Alonso Snubbed Red Bull ‘Several Times’: Dr Helmut Marko is bitter because he was turned down “several times”, Fernando Alonso has claimed. Following Red Bull and Ferrari’s 2012 title battle, a verbal spat broke out between Spaniard Alonso and Austrian Marko, who is Red Bull team owner Dietrich Mateschitz’s right-hand man. Marko claimed that while world champion Sebastian Vettel is fully focused, Alonso is too “busy with politics and funny comments”. Alonso retorted: “Some (people) say they don’t read them (Alonso’s comments), don’t hear them and don’t see them, before adding that they are not influenced by them — so clearly they do read them, maybe at night.” Now, the feisty 31-year-old Ferrari driver has hinted Marko is bitter because of how many times he rejected Red Bull’s interest in his highly-rated services. “After hearing ‘no’, it always hurts a little more each time,” Alonso is quoted by Brazil’s Totalrace.
Bottas Not Worried About Williams’ 2013 Car Delay: Valtteri Bottas insists Williams’ late launch for its 2013 car is not a worry. Ahead of the 22-year-old Finnish rookie’s March debut, it emerged that the famous British team will buck the trend by only unveiling its new Renault-powered FW35 after the opening pre-season test at Jerez. “We have always prepared in order to use last year’s car in the first test session,” Bottas is quoted by Finland’s Turun Sanomat newspaper. “We will be experimenting with a lot of parts for the new car, but of course the main focus is to get a feel for this year’s Pirelli tires,” he added. “They are different to last year’s (tires) and only in the testing will we see how they really behave,” said Bottas. It also emerges that Bottas’ race engineer this year will be a newcomer to that role, Briton Jonathan Eddolls, a former Williams data engineer. “He is a really smart, young guy, who last year worked with me in the last few (Friday) practice sessions,” Bottas is quoted by the broadcaster MTV3. Bottas also has a new trainer, 32-year-old Finnish decathlete Jaakko Ojaniemi.
Caterham To Launch At Jerez: Caterham’s 2013 car will emerge on the first day of winter testing at Jerez. The team, tenth in last year’s championship, announced on Monday that the new car will be called CT03, even though the 2012 single seater was the CT01. “The first road car from our partnership with Renault is CT02, hence CT03. Simple!” Caterham said on Twitter. It will be launched on February 5th which is the opening day of the first official pre-season test in southern Spain. “Caterham … will commence its program immediately after taking the wraps off its new car,” the team added in a statement.
Force India To Launch New Car Without Second Driver: Force India has confirmed reports it will not be making a driver announcement prior to the launch of the 2013 car early next month. It has been reported Adrian Sutil and Jules Bianchi are the frontrunners to join Paul di Resta at the Silverstone based team this season. But amid claims of a financial crisis – which have been strongly denied by the Vijay Mallya-led team – Force India confirmed reports the seat alongside di Resta will be left open for now. Force India will launch its 2013 single seater at Silverstone on February 1. “The launch will be devoted entirely to the new VJM06,” deputy team boss Bob Fernley is quoted as saying by the website of French sports magazine L’Equipe. The report claimed di Resta’s teammate will be announced between the launch and the start of the first pre-season test at Jerez a few days later.
New Season Will Be As Close As 2012 – Domenicali: Ferrari is expecting another closely-fought world championship contest in 2013. Last year, no fewer than six separate teams won Grands Prix – a rarity in Formula One – and for 2013 the regulations are not changing significantly. “The stability of the regulations is always a condition that favors greater similarity in the performance of the competitors,” team boss Stefano Domenicali is quoted by Brazil’s O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper. “I don’t think anyone will come up with anything critical, as Brawn GP did in 2009 or Red Bull in 2011, to create a great imbalance,” the Ferrari chief added.