It’s a special weekend
Today saw the start of the Ferrari Racing Days event in Istanbul, along with the penultimate European round of the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli, making its maiden appearance at Turkey’s Istanbul Park circuit.
Austria and Turkey will not be on F1’s 2013 calendar, while the Nurburgring looks set to host this year’s German grand prix.
“It should be the Nurburgring, we will try to make it possible,” Bernie Ecclestone is quoted by the Austrian newspaper Kronen Zeitung. Media reports said meetings between the financially embattled German circuit’s officials and the F1 chief executive will take place imminently in London.
With the 2014 rules, the FIA is reportedly aiming to slow down the F1 cars by no more than five seconds per lap.
F1’s governing body backtracked on aerodynamic changes for the 2014 season because of fears the next generation of cars would be too slow. After the recent World Motor Sport Council meeting in Turkey, the FIA announced that scheduled bodywork rule changes for 2014 to reduce downforce have been replaced by “2012 specification”.
As Turkey’s hopes fade, it looks increasingly possible that Austria will return to the F1 calendar in 2013.
This week, at Bernie Ecclestone’s request, the FIA reserved a date for an unidentified additional European race next year. Istanbul Park’s new operator Vural Ak then announced he had reached an agreement “in principle” with the F1 chief executive, pending the Turkish government’s support.
Turkey is set to return to the formula one calendar, the government-linked Turkish news agency Anadolu Ajansi reported on Thursday.
The report said “everything except the price” has been agreed between Turkish officials and F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone. The news follows the FIA’s announcement on Wednesday that a twentieth race date for an unidentified additional European event has been set aside for mid 2013.
Despite losing one of F1’s strongest brands, Bernie Ecclestone has backed Michael Schumacher’s decision to finally retire.
“It is the right time for Michael to go,” the F1 chief executive is quoted by Express newspaper. The 81-year-old Briton was a big supporter of the great German’s return to F1, but at the tail-end of 2012 he admits: “There have been a few too many shunts and another one in practice today (at Suzuka on Friday).”
Hembery explains ‘blank’ Pirelli tyres in Spain
Some of the tyres, whose compounds are normally visibly differentiated with coloured branding, featured significantly different markings. The big rumour was that, now just two weeks before the start of the season in Australia, teams had requested the blank tyres in order to hide their test programmes from their rivals.
Turkey is on standby should Bahrain not return to the formula one calendar next season.
Last year’s race in the island Kingdom was called off due to the civil unrest. But Bahrain’s troubles seem to be persisting still, with violence near the now-famous Pearl Square marking the parliamentary elections at the weekend.