THE loss Nokia sponsorship has been a big blow for the Tyrrell team, but it does open up the possibilities for the team to find a big new sponsor - or convince its existing sponsors to increase their involvement.
THE International Automobile Federation has been full of surprises in recent years and this week is no exception.
JUST after we closed last week the Sauber team confirmed that it had finally reached agreement with Johnny Herbert, and the Englishman is now confirmed as Heinz-Harald Frentzen's team mate with the Ford-powered team for 1996.
DAMON HILL continued his testing work at Barcelona last week, demolishing Michael Schumacher's pole position time from last year's Spanish Grand Prix, with an impressive lap of 1m20.90s - over half a second faster than Schumacher's 1m21.452s pole.
THE Ford Motor Company is planning to make a major motor sporting announcement at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on January 4, and the word on the street in Formula 1 is that the press conference is being held to reveal Ford's plans in Grand Prix racing for 1997 and beyond.
PHILIP MORRIS - the parent company of Marlboro and probably the biggest sponsor in Formula 1 racing - looks to be trying out new marketing strategies as the net closes on cigarette advertising around the world.
IT is no great surprise - nor a great source of worry to F1 bosses - that Formula 1 does not have any top American stars.
TO give you an idea of exactly what to expect from the 1996 Formula 1 World Championship, we have compiled a list of the teams entered, the drivers nominated or likely to be (with a question mark), the cars and engines and the likely date that the new machinery will be seen running.
EMMANUEL COLLARD has signed an option to become test driver for the Total Jordan Peugeot team in 1996.
THE withdrawal of Nokia from Formula 1 is bad news for British F1 driver Johnny Herbert - winner of two races this year.
THE FIA is in the process of deciding important changes to the way in which Grands Prix are managed by its officials, and our sources tell us that the existing structure will be modified and there will be new officials to fill the roles.
IF action on the race tracks is winding down at the moment in Europe, the French are taking to the mountains as usual for the annual Trophee Andros ice racing series.
DAMON HILL returned to testing at Estoril last week after a month's vacation and quickly gave signs that he intends to be challenging for the World Championship in 1996.
THERE may not be a United States Grand Prix on the 1996 Formula 1 calendar, but that doesn't mean that F1 has given up hope of breaking into America.
MIKA SALO and Vincenzo Sospiri - potential Tyrrell team mates in 1996 - collided heavily during the annual Elf Master Karting event at the Bercy exhibition center in Paris, France at the weekend - and both ended up nursing injuries.
THE International Automobile Federation (FIA) has finally published its definitive calendar for the 1996 Formula 1 World Championship and, as we suggested a couple of weeks ago, there is to be a European Grand Prix at the Nurburgring in April. The Pacific Grand Prix has been canceled as expected - although the Japanese circuit will be hosting a round of the International Touring Car Championship in August.
THERE may be only a week to go until Christmas but the Formula 1 teams are continuing to test at every available opportunity.
TYRRELL has lost its Nokia sponsorship deal - after just one season - and that means that the Ockham team has a $3 million gap in its 1996 budget.
DAVID COULTHARD had his first runs for McLaren in Spain last week, running in a McLaren without Marlboro branding because he is still bound by a promotional contract with Rothmans until the end of the year.
JEAN-PAUL DRIOT, boss of Driot Arnoux Motor Sport (DAMS), has announced that DAMS is staying in Formula 3000 in 1996.
THE Ligier team - run by Tom Walkinshaw and/or Flavio Briatore - appears to have given up on the idea of hiring a top Indycar racer to spearhead the team's assault in Formula 1 in 1996.
A little further research into South Africa's aspirations of holding Grands Prix in the future, reveals that since March 1993 things have changed.
THE Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) has published its official entry list for the 1996 Formula 1 World Championship and those with an eye for tradition are going to be upset.
ALAIN PROST has finally rejoined the McLaren F1 team to take on a rather vague role to help the team return to its winning ways of the late 1980s and early 1990s.
THE series of strikes which have paralyzed the whole of France for the last 18 days as the unions take on the government, resulted in the cancellation of the FIA Prize giving Gala and World Council meeting in Monte Carlo last week.
THE Italian justice system might be winning battles against corruption and the Mafia, but it is not impressing Formula 1 with its handling of the inquiry into the death of Ayrton Senna on May 1, 1994.
IT is quite likely that the Forti Corse F1 team - which entered F1 this year with Pedro Diniz and Roberto Moreno - will not be seen in Grand Prix racing next year.
ALTHOUGH there are reports in Europe that Mika Hakkinen's accident in Adelaide has accelerated research into the use of airbags in Grand Prix cars, work has, in fact, being going on since May 1994 when FIA President Max Mosley included airbag research in his brief to the then new Advisory Expert Group.
OUR spies at the FIA tell us that Bernie Ecclestone and his agents in North America have once again failed to find a deal to hold a United States Grand Prix, despite talks with both Las Vegas or Disneyworld.
GIANCARLO BAGHETTI, who died last week from cancer at the age of 60, competed in only 21 Grands Prix but he remains the only man in the history of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship to have won the first event in which he competed.
AFTER three weeks at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, Mika Hakkinen has flown back to Europe on a specially fitted-out medical jet, accompanied by two doctors, his manager Didier Coton and his girlfriend Erja Honkanen.
EDDIE IRVINE finally had his first runs for Ferrari last week, at the wheel of a V12-engined 412/T2 chassis.
THE Ligier team is still in the process of deciding what to do for drivers in 1996.
MINARDI has been testing a series of young drivers in recent days at the Ferrari test track at Fiorano.
WITHIN hours Pacific Grand Prix is expected to announce that it will not be competing in the 1996 Formula 1 World Championship.
THE Red Bull Sauber Ford test team, under Walter Naher, was in action at Jerez de la Frontera in southern Spain last week - with Heinz-Harald Frentzen completing four days of testing without any major incident.