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GP Week : Issue 167
w BRIEFLY » Following his win in the Monza sprint race last weekend, GP3 driver Tio Ellinas – the most successful driver in Marussia Manor Racing GP3’s short history as a team – has been offered the chance of a test with the Marussia Formula One team. “It doesn’t quite seem real that I’m going to get my first F1 test; it is something I have always dreamed of since I was a child,” Ellinas said. “The test should come after the season next year, so I will be well prepared for it. I have got a lot of work to do before then though, so I will keep my head down over the winter and work hard to prepare for the 2013 season. I really want to thank the Marussia F1 team for this amazing opportunity.” » The BRDC has given its backing to a new low-cost single- seater championship run by Jonathan Palmer, BRDC Formula 4. Aimed at promoting motorsport talent in an era of austerity, “BRDC Formula 4 will see identical cars built ... spaceframe construction [which] will provide the optimal balance of strength, low cost and ease of repair, and the chassis will meet the latest 2012 FIA safety standards and feature front and rear wings. The cars, which will be known as MSV F4-013, will be powered by the cost effective and proven 2 litre Ford Duratec engine, developing 175bhp and featuring a Cosworth engine management system. The gearbox will be more sophisticated than any previous car at this level, being a 6 speed Sadev transmission incorporating paddle shift. ... The cars will run on slick and wet compound tyres provided by Yokohama.” Team size in the championship is limited to four cars, with cost of entry ranging from an estimate £35,000 for a private entrant and £70,000 for a professional team. F1 >>> NEWS This week saw a Young Driver Test run in mixed conditions at France’s Magny-Cours Circuit, with Ferrari, Mercedes, and Force India all giving some young blood the chance to do some testing in a current Formula One car. While Tuesday and Wednesday saw dry track conditions, rain on Thursday morning gave the young drivers a chance to run on Pirelli’s wet and intermediate tyres – an uncomfortable but invaluable experience. Jules Bianchi had two days behind the wheel of the F2012, on Tuesday and Thursday, while on Wednesday Davide Rigon took on driving duties for the Scuderia. Bianchi was other wise engaged that day – the only driver to spend three full days on track in Magny- Course, Bianchi spent Wednesday doing his young driver duties for Force India. Bianchi was the fastest man on track on all three days, and managed the fastest lap time of the test on Wednesday afternoon, a 1m16.467s set behind the wheel of the VJM05. Also running for Force India were Luiz Razia, who took to the track on Tuesday, and Rodolfo Gonzalez, who rounded off the test for the team. Over at Mercedes, it was Sam Bird who took on the lion’s share of the driving duties, although Brendon Hartley, formerly of the Red Bull Young Drivers’ Programme, spent Thursday behind the wheel of the W03. Also present at the test was race driver Michael Schumacher, who dropped in to keep an eye on the young talent rising through the ranks. The sign of a keen competitor, or a future team principal? Mercedes debuted several new innovations at the test – both the team’s new Coanda-style exhaust and their innovative triple DRS system were put on trial at Magny-Cours. Team principal Ross Brawn was characteristically taciturn on his team’s latest developments. When asked how the triple DRS worked, Brawn said only: “We'll leave that up to everyone's imagination.” The device is believed to channel air over the rear wing from three separate areas at the front and rear of the W03, giving the team added straight-line speed. Given that an effective triple DRS system would have provided the Silver Arrows with a clear advantage at Monza last week, it is a shame the team’s race drivers were unable to show it off to its full advantage. THREE DAYS IN MAGNY-COURS: THE YOUNG DRIVER TEST 8 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: