NEWS ARCHIVE

31 JANUARY 2008

SUPER AGURI AND SOME NAMES IN THE FRAMES

There has been a lot of talk in recent days about an Indian bid to buy Super Aguri F1, with the name of Andaleeb Sehgal, the boss of A1 Team India, being mentioned. There has also been much talk about the bid being backed by the steel baron Lakshmi Mittal, who is now a shareholder in Queens Park Rangers soccer team alongside Bernie Ecclestone, Flavio Briatore and Alejandro Agag.

HIGH HOPES AT RENAULT

Renault chairman Carlos Ghosn turned up at the ING Renault F1 launch in Paris and said that he hoped that the team would do better in 2008 than it did last year. Quoting team principal Flavio Briatore, Ghosn said that the 2007 season had been "a disaster" but added that the team still finished third in the Constructors' Championship, an assessment based on the fact that McLaren was excluded rather than on track performance.

30 JANUARY 2008

JUSTIN WILSON JOINS NEWMAN HAAS LANIGAN RACING

Former F1 driver Justin Wilson has become the favourite to win the 2008 Champ Car World Series by signing a contract to race for Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing, the team that has taken Sebastien Bourdais to titles for the last four seasons. Wilson (29) will team up with 19-year-old Graham Rahal, who will go into his second season with the team.

DE FERRAN LAUNCHES HONDA ALMS TEAM

Gil de Ferran has long enjoyed strong links with Honda, serving for a time as the sporting director of the Honda F1 programme. Now he is to run his own operation in the United States, preparing a fourth Acura sports car for the American Le Mans Series.

29 JANUARY 2008

HONDA RACING F1 YOUNG DRIVERS

Honda Racing F1 has announced that it will have Mike Conway and Luca Filippi as its young drivers this year. The two will also be racing in GP2.

THE NEW HONDA RA108

Honda Racing F1 has launched the new RA108 at its team headquarters in Brackley. The car is significantly different to the unsuccessful RA107 and also features an evolution of last year's livery, promoting the concept of "Earth Dreams" rather than "My earth dream".

28 JANUARY 2008

BERNOLDI POPS UP AGAIN

Enrique Bernoldi has not been around the Formula 1 scene since he was Honda test driver back in 2005. Since then he has been since very little on the international scene with a test in Champ Car in 2006 and then racing in the Brazilian stock car series in 2007.

SIR JACK IS HONOURED AGAIN

Australia's triple Formula 1 World Champion, Sir Jack Brabham, has been named an officer of the Order of Australia in the annual Australia Day honours list. The 81-year-old recognises his achievements as an ambassador for the sport, for his promotion of young drivers and for his support of various charity organisations.

27 JANUARY 2008

CHIP GANASSI RACING WINS DAYTONA 24 HOUR

Chip Ganassi's GrandAm team became the first team to win three consecutive victories at the Daytona 24 hour race.

GP2 ASIA AND SPEEDCAR DEBUT IN DUBAI

The Speedcar and GP2 Asia series kicked off at the weekend in Dubai.

25 JANUARY 2008

MOSLEY LOOKS TO THE FUTURE

Max Mosley says that he will decide whether to stand again as a candidate for President of the FIA in October this year, a year before the election is due to take place. Mosley says that he is not yet sure if he will be a candidate - he is allowed one more term of office under the current rules - and that his decision will be based above all on whether he feels he wants to continue.

QUALIFYING TO CHANGE

It has been confirmed after weeks of rumours that qualifying will be altered in 2008 in order to make it more entretaining and to get rid of the troublesome "fuel burn" period, which was seen by all concerned as a serious "own goal" in the process of giving Formula 1 a more environmentally-friendly image.

22 JANUARY 2008

NOW THERE'S AN IDEA

The government of Chile is supporting a big to take the Dakar Rally to South America in 2009. This year's event was cancelled because of a terrorist threat in Mauretania in Africa, and there are reports that Chile's deputy sports minister Jaime Pizarro has been in Paris with a letter from Michelle Bachelet, who has been president of the country since 2006, asking the Amaury Sports Organization to consider running the event in Chile.

MORE NEW CARS IN SPAIN

The Williams and Renault teams have debuted their new cars in Valencia in Spain. The Renault was launched without any ceremony as there will be an official launch in Paris while Williams says it is not planning big events and simply wants to get on with the testing. The FW30 is a development of the same concept that the team has been following in recent times.

ING TO BE SPONSOR OF HUNGARIAN GP

Renault sponsor ING is to be the title sponsor of the Hungarian GP. The company will have extensive track side advertising in addition to the title sponsorship deal. It will be ING's third race sponsorship deal. The race was run without a title sponsor last year after Hungary finally ended its relationship with Marlboro at the end of 2006.

JACQUES VILLENEUVE (SENIOR) INJURED

Jacques Villeneuve Sr, the brother of F1 star Gilles Villeneuve, the uncle of World Champion Jacques Villeneuve and an F1 driver in his own right, albeit unsuccessfully, has been seriously injured in a snowmobile accident during a race in Wisconsin.

RENAULT WORKING ON SOUTH AFRICA

The Renault F1 team has announced a partnership with the Gauteng Provincial Government in order to promote the area as a sporting region. Gauteng is South Africa's smallest province but has a population of around 9.5m as it includes the cities of Johannesburg and Pretoria. this makes it the most populated province in the country.

21 JANUARY 2008

BUDGET CAPS FOR DRIVER SALARIES?

The talk of budget caps for the Formula 1 world has led to an obvious question: if everyone is cutting back on spending, why are the drivers still being paid as much money as they are?

THE SALE OF F1 TEAMS

There has been much talk in recent months of the possible sale of several of the F1 teams but despite all the talk there is no real sign of any action. The talk of Super Aguri F1 being bought by Alejandro Agag seems to be considerably wide of the mark and Dietrich Mateschitz is once again saying that there is no intention at the moment to sell Scuderia Toro Rosso, although he tell Kleine Zeitung that in F1 one can "never say never".

MEANWHILE IN THE FOG

Valencia in Spain was foggy this morning and so the new Williams-Toyota FW30 which began testing this morning was able to do very little running.

20 JANUARY 2008

TOYOTA BOUND FOR LE MANS?

There are reports in the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun that Toyota is going to take a hybrid racing car to Le Mans. The newspaper quoted an unnamed Toyota official as saying that the company's plan is to use the classic French event to spread the word about its hybrid products and will also use the programme to boost its image as an environmentally-friendly company.

18 JANUARY 2008

MEANWHILE IN WOKING

There are constant rumours at the moment that there will be management changes at McLaren before the start of the 2008 season and whether these are deliberately-planted stories or whether there is anything to them remains to be seen.

MCLAREN CONFIRMS HAMILTON UNTIL 2012

As we suggested last week, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes has confirmed that Lewis Hamilton will stay with the team for at least five years. The announcement was made by McLaren Group chairman and chief executive Ron Dennis.

SPEEDCAR GETTING READY FOR THE OFF

The Speedcar Series will kick off in a few days in Dubai and the organisers have lined up an interesting field for the inaugural season. There will be 14 cars taking part in the first race with the entry headed by former F1 star Jean Alesi.

BUEMI GETS THE TESTING JOB

Red Bull Racing has announced that it has appointed Sebastien Buemi as the team’s test and reserve driver for 2008. The 19-year-old Swiss driver will also be racing in GP2 with Christian Horner's Arden International team. Buemi raced in the Formula 3 Eurocup last year, finishing runner-up to Roman Grosjean.

THE NEW RB4

The new Red Bull-Renault RB4 has been doing its first laps down in Jerez and the team hopes that the new car - a development of the RB3 - will bring the team better results in part thanks to better reliability and in part as a result of development work.

17 JANUARY 2008

A FREE ENGINE FAILURE?

We hear that the F1 teams have all been granted one free engine failure per car this year after the recent meeting in Paris. This will mean that they will not to have to suffer a drop of 10 places on the grid.

16 JANUARY 2008

MEANWHILE IN JEREZ

There is testing this week in Jerez and while this provides plenty of headlines for those with daily deadlines it is a little early to reach any startling conclusions about the season ahead, as half the teams are still running with their old cars and others are just beginning the process of settling in with the new machinery.

15 JANUARY 2008

RENAULT SNIFFS AROUND CHRYSLER

The Renault company is ticking along at the moment. It has been very successful in Formula 1 in recent years, although last year was very disappointing. The company has a strong and successful alliance with Nissan, which constrasts markedly with what happened with DaimlerChrysler.

WHY F1 IS NOT IMPOSSIBLE FOR DAVID RICHARDS

Prodrive boss David Richards says that starting a new Formula 1 these days is "virtually impossible". Richards blames "the new Concorde Agreement" which he says means that each team has to be a constructor.

14 JANUARY 2008

THE WORLD OF THE BUDGET-CAP

Most of the Formula 1 teams are quite happy with the idea of capping their budgets. This makes considerable sense in the current economic climate with the car companies worrying about the cost of potential fines from the European Union if they do not make their cars more environmentally friendly by 2012.

BMW CONFIRMS T-SYSTEMS

The launch of the new BMW Sauber F1.08 gave F1 obsservers the first chance to see the extent of the team's new deal with Deutsche Telekom's T-Systems and given the space that has been to the telecommunications company on the car it is tens of millions of dollars to the team and is clearly more than just a technical partnership as had been suggested.

THE NEW BMW SAUBER F1.08

The new BMW Sauber F1.08 was unveiled to the media at BMW Welt in Munich this morning. The team says that the new car is completely an evolution of the successful F1.07. The team has been able to invest more in the development of the new car and has taken a few risks the result being what Technical Director Willy Rampf says is a "radical evolution".

A BIG DAY FOR WILLIAMS

Today marks the start of the Williams team's 30th year of Formula 1 racing and to mark the event the team will unveil the first of six different liveries that will be used this winter to celebrate a sequence of landmarks in the history of the team, which will also take part in its 500th Grand Prix this year.

PEACE OF MIND FOR LEWIS

Since the launch of the new McLaren last week there have been some rumours circulating that suggest that the team has signed a new long-term deal with Lewis Hamilton. It would be amazing if this were not the case but the interesting point is how long the deal is for - and how much money Hamilton will be paid.

A CHANGE IN THE F1 STEWARDS

The team principals meeting on Friday seems to have passed without undue drama and apparently no-one said anything when FIA President Max Mosley told the teams that Alan Donnelly, the FIA consultant who attends F1 races as his official representative, will be involved in the process this year.

13 JANUARY 2008

REID CLOSE TO AN F1 DEAL?

New Zealand A1GP driver Jonny Reid says that he is close to a deal to become a Formula 1 driver.

12 JANUARY 2008

SO WHAT HAPPENED AT THE MEETING?

The F1 teams met with FIA President Max Mosley in Paris yesterday to hear details of proposals put forward for cost-cutting in F1. Mosley had suggested a raft of dramatic restrictions including the concept of curbing windtunnel and CFD usage.

10 JANUARY 2008

MANAGEMENT AT FERRARI

One of the great mysteries in Formula 1 at the moment is who is going to be doing what at Ferrari in 2008. The company has given details of its racing programmes with Stefano Domenicali named as the director of the racing department and various managers reporting to him have been nominated.

FORCE INDIA ANNOUNCES DRIVER LINE-UP

Force India has confirmed that it will be running Giancarlo Fisichella and Adrian Sutil in 2008. The team will also be using Tonio Liuzzi to be the team's test and reserve driver, an appointment that will ensure that there is sufficient pressure on the two racers to keep them motivated.

TOYOTA'S NEW TF108

Toyota has launched its new Formula 1 challenger, the TF108 in a presentation in Cologne. The car is the work of a team of design engineers led by France's Pascal Vasselon.

WURZ JOINS HONDA

The Honda Racing F1 has announced that Alex Wurz has joined the team in the position of test and reserve Driver. The 33 year old Austrian is considered to be one of the best development drivers in Formula 1 and will share the track testing responsibilities with the team's race drivers Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello.

9 JANUARY 2008

JACAREPAGUA TO BE DEMOLISHED

Jacarepagua, the former F1 circuit in Rio de Janeiro, is to be demolished to allow the city to build new venues for its 2016 bid for the Olympic Games. The circuit, built on reclaimed marshland back in the 1970s, hosted the Brazilian GP on 10 different occasions before F1 moved to Interlagos in the rival city of Sao Paulo.

JACQUES GIVES THEM A SHOW AT DAYTONA

Former F1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve has been impressing the NASCAR boys in the last few days in testing for the 2008 Sprint Cup. Jacques put his Bill Davis Racing Toyota fifth quickest on the first day and then set the second fastest time on the morning of Day 2. He later slipped back to 21st in the afternoon session.

8 JANUARY 2008

LIUZZI TO JOIN FORCE INDIA?

There are reports in Germany that Tonio Liuzzi will be named as the test and reserve driver for the Force India F1 team later this week. The team is expected to confirm that Giancarlo Fisichella and Adrian Sutil will be its race drivers in 2008 and with Liuzzi behind them the two are going to need to remain motivated.

JANI LOOKING AT F1 AGAIN

Neel Jani, the 24-year-old Swiss driver who has been racing in Champ Car in 2007, is believed to be looking at opportunities to get back into Formula 1 in 2008. Jani raced for PKV Racing last year but it seems that the team is now looking elsewhere in 2008 and has signed Spain's Oriol Servia. This is an odd move given that Jani did a decent job in his rookie year.

NEWSCORP BUYS INTO GERMAN F1 BROADCASTER

Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation has acquired a 14.58% stake in German Pay-TV broadcaster Premiere, making it the company's biggest single shareholder.

7 JANUARY 2008

MCLAREN LAUNCHES THE MP4-23

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes presented its MP4-23 this morning in Stuttgart and it was significant that the launch was attended by Dr Dieter Zetsche, the chairman of the Daimler Board and the boss of Mercedes-Benz - and by Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone, who was prominently featured in the launch.

WILLIAMS BUMPS UP CASH WITH NEW ORIS DEAL

Williams F1 has been quietly building up its sponsorship this winter with new longterm deals with many of its backers and rumours of a major new deal in the weeks ahead.

INDIANS MOVING IN?

The Ford Motor Company has informed its Jaguar and Land Rover workers that it is in "focused negotiations" to sell the two brands to India's Tata Motors. Jaguar and Land Rover have been up for sale for six months but this is the first time that Ford has publicly revealed a possible buyer.

6 JANUARY 2008

THE NEW FERRARI F2008

Ferrari has unveiled its latest Formula 1 challenger, becoming the first team to reveal its 2008 car. The Ferrari is heavier than in 2007 because of the rule changes but Ferrari reckons that the new car will be just as competitive with all new aerodynamics, although the bodywork will probably be quite different by the time the teams head off to Australia in March.

4 JANUARY 2008

WHY THEY CANCELLED THE DAKAR

The Dakar Rally has been cancelled because on an attack that place on five French tourists on December 24. The group were on holiday in Mauritania and had stopped for a picnic beside the main road between the capital Nouakchott and the town of Aleg,

SUPER AGURI DRIVERS CONFIRMED BY THE FIA!

Takuma Sato and Anthony Davidson will continue to race for the Super Aguri F1 Team in 2008. The news was confirmed by the issuing of a press release from the FIA, giving the official entry list for 2008. The only drive left available is the second Force India although it is common knowledge in F1 circle sthat this has gone to Giancarlo Fisichella.

TERRORISTS FORCE CANCELLATION OF DAKAR RALLY

The world of motorsport rarely pays much heed to the real world but the announcement from Paris today that the Dakar Rally has been cancelled due to a direct security threat from terrorist organisations indicates that the sport must take such threats seriously.

JIMMY STEWART

Former Grand Prix driver Jimmy Stewart has died at the age of 76. He was Sir Jackie Stewart's older brother and was the man responsible for getting Jackie interested in racing. The two grew up in Dumbarton where their father Bob was a Jaguar dealer. Sharing his name with the celebrated Hollywood star, who became famous after Stewart was born, made life difficult but in later years that paled into insignificance as Jackie won three World Championships.

WHEN THEORY BECOMES (VIRTUAL) REALITY

It has long been said that Formula 1 cars produce so much downforce that they can run upside-down on the ceiling. It is a nice idea but to date no-one had tried it. Getting an F1 car upside-down at the speed needed to achieve such a feat is not going to be something that could be achieved on a small scale and no-one has yet been mad enough to build the kind of structure needed.

3 JANUARY 2008

HOW TO LIGHT UP F1

The Singapore Grand Prix organisers have been giving details of how they intend the light the street circuit when Formula 1 holds its first night race on September 28 next year.

CHINESE GP EXECUTIVE JAILED

Yu Zhifei has been sentenced to four years in jail for embezzlement. The former Shanghai city official was the general manager of the Shanghai International Circuit. He was found guilty of embezzling $144,000 in public funds in order to buy himself a house.

1 JANUARY 2008

HAPPY NEW YEAR

Grandprix.com would like to wish all its readers a happy and successful 2008. We will be back on the path of news when the F1 community starts to produce some as we do not think that our readers are that intererested in recycled stories from weeks ago!