NEWS ARCHIVE

30 JANUARY 2007

THE QUESTIONS OF CUSTOMER CARS

The question of customer cars is one that is convulsing Formula 1 at the moment, both in terms of the 2007 season; but also for 2008 and beyond.

VALLES TO JOIN SPYKER?

Spain's Adrian Valles, who has yet to do much in GP2, is tipped to be the man on the verge of being named as the Spyker test driver for 2007. If that turns out to be the case, there is little doubt that it was just a question of money, a situation which does not reflect awfully well on the team that is trying to build up its credibility.

A NEW FERRARI PHONE

Ferrari and Motorola have been working together for a while now and have just produced a nicely-understated Ferrari new phone, called the V6 Ferrari. Based on the hugely-successful MotoRazr Maxx mobile phone, the Ferrari version is a sleek black with the Ferrari shield logo.

FACE-SAVING IN THE MIDDLE EAST

Bahrain has extended its contract to host Formula 1 racing, possibly until 2019. The country was the first to embrace the sport and has enjoyed an exclusive deal to host a Grand Prix in the Gulf region for the last few years but now rivals are popping up.

29 JANUARY 2007

JPM WINS DAYTONA 24 HOURS

Juan Pablo Montoya has won the Daytona 24 Hours, sharing his Chip Ganassi Riley-Lexus with Scott Pruett and Salvador Duran. The former McLaren F1 driver was racing in the endurance as a one-off for his new employer Ganassi.

LADIES ...

Valentine's Day is coming

26 JANUARY 2007

FERRARI TO CLOSE DOWN LONDON!

The City of London is to be closed down next month to allow Shell to film a new TV commercial to promote its long-standing sponsorship of the Ferrari F1 team.

SWISS LOOKING FOR A NEW BROADCASTER

The Swiss TV station SRG has decided not to continue with its coverage of Formula 1 because it is not keen on paying the price increase of 6.5% being demanded by the Formula One group.

DOORNBOS AND AMERMUELLER BOTH NAMED AS RED BULL TESTERS

Robert Doornbos and Michael Ammermueller have both been named as Red Bull test drivers for 2007. It is expected that Doornbos will also pursue his career in the United States, which will allow Ammermueller to do testing work from time to time.

FORMULA 1 AT DAVOS

The World Economic Forum is the annual gathering of top business leaders, politicians and intellectuals at Davos in Switzerland. They meet to discuss social and economic problems in an informal atmosphere.

FERRARI BRANDING

Marlboro is not to seen in Formula 1 this year - at least not in name. The brand remains the primary sponsor of the Ferrari F1 team, on the basis that it has established such a strong visual brand in the course of the last 10 years that people will still relate the car to Marlboro, whether the name is there or not.

MIKA HAKKINEN STAYS AT MERCEDES

Mika Hakkinen has re-signed to drive for Mercedes-Benz in the DTM series for a third season. The 38-year-old former World Champion retired from Formula 1 at the end of the 2001 season after an 11-year career in the sport, including 20 race victories.

THE RED BULL RB3

The new Red Bull RB3, the team's first design involving Adrian Newey, was unveiled this morning in Barcelona with much excitement around the project, which the team hopes will propel it into the top ranks in Formula 1.

25 JANUARY 2007

HONDA UNVEILS THE NEW RA107

Honda has launched its new RA107 in a black and white testing livery, planning to get the maximum coverage by launching the car at this stage and the livery some time next month. The RA107 is, not surprisingly, a development of the same theme as the RA106.

24 JANUARY 2007

RUMINATIONS ON STREET RACING

When one considers the current trends in Formula 1 there is one that is beginning to emerge which is not at first obvious: racing seems to be heading for the streets, or at least circuits which are being built in urban areas to try to duplicate the excitement and atmosphere of street racing.

THE THOUGHTS OF BOB BELL

Renault's chassis technical director Bob Bell was in front of the microphones at the team launch in Amsterdam and as usual was full of interesting reflections on the sport.

RENAULT AIMS FOR FIVE F1 STREET EVENTS IN 2007

Renault 1 will be sending its road show to five cities in the course of the year ahead with provisional plans for events in Warsaw, Poland; Bucarest, Romania; Dubai, Cape Town, South Africa and Mexico City.

RENAULT LAUNCHES R27 WITH LONG-TERM COMMITMENT TO F1

The ING Renault F1 Team launched its new Formula 1 contender in Amsterdam with an all-new livery, an exciting new driver and a commitment to stay in the sport in the long term.

BRIATORE SAYS 2007 NOT A TRANSITION YEAR

Although Renault has been talking down its chances of success in 2007 in recent months, team boss Flavio Briatore says that he expects Renault to go on winning.

RENAULT LAUNCHES F1-BRANDED CLIO

Renault has launched an F1-branded Clio is an effort to maximise the value of its F1 programme.

LENOVO AND WILLIAMS (PART 2)

Reports coming out of China suggest that the Lenovo Group has announced a sponsorship deal with the Williams F1 team and that the team will carry heavy Lenovo branding.

23 JANUARY 2007

A COST-CUTTING IDEA

The computer is still in the process of changing the way we live and work in the modern world. It is worth noting that Renault has just reached an agreement with its trade unions on the subject and will soon start to offer some of its employees the opportunity to work from home two to four days a week.

GULF AIR EXPANDS RACING INVOLVEMENT

Gulf Air, the title sponsor of the Bahrain Grand Prix, has also become one of the full-time commercial partners of the Bahrain International Circuit. Both the BIC and Gulf Air are controlled by government-owned companies.

PANASONIC MOVES INTO NASCAR

Toyota Formula 1 sponsor Panasonic is moving into NASCAR this year - but not with Toyota.

WILSON TO STAY AT RUSPORT

Justin Wilson will stay at the Rusport team in Champ Car this year and hopes to mount an even stronger challenge this year to Sebastien Bourdais and the Newman Haas Racing team.

JANI TO CHAMP CARS

As we reported in September, Neel Jani is to go to America to race a Red Bull car for PKV Racing in the Champ Car World Series season.

BRAND BUILDING?

There are whispers in the architectural world that McLaren may be on the verge of moving into the construction and design business with the suggestion being that Bahrain's Mumtalakat Holding Company - McLaren's new partner - might buy Lord Foster's share of his Foster and Partners company and rebrand it with the McLaren name.

MCLAREN CONSIDERS MENORCA

McLaren may send its cars to Spain to do aerodynamic tests because of the recent decision to reduce the number of days that teams can use Elvington in Yorkshire. The Sant Luis aerodrome was the first civil airfield on island of Menorca and with a runway 1.1 miles in length would suit the team well.

22 JANUARY 2007

BARON EMMANUEL DE GRAFFENRIED

Baron Emmanuel de Graffenried has died at the age of 92. He was a leading F1 driver in the early years of the World Championship and won the first British Grand Prix in 1948.

DRUG BUST IN GTS

The FIA's policy of drug testing has resulted in a two-year licence suspension for 33-year-old Italian GT racer Luca Moro, who tested positive in a routine doping test carried out at the 2006 Spa 24 Hours after benzoylecgonine (a metabolite of cocaine) was discovered in a urine sample.

PRODRIVE SIGNS COMMERCIAL HEAD

Prodrive has signed Tony Schulp to be its new group commercial director. Schulp is currently the chief executive of the Haymarket Worldwide company. As part of this, Schulp will be responsible for the commercial activities for Prodrive's new Formula 1 programme.

OERLIKON AND FORMULA 1?

The word on the street in Austria is that Red Bull Racing will be sponsored this season by the engineering firm Oerlikon. The team says that it will have a major new technical partner and the indications are that this could be Oerlikon.

WILLIAMS'S SPONSORS

Williams has asked us to point that although there was no sign of sponsors Allianz and Reuters on the car which was recently photographed with Lenovo branding, the two companies will be continuing with the team in 2007.

BRISCOE JOINS PORSCHE

Ryan Briscoe, the former Toyota F1 test driver, has signed to race this year for Porsche in the American Le Man Series. Briscoe will join LMP2 champion Sascha Maassen in one of the Penske Motorsports Porsche RS Spyders, while the second will be raced by Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas.

21 JANUARY 2007

SWITZERLAND AIMS TO SQUEEZE MORE FROM RICH

Formula 1's top driver have long been taking advantage of Switzerland's generous taxation system, which allows them to get away with paying taxes based on the value of their property rather than their income.

20 JANUARY 2007

THE GREEKS WADE IN

Greece's plans to host a Grand Prix took a big leap forward on Saturday when Greek President Karolos Papoulias signed a decree which will allow investors to seek funding from the Greek development ministry.

19 JANUARY 2007

LENOVO AND WILLIAMS

Photographs of a Williams decked out with Lenovo livery have created a great deal of speculation that the Grove team may have signed a major sponsorship with the Chinese computer computer - which is the third biggest computer manufacturer in the world, following its 2005 acquisition of IBM's PC Division.

MCLAREN FILM IS LAUNCHED

As we exclusive revealed recently there is to be a full-length feature film made about the life of New Zealand racing driver Bruce McLaren.

MCLAREN FILM TO LAUNCH TODAY

The Bruce McLaren movie which we reported about recently is taking place today at Taupo in New Zealand, to coincide with the A1 Grand Prix race meeting.

FIA INSTITUTE CREATES MEDICINE MAN POW-WOW

The FIA Institute has been pumping out news this week as it meets for the first FIA Institute Safety Summit, at Paul Ricard.

THE DRIVERS AT SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO

There is much speculation at the moment as to who will drive for Scuderia Toro Rosso in 2007. There has been much rumouring about Robert Doornbos, who despite all the talk seems to be bound for the United States. There is also talk of Tiago Monteiro.

18 JANUARY 2007

FIA INSTITUTE ATTRACTS THE DRIVERS

The inaugural FIA Institute Safety Summit at Paul Ricard has been focussing on risk management in sport.

RANDSTAD UPS THE GAME

The employment company Randstad has expanded its involvement in Formula 1 with a three-year sponsorship deal with the AT&T Williams team.

A1 GP CANCELS BRAZILIAN EVENT

The A1GP Series is in action in Taupo, New Zealand, this weekend with the teams all chasing Germany, which currently leads the points thanks to the efforts of Nico Hulkenberg, who has won two feature events thus far.

YAMAMOTO FOR BCN

Super Aguri driver Sakon Yamamoto will race for Spain's BCN Competicion in the GP2 Series this year.

MEANWHILE IN THE MOUNTAINS

The annual Trophee Andros ice races are providing some of the old F1 stars with something to do this winter and both Alain Prost and Olivier Panis have been enjoying success as team mates with Toyota France.

ABU DHABI PLANS F1 EVENT (IN 10 DAYS FROM NOW)

Abu Dhabi may be announcing a Formula 1 Grand Prix in 2009 a little earlier than people think. We understand that plans are being laid for an event on February 1 at which an announcement could be made.

EXACT JOINS SPYKER

The Spyker F1 team is busy at the moment collecting up as much sponsorship as possible and has just announced a deal with the software company Exact.

TELEFONICA GOES FROM RENAULT

Eagle-eyed observers will have noticed that the new Renault testing in Jerez is running with sponsorship from Renault, Elf, Hanjin and PVAXX, a Dubai pallet-making company.

MORE ABOUT ABU DHABI

The emergence of Abu Dhabi as a candidate for a World Championship event should be taken very seriously, despite the fact that Bahrain currently enjoys the exclusive right to host a Formula 1 race in the Middle East and North Africa. What is not clear is how long that deal lasts.

A STORY NEVER BEFORE TOLD

Our own F1 reporter Joe Saward spends most of his time travelling to the Grands Prix and ferreting out the stories for the website, but for the last 18 years in his spare time he has long been working on a most extraordinary book

17 JANUARY 2007

BIG AMBITIONS IN ABU DHABI

The word on the street is that Abu Dhabi is going to build a Formula 1 standard race track as part of the Ferrari theme park development that is under construction at the moment.

CHAMP CAR TO RETURN TO EUROPE

The Champ Car World Series will return to Europe in 2007, for the first time in four years. The US series has announced plans for races in Holland and Belgium in early September.

ANOTHER COMPUTER FIRM HEADS INTO F1

The German computer company Medion AG is to be a sponsor of the Spyker F1 organisation. The firm, which specialises in selling high quality, price efficient consumer electronic products, is keen to expand its sales of PCs, multimedia and personal media items.

GOT TO KEEP UP WITH THE MATESCHITZES

McLaren has long been an innovator in Formula 1, not just with the racing cars but also with all the paraphenalia that comes with a Grand Prix. It was the McLaren team that built the first mega-motorhome, a two-storey construction known as "The Communications Centre".

16 JANUARY 2007

FEDEX MOVES TO MCLAREN

Williams F1 sponsor Federal Express has moved on to join McLaren. The US firm has been in F1 since 1997 but has spent the last two years with Williams.

GERMANS SCRAPPING OVER TV RIGHTS

The German TV market is Formula 1's most lucrative and we hear that there is a fair old battle going on over who will have the rights in 2008 and beyond.

MORE DETAILS OF SINGAPORE PLANS

Details of the planned street circuit in Singapore are now beginning to leak out with the route proposed by Hermann Tilke. It will run through the parkland of the Civic District and around the Suntec City area, where there are a number of big hotels.

THE NEW BMW F1.07

The new BMW Sauber F1.07 has been unveiled in Valencia this morning with the Hinwil-based team keen to score regular podium finishes in F1 this year.

15 JANUARY 2007

INSIDE THE NEW FERRARI F2007

Scuderia Ferrari (significantly no longer Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro) kicked off the new season with the launch of its new car, codenamed the 658 within Ferrari, but racing as the F2007.

MCLAREN LAUNCHES THE MP4-22

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes race drivers Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton will drive through the streets of Valencia in their Formula 1 cars later today to mark the start of an exciting new era for the team.

A DAY OUT FOR THE OLD BOYS

Aguri Suzuki, Christian Danner and Martin Brundle were at various times in their careers team mates and rivals in Formula 1 but the trio will be all on the same side today at Silverstone as they take it in turns to test drive a Super Aguri SA06.

14 JANUARY 2007

BERNIE GOES TO THE BANK

The Formula One group of companies has secured a massive $2.9bn of funding from the Royal Bank of Scotland and Lehman Brothers in order to pay off a loan which was taken out by CVC in order to buy the Formula One group.

12 JANUARY 2007

TOYOTA AIMING FOR VICTORY (AGAIN)

The Panasonic Toyota Racing team has launched its new TF107 and hopes that this will be the car to give it is first victory in Formula 1. The car will be driven by Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumacher.

KINGFISHER AND TOYOTA

Toyota has landed a sponsorship deal with Kingfisher Airlines, the low-cost domestic airline launched in 2005 by Vijay Mallya. Mallya has long been an avid racing fan who has been involved in the running of Indian motorsport in recent years.

GASCOYNE TURNS UP THE BOOST

Mike Gascoyne is a man who likes to get things done and when he turns up at a new team things start to happen and the team moves forward. It happened when Gascoyne was at Jordan, Renault and Toyota.

ZAUGG AND SENNA AT ARDEN

Arden International named its GP2 drivers for 2007 with Adrian Zaugg alongside Bruno Senna.

FERRARI - HOW IT WILL WORK

Stefano Domenicali and Mario Almondo, the new sporting and technical directors of Ferrari, were introduced to the Italian media at the annual event at Madonna di Campiglio and theytook the opportunity to explain their new roles.

A SECOND BIDDER IN SINGAPORE

Amid unsurprising talk that Malaysia may not host a Grand Prix, comes news that the plan for a race in Singapore has been slowed down by the appearance of a second bidder for the event.

11 JANUARY 2007

SILVERSTONE AND THE BRITISH GP

Britain's Minister for Sport Richard Caborn says that the British government will do everything it can to ensure that Silverstone develops as an international centre of excellence for performance car production and says that keeping the British Grand Prix is a "very important" part of the process.

SIXTY YEARS FOR FERRARI ROAD CARS

This year is the 60th anniversary of Enzo Ferrari's entry into the production car business with the Ferrari 125 Sport. This was not actually the first road car that Ferrari had built, as his Auto Avio Costruzioni company built an 815 in 1940, but it was the first car to bear the Ferrari name.

10 JANUARY 2007

TOYOTA GIVES FIA INSTITUTE A CHASSIS

Panasonic Toyota Racing will present a Toyota TF105 show car to the FIA Institute at the inaugural FIA Institute Safety Summit at the Paul Ricard circuit on January 18, 2007.

RED BULL TO LAUNCH RB3 ON JANUARY 26

Red Bull Racing is to launch the new RB3 at Barcelona on January 26

9 JANUARY 2007

WHY THE QUESTION OF CHASSIS DESIGN IS SO IMPORTANT TO F1

Formula 1 was built on the Darwinian principle of survival of the fittest: constant competition forced the teams to seek technological breakthroughs and weeded out the companies that were not meant for success.

BAHRAIN BUYS INTO MCLAREN

The Bahrain government has bought a 30% shareholding the McLaren Group, using its recently established new holding company called Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding. The company is chaired by Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, the Bahraini Finance Minister and a member of the Bahrain royal family.

WATCH OUT FOR PORTIMAO

Back in 2003 the town of Portimao, on Portugal's Algarve coast, announced that it was going to build a Formula 1 spec racing facility in order to revive the Portuguese Grand Prix.

VILLENEUVE FOR LE MANS!

Our spies tell us that Jacques Villeneuve will tomorrow be named as one of the drivers for the Peugeot Sport Le Mans 24 Hours programme. The French company is expected to run the diesel-powered 908 in the Le Mans European Series this year with drivers tipped to be Nicolas Minassian and Stephane Sarrazin.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THE 2007 CARS

The new Formula 1 cars for 2007 begin to arrive this year with Toyota winning the race to get a car running first. The new Toyota will appear on Friday, two days before Ferrari plans its launch.

HURRAY FOR FERRARI

There has been much criticism of Ferrari over the years because of its policy in recent years of having Michael Schumacher as its number one driver.

8 JANUARY 2007

A MCLAREN MOVIE?

We are hearing whispers from New Zealand of plans for a movie to be based on the life of Bruce McLaren and produced by some of those involved in the Oscar-winning "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy.

FIA CONFIRMS MANUFACTURER COMMISSION

The FIA World Motor Sport Council has voted to establish a new motor sport Commission, the Formula One Manufacturers' Advisory Commission. As we reported in December, this will be formed of senior employees or officers from BMW, DaimlerChrysler, Ferrari, Honda, Renault and Toyota.

MALAYSIAN TEST CONFIRMED

As we reported in December, the Formula 1 teams are not going to waste time when the cars are out in Australia, despite the three-week gap between the Australian and Malaysian GPs.

SIDECARS FOR MELBOURNE F1!

The loss of the V8 Supercars as a support event for the Australian Grand Prix has led the organisers to search for something interesting to keep up the interest and the decision has been taken to run the opening round of the FIM Sidecar World Championship on the Grand Prix programme.

6 JANUARY 2007

F1 RACE BOSS SHUNTS AT DAYTONA

Indianapolis Motor Speedway owner Tony George - the man who runs the United States Grand Prix - decided this year to make a racing comeback despite the fact that he has not driven a race car since 2001.

5 JANUARY 2007

SUPER AGURI - THE FULL STORY

The plans for Super Aguri F1's 2007 car are now becoming clear. The car will be completely new and will be designed for the team by outside contractor called PeeJayUU Ltd, an engineering consultancy based near Milton Keynes.

RED BULL PLANS REVEALED

It seems that Red Bull will be building the same chassis for Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso in 2007. This is being achieved by using a third party company which is not a signatory to the Concorde Agreement.

4 JANUARY 2007

ANOTHER GONG FOR TODT

Ferrari team boss Jean Todt has been promoted to the position of a Grand Officier of the Legion d'Honneur. This is France's second highest honour and Todt is now one of only 250 Grand Officiers in France.

3 JANUARY 2007

BOURDAIS WILLING TO START AT THE BOTTOM

Sebastien Bourdais enjoyed his Formula 1 test with Scuderia Toro Rosso in December and it seems that he is looking very seriously about a deal in 2008. Bourdais's F1 activities are now being managed by Nicolas Todt, who manages Felipe Massa as well as running the ART GP2 team,

2 JANUARY 2007

F1 SHOWS RUDE HEALTH

The proliferation of choice that the digital age has brought to consumers has been a problem for many different activities. With a large number of TV channels available and the Internet, TV viewers no longer have to choose between four or five terrestrial channels and that means that audiences have been shrinking.

TOYOTA HAS GM IN ITS SIGHTS

The Toyota Motor Corporation may not be doing very well in Formula 1 but out in the car markets of the world, the Japanese giant is enjoying huge success and it aims this year to overtake General Motors as the world's biggest car manufacturer.