Force India and Lotus Racing are involved in a tussle in the civil courts over alleged misappropriation of intellectual property, relating to work conducted in the Aerolab wind tunnel facility that both teams have used. Force India has taken action against Mike Gascoyne, Aerolab and the Malaysian parent companies of Lotus Racing.
By coincidence Lotus Racing has headhunted three key people from Force India. The latter’s technical director Mark Smith, a long-time associate of Mike Gascoyne, will take on the same role at Lotus when he is released by his current employer. Also moving teams are Lewis Butler, as chief designer, and Marianne Hinson, as head of aero.
BBC F1 pundit and 13-time GP winner David Coulthard was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List. Jenson Button recently picked up his similar medal from Her Majesty, earned after winning last year’s World Championship.
Cars International boss Paul Osborn has launched a programme designed to give up-and-coming drivers experience of F1 power at a time when proper testing opportunities are rare. Virgin Racing test drivers Andy Soucek and Luiz Razia have already sampled FV10’s 2006 Super Aguri. The modified car uses a Cosworth V10 engine and Avon tyres, and is run by ex-Williams engineer Tim Preston.
Bernie Ecclestone has made it clear that he doesn’t expect to broadcast F1 races in High Definition until at least 2012, claiming that there is currently insufficient demand to justify it. His television department has been experimenting with 3D camera technology, even running one on Jarno Trulli’s Lotus in Canada.
Ferrari appears to be attempting to ‘do a Hamilton’ by signing 11-year-old Canadian karting star Lance Stroll to its Driver Academy programme. Stroll’s father Lawrence is one of the richest men in Canada and a long-time Ferrari collector.