TED BALL, who financed the Brabham and Lotus Formula 1 teams in the early 1990s has been jailed for three years at the Old Bailey in London, having admitted that he defrauded millions of dollars from banks simply in order to fund his passion for Grand Prix racing.
THE British American Tobacco Reynard Formula 1 team has secured an engine deal for testing in 1998 and racing in 1999 and beyond.
FIA President Max Mosley hinted at Jerez that the recent controversies over advanced electronic systems on Formula 1 cars may be restricted in the course of the winter months. The FIA is worried that electronic brakes balance systems, differentials, and three-dimensional engine mapping have led to developments which mean that the cars are no longer being driven by the drivers "alone and unaided" as the F1 regulations state they should be.
THE Ford Motor Company has finally confirmed that it is planning to have an all-new V10 engine for Stewart Grand Prix in 1998.
WE understand that one of the fuel companies involved in Formula 1 ran into trouble at the recent LuxembourgÊGrandÊPrix when its representatives were caught siphoning fuel from an oil can belonging to a rival team.
THERE will be no winter testing in Estoril this year as the Portuguese track is still a long way from being completed.
THERE was a meeting in London on the Friday before the Grand Prix of Europe and another on the Thursday at the event to try to sort out the problems between the teams and the FIA about a new Concorde Agreement for 1998-2008.
FIA President Max Mosley used the Grand Prix of Europe at Jerez, in Spain, to launch a campaign against a threatened European Union tobacco advertising and sponsorship ban.
THE tobacco battles in Europe may lead Formula 1 to new pastures in the years ahead in addition to races in Asia and the United States.
TOM WALKINSHAW says he will not be making an announcement about engines until the middle of November but there is no doubt that his deal is now in place and we hear that Yamaha has agreed to increase its financial and technical commitment to Formula 1.
IN Jerez on Sunday, Jacques Villeneuve became the first North American driver to win the Formula 1 World Championship for 19 years, the last being Mario Andretti who took the title in September 1978.
OLIVER GAVIN, the 1995 British Formula 3 Champion, who has been struggling to find work in recent years and has spent this season driving the Formula 1 Safety Car, was delighted to receive a call last week from Benetton to do three days of testing at Silverstone for the Enstone team.
GERHARD BERGER, one of the most colorful characters in Grand Prix racing over the last 13 years, is retiring from FormulaÊ1 racing, but the Austrian has left the door open just in case an opportunity of a new drive presents itself. Berger announced the news in a press conference in Vienna, telling reporters that he needed a break from the sport.
THERE has been a change in the management structure at McLaren with Ron Dennis becoming chairman of the TAG/McLaren Holdings Ltd. and giving up his role as managing-director of McLaren International. He is to be replaced by the team's operations director Martin Whitmarsh.
AFTER a lengthy fight the TAG McLaren empire received planning permission in March to build a $100m factory on a 125-acre site at Mizens Farm, near Woking.
AS we suggested recently Pacific Racing has closed down.
MCLAREN's dreams of building the first car able to travel faster than the speed of sound evaporated last week when Richard Noble's Thrust SSC jet-car set the first supersonic world land speed record in Nevada's Black Rock Desert. Thrust completed the necessary runs to create a new record of 763.04mph. Driver Andy Green beat his own 714mph land speed record, which he set three weeks ago in the same car.
ALL the major F1 drives for 1998 are now decided and there are only four jobs still available: one at Prost, one at Tyrrell and two at Minardi.
FIA PRESIDENT MAX MOSLEY is to meet the French Sports Minister Marie-George Buffet on November 4 to try to hammer out a deal which will put the French Grand Prix back on the Formula 1 calendar.
LAST week saw the last big Formula 1 tests before the month-long testing ban which begins on the Monday after the European Grand Prix and continues until December 1.
THE Williams team has withdrawn Jacques Villeneuve's appeal against his exclusion from the Japanese Grand Prix.
GIANCARLO MINARDI has secured a supply of customer Ford V10 engines for next season.
THE announcement of the British American Tobacco-sponsored Reynard Formula 1 team has been put back again and will now take place on December 6.
BENETTON's controversial head of electronics Tad Czapski is to follow Ross Brawn to Ferrari.
THE disintegration of the team of engineers at Renault Sport, following the defection of Bernard Dudot to Prost Grand Prix is expected to begin shortly and we hear that Dudot's head of research and development, the highly-rated Frenchman Jean-Jacques His, is to join the Ford F1 operation, working with Cosworth engineers at Northampton.
WHILE the BAT Reynard team is planning a multi-faceted assault on motor racing, some of the current Grand Prix teams are already looking seriously at expanding into Formula 3000, running in-house teams in the same livery as the F1 parent operation.
UKYO KATAYAMA has announced that he is to retire from Formula One racing at the end of this season.
MAX MOSLEY was re-elected President of the International Automobile Federation last week in Paris.
FIA President Max Mosley has suggested that the FIA may decide to cancel the entire concept of the Concorde Agreement if the rebel F1 teams do not fall into line.
THE most surprising aspect of the Japanese Grand Prix weekend was Yamaha's failure to announce that it will be continuing in Grand Prix racing next year with Tom Walkinshaw's Arrows team.
AS expected Jackie Stewart has reconfirmed that his drivers in 1998 will be Rubens Barrichello and Jan Magnussen.
THE FIA World Motor Sport Council announced a variety of decisions after last week's meetings in Paris.
KEN TYRRELL has given up the struggle as a rebel in the dispute over the Concorde Agreement and had signed a letter of intent to become a signatory to the new 1998-2008 deal.
JACQUES VILLENEUVE may have blown his chances of winning the Formula 1 World Championship.
BERNIE ECCLESTONE's plans to float Formula One Holdings, the company which exploits the commercial rights to GrandÊPrix racing on behalf of the FIA, is going to go ahead, probably early next year.
CHRYSLER chief executive Robert Eaton announced this weekend in Germany that the company is intending to double its sales in Europe in the next five years.
AS we have been predicting for nearly a year Bernard Dudot is to leave his job as technical director of Renault Sport and take up a similar position with Prost Grand Prix at the end of October.
THERE is an FIA Congress this week in Paris with meetings of World Councils - Motor Sport and Touring and the annual General Assembly.
EMERSON FITTIPALDI has officially retired from motor racing at the age of 50.
THE West McLaren Mercedes team did not do any major testing last week, giving Ilmor and Mercedes-Benz engineers the chance to try to pin down the problem which has been causing the team's V10 engines to blow up at recent races.
FRANK WILLIAMS, Patrick Head, Adrian Newey and David Coulthard last week missed their appearances in court at Imola - because there were no hotel rooms available in the entire Bologna region because of a huge ceramics trade fair takingÊplace.
MICHAEL SCHUMACHER reckons that he has only a 30% chance of winning the World Championship this year - but he is not about to give up.
MALAYSIA's financial problems have continued in recent days with the ringgit once again diving against the dollar as currency speculators frantically sell their ringgit.
AS predicted, Jacques Villeneuve and Heinz-Harald Frentzen will be staying with Williams in 1998 and the continuity of drivers should help the team as it tackles the new narrow track regulations next season.