NEWS ARCHIVE

31 OCTOBER 2006

ENGINE PLANS CONFIRMED BY RED BULL

Red Bull has announced that Red Bull Racing will switch from Ferrari engines to Renault starting in 2007, while the Toro Rosso team will now use the supply of Ferrari engines.

30 OCTOBER 2006

HERE AND THERE

The World Rally Championship was settled in Australia with Sebastien Loeb winning his third title, despite being on the sidelines because of a broken arm. His title rival Marcus Gronholm needed to finish in the top three to keep his hopes alive but rolled early in the event and struggled through the remainder of the event.

29 OCTOBER 2006

MONTOYA 11TH ON NASCAR BUSCH DEBUT

Juan Pablo Montoya finished 11th in his first NASCAR Busch Series race in Memphis, after qualifying ninth. He spent the first part of the race running in the top 10 but eventually got into a wobble and was bumped into a spin by Jason Keller.

27 OCTOBER 2006

THE FUTURE OF SCOTT SPEED

Red Bull has denied stories circulating in F1 circles that there may be a change at Scuderia Toro Rosso next year with Scott Speed being replaced by Robert Doornbos - but that does not mean that it is not going to happen.

A GOOD QUARTER FOR SPYKER

At the start of the year Spyker Cars was trading on the Euronext Amsterdam exchange at a price of $12 a share. Today the shares are valued at $25 and the trend has been an upward drift since the announcement that the company had acquired the Midland F1 team in September.

THE DOOR IS STILL OPEN FOR IMOLA

The San Marino Grand Prix has been dropped from the Formula 1 calendar for 2007 - and there is now no hope of a reprieve. But that does not mean that the circuit could not make a new bid for a race in 2008, once work on the circuit has been completed.

LIVINGSTONE SLAMS THE DOOR ON F1

London's controversial mayor Ken Livingstone has given a clear signal about the city's discussions regarding the hosting of a Formula 1 race. In July 2004 there was a successful F1 demonstration on the streets of the West End with around 200,000 people watching the cars in action - at very reduced speeds.

THE OIL BOOM

High oil prices have caused spectacular results for the major oil companies in the last quarter with ExxonMobil reporting an astonishing profit of $10.48bn in the last three months, a figure which equates to $114m a day.

MEANWHILE AT BROOKLANDS

The DaimlerChrysler Group will this weekend open a new "brand experience centre" at Brooklands, in Weybridge, Surrey. The 155-acre Mercedes-Benz World will offer customers the chance to drive on a 1.5-mile road course and on a 10-acre off-road area.

RICE IN FOR ALLMENDINGER

Buddy Rice is to replace AJ Allmendinger in the Forsythe Racing Champ Car team, with immediate effect.

26 OCTOBER 2006

WHO IS GILLES SIMON?

The new head of the engine department at Ferrari is a Frenchman, 48-year-old Gilles Simon, who studied at the Ecole des Mines, one of France's top engineering schools.

FERRARI CONFIRMS BIG CHANGES

Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro has announced some major changes in the line-up of personnel, following the news yesterday that Jean Todt is becoming Ferrari SpA's chief executive officer.

WHO IS MARIO ALMONDO?

The new technical dirfector of Ferrari is 42-year-old Italian engineer Mario Almondo, who has been with Ferrari since he joined the team in 1991. Prior to that he had studied engineering and industrial management at the celebrated Politecnico di Milano.

PENSKE KEEPS MARLBORO MONEY BUT NO SIGNAGE

The Penske IRL team will continue to be sponsored by Philip Morris USA but the tobacco company says it will remove the Marlboro name from the cars, uniforms, support equipment and promotional materials visible to the public.

MCLAREN PICKS UP SPANISH CASH

McLaren Mercedes has done a deal with Spanish insurance group Mutua Madrilena, a sponsor of Fernando Alonso at Renault in recent seasons. The insurer clearly wishes to continue its connection with the double World Champion.

BOURDAIS STAYING IN AMERICA

Sebastien Bourdais, who last weekend wrapped up his third consecutive Champ Car title, admits that he is frustrated that none of the F1 teams will offer him more than a testing role with no guarantees beyond that.

ZANARDI'S F1 TEST

Five years after he lost both legs in an accident in Champ Car racing, Alex Zanardi is to get back behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car with a test of a BMW Sauber being planned at the forthcoming BMW World Finals in Valencia on November 26.

A GONG FOR GHOSN

It is reported in Britain that Renault boss Carlos Ghosn is to be appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire although, as a foreigner, he will not be able to use the title "Sir Carlos".

THE BEGINNINGS OF A RESHUFFLE

Up until yesterday, Luca di Montezemolo was chairman and chief executive officer of Ferrari SpA. It was obviously not a hugely taxing role as he also found time to run the FIAT empire. He left the running of the business to his General Manager Jean Todt, who has also been running the sporting department at Ferrari.

25 OCTOBER 2006

CHANGES AT FERRARI

It is expected that later today Ferrari will announce management changes for the future. There has been much speculation about what is going to happen with the most common suggestion being that Ross Brawn will stand down as technical director and will go off for a year away before returning in 12 months time,

A SMART MOVE IN DUBAI

Michael Schumacher is to have his own island off the coast of Dubai - the result of a very clever publicity stunt by Dubai's crown prince - Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

TURKEY WITHDRAWS ITS APPEAL

The Turkish motorsport federation is to withdraw its appeal against a $2.5m fine for using the podium of the Grand Prix to make a political gesture. In theory at least, therefore, the Turks must now pay the money to the FIA.

SPYKER WANTS A NAME CHANGE

Spyker wants to change the name MF1 Racing to Spyker F1 next year - a logical choice rather than the Spyker MF1 Racing that was used after the team was bought by the Dutch car manufacturer six weeks ago.

24 OCTOBER 2006

AJ ALLMENDINGER JUMPS SHIP

Single-seater people tend to be rather arrogant, believing that open-wheeler drivers are the elite and that all other forms of the sport are somehow less important. This is a great weakness because it means that they can become blind to realities.

23 OCTOBER 2006

RACE REPORT - THE RACE OF CHAMPIONS

Fernando Alonso is the 2006 Formula 1 World Champion - and deservedly so, for he fought back through much adversity to retain his World title with dignity and authority. And that is how it should be...

JUST FOR THE RECORD

There are not many people around who know all the rules of Formula 1. Some of them are secret; some are very complicated; some are ridiculously vague; others are just plain dull. And, sadly, some of them are just silly.

FORMULA 1'S NEW DAWN

Sunday at Interlagos was a time to say goodbye to a lot. Michael Schumacher was departing but there was more beside as Marlboro, Mild Seven, Lucky Strike, Michelin and Cosworth - some of the strongest supporters that the sport has had - are also departing.

HERE AND THERE

It was a busy weekend for motorsport around the world with the Champ Car title being settled in Australia, F1 coming to a head in Brazil and the NASCAR boys turning their championship standings upside-down at Martinsville, Virginia.

SUNDAY PHOTOS

Brazilian GP - Sunday Photos

22 OCTOBER 2006

RACE NOTES - MASSA WINS IN BRAZIL, ALONSO TAKES CHAMPIONSHIP

Brazilian GP - Race Notes

SUNDAY PRESS CONFERENCE

Brazilian GP - Sunday Press Conference

SUNDAY TEAM QUOTES

Brazilian GP - Sunday Team Quotes

RACE INCIDENTS

Brazilian GP - Race Incidents

RACE RESULTS

Brazilian GP - Race Results

ALONSO WINS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

Fernando Alonso has won the World Championship.

SECURITY GOES BANANAS

After the attack on Toyota personnel on Friday evening security in Sao Paulo was beefed up by the locals, embarrassed by the attack and reports of it in newspapers around the world.

PHILIPPE WINS SURFERS RACE, BOURDAIS WINS TITLE

Sebastien Bourdais made history in Surfers Paradise when he won his third consecutive Champ Car title with an eighth placed finish in the Australian race. The only other man to win three consecutive National Championships in the United States was Ted Horn in 1946, 1947 and 1948.

21 OCTOBER 2006

QUALIFYING REPORT - MISERABLE MICHAEL IN 10TH ON THE GRID

Until the beginning of the Q3 qualifying session Michael Schumacher was reigning imperiously over his peers at Interlagos. He was not going to be beaten. But then as the top 10 accelerated down the hill for the final 15 minutes, suddenly the Ferrari slowed.

SATURDAY PHOTOS

Brazilian GP - Saturday Photos

SATURDAY PRESS CONFERENCE

Brazilian GP - Saturday Press Conference

SATURDAY TEAM QUOTES

Brazilian GP - Saturday Team Quotes

QUALIFYING RESULTS

Brazilian GP - Qualifying Results

PRACTICE 3 REPORT - FELIPE MASSA ON TOP AT HOME

Felipe Massa set the fastest time of the morning session on Saturday in Brazil, a tenth faster than his Ferrari team mate Michael Schumacher. The pair were seven-tenths clear of the best of the rest, Jenson Button in his Honda F1.

PRACTICE 3 RESULTS

Brazilian GP - Practice 3 Results

AN EXPERIMENT IN FINLAND

Formula 1 pay-per-view television was not a great success back in the late 1990s but it seems that the Formula One group may be moving back in that direction as the convergence of television and the Internet threatens to disrupt the traditional income of the sport.

PRODRIVE RUMOURS AND SPECULATION

There has been an awful lot of silence from Prodrive in recent weeks with no visible signs of any progress being made in building up the F1 team that is planned for 2008.

RON AND MANSOUR GO TO STUTTGART

Ron Dennis and his McLaren partner Mansour Ojjeh went to Mercedes-Benz headquarters in Stuttgart last Wednesday for a meeting with DaimlerChrysler bosses.

HONDA F1 CONSIDERS TEST DRIVERS

There are four drivers in the picture for the Honda F1 test drive next year as it is now virtually certain that Anthony Davidson will be moving on to race for Super Aguri.

WILL POWER ON POLE IN OZ

Local hero Will Power is on pole for the Champ Car at Surfers Paradise. The young Australian stayed ahead of all challengers, helped by a couple of timely red flags as others were doing their fastest laps.

THE JOYS OF BRAZIL

Formula 1 goes to Interlagos each year because it needs a venue in South America, even though everyone knows that the facilities at the Sao Paulo track are way below the standards demanded elsewhere in the world.

WILSON BREAKS HIS WRIST

Justin Wilson is out of the Champ Car Series for the rest of the year, having broken a bone in his wrist in qualifying for the race in Surfers Paradise. Wilson suffered the injury when he spun into a tyre barrier and the impact went up through his steering.

20 OCTOBER 2006

PRACTICE 2 REPORT - ALEXANDER GREAT

Alexander Wurz set the fastest time of the afternoon session in Sao Paulo, beating his constant testing rival Anthony Davidson a tenth slower in his Honda. The duo were two tenths faster than BMW's Sebastian Vettel.

THE RED CAR RULE

There has long been a joke in F1 circles that Ferrari can get away with whatever it pleases because of a mythical FIA regulation which is called "The Red Car Rule". Read any F1 forum and you will see endless references to the fact that the FIA and Ferrari are seen to be too close.

FRIDAY PRESS CONFERENCE

Brazilian GP - Friday Press Conference

FRIDAY PHOTOS

Brazilian GP - Friday Photos

FRIDAY TEAM QUOTES

Brazilian GP - Friday Team Quotes

PRACTICE 2 RESULTS

Brazilian GP - Practice 2 Results

PRACTICE 1 REPORT - RAIKKONEN LEADS THE WAY

Kimi Raikkonen topped the timesheets in Brazil on Friday morning with a best lap of 1m13.764s, a tenth faster than Honda test driver Anthony Davidson and Williams's Alexander Wurz.

PRACTICE 1 RESULTS

Brazilian GP - Practice 1 Results

WILLIAMS REVAMPS ITS TECHNICAL TEAM

As we revealed some weeks ago Williams has been busy building up its technical staff with the appointment of Renault's deputy head of aerodynamics Jon Tomlinson becoming head of the Williams aero department in March. He will be joined by former McLaren senior aerodynamicist Amit Chakraborty.

GREAT NEWS FOR WILLIAMS

The news that Williams has signed a title sponsorship with American telecommunications giant AT&T is great news for the team, whioch has been struggling through difficult times in recent months.

COMMENDATORE ANDRETTI

Mario Andretti (66) will be awarded the title of "Commendatore della Repubblica Italiana" by Antonio Bandini, Italy's Consul General in New York on Monday in recognition of his remarkable career and good character, which have reinforced a positive image of Italians throughout the world.

19 OCTOBER 2006

THURSDAY PRESS CONFERENCE

Brazilian GP - Thursday Press Conference

A CHANGE AT BRIDGESTONE

There is to be a change of management in the Bridgestone Formula 1 programme at the circuits with our spies telling us that Dutchman Kees Van der Grint. taking a more active role. Van der Grint is a wellknown Bridgestone figure, having spent the recent years working closely with Michael Schumacher.

SAN MARINO OUT!

The FIA World Council has agreed to the calendar as previously published, despite the fact that the dates make little sense at the start of the year with the Australian GP by itself on March 18 and then a three-week gap before Malaysia on April 8 and Bahrain on April 15.

VARIOUS FIA RULINGS

The FIA World Coucnil met in Barcelona today and decided various bits and pieces to confirm decision that have been agreed recently. The fine levied on the Turkish GP remains with the race organisers MSO having paid $2.5m and the automobile club TOSFED owing the remainder.

BAT EXITS F1 THIS WEEKEND

British American Tobacco exits Formula One at the Brazilian Grand Prix this weekend after eight years of Lucky Strike sponsorship, bringing to an end links to motorsport dating back to the 1960s.

BMW NAMES SAME DRIVERS FOR 2007

The BMW Sauber F1 Team has announced that it will keep the same driver line-up in 2007 with Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica being joined by third driver Sebastian Vettel. It remains to be seen whether or not the team will nominate a second test driver as well.

CVC BUYS INTO AUSTRALIAN TV

CVC Asia Pacific has bought into a company called PBL Media in partnership with James Packer. The new company will include a number of media outlets including Channel Nine, ACP Magazines, which owns most of the automobile magazines in Australia

F1 BOSS IN SHANGHAI QUESTIONED OVER FINANCIAL DEALINGS

Yu Zhifei, the Chinese official who has been responsible for the construction of the Shanghai International Circuit and the running of the Chinese Grand Prix has been called in for

18 OCTOBER 2006

MONTOYA'S NASCAR DEBUT CONFIRMED

Chip Ganassi Racing has confirmed that Juan Pablo Montoya will make his NASCAR Busch Series debut at Memphis Motorsport Park on October 28. To date Montoya has competed in two ARCA races, similar but slower than the Busch Series.

17 OCTOBER 2006

PIQUET CONFIRMS BRIATORE MANAGEMENT

Nelson Piquet Jr has admitted that he is now managed by Renault F1 boss Flavio Briatore.

16 OCTOBER 2006

RENAULT CONFIRMS ING

As we exclusively predicted, the Renault F1 team has announced a major sponsorship deal with the Dutch financial group ING. The deal is for three years. ING hopes to use its sponsorship to build up brand awareness in growth markets. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

A RAINY WEEK IN BRAZIL

With tyres a vital element in determining success and failure in Formula 1 at the moment, the weather in Sao Paulo is being closely watched by F1 teams in the days before the Brazilian Grand Prix.

MONTY GETS SHUNTED

Juan Pablo Montoya was in action in an ARCA race at Iowa Speedway at the weekend and having started third moved into the lead after five laps and was leading the race on lap 19 when a misunderstanding resulted in him being punted into the wall by Steve Wallace.

A GOOD EFFORT FROM ILMOR

The new Ilmor X motorcycle made its MotoGP debut at Estoril over the weekend and Australia's Garry McCoy brought the bike home in 15th place, albeit four laps behind the leaders after a lengthy pit stop to cure an electrical problem.

FERRARI TO TAKE TWEAKED V8S TO BRAZIL?

Ferrari has nothing to gain from playing it safe in Brazil and we hear that the Italian team is heading to Interlagos with its V8 engines tweaked to much higher levels of revs in an effort to power Michael Schumacher to victory.

HERE AND THERE

As the F1 teams head out to Brazil, the other championships around the world were in full swing with NASCAR settling its Busch Series in favour of Kevin Harvick at Charlotte. The Chase for the Nextel Cup continues, however, with Harvick's Richard Childress Racing team mate Jeff Burton remaining on top.

13 OCTOBER 2006

THE POLITICS OF TURKEY AND THE F1 WORLD

Mehmet Ali Talat, the man who caused the ongoing F1 Podium Crisis in Turkey, has told the Associated Press that the FIA's fine was "very unfair, really very unfair and not acceptable".

A BUSCH DEAL FOR VILLENEUVE

The latest reports from the United States say that Jacques Villeneuve and Jack Roush are in the final stages of a deal to put the former Formula 1 World Champion, Indy 500 winner and CART Champion into a selected number of NASCAR Busch Series events in 2007.

THE COMMISSION PUTS THE BOOT IN

The European Commission has confirmed that it is now taking legal action against Italy, Hungary, Spain and the Czech Republic over violations of the European Union ban on tobacco sponsorship.

WHY DID MICHAEL'S ENGINE FAIL IN JAPAN?

While everyone has been reporting about the effect of Michael Schumacher's Ferrari engine failure in Japan, there has been very little discussion about the cause. What is odd is that there was a failure when Ferrari's reliability has been astonishing in recent years.

WHY IT IS BETTER NOT TO RACE HAMILTON IN BRAZIL

McLaren's press preview for the Braziilian Grand Prix gave confirmation that Pedro de la Rosa will be racing with the team for one more event, bringing to an end speculation that Lewis Hamilton would be taking over the drive.

12 OCTOBER 2006

PIQUET STUFFS A RENAULT

Nelson Piquet Jr has been setting some impressive times in recent weeks while testing with the Renault F1 team. There are many in F1 who believe that Piquet Jr will find his way into a racing car before the end of next year and so Renault is very keen to show off the Brazilian in the best possible light.

BIKES AND CARS

MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi had ambitions of being a Formula 1 driver and did a series of tests with Ferrari but it seems that he has concluded that he may be better off in rallying and has now entered a private Subaru in the upcoming New Zealand Rally.

ROUSH SIGNS RAGAN - NO ROOM FOR VILLENEUVE?

Jack Roush has announced that 20-year-old David Ragan is to take over from Mark Martin in Roush Racing's AAA-sponsored Ford Fusion next year. This means that an opportunity that had been open to former F1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve is now closed as Roush now has a full five-car team in the Nextel Cup.

ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM

The Motor Sport Business Forum in Monaco on December 6-7 December is shaping up into a big event with over 300 delegates from all over the world.

11 OCTOBER 2006

THE PROBLEM WITH DEFINITIONS

The rules of the sport, shrouded as they are in the confidential Concorde Agreement, are often difficult to pin down because one can find out about one clause in the agreement and yet not know about another. The question of designing cars for others is a complicated one.

BRIATORE AND THE RAG TRADE

Renault F1 boss Flavio Briatore came to Formula 1 having spent several years opening Benetton stores in the United States of America. In his time there Briatore opened something like 800 stores, which were all run by franchise-holders.

BRISCOE GETS RUSPORT DRIVE

Australia's Ryan Briscoe will pilot a Rusport Champ Car in Surfer's Paradise, Australia on October 22 and in Mexico City on November 12. He will be replacing the injured Cristiano da Matta and partnering Justin Wilson.

THE QUESTION OF FUJI VERSUS SUZUKA

There is no question that Formula 1 people like to visit the Suzuka Circuit. They have been visiting for 20 years. They know the place. They like the non-intrusive nature of the Japanese fans and the, despite Ron Dennis complaining about having a smelly hotel room, most people are happy to be there.

TURKS TO APPEAL

The Turkish Automobile Sports Federation (TOSFED) has appealed the decision of the FIA World Motor Sport Council on September 19 and will be heard by the FIA International Court of Appeal in Paris on November 7.

9 OCTOBER 2006

RACE REPORT - A FUNNY OLD WORLD

One day perhaps some worthy sociologist will write a dissertation to explain what happened in the Media Centre at Suzuka when Michael Schumacher's Ferrari blew its engine during the Japanese Grand Prix of 2006. There was a roar of approval. A loud roar...

A REWARD FOR DUPASQUIER

Pierre Dupasquier is to be honoured in December with his appointment to France's Legion d'Honneur for his services to French motorsport.

RACING HERE AND THERE

While F1 was busy in Japan, the NASCAR teams were at Talladega where there was drama and controversy as Hendrick Motorsport driver Brian Vickers (soon to depart to join Red Bull) won his first Nextel Cup victory on the last lap when he tapped his team mate into an accident.

RENAULT UP TO INTERESTING THINGS

Renault UK has recently changed managing-directors with Philippe Talou-Derible disappearing off to France after five years in the UK. His new job is to become commercial director of Renault Sport Technologies.

GLOCK TO TEST FOR BMW IN DECEMBER

BMW had been considering running Timo Glock as a test driver in races this year but the German driver injured his wrist in the final round of the GP2 Series in Monza and has been out of action ever since.

RED BULL RACING EXPANDING

We hear from our spies in Milton Keynes that Red Bull Racing has now acquired a building adjacent to the current factory and is planning to expand its operations.

8 OCTOBER 2006

RACE NOTES - ALONSO WINS JAPANESE GP

Japanese GP - Race Notes

SUNDAY PHOTOS

Japanese GP - Sunday Photos

SUNDAY PRESS CONFERENCE

Japanese GP - Sunday Press Conference

SUNDAY TEAM QUOTES

Japanese GP - Sunday Team Quotes

RACE INCIDENTS

Japanese GP - Race Incidents

RACE RESULTS

Japanese GP - Race Results

7 OCTOBER 2006

QUALIFYING REPORT - BLACK ROUND RUBBER MAGIC AND A FEW PR STUNTS

Bridgestone gave Michelin a drubbing in qualifying for the Japanese GP at Suzuka - and there is little sign that the French tyres will be much better than that on the longer runs in the race.

SATURDAY PHOTOS

Japanese GP - Saturday Photos

ORANGE SEES RED

There are some advantages in speaking a minority language - the main one being that only a small number of people understand when you say rude things about someone else. In Formula 1 Dutch is not spoken much - although the small contingent of Dutchmen and women in F1 seem to use the language rather a lot.

SATURDAY PRESS CONFERENCE

Japanese GP - Saturday Press Conference

SATURDAY TEAM QUOTES

Japanese GP - Saturday Team Quotes

WAS MASSA IMPEDING ALONSO?

After qualifying in Suzuka Renault F1 boss Flavio Briatore attacked Ferrari's number two driver Felipe Massa, accusing him of blocking Fernando Alonso for a number of laps at the start of the final Q3 qualifying session.

SHELL TO UP ITS PROFILE IN THE UNITED STATES

GM Goodwrench is believed to be cutting back on its NASCAR sponsorship of Richard Childress Racing at the end of the current season.

ROUSH CONFIRMS VILLENEUVE TALKS

Jack Roush has confirmed that his team is talking to Jacques Villeneuve.

QUALIFYING RESULTS

Japanese GP - Qualifying Results

COMMENTATING AT SPA

The return of Formula 1 to Spa-Francorchamps next season is going to bring to joy to Belgian Formula 1 fans - but already there are complaints about the track from the TV commentators.

PRACTICE 3 REPORT - MICHAEL ON TOP IN SUNNY SUZUKA

The rains that have dogged Formula 1 in China and Japan finally cleared on Friday with the Suzuka circuit bathed in sunshine, even if there was a very strong wind blowing across the track. The morning session saw no major incident and was dominated by Michael Schumacher's Ferrari, which set a fastest lap of 1m30.653s.

PRACTICE 3 RESULTS

Japanese GP - Practice 3 Results

THE RULES SO FAR

There is a certain amount of confusion in Formula 1 circles about some of the plans for next season with particular fogginess in relation to testing, third cars and so on.

MONTOYA GETS IT ON WITH THE ARCA BOYS

Juan Pablo Montoya may not have won on his ARCA debut at Talladega but he certainly had the fans talking as he led the first 10 laps of the race before being overtaken by Bobby Gerhart.

MEAN KLIEN HONDA MACHINE?

The continuous presence of Johannes Klien, Christian's father and manager, with the Honda F1 team in Shanghai and Suzuka suggests has led to suggestions that the Austrian may end up in a test driver role next year with the team.

6 OCTOBER 2006

PRACTICE 2 REPORT - THE DANCE OF THE SECOND DRIVERS

The second practice session for the Japanese GP took place with a drying track and the hope that the rains that have blighted the Suzuka region thus far have finally cleared and the rest of the weekend will be dry and perhaps even sunny.

FRIDAY PHOTOS

Japanese GP - Friday Photos

FRIDAY PRESS CONFERENCE

Japanese GP - Friday Press Conference

FRIDAY TEAM QUOTES

Japanese GP - Friday Team Quotes

MONTOYA SECOND ON THE GRID

Juan Pablo Montoya has qualified second for the ARCA RE/MAX Series race at Talladega, behind veteran Bobby Gerhart, who lapped the track at 189.485mph. Montoya's speed was 189.451 mph - an impressive start for an oval racing newcomer.

PRACTICE 2 RESULTS

Japanese GP - Practice 2 Results

PRACTICE 1 REPORT - DAMP AND DULL

A wet session in Suzuka started the Japanese GP meeting off on a low note as only a dozen drivers were seen in action. Only four of the race drivers did more than one shakedown run and it was left to the test drivers to do the work.

PRACTICE 1 RESULTS

Japanese GP - Practice 1 Results

5 OCTOBER 2006

THURSDAY PRESS CONFERENCE

Japanese GP - Thursday Press Conference

SILLY STORIES

Fernando Alonso does not seem to be such a happy man at the moment but the Spaniard knows that there are just two races to go in the World Championship and then he can take a well-earned rest and start to think about his future with McLaren.

HILL OPENS NEW FACILITY AT SILVERSTONE

Damon Hill, the president of the British Racing Drivers Club, has opened a new conference centre at Silverstone, the facility is part of the Silverstone Innovation Centre.

MONTOYA FOURTH FASTEST IN FIRST ARCA PRACTICE AT TALLADEGA

F1 refugee Juan Pablo Montoya will race today in the Food World 250 at Talladega Superspeedway and began his stock car career with a lap of 191.765mph in a draft with four other drivers.

DC THE DOYEN

Michael Schumacher's retirement and the disappearances of Jacques Villeneuve and Juan Pablo Montoya mean that the older generation of F1 drivers has been cropped back considerably and the next man to feel the heat of impending retirement is none other than David Coulthard.

WHY SPYKER HAS BACKING FROM LEASEPLAN

The Spyker MF1 team has announced a three-year sponsorship with Leaseplan, a Dutch car leasing business. This is no surprise at all because of the style in which the the team is now doing its deals.

WEBER WINS

Michael Schumacher's manager Willi Weber has won substantial damages for libel in a judgement in the High Court against Business F1 magazine.

ING CONFIRMS RENAULT TALKS

The Dutch financial company ING has confirmed that it is in talks about the sponsorship of Renault.

WHY JEAN TODT SHOULD NOT PREACH ABOUT SPORTSMANSHIP

Jean Todt hinted after the Chinese Grand Prix that Ferrari would be watching Renault closely to see what tactics the team employed in the battle for the World Championship.

THE QUESTION OF CUSTOMER CARS

Sir Frank Williams thinks that Formula 1 is heading into a new fight over customer cars, saying that the plan to have cars on sale was not designed to allow big teams to expand their operations but was only agreed upon in order to help small teams survive.

THE END OF THE RENAULT DREAM?

Renault, Nissan and GM have terminated their discussions about a global alliance, bringing to an end the French company's hopes of propelling itself into the big league in America by effectively taking over the management of General Motors.

4 OCTOBER 2006

NASCAR GETS MONTREAL DATE

NASCAR is taking its Busch Series to Montreal next season with a race planned on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on August 4, two months after the Formula 1 cars run there.

ZUBER TOPS GP2 TESTS AT PAUL RICARD

Andreas Zuber, the Dubai-based Austrian, topped the timesheets of a major GP2 test at Paul Ricard as a new generation of GP2 drivers began testing for the first time. Zuber, driving for iSport International, was two-tenths faster than Giorgio Pantano, who is now with Campos Racing.

RENAULT AND ING

While there has been talk of a deal between Renault and Dutch bank ABN Amro, we hear that it is far more likely that Renault will do a big deal with rival bank ING. We hear that the basis of a deal is done and that it could be worth as much as $50m a year for five years.

ABN AMRO AND RENAULT

There have been rumours in recent days about the Dutch bank ABN Amro becoming the title sponsor of the Renault F1 team. These have been denied - and that is not a surprise as ABN Amro is involved in F1 for different reasons

LOSSES MOUNT IN MELBOURNE

The Australian Grand Prix lost $15.6m in 2006, according to the financial results presented to the Victorian state parliament on Wednesday.

JACQUES TO JOIN ROUSH?

There are reports from Italy that Jacques Villeneuve has signed a deal with Jack Roush to race for the Roush Racing organisation in NASCAR.

3 OCTOBER 2006

LIUZZI GOES BACK TO HIS ROOTS

Tonio Liuzzi was a great kart racer in his day, winning the World Super A Championship in 2001 - beating none other than Michael Schumacher in the final race of the year at Schumacher's own home track at Kerpen.

MINARDI MOVING ON UP

Although Paul Stoddart still owns the rights to the name Minardi F1, Giancarlo Minardi is moving back up the motor racing ladder and has just merged its Euro 3000 operation with the Piquet Sports GP2 team.

WHELDON STILL HOPING FOR F1?

We hear that Dan Wheldon is still looking for a way to break into Formula 1 and could be seen testing for one of the F1 teams in the course of the winter months.

TODT AND THE QUESTION OF RED BULL ENGINES

Ferrari team boss Jean Todt always like to appear to be the controlling force in whatever he does but that is not always the case. The current negotiations between Ferrari and Red Bull over engines for 2007 are a good example of this.

2 OCTOBER 2006

RACE REPORT - SCHU'S BALLET

Chinese GP - Race Report

DAVIDSON FOR SUPER AGURI F1

Anthony Davidson is expected to be confirmed later this week in Tokyo as one of the drivers of Super Aguri F1 for 2007. The 27-year-old British driver has been a test driver with BAR since 2001.

THE CHASE GOES ON

The Chase to the NASCAR Nextel Cup continued on Sunday at Kansas Speedway where Tony Stewart, who is not in the running for the title, won the race, crossing the finish line at reduced pace as he eked out the last vapours in his fuel tank after a risky fuel strategy.

SOUTH KOREA CONFIRMS

As we reported last week, Bernie Ecclestone flew off to South Korea after the Chinese Grand Prix and on Monday was in Seoul to sign a seven-year contract for there to be a Formula 1 Grand Prix at the planned "Korean International Circuit" in the south western province of South Cholla.

ANTONUCCI IS WORLD CHAMPION!

The karting clans gathered at the weekend at Angerville in France for the CIK-FIA Karting World Championship and victory in the Formula A category went to Vortex team's Francesco Antonucci in a Tony Kart ahead of a similar machine run by the Tony Kart team for veteran Davide Fore.

AUSTRALIA STUBS OUT TOBACCO

A total ban on tobacco advertising and sponsorship came into force in Australia on October 1. With immediate effect the Australian Health Minister no longer has the discretion to grant international and cultural sporting events an exemption from the country's tobacco advertising prohibition laws.

DRAMATIC TIMES AT GRANDPRIX.COM

Our loyal readers across the world will have noticed that for the last 18 hours we have been unable to bring you our usual service news and views. This was not due to sabotage from unhappy racing people who do not like to hear too much of the truth - although there are a few suspects who might have considered the idea.

1 OCTOBER 2006

RACE NOTES - SCHUMACHER WINS CHINESE GP

Chinese GP - Race Notes

SUNDAY PHOTOS

Chinese GP - Sunday Photos

SUNDAY PRESS CONFERENCE

Chinese GP - Sunday Press Conference

SUNDAY TEAM QUOTES

Chinese GP - Sunday Team Quotes

RACE INCIDENTS

Chinese GP - Race Incidents

RACE RESULTS

Chinese GP - Race Results