ITALIAN Giancarlo Fisichella was the star of the Estoril testing last week, setting competitive times in his first runs with the Benetton team.
THE International Touring Car Championship is to be canceled at the end of the season - and that could be important for Formula 1 engine supply in 1998 and beyond, as it could mean that General Motors will turn its attention to F1 instead.
IN one of the most surprising Formula 1 moves in recent years, Damon Hill last Friday signed a deal to drive for TomÊWalkinshaw's Arrows team in 1997.
MINARDI driver Pedro Lamy walked uninjured from a very large accident in testing last week at Estoril.
THE Hill-Arrows announcement is likely to precipitate a fair amount of movement on the F1 driver market in the next few days as everyone was waiting for Damon's decision.
THE signing of Damon Hill by Tom Walkinshaw leaves one question unanswered - who is paying the bills?
THE fact that Johnny Herbert has signed for Sauber indicates that it is quite likely that the Swiss team will be using Ford V10 engines again next season.
THE Estoril paddock was full of rumors that several top F1 designers are about to switch teams - in addition to the rumored move of Adrian Newey from Williams to McLaren.
WE hear that Ford and Cosworth may come to the rescue of Grand Prix racing once again by providing customer V8 engines next year.
THE Formula 1 team principals are planning a week-long testing session at the Phillip Island circuit next Spring.
IN a surprise move Johnny Herbert last weekend signed a new two-year contract with Sauber.
DAMON HILL last Wednesday secretly signed a 10-day option with the Jordan F1 team - which means that if EddieÊJordan can find the money Hill is demanding, Damon will join Ralf Schumacher in the team next season.
MALAYSIAN Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad was at Estoril over the weekend for negotiations with Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone about the possibility of Malaysia holding a Grand Prix in 1999.
TRADITIONALLY this is the time of year when the F1 teams give young drivers the chance to test Grand Prix machinery.
EDDIE JORDAN announced in Portugal that he has signed a three-year deal with Michael Schumacher's younger brotherÊRalf.
STEWART GRAND PRIX last week announced a $38m sponsorship deal with the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation.
THE FIA Formula 1 Commission met in Estoril on Thursday afternoon to discuss the matters of the moment in F1.
THE last few days have seen an enormous amount of testing activity around Europe.
THE Ford Motor Company is expected to decide this week on which team it intends to supply with a customer version of its V10 engine next year.
THERE are whispers in Formula 1 circles that Grand Prix boss Bernie Ecclestone is worried that there will not be enough engines for all the F1 teams in 1998.
MIKA HAKKINEN has decided to stay with McLaren for a fourth season - but Mika is keeping his options open for the future, having signed only a one-year contract.
THE Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad is to visit the Portuguese Grand Prix this weekend at Estoril.
THE fact that Ralf Schumacher has blithely shrugged off the chance to become a McLaren driver can only indicate that the 21-year-old brother of World Champion Michael Schumacher has the solid offer of a drive elsewhere.
MCLAREN's re-signing of Mika Hakkinen - while not unexpected - does mean that Damon Hill's options for 1997 and beyond have narrowed with the only top drive now available - and officially it isn't - being Jean Alesi's Benetton seat.
JACQUES VILLENEUVE says that he has not given up hope of winning this year's Formula 1 World Championship - despite the fact that he is 13 points behind Hill with a maximum of 20 points available in the final two Grands Prix of the year.
THE Estoril motor racing circuit is located a few miles to the west of Portugal's capital city Lisbon, up in the barren, rocky scrub land behind the seaside resorts of Estoril.
ONE other theory doing the rounds at Monza suggested that Damon Hill could end up at McLaren alongside DavidÊCoulthard.
THE Formula 1 team bosses met at Maranello on the Thursday before Monza to discuss changes to the Concorde Agreement.
THE Dome Formula 1 team has abandoned its plans to enter Grand Prix racing in 1997 and is now looking for money for 1998.
AS Formula 1 revenues increase annually into the hundreds of millions of dollars it becomes more and more likely that companies involved will sell shares and "go public".
AS we predicted last week, Heinz-Harald Frentzen has been signed as Jacques Villeneuve's partner in the RothmansÊWilliamsÊRenault team for 1997 and 1998.
THE current campaigns to restrict tobacco advertising around the world seem to be having a contradictory effect in FormulaÊ1 with tobacco companies rushing to become involved in Grand Prix racing before the restrictions become too tight to make it worthwhile.
THERE was intense speculation at Monza that Damon Hill will join Benetton next season as team mate to Gerhard Berger.
REPORTS in Germany last week suggested that Adrian Newey has agreed to join the McLaren Mercedes team in 1997.
THE Tyrrell team seems to be in serious trouble for the future - particularly if Yamaha has done an engine deal with TomÊWalkinshaw's Arrows team.
EACH passing week sees Tom Walkinshaw in deep negotiation with another F1 engine manufacturer.
DAMON HILL goes to Monza this weekend with the chance to win his first FIA Formula 1 World Championship.
DAVID BRABHAM is due to test the Bridgestone-owned, Arrows-run Ligier-Mugen Honda in Japan this week as part of the Japanese tire company's program in preparation for entering F1 next year.
THE court case between Forti and its sponsor Shannon has now ended with the Italian judge deciding that Shannon does own 51% of the racing team.
DAMON HILL's contract with Williams is not going to be extended into 1997 - and that means that Heinz-HaraldÊFrentzen has probably already signed up on a long-term contract with Williams.
IN the days following the Belgian GP there has been much talk about who has gained from the political upheavals surrounding the new Concorde Agreement - and who is going to lose out.
JOS VERSTAPPEN was released from the hospital in Liege on Monday after spending a night under observation after his huge accident during the Belgian GP.
BOXING promoter Frank Warren says that he will help rebel Formula 1 teams McLaren, Williams and Tyrrell to start up their own series if they cannot agree terms with Bernie Ecclestone.
ITALY's Autodromo Nazionale is situated at Monza, a small town to the north of the Italian city of Milan.
MARLBORO may have pulled the plug on the McLaren team for 1997 - but the cigarette company says it plans to remain committed to Formula 1.