NEWS ARCHIVE

24 FEBRUARY 1997

BRAZILIAN GP TO SWITCH VENUES?

NELSON PIQUET's Autodromo Nelson Piquet in Brasilia is aiming to host the Brazilian Grand Prix in 1999.

F1'S SOCCER STARS?

FORMER McLaren designer and March founder Robin Herd quit motor racing in 1995 and decided to try his hand in the world of English football, as chairman of the Oxford United soccer club.

FERRARI BLITZES MUGELLO RECORD

EDDIE IRVINE set a new lap record at Mugello last Thursday at the wheel of a Ferrari F310B, fitted the 046/2 engine.

LOLA'S LAST-MINUTE LAUNCH

LOLA'S LAST-MINUTE LAUNCH

THE Mastercard Lola Formula 1 team launched its Grand Prix challenge last Thursday at London's Hilton Hotel, unveiling the Lola-Ford T97/30 which will be raced this year by Brazilian Ricardo Rosset and Italian Vincenzo Sospiri.

MCLAREN BLITZES BARCELONA RECORD

MIKA HAKKINEN lapped the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona last week in a time of 1m17.70s, in his McLaren-Mercedes MP4-12 - carving a remarkable 0.68s off the best lap achieved at the track this winter by Olivier Panis in his Ligier-Mugen Honda JS45 10 days previously.

PROST BLITZES MAGNY-COURS RECORD

PROST GRAND PRIX called off a planned test in Estoril because of the Spanish truck drivers' strike and then canceled a replacement test at Silverstone because bad weather was forecast (a wise decision).

SENNA - THE TRIAL BEGINS

THE legal battle over what caused Ayrton Senna's death at Imola in May 1994 began last week in a converted dance hall in the town not far from the racing circuit.

THE CONCORDE DISPUTE PLODS ON

THE battle over the 1997-2001 Concorde Agreement remains in the background of Grand Prix racing at the moment.

TINO BELLI JOINS ARROWS

TINO BELLI has been appointed head of research & development with Tom Walkinshaw's Arrows Grand Prix operation.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

A week of frantic record-breaking around the European racing circuits has left the Formula 1 circus with very little idea about which cars are really the most competitive - and we are unlikely to discover the actual pecking order until qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix begins in Melbourne on March 8.

WILLIAMS BLITZES ESTORIL RECORD

JACQUES VILLENEUVE finished a five day test at Estoril last week setting a best lap of 1m18.37s, a second and a half faster than Ferrari and McLaren had managed the previous week and two full seconds faster than Damon Hill's pole position lap of 1m20.330s at the Portuguese GP in September.

17 FEBRUARY 1997

... SO IT'S GOODBYE CESARE

THE first victim of Alain Prost's takeover of Ligier is likely to be the team's 59-year-old sporting director Italian Cesare Fiorio.

F1 TRUCKERS RUN THE GAUNTLET

THE Formula 1 teams have not been having an easy time in recent days because of a violent strike in Spain which has crippled cross-border truck traffic for the last 10 days.

FIA ADVOCATES EUROPE-WIDE DANGEROUS SPORT LEGISLATION

IT may be some time in coming but the international automobile federation is working quietly towards European legislation to avoid the legal problems currently facing the sport as a result of the death of Ayrton Senna at Imola in 1994.

MAGNUSSEN HURT AT ESTORIL

STEWART GRAND PRIX driver Jan Magnussen had to have six stitches in his lower leg on Saturday after a sizable testing accident in Estoril's Turn 2.

MCLAREN AND BRITISH AEROSPACE

McLAREN INTERNATIONAL has announced a five-year "technology partnership" with British Aerospace (BAe) which will include, what the team describes as "a broad range of technology programs".

PROST TAKES OVER LIGIER...

EQUIPE LIGIER GAULOISES BLONDES ceased to exist last Thursday in Geneva, Switzerland, when Alain Prost signed a deal to buy the French team from Flavio Briatore, who bought the team early in 1994 because he was trying to get the team's Renault engine supply for Benetton.

RON'S BIG NIGHT OUT

THE West McLaren Mercedes team blew a vast sum of money last week in London to reveal the color scheme of the McLaren-Mercedes MP4/12.

RORY BYRNE GOES TO FERRARI

RORY BYRNE has been appointed chief designer at Ferrari and will head the design team of the 1998 Ferrari F1 car.

THE FUTURE OF ADRIAN NEWEY

WILLIAMS chief designer Adrian Newey remains on fully-paid leave from the team - as he has been since he decided not to turn up for work at Grove on Friday, November 8 last year.

THE WEEK'S TESTING

JACQUES VILLENEUVE and Heinz-Harald Frentzen gave notice that the Williams-Renault FW19 is going to be the car to beat this year by quickly getting down to the same sort of times as Ferrari and McLaren had managed at Estoril last week.

WILLIAMS AND BAT

BRITISH AMERICAN TOBACCO, the world's second largest tobacco company, which had been talking to Tom Walkinshaw's Arrows F1 team about a major sponsorship deal is now tipped to be the favorite to replace the Williams team's title sponsor Rothmans when the deal finishes at the end of this year.

10 FEBRUARY 1997

ALESI BEATS JEREZ RECORD

WITH all but two of the new Formula 1 cars now up and running, attention in the last few days has been fixed on the racing circuits of Spain and Portugal where most of the new cars are now running.

ARROWS AND STEWART OVERSHADOWED

THE much-vaunted Arrows and Stewart teams have found themselves completely overshadowed in Barcelona in recent days as Ligier enjoys a moment in the F1 spotlight.

BRIDGESTONE'S F1 STRUCTURE

THE Bridgestone Corporation's Formula 1 plans for the coming season are now taking more concrete shape with the establishment of a motorsport headquarters at High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire.

MONZA KEEPS THE ITALIAN GRAND PRIX

THE Automobile Club of Milan has signed a new five-year deal with the Formula 1 Constructors' Association to host the Italian Grand Prix at the Autodromo Nazionale at Monza until the year 2001.

PACIFIC LAYS FOUNDATIONS FOR F1 RETURN

KEITH WIGGIN's Pacific Racing - which struggled in F1 in 1994 and 1995 but enjoyed enormous success in the junior formulae with drivers such as Bertrand Gachot, JJ Lehto, Eddie Irvine, Christian Fittipaldi and David Coulthard - has made no secret of the fact that it would like to get back into Grand Prix racing in the future.

PANIS SENSATIONAL BEFORE CRASHING NEW LIGIER

ON Friday Olivier Panis set the Formula 1 world talking when he took his new Ligier-Mugen Honda JS45 around the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona in a lap of 1m18.38s - half a second inside the fastest lap recorded at the track six days previously by World Championship favorite Jacques Villeneuve in the new Williams-Renault FW19.

POLITICAL HAPPENINGS

FORMULA 1 politics has taken a back seat in recent weeks as the teams have been busy building their new cars for the coming season.

SAUBER LAUNCHES TODAY

SWISS Formula One team Sauber launched its new Sauber Petronas C16 on Monday - deciding to unveil the new car on the Internet before beginning testing of the new car at Ferrari's Fiorano test track.

THE NEW MINARDI RUNS AT MUGELLO

THE revamped Minardi team revealed its M197 at Monza on Tuesday and then headed straight to Mugello to begin testing the new car, which will be powered by Brian Hart's V8 engines and will run on Bridgestone tires.

3 FEBRUARY 1997

... BUT FRANCE WAITS

THE French Grand Prix has been given three more months in which to find a solution to the legal problems surrounding the televising of the event.

ACTION IN BARCELONA

WILLIAMS, Tyrrell and Ligier were all in action in Barcelona last week - but the three-day test was dominated by Heinz-Harald Frentzen in a Williams-Renault FW18C - the designation of the latest version of the 1996 car, fitted with the entire 1997 rear end.

GABRIELE TREDOZI ON THE M197

THE M197 is a completely new car. Everything has been changed: the engine, the chassis, the gearbox and the aerodynamics.

GARY ANDERSON ON THE 197

OUR development program has combined with aerodynamic improvements to give us a massive amount more downforce than we had with the 196.

JORDAN BLOCKING LIGIER SALE

EDDIE JORDAN has stalled Alain Prost's arrival in Formula 1 as a team owner - because he doesn't want to lose his Peugeot engine supply in 1998.

LOIC BIGOIS ON THE JS45

ALTHOUGH from the outside the new Ligier-Mugen Honda JS45 might appear to be quite similar to last year's JS43, it is, in fact, a completely new car beneath the surface.

MIKE GASCOYNE ON THE 025

RACING cars are very simple. If you press down harder on the tires, put stickier tires on the car, give it more horsepower and put in a driver who gets to full throttle earlier, then the car goes a lot quicker."

NICK WIRTH ON THE B197

RORY BYRNE and I worked together on this project.

PATRICK HEAD ON THE FW19

THE new Williams-Renault FW19 very much follows the design philosophy of the FW17 and FW18.

PORTUGAL IS ON!

THE Automovel Club de Portugal has given a guarantee to the FIA that the circuit will be resurfaced and ready for inspection by August 31.

PROST AND THE FRENCH

ALAIN PROST is now admitting publicly that he intends to buy Ligier and while chauvinistic Frenchmen are dreaming of a new "national racing team", they may be disappointed when Alain finally takes over.

RON DENNIS ON THE MP4-12

THE process by which the new McLaren-Mercedes MP4-12 was designed was not particularly radical.

TECHNICAL ANALYSIS: BENETTON-RENAULT B197

THE Benetton technical team has been restructured considerably in the last 12 months with technical director Ross Brawn moving to Ferrari and chief designer Rory Byrne retiring from the sport.

TECHNICAL ANALYSIS: JORDAN-PEUGEOT 197

THE Benson & Hedges Total Jordan Peugeot team unveiled its Jordan-Peugeot 197 at London's Hilton Hotel on January 30.

TECHNICAL ANALYSIS: LIGIER-MUGEN HONDA JS45

EQUIPE LIGIER GAULOISES BLONDES unveiled its Ligier-Mugen Honda JS45 at the Cafe de Paris, in Monte Carlo's Casino Square on January 22.

TECHNICAL ANALYSIS: MCLAREN-MERCEDES MP4-12

THE West McLaren Mercedes Benz team had a "sneak preview" of its new 1997 car at its factory in Woking early on the morning of January 14.

TECHNICAL ANALYSIS: MINARDI-HART M197

THE Minardi Team ran its new Minardi-Hart M197 at Mugello, near Florence, on February 1 in preparation for the team's official launch at the Autodromo Nazionale at Monza on February 4.

TECHNICAL ANALYSIS: TYRRELL-FORD 025

THE Tyrrell Racing Organization - which is beginning its 30th season in Formula 1 racing - unveiled its 1997 challenger at the Capital Radio Cafe in London's West End on January 20.

TECHNICAL ANALYSIS: WILLIAMS-RENAULT FW19

THE Rothmans Williams Renault team unveiled its 1997 car at its old factory in Didcot, Oxfordshire, on January 31.

THE SCRABBLE FOR ENGINES BEGINS

MECACHROME'S decision to enter Formula 1 in its own right is an exciting development for Grand Prix racing's smaller teams as it means they could get the chance of more competitive engines in 1998 - because most of the top teams are already contracted elsewhere or do not want to have to pay for engines.

TOBACCO FIGHTS BACK

THE tobacco industry in the United States is fighting back against recent moves to ban all tobacco sponsorship of sporting events - which can only be good news for the future of Grand Prix racing in America.

WILLIAMS TO USE MECACHROME V10S

RENAULT says it is to sell its Formula 1 engine secrets to precision engineering company Mecachrome and that these units will be used by Williams in 1998 and 1999. The World Champions will, however, have to pay for its V10s.