NEWS ARCHIVE

28 FEBRUARY 2007

DANY BAHAR JOINS FERRARI?

The word on the street in Formula 1 circles is that Red Bull Racing's guiding hand Dany Bahar has departed the Austrian drinks company to take a top job at Ferrari. Bahar has acted as Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz's right hand man in recent years.

DUBAI FIRM TO BORROW $1.6BN TO DEVELOP F1 THEME PARKS

The Dubai-based Union Properties says it is going to borrow $1.6bn from banks in order to finance the construction of a series of Formula 1 theme parks around the world. The company says that the first park will be in Dubai but that others will follow in Europe and in Asia.

OH LORD, HERE COME THE NEXT DO-GOODERS

It has long been feared in motor racing circles that as soon as tobacco was out of the way the world's do-gooders would turn their attention to attacking alcohol advertising because they believe that alcohol is bad if one drinks too much of it. This is not rocket science.

A SPECIAL OFFER FOR GRANDPRIX.COM READERS

Grandprix.com is delighted to be able to offer its readers a very special offer: the last chance to buy one of the remaining first edition copies of "The Grand Prix Saboteurs".

27 FEBRUARY 2007

ALESI TO RACE IN NEW STOCK CAR SERIES

Former F1 and DTM racer Jean Alesi is the first big name drivers to sign up to race in the Speedcar Series, a series which will take place on tracks in Asia and the Middle East for 24 identical cars.

FIA PUSHES BACK 2010 REGULATIONS

The FIA has decided to push back new ideas it was planning for 2010 because it wants to discuss the new plans for engines in 2011 and coordinate these with the ideas under discussion.

HOLDEN TO RACE - FOR THE MOMENT

The Holden Racing Team will be on the grid at this week's Clipsal 500 in Adelaide after having accepted an ultimatum from Touring Car Entrants Group Australia (TEGA) to resolve its outstanding control and ownership issues.

WATER IN MELBOURNE

It seems that every year at this time the Australian Grand Prix runs into problems with water which is used to make Albert Park look green and the clean up the track. Australia has been suffering from drought in recent months and there is controversy about taking water from the (artificial) lake in order to clean the track.

26 FEBRUARY 2007

HONDA BECOMES A CHARITABLE INSTITUTION

Honda Racing F1 is not only going green but iss also inviting organisations and people to make a donation to an environmental charity and thus appear on the F1 car.

GOODBYE TURN 13?

Indianapolis's Turn 13 - Turn 1 in reverse in speedway parlance - is a corner which has challenged Formula 1 drivers in recent years. With high speeds, a banked track and no run-off area there are have been some sizeable accidents there - usually involving Ralf Schumacher.

THE CLOCK IS TICKING FOR TW

With just a few days before the V8 Supercar series gets underway in Australia with Adelaide's Clipsal 500, there is still no official clarification as to whether or not Holden will be allowed to race.

25 FEBRUARY 2007

HONDA "WE ARE THE WORLD"

The new Honda livery will be a striking green and blue "map of the world", which has been designed to underline Honda's desire to be seen as an ecologically friendly car company.

OH YES, AND TORO ROSSO CONFIRMS SPEED

The Red Bull philosophy of guerrilla marketing may work in the bars and clubs, where the Austrian drink sells well to the younger generations, but in Formula 1 circles some of the antics sometimes pass way over the heads of the F1 crowd.

24 FEBRUARY 2007

FURTHER TWEAKS IN MARANELLO

The Ferrari team has been making a few final changes to its management structure in recent days with the news that Nigel Stepney is leaving the race team and will now have the title of Head of Team Performance Development.

23 FEBRUARY 2007

A STAR OF A DIFFERENT KIND AT PAUL RICARD

Paul Ricard is widely acclaimed as being the best test track in the world and it has now added an additional bonus point with the news that the Hotel du Castellet, which is run by the circuit, has been granted a Michelin star for its restaurant, the MonteCristo.

YOSHIMOTO GOES HOME

Hiroki Yoshimoto, the Japanese driver who has raced GP2 Series with BCN Competition for the last two seasons, has decided to return home to Japan in 2007 to race in the Formula Nippon Championship.

22 FEBRUARY 2007

EX-F1 MEN LIKELY TO DOMINATE GP2

The former F1 men Pantano, Glock and Pizzonia appear to be shaping up to be the big challengers in GP2 this year.

RUMOURS OF ALTERNATION

The British and the French Grands Prix are both under pressure at the moment - even if the British Racing Drivers' Club at Silverstone seems to be blissfully unaware that Bernie Ecclestone was not kidding when he said that work must be done before the track will be granted a new contract after the current deal runs out in 2009.

US RECOGNITION FOR MEHL

The American habit of creating halls of fame has had little impact in Europe but it is interesting to note that Goodyear's longtime F1 boss Leo Mehl has recently been named as a member of the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America.

A LOSS FOR RED BULL RACING

The departure from Red Bull Racing of head of development Anton Stipinovich is a blow for the team, not least because it shows that beneath the cheerful surface all is not necessarily wonderful.

BCN SIGNS RISATTI

Enrique Scalabroni has signed up fellow Argentine Ricardo Risatti as his second driver in GP2 this year. Risatti will partner former Super Aguri F1 racer Sakon Yamamoto. Risatti is 20 year old and won the Spanish Formula 3 championship.

FERRARI DOING FINE

The Ferrari car company is doing very well financially at the moment, having just announced a profit of $240m for the last financial year, an improvement of 16% on last year's numbers.

MCLAREN TAKES BRANDING MORE SERIOUSLY

McLaren has long been keen to have the right brand image but has now decided to go to a professional brand manager to achieve its goals and has hired John Allert to a new position as Head of Group Brands.

VERSTAPPEN STAYS HOME (AGAIN)

Jos Verstappen's planned comeback in Champ Car seems to have died a death. The Dutchman had announced plans to be racing in the US series in 2007 but negotiations failed to secure him a drive.

21 FEBRUARY 2007

DAVID RICHARDS ADDS TO THE INTEREST

David Richards is working on a deal to buy Aston Martin. The bid is in league with yet-to-be revealed financiers, including an Egyptian investment bank. Aston Martin is being auctioned off by Ford, despite the fact that it is profitable.

20 FEBRUARY 2007

ANOTHER IDEA THAT DID NOT HAPPEN IN F1

Formula 1 knows how to make money but there is not much obvious creative thinking going on at at the centre of the sport as NASCAR continues to push the envelope and look for new ways to sell itself to new fans.

RUMOURS ABOUT MCLAREN

There are still rumours knocking around about the future of McLaren, despite the fact that a large share of the company was recently sold to Mumtalakat, a Bahraini government-owned holding company.

SCANDALS IN AUSTRALIA

Tom Walkinshaw is a name that has drifted out of the F1 scene in recent years but Walkinshaw, the former owner of Arrows, has been busying himself with other things, notably in the V8 Supercar series in Australia.

VILLENEUVE MAKES IT CLEAR THAT NASCAR IS HIS FUTURE

Jacques Villeneuve launched his first record the other day in Montreal and his manager Craig Pollock used the event to underline that Villeneuve's aim is to finish his racing career with success in as many different championships as possible.

19 FEBRUARY 2007

SHELL PACKS UP AND GOES HOME

The Shell Ferrari advertisement is not going quite as well as had been planned. Motorsport News (Australia) last week reported that the world's most expensive ad hit a hitch in Sydney.

WHELDON WORKS THE GARAGES

Indycar star Dan Wheldon was spotted at the Daytona 500 doing the rounds of the pit garages chatting to teams about the future. Wheldon, who is racing for Target Chip Ganassi Racing this year, is keen to move into NASCAR in the future

WHY RENAULT LEFT THE GPMA?

Last week produced a bit of a mystery over why Renault decided to quit the GPMA rather than letting the now-redundant organisation fade away gracefully.

18 FEBRUARY 2007

HARVICK TAKES DAYTONA 500 VICTORY

Kevin Harvick, driving a Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet, passed Mark Martin on the outside on the final lap and crossed the finish line 2/100's of a second ahead to win his first Daytona 500.

FERRARI RUNNING IN MONACO TODAY?

Residents of Monaco might be excused for checking their calendars today, when they awoke to the sounds of a Ferrari F1 car in the streets of the principality.

16 FEBRUARY 2007

RENAULT QUITS THE GPMA - DOES IT REALLY MATTER?

The Grand Prix Manufacturers Association has had a serious problem in the last few weeks: there is no reason for it to exist.

DAIMLER AND CHRYSLER

The moves will not affect Formula 1 but it is interesting to note nonetheless that DaimlerChrysler is rumoured to be on the verge of announcing that it will be selling its unprofitable Chrysler unit.

15 FEBRUARY 2007

SUMMING UP TESTING SO FAR

These are difficult times for Formula 1 fans with lap times in testing sending out complicated, confusing and sometimes deliberately misleading results. One day the Red Bull-Renault is down the back of the time sheets, the next it is fastest.

14 FEBRUARY 2007

NEW TECHNOLOGY OF ANOTHER SORT

Williams F1 has been named a member of a consortium that will provide computer technology to create a new generation of aerospace, automotive and marine transportation systems which will be more efficient and more environmentally-friendly.

NEW TECHNOLOGY OF A SORT

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes has done a deal with the Kuortane Sports Institute in Finland in order to take a more scientific approach to the preparation of drivers in Formula 1.

RENAULT'S NEW KIDS

For five years, the Renault Driver Development Programme has been trying to nurture new talent for Formula 1 and this year Heikki Kovalainen is racing with Renault F1, having been guided from 2002 in the RDD programme.

13 FEBRUARY 2007

ROSSI AND FIAT - BUT IS THAT REALLY FERRARI?

A big announcement is expected in the motorcycle world in the next couple of days, with FIAT becoming the title sponsor of the Yamaha MotoGP team. The deal is believed to be for several years and is rumoured to be worth as much as $50m.

TORO ROSSO CONFIRMS LIUZZI BUT SPEED HAS TO WAIT

Scuderia Toro Rosso has confirmed that Vitantonio Liuzzi will remain with the team this season, but Scott Speed is still waiting because of "contractual issues" that need to be sorted out.

12 FEBRUARY 2007

GENE SUGGESTS DIESELS FOR F1

Marc Gene has been having a taste of competitive diesel engines in recent weeks as he tests for the Peugeot Le Mans 24 Hours programme and the Ferrari test driver says that he cannot see any reason why the engines could not be used in Formula 1 in the future.

THE SPA TEST GETS THE GO-AHEAD

There have been discussions in recent days about a Formula 1 test at Spa and the word is that this has now been given the go-aheead with the teams heading to Belgium immediately after the British GP for three days of running.

WHILE PARIS LOOKS BACKWARDS

This week sees the opening of the annual Retromobile show, the world's foremost classic car show, with much excitement planned including an exhibition of F1 fan Nick Mason's personal car collection, a celebration of 99 years on Peugeot in competition, plus a major auction hosted by Christie's.

THE ACTION HOTS UP IN BARCELONA

After a few quiet days for Formula 1, the teams were back in action first thing on Monday morning with 10 teams in Barcelona for the next major test of the winter.

A LINK TO A RIVAL WEBSITE

We don't do this very often but we highly recommend that you go to visit www.pitpass.com today in order to see what they make of Joe Saward's new book The Grand Prix Saboteurs.

8 FEBRUARY 2007

NASCAR INVADING F1 SPACE

The Formula One does not have the same imagination as those creative souls in NASCAR. The US stock car series may not have any races outside North America but they recognise an opportunity when it comes along and has offered members of the Royal Shakespeare Company the chance to experience the thrill of NASCAR.

ING GOING THE FULL NINE YARDS

Renault F1 sponsor ING has understood that for its size it is not well known around the world and it is planning to use F1 to fix that problem. Not content with having its livvery all over the two Renaults and the two drivers, the Dutch finance house is going to have a major presence on the trackside signage as well,

7 FEBRUARY 2007

ST PETERSBURG BIDS FOR A GRAND PRIX (AGAIN)

Russia's Sports Minister Viatcheslav Fetisov, once a celebrated ice hockey player with two Olympic gold medals to his name, has been heavily involved with plans to stage a Grand Prix in the city of St Petersburg.

A PUGNACIOUS MR KOLLES

Colin Kolles, the boss of the Spyker F1 team, was in fighting form at the launch of the team's new car on Monday at Silverstone. Kolles is upset at the suggestion that the Toro Rosso and Super Aguri F1 cars will be little more than customer versions of the Red Bull and Honda chassis.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS - WILLIAMS IS QUICK

The testing at Jerez on Tuesday gave Williams the first opportunity to show off the new FW29 and the times at the end of the first day suggest that the car is pretty competitive. Alexander Wurz finished the day having completed 73 laps with a best time of 1m20.035s, just a fraction slower than Pedro de la Rosa's McLaren.

6 FEBRUARY 2007

A LITTLE SPECULATION ABOUT DONINGTON PARK

Tom Wheatcroft had a dream when he first acquired Donington Park in 1973. As a youngster he had watched the Donington Grands Prix of the 1930s, in which the great German racing teams had competed, and he wanted to see Grand Prix cars back at what is Britain's oldest surviving racing circuit.

THERE IS MORE TO THIS THAN MEETS THE EYE

The news that Giedo Van der Garde is switching his allegiance from Super Aguri F1 to Spyker makes very little sense on the face of it - but there is obviously rather more to it all behind the scenes.

5 FEBRUARY 2007

SPYKER'S NEW CAR

The Spyker F1 team unveiled its F8-VII design on Monday at Silverstone with a complicated explanation about how the car ended up with its designation, although beneath the new orange livery is aa car that owes much to the old Midland M16.

THE MEN BEHIND DONINGTON'S NEW PLANS

Lee Gill and Simon Gillett are the new owners of Donington Park. They come from very diverse backgrounds with Gill having spent much of his career at Marks & Spencer PLC, where he held several executive positions, working mainly in the supply chain.

THE NEW KIDS TO WATCH FOR IN 2007

ASM has announced its full four-driver line-up for the Formula 3 Euroseries with Kamui Kobayashi and Nico Hulkenberg being joined by Romain Grosjean and Tom Dillmann. The pressure will be on the four men as the team has now won the title for the last three years with Jamie Green, Lewis Hamilton and Paul di Resta.

DONINGTON IS SOLD

Donington Park has been acquired in its entirety by a new company called Donington Ventures Leisure Ltd (DVLL). This company was founded last year by Simon Gillett and Lee Gill, who say that they intend to develop the racing circuit and to widen the appeal of the facility in other leisure and entertainment activities.

HONDA'S WILY WAYS

Marco Andretti will be back in an F1 Honda this week in Jerez and with grandfather, former F1 World Champion Mario Andretti, expected to attend the test to see his grandson in action, one has to ask what in the world is going on.

A DOUBLE DUTCH SIGNING

Today, no doubt, we will learn more about the history behind Spyker signing up Dutchman Giedo Van der Garde, when he had already been announced as a Super Aguri F1 test driver.

3 FEBRUARY 2007

ABU DHABI CONFIRMS 2009

As we exclusively reported two weeks ago. Abu Dhabi will host a Grand Prix in 2009 on a new racing circuit on Yas Island which will combine a 1.8-mile permanent circuit with a special 1.5-mile section running through a built-up area and around a marina.

2 FEBRUARY 2007

MARCO ANDRETTI BACK IN ACTION FOR HONDA F1

Marco Andretti will be back in action again with Honda F1 next week in Jerez. It will be second test for the young American and the word is that this time he will be accompanied to the test by his grandfather, former F1 World Champion Mario Andretti.

WILLIAMS AIMS FOR BETTER DAYS

AT&T Williams launched its Williams-Toyota FW29 this morning at the team factory at Grove in Oxfordshire with the announcement of a major new long term sponsorship with Lenovo, a global leader in the international PC market.

WILLIAMS CONFIRMS LENOVO

Williams F1 has pulled off a major coup by signing up Lenovo as a major new sponsor. Lenovo is the third largest personal computer company in the world but is little known as the brand was only a minor player before it acquired the PC businesses of IBM in May 2005.

1 FEBRUARY 2007

A BIG DAY FOR WILLIAMS

The Williams team will be launching its new car tomorrow and, if rumours are to be believed, it will also bre announcing the start of a big new sponsorship deal with the Chinese computer Lenovo.

NIGEL STEPNEY AND FERRARI

Nigel Stepney has not left Ferrari yet and the chances are that he may still stay with the team, where he has been for the last 13 years, overseeing the team and making sure that everything runs smoothly.

SO MUCH FOR THE TOBLERONE FERRARI

The idea that Philip Morris might use food brands for its Formula 1 sponsorship was always a little tenuous but now it seems even less likely with the news that the company is finally planning to spin off its food operations, operating as Kraft Foods, in order to leave both companies in a better position to expand.