50% of Mercedes staff working on 2014 car

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Toto Wolff has revealed that Mercedes is slowly switching focus to its 2014 car, with over half of the team members set to be working on the W05 by next month.

“We’re already working on 2014 and we’ll gradually raise the percentage of people working on next year’s car,” Wolff told the official Formula One website.

“I would say that in May we will reach a point where more than 50 per cent will work on the 2014 car.”

This move comes despite Mercedes having a strong start to the season, claiming two pole positions and currently occupying fourth place in the constructors’ championship. However, Wolff believes that the shift to 2014 is a natural move for all teams bar those competing for the title.

“There is no doubt that at a point in the summer everybody will switch their main resources to the 2014 car, as this is a very complex and complicated machine.

“Of course it all depends on where you are in the standings. Those who are fighting for the title will of course concentrate longer on this year’s car.”

With a new raft of regulations due to come into effect for next season, preparation will be key if Mercedes is to challenge for both championships in 2014. Regardless, Wolff was still hopeful of the team excelling in 2013.

“I want to be among the four top teams in the constructors championship and have a driver among the top four as well.”

Weather prompts INDYCAR to move up start time of today’s race in Alabama

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The scheduled starting time for today’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park has been moved up due to inclement weather in the Birmingham, Alabama area.

The command to start engines is now scheduled for 3:01 p.m. ET, rather than the previous scheduled start of 3:35 p.m. ET. The race, which is expected to take the green flag at 3:08 p.m. ET,  will be carried live on NBCSN.

In addition, the INDY LIGHTS race, previously scheduled to start at 1 p.m. ET, saw its starting time moved up to 11:45 a.m. ET.

According to several different weather forecasts, thunderstorms are predicted for the afternoon, with some forecasts calling for up to 100 percent chance of storms.

The rain is expected to continue into the evening and on into Monday.

INDYCAR officials are monitoring the very fluid situation and further schedule adjustments could be made.

We’ll keep readers up to date on further changes here on MotorSportsTalk.