NEWS ARCHIVE

31 JANUARY 2009

TEDDY MAYER 1935-2009

Edward Everett "Teddy" Mayer died at his home in England at the age of 73.

29 JANUARY 2009

NO REAL SETBACK FOR THE YVELINES

There have been stories in the last 24 hours about the French Assemblee Nationale voting against the idea of a French Grand Prix in the Yvelines. This appears to be a misinterpretation of the amendment in question which is a technical step designed to save time and make the project easier, but does not cast any doubt at all on the project itself.

RONALD TO DRIVE FOR RENAULT?

The Internet is filled with people with evil senses of humour and the arrival of the new Renault, with its garish colour scheme resulted in someone deciding that Ronald McDonald would be a good team member.

HELPING OUT HONDA

The Honda Motor Company still has to decide what it is going to do with its Formula 1 team and the latest suggestion, confirmed by all concerned, is that the Japanese are talking to the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform about financial aid to keep the team in business.

AN INTERESTING REFLECTION ON RENAULT F1

There have been lots of rumours in recent days that all is not well with the aerodynamics of the new Renault F1 car. It is always hard to judge these things at this time of year but the car was not quick in the recent test in Portugal, and Spanish newspapers are reporting that Fernando Alonso is not very happy.

28 JANUARY 2009

DEADLINE? WHAT DEADLINE?

The signs are increasingly suggesting that Honda is working on a management buyout of the Honda Racing F1 team and that the end of January deadline for completing the deal is really not that important as a result. If the intention exists for this to happen, and it seems to be the best option open to Honda, the completion of the paperwork is not the key issue.

27 JANUARY 2009

WHITING TALKS ABOUT THE NEW F1 RULES

The FIA's Formula 1 Race Director Charlie Whiting has been talking about the key regulation changes in 2009 and the implications of the changes.

EVENING RACES FOR AUSTRALIA AND MALAYSIA

The FIA has issued the details of the Formula 1 races this season and the Australian and Malaysian GPs have been pushed back to 17.00 in order to be better-placed for the European TV audiences.

DAVID RICHARDS'S NEW DREAM

If taking over Honda Racing F1 proved to be too big a risk for David Richards in the current economic climate, the Prodrive boss nonetheless refuses to stop pushing onwards and has announced his plan to take Aston Martin to Le Mans to beat Peugeot and Audi.

26 JANUARY 2009

FRENCH SENATE BACKS F1 CIRCUIT AT FLINS

The French Senate has agreed a plan to authorise the construction of a Formula 1 circuit at Flins, in the Yvelines departement, just to the west of Paris.

FIAT MOVES ON CHRYSLER?

Ferrari's parent company Fiat is tipped to take control of the troubled US car company Chrysler.

GP2 CUTTING COSTS

The GP2 Series has cost a great deal of money for the competing teams since it began in 2005 amid promises that it would bring down the costs from the expensive Formula 3000 macchinery, which was costing teams around $750,000 a year.

TROUBLE AT ING

The Dutch financial services company, ING Groep NV, which supports the Renault F1 team, has run into more financial difficulties. The company received $13bn from the Dutch government in October to help it through the financial crisis. According to reports this morning on Bloomberg, ING will axe 7000 jobs shortly and its chief executive Michel Tilmant, a Formula 1 fan, is to resign.

25 JANUARY 2009

PORSCHE WINS DAYTONA 24 HOURS

The polesitting Brumos Porsche of David Donohue, Buddy Rice, Antonio Garcia and Darren Law won the Daytona 24 hours.

REUTEMANN FOR PRESIDENT?

According to reports in Argentina, former F1 driver Carlos Reutemann will stand for election as president of the country at the next elections in 2011. The 66-year-old has already held a number of political offices since his retirement from the sport in 1982. He enjoyed much success in F1 with Brabham, Ferrari and Williams, winning 12 Grand Prix victories.

24 JANUARY 2009

JACKIE EPSTEIN 1934-2009

Jackie Epstein, a wellknown driver, engineer and team manager, has died at the age of 74. Epstein raced in a number of non-championship Formula 1 races in the early 1960s in a private BRM, but became better known later as an entrant.

23 JANUARY 2009

WHAT IS A SUPERLICENCE WORTH?

Formula 1 drivers are not struggling for cash. Even the men on the back of the grid are mightily rewarded for their endeavours. Most of the grid are millionaires, in US dollar terms. Many are multi-multi-millionaires. They say they deserve it. They are the stars, they have short careers and they are what drives the revenues of the sport.

DENNY GETS A ROAD CAR NAMED AFTER HIM

Former Formula 1 World Champion Denny Hulme died in 1992, at the age of only 56. Yet at home in New Zealand he has not been forgotten. As the McLaren name continues to be high profile in Formula 1, the Hulme name is making a comeback with a new supercar being named the Hulme CanAm in his honour.

TORO ROSSO SETTLES ON BOURDAIS?

The word in F1 circles is that Scuderia Toro Rosso has done the intelligent thing and will retain Sebastien Bourdais in 2009. The Frenchman will help the Austrian drinks company expand its market in France and will provide the team with some continuity and experience alongside the new boy Sebastien Buemi.

TALKING OF INDIA

There is a lot of discussion at the moment about the planned Indian Grand Prix, which was pushed back to 2011 a couple of months ago. According to our sources, the plan remains the same for the moment with the circuit being built in the Greater Noida development, as was announced in 2007.

22 JANUARY 2009

FIFTY YEARS AGO TODAY BRITAIN LOST ITS FIRST WORLD CHAMPION

Mike Hawthorn had been crowned World Champion on October 1958 after the Moroccan Grand Prix in which he had been beaten by his title rival Stirling Moss, but had won the World Championship thanks to Phil Hill, who obeyed Ferrari team orders and allowed Hawthorn up to second place. He retired from racing immediately at the age of 29.

THE FINANCING OF FORMULA 1

In recent days there have been a flurry of stories on F1 websites about the F1 teams getting less money than before. These all come from a story in the Financial Times which quotes Formula One group chief executive Bernie Ecclestone as saying that teams are going to have to accept less money.

21 JANUARY 2009

NEW CARS IN ACTION

The Algarve test is not something on which one can base predictions for the future, but the teams present will be beginning to understand which cars are fast and which cars are not.

20 JANUARY 2009

THE NEW BMW F1.09

The BMW Sauber F1 Team launched its new F1.09 chassis this morning in Valencia with Robert Kubica doing the first laps with the new car. The team goes into its fourth season with the ambitious aim of fighting for the World Championship title.

19 JANUARY 2009

A MAJOR F1 FINN-FEST

The Arctic Lapland Rally, which takes place next weekend around the city of Rovaniemi, will see a battle not just between Kimi Raikkonen and Mika Hakkinen, but the two World Champions will be joined by two other of Finland's best known F1 names: Mika Salo and JJ Lehto.

THE RENAULT R29

The Renault F1 team ran its R29 for the first time on Monday in Portugal with test driver Romain Grosjean at the wheel. The Swiss driver has moved up to become the team's reserve driver as Lucas di Grassi has moved on.

THE NEW WILLIAMS FW31

The Williams-Toyota FW31 made its first apperance on Monday at the Portimao circuit in Portugal. The car is liveried in dark blue for the moment at least and features rather fewer sponsors than were visible in 2008.

18 JANUARY 2009

COST-CUTTING IN F1?

One area where there is no cost-cutting at all in Formula 1 is in the price of the hotels at most of the races. Teams are now getting into their bookings for the coming year and are finding that hotel costs are rising more than ever.

MUCH WORK NEEDED AT SILVERSTONE?

The news that Silverstone has landed the MotoGP British GP from 2010 onwards sounded good when it was announced last week, but we hear that there is grumbling within the British Racing Drivers' Club over the modifications that will have to be made the track in order for the motorcycle racers to visit.

AUSSIE V8S WANTS VILLENEUVE

The Super Cheap Auto Racing Team, the Queensland-based team run by Paul Morris, is trying to sign Formula 1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve to race one of its Holden Commodores alongside Russell Ingall in the V8 Supercar Series.

CREDIT SUISSE DEPARTS BMW SAUBER

It is no great surprise to hear that Credit Suisse has ended its relationship with the BMW Sauber team. The sponsorship began back in 2001 and a year later the bank helped Peter Sauber to buy out Red Bull's Dietrich Mateschitz after the two men failed to agree on who should drive for the team.

17 JANUARY 2009

FORMULA 2 FILLING UP FAST

The Formula 2 field for 2009 is filling up rapidly with 16 drivers now having been announced and a further two signed but yet to be made public. This means that there are only six slots remaining open.

A SUMMIT AT THE SUMMIT?

Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo turned up unexpectedly at the Wrooom event in the Italian ski resort of Madonna di Campiglio, meeting Bernie Ecclestone (who was on a similar "surprise" visit over lunch in one fabulous chalets in the area.

MORE ON THE HONDA SITUATION

In an effort to understand exactly what is going on at Honda Racing F1, we contacted the team's local Member of Parliament, Tim Boswell, to confirm that he had made a complaint to the authorities following requests from members of the F1 team, as had been reported in the Daily Mail.

16 JANUARY 2009

RON STEPS UP, DOWN, OR SIDEWAYS?

We reported in November that Ron Dennis was likely to change his role at McLaren and he used the launch of the new McLaren MP4-24 to tell the world about his plans. Dennis will be replaced as team principal by Martin Whitmarsh.

THE NEW MCLAREN MP4-24 REVEALED

The Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Formula 1 team has launched the MP4-24 with which it will campaign in the 2009 FIA Formula 1 World Championship. Unveiled by world champion Lewis Hamilton and his team-mate Heikki Kovalainen, the new car bears little resemblance to its world championship-winning predecessor due to the introduction of new rules that have radically reshaped Formula 1.

WHAT IS GOING ON AT HONDA?

We received reports yesterday from inside Honda Racing F1 that there is growing frustration at the way in which the management is handling the sale of the team, and questioning whether the management buy-out is the best way forward for the Brackley organisation. We decided not to react to these and investigate some more, but this morning there were reports of a similar nature in the Daily Mail, which seems to suggest that there are some within the team who are actively campaigning against the idea of a management buyout led by Nick Fry and Ross Brawn.

15 JANUARY 2009

MARMORINI LEAVES TOYOTA

Luca Marmorini, the head of Toyota's F1 engine development, has left the company.

TOYOTA UNVEILS THE TF109

Panasonic Toyota Racing has launched its new TF109. "Our target this year is to fight to win the first race for Toyota in Formula 1," says team principal Tadashi Yamashina.

TOYOTA RENEWS PANASONIC AND SIGNS A NEW SPONSOR

Toyota Motorsport GmbH has announced a new three-year deal with its title sponsor Panasonic and at the same time has revealed a significant new partnership with the European subsidiary of the American real estate company RE/MAX.

ECCLESTONE TO VISIT FERRARI EVENT AT MADONNA DI CAMPIGLIO

Bernie Ecclestone will pop in to the Ferrari Wrooom event at Madonna di Campiglio in the Italian Alps today. The visit is understood to be a private one as Ecclestone has been told about the event by his daughter Tamara, who has worked at several of the previous events and can be seen this year, wandering around in Ferrari team gear...

14 JANUARY 2009

DOMENICALI TALKS ABOUT HIS DRIVERS, PRESENT AND FUTURE

Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali hopes that former World Champion Kimi Raikkonen will show his true form in 2009. The Finnish driver seemed to lose his competitiveness towards the end of last season, making a string of mistakes and dropping behind Felipe Massa in the championship. Raikkonen was not happy with instability in the front end of the 2008 Ferrari and hopes that the new car will allow him to be more competitive.

WHO IS GOING TO WIN FORMULA 1 RACES IN 2009?

Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali says he does not know who is going to win in Formula 1 in 2009.

KERS - A WASTE OF MONEY?

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali says that the introduction of the new kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) is a waste of money.

THE IMPORTANCE OF SIMULATION IN F1

Stefano Domenicali has been talking about Ferrari's plans for the coming season at the Wrooom ski event at Madonna di Campiglio in Italy.

13 JANUARY 2009

CLAIMANT WITHDRAWS IN MCLAREN TRIBUNAL

Peter Boland, who was employed as a steward on a McLaren executive jet between 2002 and 2007, has withdrawn his case from the Southampton employee tribunal. Boland apologised to Dennis and the team and to the tribunal itself for wasting its time on what he accepted were "unfounded allegations".

ANOTHER DOOR CLOSES FOR BOURDAIS

Penske Racing has announced that Australian Will Power will join the team in place of Helio Castroneves for the pre-season testing and may stay on in 2009 if the Brazilian ends up being unable to race as a result of the findings of the court. Castroneves is facing serious tax evasion charges filed by the Inland Revenue Service.

FORMULA 1 BOOSTS VIEWING FIGURES

TV viewing figures in Formula 1 broke through the 600m barrier last, largely thanks to the extraordinary World Championship showdown between Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton. This was a gain over the dramatic 2007 season, although not by much.

A HONDA-MERCEDES-BENZ?

As we suggested last week, it is quite likely that the Honda team will use Mercedes-Benz engines in 2009. The team will be renamed but at the moment there is no word on what it will be called.

FIA ANNOUNCES RACE NUMBERS OF 2009

The FIA has issued its official entry list for the Formula 1 World Championship. There are no real surprises on the list.

SILVERSTONE LANDS MOTOGP

Silverstone has announced that is has signed a five-year deal to host the British Motorcycle Grand Prix from 2010 onwards. The series was previously holding it races at Donington Park, but the deal for the British Grand Prix to move to the Leicestershire track has opend the way for Silverstone to take over the motorcycles.

12 JANUARY 2009

FERRARI UNVEILS THE NEW F60 AT MUGELLO

Ferrari has unveiled its 2009 Formula 1 challenger at Mugello, near Florence. The car is named the F60 to celebrate the company's 60th year of Formula 1 competition, which predates the World Championship, which began only in the summer of 1950.

BRM NAME TO BE REVIVED

The BRM name is to be revived in 2009, the 60th anniversary of the celebrated racing name entering the sport. British Racing Motors was the brainchild of Raymond Mays - who had been the major force behind English Racing Automobiles (ERA) in the 1930s.

WHY A MANAGEMENT BUYOUT MAKES SENSE AT HONDA

The suggestion that there could be a management buyout at Honda Racing F1 is a very logical one and probably the easiest solution to Honda's problem. Closing down the team would be a major blow to Honda's image.

9 JANUARY 2009

BUEMI SIGNS FOR TORO ROSSO

Scuderia Toro Rosso has announced that Sebastien Buemi will drive for the team in the 2009 Formula 1 season. The twenty year old from Aigle, Switzerland competed in GP2 last year, when he was also the reserve driver for Red Bull Racing.

PETTY NAME SAVED IN NASCAR, TEAM GONE

Petty Enterprises has closed its doors and laid off its staff but the Petty name will live on in NASCAR thanks to a deal that has been struck between Boston Ventures, the owners of Petty Holdings, Gillett Evernham Motorsport (GEM) and Richard Petty himself.

KIMI OFF TO SEE SANTA?

The city of Rovaniemi, the capital of the Finnish province of Lapland, claims to be Santa Claus's home town. It has an average temperature of 0-degrees and snow is on the ground for six months a year. The lowest temperature ever recorded there was in January 1999 when it got down to a brisk -47.5-deg C.

SPAIN BUILDING ANOTHER F1 TESTING CIRCUIT

There is no shortage of test tracks in Spain and Portugal, indeed the major problem now that F1 teams are not going to be testing in-season is that these tracks all need to find alternative sources of income.

PITCHFORTH JOINS BOEING

David Pitchforth, once the principal of Jaguar Racing in F1, has been named as the new boss of a company to be called Boeing UK Rotorcraft Support, which will consolidate the company's helicopter service businesses in Britain.

8 JANUARY 2009

DONINGTON GETS PLANNING PERMISSION

Donington Park has been granted planning permission to make the changes necessary to become a Formula 1 circuit. The North-West Leicestershire District Council agreed to the proposals put forward and the circuit can now go ahead with the plans to build.

TODAY'S FOTA MEETING

The FOTA Executive Committee met today at Heathrow to further progress the cost-reducing initiatives already discussed in Monte Carlo in December. All the members unanimously agreed a number of important principles and signed a comprehensive aerodynamic testing restrictions agreement.

F1 TEAM BOSSES MEET TO DISCUSS COST-CUTTING

The Formula 1 team principals are meeting today at a Heathrow Hotel to discuss more details of the cost-cutting plans that were agreed in December. One of the major aims today will be to work out an equivalency formula between restrictions on the use of wind tunnels and on computational fluid dynamics.

D-DAY FOR DONINGTON PARK

The North West Leicestershire District Council will today rule on planning proposals for the upgrading of the Donington Park racing circuit in order to bring it up to the standard required for Formula 1. The circuit intends to host the British Grand Prix in 2010 and Simon Gillett, the chief executive of Donington Ventures Leisure Ltd, says he is expecting to get the go-ahead to build and reckons that the work will be completed in around 10 months.

7 JANUARY 2009

US DECEMBER CAR SALES ADD TO AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY PAIN

US automobile sales dived by 36% in December, compared to a year ago, maintaining the disastrous trend of recent months, which has hit the car industry across the world. The latest figures reveal that the industry had its worst year since 1992 and the December figures were shocking for several firms, notably Chrysler, which saw its sales drop 53%.

FORMULA 2 DEVELOPING

Eleven drivers have thus far signed up to compete in the new FIA Formula 2 Championship and they come from an eclectic background as it is not yet clear where the new series will fit into the existing structures of international single-seater racing.

FERRARI IS NOT HONDA'S ONLY CHOICE

There has been much reporting in the last day or so which suggests that the team formerly known as Honda Racing F1 is close to a deal to use Ferrari engines in 2009. This is not as clear-cut as some of the stories have suggested.

6 JANUARY 2009

ART LOOKS TO DNA AS WELL AS RAW TALENT

Formula 3 Euroseries champions ART Grand Prix (which has won the title for the last five seasons in its different guises) has announced that it will be running four cars as usual in 2009.

HALLAM SETTLES INTO NASCAR

Former McLaren head of race engineering Steve Hallam is now settling into his new role as Director of Competition at Michael Waltrip Racing in Charlotte, North Carolina. Hallam spent 27 years in Formula 1 before deciding to try something new.

SOME BIZARRE CLAIMS

The British tabloid press is known for its desire to titillate its readership - as the F1 world has discovered in graphic terms in the course of the last year. The "red tops" have therefore been enjoying the goings-on of an employment tribunal in Southampton.

SEBASTIEN BUEMI HEADING FOR TORO ROSSO

Sebastien Buemi is the next driver in the Red Bull Junior "production line" and thus it has long been expected that he would be one of the drivers with Scuderia Toro Rosso in 2009. The 20-year-old Swiss racer has already done two seasons in GP2 and has been testing for Red Bull Racing for more than a year.

UPCOMING CAR LAUNCHES

Formula 1 teams have been busily building their new cars and the first of the new 2009 cars is expected to be unveiled next week when Ferrari takes the covers off its new challenger at Fiorano on Monday morning (January 12).

5 JANUARY 2009

FERRARI LAUGHS OFF PEUGEOT KERS STORIES

Ferrari sources say that rumours linking the company's development of KERS with the Peugeot sportscar team are not to be taken seriously. The stories, which seem to have begun in the United States, suggest that Peugeot will run the Ferrari F1 KERS system on a 908 development car.

A DEAL WORTH NOTING

Carlin Motorsport has announced that it is switching to Volkswagen engines in Formula 3 for 2009, following the announcement that it has signed two Red Bull Junior drivers. All the Red Bull Formula 3 drivers in 2009 will run with VW power.

MICHAEL SCHUMACHER AND HONDA

One intriguing rumour to surface over the Christmas period is the suggestion that Honda Racing F1's Ross Brawn may have been talking seriously to Michael Schumacher about working together to save the Brackley team.

THE ARGUMENT FOR SALARY CAPS IN F1

These are difficult times for the motorsport world. Consumer confidence around the world has been shaken by the financial chaos that has occurred since the credit crunch. The International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn says that 2009 will be a "very dark" year unless governments do more to get economies moving again.

STEWART ON THE OFFENSIVE

Sir Jackie Stewart has started the New Year with an unveiled attack on Bernie Ecclestone and Max Mosley, arguing that the two need to leave Formula 1 in order for the sport to move on.