JUST when it looked as though BMW had won the battle for Rolls Royce Motor Cars, Volkswagen has come back with a much bigger offer for the luxury car company, offering Vickers around $600m for the company.
THE rumors about British American Racing and Mecachrome refuse to go away and new stories from Japan now indicate that Honda will not be in a position to supply the new team with engines in 1999.
ALTHOUGH Goodyear's company line is that it will be withdrawing from Grand Prix racing at the end of this year, we believe that the final decision at Akron will not have to be made for another couple of months.
WINFIELD last week hosted an interesting test session at Barcelona during which World 500cc Motorcycling champion Michael Doohan and World Rally Champion Tommi Makkinen both tested a Williams-Mecachrome FW19.
WITH Sauber looking elsewhere for engines in 1999, Ferrari will have a spare supply of customer engines available in 1999 and we hear that Minardi boss Gabriele Rumi has already begun talks to ensure that the little team from Faenza will get the V10s.
ONE story doing the rounds in the paddock at Imola is that Williams has already signed up Columbian rising star Juan-Pablo Montoya to drive in 1999.
THERE were rumors at Imola that Arrows Technical Director John Barnard may be on the move shortly but these have been denied by team boss Tom Walkinshaw.
THERE were whispers in the paddock in Imola that Tyrrell's technical director Harvey Postlethwaite is top of the list to head the chassis design side of the Honda-Honda F1 team which is expected to enter F1 at the start of the 2000 season.
THE Sauber Petronas team is bidding for the second supply of Mecachrome V10 engines in 1999 because it does not want to go on working with Ferrari because the engines supplied will never be able to beat the factory Ferrari units and they are very expensive.
THERE was considerable rumoring in the Imola paddock that the beleaguered Stewart team will shortly drop Danish driver Jan Magnussen and replace him with the more experienced Dutchman Jos Verstappen, who has been out of work since he was dropped by Tyrrell at the end of last year.
DON PANOZ's plans to host the United States Grand Prix at Road Atlanta have been overshadowed in recent months by news from Las Vegas and because of Bernie Ecclestone's recent visit to San Francisco but it seems that the American pharmaceutical magnate has not given up the idea.
BERNIE ECCLESTONE is the sixth wealthiest man in Great Britain with a fortune estimated to be worth $2.4bn by TheÊSundayÊTimes newspaper in its annual survey of the country's wealthiest people. Ecclestone is the only motor racing person to make it into the list of 16 British (Sterling) billionaires. Ecclestone is up from 58th on the list last year.
IN recent days Europe has been suffering from a spell of dreadful weather with torrential rain across the continent and even some snow in England.
THE Jordan Grand Prix team is expected to be one of the most fruitful sources of experienced Formula 1 personnel for the new British American Racing team.
AS we predicted some weeks ago English engineer George Ryton has been appointed chief designer at Minardi and has begun work on the design of the M199 chassis at Minardi headquarters in Faenza.
MICHAEL SCHUMACHER's manager Willy Weber last week tried to calm media speculation that Michael may switch from Ferrari to McLaren at the end of this season.
ALTHOUGH the Council of European Health Ministers voted in December last year to ban all forms of tobacco advertising across Europe by 2006, the proposed legislation still has a long way to go before it becomes law. Last week the anti-tobacco campaigners suffered a serious setback when two European Parliament committees in Strasbourg ruled that the European Union does not have the legal right to ban tobacco advertising and sponsorship.
THERE have been a lot of rumors in recent days linking the new British American Racing with a deal to run MecachromeÊV10 engines in 1999.
BRIDGESTONE has gone on the record saying that it does not want Goodyear to pull out of Formula 1 at the end of this season.
AFTER the Brazilian Grand Prix Bernie Ecclestone took off to the United States to visit some of the people promoting the idea of races in the US.
MCLAREN and Mercedes have taken advantage of their current success to agree to an extension of their original five year partnership, which was due to run out at the end of 1999.
THERE has been a lot of idle gossip in Italy in recent days about the future of Ferrari boss Luca di Montezemolo after the Tuttosport newspaper in Italy - one of the few not controlled by the Agnelli Family, which owns Ferrari - ran a story suggesting that Montezemolo will be replaced by Antonio Giraudo the managing-director of the Juventus football team, which is also owned by the Agnellis.
JACQUES NASSER, the man who is ultimately responsible for Ford's Formula 1 program as President of Ford Automotive Operations, was a visitor to the Argentine Grand Prix and tried to dampen down rumors that Ford is planning to form a new partnership with Benetton to get results which Stewart Grand Prix is currently not delivering.
WHILE Malaysian oil company Petronas did not suffer greatly as a result of the recent financial crisis in Asia, there are still worries about the future of the Sauber Petronas V10 engine program because of the enormous costs of the project.
AFTER the Brazilian Grand Prix the majority of the Grand Prix circus stayed in South America for a few days of rest on Brazil's beaches or at the tourist centers in Argentina and Uruguay.
THE Tyrrell/British American Racing test team is to be run by former Formula 3000 team owner Robert Synge, who made his name running various Madgwick Motorsport teams.
WITHIN the last few days German car manufacturer BMW has agreed terms to buy Rolls-Royce Motor Cars from its parent company, Vickers for $572m. Rolls-Royce is one of the world's most prestigious car-makers and there are rumors that the BMW management is worried that the takeover may serve to water down Rolls-Royce's image as being the luxury car for the rich and famous. BMW has said it intends to expand production from the current 2000 cars per year but reckons that the Rolls-Royce brand is strong enough to survive a little expansion.
IN the wake of the sale of Rolls Royce Motor Cars to BMW, there have been suggestions in F1 circles that the competition for the prestigious car manufacturer will soon be mirrored in F1. There were six groups bidding for Rolls-Royce including three major German car manufacturers: BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen.
AS we predicted last September Jean-Christophe Boullion has been signed up to be test driver for the planned BritishÊAmericanÊRacing team in 1999.
THE West McLaren Mercedes team has scored maximum points in the first two Grands Prix of the season and the Woking team's domination is complete. As a result Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard were given some time off last week following a hectic few weeks of racing and testing. After finishing 1-2 in Brazil Hakkinen took off for a quiet holiday in Uruguay while Coulthard headed for Miami.
IN a move which is very similar to the BAR plans, McLaren has announced that it is to support a number of drivers at different levels of the sport, all of them running with the same basic liveries as the Formula 1 team.
AS Formula 1 teams get their first real break of the season - there is little happening in Grand Prix circles in Europe between the two South American races - team bosses are beginning to realize why it is that McLaren-Mercedes has enjoyed such domination in the first two races of the year.
WHILE the Grand Prix circus was busy in Brazil FIA President Max Mosley was continuing his battle against the EuropeanÊCommission's Competition Directorate.