NEWS ARCHIVE

31 JANUARY 2003

MORE ON THE FW25

The Williams team has been talking about its new FW25 challenger and Sir Frank Williams admits that winning the World Championship will "not be a summit that will easily be conquered. We are well prepared and completely determined to get to the top. We have a new, innovative chassis - the FW25 - ready."

COSWORTH GETS NEW DYNOS

Cosworth Racing has unveiled its new multi-million dollar dynamometer facility. This comprises three transient dyno cells, which have been custom built by the Northampton based engine company.

A STATEMENT FROM BRIDGESTONE

Bridgestone says that it would like to "clarify" the situation with regard to supplying tyres to Minardi.

BRIDGESTONE HEADING FOR TROUBLE?

Minardi team principal Paul Stoddart has complained to the FIA about Bridgestone which he says has breached its obligations to Formula 1 by failing to supply tyres to Minardi.

WEATHER HAMPERS TESTING IN VALENCIA

Ferrari, Sauber and BAR returned to Valencia Friday to conduct a day of wet weather testing for tire supplier Bridgestone on an artificially wet track, but the weather, which has hampered the teams all week, once again forced the teams to change their programs.

THE NEW WILLIAMS

Williams has unveiled its new FW25 chassis in Barcelona this morning and all the indications are that the new car is radically different in concept to previous cars which culminated in last year's FW24.

FORMULA 3000 ENTRY LIST SHORT OF NAMES

The FIA has issued the official Formula 3000 entry list with 20 cars being listed but only six drivers having been announced.

FORMULA 3000 MEN SIGN UP FOR CART

Newman/Haas Racing has finally announced the signing of Frenchman Sebastien Bourdais as Bruno Junqueira's team mate in the CART Champ Car series this year. The pair will be chasing a fifth CART title for the team.

THE OLD TRICKS ARE STILL THE BEST

Promoting a Grand Prix has proved to be a difficult business in Malaysia in recent years but it seems that the decision to use the old-fashioned method of employing a beauty queen is proving to be very effective.

30 JANUARY 2003

PETER'S BIG IDEA

Peter Sauber's remarks suggesting that Formula 1 teams should buy standardized cars from a production racing car company if it wants to cut costs is not a new idea - but what is new is that a Formula 1 team boss with gravitas has actually put the concept into words in the public domain.

STODDART TO SEEK FIA HELP WITH TIRE ISSUE

For the second day in a row, Minardi was forced to test on Avon F3000-spec slick tires because of their dispute with Bridgestone, and team principal Paul Stoddart now says he will go to the FIA to help resolve the problem.

MCLAREN SETS THE PACE IN VALENCIA TESTING

McLaren set the pace again Thursday as teams returned to the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia for testing. David Coulthard set the fastest time of the day, at 1:10.977. McLaren test driver Alexander Wurz, who was fastest at the circuit Wednesday, was third on the day.

NOW BERNIE STARTS TALKING ABOUT 18 RACES...

Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone likes to keep people guessing and so comments this week in Autosport magazine that there might be a possibility of Spa returning to the Formula 1 calendar should be taken with a considerable pinch of salt.

MCLAREN CREATES AUTOMOTIVE DIVISION

The TAG McLaren Group has announced the creation of a new Automotive Division which will take over all of the activities of McLaren Cars and McLaren Composites.

STILL NO DECISION FROM BMW

Gerhard Berger, the sporting director of BMW Motorsport, says that the Munich company has still to decide on its future in F1.

A RUSH OF SMALL SPONSORS

There have been a rush of minor sponsorship and supplier deals in recent days.

WILLIAMS LAUNCHES NEW FW25 TOMORROW

The Williams-BMW team will tomorrow morning launch its brand new FW25 in Barcelona with high hopes that the new car will be considerably better than last year's FW24.

A STATUE FOR MICHAEL

Melbourne-based sculptor Mitch Mitchell is working flat out to finish a 3-metre high statue of Michael Schumacher in time for the Australian Grand Prix in five weeks from now.

POLLOCK SIGNS LEMARIE

Craig Pollock has signed up France's Patrick Lemarie to be his driver in the new PK Racing Champ Car team.

29 JANUARY 2003

HOW MANY ENGINES?

Reports on ITV-F1.com suggest that some of the Formula 1 engine manufacturers are currently building as many as 600 engines a year to service two Formula 1 cars in 17 Grands Prix. If true, this statistic underlines the current need to cut costs in Grand Prix racing.

MCLAREN PROPAGATES GOOD WILL

Ron Dennis has kept a very low profile in recent weeks following the FIA's moves to cut costs in Formula 1.

MASSA AND JORDAN CLOSE TO A DEAL

Felipe Massa and Jordan Grand Prix has the basis of a deal but the contracts have yet to be signed. At least that is what Massa's manager Marcio Fonseca is saying.

TEAMS BUSY IN VALENCIA

Windy conditions greeted the teams in Valencia Wednesday, making it difficult for them to record any consistent data. Eight teams still did their best to continue testing for the upcoming season.

SAUBER WANTS MORE CHANGE

Peter Sauber says he thinks that the Formula 1 changes have not gone far enough and he would like that the Formula 1 teams could buy chassis built by an independent racing car constructors.

RECOGNITION FOR DE CHAUNAC

Hugues de Chaunac, the boss of ORECA, who has been involved in Formula 1 on a couple of occasions in the last 30 years, will receive a Legion d'Honneur tomorrow at the Automobile Club de France for his services to motorsport.

MCLAREN BOY WONDER GEARS UP FOR 2003

McLaren has been supporting the efforts of British youngster Lewis Hamilton since he was in karting and the 18-year-old has just re-signed for a second season with Manor Motorsports in the British Formula Renault series.

BRIDGESTONE RESPONDS

Bridgestone has confirmed that it has received a request from Minardi to supply the team with tyres in 2003 but says that "discussions are still ongoing and the negotiations are not yet completed".

FIAT LOSSES COULD BE $2BN

Italy's Minister of Industry Antonio Marzano told Italian pressmen yesterday that Fiat's losses for 2002 are likely to be "not much beyond two billion euros". Of this 1.4bn is expected to come from the troubled car division Fiat Auto.

FORD SUSPENDS JAGUAR X-TYPE PRODUCTION

Times are hard in the automobile world at the moment and it has just been announced that Jaguar is to suspend production of its X-type model for up to three weeks.

STODDART EXPLAINS AVONS

Paul Stoddart has explained why his Minardi F1 cars are out running on Avon Formula 3000 tyres in Valencia.

MINARDI ON AVONS!

The Minardi cars have gone out to test in Valencia using Avon Formula 3000 tyres because there are no other tyres available for the team.

PROST - A YEAR ON

Today is the first anniversary of the demise of Prost Grand Prix with debts of $30m.

WHAT WILL MINARDI RUN ON?

The Minardi team turned up at Valencia yesterday amid continuing speculation about which tyres the team will run.

28 JANUARY 2003

THE SENNA TRIAL - WHAT IS GOING ON?

The decision by the Italian Supreme Court to reject the 1999 appeal into the Ayrton Senna trial is based on nothing more than legal procedures.

TEAMS RESUME TESTING IN VALENCIA

Another testing session started Tuesday at Valencia, where Rubens Barrichello led the nine other drivers in action. The Brazilian worked behind the wheel of a F2002, as did Ferrari test driver Luca Badoer. Michael Schumacher is expected to join Barrichello Wednesday.

QUALIFYING TO START AT 14.00

Although it is yet to be officially confirmed it is now agreed that qualifying on Friday and Saturday at each Grand Prix this year will take place at 14.00.

BOURDAIS IN AMERICA

Although it has yet to be confirmed Sebasten Bourdais is to race this year alongside Bruno Junqueira in the Newman Haas Racing team in the CART Champ Car series.

LAUDA JUNIOR MOVES UP

Niki Lauda's son Mathias is continuing his racing career this year in the Telefonica World Series Light championship.

GAILLARDOT TO TOYOTA

Formula 1 engineer Vincent Gaillardot has joined the Toyota Motorsport team in Cologne. The Frenchman previously worked for Jaguar Racing but was one of the victims of the job cuts last autumn.

FERRARI GETS A NEW SPONSOR (SORT OF)

For the last 25 years Philip Morris has been supporting the Ferrari team with its Marlboro cigarette brand. But as of yesterday morning Philip Morris ceased to exist, transforming itself into a new organization called the Altria Group Inc.

27 JANUARY 2003

AFTER AUSTRIA...

Modern contracts between Formula One Management and the individual race organizers include a clause which states that if the law in that country relating to tobacco sponsorship is changed the contract can be declared null and void.

THE SENNA TRIAL GOES ON...

The Italian Supreme Court has ruled that the appeal process of the Senna Trial must be done again because of legal errors in the original appeal. This will drag the trial up to close to the 10th anniversary of the death of Ayrton Senna at Imola in 1994.

JACQUES VILLENEUVE ATTACKS HANS

This year Formula 1 drivers will be wearing the HANS (Head And Neck Support system) in all races. The system is being opposed by Jacques Villeneuve who claims that it might be more dangerous to wear it.

AUSTRALIAN V8S HEADING FOR SHANGHAI

The Shanghai authorities have agreed a five-year deal to host a round of the Australian V8 Supercar series, starting in 2004.

TELEVISION IN MELBOURNE

The beginning of the Formula 1 season in Melbourne is keenly awaited by Formula 1 fans around the world but it is still unclear how the race is going to be televised.

AUSTRIA TO GET THE CHOP IN 2004

The Austrian GP contract will not be renewed in 2004, according to reports in the Austrian press.

HAKKINEN PLANS MORE RALLYING

Former Formula 1 World Champion Mika Hakkinen finished 30th in the Arctic Lapland Rally at the weekend and is now saying that he will have another try at rallying.

25 JANUARY 2003

THE IMPORTANCE OF GIANNI AGNELLI

Luca di Montezemolo, the chairman of Ferrari, has said that the death of Gianni Agnelli leaves "an unfillable void" in his life.

24 JANUARY 2003

THE JORDAN DRIVE

The latest speculation is that with the withdrawal of Eddie Irvine from the scene, the second Jordan drive is likely to go to Brazil's Felipe Massa but the team says that other drivers are under discussion, including Ralph Firman.

FERRARI PROTECTOR AGNELLI DIES

Gianni Agnelli has died at the age of 81. Agnelli was the grandson of the founder of Fiat and became its managing director in 1963 and its chairman from 1966 after spending the 1950s enjoying a playboy lifestyle.

CRISIS OVER - MOSLEY GOES SKIING

The political situation in Formula 1 has calmed down since the Technical Working Group meeting on Tuesday and the signs are that things will now return to normal with the teams working on getting their cars ready for the new regulations.

23 JANUARY 2003

TESTING IN SPAIN

Testing continued for seven of the teams Thursday in Valencia and Barcelona. It was Kimi Raikkonen setting the pace in Valencia, while Michael Schumacher was fastest in Barcelona.

MOSCOW GIVES UP ON NAGATINO ISLAND

The Moscow City government has given up any idea of holding a Formula 1 race on Nagatino Island.

TYRE MYSTERY AT MINARDI

There is a mystery as to which tyres the Minardi team will be using in 2003 following remarks by Michelin's Pierre Dupasquier.

STEFAN SIGNS VASSER AND HUNTER-REAY

Former McLaren and Ferrari driver Stefan Johansson has signed former CART champion Jimmy Vasser and rising star Ryan Hunter-Reay to be his drivers in his new American Spirit Racing operation this year in the CART Champ Car Series.

NO MORE SWERVING FOR MR IRVINE

Eddie Irvine is finally admitting that he is not going to get a drive this year in Formula 1, despite lengthy talks with Jordan Grand Prix, which began in July last year.

PROST AND JAGUAR

In recent days there has been some rather silly stories suggesting that Alain Prost is not interested in running Jaguar Racing. This is good news because there is absolutely no sign that Jaguar Racing wants him to do that job.

22 JANUARY 2003

A COMPROMISE IS FOUND

The meeting of the Technical Working Group yesterday in London finally hammered out a working set of regulations for the season ahead with both the FIA and the F1 engineers accepting compromise in an effort to things forward.

BMW JOINS THE PRO-CHANGE LOBBY

The mystery of the GPWC press statement deepened this week as BMW men Mario Theissen and Gerhard Berger both came out in favour of the changes put forward by FIA President Max Mosley and the compromise reached at yesterday's Technical Working Group meeting.

DE LA ROSA AND MCLAREN

Pedro de la Rosa has had a very quiet winter since being dropped by Jaguar Racing at the end of last season. But de la Rosa has not given up on his Formula 1 career and the Spaniard was spotted recently visiting the McLaren headquarters in Woking

COURTNEY GOES TO JAPAN

Former Jaguar Racing test driver James Courtney was hoping to race for Arden International in the International Formula 3000 series this year but the Australian F1 aspirant has had to settle for second best and is off to drive for the TOMS Toyota team in the Japanese Formula 3 Championship in 2003.

21 JANUARY 2003

TECHNICAL WORKING GROUP HAMMERS OUT RULES AGREEMENT

The FIA Technical Working Group met in London Tuesday where they agreed to adopt most of the cost-cutting measures put forward by FIA President Max Mosley last week, including a complete ban on traction control and automatic gearboxes effective mid-season.

TESTING MOVES FORWARD

The F1 teams continued testing Tuesday at circuits in Barcelona, Valencia, and Le Castellet in the south of France.

MCLAREN AND MELBOURNE

Stories doing the rounds suggesting that McLaren might boycott the first race of the year should not be taken too seriously.

MALAYSIAN GP MANAGEMENT UNCHANGED

Although the Sepang International Circuit has been sold by the Malaysian Airports Holdings company to the Malaysian government it seems that the change will not have any effect at all on the running of the event.

NO CHAMP CARS FOR SPA

The CART Champ Car series will not be racing this year at Spa-Francorchamps, which means that the classic Belgian racing facility will have to survive on income from its only big event left on the calendar: the Spa 24 Hours touring car race.

A BIG STORY

Adrian Dawn of Beeston in Nottinghamshire has won a Jaguar Formula 1 car in a competition to find the sport's biggest enthusiast. But Dawn's problem is that he is too big a fan - because he cannot fit in the cockpit of the car.

JAGUAR'S R4 UNVEILED

Jaguar Racing has unveiled its R4, which the team says will build on the lessons learned in 2002 with the troublesome R3 chassis. The new car is the work of a design team led by the team's new managing-director Dave Pitchforth.

OOPS, MICHAEL!

Michael Schumacher started his 2003 season with a real howler when he went off on his first lap in his Ferrari since last October.

BELL SIGNS FOR ARDEN

American Townsend Bell, who has ambitions of becoming a Formula 1 driver, has joined Bjorn Wirdheim in the Arden International Formula 3000 team. Bell has signed a two-year deal with the team and says that he wants to use F3000 as his route into Formula 1

20 JANUARY 2003

RENAULT AIMS TO BE MICHELIN'S TOP TEAM

Renault says that it is aiming to become Michelin's number one partner in Formula 1, leap-frogging McLaren and Williams. The recent rule change which allows tyre companies to develop tyres specifically for individual teams means that the number one status will be decided upon by results.

RENAULT'S JUNIORS

Renault confirmed at its launch in Luzern, Switzerland, that it has signed Allan McNish and Franck Montagny as its two test drivers for 2003 but also gave details of new signings in its Driver Development programme.

TECHNICAL WORKING GROUP MEETS TOMORROW

The FIA Technical Working Group will meet tomorrow in London, the second such meeting in five days. The new meeting will be chaired as usual by Charlie Whiting and it is anticipated that the message from Whiting will be that the changes put forward by FIA President Max Mosley will go ahead with immediate effect,

WHO IS IAN POCOCK?

Jaguar's new engineering director Ian Pocock has spent the last couple of years at Pi Research but has a healthy pedigree in Formula 1 which dates back to 1987 when he worked with Benetton while studying for his doctorate at the Cranfield Institute.

JAGUAR APPOINTS NEW DIRECTOR OF ENGINEERING

Jaguar Racing has announced the appointment of Ian Pocock as Director of Engineering. Pocock was working at Pi Research. Ian will look after all the management, administrative, personnel-related, financial, budgetary, marketing and strategic aspects of the role, while Malcolm Oastler will concentrate on the technical operation.

RENAULT THREATENS TO QUIT F1

Renault will quit F1 if the FIA insists that manufacturers build engines which have to last for six races. Patrick Faure, chairman of Renault Sport, said that if the federations insists on a rule that will mean building "tractor engines" there would be little relevance in the sport for the company.

RENAULT'S DEAL WITH MILD SEVEN

Renault has announced an extension of the current deal with Japan Tobacco's Mild Seven brand for another four years. This will take the relationship up to the date of the planned global ban on all tobacco sponsorship in the sport.

RENAULT LAUNCHING TODAY

The launch of the new Renault F1 challenger for 2003 takes place this afternoon in Luzern in Switzerland. The venue was chosen because it allows the team to exhibit the car in its full tobacco livery, something which is banned in France. The new car is the work of a team of engineers led by Mike Gascoyne.

19 JANUARY 2003

MONTEZEMOLO COMES OUT IN FAVOUR OF F1 CHANGES

Luca di Montezemolo, chairman of the Ferrari has told the Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper that he is "very happy and curious about the decisions taken" by FIA President Max Mosley over the Formula 1 regulations.

EXPLAIN THIS...

On Thursday the GPWC board of directors met in Berlin and issued a statement which said that the membership was "dismayed" at the cost-cutting measures put forward by FIA President Max Mosley.

18 JANUARY 2003

THE GPWC STATEMENT

The GPWC statement issued yesterday was rather ambiguous in its response to the FIA's changes for the 2003-2006 seasons.

FIA OFFERS $1M REWARD TO CATCH CHEATS

The FIA is planning to offer a $1 million reward to anyone who provides evidence of cheating in F1 this year. The reward will be paid from heavy fines which will be levied on any offenders. The FIA says it is looking to ban all the major electronic systems this year and that anyone cheating will be nailed

JAGUAR AND ACER

The Taiwanese computer company Acer used to be involved as the sponsor of Alain Prost's Ferrari engine deal in 2001 but since the demise of the French team at the start of last year has not been directly involved in the sport.

17 JANUARY 2003

GPWC CONFIRM COMMITMENT TO NEW SERIES (AGAIN)

The Board of GPWC Holdings met in Berlin yesterday and decided to once again confirm their commitment to establishing a new series in competition to Formula 1 in 2007. The board says that it has appointed Goldman Sachs to start talks with representatives of the banks

ALONSO QUICKEST IN BARCELONA

Four teams returned to the Circuit de Catalunya Friday to continue their winter testing programs. McLaren set the pace all week at the Spanish circuit, but they wrapped up their program Thursday, so it was Fernando Alonso in the Renault who was topped the timesheet Friday.

MALAYSIAN AIRPORTS SELLS SEPANG

The Malaysian Airports company has finally confirmed the sale of the Sepang International Circuit to the Malaysian government. The government paid just over $100m for the facility.

WANT TO BUY A THIRD HAND ENGINE COMPANY?

The assets of the Asiatech engine company will go up for sale by auction in February in Paris. The liquidators of the company (which was previously Peugeot Sport's F1 engine division) have organised a series of three auctions which will be held on February 13-14-15 at Velizy.

BELL AIMING FOR FORMULA 3000

American racer Townsend Bell is aiming for a top drive in Formula 3000 this year and the word on the street is that he is close to signing a deal with one of the leading British teams.

FERRARI TO LAUNCH NEW CAR ON FEBRUARY 7

Ferrari will unveil its new Formula 1 challenger in Maranello on February 7. The new car will then undergo an intensive testing programme but the team is not expected to race the new car until after the first three "fly-away" races are completed.

16 JANUARY 2003

COULTHARD FASTEST AGAIN IN SPAIN

David Coulthard was fastest in testing at the Circuit de Catalunya for the third day in a row Thursday. The McLaren driver worked alongside teammate Kimi Raikkonen, who was second fastest on the day, both testing tires for Michelin.

BMW WILLIAMS RESPONDS TO MOSLEY

Following yesterday's meeting between the FIA and team principals, the BMW WilliamsF1 Team has responded with a statement saying that the team is "currently assessing the proposals presented" and that it feels that most of the proposals will be "further clarified" at a Technical Working Group meeting on Friday.

TEAMS REACT CAUTIOUSLY TO FIA PROPOSALS

After a day of time to reflect on what happened at yesterday's meeting between the Formula 1 team principals and FIA President Max Mosley, there are the first hints of discontent being heard from the F1 teams, although most of those involved do not want to go on the record with their criticisms.

THE TRIAL THAT WILL NOT GO AWAY

On November 22 1999 the Court of Appeal in Bologna ruled that Patrick Head and Adrian Newey were not responsible for the death of Ayrton Senna on May 1 1994 during the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola. The decision came after years of investigations and legal actions and seemed to bring an end to the whole sorry story.

MERCEDES, TOYOTA AND RENAULT AGREE TO TWO ENGINE SUPPLIES

We hear from yesterday's Formula 1 team meeting that Mercedes-Benz, Toyota and Renault have all agreed to supply two Formula 1 teams with engines if asked to do so. This will begin in 2004 and it appears that a maximum price of $10m has been agreed between the motor manufacturers.

MORE CHANGES COMING FOR THE F1 TIMETABLE?

The new interpretation of the F1 regulations by the FIA will probably mean that the timetable for Grands Prix will be altered this year. There is already talk of the two afternoon sessions being pushed back to 14.00 rather than the current 13.00.

THE NEW JAGUAR TO RUN AT LOMMEL

The new Jaguar R4 is to have its first shakedown runs at the Ford Motor Company's Lommel Proving Ground in Belgium later this week. This will be second year in which the team has used Lommel to do the first tests of a new car, providing the team with no interruptions and away from prying eyes.

AUSTRALIAN GP BOSS LAUDS NEW F1 MEASURES

The drastic cost-cutting moves in Formula 1have been greeted with favourable comment in many different areas of the sport and, to date at least, there has been almost no negative comment.

THE CALM AFTER THE STORM

The Formula 1 team bosses did not make a big issue about the FIA's announcements on Wednesday with only a couple making any public statements about the biggest upset in the F1 rules for more than a decade. But today it is expected that we will hear the first reactions of the bigger teams.

15 JANUARY 2003

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Having spent years trying to make the Formula 1 teams agree with one another, the FIA has finally grabbed the initiative to force the teams to accept cost-cutting changes to save the smaller teams from extinction.

SMALL TEAMS GET A DEAL

Details are beginning to emerge of a deal which has been brokered between the Formula 1 teams and F1 paymaster Bernie Ecclestone, which will see the smaller F1 operations given some financial security in the year ahead.

BUT WHAT ABOUT THE IMMEDIATE PROBLEMS?

The FIA's cost-cutting plan for Formula 1 has one obvious flaw: it does nothing to help the teams which are in trouble right now. There are two teams - Jordan and Minardi - which are thought to not have the budget to get through the current season largely because both have to pay huge sums for a supply of engines.

MEANWHILE IN MONTREAL...

Craig Pollock might have chosen a better day to launch his new CART Champ Car team but the former BAR boss is hoping that he will get some coverage despite the fact that there is a revolution taking place in Formula 1.

THE FIA'S PRESS STATEMENT

The FIA has announced a dramatic series of changes to the F1 rules which will force F1 teams to cut costs. The federation issued the following explanation of the changes.

FLASH: THE FIA'S COST REVOLUTION

The FIA called the F1 team principals together on Wednesday in London and informed them that it intends to rigorously apply its existing rules from the start of the coming season to cut costs dramatically.

TEAMS PUSH FORWARD IN BARCELONA

Testing continued in Barcelona Wednesday, where 14 drivers took to the track for their respective teams, while the FIA and team bosses met in London to discuss cost cutting measures.

PROST ON ICE

Alain Prost is to return to competition this weekend at the wheel of an Opel Astra ice racing car. The 47-year-old Frenchman will take part in four rounds of the Trophee Andros, the French ice racing series.

DROUGHT TAKES TOLL IN MELBOURNE

Setting up in Melbourne has already started in preparation for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix on March 9 but organizers are facing an unusual problems because of the country's severe drought.

JAGUAR FAILS CRASH TEST

There are reports that the new Jaguar R4 has failed one of the side-impact crash tests dictated by the FIA. This is not a major setback for the team but could mean further delays before the new car is ready to run.

MERCEDES WILLING TO SUPPLY TWO TEAMS IN 2004

According to a report in The Guardian newspaper this morning, Mercedes-Benz says that it is willing to supply a secondary supply of engines in Formula 1 next year "under certain circumstances". The report says that these engines would be supplied for a cost of only $10m.

TIN HELMETS ON...

This morning the Formula 1 team principals will meet in London to discuss how to cut more costs in F1 this year. They will then all go on for a meeting with FIA President Max Mosley.

BERETTA JOINS WILLIAMS

Olivier Beretta is to take over Ralf Schumacher's testing duties in the weeks ahead because the German driver is having problems with his back. It has been decided that Ralf will now wait until the new FW25 appears and leave development work to Beretta.

DAIMLERCHRYSLER REVIVING BROOKLANDS

Back in the autumn there was a low-key announcement that DaimlerChrysler UK was planning to develop a 155-acre site in the middle of the old Brooklands racing track at Weybridge, just down the road from the McLaren factory at Woking.

THE NEW JORDAN RUNS

Giancarlo Fisichella gave the new Jordan EJ13 its first shakedown runs yesterday at Silverstone, the new car running without any livery. No official details of the test run have been made available.

FORMER MINARDI PARTNER BIDDING FOR FIAT?

Italian financier Emilio Gnutti, who was once a shareholder in the Minardi team, is bidding to rescue the Fiat company, Ferrari's parent company. Reports in Italy say that Fiat's creditors have asked Gnutti to get involved.

GENE'S TESTING ROLE FOR TELEFONICA WORLD SERIES

Marc Gene spends a lot of his time test driving for the Williams F1 team but in his spare time he has also been doing development testing for Michelin tire compounds which are used in the Telefonica World Series.

14 JANUARY 2003

BAR LAUNCHES NEW CAR

British American Racing began a new era when it unveiled the new BAR 005 in Barcelona this morning, the first car to be produced under the management of David Richards and the new technical team led by Geoff Willis.

TESTING CONTINUES IN BARCELONA

Testing continued in Barcelona at the Circuit de Catalunya Tuesday, where David Coulthard set a blistering pace for McLaren to top the timesheet. Coulthard was the fastest man on the track by nearly a second and a half, while testing with team test driver Alexander Wurz.

HERTA STILL OUT THERE

Bryan Herta may have missed out on the chance to race for Minardi in 2003 but the American driver says that there is still a good chance that he will be seen testing for the team in the course of the year.

HONDA BECOMES B.A.R SPONSOR

The newly-branded B.A.R team has landed sponsorship from Honda in addition to free engines and chassis technology. The new BAR-Honda 005, which was launched in Barcelona this morning, features Honda badging, underlining that the Japanese company is very keen to return to its winning ways in Formula 1.

ARROWS IS WOUND UP

Arrows Grand Prix International was wound up yesterday by a court in Birmingham. A group of the company's creditors, including former driver Heinz-Harald Frentzen, had got together to apply for a compulsory winding-up order and this was granted by the court.

13 JANUARY 2003

SAUBER ROLLS OUT C22 IN BARCELONA

Williams and Sauber kicked off testing in Barcelona Monday in cold but dry conditions. Williams drivers Juan Pablo Montoya and Marc Gene set the fastest times of the day, while teammate Ralf Schumacher could only manage 5 laps, and ended the day at the bottom of the timesheet.

JORDAN TO JOIN MINARDI

Minardi recently lost its commercial chief Rupert Manwaring to Lola but the team is shortly expected to name Paul Jordan as his replacement.

THE F1 AWARDS

Australians continue to make an impact in Formula 1 with the Formula One Awards in Birmingham seeing two of the six prizes going to Australia. Mark Webber won the Best Newcomer Award for his performances for Minardi in 2002 while the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne was voted the best circuit by a panel of F1 experts.

11 JANUARY 2003

POLLOCK ANNOUNCEMENT SHORTLY

As we reported recently, Craig Pollock, the former boss of British American Racing and the man who manages Jacques Villeneuve, is to run a team in Champ Cars this year. Pollock has scheduled a press conference on Wednesday which will feature Pollock and CART boss Chris Pook.

10 JANUARY 2003

BERNIE AND SILVERSTONE

As we reported about a month ago it seems that Bernie Ecclestone is on the verge of taking control of the British Grand Prix. We hear that Ecclestone has agreed a deal which will see him taking over Octagon Motorsport in totality, which will give him control of all the major British racing circuits.

CHANGES TO THE F1 TIMETABLE?

There are rumours that there will be further change to the timetable of Grand Prix weekends with the afternoon sessions on Fridays and Saturdays being pushed back an hour so that they take place between 14.00 and 15.00.

COSWORTH WINS MIA BUSINESS OF THE YEAR AWARD

Cosworth Racing has been named "Business of the Year" by the Motorsport Industry Association. The awards were announced at the annual MIA Awards Dinner at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham.

WALKINSHAW AND COSWORTH

There are reports that Cosworth Racing, the Ford Motor Company subsidiary which supplied engines to the Arrows team last year, is to take legal action against Arrows boss Tom Walkinshaw personally as it tries to recoup losses made on the deal last year.

9 JANUARY 2003

SNOW HALTS SAUBER

There has been snow over large parts of Europe in recent days and Sauber's planned shakedown runs of its new C22 chassis were cancelled today because of snow at the Ferrari test track at Fiorano.

ANOTHER AUSTRALIAN ON THE MOVE

Australian Will Davison has landed a drive with Alan Docking Racing, the team that won last year's British Formula 3 Championship. He will race this year in a Dallara-Mugen Honda and hopes to follow in the footsteps of another Docking graduate Mark Webber to move up to Formula 1.

CART ANNOUNCES BRANDS HATCH RACE

CART CEO Chris Pook announced at the Autosport International show that his open wheeled series will return to Brands Hatch in 2003, for the first time since 1978.

MCLAREN SIGNS SONAX

The McLaren Formula 1 team has signed a deal with Sonax, the German vehicle polish company. The company logo will appear on the rear wing endplates of the two McLarens.

VERSTAPPEN JOINS MINARDI

The Minardi team has confirmed that Jos Verstappen will be joining Justin Wilson in the team this year thanks to backing from the computer electronics company Trust.

GPWC MEETS TODAY IN PARIS

The Grand Prix World Championship organisation is due to have a meeting in Paris today to discuss further details of its planned rival series to Formula 1 in 2008.

MCNISH AND RENAULT

Allan McNish is rumored to bee on his way to Renault as a test driver. It will not be the first time that McNish has worked with the former Benetton team having done a lot of testing work with the operation back in the early 1990s.

SPERAFICO AT WILLIAMS

It is a well-kept secret but Williams has quietly confirmed that Ricardo Sperafico will be its second test driver this year. Sperafico was tested for the role at the end of the 2001 but lost out to his then Formula 3000 team mate Antonio Pizzonia.

WATCH OUT FOR VERSTAPPEN

The Dutch media is getting excited about a deal between Minardi and Jos Verstappen and usually well-informed sources are indicating that there is likely to be an announcement to this effect later in the day.

WILSON GOES TO BAR!

Craig Wilson, one of Williams F1's bright young engineers, has been lured away to help engineer Jenson Button at British American Racing.

A NEW MCLAREN SPONSOR

West McLaren Mercedes will announce a new partnership today at the Autosport International Show at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, England.

8 JANUARY 2003

JEREZ TEST CONTINUES

Renault joined Williams and Ferrari in Jerez Wednesday, for their first day of testing since the winter break. For the second day in a row, Ferrari's Luca Badoer led all drivers on the timesheet, while working alongside teammate Luciano Burti on tires and electronics.

MASSA AND JORDAN

Felipe Massa has emerged as the man most likely to take over from Takuma Sato at Jordan. With Jos Verstappen wisely rumored to be on his way to Minardi and Christjian Albers looking at a continued career with Mercedes-Benz in the DTM, Massa is the obvious choice for Eddie Jordan.

TOYOTA UNVEILS THE TF103

The Panasonic Toyota Racing team unveiled its new TF103 contender at Paul Ricard this morning. The car, as expected, is a development of the TF102 but is lighter, generates more downforce and is much more aerodynamically efficient than its sometimes difficult forerunner.

ZONTA BECOMES TOYOTA TEST DRIVER

Ricardo Zonta has been named as the new test driver of the Panasonic Toyota Racing Team. The 26-year-old Brazilian raced in F1 for two years with BAR but in recent years has been competing - and winning - in the Telefonica World Series by Nissan.

AND SO TO JORDAN...

If Minardi does confirm rumours that Jos Verstappen and Christjian Albers will become race and test driver for the team it will mean that there is only the second Jordan seat left in F1 this year.

BARNARD JOINS KENNY ROBERTS MOTOGP TEAM

John Barnard, one of the most influential designers in modern F1 history, has turned his back on F1 and become technical director of Kenny Roberts's Team KR Proton in the MotoGP series.

IRL BECOMES INDYCAR SERIES

The Indy Racing League has changed its name to the Indycar Series having regained control of the IndyCar name from rival CART. The name had been under CART control since the split with IRL.

MOSLEY AND TODT GET TOGETHER

FIA president Max Mosley and Ferrari team boss Jean Todt had a quiet meeting earlier this week in Maranello to discuss the forthcoming meeting which will take place in London on January 15.

NEW SAUBER FIRES UP

The new Sauber C22 was fired up for the first time yesterday at the team's headquarters in Hinwil. The car was bang on schedule and will now be despatched to Italy where it will start testing at the Ferrari test track at Fiorano on Thursday with Nick Heidfeld expected to do the initial shakedown runs.

VERSTAPPEN AND MINARDI

Holland is a cauldron of bubbling rumours at the moment as Jos Verstappen and Christjian Albers try to figure out who is doing what in 2003.

7 JANUARY 2003

FERRARI JOINS WILLIAMS IN JEREZ

Ferrari resumed their testing program at the Jerez circuit Tuesday, their first day testing since the winter break. The Italian squad took little time to get on pace with Williams, who began their program at the Spanish circuit Monday.

ALBERS UNLIKELY TO MAKE F1

Christjian Albers is admitting that there is now little chance that he will drive in F1 this year.

FERRARI WILL FLOAT THIS YEAR

Ferrari boss Luca di Montezemolo, in Detroit for the North American International Automobile Show, has revealed that Ferrari will list its shares on the stock exchange later this year.

FORMULA 1 RATE CARDS TUMBLE

The cost of Formula 1 sponsorship has tumbled in recent years, according to an article in The Times newspaper in London. The story cites an anonymous former F1 sponsor which has revealed that the value of space on a mid-grid car has almost halved in the last three years.

INTERPUBLIC IN THE MOOD TO SELL

Interpublic, the company which controls Silverstone, Brands Hatch and several other British racing circuits, has sold its market research subsidiary NFO WorldGroup, which it purchased three years ago for $580m.

LOLA RECRUITS NEW CHIEF ENGINEER

Lola Cars International Ltd has appointed Julian Cooper to be its new chief engineer. Cooper has been involved in the sport for the last 16 years beginning his career at Cosworth.

MYSTERY KIRCH DEALINGS COME TO LIGHT

The financing of the Kirch Group has always been less than clear but the bankrupt business - which used to own 75% of the Formula One group - is back in the news this week following revelations that $122m were transferred by Credit Suisse to a Kirch subsidary looking after the F1 stake months after the group went bankrupt.

THINGS ARE GETTING DIRTY IN HOLLAND

The battle between Jos Verstappen and Christjian Albers to be the only Dutchman in Formula 1 has led to a less than civilised campaign - apparently from the fans of one driver or the other.

NEW SPONSOR DEALS BOOST F1 IMAGE - BUT NOT COFFERS

In recent days there have been a number of announcements detailing sponsorship deals for 2003 but neither Puma's deal with Jordan nor Toyota's deal with software company Ebbon-Dacs are huge deals worth a large amount of money to the teams.

ECCLESTONE WINS PRESS COMPLAINT

The Mail on Sunday is ruled to have breached the Press Complaints Commission's Code of Practice last summer when it published an article about Bernie Ecclestone, which portrayed the F1 boss as a battered husband. The article was based on information supplied to the paper by a former boyfriend of Ecclestone's daughter.

MORENO RETURNS TO CART

Former Formula 1 driver Roberto Moreno is back in action again in America, having signed to drive for Herdez Competition in CART this year. The Brazilian will partner Mexico's Mario Dominguez. The team is run by another former F1 hand Keith Wiggins, the former owner of the Pacific Grand Prix team.

6 JANUARY 2003

WILLIAMS KICKS OFF POST-HOLIDAY TESTING

Williams-BMW was the first team back testing after the Winter break Monday at the Jerez Circuit in Spain. The Grove-based team fielded Ralf Schumacher and Marc Gene, the two completing a total of 124 laps.

BERGER SAYS BMW DECISION ON F1 COMING SOON

Gerhard Berger told Austrian television yesterday that BMW will make a decision about the future in the next six weeks. The company is trying to decide whether or not to build its own cars when its current deal with Williams expires at the end of 2004.

VOLKSWAGEN ANNOUNCES BIG PUSH IN AMERICA

Volkswagen used the North American International Motor Show in Detroit to announce its plans to push into the US markets, aiming to more than double its sales in the next five years.

4 JANUARY 2003

THE MEETING ON JANUARY 15

There is much speculation at the moment in F1 circles over what the FIA might be planning at the meeting on January 15. The federation clearly has a plan but there have been no hints as yet as to what it is that Max Mosley is going to try to force the teams to accept.

THE MINARDI DRIVE

The decision over who will drive the second Minardi in 2003 is now imminent and our sources indicate that it is a straight fight between Jos Verstappen and Christjian Albers although we have heard whispers from the United States that there is a possibility that Bryan Herta might still surprise.

KATAYAMA HEADS FOR THE DESERT

Former Formula 1 driver Ukyo Katayama is not a man who trumpets his triumphs but as he set off on this year's Paris-Dakar Rally, across the Sahara Desert, he mentioned in passing that in October he climbed Mount Everest - and he reckons that the Paris-Dakar Rally is harder!

3 JANUARY 2003

AUTOMOBILE CLANS GATHER IN DETROIT

Sunday marks the opening of the annual North American Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, and the industry's biggest annual gathering - at which a total of 45 automobile manufacturers will be represented - is likely to see some important gatherings of the major executives in the business.

FIAT AND THE FUTURE OF FERRARI

The news that leveraged buyout expert Roberto Colaninno is lining up to take a run at the Fiat empire has boosted the value of the company but at the same time it has also raised questions about the future of some of the Fiat assets which would have to be sold off to pay for the rescue. One of these assets is Ferrari.

WILLIAMS AND BMW

There has been considerable speculation in recent weeks over the future of the Williams-BMW relationship. In part this is because there are some in Munich who believe that BMW should start its own Formula 1 team but at the same time it has also been a useful tool for BMW to use as it renegotiates its deal with Williams

2 JANUARY 2003

PANTANO JOINS BC MOTORSPORTS

Giorgio Pantano's chances of becoming a Williams test driver have taken a plunge with the news that the Italian is going to join the new BC Motorsports CART team, which will run an ex-Rahal Lola-Ford.

VERSTAPPEN AND JORDAN

As we reported last year Jos Verstappen is in the running for a drive at Jordan. The Dutchman has been talking to Jordan for several months but it was only in the run-up to Christmas that the talks became more serious with our sources saying that the team made Jos an offer.

ARROWS NOW BEING RUN BY PKF

It has been confirmed that Arrows is now in administrative receivership with the accounting firm PKF looking at whether the company can be saved. They are doing this on behalf of HSBC, the bank to which Arrows promised most of its assets in exchange for a loan last Spring.

WILLIAMS SETS LAUNCH DATE FOR FW25

Williams has reported that their new FW25 chassis will be unveiled in a launch at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, provisionally set for January 31.

RENAULT TO JOIN SMALL FRY IN FRIDAY TESTING?

It has been rumoured for several weeks that Renault will be the third team in Friday morning testing at each Grand Prix.

MELBOURNE ANNOUNCES NEW CHIEF

The Australian Grand Prix Corporation has finally confirmed that it has a new chief executive, to replace John Harnden, who has been appointed head of the organisation running the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.