Ferrari to offer fans chance to name 2014 car

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Ferrari is offering its fans the chance to name its 2014 Formula One car, via a fan vote on the Internet, which could be perilous. Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo announced the news at the company’s annual pre-Christmas dinner with Italian media at Fiorano.

Recently, the Ferrari nomenclature has been a simple F-year, F2012 being the most recent. But there have been exceptions. In 2009, the F60 was named as such to celebrate Ferrari’s 60th year in F1. In 2011, the Ferrari 150O Italia was named for 150 years since Italy’s unification although it endured a legal battle with Ford over its original F150 name. Most recently, this year’s chassis, the F138, was named to denote the year 2013 and the last season of V8 engines.

Considering some of the things that are popular on the Internet, it could be disconcerting to think of the possibilities for the F-whatever the name is called. But for now, we’ll just believe that Ferrari fans are sensible and smart enough about Formula One history that they can come up with something memorable in a good way.

Lauda labels Verstappen USGP penalty ‘the worst I’ve ever seen’

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Mercedes Formula 1 non-executive chairman Niki Lauda has called the FIA stewards’ decision to penalize Max Verstappen for his last-lap pass on Kimi Raikkonen in Sunday’s United States Grand Prix as “the worst I’ve ever seen”.

Verstappen charged from 16th on the grid to take third place from Raikkonen on the last lap after a stunning fight through the field, completing the fightback with a bold pass in the final sector.

However, the stewards stripped Verstappen of P3 after he appeared to put all four wheels off the circuit when riding the kerb to pass Raikkonen, causing outcry in the F1 community.

Speaking to reporters after the race in Austin, Lauda condemned the stewards’ decision, slamming them for interfering in the late fight.

“We had meetings at the start of the year to see how far stewards should go in decisions during a race because it always says ‘under investigation’,” Lauda said, as quoted by Crash.net.

“So we complained about that and we agreed all together that the stewards would not interfere – very simple.

“If the driver goes over another and upside down, only then would they weigh in. That was at the beginning of last year.

“For six months it was OK, but this decision was the worst I’ve ever seen. He did nothing wrong.”

Lauda said F1 team bosses would discuss stewarding at the next Strategy Group meeting, which is due to be held in the next two weeks.

“These are racing drivers. We are not on the normal roads and it is ridiculous to destroy the sport with these kind of decisions,” Lauda said.

“At the next strategy meeting, we will put it back on the agenda and start all over again, because we cannot do that.

“They go too far and interfere and there was nothing to interfere with. It was normal overtaking.”