NEWS ARCHIVE

31 JANUARY 2005

AH, THOSE ROMANTIC FRENCH

The organizers of the French Grand Prix are certainly not short of ideas to promote the event this year and have come up with the original concept of pitching tickets as a gift for Valentine's Day.

DURAND POPS UP IN AMERICA

Henri Durand, the former Jordan technical director, has reappeared in racing in the United States as the technical director of Red Bull Cheever Racing in the Indy Racing League.

GARY ANDERSON AND MIDLAND

It has been assumed in recent weeks that Gary Anderson will be the new technical director at Jordan but it seems that these stories were not correct at all. The 53-year-old Ulsterman is working as a consultant engineer with Dallara in Italy but it seems that he is doing this on a part-time basis.

HEIDFELD GETS THE WILLIAMS!

Williams has named Nick Heidfeld as its second driver alongside Mark Webber in 2005.

GLOCK TO TEST A CHAMP CAR?

There are rumours that Jordan Grand Prix's Timo Glock may not stay in Formula 1 this year and could be seen testing a Champ Car in the next few days.

DA MATTA TO JOIN PKV TOMORROW

Cristiano da Matta will be named as the second driver of Kevin Kalkhoven's PKV Racing tomorrow alongside veteran Jimmy Vasser.

MO NUNN SELLS HIS CARS TO HEMELGARN

Former Formula 1 team owner Mo Nunn looks like he is not going to be running any more teams in the Indy Racing League with the news that he has sold his Dallaras to Ron Hemelgarn.

DUBAI INCREASES ITS STAKE IN DAIMLERCHRYSLER

The plans for a Team Dubai F1 operation in 2006 have not been talked about for some time but if there is to be such an operation it will have suffered no damage from the announcement on Sunday that the emirate of Dubai has bought $1bn of DaimlerChrysler stock.

RUMOURS FROM ACROSS THE POND

There is a long-standing rumour in the United States that there will soon be a joint announcement involving the International Speedway Corporation (NASCAR's sister organisation) and Tony George.

HONDA PAID $180M FOR BAR STAKE

Honda Motor paid "in the region of $180m" for its 45% shareholding in the new British American Racing holding company. Details of the sale have emerged thanks to court records.

30 JANUARY 2005

SMITH LEAVING JORDAN

Mark Smith is reported to have left Jordan Grand Prix, just a matter weeks after he joined the team. Smith was previously employed at Renault but left to join Jordan when he was offered the job of technical director.

28 JANUARY 2005

MOSLEY RESPONDS TO MEETING BOYCOTT

FIA President Max Mosley spent the afternoon talking about the future of Formula 1 with Ferrari bosses Jean Todt and Ross Brawn. The other nine teams stayed away from the meeting.

MINARDI AND NISSANY

Our spies tell us that Minardi will soon name Israeli driver Chanoch Nissany as a test driver for the 2005 season. Nissany has tested for the team and looks likely to take on the role of tester although Minardi will not be doing a great deal of testing between races in 2005.

MAX'S TEA PARTY

Max Mosley had his meeting with the Formula 1 team bosses who chose to attend and spent the afternoon with Jean Todt and Ross Brawn of Ferrari and Charlie Whiting, the FIA race director. None of the other teams attended the meeting,

TOYOTA'S POSITION IN F1 POLITICS

Toyota and Honda joined forces with the GPWC teams earlier this week to indicate that it shares theirs and hopes for the future of Formula 1. However the Japanese company is keen to make sure that people do not confuse this with the company having joined the GPWC.

AMERICANS WATCH MARCO ANDRETTI WITH HOPE

Red Bull may be spending a lot of money to promote an American driver in Europe but over in the United States there is already talk that perhaps Marco Andretti will follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather and try his hand one day in Formula 1.

ONE FOR THE OLDER FOLKS

Bo Derek is to be a VIP guest at the Australian Grand Prix. The star of 1979 movie "10" is to be part of the 10th anniversary celebrations in Melbourne. Derek made 11 films after the success of "10", in which she played the perfect fantasy woman.

VERSTAPPEN PLANS CHAMP CAR TESTS

Jos Verstappen wants to get back into racing and the Dutchman is expected to test for at least one Champ Car team in the weeks ahead. Verstappen is talking to the obvious teams in the series, notably Forsythe and Rocketsports.

FINLAND JOINS ANTI-TOBACCO FORCES

Finland has become the 52nd nation to ratify the World Health Organization's Framework Conventon on Tobacco Control, the world's first international treaty on health.

MORE DEALS DONE IN GP2

The GP2 series is gradually collecting together a grid although there are still a lot of seats to be filled. The new ART team has now confirmed that Nico Rosberg will be one of its drivers.

WILD TALK ABOUT MIDLAND

There has been much chatter about the possible drivers at the Midland-owned Jordan team this year. The current situation is much as before with Timo Glock and Robert Doornbos having spent the last few weeks waiting to see what will happen.

WILLIAMS MAKES ITS CHOICE

In the next 48 hours Williams will decide who will drive alongside Mark Webber in 2005. There are only two candidates: Antonio Pizzonia and Nick Heidfeld. And no-one has any idea who is going to get the drive.

TESTING AND THE POWER OF UNITY

There are a number of stories at the moment which seem to be designed to suggest that the unity between the nine Formula 1 teams will come unstuck over the question of testing.

WHY THE FIGHT BETWEEN FIAT AND GM IS IMPORTANT TO F1

The mediation process between General Motors and Fiat over the terms of a contract which was intended to enable the two companies to merge operations is now coming to an end and it seems that there is no sign of a settlement between the two parties.

ANOTHER TWIST IN THE F1 POLITICAL GAME

Unless Jean Todt is feeling particularly charitable and has time to waste, Max Mosley will today have a meeting by himself at the Heathrow Hilton. The nine other teams have all said that they are not intending to attend because they want to wait before discussing regulations changes for the longterm future.

27 JANUARY 2005

THERE IS A WORLD AFTER TOBACCO

For many years the NASCAR Winston Cup was integrally linked to tobacco. After TV advertising of tobacco was banned in the United States in the late 1960s RJ Reynolds was looking for a way to get more exposure and decided to use its Winston brand as the title sponsor of the series.

TOYOTA LOOKING FOR MORE JUNIORS?

We hear from Germany that the Toyota Formula 1 team is planning to announce some new young drivers for its Toyota Drivers Academy now that Ryan Briscoe has gone off to the United States to race with Target Chip Ganassi Racing in the Indy Racing League.

WHO WILL DRIVE NOW THAT JORDAN HAS MONEY?

The news that the Midland F1 operation is to take over Jordan Grand Prix has changed the possibilities for the team's drivers in 2005.

NASCAR COMES TO UK LOOKING FOR TECHNOLOGY

NASCAR's Evernham Group is to establish an Evernham Advanced Engine Technology company in Northampton. It will be headed by American Mark McArdle, a man with considerable experience in open-wheeler racing before he became involved with Evernham in 2003.

MIDLAND PLANS RED SQUARE LAUNCH

The Midland Group has strong links with the Moscow City Government through a number of commercial arrangements and that will mean that the new F1 team is planning to launch itself into F1 with an event in Red Square.

A VERY SIGNIFICANT DOCUMENT

The Formula 1 manufacturers (with the exception of Ferrari) has announced that they are unanimous on agreeing to a set of governing principles which they believe represent an appropriate framework for the future of Grand Prix racing. The companies involved are BMW, Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Renault and Toyota.

26 JANUARY 2005

DO THE TEAMS HAVE TO TURN UP ON FRIDAY?

The meeting planned by FIA President Max Mosley has no official status in F1 decision-making. It was designed as a chance to discuss the future and the team's response to Mosley's proposals, asking for the meeting to be delayed several months, is entirely logical.

FERRARI TO BUILD A THREE-SEATER F1 CAR

Ferrari boss Jean Todt has told Autocar magazine in England that the team is working to build a three-seater F1 car which will allow the team to give its VIP guests a bit of a thrill.

THE MANUFACTURERS MEET TODAY

The manufacturers involved in Formula 1 will meet today to discuss their reaction to the recent announcement that the FIA, Ferrari and Formula One Management have agreed terms for a new "Concorde Agreement" that will run from 2008 to 2012. Ferrari will not attend the meeting.

THE FIA PROPOSALS FOR THE FUTURE

The FIA proposals which were due to be discussed on Friday seek to address the issue of cost-cutting in Formula 1. The problem is that the teams and apparently Bernie Ecclestone as well think that they risk altering the essence of what they believe to be Formula 1.

25 JANUARY 2005

GOODBYE GIANMARIA BRUNI

Gianmaria Bruni failed to make much of an impression in F1 last year, being overshadowed somewhat in the course of the year by Zsolt Baumgartner at Minardi.

SO WHICH SIDE IS BERNIE ON?

The fact that Bernie Ecclestone signed a letter to the FIA saying that there is no rush to introduce radical new technical regulations in Formula 1 is rather odd.

THE FORMULA 1 TEAMS SHOW THEIR MUSCLE

The Formula 1 teams have decided that they do not care what Ferrari does and have agreed that they will have their own limitation on testing of 30 days. This is not unexpected. The restriction will be for two cars a day at only one circuit rather than multiple tracks.

A1 GRAND PRIX BUDGES START DATE

The A1 Grand Prix series has decided to shift its starting date from September 18 to September 25. This appears to be have been caused by the fact that the original date clashed with a round of the British Touring Car Championship and its associated races at Silverstone.

MCLAREN GOING WITH A THIRD CAR

McLaren has confirmed that it will take advantage of the rules and run a third car this year. The team gains this bonus because it underperformed badly in 2004 and finished outside the top four in the Constructors' World Championship.

A BIG DAY? OR JUST ANOTHER MEETING

The Formula 1 team bosses meet today in London to discuss the matters of the moment and while some are expecting Bernie Ecclestone to make them offers they cannot refuse to sign up for the FIA Formula 1 World Championship from 2008 to 2012.

WHAT IS GOING ON WITH KIMI RAIKKONEN?

We do not generally report on the private lives of the Formula 1 team drivers (nor for that matter the team principal) however the recent adventures of Kimi Raikkonen took over the launch of the McLaren-Mercedes yesterday and thus one has to ask whether or not this is going to have any effect on the driver.

ANOTHER ADJOURNMENT IN THE HIGH COURT

The battle for the Formula One group has been delayed until May 10 to allow the legal teams to prepare their cases.

24 JANUARY 2005

MIDLAND - WHERE DOES THE MONEY COME FROM?

The Midland Group, the new owner of Jordan Grand Prix, seems to be rolling in cash, at least that is how it looks when one examines the impressive list of acquisitions it has made in the last three years.

FERRARI GIVES MORE DETAILS ABOUT ITS GPWC MEMBERSHIP

Following the recent announcement about the renewal of the Concorde Agreement between Ferrari, FOM and FIA, Ferrari has draw a certain amount of criticism. This has caused the company to respond with a comment.

WIGGY FRONTS UP FOR CHAMP CAR

Keith Wiggins, who used to run the Pacific Grand Prix F1 team in the early 1990s, will be back in action in the Champ Car series in 2005 with a revamped Herdez Competition operation.

THE NEW MCLAREN MP4-20 AND OTHER STORIES

The McLaren MP4-20 is up and running and the Woking team will be hoping that the new machine will end the run of poor performances that have plagued the operation in recent years, culminating in the 2004 season when McLaren had its worst finishing position in the Constructors' Championship since 1983.

BACK TO THE COURTS

This morning at Court 61 in the Palace of Justice in London Mr Justice Peter Smith will listen to the next round of the ongoing battle between Formula One Holdings Ltd and Formula One Administration.

JORDAN AND MIDLAND

There are stories circulating that the deal between Jordan Grand Prix and Midland F1 has been signed but for the moment at least there is no official confirmation.

JORDAN SELLS TO MIDLAND

Jordan Grand Prix will compete in the 2005 FIA Formula 1 World Championship with cars to be known as the Jordan-Toyota EJ15s. Eddie Jordan will stay involved with the team and will be spending his time working on commercial and sponsorship matters but the team will be owned by the Midland group.

FAT LADY YET TO SING FOR GPWC

There may be some in Formula 1 circles who think that the battle over the future structure of Grand Prix racing is over but there is no sign that the GPWC is going to give up and our sources tell us that there will be a meeting of the manufacturers later this week to discuss their reaction to the news.

22 JANUARY 2005

HUBBERT URGES TEAMS NOT SIGN WITH ECCLESTONE

Jurgen Hubbert, the boss of the Grand Prix World Championship, the automobile makers' alliance designed to get a better deal in Formula 1 racing, has urged the Formula 1 teams not to sign the deal being offered to them by Bernie Ecclestone until they have heard what the GPWC has to offer.

THE PROBLEMS OF CRYING WOLF

Luca di Montezemolo said last September that Ferrari was 100% behind the GPWC. Last week this proved not to be the case when Ferrari announced that it had agreed a deal with Formula One Management instead of sticking with the GPWC.

21 JANUARY 2005

GLOCK TAKES ON ALL COMERS

German race fans will be getting excited this weekend at the ninth annual Cologne 24 Hour kart race which pits professional racers up against rising stars and amateurs.

WHO WILL GET THE SECOND MINARDI?

The second Minardi is still up for grabs and team boss Paul Stoddart has made no secret of the fact that the drive will go to the man who brings the most money with him to the negotiating table.

HOW TO ANNOY A FORMULA 1 BANKER

Bernie Ecclestone has tried to sidestep the three banks which control Formula One Holdings, the parent company of the Formula One group.

STODDART MEETS MOSLEY

Paul Stoddart meets Max Mosley this afternoon to discuss the unhappiness that exists amongst the F1 team owners with some of the decisions made in recent years by the FIA and the hope is that the meeting will result in a new understanding between the teams and the federation.

ANOTHER ANDRETTI MOVES ON UP

Marco Andretti, the son of Michael Andretti and grandson of F1 World Champion Mario Andretti is to race this year in the Toyota Atlantic Championship in the United States, which meeans that he is one step away from moving up to either Champ Car or the Indy Racing League.

SARRAZIN KICKS OFF WRC PROGRAMME

A few years ago Stephane Sarrazin was a Formula 1 hopeful. He made his debut as a Grand Prix driver in Brazil in 1999, driving a Minardi, had a big crash when his front wing failed and then hung around the edges of F1 as a test driver.

20 JANUARY 2005

THE IMPORTANCE OF SID WATKINS

Alain Prost may have been called The Professor but in Formula 1 circles there has always been only one "Prof" and he has been on the Grand Prix scene fulltime since the Swedish GP of 1978 when Bernie Ecclestone, then the owner of the Brabham team and the boss of FOCA, asked Watkins to help make F1 safer.

FOR WHAT THEY ARE WORTH (THE TESTING TIMES)

Reading too much into the testing times at this time of year is a very dangerous thing to do and so one should be very careful about being sucked into the belief that Red Bull Racing is going to be competitive this year because David Coulthard topped the time sheets today in Barcelona.

HARTSTEIN BECOMES F1 MEDICAL DELEGATE

Professor Sid Watkins, the man who has been chiefly responsible for the improvement of safety in Formula 1 in the last 25 years is to step down from his role as the FIA Formula 1 Medical Delegate.

HOW RACE FANS CAN BEST HELP THE TSUNAMI VICTIMS

Formula 1 race fans can help tsunami victims and at the same time enjoy their favourite sport. This win-win situation has come about because the governments in the affected areas have sufficient aid and are now asking that tourists do not desert them and thus bring about economic problems in the future.

KOLLES TO LEAD MIDLAND F1

German Formula 3 team owner Colin Kolles has been involved with the Midland F1 team since the very beginning of the project and he has now been named managing director of Midland.

19 JANUARY 2005

MONEY WINS THE DAY

If Formula 1 was a board game, solely about the exercise of power without any need to account to its fans, then there would be much applause about the deal that has just been announced by the FIA, Ferrari and Formula One Management.

MEANWHILE ON THE RACE TRACKS

The testing in Barcelona continued on Wednesday with Mark Webber leading the way ahead of Nick Heidfeld and Michael Schumacher.

SAUBER UNABLE TO RUN THIRD CAR

The Sauber Petronas team has let it be known that once again it has no intention of running a third car on Fridays because it does not have the budget to necessary and wants to use all its resources on running the two race cars.

FERRARI SIGNS UP WITH BERNIE

The FIA, Ferrari and Formula One Management have announced that they have reached an agreement to prolong the Concorde Agreement from 2008 to 2012. It is not clear what the details of the agreement are but it is certain that the deal will upset Ferrari's supposed partners in the GPWC.

ANOTHER F1 ROAD CAR!

It seems that the vogue at the moment is for former Formula 1 engineers to design road cars. Hot on the heels of the news that MB Roadcars is to build its EOS, comes word from Italy that legendary Ferrari designer Mauro Forghieri is hard at work designing a road car called Project 1221.

BRDC REWARDS BUTTON AND RICHARDS

The British Racing Drivers' Club held its annual awards at Silverstone earlier this week and handed out its annual awards to those that gathered for the event at Silverstone.

DURANGO'S GP2 DRIVER LINE-UP

The Durango team is one of the GP2 teams about which little has been heard in recent months but the latest word from Italy is that the team will have the budget to run a pair of cars in 2005 and that it will be fielding Clivio Piccione from Brazil and Italian Ferdinando Monfardini.

FERRARI SETS DATE AS MICHAEL RETURNS TO THE FRAY

Michael Schumacher likes to win races but he also likes to get away from Formula 1 in the winter months and spend time with his family at his various houses which are dotted around Europe.

SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY

The younger generations in the United States have been smitten of late by a new sport called drifting. This originated in Japan where youngsters developed skills of controlling their cars in a series of elegant slides as close to the limit of adhesion as possible.

18 JANUARY 2005

WILLIAMS GETS HIGH-FLYING FINANCE BOSS

Chris Chapple has been named as the head of finance of WilliamsF1. A former Royal Marine Commando who saw service in the Gulf War after graduating from Oxford with a law degree.

A FORMULA 1 ROAD CAR

MB Roadcars is a company established last year by Michael Blaize, a Formula 1 aerodynamicist who worked in the missile business prior to his involvement in the sport.

ENGE CONFIRMED AT PANTHER

Former F1 driver Tomas Enge has been confirmed as Tomas Scheckter's team mate with the Panther Indy Racing League team. The 28-year-old Czech driver raced in Formula 3000 last year before running a couple of races with Patrick Racing.

HI-HO, HI-HO, IT'S BACK TO COURT WE GO!

Formula One Holdings is on its way back to the High Court in London today to begin a new case against its subsidiary Formula One Administration. It is not clear at the moment what the details of this case will be.

17 JANUARY 2005

WHO IS BEHIND THE NEW US TELEVISION DEAL?

The new deal between CBS and the Grand Prix Entertainment (GPE) to show Formula 1 racing on a national network is a huge step forward for Formula 1 and part of a much bigger deal which sees Grand Prix Entertainment now controlling the TV rights to F1 in the US.

WHY SHNAIDER WOULD BE MAD NOT TO BUY JORDAN

If the price is right, Russian tycoon Alex Shnaider would be mad not buy Jordan Grand Prix. There are simply too many advantages in buying the team.

HONDA REMAINS A MEMBER OF THE ANTI-TESTING ALLIANCE

British American Racing Honda is ready to accept a restriction of 30 days of testing. This ends speculation that the Japanese giant was trying to get out of the deal agreed by all the teams except Ferrari about restricting testing in the future.

THE TRUTH ABOUT THE JORDAN-MIDLAND SITUATION

A lot has been written in the last couple of days about whether or not Eddie Jordan has agreed to sell his Formula 1 team to Russia's Midland F1 operation. The latest word from the inside is that Jordan has shaken hands on a deal and that now there is a certain amount of paperwork to be got through.

BAR NEEDS SUCCESS TO KEEP BUTTON

British American Racing knows that it will need to have an impressive performance in 2005 if it is to hold on to Jenson Button next year. Button's contract with BAR stipulates that he will only have to stay in 2006 if he has more than 70% of the total number of points of the World Championship leader on July 31 2005.

AN ALTERNATIVE TO FORMULA 1

Automobile manufacturers like to spend money in Formula 1 in order to spread the word about their cars and prove their technology. The association, however, is as much to do with the perceived glamour of Grand Prix racing as it is to do with what the regulations say.

THE LAW ACCORDING TO BAR

British American Racing is intending to continue to run its Lucky Strike livery outside the European Union, despite British legislation which appears to make this illegal for a British-based company. The team will not run the livery in the EU after a new ban comes into force in August.

BIG PROBLEMS FOR BARCELONA

The BAR-Honda team did the initial shakedwon runs of its new car at Barcelona on Sunday and then packed up the car and headed off unexpectedly to Valencia, reporting that the new surface at the Circuit de Catalunya offered no grip at all and was therefore useless for testing.

JORDAN - NO DEAL

Eddie Jordan spent the weekend in the Alps and was not easily contactable but our sources tell us that the Irishman is denying that a deal has been done with the Russian businessman Alex Schnaider to sell the Jordan F1 team to the new Midland F1 organization.

16 JANUARY 2005

ANDERSON TO BE TECHNICAL DIRECTOR OF MIDLAND-JORDAN?

There are reports that Eddie Jordan has sold his Formula 1 team to the new Midland F1 operation and we hear that Gary Anderson will be the technical director of the new operation. If the news is confirmed Anderson will be working once again with designer Mark Smith.

BAR LAUNCHES NEW PROGRAMME

British American Racing Honda has launched its new BAR-Honda 007 chassis but there is no sign of any new sponsorship on the car and one must therefore presume that British American Tobacco and Honda are footing the majority of the bill in 2005.

14 JANUARY 2005

PIQUET TO MAKE A COMEBACK!

Triple World Champion Nelson Piquet (52) has decided it is time to get back to racing and is to take up truck racing. Piquet will join Pedro Muffatto in Brazil's Formula Truck this season.

13 JANUARY 2005

THEY ARE ALL STARK RAVING MAD

When it was announced last autumn that Formula 1 qualifying would be on Sunday mornings, no-one really took the whole thing seriously. It was obviously a bad idea, decided upon by people who were not looking at the problem from the right viewpoint.

MOSLEY JOINS EUROPEAN COMMISSION AUTOMOTIVE POLICY GROUP

The European Union has asked FIA President Max Mosley to be a member of CARS 21, the Competitive Automotive Regulatory System for the 21st Century. The aim of the group is to generate recommendations to improve the worldwide competitiveness of the European automotive industry.

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO RAY BELLM

The tit-for-tat squabbling at the British Racing Drivers' Club continued today with deposed chairman Ray Bellm explaining that he had "stepped down" despite the fact that the club put out a statement to this effect.

A1 CONFIRMS BRANDS HATCH

As we suggested would happen last week the A1 Grand Prix series will kick off at Brands Hatch on September 18 this year.

RED BULL RACING CONFIRMS STEINER

As we exclusively reported last week Gunther Steiner has been appointed as the new technical director of Red Bull Racing. The team will be making more changes in the weeks ahead but has confirmed that the car will run at Jerez on February 7.

THE POOR DAKAR

It has not been a happy Dakar Rally this year with two competitors dying as a result of accidents in the desert.

OUT THERE IN THE REAL WORLD

While Formula 1 continues to look at itself in the mirror and regard itself as the greatest motor racing series in the world, there are moves going on which the powers within the sport ought to take into account.

THE BRUNDELL BROTHERS GO INTO BUSINESS

Martin Brundle and Mark Blundell, former F1 drivers who now commentate together on ITV, have set up a new company called 2MB Sports Management Ltd, which aims to provide a management service for young racing drivers.

AT&T AND MCLAREN

AT&T, a former sponsor of the Jaguar Racing team is to join McLaren this year. The American communications giant signed a three-year deal with the Ford Motor Company at the start of 2002 but this was not renewed when it became clear that Jaguar Racing was being sold.

CBS TO SHOW FORMULA 1 RACES IN 2005

The American network CBS Sports is to give Formula 1 coverage a try in 2005. The network has agreed a deal to broadcast four Grands Prix, beginning in late April, with two hour-long lifestyle specials to promote Formula 1 in the United States.

AN HONORIFIC CHAIRMAN AT THE BRDC?

Most companies have a chairman, a board of directors and a chief executive (who is sometimes given the title of president). There are also honorific titles, which sometimes the roles of vice-chairman, president and vice-president.

ARDEN TO RUN KOVALAINEN AND LAPIERRE

Arden International is to run Heiki Kovalainen and France's Nicholas Lapierre in the GP2 series this year.

MARTIN BRUNDLE GOES ICE RACING

Last weekend at Isola 2000 Martin Brundle made his debut in the Trophee Andros ice racing series at the wheel of a Renault Megane which is usually driven by Laurent Battut and Philippe Gervoson.

12 JANUARY 2005

NO THREAT TO THE BRITISH GRAND PRIX

There is no threat to the British Grand Prix despite the spat last night which ended up with British Racing Drivers' Club chairman Ray Bellm being voted out of office - although he remains a member of the BRDC board.

BADOER RE-SIGNS UNTIL 2006

Luca Badoer the Ferrari test driver since 1997 has agreed to another two years helping the team develop cars for Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello.

FERRARI TEAM PRINCIPALS TO MEET THE POPE

Michael Schumacher, Rubens Barrichello, Jean Todt and others will be meeting the Pope in Rome next week. No doubt the pontiff will be asking these miracle workers what he should do to make the Catholic Church run a little more smoothly.

PETROBRAS BANKING ON WILLIAMS

Petrobras has announced that it is increasing is sponsorship activities by 30% and plans to invest $16m in sports sponsorships, although this goes up to $21m when added to sponsorship which is coming from the Petrobras subsidiary Petrobras Distribuidora (BR).

THE END FOR JACAREPAGUA?

Rio de Janeiro's Jacarepagua racing circuit, which played host to Formula 1 in the 1980s and Champ Cars in the 1990s is to be partially demolished as part of the plan to build a sports complex for the 2007 Pan-American Games.

TROUBLES AT SILVERSTONE

The board of the British Racing Drivers Club has voted Ray Bellm out of his role as chairman in what appears to be a dispute between Bellm and BRDC president Jackie Stewart over the terms of the contract for the British Grand Prix.

11 JANUARY 2005

PASQUALI WINS UNFAIR DISMISSAL CLAIM AGAINST TOYOTA

A court in Cologne ruled on Tuesday that former Panasonic Toyota Racing team manager Ange Pasquali was dismissed unfairly.

WILLIAMS REMAINS IN TOP IN JEREZ

Mark Webber and Nick Heidfeld continued to set the pace at Jerez where more F1 teams have now turned up to begin their first tests of the new season. Webber concentrated on tyre testing, evaluating various compounds for the team's tyre partner, Michelin, as well testing brake duct configurations.

DAKAR CLAIMS TWO LIVES IN TWO DAYS

The Dakar Rally has claimed another two victims following the death on Monday of Jose Maria Perez and on Tuesday afternoon of the former double winner Italian motorcyclist Fabrizio Meoni.

LAUDAS LAMBAST GP2

Mathias Lauda, the son of triple World Champion Niki Lauda, says he is more interested in going to America to race in Champ Cars than to compete in the new GP2 series.

10 JANUARY 2005

HEIDFELD STAKES HIS CLAIM (AGAIN)

Nick Heidfeld wants to be a BMW Williams driver in 2005 and he started the new year with the fastest time of the day at Jerez, beating Mark Webber's best time of the day by a tenth of a second.

SILVERSTONE'S RACING ACADEMY

The British Racing Drivers' Club has announced a new initiative to train up young drivers. The Silverstone Motorsport Academy. The Academy is founded on the Silverstone Racing School, the latest in a long line of racing schools to be based at the Northamptonshire track.

BRITISH DRIVER IN GP2

Ryan Sharp is the first British driver to sign up for the new GP2 series. The 25-year-old from Aberdeen will be joining David Price Racing in 2005 and will be overseen by longtime engineer/manager Andy Miller.

TOYOTA BOSS OFFERS GENTLE WARNING

Toyota has one chairman, two vice chairmen, one president, six executive vice presidents and 14 senior managing directors and at times it all seems to be rather complicated as to who is important and who is not important.

BAT AND HONDA COMPLETE BAR PURCHASE

As we reported on Friday BAT and Honda have completed their acquisition of the BAR Formula 1 team from the administrators Grant Thornton.

ITV GETS A NEW SPORTS BOSS

Mark Sharman has been appointed ITV's new controller of sport. He will oversee the British TV channel's coverage of Formula 1, which may not be an easy task because of the expected problems with British legislation and F1's tobacco sponsorships from the end of July this year.

START 'EM YOUNG

American John Edwards is moving to Italy to compete in the Italian Karting Championship. The 13-year-old from Arkansas was picked to become part of the Red Bull Driver Search last year and will race for the factory CRG team in 2005 under the guidance of CRG team manager Danilo Rossi.

8 JANUARY 2005

TOYOTA UNVEILS THE TF105

Mika Gascoyne's first complete car at Toyota was unveiled in Barcelona on Saturday with the team hoping that the new chassis will move the team up the Formula 1 grid. Gascoyne said that the team compromised the development of the TF104B in order to try to gain an advantage for 2005.

7 JANUARY 2005

F1 BOYCOTTS AND OTHER RUBBISH

Although the world of Formula 1 on the web continues to reduce in size as the non-sustainable sites go out of business, there are still a number of websites which are keen to push up their hit rates with sensationalist stories designed to attract the interest of any web surfer with a vague interest in F1.

THE RESURRECTION OF GUNTHER STEINER

Steiner may sound like a German name but in fact Gunther Steiner is an Italian, born and brought up in the city of Bolzano in the Alto Adige region where German remains the dominant language despite the fact that modern borders means it is linked to Italy.

PITCHFORTH EYES F1 SCENE

David Pitchforth says that he was already looking around at other possibilities for work before he was dumped by Red Bull Racing this morning. The Yorkshireman, who was managing director of the team until this morning, says that he was aware that there were problems with the relationship.

WILLIAMS'S NEW LIVERY

The new BMW Williams F1 livery reveals a few interesting changes in the relative importance of the various sponsors. The team has signed what is obviously a major new deal with the Royal Bank of Scotland and the RBS logos have replaced Allianz on the engine cover.

BAT AND HONDA BUY BAR

British American Tobacco and Honda are expected to complete the purchase of British American Racing later today. The Formula 1 team was put up for sale before Christmas as part of the necessary paperwork to establish a new onmwership structure.

FERRARI TO ENTER NASCAR!

The latest word from Italy is that the NASCAR teams are sitting up and taking notice of some of the engine technology which is available now in Modena, Italy, and that High Performance Engineering, a company run by Piero Ferrari (Enzo's son) is to be developing engines for one of the NASCAR teams in 2005.

RED BULL CONFIRMS HORNER

Christian Horner has been appointed as the Sporting Director of Red Bull Racing. The news was confirmed a few minutes ago by the Austrian drinks company although confirmation of Gunther Steiner as the new technical director has not yet been made.

THE F1 AXE FALLS AT RED BULL RACING

In recent weeks it has been very clear that there has been considerable stress and strain between Red Bull, the new owners of Jaguar Racing, and the former management which has run the team for previous owners Ford.

6 JANUARY 2005

A SIGN OF THE TIMES

Champ Car has lost another of its Mexican stars with the news that Michel Jourdain Jr has signed to drive for Ford Motorsport to run a full season in the NASCAR Busch stock car series.

FIA ASKS CLUBS FOR MONEY FOR TSUNAMI VICTIMS

The FIA has launched an appeal fund which it hopes the member clubs of the organization will donate money to help the victims of the Boxing Day tsunami. FIA president Max Mosley has written to all the clubs and asked them to donate to help relief operations.

MORE BANKERS IN F1

As we reported back in October, Williams has concluded a new sponsorship deal with the Royal Bank of Scotland Group. The deal is believed to be worth in excess of $15m a year. The banking group, the sixth biggest in the world, has seen the success in Formula 1 enjoyed by HSBC and is obviously keen to expand.

SCHUMACHER FEELS TSUNAMI DISASTER MORE THAN MOST

Michael Schumacher has announced that one of the many victims of the Asia tsunami was one of his bodyguards, Burkhard Cramer who died in the disaster along with his two sons.

RED BULL INTO GP2 WITH US RISING STAR

Red Bull is to sponsor American Scott Speed in the GP2 series. Speed won the German and European Formula Renault titles in 2004 and was expected to move up to the new series but Red Bull's decision to sign with the iSport Internatonal team is a bit of a surprise.

JORDAN GRAND PRIX OFF THE MARKET?

The word on the street at Silverstone is that Jordan Grand Prix is not for sale after the failure of negotiations between Eddie Jordan and Christian Horner of the Arden International Formula 3000 team.

5 JANUARY 2005

KLIEN AND LIUZZI SIGN FOR RED BULL RACING

It has been announced in Austria that both Christian Klien and Vitantonio Liuzzi have been signed by Red Bull Racing for the season ahead. It is not clear exactly what the two men have signed and it is not clear how both will be involved in the team given that the David Coulthard is already under contract.

HIDDEN AWAY ON THE NEW YEAR'S HONOURS LIST

While the motor racing world was recognised in Britain's New Year's Honours List by David Richard being appointed a CBE for his services to the sport, hidden away in the listings was a similar award for none other than Richard Parry-Jones.

SCHUMACHER OPENS PIGGYBANK FOR TSUNAMI VICTIMS

Michael Schumacher is to donate $10m to the relief efforts in Asia. The World Champion says that the effects of the Boxing Day tsunami are "horrible" and has promised to give the money, which represents about 10% of his annual income, to UNICEF.

4 JANUARY 2005

MICHAEL BUYS ANOTHER HOUSE?

There are reports from Italy that Michael Schumacher has bought the Casa Cassinella, an impressive villa located on the northern shore of Lake Como, close to the town of Lenno.

NEW SAUBER TO DEBUT IN VALENCIA

The 10th anniversary celebrations of Petronas's involvement in Formula 1 - and the launch of the Sauber C24 - have been cancelled as a mark of respect to the victims of the tsunami disaster in South East Asia.

MELBOURNE GETTING READY FOR 10TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS

This year the Australian Grand Prix celebrates 10 years in Albert Park in Melbourne and with Australian Mark Webber getting into a top car for the first time, the interest should be higher than ever, even if the country remains fixated by the V8 Super Car series.

A1 GRAND PRIX CONTINUES TO BUILD UP

Formula 1 cruises merrily on with both Bernie Ecclestone and the GPWC trying to convince the Formula 1 teams that they want to support one or the other. At the same time the planned A1 Grand Prix Championship is building up and we hear that the series will soon be ready announce an impressive calendar.

2 JANUARY 2005

THE DRUG FIENDS OF FORMULA 1

The rather sad "revelations" of a former Ferrari doctor suggesting that a number of Formula 1 drivers are cocaine users is an indication, if nothing else, that the doctor in question is somewhat out of date.

A CBE FOR DR

David Richards, chairman of Prodrive, has been named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his services to motor sport.