The BMW WilliamsF1 team has confirmed that Marc Gene has re-signed as the team's official test and reserve driver for the 2004 season.
The European Commission has finally lumbered to a conclusion on its investigation of the relationship between the FIA and the Formula One group of companies and everyone has been given the all clear.
McLaren test driver Alexander Wurz has been in demand at Jaguar ever since last summer when the team was trying to get rid of Antonio Pizzonia. At the time Wurz could not get out of his McLaren contract, despite the fact that the team said that it would not stand in his way.
The final round of the CART series, scheduled for the California Speedway this weekend has been cancelled because of the fires raging in the hills around the track. CART and the race organizers looked at possible replacement dates but concluded that none were practical.
It was done without fanfare but on October 24 Germany, one of the major opponents to the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control formally signed the agreement, committing itself to the eventual banning of all tobacco advertising and sponsorship.
McLaren has confirmed an approach from Jacques Villeneuve looking for work in 2004. Villeneuve is believed to be keen to take on a testing role but McLaren is unlikely to be very interested in the Canadian.
The CART finale at the California Speedway has been postponed because of the state of emergency that exists in San Bernardino County as a result of the wildfires burning in the nearby hills.
Mario Andretti says that the new Indy Racing League Champion Scott Dixon has got everything it takes to be successful in Formula 1.
The circuit that brought Gilles Villeneuve into the limelight looks like it has held its last race. The Grand Prix de Trois Rivieres in Canada has been a major event since the 1967 when it was the first major street race in North America.
Paul Tracy has taken a long time to win the CART title but says that he knows that he is too old to try to move into Formula 1 and so is going to settle for defending his title next season.
R-Fast, the Russian Federation of Autosport and Tourism, the national sporting authority of Russia, has been giving details of its plans to increase motor racing activities in Russia. These date back to 1998 when R-FAST began working with the Moscow City Government on the idea of an international racing circuit in the city.
Felipe Massa has agreed a two-year deal with the Sauber team, but it is expected that he will have a get-out clause to move to Ferrari in 2005 if a drive is available.
Australian Will Davison has staked his claim to a place in the Renault Driver Development Program after dominating a two-day test at Oulton Park and Snetterton at the wheel of a Hi-Tech Racing Formula 3 car.
Formula 3000 Champion Bjorn Wirdheim will get his first taste of Champ Car racing shortly as part of his prize for winning this year's FIA International Formula 3000 title.
Mercedes-Benz is not planning to supply Jordan Grand Prix with engines in 2004 - not least because Jordan has a two-year agreement signed and sealed with Cosworth Racing.
The Minardi team is coming to the assistance of Ferrari this week and will run three of its two-seater chassis at Mugello, painted up in the colors of the World Champions.
Formula BMW Asia Champion Ho Pin Tung was the dominant force in the new championship in Asia this year, winning 10 of the 14 races and that success has landed him with a test session in a Williams-BMW later this winter.
Former Ferrari and McLaren F1 driver Stefan Johansson has been running his own CART team this year with drivers Ryan Hunter-Reay and Jimmy Vasser in the American Spirit entries.
South African racer Wayne Taylor has been trying to put together the budgets to enter a team in the Champ Car series next year and the latest stories from Australia suggest that he is hopeful that this year a deal will come together.
Ricardo Zonta has been the Toyota test driver this year but has made no secret of his desire to get back to racing and has been talking to a variety of teams in CART about his future.
CART is giving up on Europe but Kevin Kalkhoven says that if the deal goes through CART will go to Korea in 2004.
Peter Sauber has said that Felipe Massa will be one of his drivers next year but there has still not been an official announcement about the future of Ferrari's second test driver.
FIA President Max Mosley has launched a scathing attack on the European Union's attitude towards road safety and is calling for a completely new approach.
John Connor, who for many years represented Marlboro at race tracks around the world, has died. Connor worked with many of the great drivers in the 1980s and 1990s, looking after their contracts and race weekend commitments and at the same time made sure that all ran smoothly with Marlboro's extensive trackside signage.
Safety engineers have long been saying that the biggest danger for motor racing in the modern era is a car flying off the race track and into a crowded spectator area. With open-wheeler racing machinery there is always the possibility that one car will ride over the top of another and become airborne.
British American Racing has to spend something like $15m last year on Jacques Villeneuve's salary and that meant that the team did not have as big a technical budget as it would have liked. The signing of Takuma Sato on a much smaller salary means that the team will now be able to do more.
America has lost one of its rising stars with the death on Wednesday in testing at Indianapolis of 26-year-old Florida driver Tony Renna. Renna was on his fourth lap of a test for his new team Target Chip Ganassi Racing when reports suggest that the car, which had been driven the previous day by the new IRL Champion Scott Dixon, went sideways going into Turn Three, took off and flew in to the debris fencing and disintegrated.
The governor of the Korea's Kyongsang province, was in London last week to sign a memorandum of understanding for a Formula 1 race to take place in the city of Chinhae (also spelled Jinhae) in October 2009.
Tony Purnell has spent the last few months having a close look at the way in which Cosworth racing operates and has just announced a shake-up in the management.
The change in the Formula 1 calendar last week caused a fair bit of chaos because moving the European Grand Prix meant that the event then clashed with Rock am Ring, Germany's biggest summer rock concert.
The focus on the issue of tobacco in China has brought to light rumors that a deal is already in place for the 2004 Chinese GP to be sponsored by Marlboro.
Last weekend the Renault F1 team went on a promotional visit to Moscow to run a Renault R23B on a makeshift street circuit in the grounds of Moscow University.
The motor sport strategy of the Volkswagen Audi Group is at best mysterious. After winning the Le Mans 24 Hours for three consecutive years with the Audi brand, the company switched to the Bentley brand for 2003 and scored an impressive 1-2 finish. It was expected that Bentley would be back in 2004 to add to its record of wins in the classic sports car event. However it has just been announced that the firm will not be taking part at Le Mans in 2004.
The latest word from Italy is that Roman driver Gianmaria "Jimmy" Bruni is close to signing a deal to drive for Minardi in 2004.
Reports coming out of Brazil suggest that Eddie Jordan is in heavy discussion with US entrepreneur Roger Penske.
According to reports from the Xinhua news agency in China, the Chinese Grand Prix has yet to get clearance for Formula 1 cars to run with tobacco branding at the inaugural Chinese GP next year.
The Canadian Grand Prix has until the end of the month to come up with a financial package necessary to keep the race on the Formula 1 calendar.
The talks between Williams and Ralf Schumacher are dragging on as the two parties negotiate over the extension of Schumacher's contract beyond the end of 2004.
Giancarlo Fisichella's involvement with the works Alfa Romeo touring car team at Monza last weekend was much publicized before the event but there was no word at all about what happened.
Al Unser Jr, one of the top names in US racing, has been injured in an accident one his estate in Chama, New Mexico. The 41-year-old crashed while riding an all-terrain vehicle and was crushed beneath the device.
It is reported that George Gillett Jr and the Molson Family are looking at investing in the company that owns the Canadian Grand Prix.
There is good news for Indian motorsport with a handshake agreement between the two organizations which have been fighting over control of the sport in India.
Last week at Sebring, the Fittipaldi Dingman Racing team tested the youngest ever driver to run in a CART car, running 17-year-old Frenchman Nelson Philippe.
Satoshi Motoyama won his third Formula Nippon title at the weekend at Motegi, finishing second to Toshihiro Kaneishi in the penultimate race of the season.
Alex Zanardi, making his return to motor racing after losing both his legs in a crash two years ago at the Lausitzring, finished an impressive seventh in the European Touring Car Championship event at Monza at the weekend.
The FIA General Assembly has voted Britain back on to the FIA World Motor Sport Council. John Grant, chairman of the Motor Sports Association, will be the official representative, while Colin Hilton, chief executive officer of the MSA will be his deputy.
Team boss Eddie Jordan was ordered to pay mobile phone company Vodafone $1.67 million by a High Court judge in London today.
There is no surprise at all in the announcement that Britain's Anthony Davidson will be British American Racing's third driver next season for Friday practice. Davidson has been with the team for several years now and with the departure of Jacques Villeneuve moves to third in the list of drivers, behind Jenson Button and Takuma Sato.
The Moscow City Government is still dreaming about hosting a Formula 1 race - but clearly does not understand how the sport works.
The South Pacific island nation of Fiji has become the first developing country to ratify the World Health Organization's Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (FCTC), which seeks to ban tobacco sponsorship around the world. This is a significant step as tobacco companies, driven out of the developed countries, have been targeting the developing world instead.
This weekend Satoshi Motoyama could wrap up the Formula Nippon Championship at Twin Ring Motegi although the Japanese star, who recently tested for Jordan in F1, is under pressure from his Team Impul colleague Benoit Treluyer, who has won the last two rounds of the series and is now only 11 points behind Motoyama, who won four races early in the season.
The FIA World Council's acceptance of the proposals of the Formula 1 Commission to allow teams to run a third car on Friday's but banning anyone who has taken part in more than six World Championship events during the two previous seasons may not be legal under the Treaty of Rome, the legal agreement on which the European Union is based.
There are fears that there will not be a sufficient number of entries next year it warrant an International Formula 3000 Championship. The F3000 Sporting Regulations state that an event may be cancelled if fewer than 12 cars are available for it and thus if the entry sinks that low the entire championship must be considered to be in jeopardy.
Bob Bell, the new technical director of Renault F1 is not a well known figure in F1 circles but has a highly accomplished career behind him.
Formula 1's problem this year has been filling the grandstands but the sport is still financially sound with the Formula One group continuing to rake in huge sums of money in TV right sales and race fees
The fact that the FIA World Council has listed Canada on its latest version of the Formula 1 calendar for 2004 is no guarantee that the race in Montreal will take place.
The World Motor Sport Council has agreed to increase the F1 World Championship from 17 to 18 races next year. If this happens it will be the first time that the series has had as many events.
The World Motor Sport Council has voted through the expected changes in Formula 1 and the result is hardly what can consider to be cost-cutting initiatives with 18 races on the F1 calendar, Canada having paid its way back to the fold.
As we exclusively predicted some time ago Renault F1 has lost Mike Gascoyne and replaced its technical director with his deputy Bob Bell.
David Richards, the boss of British American Racing and the man who runs the commercial side of rallying, has lost his vote on the FIA World Rally Championship Commission which has been restructured to make decision-making more efficient.
The Motorsport Industry Association will shortly to host a "Clean Racing: the Role of Motorsport in the Green Revolution" conference, with the aim to draw attention to the possible role that motorsport could play in the development of energy-efficient automobiles.
Giancarlo Fisichella has some time off between F1 contracts and so is planning to have some fun this weekend at the wheel of a works Alfa Romeo in the final round of the European Touring Car Championship at Monza.
Kenny Brack has undergone a second operation, after his enormous accident at the Texas Motor Speedway.
Jaguar is celebrating its highest-ever sales total in a month with 15,613 cars sold worldwide in the course of September. This is the best result in the 83-year history of Jaguar.
Red Bull has named three youngsters who will now be funded to race in European single-seaters next year. The winning candidates after the three-day assessment were Dominique Claessens, Colin Fleming and Matt Jaskol.
With the 2003 World Championship done and dusted, the Formula 1 teams will be looking back at the successes and failures of the season and all will have plenty to consider.
The FIA World Motor Sport Council meets today in Paris to consider the proposals made by the F1 Commission. The changes to the Sporting Regulations are supposed to enhance the World Championship with a new format for race weekends.
Scott Dixon has ambitions in Formula 1 and the young New Zealander gave himself a big career boost by winning the Indy Racing League title for Target Chip Ganassi Racing at the Texas Motor Speedway.
The Indy Racing League was given a reminder at the weekend that no form of high-speed open-wheler can be 100% safe with Sweden's Kenny Brack being seriously hurt in a spectacular accident with Tomas Scheckter just a few laps from the finish of the Chevy 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.
When Michael Schumacher and his brother Ralf went on a bender on Sunday night, the multiple World Champion was letting off steam. Racing drivers are unused to alcohol and often do some pretty silly things when under the influence.
There was a time when all the great motor racing champions came from motorcycle racing. In the 1920s, for example, Tazio Nuvolari and Achille Varzi were both great riders before becoming great drivers and in the 1950s and 1960s.
Japanese GP - Race Report
Japanese GP - Race Notes
Japanese GP - Sunday Photos
Japanese GP - Race Results
The FIA World Motorsport Council meets on Wednesday to vote on the proposals of the various commissions for rules relating to 2004.
Max Mosley wanted to push through a rule that allowed Formula 1 teams to supply old chassis to other teams, but it was axed because of opposition from McLaren.
There has been a lot of rumouring in Formula 1 circles about the future of Jacques Villeneuve.
Japanese GP - Saturday Qualifying Report
The Formula 1 team bosses proposed changes to the Sporting Regulations in 2004 which includes a rule which will have a very dramatic effect on the careers of several Formula 1 drivers.
Japanese GP - Saturday Photos
Japanese GP - Saturday Qualifying Results
Japanese GP - Saturday Warmup Results
As we exclusively revealed yesterday, Michelin has had an approach from British American Racing about a supply of tires for next year.
Kimi Raikkonen dented his remote World Championship hopes on Saturday morning when he crashed his McLaren-Mercedes at the second corner at Suzuka.
Bernie Ecclestone is a busy man and the business of selling the television rights and in recent months as he has negotiated new TV deals for the sport.
Japanese GP - Saturday Practice Results
More and more details are now emerging about the new Formula 1 timetable being proposed for next season although the plans have yet to be ratified by the FIA World Motor Sport Council, which meets in Paris on Wednesday next week.
Bernie Ecclestone has not made any investment in Minardi, despite the announcement in Canada that Formula 1's commercial boss that he would step in to help the team.
Japanese GP - Friday Qualifying Report
Japanese GP - Friday Photos
Mark Webber has been named as a fourth director of the Grand Prix Drivers' Association.
One of the biggest things holding back new teams in F1 is the need to invest millions to build their own cars - and it stops new teams being able to come into the sport as customers in order to establish themselves.
The Formula 1 teams are busy making changes their staff as the 2003 season comes to an end and the preparations accelerate for 2004.
There have been suggestions in the paddock in Japan that British American Racing may be on the verge of switching from Bridgestone to Michelin tires for next season.
Peter Sauber has confirmed that Felipe Massa will be Giancarlo Fisichella's partner at Sauber next year.
Japanese GP - Friday Qualifying Results
Japanese GP - Friday Practice Results
Japanese GP - Friday Testing Results
More details are now leaking out about the way in which the new 2004 qualifying procedures will work. It seems that the entire qualifying process will take around 90 minutes, the same length as a televised soccer match
There has been talk in recent days that the Formula 1 team bosses might agree to having 18 Grands Prix next year to allow Canada back on to the World Championship calendar.
The Austrian drinks company Red Bull is bidding to become a major sponsor of the Jaguar Racing Formula 1 team.
It seems that suggestions that Craig Pollock may be involved with the investment company which has bought into Jordan Grand Prix are wide of the mark and that the Merrion Capital Group is actually representing a consortium of some of Ireland's richest men.
Jordan's head of engineering Gary Anderson says that he is planning to step back from the day-to-day business of the Jordan team and says it is not really retirement.
Jacques Villeneuve decided on Thursday morning that he did not really want to go on with BAR-Honda and Craig Pollock rang team boss David Richards.
The announcement that a Dublin-based consortium has bought a 49.9% stake in Jordan Grand Prix from private equity firm Warburg Pincus is interesting in a number of different ways, not least because of recent rumors that Craig Pollock might be involved in running the F1 team in the future.
For many years Formula 1 observers have been looking for possible sites for Grand Prix races in California with all kinds of different projects, ranging from revamped army bases to urban parks. In the meantime the local circuits have been quietly upgrading with most of the focus going on Laguna Seca.
As we predicted would happen some weeks ago, Martin Brundle is standing down as chairman of the British Racing Drivers' Club and will be replaced on January 1, 2004 by Ray Bellm.
Jacques Villeneuve is out of Formula 1 and he is not going to get back in unless his manager and chief defender Craig Pollock becomes a team owner again.
A consotrium of Irish Investors led by Stockbrokerage Merrion have purchased 49.9% of the shareholding in Jordan Grand Prix for an undisclosed amount.
The FIA Formula 1 World Championship will be decided this weekend at Suzuka in Japan, and it will take something quite extraordinary to stop Michael Schumacher winning a record sixth World Championship.
British American Tobacco, which has supported Jacques Villeneuve for the last five years at BAR, has paid tribute to the Canadian.
Lucky Strike BAR Honda has, as expected, confirmed that Takuma Sato will complete the 2004 driver line-up, alongside Jenson Button. BAR have taken up its option on the 26-year-old Japanese, which will see him moving up from his current role as the team's third driver.
Japan's Satoshi Motoyama will get his first run in a Formula 1 car on Friday in the two-hour test session which kicks off the Japanese GP weekend. Motoyama will drive for Jordan.
The New York Stock Exchange has officially warned CART about its poor share price because the company has fallen below the NYSE's listing requirements.
The Formula 1 team principals met last week and it is said that Bernie Ecclestone informed them that his chosen successor as head of SLEC is Marco Piccinini. This is not a surprise, indeed Piccinini was named as Ecclestone likely successor back in 1998.
Antonio Pizzonia staked his claim not to be overlooked by Formula 1 teams with an impressive test last week with the Williams team at Jerez de la Frontera.
British American racing is expected to announce the signing of Takuma Sato for 2004 in Tokyo on Tuesday. The young Japanese driver will be returning to racing after a year spent testing for BAR.
Eight months ago Formula 1 photographer Russell Batchelor's son Ethan was diagnosed as having a very rare life threatening disorder called CDG (Congenital Disorder of the Glycosylation).
Australia's Ryan Briscoe has been crowned the inaugural Euroseries Formula 3 Champion at the penultimate round of the series at Hockenheim.
We hear that there will be a Jaguar Racing board meeting later today and it is thought likely that this will be followed by an announcement that John Hogan will be leaving the team after just a year as Sporting Director.
New Zealander Scott Dixon hopes to win the IRL title this year in order to set himself up as a possible Formula 1 driver in the future. The 23-year-old Auckland driver hopes to get a Formula 1 test this winter.
Craig Pollock has confirmed that he received a telephone call from David Richards of BAR saying that Villeneuve will not be with the team next year.
There are stories that Jacques Villeneuve has been informed that his services will not be required next year by British American Racing.
Travelex has pulled out of its deal with Toyota two-years into a $11m five-year deal.
Carl Haas, the co-owner of Newman-Haas Racing with actor Paul Newman, has resigned from the board of directors of CART.
The Formula 1 Commission met yesterday and voted through the recommendations of the Formula 1 teams to alter the situation with regard to testing.
The recent days have seen a number of significant developments indicating just how serious the current economic problems are for the European automobile manufacturers.
One of the subjects that the Formula 1 team bosses have been discussing in recent days is how to organize the sport if the bigger teams are forced to run third cars.
There are rumors that Craig Pollock could be looking at the possibility of coming back to Formula 1 to revive the troubled Jordan team.
There are stories circulating in Holland that Jos Verstappen is going to leave Minardi at the end of the season.
British American Racing boss David Richards is having trouble in the World Rally Championship as it looks like he is going to lose his voting rights on the FIA Rally Commission.
The Formula 1 team bosses are meeting today at London's Heathrow Airport to come up with answers as to how they are going to improve the show for next year. There have already been two lengthy meetings in Indianapolis to discuss the different ideas.
Two Canadian businessmen tried to have the Montreal Grand Prix exempted from the federal anti-tobacco legislation.
Niki Lauda has been working for the TV since he was kicked out of Jaguar Racing and as he no longer controls the airline which bears his name he has been looking for something to do with his time.
There has been much talk in Formula 1 circles since the United States Grand Prix about the drive-through penalty which effectively ended Juan Pablo Montoya's World Championship hopes at Indianapolis.
The Formula 1 teams have been in action testing at Silverstone with mostly test drivers in action as the racers have stayed out in America or gone on to Japan.
The opposition party in the Indian State of Andhra Pradesh has come out against the idea of a Grand Prix in Hyderabad.
The future of Minardi is a rich source of stories without foundation and rarely does a week go by without a new rumor emerging.