F1 briefs: Kubica, McLaren-Mercedes and Austin

Robert Kubica will continue his push for racing fitness by stepping up to the wheel of a full world rally-spec Citroen C4 for two forthcoming minor rallies (Rally di Coma and Rallye du Var). “I can’t wait to drive a car that is as quick and has been as successful as the C4 WRC,” said the former BMW and Renault driver, who was seriously injured in a rally crash in February 2011.

Team boss Martin Whitmarsh has once again fended off speculation McLaren could be set to switch engine suppliers, amid rumours the British marque is eyeing a collaboration with Honda. “It is going to be McLaren-Mercedes for quite a few years to come,” he told the Daily Mail. Whitmarsh played down reports the Woking based team is looking at its options because it will now have to pay for a ‘customer’ supply of Mercedes power. “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,” he insisted.

The first of F1’s six cargo 747s has touched down in Austin, Texas, ahead of the Circuit of the Americas’ first US grand prix next weekend. Local broadcaster KVUE said the ‘Cargolux’ flight touched down at Austin-Bergstrom international airport on Wednesday afternoon. “A lot of that (flight’s cargo) is supplies for the paddock area,” track president Steve Sexton said. The Circuit of the Americas is an all-new facility, and Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali told La Stampa his team’s analysis is that it is a “copy and paste” of other well-known grand prix layouts.

Source:GMM

Whiting gives Austin track green light

Charlie Whiting has given Austin’s new Circuit of the Americas the green light to host its inaugural US grand prix in November.

We reported on Tuesday that F1’s highest-ranking FIA official was at the brand new venue for an inspection.

“Everything I’ve seen has been absolutely first class,” Whiting is quoted by the Austin American Statesman newspaper. “Progress since last time I was here has been amazing.”

Asked how the F1 world will react to the venue, he said: “I think they’ll all be really stunned.” Walking the entire layout on Tuesday, it was Whiting’s third inspection of the Austin venue, with the last to take place on the Monday before the race.

“It’s not supposed to be totally ready now,” he explained, “but we can see quite clearly that it will be (ready) without any problem at all.”

He said the best feature of the layout is turn 1; a sharp corner after a steep climb.

“Awesome is the only word I can find to describe it. Drivers and teams alike coming here for the first time are saying the same thing,” said Whiting.

Source:GMM

Whiting in Austin to inspect Circuit of the Americas

Two months before the venue’s inaugural US grand prix, Charlie Whiting is in Austin to inspect the brand new Circuit of the Americas.

The Austin American Statesman newspaper reports that F1’s race director, safety delegate and technical development chief must give Austin the nod “or there will be no” grand prix in mid November.

Whiting’s first inspection of the bespoke circuit was in June, and he said afterwards: “It is clear that the significant resources Circuit of the Americas has committed to completing this facility on time and to FIA specifications is making a difference.”

Source:GMM