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Sur­tees’ hon­our

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.”

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