NEWS ARCHIVE

31 JULY 2000

BUTTON AND BENETTON

AS we exclusively predicted a month ago Jenson Button will shortly be confirmed as a Benetton driver for next year.

FRANCHITTI AND JAGUAR

DARIO FRANCHITTI tested for Jaguar last week at Silverstone but failed to set any startling lap times and we hear that the possibility of the Scotsman getting a ride with the team in F1 next year is looking increasingly remote despite the fact that Johnny Herbert has made it quite clear in recent days that he has no intention of staying with the team and is heading off to CART in the United States.

THE BATTLE FOR FORMULA 1 BEGINS

THERE is much maneuvering going on in the upper echelons of Formula 1 at the moment as car manufacturers discuss a possible takeover - hostile or otherwise - of the sport.

THE FUTURE OF PROST GRAND PRIX

PROST GRAND PRIX is about to be sold to a US-based company and it is expected that the purchaser (rumored to be TonyÊJohnson's Hidden Creak Industries) is paying $67m for the deal.

WEBBER TO TEST FOR BENETTON

AS we predicted as long ago as May, Mark Webber will soon be testing for the Benetton Formula 1 team.

30 JULY 2000

BARRICHELLO DEDICATES VICTORY TO MENTOR SENNA

RUBENS BARRICHELLO dedicated his first grand prix victory to his mentor Ayrton Senna after driving a remarkable race in the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim.

PROTESTER WAS SACKED MERCEDES WORKER, ORGANISERS REVEAL

GERMAN GRAND PRIX race organisers have revealed that the man who caused the race to be run under the safety car was a Mercedes worker protesting against his sacking.

RUBENS DESERVED HIS VICTORY - COULTHARD

McLaren's David Coulthard heaped praise on German Grand Prix winner Rubens Barrichello - and insisted that he deserved every minute of his success.

SCHUMACHER BLAMES FISICHELLA FOR GERMAN EXIT

CHAMPIONSHIP leader Michael Schumacher laid the blame on his early exit from Sunday's German Grand Prix on Benetton driver Giancarlo Fisichella.

29 JULY 2000

DENNIS ANGERED BY FERRARI LOBBYING

MCLAREN team-boss Ron Dennis has intensified the rivalry between the Woking-based team and Ferrari by accusing the Italians of attempting to influence FIA stewards.

FISICHELLA FINED $5,000 FOR QUALIFYING ERROR

ITALIAN Giancarlo Fisichella has been fined $5,000 (dollars) by German Grand Prix race stewards after failing to stop at the weighing area after his first run in qualifying.

MINARDI CLOSE TO BEING SOLD, SAYS OWNER

THE Minardi team is close to being sold, said 70% team owner Gabriele Rumi -- but needs to find an engine supplier to tie up a deal.

SCHUMACHER JOINS IN HOCKENHEIM CRITICISM

RALF SCHUMACHER has joined the chorus of criticism of the Hockenheim track, saying he would like the German Grand Prix to switch to a more modern circuit.

THIRTEEN SUPPORTERS INJURED IN HOCKENHEIM

THIRTEEN spectators were injured as torrential rain hit Hockenheim on Friday -- circuit officials have announced.

WURZ INSISTS HE WILL FINISH THE SEASON WITH BENETTON

UNDER-PRESSURE Benetton driver Alexander Wurz has reiterated that he will be driving with the team until the end of the season at least.

28 JULY 2000

BAR SIGN AGREEMENT WITH WORLD ONLINE

BRITISH AMERICAN RACING have signed a multi-year partnership agreement with World Online International -- a Dutch network communication company.

HOCKENHEIM IN WASH-OUT

Heavy rain following Friday's opening free practice at the Hockenheim circuit caused havoc with the track schedule -- as flooding caused events to be cancelled.

IRVINE - HAKKINEN THE MAN TO WATCH

EDDIE IRVINE has continued his war of words by ruling out David Coulthard's world title chances - and insisting Mika Hakkinen is still the man to watch.

27 JULY 2000

COULTHARD ENDS OVERTAKING ROW

DAVID COULTHARD has ended his row with Michael Schumacher by saying he would not dispute the overtaking rules following their clash at Magny Cours three weeks ago.

HERBERT CONFIRMS CHAMP CAR MOVE

JOHNNY HERBERT has confirmed his retirement from Formula One after announcing he will move into Champ Car racing next year.

IRVINE HITS BACK AT SCHUMACHER

EDDIE IRVINE has hit back at Michael Schumacher and told the German to quit his role as the leading voice of the 22-man grid.

SCHUMACHER WELCOMES FIA HAKKINEN DECISION

MICHAEL SCHUMACHER welcomed the Federation Internationale L'Automobile's decision to allow Mika Hakkinen's Austrian Grand Prix victory to stand - because he wants to win the title without outside help.

26 JULY 2000

FRENTZEN CONFIRMS TWO-YEAR EXTENSION WITH JORDAN

HEINZ-HARALD FRENTZEN on Wednesday confirmed his future by agreeing a two-year extension to his contract with Jordan.

MCLAREN DISAPPOINTED AT FIA RULING, BUT WILL NOT APPEAL

MCLAREN have insisted that they were 'disappointed' and 'surprised' at the race stewards' decision on Tuesday to fine the team $50,000 and deduct 10-points from their constructors' championship standings, but will not appeal against the ruling.

PEUGEOT, AMT AND ARROWS

THE confirmation that Peugeot has sold its Formula 1 operation to an Asian consortium called Asia Motor Technologies brings to an end Peugeot's disastrous involvement in the sport with no wins in seven years of competition.

VILLENEUVE'S DECISION

JACQUES VILLENEUVE'S decision to stay at British American Racing comes as something of a surprise for the Formula 1 community and it is being seen as an indication that the Honda Motor Company must have made a commitment to Villeneuve that British American Racing will not be allowed to get into financial trouble if British American Tobacco scales down its involvement in the sport.

25 JULY 2000

HAKKINEN VERDICT KEEPS THREE-WAY TITLE BATTLE OPEN

THE three-way battle for the Drivers' World Championship is set to continue unabated in this weekend's German Grand Prix after FIA stewards yesterday confirmed Mika Hakkinen's victory in Austria - despite the fact that an official seal was missing from the electronic control unit of his winning McLaren-Mercedes MP4/15.

HAKKINEN'S AUSTRIA WIN STANDS, BUT TEAM LOSE CONSTRUCTORS' POINTS

MIKA HAKKINEN'S Austrian Grand Prix victory has been allowed to stand after the Federation Internationale l'Automobile (FIA) ruled the team had not benefited from the missing seal on the electronic control unit of his McLaren-Mercedes car.

JORDAN DENY ENGINEER SPLIT

JORDAN have categorically denied that Heinz-Harald Frentzen's chief engineer Sam Michael has left the team for Ferrari.

PEUGEOT PULL OUT OF FORMULA ONE

Peugeot have confirmed that they will pull out of Formula One at the end of the year, leaving Prost in search of a new engine supplier.

PROST DRIVERS CONTINUE TO FIGHT

THE row between warring Prost drivers Jean Alesi and Nick Heidfeld rumbled into a second week with Alesi launching a personal attack on his team-mate.

THEISSEN HAPPY WITH WILLIAMS RELIABILITY

BMW's motorsport director Mario Theissen is happy with the progress Williams have made in the past few races after suffering reliability problems.

VILLENEUVE ADMITS BAR PROGRESS WAS THE KEY

JACQUES VILLENEUVE has revealed that British American Racing's recent progress was the reason behind his decision to sign to the team for another three years.

24 JULY 2000

BUTTON HOPES RAISED AS VILLENEUVE STAYS

JENSON BUTTON'S prospects of sustaining the momentum of his F1 career after he leaves Williams have brightened considerably after Jacques Villeneuve wrong-footed the grand prix community by signing a 40 million pound, three year extension to his current contract with British American racing.

DE LA ROSA VOWS TO STAY IN FORMULA ONE

PEDRO DE LA ROSA has vowed to keep his seat at Arrows and stay in Formula One as speculation mounts that his future is in doubt.

HERBERT ATTENDS CART RACE

JOHNNY HERBERT attended the 11th round of the CART FedEx Championship in Michigan on Sunday and strengthened speculation that he is set to join the American series next year.

MANSELL CRITICIZES SAFETY CONSCIOUS

NIGEL MANSELL has criticized Formula One's governing body, the FIA, for making today's circuits too safety conscious and dull.

MCLAREN PREPARE FOR HAKKINEN HEARING RESULT

THE Federation Internationale l'Automobile (FIA) are keeping the location of McLaren's hearing on Tuesday, into the alleged infringements on the electronic box of Mika Hakkinen's Austrian Grand Prix-winning car, under wraps.

NEW CHAIRMAN FOR TOYOTA MOTORSPORT

TOYOTA has appointed Mr. Tsutomu Tomita as Chairman of Toyota Motorsport GmbH, the motorsport subsidiary responsible for the Toyota F1 program which will make its competition debut at the start of the 2002 FIA Formula 1 World Championship.

TWO DAY QUALIFYING SUPPORTED BY BERNIE

TWO day qualifying could reappear on the Grand Prix schedule in 2001 if Bernie Ecclestone has his way, according to several F1 teams last week.

VILLENEUVE COMMITS HIMSELF TO BAR

JACQUES VILLENEUVE ended speculation surrounding his future on Monday night by committing his future to British American Racing after agreeing a new three-year deal.

23 JULY 2000

BERNOLDI OUT TO IMPRESS TEAM-BOSS SAUBER

Sauber test driver Enrique Bernoldi is aiming to use his test in August to secure a drive with the team next year.

22 JULY 2000

DENNIS CRITICIZES FERRARI MANAGEMENT

MCLAREN chief Ron Dennis has intensified his team's rivalry with arch-rivals Ferrari by criticizing their management over team orders.

21 JULY 2000

BARRICHELLO COMPLETES FERRARI'S HOCKENHEIM PREPARATION

RUBENS BARRICHELLO completed Ferrari's preparations for the German Grand Prix by finishing testing at the Fiorano circuit.

BIDDERS FOR PROST

FINANCIAL newspapers have confirmed our suggestion that the Prost Grand Prix operation is for sale with merchant bank Credit Suisse First Boston offering the team for $67m.

ECCLESTONE AND THE CAR INDUSTRY

THE rumors that a consortium of automobile manufacturers are trying to buy a shareholding in Formula One is not a surprise given the recent agreement between Bernie Ecclestone and the FIA for the commercial rights to the World Championship to be leased for 100 years.

JORDAN DENY GASCOYNE SPLIT RUMORS

JORDAN have denied reports that technical director Mike Gascoyne has quit the team with immediate effect and insist he is still a part of their short-term plans.

SILVERSTONE ANNOUNCE NEW TRAVEL PLANS FOR BRITISH GRAND PRIX

SILVERSTONE have announced new plans for spectators to travel to the British Grand Prix in a bid to avoid the chaos that marred this year's event in April.

20 JULY 2000

BARRICHELLO ON TOP AGAIN AT MUGELLO

FERRARI'S Rubens Barrichello topped the times for a second consecutive day in testing at Mugello after running a preparation schedule ahead of the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim.

F1 TEAMS COULD BE BOXED INTO A FINANCIAL CORNER

RUMBLINGS of discontent amongst F1 teams regarding Bernie Ecclestone's increasing stranglehold on the FIA World Championship look set to be silenced if five of the world's major motor manufacturers eventually decide to purchase a one-third stake in Bernie Ecclestone's SLEC empire.

FISICHELLA IN HIGH-SPEED MOOD

BENETTON'S Ginacarlo Fisichella completed his final day of testing at Silverstone with the fastest time of the day, but was more concerned with his set-up ahead of the German Grand Prix next week.

HAKKINEN AGONY COULD HAVE BITTER SWEET ENDING

MIKA HAKKINEN and the McLaren-Mercedes team will probably have to sweat it out for over another week before they know whether the Finn's 16th career Grand Prix victory - secured in Austria before the question of the missing FIA seal on the car's electronic control box arose - can finally be confirmed.

IRVINE PASSED FIT TO RACE IN GERMANY

JAGUAR'S Eddie Irvine has been passed fit to compete in the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim next weekend after doctors gave him the all-clear.

PROST ARRANGING SALE

PROST GRAND PRIX have appointed Credit Suisse First Boston to look at arranging a sale for the French Formula One team priced at around £45 million.

STEWART: NO DECISION ON FRANCHITTI

FORMER Jaguar Chairman Jackie Stewart, who originally talked about a test with Dario Franchitti last year, was impressed by the Scot's performance at Silverstone this week, but commented; "we haven't got a definitive list yet of candidates under consideration for next year.

19 JULY 2000

BARRICHELLO SHOWS STRUGGLERS A CLEAN PAIR OF HEELS

FERRARI'S Rubens Barrichello showed a clean pair of heels to struggling Prost and Minardi as he topped the times by almost four seconds in testing at Mugello, Italy.

BRITISH F1 GREATS CONVERGE ON SILVERSTONE

SILVERSTONE will welcome a host of British Formula One greats this weekend when it celebrates 50 years of the World Championship.

BURTI HAS WHIRLWIND FOUR-DAY RIDE

JAGUAR test driver Luciano Burti claims that he has just come through the most remarkable four days of his life.

FRANCHITTI DENIES JAGUAR DEAL IS DONE

SCOTLAND'S Dario Franchitti has denied reports that he is set to sign with Jaguar Formula One team.

MCLAREN'S DOMINANT IN SILVERSTONE TEST

MCLAREN duo Olivier Panis and David Coulthard continued their dominance of testing at Silverstone as they topped the times for a second consecutive day.

MONZA COMPLETES WORK IN RECORD TIME

MODIFICATIONS to the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, the venue for September's Italian Grand Prix, have been completed in record time.

18 JULY 2000

CHANGES AT GOODYEAR

IT is worth noting that there is a major restructuring of management going on at Goodyear with Bill Sharp, the head of the company's North American operations (and the man who made the decision to pull the company out of Formula 1 back in 1997) stepping down at the age of 58.

FRANCHITTI STARS AT SILVERSTONE AS PANIS TOPS THE TIMES

SCOT Dario Franchitti made his first appearance in a Jaguar Formula One car in testing at Silverstone on Tuesday, but it was McLaren test driver Olivier Panis who topped the times.

MORE F1 MONEY COMING FROM GERMANY

GERMAN companies have become increasingly important in Formula 1 in recent years with DaimlerChrysler, West, BMW, Alliaz, Deutsche Post, Becks, Warsteiner and others all keen to be part of the boom in interest in F1 since Michael Schumacher became the top name in the sport in 1994.

17 JULY 2000

A CHANGE OF MANAGEMENT AT TELEFONICA?

THERE have been increasing rumors in recent days that the chairman of Minardi sponsor Telefonica, Juan Villalonga, may have to stand down from his position because of discontent amongst the companies institutional investors.

BIG TOBACCO TAKES A BIG HIT

TOBACCO has been the biggest supporter of motor racing since the late 1960s but the pressure on cigarette companies continues with another huge award of damages last week in a Miami court where a jury decided that the tobacco companies should pay $145 billion in punitive damages in what is known as "a class action" brought by thousands of individuals suffering from smoking-related illnesses.

CART TO GET WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP STATUS?

FORMULA 1 could face increased competition for sponsors and television coverage from a CART-inspired FIAÊWorldÊOvalÊRacingÊChampionship within the next five years.

FRANCHITTI GETS JAGUAR TEST

DARIO FRANCHITTI could be set to become the next Briton in Formula One as he prepares to impress Jaguar bosses at a test at Silverstone this week.

GRANDS PRIX IN BALI, GREECE AND CROATIA

THE next generation of Formula 1 racing circuits are already in the planning stages and we hear that there are three new projects under consideration at the moment.

HOLLOWAY TAKES KEY ROLE AS GASCOYNE GOES

JORDAN technical director Mike Gascoyne is expected to sit out the rest of this season on "gardening leave" before he takes up his next appointment as the new technical director of Benetton Formula.

IRVINE MISSES AUSTRIAN GP WITH ABDOMINAL PAINS

EDDIE IRVINE pulled out of the Austrian Grand Prix on Friday evening after suffering serious abdominal pains during the days leading up to the event.

THE MACHINATIONS AROUND PROST

THE plot thickens at Prost Grand Prix with the team's future becoming more and more like a bad soap opera. While Peugeo has been trying to buy the team with a deal involving the Vivendi company, Alain Prost appears to be working in direct opposition to his current engine supplier.

THE SALE OF MINARDI

THERE were a lot of rumors in Austria suggesting that Minardi will soon announce that it has been sold to a consortium which has been trying to finalize a deal for over a year.

WILL JACQUES STAY OR WILL HE GO?

THERE was considerable speculation at the Austrian Grand Prix which suggested that Jacques Villeneuve may decide to say at British American Racing next year rather than take up an offer to join Benetton in 2001 and then lead the new RenaultÊFormula 1 team in 2002.

16 JULY 2000

BUTTON COULD JOIN VILLENEUVE AT BENETTON

JENSON BUTTON could join Jacques Villeneuve in the Benetton-Renault line-up for the 2001 season if Flavio Briatore has a major re-shake of his driver line-up and dispenses with Giancarlo Fisichella and Alexander Wurz.

HAKKINEN'S AUSTRIA VICTORY PUT IN DOUBT

The Federation Internationale l'Automobile (FIA) are to investigate Austrian Grand Prix winner Mika Hakkinen's McLaren-Mercedes car over an alleged infringement.

NEW JAGUAR ENGINE READY

JAGUAR is aiming for an upsurge in its F1 performance starting at this week's Silverstone test when an extensively upgraded Cosworth V10 engine will be evaluated in preparation for a possible race debut in the next race at Hockenheim.

15 JULY 2000

IRVINE TO BE RELEASED FROM HOSPITAL

EDDIE IRVINE will be released from hospital in London on Sunday after tests allayed fears that he had appendicitis.

MCLAREN DRIVERS FREE TO RACE EACH OTHER

MCLAREN boss Ron Dennis has confirmed his drivers will be free to fight for victory with no team orders at Sunday's Austrian Grand Prix despite colliding in the event last year.

14 JULY 2000

ECCLESTONE'S SALE OF THE CENTURY

IT'S TRUE! Bernie Ecclestone has pulled off the deal of his life it emerged yesterday when it became clear that his F1 management group has extended its stranglehold on grand prix racing's commercial rights for another 100 years beyond their current expiry in 2001.

IRVINE WITHDRAWS FROM AUSTRIAN GRAND PRIX

EDDIE IRVINE'S miserable season hit a further low when he withdrew from the Austrian Grand Prix after suffering suspected appendicitis.

11 JULY 2000

DENNIS SETS HIS SIGHTS SKY HIGH

MCLAREN boss Ron Dennis has always had high ambitions, but now he has got his sights set on Mars.

FOUR-MAN JORDAN TEAM TO COMPETE IN SCOTLAND

A number of Jordan Grand Prix employees are leaving the Formula One fray for a short while - to compete in this weekend's World Corporate Games.

JAGUAR DENY FRANCHITTI TEST

JAGUAR have dismissed suggestions that Champcar driver Dario Franchitti is set to test with the Milton Keynes-based team this week.

PLAYING FOOTBALL TOUGHER THAN F1 - SCHUMACHER

FORMER world champion Michael Schumacher says that playing football is more physically demanding than driving a Formula One car.

WILLIAMS URGING BRAVERY ON QUALIFYING DECISION

TEAM-BOSS Frank Williams is urging FIA officials to be brave as they contemplate re-introducing Friday qualifying to Formula One.

10 JULY 2000

DAVID COULTHARD'S AIR CRASH

THE Sunday People newspaper in London has reported that David Coulthard's air crash in May may not have been an accident and has linked the crash at Lyons-Satolas airport - in which the two pilots of the jet were killed - to a similar one involving the jockey Frank Dettori a few weeks later.

DISCUSSIONS OVER TESTING

FORMULA 1 teams are once again discussing whether or not to change the format of Grand Prix weekends and whether or not to increase the ban on testing, in an effort to cut down on costs. A number of different proposals have been made, including a ban on all testing at Grand Prix venues between races but an extension to the running allowed on Friday at each track.

FRENTZEN TO SIGN FOR JORDAN

THE announcements at Magny Cours that Honda is to supply works engines to Jordan in 2001 and that McLaren is to retain DavidÊCoulthard and Mika Hakkinen have meant a little movement in the F1 driver market for next year and the next major announcement is expected to be the re-signing of Heinz-Harald Frentzen by Jordan for 2001 and 2002.

GORNE NOT FORGOTTEN

RICK GORNE, the marketing brain behind Reynard Racing Cars, who spent the 1999 season as Race Operations Director of BritishÊAmericanÊRacing, is rumored to be looking to branch out to establish his own racing car production business.

JORDAN AND ENGINES

ALTHOUGH Eddie Jordan recently announced a factory engine deal with Honda, there is no doubt that in the longer term Jordan is still looking for a major partnership with a car manufacturer - and Honda is unlikely to be that company as the Japanese firm is still intent on having its own F1 operation. Jordan could sell his team to Honda but discussions along these lines failed in 1999 and there are no signs that Jordan has lost his taste for the bright lights of F1 racing.

THE FUTURE OF MUGEN IN FORMULA 1

MUGEN, the Honda Family-owned engine company which has close links with the Honda Motor Company, has been tuning Honda engines for competition and for high performance road cars since the early 1970s.

THE GERMAN GP AT THE LAUSITZRING

THE new Lausitzring in the old East Germany is beginning to worry the existing German circuits and last week's announcement that the track is listed on the 2001 CART calendar - with a provisional date of September 16 (the same day as the ItalianÊGP) - has underlined that the local authorities are serious about grabbing Germany's top motorsport events.

WEBBER AND ARROWS

THE strained relationship between Mark Webber and the Arrows team is understood to have ended with Webber's manager PaulÊStoddart of the European Arrows Formula 3000 team having cancelled the contract because agreement could not be reached between the young Australian driver and Tom Walkinshaw's team.

WHO IS GOING TO RUN TOYOTA?

THERE are whispers in the Formula 1 world that Toyota has found someone to run its Formula 1 operations in Cologne and that the person in question will be able to attract a large number of British engineers to join the team which is currently being put together in Germany.

8 JULY 2000

COULTHARD KEEPS HIS COOL

DAVID COULTHARD took a wide berth from Ferrari rival Michael Schumacher this week.

FERRARI PRESIDENT DI MONTEZEMOLO WEDS

FERRARI president Luca di Montezemolo took time off from his pressing Formula One commitments to get married for a second time on Friday evening.

PROST DEFENDS HEIDFELD

ALAIN PROST has defended his team's young German driver Nick Heidfeld after a string of disappointing performances this season.

WEBBER IN DISPUTE WITH ARROWS

ARROWS' Formula One test driver Mark Webber is believed to have fallen out with the Oxfordshire-based team.

7 JULY 2000

ESTORIL FEATURING MASS CHANGES

THE Autodromo Fernanda Pires da Silva circuit in Estoril, Portugal, has undergone a major facelift in an attempt to host a Formula One race again.

FERRARI WORKING TO ERADICATE PROBLEMS

FERRARI are hard at work this week in an attempt to eradicate the problems that caused Michael Schumacher to retire from last weekend's French Grand Prix.

JAGUAR SIGN NEW SPONSORSHIP DEAL

JAGUAR have signed a £5 million (pounds) sponsorship deal with British natural mineral water brand, Aqua-Pura.

PANIS MAINTAINS DOMINANCE AT MUGELLO

TEST driver Olivier Panis continued McLaren's dominance in the final day of testing at Mugello, Italy, as he outpaced world championship leader Michael Schumacher.

SCHUMACHER HAPPY WITH DAY'S WORK AT ESTORIL

RALF SCHUMACHER described his day's work in testing at Estoril's Autodromo Fernanda Pira da Silva circuit as "productive" as BMW-Williams aim to continue a good run of form in the Austrian Grand Prix next weekend.

6 JULY 2000

BMW-WILLIAMS CONTINUE POSITIVE TEST AT ESTORIL

BMW-WILLIAMS pair Ralf Schumacher and Jenson Button both completed a positive days testing at the Portuguese circuit Estoril on Thursday.

HAKKINEN'S AGENT INSISTS HE MUST BE NUMBER ONE

MIKA HAKKINEN's agent Keke Rosberg insists the driver must remain as number one at McLaren or they will lose the world championship.

SCHUMACHER OUT-PACES COULTHARD AT MUGELLO TEST

MICHAEL SCHUMACHER gained revenge on his French Grand Prix defeat to David Coulthard by out-pacing his rival in a testing session at Mugello on Thursday.

VERSTAPPEN TOPS TESTING TIMES AT SILVERSTONE ON THURSDAY

JOS VERSTAPPEN dominated the rest of the field as he topped the times in testing at Silverstone on Thursday by running nearly one-and-a-half seconds quicker than his rivals.

5 JULY 2000

BUTTON TESTS FOR BMW-WILLIAMS AT RE-VAMPED ESTORIL

JENSON BUTTON started testing for his BMW-Williams team at a re-vamped Estoril circuit on Wednesday and called for it to become a Grand Prix circuit once again.

FRENTZEN TO DECIDE ON FUTURE BEFORE AUSTRIA

JORDAN'S Heinz-Harald Frentzen has vowed to make a decision on his future with the Silverstone-based team within the next ten days.

HAKKINEN ORDERED TO REST BY DENNIS

MCLAREN boss Ron Dennis has told double world champion Mika Hakkinen to rest in order to restore his desire for success.

IRVINE QUICKEST AT SILVERSTONE TEST

EDDIE IRVINE silenced the critics by topping the times in his Jaguar at a wet Silverstone testing session on Wednesday.

KRISTENSEN DENIES HE WILL ENTER FORMULA ONE

DANE Tom Kristensen is ignoring claims that his testing duties with Michelin will eventually see him drive in Formula One.

MCLAREN TOP SECOND DAY OF MUGELLO TESTING

MCLAREN out-paced Ferrari for the second consecutive day at Mugello on Wednesday as the teams' respective test drivers went head-to-head.

VILLENEUVE IS UNHAPPY WITH BAR NEGOTIATIONS

JACQUES VILLENEUVE is unhappy with the way his employers British American Racing are attempting to negotiate his contract and keep him at the team.

4 JULY 2000

HILL SET TO MAKE RACING RETURN IN NEW TOURING CAR SERIES

Ex-Formula One world champion Damon Hill is set to come out of retirement and make his racing return as one of the first drivers to sign up for the new international motorsports series - 'Superstars'.

MCLAREN AND FERRARI BEGIN MUGELLO TUSSLE

FORMULA ONE World Championship rivals Ferrari and McLaren began their two-way tussle in testing at Mugello on Tuesday - and it was McLaren who continued their recent dominance by topping the times.

WEATHER AFFECTS SILVERSTONE TEST

JORDAN'S Heinz-Harald Frentzen topped the times in the first day of testing at Silverstone on Tuesday, despite losing the morning session to adverse weather conditions.

3 JULY 2000

BRANDS HATCH GETS PLANNING PERMISSION

BRANDS HATCH LEISURE has been granted planning permission to redevelop the Kentish racing circuit into a Formula 1 specification facility.

ECCLESTONE LANDS COMMERCIAL RIGHTS TO F1 FOR 100 YEARS

BERNIE ECCLESTONE has pulled off an amazing new deal with the FIA to exploit the commercial rights of the FormulaÊ1ÊWorldÊChampionship for the next 100 years.

HONDA TO GIVE JORDAN FACTORY V10S

THE Honda Motor Company has announced its intention to supply Jordan Grand Prix with its factory V10 engines next season.

JEAN-JACQUES HIS RETURNING TO RENAULT SPORT

JEAN-JACQUES HIS, who was one of the leading lights in Renault Sport's successful engine supply program in the 1990s is to return to Renault Sport to head the company's Formula 1 program in 2002.

MCLAREN AND FERRARI RIVALRY SET TO CONTINUE IN TESTING

THE rivalry between McLaren and Ferrari continues this week - but this time it's on the practice track.

MCLAREN CONFIRMS HAKKINEN AND COULTHARD FOR 2001

THE West McLaren Mercedes team has announced that David Coulthard and Mika Hakkinen will be its drivers for the 2001 season.

PEUGEOT DECIDES TO STAY IN F1

ALTHOUGH it was not officially announced at the French Grand Prix we understand that Automobiles Peugeot has decided that it is not going to sell its Formula 1 technology to a third party as had been discussed and is planning to buy a FormulaÊ1 team instead and run the operation itself.

THE DRIVER MARKET BEGINS TO MOVE

THE announcement that Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard are to stay with the McLaren team and the expected news that JacquesÊVilleneuve is to move to Benetton and Juan-Pablo Montoya to Williams is likely to get the Formula 1 driver market moving in the weeks ahead.

TOYOTA'S LATEST PLANS

TOYOTA held its annual shareholders meeting in Tokyo last week and it was confirmed that the company will not enter FormulaÊ1 until 2002.

VILLENEUVE AND BUTTON AT BENETTON?

OUR spies in the F1 paddock suggest that Flavio Briatore is planning to shock the F1 world by announcing that he has signed JacquesÊVilleneuve and Jenson Button to drive for the Enstone team in 2001 and 2002.

2 JULY 2000

LAUNCH OF NEW SAFETY INITIATIVE BY THE FIA

MOTORSPORT's governing body, the FIA, on Sunday launched a new road safety document hours ahead of the French Grand Prix.

1 JULY 2000

NO REST FOR HAKKINEN AS HE PREPARES FOR FRENCH GRAND PRIX

MIKA HAKKINEN will be working through the night with his engineers to try and get his McLaren-Mercedes car at optimum performance after a disappointing qualifying session for the French Grand Prix.