NEWS ARCHIVE

26 APRIL 1999

...AND IRELAND JOINS THE FUN

IN recent days Irish property developer Jim Mansfield has announced that he is considering the construction of a racing circuit near Dublin, in Ireland, with the intention of bidding for an Irish Grand Prix. The project would be linked to the construction of a football stadium nearby.

BMW HEADING FOR MIRAMAS

BMW MOTORSPORT is to begin testing its new V10 Formula 1 engine behind closed doors to prevent embarrassment if there are any problems. The tests will take place within a matter of days at the BMW test facility at Miramas, on the flat plains to the north-west of Marseilles.

FERRARI LOOKING AT TRULLI

RUMORS from France suggest that Ferrari's Jean Todt is considering making a bid for Jarno Trulli to join Michael Schumacher at Ferrari for the 2000 season.

PEUGEOT'S NEW MOTOR SPORT RESOLVE

PSA PEUGEOT CITROEN - the parent company of Peugeot - says it is sticking to its policy of remaining independent, despite the consolidation going on in the automobile industry. And the company seems to be gearing up to use success in motor sport as a spur to future sales.

RALF TOPS THE BILL AT JEREZ

RALF SCHUMACHER topped the timesheets during three days of testing last week at Jerez, the German Williams driver having recorded a best lap of 1m24.232s after 180 laps of running. It was a good test for the Williams team - which has been struggling recently - but the times are not hugely relevant as it was clear that McLaren would have done quicker times if the team had stayed on for all three days of testing.

REYNARD CONSOLIDATES DETROIT LINKS

REYNARD MOTORSPORT is quietly positioning itself to become the motorsport partner of General Motors in the future, probably in the hope that the world's biggest car manufacturer will eventually decided to enter Grand Prix racing in an effort to maintain its lead in the automotive industry.

STALEMATE AT THE BRDC

THE annual meeting of the British Racing Drivers Club last week failed to settle the issue of whether it wants to sell Silverstone to Brands Hatch Leisure. The members of the club considered a restructuring plan which would leave Silverstone independent but a 75% vote was needed for this to be accepted. We understand that a majority of members voted for the plan but the vote did not get the necessary percentage of votes to push ahead with the idea.

ZANDVOORT STILL DREAMING OF F1

ZANDVOORT, the home of the Dutch Grand Prix between 1952 and 1985, is bidding for a race once again.

19 APRIL 1999

...BUT IS BMW A TARGET?

BOTH Ferrari's parent company Fiat and the massive Volkswagen empire are poised to make new acquisitions to strengthen their positions as the world's automotive industry consolidates. Rumors in Italy say that Fiat is after BMW, having been beaten by Ford in the bidding to buy Volvo.

BMW SHAKES-UP MOTORSPORT MANAGEMENT

THERE has been a shake-up in the management of BMW's Formula 1 project with the arrival of a new chief, Dr. MarioÊTheissen, to oversee strategy and operations. He will work alongside former racer Gerhard Berger, who will look after the project's marketing and public relations.

DREAMING - SUPERTEC STYLE

SUPERTEC's Flavio Briatore was wandering around the paddock in Brazil telling anyone who would listen to him that Renault's current adventures will have no effect on the F1 program, as he tried to dampen criticism of the engines he is supplying to Williams, Benetton and BAR this year.

OBITUARY: DR. HARVEY POSTLETHWAITE

Harvey Postlethwaite was one of the good guys of Grand Prix racing. He was an engineer of enormous talent, a great racing enthusiast, a man who loved to nurture new talent - both drivers and engineers - and a man who, because of bitter experience, was intent on improving F1 safety.

PUSHING BACK THE FRONTIERS

SEVERAL Formula 1 teams are believed to be experimenting with an exotic new lightweight metal-ceramic material called Boralyn.

SALO ON STANDBY FOR BAR

BRITISH AMERICAN RACING says that Mika Salo has agreed to stand in for the injured Ricardo Zonta, if the Brazilian youngster is not fit to race at Imola at the end of the month.

WHAT HAPPENS NOW WITH HONDA?

THE sudden death of Harvey Postlethwaite could have a dramatic effect on Honda's Formula 1 plans.

12 APRIL 1999

BAR CHASING A HONDA DEAL AGAIN?

BRITISH AMERICAN RACING is rumored to be trying to convince the Honda Motor Co. that it should give up the idea of running its own team and supply engines to BAR. The management at Honda is believed to be studying proposals from BAR, Jordan and the British-based Honda Racing Developments operation.

BERNIE SETTLES THE TV BILL

BERNIE ECCLESTONE has agreed to pay the Formula 1 teams the money they had been expecting from television revenues this year, despite the fact that he has yet to get the outstanding $75m from France's Canal Plus.

FORD BECOMES POPULAR

THE FORD MOTOR COMPANY has suddenly become one of the most popular engine companies in Grand Prix racing, following the promising showing of the Stewart-Ford combination in Australia and Brazil.

SARRAZIN'S SMASHING F1 DEBUT

PROST GRAND PRIX's test driver Stephane Sarrazin was Luca Badoer's replacement at Minardi for last weekend's BrazilianÊGrandÊPrix.

SHARE TRADING AT SAUBER

THE Sauber team has restructured its ownership in recent days with the team's commercial director Fritz Kaiser, increasing his shareholding in the team.

TOYOTA RECRUITING

IT is only a few weeks since the Toyota Motor Corporation announced plans to enter Formula 1 racing with its own team, but already the Japanese firm is beginning a recruitment drive to put together a team of engineers to design an F1 engine.

WHO WILL REPLACE ZONTA?

RICARDO ZONTA is likely to be out of action at the San Marino Grand Prix in three weeks and may also have to miss the races in Monaco and Spain as a result of his massive accident in Saturday morning practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos.

5 APRIL 1999

ARROWS AND VIRGIN

ARROWS boss Prince Malik ado Ibrahim - who is now officially the commercial director as well - last week announced a small sponsorship deal with Virgin Records.

BADOER FRACTURES HIS HAND

LUCA BADOER crashed heavily last week at Ferrari's Fiorano test track in Italy, while testing his Minardi-Ford M01. The Italian driver - who knows the circuit well because of his testing duties with Ferrari - had completed 49 laps of the circuit when his fly-by-wire throttle system appears to have malfunctioned, sending the car off the road at high speed. It crashed heavily into the barriers and Badoer suffered a fractured right hand.

FIAT AND MITSUBISHI

AS the automotive industry consolidates frantically, there are rumors of a link being planned between Fiat - the parent company of Ferrari - and Mitsubishi Motors in Japan.

FORSYTHE LURKING

CART team owner Jerry Forsythe says that he would like to increase his shareholding in British American Racing if the opportunity arises. Forsythe has confirmed that he controls 15% of the team, having bought the majority shareholding in Mount Eagle Inc. from Craig Pollock in November last year.

IT'S A LONG WAY BACK TO MELBOURNE

WHEN the Formula 1 teams returned to Europe after the Australian Grand Prix they did enough miles of testing between them to have driven a car from Europe back to Melbourne! When they packed up to go to Brazil the 11 F1 teams had covered a grand total of 14,400 miles of testing in the last three weeks. And that does not include the aerodynamic mapping work up and down runways which several teams have also completed.

ONE DAY YOUR PRINCE WILL COME...

McLAREN was given a royal seal of approval last week when the heir to the British throne Charles, Prince of Wales, paid a 45-minute visit to the team's headquarters in Woking.

POP GOES THE SUPERTEC

THE recent testing in Barcelona has highlighted a series of problems with Supertec V10 engines. Ralf Schumacher suffered one failure in his Williams, Giancarlo Fisichella lost an engine in his Benetton and both British American Racing drivers also had to put up with blow-ups.

SILVERSTONE BATTLE LINES ARE DRAWN

BRANDS HATCH boss Nicola Foulston has proposed to Bernie Ecclestone that Brands Hatch host the British Grand Prix from 2002.