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GP Week : Issue 207
F1 >>> nEWs pORSchE SEcuRES ThE fuTuRE Of kYALAMi Kyalami, the home of the south African Grand Prix, looks to have a future as a racetrack after being purchased by Porsche south Africa last week. In an auction lasting less than two minutes a phone bidder representing the company secured the Farm Bothasfontein 72-hectare property, better known as Kyalami, for R205 million (approx $20m). “We are so glad that Kyalami can stay a race track and that motor racing can continue in South Africa,” Porsche SA spokesperson Christo Kruger said. Kyalami (‘My Home’ in Zulu) became a favourite of teams and drivers when it hosted the SAGP from 1967 and 1985 and then 1992/93. The original 4.26km GP circuit has been compromised by encroaching commercial development, with iconic corners Crowthorne and Barbeque Bend eliminated and the once- fearsome Jukskei Sweep heavily modified. The circuit hosted its last international competition in May 2010 with the sixth race of the Superbike World Championship. ABOVe While Alain Prost won the last South African Grand Prix for Williams in 1993, the race also marked the debut of Sauber (pictured) in Formula 1, Honda’s Formula 1 program chief has left no one in any doubt that his company is coming back to Grand Prix racing for one reason – to win. Yasuhisa Arai told speed Week that the company will focus on its partnership with Mclaren and there are no plans to defray the cost of developing its new Power units by selling them to customer teams, as Mercedes-Benz, Renault and Ferrari have done. “We are not thinking about that,” said Arai. “At the moment we want to concentrate only on our return [to F1] for the 2015 season.” He also distanced his 2015 program from the company’s disastrous previous effort, which saw the manufacturer exit F1 on the eve of a double title year in 2009 for BrawnGP, which emerged from the ashes of Honda’s ‘earth Dreams’ effort. “You cannot compare,” Arai insists. “We are approaching very differently in 2015, starting with the fact that we will no longer make the car ourselves.” When asked what the goal for 2015 is, he answered: “To win Grands Prix with Mclaren. It is for this reason we decided to partner with Mclaren. We want to make history.” Arai dismissed earlier reports that Mclaren will test early versions of the new engine in a modified car at the post-season test, confirming that Honda will test the first time at jerez next year. hONDA: iN iT TO WiN at BriEFly » Caterham is facing legal action of the sacking of 40 team members. A lawyer representing the workers told the BBC that the sackings were “done without warning or consultation”. » Alexander Rossi was not out of an F1 test role for long. Two weeks after splitting with Caterham F1, the American has joined the Marussia Formula 1 team as reserve driver for the rest of the 2014 season. Rossi is expected to appear in at least one Friday Practice session in the second half of the season. » Pirelli has revealed the compound choices for the races in Belgium, Italy and Singapore. Spa will see a more aggressive tyre allocation, with soft and medium tyres replacing the medium-hard combination of 2013. At Monza, the same medium-hard selection will be on offer and Singapore will be conducted on supersoft and soft tyres. » A team building bike ride on the Tuesday after the German GP has resulted in injuries for Mercedes Formula 1 bosses Toto Wolff and Paddy Lowe. A chain-reaction collision saw a number of team members hit the deck in Vienna, and while Technical Chief Lowe escaped lightly with cuts and bruising, Commercial Director Wolff suffered fractures to a wrist, elbow, shoulder and collarbone. » The Schumacher family is believed to be selling its private jet. With Michael Schumacher still recovering from the head injury he suffered in December his wife Corinna is believed to have their Falcon 2000EX on the market. The jet cost Schumacher about US$21 million in 2006 and is expected to go for about US$16m. 13 GPWEEK.com // 13 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: