tests.
“Maybe it is a bit more difficult to understand, but put yourself in the situation where you have to make a decision.
“Sometimes you go into a shop and there are two different things and your head says you should buy this one but your heart says you should buy the other one.”
Taffin added that the fact that Renault’s other teams had successfully used the revised newer specification of alternator last weekend meant that Red Bull should have no concerns about its reliability for Brazil.
“This is the first Sunday it has been used, but now we are up to 2000km on a few items with track and dyno testing, so there is nothing we would do more on this item before we fit it on the car.”
(Quotes from Autosport F1)
Mark Webber retains his third place grid slot in Austin, Texas but is reprimanded for missing weight check after Q1 in qualifying.
He was called summoned by the stewards as he missed weight checks during the first phase of qualifying (Q1) with the stewards then investigating the matter when the session had drawn to a close.
Having looked at the evidence and spoken to both Webber and a representative of the Red Bull team, the decision was taken to hand down a reprimand which means he will be able to start the race from the position in which he qualified after a solid showing in the session.
“The driver failed to proceed directly to the FIA garage for weighing when signalled to do so,” the stewards decision read. “However upon realising the error, the team brought the car back to the FIA garage immediately.”
Webber was pleased with his performance during qualifying as he secured a place on the clean side of the grid, although he said he was aiming to improve on race day as he seeks to help Red Bull wrap up the constructors’ championship.
“I’m pretty happy with qualifying actually,” he said. “It’s a very tricky venue in terms of tyres, circuit conditions, all those type of things together Seb touched on. It’s easy to be out of the window here and not be super competitive if you don’t get everything together. I was pretty happy with the last part of Q3. We had to manage a little problem in the car, which in the end I don’t think would have cost us a position because the guys obviously were pretty quick and both did very strong lap times. But I’d have liked to have had a little bit more pace.
“Overall I’m happy to the third on the grid. It’s certainly up there towards the front and we can have a very, very strong grand prix from there. So, it’s a great job from the team. I think Constructors’-wise we’ve got our eye firmly on that tomorrow, to try and put that to bed and that’ll be a huge result for everyone at Milton Keynes and at Renault.”
Jules Bianchi transfers back to Ferrari and finishes top for the third day in succession.
Jules Bianchi topped the times again today on the third and final day of the Young Driver Test at Magny-Cours in France. Having driven for Force India on Wednesday, the Frenchman switched back to Ferrari for the last day and despite a wet start, managed 138 tours in total at the wheel of the F2012, while working on aerodynamic measures and set-up evaluations. His best lap was a 1 minute 16.985 seconds, which put him more than a second up on Rodolfo Gonzalez. Interestingly though, it was still 0.518 seconds slower than the top time he set yesterday at the wheel of the Force India…
Gonzalez meanwhile was getting his first taste of the Force India and did 79 laps, his best a 1m 18.018s. The Venezuelan ran through a varied programme, which included pit stop simulations and launches, as well as running with different aero settings. Like all three drivers on track, he also got a taste of the intermediate tyres early on when conditions were wet.
Brendon Hartley was the other
man on track, taking over the Mercedes from Sam Bird. Hartley hadn’t driven an F1 car for over three years, but was pleased to get a run in the W03 after having only previously piloted it in the simulator. He used the wet and intermediate tyres in the morning, before conducting set-up work over longer runs on the harder tyres this afternoon. In total he did 87 laps. All three teams now switch their focus to the Singapore Grand Prix, which takes place next weekend.
Magny-Cours test times – Day 3, 13 September:
1. Jules Bianchi France Ferrari-Ferrari 1min 16.985secs 138 laps
2. Rodolfo Gonzalez Venezuela Sahara Force India 1min 18.018secs 79 laps
3. Brendon Harley New Zealand Mercedes-Mercedes 1min 18.671secs 87 laps all times unofficial
Bernie Ecclestone opted for a low-key ceremony as he wed Brazilian fiancee Fabiana Flosi in Switzerland.
F1 commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone has married for the third time, committing in secret to Brazilian fiancée Fabiana Flosi at a ceremony in Switzerland.
The 81-year old has been escorting his latest acquisition for the past three years, having met her through a shared interest in the Brazilian Grand Prix, where the 35-year old bride worked as vice-president of marketing.
The couple announced their engagement in April and reportedly wed at the start of F1’s summer break, although details have only now emerged.
The wedding took place at Le Lion, the £23m Ecclestone family ski chalet in Gstaad but, according to reports, went largely unnoticed by the F1 tycoon’s equally famous neighbours. It was also shunned by Ecclestone’s two daughters, who were born during the octogenarian’s previous marriage, which lasted for 23 years before ending in expensive acrimony.
Ecclestone, and his new wife, are both expected to be in attendance when the F1 season recommences at Spa-Francorchamps next weekend.