IN theory Tom Walkinshaw's Arrows team will be running Mika Salo and Pedro de la Rosa this year but there continue to be well-founded rumors that Salo will be sacrificed by the team so that it can use the $8m which Tora Takagi has available for a drive in 1999.
AS expected Arrows Grand Prix has announced that Pedro de la Rosa will be one of its drivers this season. The Spaniard brings major backing from Spanish oil company Repsol, which supported him last year when he was test driver with the Jordan team.
FONDMETAL MINARDI FORD - as the team is now known - has announced that it will be running Ferrari test driver LucaÊBadoer this year alongside Formula 1 new boy Marc Gene.
DETAILS have finally been announced about how testing will work this season with Bridgestone revealing details of a 50-day limit for testing. Half of this allowance will be at "official" tests organized by the FIA and by Bernie Ecclestone's Formula One Administration. Any teams which do not appear at these test days will lose that allocation of days. This should guarantee that most of the teams will be at the official tests.
JOHNNY HERBERT emerged unhurt from a big crash on Saturday in Barcelona.
AFTER completing the first decent runs for the new F399 in Barcelona over the weekend, the Ferrari team went into action last week at Mugello, the Ferrari testing facility in the hills above Florence.
ONE Benetton B199 came back from testing in Barcelona at the start of last week and another went off to test at Silverstone. The Spanish test had been left to Giancarlo Fisichella and so the work at Silverstone was given to AlexanderÊWurz.
TOM WALKINSHAW has failed in his efforts to extract around $10m from Pedro Diniz. The Scotsman had been arguing that the Brazilian driver was under contract to Arrows for the 1999 season and so was committed to supplying $10m in sponsorship money to the team. Diniz argued that his contract included performance clauses which the Arrows team had failed to meet inÊ1998.
THE final day of testing in Barcelona produced a surprise result as Prost Grand Prix's Jarno Trulli set the fastest time of the winter, stopping the clocks at 1m21.09s - a few hundredths of a second faster than Mika Hakkinen's best lap the previous week.
WILLIAMS and British American Racing both had frustrating test sessions at the Kyalami circuit, near Johannesburg, SouthÊAfrica last week, but engineers on both sides reported that they had learned valuable lessons running in hot temperatures.
FOLLOWING the takeover of Arrows by a new consortium, the management of the Leafield team has been swept away with OperationsÊManager Gordon Message and Team Manager John Walton having been dumped and the team restructured around a new managing director Roger Silman.
INDIA is still hoping to hold a Grand Prix in the autumn of 2000 but progress will need to be made soon if the ambition is to become a reality. The project is being backed by British American Tobacco but the current battles between BAR and the FIA have not helped progress.
IT is expected that a large delegation from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be present at the forthcoming AustralianÊGrandÊPrix in Melbourne to see how Formula 1's favorite event is run.
SPANIARD Pedro de la Rosa confirmed on Spanish television that he will be driving for Arrows this year, as team-mate to MikaÊSalo.
MCLAREN boss Ron Dennis says that he does not want there to be further political fighting between his team and Ferrari. Last year the two teams were at odds throughout the season and there were many allegations of cheating and underhand dealings.
McLAREN launched its new MP4/14 last Monday in Barcelona and by the end of four days of testing the car was setting the pace with World Champion Mika Hakkinen lapping the Circuit de Catalunya in 1m21.141s.
WHILE most of the Grand Prix teams have decided to stay in Europe, Williams Grand Prix Engineering and BritishÊAmericanÊRacing sent their test teams to Kyalami, in South Africa, last week, with the intention of getting some warm-weather testing before the start of the season in Melbourne.
FIA President Max Mosley says that British American Racing's launch of two cars branded in different liveries was "like putting two fingers up to the FIA". The team is facing the possibility of being banned from Grands Prix this year as a result of its dispute with the FIA over liveries.
FERRARI stressed at the launch of the F399 that its priority was to have a strong and reliable package at the start of the season. So far things have not gone well.
BRITISH AMERICAN RACING has lost its battle with the FIA over the use of two liveries on its cars and Formula 1's brash new racing team is now going to have to pay for its naive attitudes in recent months. The International Chamber of Commerce's arbitrators last week confirmed that the FIA was within its rights to dictate that teams must present their cars in substantially the same livery. To complete BAR's defeat the court ordered that the team should pay the FIA's costs. The team then said that it would abide by the decision.
FRANK WILLIAMS may be looking ahead to a close long-term relationship with BMW - we believe that the team will even be known as "BMW Williams" - but on Friday came the shock news from Munich that BMW's chairman Bernd Pischetsrieder and the company's head of sales and marketing Dr. Wolfgang Reitzle had both resigned after a stormy meeting of the BMWÊSupervisory Board to discuss the future of the troubled Rover Group, a BMW subsidiary.
ALTHOUGH it is being presented as a merger, Goodyear has finally concluded its talks to take over SumitomoÊRubberÊIndustries, the owner of the Dunlop brand.
BRIAN HART has always maintained a very low profile in Formula 1 politics, preferring to concentrate on solving engineering problems and building competitive racing engines. Last week however Tom Walkinshaw was served with a High CourtÊwrit from Hart, which claims that Brian is owed $1.2m by his partner Walkinshaw.
MINARDI has surprised the Formula 1 circus by announcing that it will go into the 1999 season with two rookie drivers: Spain's Marc Gene and Argentina's Gastone Mazzacane.
IN the course of the last 15 years there have been something like 10 different projects for a Grand Prix in Russia. In the early 1980s it is said that F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone went to Moscow and met with President Leonid Brezhnev to discuss a race but in 1983 Ecclestone gave up on Moscow and did a deal with Hungary instead.
THE Ferrari management went hobbling home last weekend after shooting itself squarely in the foot at the first test of the new F399.
THERE were two Formula 1 tests last week with Williams and Prost in action at Magny-Cours and Benetton, Jordan and Arrows running at Silverstone.
EDDIE JORDAN launched his 1999 Formula 1 challenger last week at the London Palladium and claimed that this year his team is going to become a consistent challenger to McLaren and Ferrari.
WHEN the Sauber F1 team launched its C18 at the Jean Tinguely Museum in Basle it clearly felt that none of the F1 journalists would be sufficiently educated in modern art to point out that Tinguely made his name by creating machine-like devices which self-destructed.
PATRICK LEMARIE is said to be one of the most charming racing drivers one could ever wish to meet. He can converse on a wide variety of subjects and is entertaining company - but he has little qualification for the job of being a Formula 1 test driver - apart from the fact that he is a lifelong friend of Jacques Villeneuve.
ON Saturday at Lausanne, in Switzerland, lawyers representing British American Racing and the international automobile federation, the FIA, met to put forward their cases to commercial judges of the International Chamber of Commerce in an effort to resolve the dispute over whether or not BAR should be allowed to run cars in different color schemes.
THERE are likely to be battles this year over the legality of the new Benetton-Playlife B199. Despite disappointing performances to date in testing, the new car features an unusual "Front Torque Transfer" system which, rival designers say, is illegal.
THE last week has seen the appearance of a series of 1999 Formula 1 cars with the presentation of the Ferrari F399, the WilliamsÊFW21, the Prost AP02 and the first appearance of the Minardi M01.
JOHN BICKFORD is moving to England. This may not mean much to F1 racing fans but it COULD have a profound effect on the future of Formula 1 in the United States.
THERE has been a significant technical reshuffle inside Prost Grand Prix within recent weeks with former team manager DidierÊPerrin becoming head of the drawing office at Guyancourt and Eric Barbaroux, who was in charge of special projects, taking control of research programs as well.
THERE has been testing in recent days at Jerez, Barcelona, Mugello and Magny-Cours.