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GP Week : Issue 209
F1 >>> nEWs luCa: i'm staYing Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo (left) was the subject of an Italian soap opera at Monza, with rumours suggestion that the 67-year-old was about to stand down. Reports at Monza suggested that di Montezemolo was destined for a new role at Italian airline Alitalia and that his place was about to be filled by current Fiat boss Sergio Marchionne. German newspaper Bild even reported that the only delay to an announcement confirming the news was the terms by which di Montezemolo was to make his exit and Marchionne did not help matters when he was asked. “Luca di Montezemolo and I are great friends,” he told reporters, “but when I read his statements, I thought they were things I would never have said about myself. “Everybody is useful but nobody essential,” Marchionne added. Di Montezemolo hosed down the rumours. “I have seen and heard a lot of rumours regarding myself and this often happens in the summer in Italy,” said di Montezemolo during an impromptu media call in the paddock. “But maybe this time is a little bit too much. “I am working, and I am here not to have a vacation: I am here because we are working very hard. “We have in front of us very important months. We will present a fantastic new car in the Paris motor show in the beginning of October. “We will be in Los Angeles with 600 Ferraris coming from all over USA, to celebrate 60 years of Ferrari [in America]. We are preparing a unique and unbelievable car to celebrate this event, with only 10 cars for our best collectors, American collectors. “We are also working with [Ferrari team boss] Marco Mattiacci to improve the organisation, to improve the Formula 1 team.” Max Verstappen will have his first drive of a Formula 1 car on a racetrack next week. According to reports, the Dutchman will undertake the 300 kilometres necessary to qualify for his F1 licence at Adria in northern Italy – and he may make an appearance at a GP earlier than expected. Expectations were that Verstappen would drive in Friday Practice in one of the final three races of a year at either Austin, Sao Paulo or Abu Dhabi. But now, it appears that he will drive at Suzuka, at which point he would become the youngest ever driver in any F1 event. On the Friday in Japan, Verstappen will be 17 years and 4 days old. the teenage Dream at BriEFly » A 20-race draft 2015 calendar was circulating at Monza. The extra race was in Mexico City, set for October 25, a week before the race in Austin. The opening race of the season at Albert Park was down for March 15. » Gene Haas has an engine deal with Ferrari for 2016. The American team, which has changed its official title to ‘Haas F1 Team’, secured the deal and will race with Prancing Horse power when it enters the sport. Ferrari currently has two customer deals in place, with Sauber and Marussia. » Kamui Kobayashi returned to Caterham in Italy but it appears that the Japanese driver was not the team’s first pick for Monza. Andre Lotterer, who raced for the team at Spa, initially agreed to suit up again but withdrew when the team told him that his car would be driven by Roberto Merhi in FP1. » Merhi was one of three ‘Friday’ drivers to drive in FP1. The others were Giedo van der Garde (Sauber) and Daniel Juncadella (Force India). » A date has been agreed for the first F1 test of 2015. The teams will gather at Jerez in Spain and start testing on February 1. Two other tests will be held in Barcelona in late February and early March. » Red Bull’s evolution from the team with the slowest trap speeds to the highest continued at Monza. Daniel Ricciardo topped the speeds with 362kmh, but Juan Pablo Montoya still holds the record. The Colombian hit 372kmh at Monza in his Williams in 2005. 12 GPWEEK.com // 12 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: