NEWS ARCHIVE

28 FEBRUARY 2005

A BIG CHANGE IN F1

There are a major series of changes to the procedures for incidents and restarts in Formula 1 this year, with the possibility that the race can be "suspended". If this happens the red flags will be shown and the cars will line up on the track near the pitlane.

NO NEWS TODAY IN F1

There will be no news today in Formula 1 as most of the F1 personnel are flying to Australia. The cars have already started to arrive in Melbourne and things should begin to wind up on Thursday when the excitement begins with scrutineering.

26 FEBRUARY 2005

EXCITEMENT IN MELBOURNE

There is a big surprise in Australia this week with the news that longtime Australian Grand Prix media chief Geoff Harris is leaving the operation just a few days before the event.

MIDLAND SPONSORSHIP

The new Jordan Midland F1 car was unveiled in Moscow on Friday with tobacco brand Sobranie on the cars. Sobranie has appeared on the Jordans before and is a brand owned by Benson & Hedges.

REGIS RE-ELECTED

Jacques Regis has been re-elected President of the Federation Francaise du Sport Automobile for a third four-year term. The 60-year-old Frenchman was first elected in 1997 and was re-elected in 2001.

SMITH JOINS RED BULL

Mark Smith, recently technical director of Jordan and chief designer of Renault, has been hired by Red Bull Racing. The 43-year-old Englishman starts immediately and will presumably be the man in charge of the design of the RB2, the 2006 car.

25 FEBRUARY 2005

FERRARI LAUNCHES THE NEW F2005

Ferrari has unveiled the new F2005 which will be used later this year by the Italian team. The team will begin testing with the car immediately and will continue unfettered by the gentleman's agreement between the other teams which have agreed to restrict their testing in order to cut costs.

STUART ROLT TO BE NEW CHAIRMAN OF BRDC

Stuart Rolt has been elected the new chairman of the British Racing Drivers' Club. He replaces Ray Bellm. Rolt is the son of former Formula 1 driver and Le Mans winner Tony Rolt, who ran the family FF Developments business,

THE A1 RING TO BE REBUILT

The government of the state of Styria says it will rebuild the A1 Ring despite the fact that Red Bull has withdrawn it support for the project which was to have upgraded the Zeltweg facility to create a top level circuit.

TOYOTA CUTS BACK ON YOUNGSTERS

Panasonic Toyota Racing is concentrating its efforts on Formula 1 and cutting back on its Young Driver programme. Only three men will remain in the programme, which was formerly called the Toyota Drivers Academy.

24 FEBRUARY 2005

A MOVIE ABOUT VILLENEUVE

A movie to be called "Villeneuve" is to go into production in 2006 - if all goes to plan. The movie will tell the story of Gilles Villeneuve and his son Jacques, who became Formula 1 World Champion in 1997.

CHANGES AT WILLIAMS

The BMW Williams team is not, as widely reported, in the process of "dumping" aerodynamicist Dr John Davis.

DOORNBOS TO GO TESTING FOR MIDLAND JORDAN

Dutchman Robert Doornbos hoped to race for Jordan this year in F1 but the last-minute takeover of the team by the Midland organisation and the nomination of Narain Karthikeyan and Tiago Monteiro as race drivers and Nicky Pastorelli as the third driver left Doornbos out in the cold.

FERRARI AND MIDLAND LAUNCHING TOMORROW

The Ferrari and Midland F1 teams will be launching their 2005 efforts tomorrow. Ferrari will unveil its car in Maranello while Midland will use Red Square in Moscow.

ANTI-TOBACCO TREATY BECOMES LAW THIS WEEKEND

On Sunday the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control will become law in the 57 countries which have signed up the treaty.

BAR HONDA SIGNS DEAL WITH THE NIPPON OIL CORPORATION

The BAR-Honda team did very well in 2004 and it has been a surprise that this winter the team has not added any new high profile sponsorship deals.

FISICHELLA TO RUN HIS OWN F3000 TEAM

Giancarlo Fisichella is to run a team in the Formula 3000 Italia series.

FRANK WILLIAMS AND MAX MOSLEY

The recent days have seen a string of stories based on remarks made by Sir Frank Williams and his partner Patrick Head during their annual media lunches before the start of the F1 season.

23 FEBRUARY 2005

PIZZONIA AND WILLIAMS

Antonio Pizzonia is staying with Williams - or at least that is what the team says. When one asks the Brazilian driver about his thoughts the answer is rather less clear cut.

SAUBER HAS A BMW DEAL

Sir Frank Williams says that BMW will supply Sauber with customer engines in 2006. The Swiss team has decided that it no longer wants to meet the cost of a Ferrari engine.

SUPER NOVA RUNS CARROLL AND SHIMODA

British F3 driver Adam Carroll and Hayanari Shimoda from Japan will test for SuperNova at Paul Ricard this week.

WILLIAMS ADMITS THAT THE NEW CAR IS NOT AS QUICK AS IT MIGHT BE

Williams admits that it has been having problem with the aerodynamics of the new car - but a fix is on the way for Melbourne.

22 FEBRUARY 2005

DTM CANCELS MOSCOW DATE

The round of the DTM which had been planned for Moscow has been postponed until 2006 because of the need to get all the necessary requirements sorted out.

MIDLAND AND RED BULL STAY OUT OF THE FIGHTING

The Midland Jordan and Red Bull Racing teams say that they are not going to be pushed into deals with either Formula One Management or the automobile manufacturers which are building an alternative series for 2008.

SIGNATURE ATTACKS WITH ITS OWN CARS

The French Signature Formula 3 team has confirmed that it will run two of its own SLC R1 chassis in the forthcoming Formula 3 Euroseries with drivers Guillaume Moreau and Fabio Carbone.

FIAT KISSES GOODBYE TO MARTIN LEACH

Fiat has dumped former Ford Europe chief Martin Leach from his role as head of Maserati. He had been in the job for less than a year and is currently fighting a legal action against Ford.

MCLAREN AND JOHNNIE WALKER

McLaren has finally confirmed that it will be sponsored by the whisky brand Johnnie Walker. The label is owned by the vast drinks conglomerate Diageo, which is also involved in NASCAR with its Smirnoff and Crown Royal brands.

PASTORELLI JOINS JORDAN

Nicky Pastorelli has been signed by the Midland Jordan team as the team's third driver in 2005. He will help Narain Karthikeyan and Tiago Monteiro.

21 FEBRUARY 2005

KIMBALL IN BRITISH F3

American racer Charlie Kimball has signed to race for Carlin Motorsport in the British F3 Championship. Kimball had a successful debut year in Formula Ford in Britain in 2004 and hopes to make a big impression with Carlin.

SAUBER OFFICIALLY JOINS THE REBELS

The Sauber team has added its voice to the car manufacturers' plan to go ahead and develop a breakaway Formula 1 series.

19 FEBRUARY 2005

THE TRIALS OF BEING FIA PRESIDENT

In the brave new world of Formula 1 lap times being slashed on the grounds of safety - and rules being pushed through at all costs, despite opposition - it really is not a great idea if the new rules, which cost the teams a lot of money, do not work.

KLIEN IS HANDED THE ROPE

The Austrian press will no doubt be getting very excited about the announcement that Christian Klien will partner David Coulthard for the Australian Grand Prix. The 22-year-old Austrian had a mediocre season with the Jaguar team (now Red Bull) in 2004.

MCLAREN AND FORMULA 1

McLaren is working towards a situation in which it will not have to be in Formula 1 in 2008 if it does not want to be.

PIZZONIA AND THE AMERICAN MARKET

Antonio Pizzonia was testing for Williams this week in Spain but his manager Jayme Brito has disappeared off to America once again to try to sort out a drive as it seems there is no deal at the moment over a third drive at Williams.

THE SHAKE-UP AT FIAT CONTINUES

Fiat continues to restructure dramatically after the deal with GM and it has been announced that the chief executive of Fiat Auto Herbert Demel has been axed after just 15 months in the job.

SHNAIDER LOBBIES FOR F1 IN TORONTO

The Canadian Grand Prix has been in Montreal since the 1970s and has survived thanks to the successes of Gilles Villeneuve and his son Jacques. But now it seems Alex Shnaider wants to take the race to Toronto.

18 FEBRUARY 2005

DODGE LOOKING AT THE BIGGER PICTURE

It is undoubtedly just a coincidence but just a couple of weeks after Ray Evernham announced that he would be setting up an engine operation in Northampton there comes news that Dodge, which Evernham represents in NASCAR is planning a global expansion.

FERRARI UP FOR SALE?

The news that Fiat is to take over Ferrari's Maserati business in order to link it to Alfa Romeo has led to intense speculation in Italy that the company could be on the verge of selling off Ferrari.

SAUBER UND BMW

As we suggested last week Sauber and BMW are in deep conversation about an engine supply for the 2006 season.

17 FEBRUARY 2005

LAP TIMES IN FORMULA 1

In July last year the Formula 1 technical directors got together on the orders of FIA President Max Mosley to cut three seconds a lap from the Formula 1 lap times in 2005.

16 FEBRUARY 2005

THE F1 MANUFACTURERS MAKE A STATEMENT

The five manufacturers involved in Formula 1, other than Ferrari, have issued a statement about today's meeting of the Formula 1 teams at Cliveden in England. The document was issued by BMW, DaimlerChrysler, Honda, Renault and Toyota.

THE GRANTING OF SUPERLICENCES

The stories suggesting that Patrick Friesacher does not qualify for a Super Licence are totally erroneous.

WHAT HAPPENED IN THE GPWC MEETING

The Formula 1 team principals left their meeting with the GPWC on Wednesday afternoon grim-faced and unwilling to talk about what had happened. What is clear however is that the five-hour meeting during which they saw presentations from George Taylor of the iSe and Burkhard Goschel of BMW.

FIAT BUYS MASERATI

Fiat has stripped Maserati out of the Ferrari group in an effort to spruce up the Alfa Romeo brand, using a little of the reflected glory which Maserati has acquired with its association with Ferrari.

BRUNDELL BROTHERS SIGN UP YOUNGSTERS

Martin Brundle and Mark Blundell's new sports management company, 2MB, has signed two rising young British motorsport stars Tim Bridgman and Sam Bird.

THE VIEWS OF EDDIE JORDAN

Eddie Jordan is a former Formula 1 team boss and thus his opinions do not carry as much weight as perhaps once they might have done. When all is said and done, he no longer has a vote. He has voted with his wallet.

DOMINGUEZ AND MIDLAND

Mario Dominguez has explained to a US website that he was offered a drive with Midland in 2005 but turned it down to stay with HWM in Champ Car racing. He says he has also signed a letter of intent for 2006.

MEXICAN GP BACK ON?

The Mexican Grand Prix could be back on despite the local authorities in Cancun saying they have not given the necessary planning permission for construction to begin on the 940-acre site at Mantarraya.

ALONSO IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Fernando Alonso set the fastest time in testing yesterday in Barcelona, outrunning Juan Pablo Montoya by 0.236s, while the McLaren driver was just a tenth ahead of the Toyota of Ricardo Zonta, indicating that perhaps the Toyota is not as bad a car as some of the stories that have been circulating are suggesting.

IT'S GPWC DAY TODAY!

Today the iSe company will make a presentation to the Formula 1 teams (other than Ferrari) explaining to them the plans they have drawn up for the future of Grand Prix racing.

RAIKKONEN HAS A BIG ONE

Kimi Raikkonen suffered a brake failure yesterday during testing in Barcelona, which the team believe was caused by something getting between the caliper and the disc.

JUGGLING - ITALIAN STYLE

The Financial Times is reporting that Fiat is about to announce a major restructuring of its car brands, following the decision by General Motors to buy its way out of the agreement which would have seen the US giant forced to take on Fiat Auto's debts.

THE FRENCH GRAND PRIX

A year ago Jacques Regis, the president of the Federation Francaise du Sport Automobile (FFSA), the promoter of the French Grand Prix, told reporters that the FFSA was paying Bernie Ecclestone $11.9m for the right to host the event. This year, in launching the event, he was not as forthcoming with information.

15 FEBRUARY 2005

INTRIGUE AT THE BRDC (WHAT'S NEW?)

The British Racing Drivers' Club rarely stays out of the news for long and the latest press release is a real humdinger when it comes to political interpretation. Sir Jackie Stewart says he is not going to contribute the same amount of time to the club as he has done in the last five years.

IT'S FRIESACHER!

Minardi has announced that its second driver this year will be Austrian Patrick Friesacher. The former Red Bull driver has been a winner in Formula 3000 in 2003 and 2004 and moves to F1 having done some test drives with Minardi in the past.

DE LA ROSA CONFIRMS HIMSELF AT MCLAREN

McLaren usually like to make announcements about their drivers but it seems that Pedro de la Rosa has told a Spanish newspaper that he will be the third driver at McLaren for the first three races of the season.

THE SPOTLIGHT MOVES TO AUSTRIA

Later today at the Casino in Velden, a town on the Worther See near Klagenfurt, in Austria Minardi is expected to reveal whether Patrick Friesacher will be the team's second driver this year or whether he will be the third driver.

FERRARI'S ROLE IN THE MINARDI KERFUFFLE

There has been a lot in print in recent days about Minardi's involvement in the Australian Grand Prix and whether or not the small Italian-based team should be allowed to run 2004 cars for the first three races.

FORMULA 1 US'S PROMOTIONS GROUP EXPANDS

Wasserman Media Group, the company which is aiming to make Formula 1 racing big in the United States is expanding fast at the moment. Wasserman is in partnership with DIC Entertainment in a company called Grand Prix Entertainment (GPE).

A NEW LEGAL TEAM FOR MR E

Bernie Ecclestone has taken on a new legal team in an effort to hold on to management control of the Formula One group. Ecclestone was previously represented by Lovells.

14 FEBRUARY 2005

GM BUYS OFF FIAT

General Motors will pay Fiat $2bn to end their five-year relationship and avoid being forced to acquire Fiat Auto, the debt laden car company owned by the Italian conglomerate.

WHY BANNING MINARDI IS NOT A GOOD IDEA

There are rumours, leaked no doubt, that there is a possibility that Minardi could be excluded from the Australian Grand Prix because the team intends to run 2004 cars.

13 FEBRUARY 2005

MAURICE TRINTIGNANT

Former Formula 1 winner Maurice Trintignant has died at the age of 87. Born into a family that was involved in racing, Trintignant grew up watching his brother Louis racing a Bugatti but in 1933 he crashed while testing for the Grand Prix de Picardie on the Peronne circuit.

12 FEBRUARY 2005

A CHANGE AT HEWLETT PACKARD

Hewlett-Packard is the primary sponsor of the Williams F1 team and the US technology firm is very keen on its involvement in F1 as it spreads the word about HP computers across the world.

A FLEETING MEXICAN

There were reports last week that Mexico's Mario Dominguez was going to pop up testing for Jordan. These stories were initially denied by the team but then Dominguez turned up on Friday and did one single installation lap on Friday before the test was cut short because of the foggy conditions.

TIME IS THE QUESTION FOR AN INDIAN F1 DEAL

It does not take a rocket scientist to work out that with Narain Karthikeyan in an Formula 1 car this year, albeit at the back of the grid, there will be increased interest in Formula 1 in India.

FRIESACHER'S DEAL WITH MINARDI

It looks like Austrian Patrick Friesacher will be driving the second Minardi this year as the team has scheduled a press conference for Austria on Tuesday. The original plan was for a press conference to be held in Copenhagen to announce a deal with Nicolas Kiesa.

THE STEEL BUSINESS IN THE UKRAINE

Students of the real world in Formula 1 will have noticed that last week the new Ukrainian government headed by Yulia Timoshenko announced that it is to reverse the controversial sale of the state-owned Kryvorizhstal steel works so that the firm can go back on the market at a higher price.

11 FEBRUARY 2005

THANKS MICKEY!

It is often forgotten in the course of the political battles in motor racing that the sport is actually an entertainment business and that the people in the grandstands want to have a good time and see a good show. In exchange they will part with their hard-earned money.

THE SALE OF A CURRENT F1 "INDEPENDENT"

The FIA President Max Mosley had lunch yesterday with members of the British media and mentioned in passing that one of the independent teams in F1 is, he thinks, in the process of being sold. The remark has been interpreted that it must mean that Sauber is up for sale.

10 FEBRUARY 2005

A BRIEF ASIDE - WHO USED TO OWN JORDAN?

It seems that the mystery over the ownership of Jordan is not a mystery at all as Blackbear Limited, the majority shareholder in Jordan Grand Prix, is not unrelated to Eddie Jordan, even if he had independent legal help in the recent sale of the team to the Midland Group.

RUMOURS AND REALITIES

There are reports today that Bernie Ecclestone has upped his offer to the Formula 1 teams to as much as 50% of the total income of Formula 1 from 2008 onwards, but the reality is that this offer is much the same as was on the table before when there were previous discussions about money.

TOYOTA NAMES A NEW PRESIDENT

The Toyota Motor Corporation has named a new president but it is not thought it will have any effect at all on the company's strategy in Formula 1. The new president is 62-year-old Katsuaki Watanabe, who was previously executive vice-president in charge of business development.

BAUMGARTNER BACK IN THE PICTURE?

Nicolas Kiesa was due to be confirmed as a Minardi driver this week but nothing has been heard about the Danish driver and thus it is safe to assume that he is still trying to get the necessary money together to fund the drive.

TONY GEORGE'S VISION RACING

As we reported, Tony George has announced that he will be running his own team in the Indy Racing League in 2005 and will run his step-son Ed Carpenter in IRL and rising star Jay Drake in the Infiniti Pro Series.

MELBOURNE 2006

The Australian Grand Prix would normally be scheduled for the first weekend in March in 2006. The actual date would most likely be March 5. The only problem with this is that the city is due to play host to the XVIII Commonwealth Games between March 15 and 26.

9 FEBRUARY 2005

ENGINE POLITICS FOR 2006

The word on the street in Munich is that the management of BMW Motorsport has already told Red Bull Racing that it will not be supplying them with engines in 2006. If true, this is interesting as it either suggests that BMW is not keen to supply another team or it means that the company has done a deal with another team.

SKF JOINS THE NASCAR SET

SKF, the Swedish manufacturer of automotive components, has signed a deal to enter NASCAR with a technical partnership with Richard Childress Racing. The SKF logos will be seen on all three of RCR's cars this year in the NASCAR Nextel Cup series.

PREMAT CONFIRMED WITH TODT JR

Alexandre Premat, runner-up to Jamie Green in last year's Formula 3 Euroseries has been confirmed as Nico Rosberg's team in the ART team, which is being run by Jean Todt's son Nicolas with engineering by the ASM team, which ran Premat and Green last year.

SOME INTERESTING NUMBERS

Formula 1 testing has been going on now for about a month and, according to our colleagues at F1Total.com, the man who has done the most testing in 2005 is BMW Williams's Nick Heidfeld, who has completed 13 days of tests and 3,021 miles of running.

WOW, GUESS WHAT? FERRARI THOUGHT ABOUT QUITTING F1!

It has been a long time coming but there is no surprise that Ferrari has let it be known the Italian car company considered leaving the sport before Bernie Ecclestone offered a major league pay-off to get the team to stay in F1.

TIME TO GO TO COURT?

While most people are watching Formula 1 cars testing down in Spain, there is an important battle going on between Paul Stoddart and Max Mosley over the way in which the FIA has been making rules in recent months.

HASTA LA VISTA MEXICO!

Plans for Mexico to hold a Grand Prix in 2006 appear to have hit problems with construction work on the project being held up by disputes over whether or not the land can be used for a racing circuit.

8 FEBRUARY 2005

SO WHAT HAPPENS TO THE TOYOTA JUNIORS?

In recent years the Prema Power team has run cars for Toyota in the Formula 3 Euroseries and in the Italian Formula Renault championship with F3 cars last year for Franck Perera, Roberto Streit and Katsuyuki Hiranaka and Formula Renault entries for Kohei Hirate, Kamui Kobayashi and Ben Clucas.

COULTHARD REALISTIC ABOUT 2005

David Coulthard is not one of those racing drivers who is blinded by his hopes and admits that the 2005 season is going to be a tough one for his new team Red Bull Racing.

JOHN S ZINK

John S Zink has died in hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma at the age of 75. Zink was a team owner in Champ Car racing in the 1950s and 1960s and won the Indianapolis 500 in 1955 and 1956 with drivers Bob Sweikert and Pat Flaherty. At the time the race was a Grande Epreuve and part of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship.

THE NEW(ISH) JORDAN APPEARS

The new Jordan EJ15 is a tidied up version of the 2004 car, in line with the new regulations and fitted with the latest Toyota V10 engine. The team was planning to build a second car for later in the year.

7 FEBRUARY 2005

WHITHER DOORNBOS?

Holland's Robert Doornbos was expected to be one of the Jordan F1 drivers in 2005 and got a shock when the team's new owners decided to go with Tiago Monteiro and Narain Karthikeyan.

MIKA HAKKINEN'S FORMULA 1 FUTURE

There are lots of reports today about how Mika Hakkinen has given up on a return to Formula 1. This coincides neatly with the announcement of the latest Mercedes-Benz DTM announcement. However, careful investigation of what the Finn actually said to Finland's Italehti newspaper reveals that he did not say that he will not test.

LAWYERS REVEAL DETAILS OF JORDAN SALE

The legal firm Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw has been giving details of its involvement in Midland's entry into Formula 1.

BAR RUNS NELSON PIQUET JR

Nelson Piquet Jr, the British Formula 3 Champion, is to test this week with the BAR-Honda team. The test has been planned for some time and was requested by British American Tobacco.

MERCEDES REVEALS ALL

Mercedes-Benz has announced its plans for the coming season in the DTM series with regular drivers Bernd Schneider, Jean Alesi and Gary Paffett being joined by Mika Hakkinen and Jamie Green in the 2005 cars.

JUST WHO DOES WHAT AT JORDAN AND WHO HAS GONE?

There have been lots of stories about mass defections at Jordan since the takeover by Midland F1. There is no doubt that this has caused some disruption but not nearly as much as is being reported.

TONY GEORGE RACING

Tony George, the owner of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the man behind the United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis is to become a team owner in his own Indy Racing League series this year, having decided to jump in to help his step-son Ed Carpenter (the son of George's second wife Laura) in the IRL.

RED BULL TESTS RB1 TODAY

Red Bull Racing's new car - dubbed the RB1 - will make its first appearance today at Jerez de la Frontera in Spain, where the team will begin testing the car. The RB1 has been produced by the design crew which Red Bull acquired with Jaguar Racing although since then Gunther Steiner has taken over the role of technical director.

A GREAT DAY FOR EMMANUEL COLLARD

Emmanuel Collard had a miserable Formula 1 career. The 33-year-old Frenchman, who won the World Karting title in his teens, went on to win the French Formula Renault title and was in Formula 3000 by the age of 21. In the years that followed he tested for no fewer than six Formula 1 teams but he never raced.

ACES MANAGEMENT

Didier Coton has been around Formula 1 for many years, looking after the careers of Mika Hakkinen, Olivier Panis and Enrique Bernoldi. Coton has now announced the formation of a new management company called Aces Management which will be based in Monaco .

AN INTERESTING THOUGHT

There are some in American racing circles who believe that the RuSport team in Champ Car racing is just one step in a plan that team owner Carl Russo to take America into Formula 1. Russo is 48 and extraordinarily wealthy.

GLOCK TRIES OUT FOR ROCKETSPORTS

Timo Glock was among the drivers testing Champ Cars last weekend at Sebring in Florida. The German has missed out on a drive in Formula 1 and has been in America looking for a job with Paul Gentilozzi's Rocketsports, which has a drive going alongside Alex Tagliani.

6 FEBRUARY 2005

MIDLAND LOOKS FOR A RUSSIAN DRIVER

The Midland F1 operation says it would like to run a Russian driver in tests and has named Roman Rusinov as the man most likely. Rusinov is a sports car driver at the moment but comes from the French Formula Campus school and so has at least some credibility.

THE SALE OF SAUBER

There are stories circulating at the moment that Peter Sauber might sell his team. No-one seems to have noticed the fact that Peter Sauber actually does not own the team.

4 FEBRUARY 2005

SPOTTED IN FRANKFURT AIRPORT

Antonio Pizzonia's manager Jayme Brito was spotted this morning at Frankfurt Airport, boarding a flight to Chicago and it does not take a rocket scientist to work out that the Brazilian was off to have a look around some of the Champ Car operations to see what might be available for his client.

MANUFACTURERS TO MEET AGAIN ON WEDNESDAY

The Formula 1 manufacturers, with the exception of Ferrari, will meet again next Wednesday to move forward from their position from the recent meeting at which they unanimously agreed on a set of "governing principles" which they believe represent an appropriate framework for the sport in the future.

THE FIA DOCUMENTS - AND WHAT THEY REALLY MEAN

Having now had time to examine the documents released in recent days by the FIA, an interesting picture has emerged of the ongoing dispute between the federation and the majority of the Formula 1 teams. By far the most interesting document is a letter that from Minardi boss Paul Stoddart to Max Mosley.

SO WHAT HAPPENS TO PIZZONIA?

The signing of Nick Heidfeld as the second Williams driver has made life rather difficult for Antonio Pizzonia. He can stay on as the third Williams driver and hope that BMW favourite Nick Heidfeld does such a bad job that he is removed from the seat.

GARCIA TO TEST TOYOTA

As we exclusively predicted last week Spain's Borja GarcĂ­a is to get a test drive with the Toyota F1 team. The reigning Spanish Formula 3 Champion will get his chance to drive an F1 car for the first time at Paul Ricard on April 16.

JANI GETS RACING ENGINEERING DEAL

Red Bull supported Swiss driver Neel Jani has been signed to drive alongside Spanish F3 champion Borja Garcia in the Racing Engineering GP2 team. The team is expected to have backing from Repsol and Red Bull.

THE BAR GEARBOX

The current kerfuffle in Formula 1 circles about the latest British American Racing gearbox seems odd thing given that the teams involved (and we believe there are more than one of them) are not generally stupid enough to build systems which are blatantly illegal.

3 FEBRUARY 2005

MONTEIRO AND KARTHEKIYAN TO BE CONFIRMED TODAY

The new Midland-Jordan Formula 1 will announce this afternoon that it has signed contracts with India's Narain Karthikeyan and Portugal's Tiago Monteiro. The news means that the team will go into the new season without either driver having any racing experience in Formula 1.

HAMILTON JOINS ASM

France's ASM Formule 3 dominated the Formula 3 Eurocup last season with drivers Jamie Green and Alexandre Premat finishing 1-2 in the series with the team's third driver Eric Salignon sixth overall.

THE GP2 SCENE

There is still some doubt as to a number of drives in the new GP2 series presumably because one or two Formula 1 drives is still in play and drivers like Robert Doornbos might still be available for the GP2 teams.

THE FIA AND THE FORMULA 1 TEAMS

In a sudden burst of unexpected but welcome transparency, the FIA has published a lengthy set of documents relating to the current negotiations with the Formula 1 teams which detail the various stages of negotiation between FIA President Max Mosley and the team principals.

2 FEBRUARY 2005

THE FUTURE OF FLAVIO BRIATORE

Renault's managing-director Flavio Briatore had the Formula 1 press corps eating out of his hand as usual at the Renault F1 launch in Monte Carlo and they all left convinced that he might decide not to stay when his contract with Renault runs out at the end of the year.

NISSANY AND MINARDI

As we predicted last week Minardi has signed a testing contract with Israel's Chanoch Nissany. The 41-year-old will help the team with its (limited) testing away from the races but wll not be involved at running on Grand Prix weekends.

FORMER F1 MEN PACK ASTON MARTIN TEAM

Aston Martin Racing has announced its six-man driver line-up for 2005. The team will kick off its racing with the Sebring 12 Hours in March. The drivers contracted to race the DBR9s are former F1 drivers David Brabham, Tomas Enge and Pedro Lamy and former F1 test driver Darren Turner.

A BORING STORY

Boring old car associations do not really excite Formula 1 fans but it is worth noting that Toyota Motor Europe has applied for membership of the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA).

WHY THE FIAT AND GM BUSINESS MATTERS IN F1

Fiat and General Motors yesterday failed to reach an agreement on whether or not the US giant must buy the Italian company's ailing car division. There was talk that GM would pay out as much as $2.4bn in cash to get rid of the put option that it signed in 2000. But these rumours were wrong.

KARTHIKEYAN AND THE INDIAN MARKET

Narain Karthikeyan's signature on a Formula 1 contract will do Formula 1 no harm at all in India, the country with the world's second largest population. There is a vast population, estimated to be around 1,065m, and there have been some impressive gains in economic investment and output in recent years.

1 FEBRUARY 2005

WHO CAN AFFORD F1 THESE DAYS?

There is always a certain amount of whining and griping in Formula 1 about how hard it is to find money and how there are no big sponsors around these days. Clearly some of the whingers have been missing something.

FAURE DISCUSSES THE GPWC

Renault F1 boss Patrick Faure was not very keen on discussing the GPWC situation at the launch of the new Renault R25 and called for those involved in F1 to stop fighting battles in the media.

RENAULT TO CONTINUE WITH TOBACCO ADVERTISING

Renault F1 boss Patrick Faure says that it is by no means certain that it will stop using Mild Seven after the end of July 2005 when new British and European legislation comes into force to stop tobacco advertising.

MOSLEY JOINS GUESTS AT RENAULT F1 LAUNCH

FIA President Max Mosley and Deputy President Marco Piccinini were guests of the Renault F1 team at the launch of the new RS25 in Monte Carlo and both Patrick Faure and Flavio Briatore were very careful to say nice things about the new Formula 1 regulations.

RENAULT LAUNCHES IN MONACO

Renault went to Monte Carlo to launch its R25 car, to avoid France's restrictive tobacco advertising laws. The team remains sponsored by Mild Seven but it remains to be seen what will happen when the new European anti-tobacco legislation comes into force at the end of July.

GORDON MURRAY LEAVING MCLAREN

We hear that celebrated Formula 1 engineer Gordon Murray is to leave the employ of McLaren after 18 years with the team. The 60-year-old South African engineer was a major player in F1 in the 1970s with the Brabham team, winning two World Championships with Nelson Piquet.

KARTHEKIYAN TO BE SIGNED BY JORDAN MIDLAND

Narain Karthikeyan is expected to be announced as the first of the Jordan Midland drivers within the next day of so. The appointment will give Midland a massive amount of publicity in India where, no doubt, the company will want to make some investments and find new customers.

MORE ON THE HEIDFELD DEAL

The deal between Nick Heidfeld and Williams was obviously influenced quite heavily by the team's engine supplier BMW although the Williams team prides itself on never being influenced by its sponsors and partners.