In the round-up: Felipe Massa says he set his sights on moving to a team with Mercedes power after losing his seat at Ferrari last year.
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“Many people said Mercedes was in front and doing a great job with the engine. I think that was in my mind – that I wanted to race with a Mercedes engine.”
Jules Bianchi was mugged for a £58,000 watch from sponsor Richard Mille when he stepped outside a hotel in Paris to have a cigarette with a friend.
“I’m predicting a big strong year for F1 in the UK, because you’re probably going to have Lewis [Hamilton] at the front and also Williams doing well.”
“We have to try and score points. Being there just to compete is nice but it’s not what we want.”
“The situation has not changed. Any medical information published which is not confirmed by the team of doctors treating Michael or his management has to be considered as not valid.”
Bernie Ecclestone: “It was a long night to convince both Eddie Jordan to release you and Flavio to take you but apart from my loss of sleep, it worked out well and I was very proud to have made it happen. I have always been one of your big supporters, so don’t let me down. My warmest wishes!”
“I think everyone has forgotten about [the Concorde Agreement] to be honest because with the agreement we currently have with this Strategy Group, we don’t really need it.”
“Keeping his companionable and soft voice at the same timbre, Ecclestone said, ‘Be careful what you write. As much as I hate suing in America…’ and his voice trailed off a bit, but the drift, as we understood it, was that he was willing to go endure the distasteful task of ruining us financially, even though we’re just a couple of cable bills shy of bankruptcy anyway.”
“We have got a contract on the table with France for a race at Magny-Cours. To meet the terms of our contract, the organisers will need money and we will want some kind of guarantee that it’s not going to be a one-night stand. It was [originally] going to take place this year, actually.”
“The fund, which invests Norway’s oil and gas revenues, bought a $1.6 billion stake in motor racing’s Formula One in May 2012, together with investors BlackRock and Waddell & Reed.”
“I know him well. Competence in business is competence in business. But it’s a pretty steep learning curve that he would be faced with.”
“Obviously I don’t expect to be treated like God. I’m not the world champion but at the same time I’ve been reassured I’m going to get the equal side, the same length of straw, whatever you want to say.”
“According to [BBC F1 editor Mark] Wilkin, we will be getting a complete overhaul of the world [television] feed, with a new graphics set.”
Frank Williams: “I was very close to Ayrton and the iconic double S logo has been a mainstay on our cars since his death 20 years ago. This new logo is our way of celebrating his achievements as a racing driver, and also the sterling work of his Foundation which is doing so much to promote educational opportunities in Brazil.”
Tweets and pictures
Daniil Kvyat: “Here we are , on the way to our first ever Formula 1 GP in Australia ! #ReadyFreddie”
— Lotus F1 Team (@Lotus_F1Team) March 7, 2014
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) March 7, 2014
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Comment of the day
@Electrolite relishes the anticipated contest between the two Mercedes drivers:
The prospect I find exciting about this season is the battle between Mercedes’ two drivers. Even more so than Ferrari’s, because the W05 seems a likelier candidate for a drivers’ championship.
If either win the championship, it’ll be a big deal – Rosberg because he’s ever truly been held in the same regard as Vettel/Hamilton/Alonso/Raikkonen – somewhat an underdog out of the top drivers; Hamilton because, like Alonso, it’s been long time since his last – not mention it would truly vindicate the decision to move to Mercedes that split so many opinions. A huge year for both.
From the forum
Happy birthday to Icthyes, Les and Preekel!
On this day in F1
Another of F1’s major rules shake-ups resulted in a dominant performance by one team on this day in 1998.
McLaren romped to an emphatic one-two in the Australian Grand Prix, but courted controversy when David Coulthard waved team mate Mika Hakkinen past. Hakkinen had been leading until making a pit stop by mistake due to a problem with his radio.
Image © Williams/LAT, Red Bull/Getty