NOVEMBER 16, 1998
Formula 1 goes on vacation
WITH testing banned for the next two weeks, many of the people involved in Grand Prix racing have taken the opportunity to go on vacation for a well-earned rest after more than nine months on the road. Back at the team factories, however, the research & development and production departments remain busy as they prepare for the 1999 season. The new Reynard-built BAR chassis is expected to be the first 1999 car running although one or two others may appear in December. The major teams are, however, planning to delay the arrival of their new cars in order to give the R&D men the maximum amount of time possible to develop new ideas. This is a policy which has long been adopted by McLaren and is very effective as long as the car proves to have no major vices. Last season both Williams and Ferrari discovered that their cars needed substantial redesigning and this was one of the important factors which allowed McLaren to build up a big advantage in the World Championship.
Traditionally the second year on any new formula produces much closer racing than the first and so we expect to see McLaren, Ferrari, Benetton, Jordan and Williams all in contention next year. We would also expect to see a major improvement from Prost as the 1998 season was seriously compromised by problems with the gearbox design. Stewart Grand Prix should also be a lot more competitive.
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