NEWS ARCHIVE

27 JANUARY 1997

...BUT WILLIAMS DELAYS

THE launch of the Williams-Renault FW19 which was to have taken place last Friday at the team's old Didcot factory has been delayed and will now take place this Friday.

BERTELSMANN IN F1

BERTELSMANN AG, the world's third largest media company, after Disney and Time Warner, is to handle the merchandising for Ferrari and Stewart and is talking to Tyrrell about a similar deal. We understand that the Ferrari deal is for seven years.

FRENTZEN TOPS JEREZ TEST

HEINZ-HARALD FRENTZEN set the fastest time of last week's testing at Jerez, using a Williams-Renault FW18B, although his best lap of 1m21.90s was still somewhat slower than Gerhard Berger's 1m21.27s set with the new Benetton-Renault B197 the previous week.

LOLA'S PLANS SHAPING UP

THE Mastercard Lola team has yet to give any real details of its 1997 plans although we understand that the team will use Cosworth Zetec-R V8 engines.

MCLAREN LOOKING TO AMERICA?

MCLAREN is getting ready for a huge team launch at London's Alexandra Palace in mid-February.

MORBIDELLI IS FERRARI'S TESTER

FERRARI has confirmed that 29-year-old Italian racer Gianni Morbidelli will be its test driver in 1997.

PROST, LIGIER AND PEUGEOT

AT the launch of the new Ligier in Monte Carlo last week team owner Flavio Briatore confirmed that he is negotiating to sell the team to Alan Prost.

TESTING RULE CHANGES AHEAD

THE Formula 1 teams have been circulating a document in recent days in an effort to have the stringent new testing regulations eased a little to allow them to test at four circuits (Barcelona, Magny-Cours, Silverstone and Monza) rather than at the one which they had to nominate.

THE LATEST ON LAS VEGAS

TOMMY BAKER, the man who is trying to organize a Grand Prix in Las Vegas was in London last week to see F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone, just days after a meeting with Steve Wynn of Mirage Resorts, the most powerful casino owner in Las Vegas.

WILLIAMS CHANGES LAWYERS

WILLIAMS has stopped working with Italian lawyer Roberto Causo and has appointed British solicitor Peter Goodman to represent the team when it faces charges manslaughter charges relating to the death of Ayrton Senna at Imola in May 1994.

20 JANUARY 1997

...BUT TROUBLE IN STUTTGART

HELMUT WERNER, the chairman of Mercedes-Benz AG since 1993 - and the man who has championed the company's involvement in top level motorsport - will leave the German car company this week.

BENETTON REVEALS NEW BACKERS

BENETTON FORMULA has signed what it describes as a "major sponsorship" deal with the Akai Electric Co Ltd. and, as expected, has announced a deal with Italian oil company Agip Petroli.

BRUNDLE JOINS ARROWS

MARTIN BRUNDLE - out of work in F1 since being dropped by Jordan - has been appointed a director of TomÊWalkinshaw's Arrows Grand Prix International and will be the lead driver of TWR's Nissan GT sportscar project.

FERRARI AND BRIDGESTONE

MICHAEL SCHUMACHER left the Italian media speechless last week during the Marlboro-sponsored week of skiing at Madonna di Campiglio when he said that Japanese tiremaker Bridgestone is to supply Ferrari with tires in 1997.

MINARDI SIGNS TRULLI

GIANCARLO MINARDI will run Italian rising star Jarno Trulli alongside Ukyo Katayama this season.

NEW CARS AT JEREZ

BENETTON, Ligier, Jordan, Ferrari and McLaren have all been in action in testing at Jerez de la Frontera in recent days, despite the fact that the weather in southern Spain has been unsettled.

PROGRESS AT SAUBER

THE Sauber team is hoping to have the Sauber-Petronas C16 ready to test by mid-February with an official launch being planned in Zurich on February 20.

THE NEW MCLAREN'S MP4-12...

THE West McLaren Mercedes Benz team hosted a "sneak preview" of its 1997 car at Woking early last Tuesday morning before the new MP4-12 was loaded into a specially-chartered Iluyshin cargo plane and flown to Jerez de la Frontera, in southern Spain, where David Coulthard began testing on Wednesday afternoon.

WALKINSHAW BUYS BACK TWR SHARES

TOM WALKINSHAW is in the process of regaining complete control of his Tom Walkinshaw Racing Group, buying back the 49% of the company which has been controlled since September 1992 by Benetton family-owned companies 21 Investimenti and Benetton NV.

13 JANUARY 1997

...AND ATTACKS BRAWN AND FERRARI

AT the launch of the Arrows A18 team boss Tom Walkinshaw was highly critical of Ross Brawn, his former TWR technical director and of Ferrari, which now employs Brawn.

...BUT WILL BARNARD STAY?

JOHN BARNARD, Ferrari's design chief since August 1992, said at the launch of the Ferrari F310B that he is discussing his future at Ferrari with team boss Jean Todt and company chairman Luca di Montezemolo.

BELGIUM BANS TOBACCO ADVERTISING

THE Belgian parliament voted last week to ban all tobacco and cigarette advertising and sponsorship from the start of 1999 - disastrous news for the sport in that country, where local tobacco companies Bastos and Belga have been heavily involved for many years.

FERRARI LAUNCHES THE F310B

FERRARI launched its F310B at Maranello last week with the clear intention of going into the 1997 season with a reliable car, prepared for the season.

FISICHELLA SIGNS FOR JORDAN

GIANCARLO FISICHELLA has been confirmed as Ralf Schumacher's partner at Jordan in 1997 and 1998.

IMSA BUYS CLASSIC NORTH AMERICAN CIRCUITS

THERE have been some interesting developments in recent days with IMSA's parent company the International Motorsports Speedway Group (IMSG) announcing that it has bought two of North America's most famous racing circuits: Sebring in Florida and Mosport Park in Canada.

WALKINSHAW REVEALS THE ARROWS A18

THE Danka Arrows Yamaha team unveiled its 1997 car - the Arrows-Yamaha A18 - at the Autosport International Show in Birmingham, England.

WILLIAMS TRIAL EXPOSES FERRARI

WILLIAMS TRIAL EXPOSES FERRARI

FRANK WILLIAMS says he will be going to court in Imola next month to face charges of culpable homicide in connection with the death of Ayrton Senna in May 1994.

6 JANUARY 1997

DAMON GETS HIS MEDAL

AS we suggested in October, Damon Hill has been honored by the British in the New Year Honors list, being granted the status of an Officer in the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE), one of the country's orders of chivalry.

FERRARI SEARCHES FOR A TEST DRIVER

WITH Nicola Larini having joined Sauber after five years as the Ferrari test driver, the Italian team is having to look for a replacement.

JORDAN GETS JOHN DAVIS

THE Benson & Hedges Jordan Peugeot team has recently signed up highly-rated British engineer Dr. John Davis. He will be helping the team with its new windtunnel facility at Brackley.

MORE DEFECTIONS FROM RENAULT SPORT?

THERE are suggestions in France that more Renault Sport engineers are likely to leave Bernard Dudot's team at Viry-Chatillon to take up jobs with rival F1 teams.

TESTING GETS TOUGH

THE FIA's new testing regulations will make life very difficult for Formula 1 teams.

WHEN ARE THE CARS DUE?

WITH only a couple of days between the New Year and the weekend there was not much activity around Europe.

WHO DRIVES WHERE IN 1997?

WITH just eight weeks to go before the start of the 1997 FIA Formula 1 World Championship in Melbourne, Australia, there are only two drives still open in the field, which will comprise 12 teams fielding 24 cars.

WURZ FOR BENETTON

BENETTON will unveil its Benetton-Renault B197 in London on January 23 and at the launch the team is expected to reveal that in addition to regular drivers Gerhard Berger and Jean Alesi it will use test drivers Jarno Trulli and Alexander Wurz in the course of the 1997 season.