DECEMBER 7, 1998
No problems for BAR
THERE must have been some interesting negotiations in the course of the last few days as the FIA has included British American Racing in its official entry list for the 1999 Formula 1 World Championship.
BAR is planning to run its new car within a few days at Silverstone but much will depend on whether or not teams have been able to agree on testing regulations. Jacques Villeneuve is thought to be unlikely to test as he remains under contract to Williams and the team sees no reason why it should be helpful to BAR as the new team has poached a large number of Williams employees.
The F1 entry list was not very revealing but did raise a few interesting questions. Super Performance Competition Engineering, the company set up to sell Mecachrome engines to teams, seems to be unsure of the name of the engine it is selling. When the deal was announced in Monaco in May the engines were called "Supertec V10s" but on the official entry lists these have become "Supertech V10s".
It is interesting to see that Williams will run with the engines badged "Supertech" as the team was supposed to have had an exclusive deal with Mecachrome rather than being a customer. Benetton is still negotiating the name to be used on its engines. It wants to use the name "Playlife" but clearly there are some problems with Super Performance Competition Engineering, which is not surprising as this is headed by Flavio Briatore, who was booted out as head of the Benetton team a year ago.
There have been suggestions in recent days that if the Zakspeed-Arrows deal goes through, the team might use Supertech engines although on the entry list the Arrows team is listed with Arrows V10 engines.
The full entry list - driver nominations may be changed up until March 4, 1999 - is as follows:
1 Mika Hakkinen (SF) McLaren-Mercedes
2 David Coulthard (GB) McLaren-Mercedes
3 Michael Schumacher (D) Ferrari
4 Eddie Irvine (GB) Ferrari
5 Alessandro Zanardi (I) Williams-Supertech
6 Ralf Schumacher (D) Williams-Supertech
7 Damon Hill (GB) Jordan-Mugen Honda
8 Heinz-Harald Frentzen (D) Jordan-Mugen Honda
9 Giancarlo Fisichella (I) Benetton-TBA
10 Alexander Wurz (A) Benetton-TBA
11 Jean Alesi (F) Sauber Petronas
12 Pedro Diniz (BR) Sauber Petronas
14 Mika Salo (SF) Arrows
15 TBA Arrows
16 Rubens Barrichello (BR) Stewart-Ford
17 Johnny Herbert (GB) Stewart-Ford
18 Olivier Panis (F) Prost-Peugeot
19 Jarno Trulli (I) Prost-Peugeot
20 TBA Minardi-Ford
21 TBA Minardi-Ford
22 Jacques Villeneuve (CDN) BAR-Supertech
23 Ricardo Zonta (BR) BAR-Supertech