We hear that Christjian Albers's hopes of a Formula 1 drive will come to an end today if he is unable to meet the terms of a deal he signed with Minardi a month ago. Albers needs to pay the team a considerable amount of money but sources in Holland say that his backers have not come up with the money
It is being reported in Italy that Roberto Colaninno, the man who masterminded a takeover of Telecom Italia, is planning an $8bn rescue plan for Fiat. The La Repubblica newspaper reported that the car company would be rescued using money raised by the sale of Fiat's aviation and insurance divisions.
Our spies in the United States of America say that Craig Pollock has purchased the assets of Bruce McCaw's PWR Championship Racing and has plans to revive the operation in CART in 2003.
In motor racing circles it seems that there is always another Brazilian racing driver arriving in Europe, intent on making his way to Formula 1. Brazilians are numerous in the upper echelons of the sport, particularly in North American racing.
Just before Christmas HSBC appointed receivers over the assets of the Arrows Formula 1 team. This move was the result of a debenture (a document which offers security for a loan) which Arrows agreed with HSBC when the bank agreed to loan the team money in March 2002.
The Internet is always full of stories about Jos Verstappen's future in Formula 1 but the Dutchman has yet to secure a drive for the coming season. At the moment there are just two possibilities remaining: one with Minardi and the other with Jordan Grand Prix.
It is worth reporting that Mecachrome in France is advertising for Formula 1 engine-builders.
If all goes to plan, work will begin shortly on the construction of a state-of-the-art racing facility near Bourg-en-Bresse in eastern France. The planned Euroracing Circuit is close to the Swiss border and within easy reach of the major French cities by motorway.
McLaren and Minardi have both used two-seater Formula 1 cars in the past to titillate sponsors, reward prize-winners and excite journalists but soon members of the public will be able to pay to have a ride in a two-seater F1.
The 100th anniversary of the Ford Motor Company comes in June next year with the automobile giant planning a special five-day celebration between June 12 and 16 in Dearborn, Michigan.
The Belgian press is getting very excited about the news that Jan Heylen, who won the Formula Ford Festival in November, has been signed on a four-year contract with Mercedes-Benz.
Leo Ress, for many years the chief designer at Sauber, has left the Swiss team after 18 years.
Everyone at Grandprix.com wishes you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We hope that you will continue to visit the site for the very latest inside news from the Formula 1 world and continue to spread the word about us to your friends and fellow F1 fans.
The Formula 1 team bosses go off on their Christmas breaks rather mystified by the FIA's call for a meeting on January 15. The aim of this meeting is to discuss how to cut costs in F1 with immediate effect.
One of the aims of the Christmas testing ban was to enable team members to take some time off to be with their families and in F1 circles things are already beginning to wind down for the festivities.
The Jordan team seems to be pitching for a major Irish sponsor with suggestions that the team is considering signing up a young (and therefore cheap) driver with Irish links. The two names which have been mentioned are Richard Lyons and Ralph Firman.
There was a time when Mario Haberfeld was one of the rising stars in Europe, winning the British Formula 3 Championship with Paul Stewart Racing in 1998 but four years of Formula 3000 have produced no victories and no chances in F1 and so Haberfeld is going to America to join Eric Bachelart's Conquest Racing.
Jaguar will launch their 2003 contender, the R4, on January 21 on their internet site, rather than at a traditional F1 party style launch.
Fiat has sold its $1.1m share in General Motors in an effort to cut its debt load. The six percent shareholding in the world's biggest car maker is believed to have gone to the investment bank Merrill Lynch.
It is no surprise that Niki Lauda and Ford will not be working together in the future. The former Jaguar Racing boss had been offered a consultancy role with Jaguar but it was never very likely that he would help out those who had replaced him.
The European Sports Writers' Union has voted Michael Schumacher as its sportysman of the year for the third time. Schumacher won the award last year but his 11 Grand Prix victories and record-equalling fifth World Championship meant that the sports writers could hardly ignore him
Former McLaren and Ferrari F1 driver has announced that he will be running a two-car CART team next year under the American Spirit Team banner.
The Formula 1 circus is puffing and panting at the moment on the subject of tobacco sponsorship with the European Union being rather unhelpful in its attitudes. This has led to speculation that the plan to end tobacco sponsorship in 2006 will fall apart and that tobacco money will go on supporting the sport.
The deal has been an obvious one for many months: Jordan Grand Prix is a good team without a big sponsor and Red Bull is a big sponsor without a team. But this does not mean that a deal can be struck between the two parties.
David Clare, Bernie Ecclestone's right hand man in the Formula One Constructors Association between 1987 and 1996, has been appointed chief operating officer of CART. Clare will report to the company chief executive Chris Pook.
Alex Yoong is Malaysian by nationality but he comes from Chinese antecedents and after the recent Minardi two-seater display in Beijing Yoong told Chinese reporters that he would be the perfect vehicle for Chinese companies wanting to promote their goods in the West.
The news that Takuma Sato is to be a test driver for British American Racing in 2003 raises one important question: what caused the Japanese rising star to give up waiting for Jordan?
Sheffield is a town in Yorkshire which was once famous for its steel. Cutlery manufactured in Sheffield was famous throughout the world. In motor racing circles Sheffield is best-known as the home of Justin Wilson, the 6ft3in 24-year-old who has just been signed by Minardi.
Minardi boss Paul Stoddart as confirmed that Dutchman Christjian Albers has a contract with the team but that the deal is dependent on finance - as we reported exclusively 10 days ago. Albers is now in competition for the second Minardi seat with his fellow countryman Jos Verstappen.
Takuma Sato has been dropped as the second Jordan driver and has signed up to be the third driver with British American Racing. Sato will join Anthony Davidson on the BAR test team, reviving the line-up of 2001.
Renault team principals are in the process of deciding who will be the team's third driver in 2003 after a series of test to try out youngsters. The team tested four hopesfuls, three of them French and at the moment it seems that the favourites to get the drive are Sebastian Bourdais and Franck Montagny.
The Grand Prix World Championship company is aiming to run its own Formula 1-style series in 2008 and has plans to establish a system of regulation outside the FIA umbrella. This is not an easy thing to achieve.
Bernie Ecclestone says that F1's sliding TV figures are not all down to a drop of interest in the sport. Ecclestone said that other issues had to be taken into account, including the French election which had a major impact on figures in France while the British GP was hit by the Wimbledon Finals tennis.
The Minardi team has confirmed that Justin Wilson be driving for the Faenza-based team next season. Wilson has impressed the team in recent months with his speed as a test and demonstration driver.
Mika Hakkinen is to take part in the Arctic Lapland Rally (or as the Finns call it the Tunturi-ralli), a round of the European Rally Championship, from January 24-26 at the wheel of a privately-entered Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution WRC2 rally car, prepared by the Ralliart team.
There has been a lot of bad news in F1 in recent months but it is nice to be able to report a major sponsorship deal which is being extended.
The Press Association is reporting that Britain's Justin Wilson will be named as Minardi's first signing of 2003 tomorrow at a press conference in London. Our sources confirm that this is indeed the case and so the lanky Yorkshireman, who won the 2001 International Formula 3000 Championship will finally get his chance.
The FIA has confirmed that at least three teams have agreed to restrict their testing to just 10 days between March and October 2003 in exchange for the opportunity to run an unlimited number of cars in a two-hour session on Friday morning at each Grand Prix.
Morgan Grenfell's case against Arrows and Tom Walkinshaw continues this week until adjourning for the Christmas vacation on Wednesday. Counsel for the parties will deliver their written submissions to the judge, Mr Justice Pumfrey, by e-mail by January 2 and a judgement should be delivered on January 7.
The announcement from Minardi that it is going to announce something on Tuesday morning at a press conference at London's Heathrow Hilton has led to the predictable speculation that the team is about to announce a deal with Jos Verstappen. Our sources say that this not what is going to happen.
Flavio Briatore told the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera on Saturday that he hopes that Renault will be in a position to win the World Championship in 2006. Between now and then, Briatore said, the team should be building up its position and scoring regular top three finishes.
Kimi Raikkonen ended the week of testing in Jerez on top of the timesheet for McLaren. The young Finn completed over 50 laps of the Spanish circuit, finishing the day just tenths quicker than Mark Webber in the Jaguar and Anthony Davidson for BAR.
The annual trophies for the best F1 promoter and the best TV coverage have been awarded this year to the Hungarian GP and to the Austrian TV station ORF.
Despite numerous denials Christjian Albers did sign a contract with Minardi a couple of weeks ago but we understand that nothing has yet been announced because the promised sponsorship money which Albers was going to supply to the team has not yet turned up.
It is anticipated that there will soon be an announcement that there will be a two-hour testing session at every Grand Prix in 2003. We understand that enough teams have agreed that they wish to sign up the idea and as a result, it will go ahead.
The Formula 1 team bosses have been called to a new meeting by the FIA in order to hear new proposals to cut costs and make the sport more interesting.
The FIA has voted to create the FIA Academy which will be responsible for determining annual awards and prizes for exceptional achievement in road safety, the environment and mobility and for individual achievement in motor sport.
The FIA World Motor Sport Council voted to send a letter from FIA Max Mosley to European Health Commissioner David Byrne, attacking the Commission's decision to ban tobacco sponsorship from July 31 2005.
Octagon Motorsports, the company which owns Brands Hatch has said that it is not planning to sell the Kent circuit for housing. The company is under pressure from its US parent Interpublic to improve its performance.
Stories suggesting that Jos Verrstappen and Christjian Albers may work together at Minardi have been rubbished by Verstappen's manager Huub Rothengatter.
The FIA says that it will ban all tobacco sponsorship in motorsport in 2006, having worked with the World Health Organisation in recent years. But this is not good enough for Europe and the F1 community is beginning to lose patience with the politcians in Brussels.
Pre-season testing continued Thursday in with six of the teams working at the Jerez and Barcelona circuits.
The European Union is making life difficult for Formula 1 at the moment with a ban on the use of words such as "mild" and "light" from tobacco products which are sold in the European Union.
Bernie Ecclestone has told the BBC that although he has axed his pay-per-view TV service it does not mean that the Formula One Television operation will disappear completely. Ecclestone is in the process of negotiating deals under which Formula One would become the host broadcaster for races around the world.
Jordan announced Thursday that data storage media company Imation has extended its partnership with the team.
The FIA World Council meets in Monaco tomorrow morning and it is anticipated that the big issue will be the European Union's insistence to push ahead with its tobacco sponsorship ban for the middle of 2005.
There have been a variety of rumours floating around for the last couple of days about a major cutback of the staff involved in the Formula One Television company. The number of redundancies involved is not entirely certain with figures we have heard ranging from 75 to 250.
The German newsagency DPA is reporting this morning that Oliver Behring, the man who was going to invest in the Arrows F1 with his German Grand Prix Racing GmbH company, has told them that the contract with the team has been cancelled.
The Belgian Chamber of Deputies yesterday debated the amendment which might have saved the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps by allowing tobacco advertising until the European tobacco ban comes into force at the end of July 2005.
It is no secret that Jacques Villeneuve is not expecting to stay at British American Racing beyond the end of 2003 and Villeneuve's manager Craig Pollock has already begun a campaign to keep Jacques's name in the frame in 2004.
We hear from normally reliable sources that Silverstone may have passed into the control of a Mr Ecclestone, or at least one of the companies in which he has an interest.
The Italian industrial company Fiat is in trouble with creditors pressuring the company to find a solution to the problem of Fiat Auto, the automobile company which is currently losing money at a vast rate.
The Belgian Grand Prix is definitely not going to get onto the 2003 Formula 1 calendar. The Belgian Chamber of Deputies has rejected an amendment to the new tobacco advertising law by a narrow margin. This means that the law will go ahead as planned with a tobacco ban being introduced on August 1 next year
Tomas Scheckter is free to drive for Target Chip Ganassi Racing in the Indy Racing League next year, following the news that Eddie Cheever has given up his legal challenge because of the problems which the Tom Walkinshaw Racing organisation is having at the moment.
Former F1 driver Aguri Suzuki has been busy in recent years building up a network to help young Japanese racing drivers become successful on the international scene. His ARTA programme has resulted in several drivers making an impact in European racing, notably in Formula 3 in Germany and France
Eddie Jordan has a lot of things to worry about at the moment - not least finding enough sponsorship for the 2003 season. We also believe that Cosworth Racing is asking for rather more guarantees than has been the case in the past - because of the money that has been lost because of bad debts.
Morgan Grenfell's case against Arrows and Tom Walkinshaw began in the High Court in London on Tuesday to decide whether or not a financial guarantee made by the team is stuill valid despite a restructuring of the company which was supposedly agreed in July 2001.
The announcement on Tuesday that the Fiat chief executive Gabriele Galateri is to resign has caused more worries down at Maranello where the future of Ferrari remains linked to the crises going on at Fiat. Galateri had been in charge since June.
It is expected that half the Formula 1 teams will be allowed to test for two hours each Friday during a Grand Prix weekend this year, having signed up for the sessions.
EM.TV, the former owner of part of the Formula One group of companies, has won a court order in Jersey to block the seizure of its stake by a consortium of banks which was owed money by the now-defunct Kirch group. But the ruling is only a preliminary injunction pending a full court case.
The last few days have seen a variety of stories about the problems that exist between Formula One Management, the FIA and the Grand Prix World Championship (GPWC) organisation. We look at the background to the problems.
Despite a lot of misplaced excitement about Jos Verstappen's return to Formula 1 we hear from Germany that his fellow Dutchman Christjian Albers visited Stuttgart earlier this week to tell Mercedes-Benz racing chief Norbert Haug that he will not be racing for the company in the German Touring Car Championship next year.
The Financial Times newspaper is reporting that the negotiations between the Formula 1 authorities and the automobile manufacturers have reached an impasse and that Bernie Ecclestone has cancelled a December 11 meeting with the Grand Prix World Championship organisation because it failed to respond to a proposal.
The word on the street in F1 circles is that former Sauber driver Felipe Massa has found a substantial sponsor to back his efforts to land an F1 drive in 2003. The suggestion we have heard is that Massa has $4m worth of backing.
Sauber and Ferrari continued testing at Jerez Friday with Nick Heidfeld and Luca Badoer, respectively.
Sauber announced Friday the beginning of a partnership between the team and German drinks company Adelholzener Alpenquellen. Starting in January, the Swiss team's transporters and pit box partitions will bear the logo of Adelholzener's Active 02 brand, an oxygenated mineral water designed to provide internal organs with extra oxygen.
F1 cars will run on the streets of Long Beach next year, 20 years after the last Formula 1 visit to the West Coast race. But the reappearance in 2003 will be for historic F1 machinery, most of it from the 1970s and early 1980s.
Romain Dumas and Tiago Monteiro were given their first chances in Formula 1 at Barcelona yesterday both men running for the Renault F1 team. Dumas impressed with his quick ability to adapt to F1 power while Monteiro did not make such an impression although he did a workmanlike job.
Team Rahal is to run a car in the Indy Racing League next year, in addition to its planned involvement in CART and in the Toyota Atlantic series. Bobby Rahal has announced that he has signed up former driver Kenny Brack to be his driver in IRL.
Former F1 driver Tora Takagi is to become Mo Nunn's second driver in the Indy Racing League, alongside Felipe Giaffone. Takagi will drive a Toyota-powered Panoz GForce with sponsorship from Pioneer and Denso. Takagi has been a Toyota driver in CART for the last two years after his F1 career ended.
There are an increasing number of reports that the remaining staff at Arrows have now been laid off. This will mean that the team will have to reach some kind of settlement with them but only if money can be found.
The restructuring of Jaguar Racing continues with Gunther Steiner, who has done sterling work keeping the team moving in the right direction in the last year, standing down as managing-director. He will be replaced in that role by Dave Pitchforth.
David Coulthard set the pace at the final day of testing at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona Thursday. The McLaren driver was joined by fellow Briton Gary Paffet, who was sixth quickest on the day.
BAR has announced the launch date for the BAR005 to be January 14th. The launch will take place in Barcelona, where the team will be busy testing.
Gunther Steiner may not be managing-director of Jaguar Racing any longer but that does not mean that he will definitely leave the team. Steiner is believed to be considering the offer of a job as team principal at Jaguar,
The Formula 1 team bosses and technical men met on Wednesday in London to try to push forward ideas about how to cut costs in the sport in the future. All plans for radical change were, not surprisingly, rejected.
The German newsagency DPA is reporting that Arrows's investor Oliver Behring has set a deadline for the team to get a solution to the problem of its Formula 1 entry and if the deadline is not met he will pull out of the planned sale.
The announcement that Arrows is going to appeal its exclusion from the FIA Formula 1 World Championship was no surprise but the question that now needs to be answered is how that appeal will happen.
Six of the teams returned to Barcelona Wednesday for the second day of testing at the Spanish circuit this week. Olivier Panis was the fastest man on the track while conducting tire testing for Michelin.
A total of 74 staff have been cut at Jaguar Racing in recent days with the major victims being the chief aerodynamicist Mark Handford, the chief engineer Vincent Gaillardot and production manager Colin McGrory.
General Motors has honored the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with its GM Racing Pioneer Award, the first time the award has been presented to anyone outside of the General Motors company.
Nico Rosberg had his first runs in a Williams-BMW F1 car yesterday in Barcelona and in doing so became the youngest driver ever to test an F1 car. The 17-year-old son of former World Champion Keke Rosberg won the chance by dominating the Formula BMW series in Germany this year.
Shanghai is continuing its push to become an internationally-recognised location, following up its bid for a Grand Prix by announcing that it has won its bid to host the 2010 World Exposition.
Arrows has formally confirmed that it intends to appeal against the FIA's decision not to grant it an entry in the 2003 Formula 1 World Championship.
Arrows is to challenge the decision of the FIA to not include the team on the entry list for the 2003 World Championship. This is not a surprise as the team is famously litigious. There is expected to be an announcement shortly. Arrows says that it would like a decision on the matter from the F1 Commission.
The Dutch are getting very excited about the possibility of Jos Verstappen being confirmed as a Minardi driver for next season but www.grandprix.com remains unconvinced that a deal is in the pipeline. And if that is the case, the only Dutchman who might be in line for the drive is Christjian Albers.
Without an entry in the Formula 1 World Championship, the Arrows team is in trouble. The granting of an entry brings with it (if all the necessary conditions have been met) a ticket to the rights, privileges and responsibilities of the Concorde Agreement.
The European Health Ministers have voted 13 to two to approve new anti-smoking legislation which will ban all tobacco advertising in newspapers and magazines and all sporting sponsorships. If the law goes ahead as planned the ban ccould come into effect at the end of July 2005
Renault will launch its new Formula 1 car on Monday, January 20 in the Swiss city of Luzern in German-speaking Switzerland. The event will take place at the Luzern Kultur und Kongresszentrum, a vast modern building which overlooks the tranquil waters of Lake Luzern.
The Formula 1 world has spent the day waiting to hear any reaction from the Arrows F1 team over the FIA Formula 1 entry list which means that the team does not have an entry in the 2003 series.
As we suggested would happen Rupert Manwaring has moved to Lola to take up a new job as managing-director of the Huntingdon car maker.
Paul Stoddart likes to tease the press from time to time and has just let it be known that he is very close to signing one of his drivers for next season - but he's not saying who until next weekend at the earliest.
The annual Autosport Awards took place on Sunday evening in London with Ferrari as expected dominating the prizes. Michael Schumacher won the best international driver award but did not attend the event. Ferrari also picked up the car of the year award, which was not a big surprise.
The British Grand Prix is under threat again. Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone told The Guardian newspaper that the
The Arrows Formula 1 team was born in controversy and legal action and looks like going out of the sport in the same way. The team was established in November 1977 by a breakaway group of personnel from Don Nichols's Shadow F1 team and some of their associates.
The FIA has issued the official entry list for the 2003 Formula 1 World Championship and the Arrows F1 team is not on it. The list consists of just 10 teams. The FIA said that an application for an entry was received from Arrows but was declined by the federation for reasons
There will be 10 teams in the 2003 Formula 1 World Championship and there are no major surprises on the entry list.
Rupert Manwaring, the commercial director of Minardi, has departed the small Anglo-Italian team. It is believed that he will take up a new position at Lola in Huntingdon. The 46-year-old Englishman has been with Minardi since Paul Stoddart took over the team at the start of 2001.
Minardi has finally confirmed that it will be using Cosworth V10 engines in 2003. The team will have the third supply of the engines, which will be similar to those used by Arrows this year.
The FIA will tomorrow reveal the entry list for the 2003 Formula 1 World Championship and there will be much interest to see if the Arrows team is on the list. In recent days there has been little word from the Leafield team about whether or not the rescue deal with a German company has gone ahead