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GP Week : Issue 175
F1 >>> NEWS Formula 1 driver are expected to be on their best behaviour this weekend after some impolite language was used in Abu Dhabi. The FIA has sent a reminder to all teams that their drivers need to be careful with their words after Sebastian Vettel dropped the ‘F-bomb’ during the podium interview. Race winner Kimi Raikkonen also used a swear word during the post-race media conference. British broadcaster BBC received more than 20 complaints about the drivers’ language. “I’m terribly sorry for using the wrong word on the podium,” Vettel said, “and I’m sorry if I have offended anyone who was watching. “In the heat of the moment, I didn’t use the right words and I apologise. I’ll do it better next time.” For more, see Peter Windsor’s comments, later in this issue Caterham has named Cyril Abiteboul as its new team principal. Team founder Tony Fernandes announced last week that he was standing down from the role, in order to concentrate on developing the company’s road car business. The change takes effect immediately, with Abiteboul in charge from this weekend race in Austin. “Cyril is going to be an excellent team principal,” said Fernandes. “He has extensive experience in F1, he is extremely well respected and he shares our vision for what we want our team to achieve. “He takes over during a season when we have not yet fulfilled our potential, but at a time when we have everything in place to help us do so. One day we will earn our seat at the top table of Formula 1 and he is the right person to take us there.” At 35, Abitgeboul becomes the youngest team principal in the F1 paddock, and will be younger than four of the drivers on the grid – Michael Schumacher, Pedro de la Rosa, Mark Webber and Narain Karthikeyan. “I am honoured to take over as team principal, now combining that role with the CEO post I took up in September 2012,” said Abiteboul, “and I would like to thank Tony and [Dato’] Kamarudin [Bin Meranun] for the chance to lead this team into the next phase of its growth.” Most recently, Abiteboul has been deputy chairman of Renault Sport, which supplies the team’s engines. He will maintain a role with Renault Sport until early next season. BEST BEHAVIOUR, PLEASE ABITEBOUL IN AT CATERHAM ABITEBOUL IN AT CATERHAM w BRIEFLY » McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh has talked down speculation that the team may have a future association with Honda. “It is going to be McLaren-Mercedes for quite a few years to come,” he told the Daily Mail. “I think we have got a very good deal with them, but I think more importantly than that is we have got a good partnership.” » Kimi Raikkonen’s words during the Abu Dhabi GP will not soon be forgotten by any of the Lotus staff. The Finn arranged to have 500 T-shirts made and sent to the staff to commemorate the team’s win. The black shirts are emblazoned with the words “Leave me alone, I know what I am doing” in the traditional team’s gold print... » Pirelli faces its second new circuit of 2012 this weekend, after having been to Hockenheim for the first time last summer. The Italian company will bring its ‘silver’ hard and white ‘medium’ tyres to the Circuit of the Americas track this week. » Sauber may not have announced its 2013 driver line-up – but Carlos Slim has. The Mexican billionaire recently told the Reforma newspaper that there would be two Mexicans in F1 next year, referring to speculation that Sergio Perez’s seat would be filled by Esteban Gutierrez. » Daniel Juncadella tested for Ferrari last week. The Formula 3 Euro Series and European F3 Champion tested a 2009 Ferrari F60 over 48 laps at the Vallelunga near Rome. Riccardo ‘Ricky’ Agostini and Eddie Cheever, son of former F1 driver Eddie Cheever, also tested at the track. 5 GPWEEK.com // 5 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: