John Surtees has been awarded a CBE in Britain’s New Year’s Honours list. Surtees, the only man to win world championships on both two wheels and four, will add the Commander of the Order of the British Empire to his OBE in 2008 and MBE in 1959. The award recognises not only his achievements as a competitor but also his charitable work through the Henry Surtees Foundation, which he established after the death of his son Henry during a Formula 2 race in 2009.
Romain back? Romain Grosjean hasn’t ruled out a return to the factory Renault team in the future, despite joining the new Haas F1 Team for this year. Grosjean made his F1 debut with the Renault works operation mid2009 and remained with the Enstone team through its guise as Lotus in recent seasons. With Renault returning as a full factory outfit for this year, Grosjean’s move to Ferrari partner Haas came as a surprise. Grosjean said: “Enstone is a big chapter in my life and it was hard to leave. Who knows though, maybe in a few years’ time they will produce a winning car and call me and say ‘let’s win together’.”
Merc to budge? Mercedes head Toto Wolff has hinted that the firm is prepared to make allowances to the rest of the grid in an effort to make F1 more competitive. F1’s four engine brands have until January 15 to submit proposals for the future direction of the power unit programme. Wolff told Autosport that he was working with Bernie Ecclestone to find ways of making the sport less predictable. Wolff said: “We are all clear that we want to move forward and I’m having really good discussions with Bernie every day. His product is difficult to sell if you know before the start which driver or team will win. Equally, he accepts that we must optimise Mercedes’ performance. Now we need to find a compromise to give F1 more variety.”
Button’s hope Jenson Button is hoping that his MclarenHonda team can emulate the same gains that Ferrari achieved this time last year. Mclaren’s second era with Honda power was a flop, but Button has cited Ferrari’s recovery to form as an example of a swift turnaround in F1. “It was great to see Ferrari pick up the pace and I heard rumours they found 100bhp, but whatever they found it was massive,” said Button. “Obviously we need to make even bigger steps than they did, but they have shown it can be done over a winter.”