THERE was an important General Motors/Opel meeting in Germany last week at which a proposal for a GM Formula 1 program was discussed by the company management. There have been strong indications in recent weeks that the American giant has been considering using F1 to broaden global interest in Cadillac products.
THE Formula 1 team bosses have not had a meeting for several months now and it seems that there is unlikely to be a gathering of the clans until the Belgian or Italian GP at the earliest.
EDDIE IRVINE might have won a fine victory over McLaren in Austria but the Ulsterman's future with the Italian team seems to be coming to an end.
PEUGEOT's future involvement in Formula 1 looks increasingly unlikely after the 2000 season following the announcement that the French carmaker's sister company Citroen will not be allowed to enter a team in the FIA World Rally Championship.
PROST GRAND PRIX's Jarno Trulli is tipped to be on his way to Jordan Grand Prix next year, to replace the retiring DamonÊHill.
WHISPERS from France suggest that Renault could supply a team with factory V10 engines in 2001 although these would be badged as Nissan V10s.
THE Ford Motor Company has announced that Paul Stewart will move from his position as deputy chairman of StewartÊGrandÊPrix to a new position as chief operating officer of the team.
Rumors in Italy suggest that Gabriele Rumi is planning to sell his shares in the Minardi team at the end of the year and there has been talk of a Spanish consortium buying his shareholding in the team.
REPORTS in the German press suggest that DaimlerChrysler is planning to take more shares in the TAG McLaren Group, over and above the 40% on which an option has been agreed.
DAMON HILL's indecision about his future was somewhat overshadowed by the events following Michael Schumacher's accident at Silverstone but on Wednesday the former World Champion announced that he is going to continue racing for the Jordan team until the end of the year - as he had originally planned to do.
EDDIE IRVINE will head Ferrari's challenge for the Formula 1 World Championship following Michael Schumacher's accident at Silverstone.
HEINZ-HARALD FRENTZEN gave the Jordan team and Honda a boost when he set the fastest time of the four day Monza Formula 1 test last week.
MCLAREN has signed a long-term driver contract with Brazilian CART driver Helio Castro-Neves.
THE FIA has published details of Michael Schumacher's crash, recorded by the "black box" accident data recorder in the Ferrari.
FINLAND's Mika Salo was named as Ferrari's replacement for Michael Schumacher on Tuesday last week and that evening had his first laps in a Ferrari F399 at the team's Fiorano test facility.
THERE are suggestions in Europe that the huge US brewing company Anheuser Busch is negotiating for a five-year sponsorship deal for the United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis with its Budweiser beer brand.
AS we have been suggesting for some time, DaimlerChrysler has announced that it is buying a 40% shareholding in the TAG McLaren group of companies. The deal is believed to be worth around $200m and will see the automobile giant becoming the biggest shareholder in the group.
EUROPEAN COMMISSION President Romano Prodi has named his new team of Commissioners and the Competition portfolio has gone to his fellow countryman Mario Monti.
HEINZ-HARALD FRENTZEN will stay with Jordan in 2000. The team had an option on the 32-year-old German and decided to take it up after his magnificent win at the French Grand Prix . The move would suggest that the team is not going to sign up another topline star such as Eddie Irvine or David Coulthard despite the fact that the team's sponsor BensonÊ&ÊHedges wants a high-profile name in the team.
FIA President Max Mosley turned up at Silverstone and launched an attack on the anti-smoking authorities which, he said, had failed to deliver any evidence to prove that the tobacco sponsorship in F1 makes people start to smoke.Ê
THE Italian prosecutors announced last week that they will appeal the decision to acquit Williams engineers Patrick Head and AdrianÊNewey. The two were cleared of manslaughter charges relating to the death of Ayrton Senna at Imola in 1994 by a Bologna court in December 1997.
MICHAEL SCHUMACHER crashed heavily during the opening lap of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. The Ferrari star's F399 suffered a rear brake failure at Stowe Corner and went straight off at around 130mph. The sand trap barely slowed the car at all and Schumacher hit the wall - which was protected by tires - almost head on. It was a huge accident. The Ferrari stood up very well to the impact but the double World Champion suffered two broken bones in his lower right leg.
THE Arrows team has announced plans to use Supertec V10 engines in 2000. The deal - which the team had denied it was planning - will mean that team boss Tom Walkinshaw is giving up his own engine program.
AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX chief Ron Walker was in London last week arguing that the Australian Grand Prix needs to be the first race of the 2000 season. The FIA announced recently that the Melbourne race would be held on March 5 - two weeks after the Malaysian GP. Walker's primary aim is to get the race moved to March 12, which is the traditional LaborÊDay holiday weekend in Australia and the Moomba Festival in Melbourne. This has proved to be a good weekend to attract crowds in previous years.
THERE has been much speculation in Italy in recent days suggesting that Rubens Barrichello will sign a deal to race for Ferrari next year, replacing Eddie Irvine.
AS we suggested in January, Rothmans International - which was bought recently by British American Tobacco for $7.5bn - has announced that it is not going to continue its Winfield backing with the Williams team in the year 2000. BAT has, not surprisingly, decided to concentrate all its efforts in F1 on British American Racing which is running at the moment with backing from BAT brands 555 State Express and Lucky Strike.
THE British Grand Prix is traditionally the mid-season race and, more importantly, the race at which the Concorde Agreement dictates that payments for the next six months are decided upon. The system is designed so that 10 teams receive prize money and a share of the TV and travel funds. The top 10 is based on the results achieved by each team in the two previous half-seasons. To date British American Racing has not enjoyed the benefits because it had no previous results. Team boss Craig Pollock sent a letter to rival teams in March protesting this arrangement but nothing has changed so far.
DAMON HILL will race for the last time in Formula 1 at Silverstone this weekend. The 1996 World Champion spent the early part of last week negotiating his exit from the sport while his likely replacement Jos Verstappen was testing for Jordan Grand Prix at Silverstone.
SAUBER has agreed an extension to its current engine supply deal with Ferrari with the Italians expected to supply the Swiss team with Sauber Petronas-badged V10 engines for a fourth season.
GENERAL MOTORS says that it has no plans to enter Formula 1 in the foreseeable future but the company's executive director of motorsports Herb Fischel admits that the company aspires to Grand Prix racing. "We would need to see a five to 10 year guarantee of stability in the regulations before we would think of committing to such a big program," Fischel said.
THE outgoing European Competition Commissioner Karel Van Miert has finally issued his long-awaited statement of objections detailing what he believes to be abuses of European Union law by the FIA and Bernie Ecclestone's companies FormulaÊOneÊAdministrationÊLtd., and International Sportsworld Communicators (ISC). These firms market - or used to market - the television rights to international motor racing events.Typically, Van Miert chose to leak the documents to the press before they had been received by intended recipients and this led to much speculation about the security of Bernie Ecclestone's recently-announced $1.4bn Eurobond issue.