Sergey Sirotkin, Sauber, Sochi, 2013

Sochi circuit ‘ready to host Russian Grand Prix’

F1 Fanatic Round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Sergey Sirotkin, Sauber, Sochi, 2013In the round-up: The track which will hold the inaugural Russian Grand Prix this year is declared ready for racing.

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New Sochi circuit wins FIA seal of approval (Reuters)

Charlie Whiting: “Everything has been done to the highest standards and I’m extremely pleased. I can say without hesitation that the circuit is ready 60 days in advance, which is very rare really.”

Grosjean in no rush to secure F1 future (Autosport)

“Hopefully they get a good engine. Then, from there, we can assess what they are capable of doing.”

Get with the programme (MotorSport)

Helmut Marko: “I don’t know why we get so much shit about the guys that fall off the programme. When they leave they are still earning maybe a couple of hundred thousand Euros or more racing elsewhere – which they would not have been doing otherwise.”

Lewis Hamilton in mood to assert his authority in F1 title race (The Guardian)

“The handcuffed closeness of Hamilton and Rosberg in the season so far would suggest the championship is more likely to be decided in Austin or Brazil – the penultimate race – but hopefully not in the double-pointer farce that will be the final event in Abu Dhabi on 23 November, a desperate contrivance that will represent a low point in Formula One.”

The Real Reason Bernie Ecclestone Settled His Bribery Trial (Forbes)

“Mr Thomas told Forbes ‘we have to keep in mind that Formula One must go on and if it went on with this trial for the next five months then it would mean that problems in Formula One could arise so Bernie said ‘OK I do not intend to go on with this if I get a settlement without conviction and the presumption of innocence is still valid’. The rest of course was just a question of money and that was what Bernie had to decide. I think he really decided on this because he wants to go on with Formula One.'”

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Comment of the day

The curious news that Caterham will run Andre Lotterer instead of Kamui Kobayashi this weekend produced some mixed responses:

Gutted to see Kobayashi out, but at least they’re replacing him with a genuinely skilled driver rather than some hack with a wad of cash.

Lotterer is one of the most skilled drivers outside of F1. It’s just a shame that the car he’s been given won’t give him a chance to display his immense talent.
@JackySteeg

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On this day in F1

Toto Wolff’s great predecessor Alfred Neubauer, chief of the pre- and post-war Mercedes grand prix and sports car teams, passed away on this day in 1980.

He masterminded victories for the three-pointed star in the Formula One world championship, the Le Mans 24 Hours and many other great races. But Neubauer and Mercedes pulled out of motor racing after the horror of the 1955 Le Mans 24 Hours, when his driver Pierre Levegh was launched into the crowd and killed along with more than 80 spectators.

Image © Sauber