NEWS ARCHIVE

28 DECEMBER 2007

THOUGHTS AS THE NEW YEAR BECKONS

Formula 1 goes in 2008 with a curiously contradictory image: things are going well, despite the sport's best efforts to be self-destructive. The success of Lewis Hamilton was such a great story that it put F1 back onto the front pages across the world.

21 DECEMBER 2007

DEUTSCHE TELEKOM TO JOIN BMW?

There are reports that Deutsche Telekom is to join the BMW Sauber F1 team in 2008. This makes complete sense as the team does not have a telecommunications sponsor at the moment.

SHNAIDER BUYING INTO SOCCER

There are reports that former F1 team owner Alex Shnaider si bidding to acquire for the Israeli football team Maccabi Tel Aviv.

THE END OF THE YEAR

The Formula 1 manufacturing teams will be continuing their work over the Christmas period but most of those involved in the racing will now take the opportunity to take some time off. This is no bad thing.

17 DECEMBER 2007

THE RENAULT TRANSCRIPT

The FIA has published the transcript of the Renault espionage case. Unfortunately it is 77 pages in length and unlike the two McLaren decisions cannot be cut and pasted in order to quickly extract the interesting sections. We recommend that people read the entire thing.

16 DECEMBER 2007

FISICHELLA SIGNED FOR FORCE INDIA?

There has yet to be any official indication but the French website AutoMoto365.com is reporting that Giancarlo Fisichella has been signed to drive for the Force India F1 team in 2008.

15 DECEMBER 2007

FORMER F1 TEAM BOSS IN SOME DIFFICULTY

Prince Malik Ado Ibrahim was once a part owner of the Arrows Formula 1 team. Now the Nigerian is in big trouble in the United States of America where he had hoped to create a motor racing empire after his F1 adventures came to an end.

DO YOU WANT TO OWN YOUR OWN FORMULA 1 CAR?

PF1 is a company that has been established to market and maintain post-2000 Formula 1 cars for wealthy racing enthusiasts and to bring the price of owning and maintaining recent F1 machinery down to the same sort of level as roadgoing supercars – but with the additional benefit of greater exclusivity and less depreciation.

WHAT? NO TRANSCRIPT?

The FIA World Motor Sport Council decision against McLaren back in September resulted in a transcript of the affair being published six days after the ruling was made, to show the world the fairness and transparency of the process.

14 DECEMBER 2007

MCLAREN SIGNS KOVALAINEN

McLaren-Mercedes has announced that the team has signed Heikki Kovalainen to partner Lewis Hamilton for the 2008 season.

FAT LADY SINGS IN MCLAREN AFFAIR?

They say that the show is not over until the fat lady sings. Or perhaps screeches would be a better description. Certainly in the F1 spying affair the final screech from McLaren sounds like one of pain. The newspapers will all scream their headlines that McLaren has admitted to this and to that. The FIA has won the day. The men in silver-grey are the bad guys.

RAHAL TO DRIVE BMW SAUBER IN LAS VEGAS

Graham Rahal will fulfill a lifelong dream when he drives a Formula 1 car for the first time from January 7-10 at the BMW Sauber F1 Team Pit Lane Park in Las Vegas. The younger Rahal, son of three-time Indy Car/CART champion Bobby Rahal, will drive the BMW Sauber F1 car in a series of exhibition runs in Las Vegas in support of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

BLOWING OUR OWN TRUMPET

Formula 1 journalists do not get much recognition for their work so it is with much satisfaction that we can report that grandprix.com's chief editor Joe Saward and regular contributor David Tremayne have been recognised for their work by the Guild of Motoring Writers.

13 DECEMBER 2007

HULKENBERG JOINS WILLIAMS

The AT&T Williams team has announced that it has signed 20-year-old Nico Hulkenberg as its team’s official test driver for 2008. The German tested for the team last week in Jerez and did a good enough job to be signed up.

FORUM WRAP-UP

The Motorsport Business Forum welcomed a record 540 participants from 35 countries, including Formula 1 team principals, motor racing stakeholders, major global sponsors.

11 DECEMBER 2007

MORE ABOUT A RACE AT VERSAILLES

The future of the French Grand Prix will be considered by the French government shortly and more information has been coming to light about plans to establish the race in the commune of Versailles at the Camp de Satory. This is on a plateau to the south of Versailles, on the south side of the N12, which is one of the major roads on the south side of Paris.

10 DECEMBER 2007

BRUNDLE MAKES A POINT

The FIA announced on Thursday that it is taking legal action against The Sunday Times newspaper over comments made in September by the paper's columnist Martin Brundle. The former F1 driver, World Sports Car Champion and influential television pundit is not about to back down and in his column on Sunday attacked the World Council decision in the Renault espionage case and the legal action against the newspaper.

ALONSO AND PIQUET FOR RENAULT, KOVALAINEN ON THE MOVE

The ING Renault F1 Team has announced that double World Champion Fernando Alonso will drive alongside Brazilian rookie Nelson Piquet Jr in 2008. The pair will be supported by Frenchman Romain Grosjean, the reigning 2007 Formula 3 Euroseries Champion who will be the team's test driver.

THE FIA RESPONDS

The FIA has responded to a column written by Martin Brundle in The Sunday Times saying that it was regrettable that instead of applauding the achievements of motor sport's champions, who were presented with their prizes af a gala prize dinner in Monaco on Friday, Brundle "chose to continue his campaign against motor sport's governing body".

RAFAEL SPERAFICO KILLED AT INTERLAGOS

Rafael Sperafico, one of a family of racers from Brazil, has been killed in an accident at Interlagos. The cousin of racing twins Ricardo and Rodrigo and also a relation of Alexandre, Sperafico was taking part in a Stock Car Light series race, featuring space-frame chassis under production bodyshells.

ROSBERG AT WILLIAMS UNTIL THE END OF 2009

Nico Rosberg has signed a new contract with Williams F1, thus ending all speculation that he will move to rival McLaren in 2008. The 22-year-old German had a contract until the end of next year with a Williams option beyond that, if the team performed to a certain level.

7 DECEMBER 2007

STRATEGIES, PHILOSOPHIES AND THE USE OF POWER

The Formula 1 teams have all invested a great deal of money in building the infrastructure necessary to compete at the top of Formula 1. The investment in most of the teams runs to a minimum of $300m and in most cases considerably more.

ANALYSING THE RENAULT DECISION

The World Council has now published its decision in detail explaining why Renault was not punished for having been found to be in breach of Article 151(c) of the International Sporting Code, which prohibits "any fraudulent conduct or any act prejudicial to the interests of any competition or to the interests of motor sport generally".

DRIVER DECISIONS AT FORCE INDIA F1

The Force India F1 team is in the process of trying to figure out who should drive next year after running a whole list of candidates in the last few weeks. The team does not need money so that the rent-a-drivers have (thankfully) faded out of the picture.

THE WORLD COUNCIL SAYS

The FIA World Motor Sport Council made the following decisions in Monaco: McLaren will continue to be scrutinised until the next World Council meeting on February 14 at which Ferrari, McLaren and others will be allowed to make representations to the World Council. This means that the threat of action against McLaren remains in place.

THE FULL WORLD COUNCIL DECISION

The full World Council decision against Renault has now been published.

A NEW CIRCUIT IN PORTUGAL

There has been talk for some time about an international racing circuit at Portimao on Portugal's southern coast. The promoters of the idea were at the Motorsport Business Forum in Monaco to give more information about the track and to show the world that work has already begun on the construction of the complex.

COMPARISONS BETWEEN THE RENAULT AND MCLAREN CASES

The decision by the FIA World Council in September to fine McLaren $100m and take away all the team's Constructors' World Championship points and the decision yesterday not to give Renault any punishment despite very similar charges will lead to much analysis of the differences between the two cases as it is hard to understand why one warrants a massive penalty - the biggest in the history of any sport - and the other warrants no action at all.

6 DECEMBER 2007

SIR JACKIE SPEAKS OUT

Before the FIA World Council met and decided not to punish Renault, Sir Jackie Stewart was the keynote speaker on the second day of the Motorsport Business Forum in Monaco.

WAITING FOR JUSTIFICATION

The FIA World Council has ruled that Renault was guilty of the charge that the team was in breach of Article of 151c of the International Sporting Code - but decided to impose no penalty.

FIA IMPOSES NO PENALTY ON RENAULT

The meeting of the FIA World Motor Sport Council has ended today in Monaco, and the FIA has issued a release stating that Renault F1 was found to be in breach of article 151c of the International Sporting Code, but will not be imposing any penalty on the team.

5 DECEMBER 2007

THE NIGHT BEFORE THE WORLD COUNCIL

Thursday is going to be a highly-charged day in Formula 1 circles as the FIA World Council members gather in Monte Carlo to decide what to do about the espionage claims against Renault F1.

F1 GOING TO MOSCOW IN 2008

The Rotterdam Racing BV organisation is to take F1 to the streets of Moscow in 2008 with plans for an event on July 13, the weekend between the British and German Grands Prix. The plan is to create a street circuit around the Kremlin.

THEMES AT THE FORUM

The first day of the Motorsport Business Forum in Monaco provided some interesting insights into the way that Formula 1 is going and and how there needs to be some serious thinking about the future.

4 DECEMBER 2007

FORCE INDIA BEEFS UP ITS TECHNICAL TEAM

The Force India F1 team has hired Mark Smith and Ian Hall from Red Bull Racing and Toyota respectively. Smith will join the team as Design Director to work under the direction of Chief Technical Officer Mike Gascoyne and alongside Technical Director James Key.

3 DECEMBER 2007

SOMETHING THAT DID NOT HAPPEN

In any normal Formula 1 year we would have spent the day running through the official FIA Formula 1 entry to see if there could be anything gleaned from the list of teams and drivers. It is rare that there is much to be said but it gives the gossipmongers something solid to gossip about.

HULKENBERG TO TEST FOR WILLIAMS

Formula 3 Euroseries racer Nico Hulkenberg will test for Williams at Jerez in Spain this week. The young German, who won the German Formula BMW title made his first big impression in A1 Grand Prix and finished third in the Eurrocup F3 Series with the dominant ASM team.

V8 SUPERCARS FOR SINGAPORE?

The Australian V8 Supercars are reported to be bidding to be part of the programme at the Singapore Grand Prix in September 2009. V8 Supercars chairman Tony Cochrane has had discussions with the race organisers about having the V8 race during the day and the F1 cars at night.

A HAMILTON-FEST IN LONDON

It was no big surprise that the Autosport Awards were dominated by Lewis Hamilton. The youngster picked up three awards as Best International Racing Driver, Best British Competition Driver and Rookie of the Year.

2 DECEMBER 2007

BMW LOOKS AHEAD AND OVER ITS SHOULDER

BMW Motorsport announced that it will be testing Marko Asmer (23) and Javier Villa (20) at Jerez this week. The two will be competing to become the new reserve driver for the German company following the departures of Sebastian Vettel to Scuderia Toro Rosso and Timo Glock to Toyota.