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Nico Rosberg: World Cup helmet to be changed after Fifa objection

Formula One driver Nico Rosberg will alter the design of a helmet to celebrate Germany's World Cup win after football's governing body objected.

Fifa said plans by the Mercedes driver to use an image of the trophy would breach "intellectual property" rights.

F1 title race leader Rosberg, 29, hoped to wear the helmet for his home German Grand Prix at Hockenheim this weekend.

He may opt to keep other references, such as the national flag and four stars to represent four World Cup wins.

In a statement, Fifa said it was "obliged to take action against any unauthorised reproduction of its intellectual property in a commercial context".

It added: "We cannot allow a commercially branded helmet to feature the trophy as this would jeopardise the rights of our commercial affiliates.

"We appreciate Nico Rosberg's desire to congratulate the German team and have therefore been in discussions with the Rosberg team to attempt to find a solution, whereby he is still able to show his support for Germany without using Fifa intellectual property in a commercial context."




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A new era begins, first car launch dates trickling in....

Michael Schumacher out of coma and leaves Grenoble hospital http://www.jamesallenonf1.com/2014/06/michael-schumacher-out-of-coma-and-leaves-grenoble-hospital/

Funny how quickly things change and that all the focus is on Rosberg's lid. If the World Cup was a few months earlier. it'd be this guy's helmet which would be getting all the attention....(ahem)

You remember? Germany's other four times world champion?.....


I think I prefer his too....


Edited by Rob.
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Williams is reducing the difference to Mercedes. Just two tenths now. It was more than one second in the first races.

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Pastor Maldonado signs new Lotus deal for 2015

Pastor Maldonado has signed a deal to stay at Lotus for the 2015 season, despite failing to score a single point this year.

The Venezuelan has yet to get off the mark in nine Grand Prix races in 2014.

But Lotus owner Gerard Lopez said: "Despite the difficulties, he recognises our true potential as a team and we recognise his true potential as a driver.

"We will achieve great things together."

Maldonado brings with him significant sponsorship funds from the Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA, which paid £30m a year for him to drive at Williams between 2011 and 2013.



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The German GP

1. Nico Rosberg          Mercedes               1h33m42.914s 2. Valtteri Bottas       Williams-Mercedes      +20.789s   3. Lewis Hamilton        Mercedes               +22.530s   4. Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault       +44.014s   5. Fernando Alonso       Ferrari                +52.467s   6. Daniel Ricciardo      Red Bull-Renault       +52.549s   7. Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes   +1m04.178s 8. Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes       +1m24.711s 9. Kevin Magnussen       McLaren-Mercedes       -1 lap10. Sergio Perez          Force India-Mercedes   -1 lap11. Kimi Raikkonen        Ferrari                -1 lap12. Pastor Maldonado      Lotus-Renault          -1 lap13. Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Renault     -1 lap14. Esteban Gutierrez     Sauber-Ferrari         -1 lap15. Jules Bianchi         Marussia-Ferrari       -1 lap16. Kamui Kobayashi       Caterham-Renault       -2 laps17. Max Chilton           Marussia-Ferrari       -2 laps18. Marcus Ericsson       Caterham-Renault       -2 laps


Drivers' championship              1. Nico Rosberg        190        2. Lewis Hamilton      176        3. Daniel Ricciardo    106        4. Fernando Alonso     97         5. Valtteri Bottas     91         6. Sebastian Vettel    82         7. Nico Hülkenberg     69         8. Jenson Button       59         9. Kevin Magnussen     37      10. Felipe Massa        30       11. Sergio Pérez        29       12. Kimi Räikkönen      19 13. Jean-Éric Vergne    9  14. Romain Grosjean     8  15. Daniil Kvyat        6  16. Jules Bianchi       2  
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Williams is reducing the difference to Mercedes. Just two tenths now. It was more than one second in the first races.

Only in qualifying, still some way off in the races.

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I was really concerned for the marshals' - Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton said he feared for the safety of the marshals at the German Grand Prix as they recovered Adrian Sutil's Sauber at the final corner in the closing stages of the race.

Sutil spun on the exit of the corner, leaving his Sauber stricken on the pit straight at the end of lap 49. Race control opted not to deploy a safety car, meaning marshals had to run across the track to get to the Sauber while cars continued to lap at racing speed.

"I was really concerned for the marshals, really concerned," Hamilton said. "You know, we come around that corner at serious speed, and then there's marshals standing not far from where you're driving past. For me, that's the closest it's been for a long, long time."

Hamilton said the situation reminded him of a video he had seen of Tom Pryce's fatal accident at the 1977 South African Grand Prix in which a marshal running across the track was also killed.

"When I used to work at a driving school in Bedford, and one day I came in and they had this video playing of a race from years and years ago. A car stopped on the track, and a marshal ran across the track and got hit by a car coming past. That was the first thing I thought about, and I couldn't believe they didn't bring out the Safety Car. I was worried about the marshals. Fortunately no one got hurt."

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso said safety cars had been deployed in less dangerous situations in the past.

"Being objective and honest, probably we were expecting a safety car in a normal situation," he said. "Sometimes they have put the safety car out for a piece of front wing on the track, and now it was a car there and it was not a safety car. It was a surprise, but if they didn't put it out it was because they felt it was not a risk and they removed the car in a safe manner. I hope, I didn't see it and that was it."

Read more at http://en.espnf1.com/germany/motorsport/story/168465.html#L7vZPoCdeg165opH.99

What Charlie Whiting had in mind? F*** the outcome of the race. Human safety should come first. Why the Safety Car was introduced in F1? Luckily the 1977 accident was not repeated because it's possible to see a marshal hesitating when he saw a car coming.

South Africa 1977



Germany 2014


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Mexico Grand Prix returns to calendar for 2015

Mexico will return to the Formula 1 calendar in 2015 after a 23-year absence, organisers of a planned new race have announced.

Live events company CIE said it had signed a five-year deal to run the race at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City.

The track has previously hosted grands prix from 1963-70 and 1986-92.

CIE president Alejandro Soberon said: "Start your engines, F1 will return to Mexico next year."

F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone confirmed the news and said the deal would "benefit both for many years".

The return of the event was originally planned for 2014, but the organisers could not update the track in time.

The circuit is likely to be reconfigured from the layout last used when Nigel Mansell won in 1992, with the neutering of the infamous and ultra-fast banked right-hander at the end of the lap, Peraltada.

It will also be resurfaced to reduce its notorious bumpiness, with spectator stands and pit garages also undergoing renovations to comply with FIA regulations.

A gap in the calendar, as well as taking logistics into account, means it is likely the race will run back-to-back with the United States Grand Prix held in Austin, Texas - although a concrete date is yet to be decided.

The race would take the F1 calendar up to 20 races, the theoretical maximum, although it can be extended beyond that with the teams' agreement.

Interest in F1 in Mexico has risen in recent years following the debut in 2011 of Sergio Perez, who this year is driving for Force India.

There is a second Mexican driver, Esteban Gutierrez at Sauber, although it remains unclear whether he will still be in F1 in 2015.

Organiser will be hoping for crowds of 180,000 to attend over the three-day event.

Both men's careers have been bankrolled by the Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, who is one of the key figures behind the return of the country's race.

Ecclestone is also in the final stages of agreeing a grand prix in Baku in Azerbaijan.

The oil-rich Caspian state is understood to have signed contracts with F1. Funding is considered to be a formality.

Azerbaijan is planning a street race in the historic capital, which will pass the Azeri parliament building on the seafront promenade.

There has been no word on the mooted new race in New Jersey, overlooking Manhattan.

It was first scheduled for 2013 but has since been postponed twice following the organisers' failure to raise the necessary sanctioning fee. F1 insiders believe the race is unlikely to happen.

Meanwhile, question marks have been raised about this year's maiden Russian Grand Prix in Sochi, scheduled for 12 October, following the downing of a Malaysian Airlines passenger jet over Ukraine with the loss of all 298 people on board.

The contract for the Russian race, which is closely tied to Russian President Vladimir Putin, is said by senior figures to be worth $50m a year to F1 over a five-year contract.

The sport's commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone said at the German Grand Prix last weekend: "I don't see any problems with that," adding that F1 "doesn't get involved in politics".

However, senior British MPs have called for the race to be cancelled in the light of the Ukraine crisis

Andrew Benson


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Hamilton and Magnussen to start from pitlane

Lewis Hamilton and Kevin Magnussen will both be forced to start from the pitlane in Hungary after their respective teams were forced to build up their cars around the spare chassis overnight, which leads to an automatic penalty.

Hamilton’s Mercedes was obviously badly damaged by the fuel fire that took hold early in Q1, and Paddy Lowe confirmed to this writer that the change will be made. McLaren discovered that Magnussen’s car had suffered both gearbox and chassis damage in his impact with the tyre wall at the start of Q3.

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The Hungarian GP:

1.  Daniel Ricciardo   Red Bull-Renault         1h53m05.058s 2.  Fernando Alonso    Ferrari                       +5.225s 3.  Lewis Hamilton     Mercedes                      +5.857s 4.  Nico Rosberg       Mercedes                      +6.361s 5.  Felipe Massa       Williams-Mercedes            +29.841s 6.  Kimi Raikkonen     Ferrari                      +31.491s 7.  Sebastian Vettel   Red Bull-Renault             +40.964s 8.  Valtteri Bottas    Williams-Mercedes            +41.344s 9.  Jean-Eric Vergne   Toro Rosso-Renault           +58.527s10.  Jenson Button      McLaren-Mercedes           +1m07.280s11.  Adrian Sutil       Sauber-Ferrari             +1m08.169s12.  Kevin Magnussen    McLaren-Mercedes           +1m18.465s13.  Pastor Maldonado   Lotus-Renault              +1m24.024s14.  Daniil Kvyat       Toro Rosso-Renault             -1 lap15.  Jules Bianchi      Marussia-Ferrari               -1 lap16.  Max Chilton        Marussia-Ferrari               -1 lap                                                             Retirements:                                                                                                            Esteban Gutierrez  Sauber-Ferrari                33 laps     Kamui Kobayashi    Caterham-Renault              25 laps     Sergio Perez       Force India-Mercedes          23 laps     Nico Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes          15 laps     Romain Grosjean    Lotus-Renault                 11 laps     Marcus Ericsson    Caterham-Renault               8 laps
Drivers' championship: 1.  Nico Rosberg       202 2.  Lewis Hamilton     191 3.  Daniel Ricciardo   131 4.  Fernando Alonso    115 5.  Valtteri Bottas    95 6.  Sebastian Vettel   88 7.  Nico Hulkenberg    69 8.  Jenson Button      60 9.  Felipe Massa       4010.  Kevin Magnussen    3711.  Sergio Perez       2912.  Kimi Raikkonen     2713.  Jean-Eric Vergne   1114.  Romain Grosjean    815.  Daniil Kvyat       616.  Jules Bianchi      217.  Adrian Sutil       018.  Marcus Ericsson    019.  Pastor Maldonado   020.  Esteban Gutierrez  021.  Max Chilton        022.  Kamui Kobayashi    0Constructors' championship: 1.  Mercedes              393 2.  Red Bull-Renault      219 3.  Ferrari               142 4.  Williams-Mercedes     135 5.  Force India-Mercedes  98 6.  McLaren-Mercedes      97 7.  Toro Rosso-Renault    17 8.  Lotus-Renault         8 9.  Marussia-Ferrari      210.  Sauber-Ferrari        011.  Caterham-Renault      0
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Melbourne secures Australian GP until 2020

Melbourne will continue to host the Australian Grand Prix until at least 2020 after organisers agreed a new deal for the race.

After a year of negotiations a new contract from 2016-2020 was signed with Formula One Management in London last week to keep the venue on the calendar. State Premier Denis Napthine confirmed the deal had been struck, which includes the right for Australia to remain as the season opener.

"This is a terrific announcement that reaffirms Melbourne and Victoria as the sporting and events capital of the world," he told the 3AW radio station. "We've secured another five-year deal for the grand prix and we've secured a great deal for the people of Victoria that's a better deal than the existing deal.

"The new deal is on the same terms as the existing contract in that it will be the first race of the season, it will be in March each year."

In recent years Ecclestone has threatened to axe the race, but in a press release he was supportive of the event.

"I congratulate Melbourne for the excellent way in which it presents Formula One to the world."

Formula One has been racing in Melbourne since 1996 when the circuit took over the Australian Grand Prix from Adelaide.


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Max Verstappen will replace Jean-Eric Vergne at Toro Rosso in 2015

Dutchman will be come F1's youngest ever driver when he makes debut

Max Verstappen will replace Jean-Eric Vergne from the start of next season Toro Rosso have revealed.

The 16-year-old, who is the son of former F1 driver Jos, only graduated from karts this year and impressive performances in the European F3 Championship saw him join Red Bull’s junior programme at the start of August.

Verstappen will be just 17 when he takes to the grid next year, becoming F1’s youngest ever driver.



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Belgian GP: Andre Lotterer in for Kamui Kobayashi at Caterham

Three-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner Andre Lotterer will replace Japan's Kamui Kobayashi at Caterham for this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix.

Lotterer, 32, has never raced in Formula 1 but the German did have a spell as Jaguar's test driver in 2002.

A Caterham team statement did not indicate how many races Lotterer would contest but did say Kobayashi "still remains part of the team".

Lotterer will partner regular Caterham driver Marcus Ericsson at Spa.

A Caterham statement read: "Lotterer will replace Kamui Kobayashi for this round of the championship.

"The team will benefit from having another experienced driver at the wheel of the car throughout the weekend and the German's feedback will contribute to improve the performance of the car."

Lotterer said: "I am delighted to be given the opportunity to take part in a Formula 1 race weekend - I want to thank Caterham for this chance.

"I'm ready for this challenge and I cannot wait to jump in the car and make the most out of the weekend ahead."

Kobayashi, 27, joined Caterham at the start of this season, having been forced to sit out 2013 after losing his Sauber drive.

The Japanese driver, who has also raced for Toyota in F1, has contested 71 grands prix, scoring 125 points and claiming a podium finish for Sauber at his home race at Suzuka in 2012.


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Sochi F1 track gets FIA green light

Moscow: The Formula One track in Russia’s Black Sea city of Sochi has been given the green light by F1 race director and safety delegate Charlie Whiting.

“The circuit is in very good condition and will be issued with a [FIA] licence,” said Whiting, who is in Sochi along with an inspection team from the world motorsport’s governing body, the FIA.

The inspection team visited the recent host city of the Winter Olympics to evaluate the quality of the track and the venue itself to ensure that it fit the purpose of hosting a Formula 1 Grand Prix race, scheduled for October 10-12.

On arrival in Sochi, Whiting, who is also the head of the F1 technical department, said he had been impressed with the Sochi track’s safety systems.

“We’re happy about the safety here. It’s absolutely first class, I could not describe it any better than that,” the Sochi Autodrom quoted Whiting as saying on its website.

“We’ve done lots of simulations on the track... and we are entirely confident that Sochi Autodrom is absolutely first-class when it comes to safety.”

Whiting said he believes that the inaugural Russian GP will be a success.

“I think, it’s going to be a spectacular race and I’m really looking forward to it,” he said.

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Rossi to replace Chilton at Marussia for Spa

American rookie Alexander Rossi will make his Grand Prix race debut this weekend in Belgium after being drafted in as a late replacement for Max Chilton at Marussia.

The team said Chilton, who has raced for the Banbury-based squad since 2013, was being substituted "while contractual issues are resolved".

Rossi, 22, only joined Marussia as test and reserve driver last month having previously served a similar role at Caterham, contesting four Friday practice sessions over the past three seasons.

"It goes without saying that I am thrilled to be given the opportunity to race in Formula 1 for the first time," Rossi said. "I cannot thank the Marussia F1 Team enough for the faith they are demonstrating in me.

"It's a very big moment for me and there's a lot to prepare in a short space of time, but on the other hand I have felt ready for this for quite a while now.

"It is also exciting to be given this opportunity at such a fantastic and historical circuit as Spa-Francorchamps. I can't wait to drive the MR03 from tomorrow and I hope to reward the team with a solid race weekend."

Team principal John Booth admitted the driver change had not been planned, and said the team is hoping to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.

"Although it was not our intention to offer Alexander the possibility to race this season, in light of the circumstances we are pleased to be providing him with the opportunity to make his Grand Prix debut at this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix in Spa-Franchorchamps," Booth said.

"Naturally we hope to resume normal service with respect to our established race driver line-up as soon as possible, but for now we wish Alexander well for the weekend ahead and we look forward to seeing him in action."

Rossi will be the second debutant at Spa this weekend, following Caterham's decision to replace Kamui Kobayashi with three-time Le Mans 24-hour winner Andre Lotterer.


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Chilton reinstated for Marussia at Belgian GP

SPA, Belgium British driver Max Chilton has been reinstated to drive for Marussia at the Belgian Grand Prix this weekend, just a day after he was replaced by American Alexander Rossi.




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