“I would be surprised if we don’t see BMW again.”
Caterham’s links with French manufacturer Renault was key to Charles Pic’s Marussia switch.
That is the claim of Olivier Panis, the former grand prix winner who is now deeply involved with the management of countryman Pic’s F1 career. Some raised their eyebrows when Pic, 22, agreed to switch from Marussia to Caterham – both similarly-matched backmarker teams – for the 2013 season.
Losing tenth place in the constructors’ championship at the final hurdle last year was a major reason for Timo Glock’s shock departure.
Sebastien Buemi has admitted a sports car programme in 2013 is some compensation for having to watch every grand prix from the reserve bench.
“Yes, it’s terrible,” the Swiss said, when after being retained as Red Bull’s official reserve driver for 2013 was asked if sitting on the sidelines is difficult. “Real torture!” Buemi, 24, said as he recalled last year, the first season after being dropped by Red Bull’s junior team Toro Rosso.
The opening races of this season’s world championship will be crucial, according to Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali.
In 2012, runner-up Ferrari had a dire start to its campaign, while eventual champion Red Bull also took some time to establish its full potential. But with the sweeping rule changes of 2014 looming large, Domenicali said the dynamics of this season’s battle will be different.
Ferrari will develop the aerodynamics of its 2013 car exclusively in Cologne.
After encountering problems with its Maranello facility this year, Ferrari’s wind tunnel will be closed next year until August. International reports, including in El Mundo Deportivo newspaper (Spain) and Kolner Express (Germany), said Ferrari has now turned its attention to Cologne, where the former F1 team Toyota rents out its state-of-the-art facility to clients.
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