NEWS ARCHIVE

30 NOVEMBER 2002

WRC TO ADOPT F1 POINTS SYSTEM

It is anticipated that the World Rally Championship will soon adopt the same scoring system as Formula 1. Confirmation will come at the forthcoming World Motor Sport Council in December. This will mean that the top eight finishers will all score points on a scale of 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1.

STORM IN A TEACUP BLOWS OVER

Jenson Button will be allowed to test for BAR for two days in December. The

GEE UP ECCLESTONE!

That Ecclestone gets everywhere. This week Ecclestone, ridden by Francine Gueros, will compete in the French national dressage competitions at Saumur.

29 NOVEMBER 2002

COULTHARD ENDS VALENCIA TEST ON TOP

McLaren, Williams and Renault finished up testing at the Valencia circuit in Spain Friday. David Coulthard set the fastest time of the day for McLaren, concentrating on the MP4-17, which he will start the 2003 season in.

THE EVER-POLITE MR BRIATORE...

Responding to the furore over Renault's refusal to let Jenson Button test before the end of the year, Renault F1 boss Flavio Briatore said that he had never been asked if Button could be released from his Renault contract in order to drive for British American Racing.

WHELDON MOVES TO ANDRETTI GREEN

Rising British star Dan Wheldon has joined Andretti Green Racing in the Indy Racing League and will act as the team's test driver. If money can be found for a fourth car he will join Tony Kanaan, Dario Franchitti and Michael Andretti.

RENAULT BLOCKS BUTTON TESTING

In a rather unsporting gesture, Renault Sport has decided to stop Jenson Button taking part int he two planned days of testing he has in December with British American Racing. The French team argued that Button remains under contract to Renault until December 31 and thus cannot test.

28 NOVEMBER 2002

BADOER AHEAD OF THE GAME IN BARCELONA

Ferrari test driver Luca Badoer continued to set the pace in the testing at Barcelona on Thursday with a best lap of 1m17.141s. This was over 1.5 secs faster than Mark Webber's Jaguar, the Australian finally getting some mileage after two days of engine problems with the new Cosworth V10.

PIZZONIA WIPES OUT AN S-TYPE

Antonio Pizzonia had a lively time on Thursday in Barcelona when he wrote off a $70,000 Jaguar sports car while giving a demonstration run for a magazine article. Pizzonia rolled the car at the exit of the first corner at Barcelona at around 155mph. No-one was injured in the crash but there were a few bruises.

RAIKKONEN ON TOP IN VALENCIA

McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen continued to set the pace in the third day of the Valencia F1 testing, lapping the track in 1m10.664s after 114 laps. This was more than a second faster than his McLaren-Mercedes team mate David Coulthard, who completed only 65 laps for a best of 1m11.833s.

MATSUURA TO TEST WITH BAR

British American Racing has offered Kosuke Matsuura, runner-up in this year's German Formula 3 Championship this year, the opportunity to test at Jerez next month. The 23-year-old Japanese driver will join Ralf Firman Jr at the test.

CALLING PROST FANS...

There is to be an auction of Prost Memorabilia on Sunday, December 15 at the Palais de Congres at the Porte Maillot in Paris. The sale is being organised by the Poulain Le Fur auction house and begins at 10.30 in the morning.

THANKSGIVING IN TURKEY

The supporters of the Turkish Grand Prix are getting very excited at the moment, following a visit to Istanbul by Hermann Tilke, the architect who designs Formula 1 circuits these days. Tilke visited the proposed site for a Turkish Grand Prix and told the locals that it would be fine.

27 NOVEMBER 2002

PIZZONIA FASTEST IN BARCELONA TESTING

Jaguar's Antonio Pizzonia set the pace in Barcelona for the second day of preseason testing at the Spanish circuit. After running second to Ferrari's Luca Badoer Tuesday, the two swapped positions on the time sheet Wednesday.

VALENCIA TESTING CONTINUES

McLaren took to the top of the time sheet for the second day of testing at the Valencia circuit Wednesday. Kimi Raikkonen and Alexander Wurz led the ten drivers who conducted testing at the Spanish circuit.

RUSSIA'S FORMULA 1 PROJECT

Ever since the Moscow Formula 1 project flopped last summer, things have gone quiet in Russia but in St Petersburg the local authorities are still talking about a race track to welcome Formula 1 in 2005 or 2006.

EM.TV FIGHTING FOR ITS FORMULA ONE SHARES?

The Financial Times Deutschland is reporting that EM.TV is preparing a law suit to claim back its share of the Formula One group, arguing that the takeover of the shares by the now-defunct Kirch Group was not carried out correctly.

A YOUNG AMERICAN WITHOUT RED BULL MONEY

The attention may be focussed on the four American drivers who have Red Bull backing for their racing in Europe next year but there are still other Americans trying to make their way up the motor racing ladder without the Austrian backing.

BERGER CONTEMPLATES THE FUTURE

Gerhard Berger, the former F1 driver who is now in charge of BMW Motorsport, says that he may not stay with BMW when his current contract is finished - although his intention if he does stop with BMW is to retire.

STEWART UNDERGOES TUMOUR SURGERY

Jackie Stewart appeared at yesterday's Jaguar Racing announcement with a rather dramatic scar on his cheek, having recently undergone an operation to remove a tumour. The operation took place at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, one of the world's bestknown surgical establishments.

26 NOVEMBER 2002

WHO IS TONY PURNELL?

Tony Purnell has kept such a low profile in recent years that the boss of PI Research often has his name spelled wrong. In fact it is Tony Purnell, rather than Parnell, and he founded PI Research in 1987.

PURNELL TAKES OVER JAGUAR!

As exclusively revealed by Grandprix.com, Tony Purnell has been named as the new boss of Jaguar Racing.

LAUDA IS OUT!

Niki Lauda has confirmed to Austrian television that he is to be replaced as boss of Jaguar Racing.

LAUDA'S SOUR GRAPES

Grace is not something one really associates with Niki Lauda and so his reaction to being fired by the Ford Motor Company from his role as head of the Premier Performance Division and Jaguar Racing is not altogether surprising.

BARCELONA WELCOMES BACK F1 TEAMS

The teams that made their way to the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona tuesday for the first testing of the off season picked up where they left off the 2002 season... looking up the time sheet at a Ferrari.

TEAMS RETURN TO TESTING AT VALENCIA

Formula One testing resumed Tuesday in Spain, and while half the teams were in Barcelona, half were at the Valencia circuit conducting preliminary testing for next year.

A LITTLE SUCCESS FOR RENAULT

The Renault Formula 1 team may have been something of a disappointment in the last 12 months but the company is doing very well in the European New Car Assessment Programme, which crash-tests all new road cars.

THESE FORMULA 1 PEOPLE GET EVERYWHERE

In recent days the sailing world has had its attention focussed firmly on Auckland where the racing has begun to establish who will win the Louis Vuitton Cup and so go on to challenge Team New Zealand for the America's Cup competition which will be held in Feburary in Auckland.

ROCKINGHAM IS OFF

CART will not be coming back to Rockingham Motor Speedway. The announcement was made by CART after Rockingham's management decided that the race was not financially viable. CART is expected to announce that it has agreed deals with a number of European venues to keep the international flavour of the series going.

FORD TO HOLD MEDIA BRIEFING IN LONDON

This morning the Ford Motor Company's head of Formula 1 activities Richard Parry-Jones is holding a media briefing at The Landmark Hotel in London and there is speculation that there will be an announcement about the management of the Jaguar Racing operation.

PURNELL TO LEAD JAGUAR RACING?

The word on the street in Milton Keynes is that the announcement from Ford this morning will reveal that Niki Lauda is being replaced as head of Jaguar Racing and that the job of chief executive will go to Tony Purnell, the founder and chief executive of the PI Research electronics firm

25 NOVEMBER 2002

BARRICHELLO TRIES TRIATHLON

Rubens Barrichello is at home in Brazil, having a winter holiday but the Ferrari driver intends to return for the new F1 season in the best physical form ever and last weekend competed in a triathlon in Santos. Barrichello ran, swam and cycled to finish 18 minutes behind the winner.

CART TO PICK UP EUROPEAN VENUES?

The CART series is looking at deals with a number of race tracks in Europe, hoping to pick up some of the venues which have been unable to land Grand Prix races. According to a report in The Guardian newspaper in London these include Brands Hatch, Estoril and Spa.

TOYOTA LAUNCHING AT RICARD ON JANUARY 8

The Panasonic Toyota team will be launching its 2003 challenge at the Paul Ricard circuit near Toulon on January 8. The team will unveil the new TF103 and introduce its new driver line-up of Olivier Panis and CART champion Cristiano da Matta.

24 NOVEMBER 2002

AUDI CONFIRMS LE MANS WITHDRAWAL

Audi has been expected to confirm its withdrawal from involvement in the Le Mans 24 Hours for several months and the news has finally been announced by the Ingolstadt firm, which says that it will now only be represented by private entries.

CHEEVER TO RETIRE?

Eddie Cheever, one of the stalwarts of Formula 1 in the 1980s, says that he is considering retiring as a racing driver after the Indianapolis 500 next year.

23 NOVEMBER 2002

BALANCING THE BOOKS AT JAGUAR RACING

Jaguar Racing has been growing rapidly in the course of recent seasons as it struggles toJaguar Racing has been growing rapidly in the course of recent seasons as it struggles to compete with the other manufacturer-backed teams in Formula 1

ECCLESTONE CONFIRMS THE END OF PAY-PER-VIEW

As we predicted would happen earlier this week Bernie Ecclestone has now confirmed that his pay-per-view TV service is to end. Ecclestone will now concentrate on building up the traditional free-to-air television business

LOOKING TO AMERICA

The rebuilding of the CART series promised to see a few European-based teams moving their activities to the United States and Prince Alfonso d'Orleans-Bourbon, the cousin of King Juan-Carlos of Spain, says that he is intending to run a two-car operation next year in the United States.

22 NOVEMBER 2002

FORD BACKS CART

The Ford Motor Company has thrown its undisputed weight behind the CART series in 2003 and 2004. The series, which is already supported by Bridgestone will also feature sponsorship from Ford using

PAUL RICARD GETS WATERING SYSTEM

The Paul Ricard facility continues to build up its reputation as a test track and the latest addition is a fully automatic watering system to allow teams involved in testing to simulate different levels of rainfall to help them develop tyres and cars for wet conditions.

21 NOVEMBER 2002

WHY THE EU IS PUSHING FOR A TOBACCO BAN IN 2005

The European Parliament's vote in favour of new pan-European anti-tobacco regulations could have a dramatic effect on the number of Formula 1 races in the European Union as the International Automobile Federation (FIA) continues to try to champion its policy of a global ban on all tobacco advertising from 2006.

RED BULL PLACES EDWARDS

As we predicted recently the final of the four Red Bull American drivers has landed a drive in the Telefonica World Series by Nissan. Paul Edwards will drive for the KTR team and will begin his preparation in the final two races of the series this year on December 1 at Curitiba in Brazil and on December 8 at Interlagos.

ANOTHER AWARDS CEREMONY

This is the time of year when every man and his dog are handing out awards for the motorsport activities of the last 12 months and Ferrari is expected to win most of them.

ANOTHER MANAGEMENT REFINEMENT AT FORD

The Ford Motor Company has tweaked its top management once again, electing James Padilla and David Thursfield as executive vice presidents. Padilla and Thursfield are the men in charge of the company's automotive units, which gives a clear signal that Ford's aim is to focus on its core business.

CAMATHIAS TO CART

Dale Coyne Racing has announced that it has signed a deal with Swiss driver Joel Camathias to race in CART next year. Camathias tested for the team at Sebring a month ago and now appears to have come up with the money for a full season in 2003.

KREYER TO BECOME TOTOYA TECHNICAL DIRECTOR?

There are reports in the Cologne newspapers that Toyota's F1 engine boss Norbert Kreyer is to take over the role of technical director of Toyota Motorsport. This would be at the expense of the current incumbent Gustav Brunner.

20 NOVEMBER 2002

WHAT IS BEHRING TALKING ABOUT?

The recent comments by German financial man Oliver Behring are strange at best. He says that he has taken over 60% of the Arrows team and that all the team's problems are miraculously solved and that it is virtually certain that the team will be at the first race in 2003.

EU PUSHES AHEAD WITH ANTI-TOBACCO LEGISLATION

The European Parliament has voted through a proposal to outlaw cigarette advertising at international sporting events throughout the EU. The Parliament in Strasbourg voted 311 to 202 with 39 abstentions to accept the tough new restrictions on tobacco advertising

MORE TALKING TURKEY

The Turks have been doing a lot of talking in recent months about hosting a Grand Prix at some point in the future and now that the national election is out of the way the Turks are again pushing for an F1 date.

CHANGES AT FORMULA ONE TELEVISION

Formula One Television, Bernie Ecclestone's digital pay-per-view television service has not been a success for the TV companies which bought into the scheme. They have all made losses on the deal and several have gone out of business.

FIRMAN TO TEST FOR BAR

Ralf Firman Jr is to test for the British American Racing team next month in Spain. Firman (27) is the current Formula Nippon Champion and wellknown in Japan. The 1996 British Formula 3 Champion has been exiled in Japan for the last few years because of lack of money to compete in Europe

MURRAY TO BECOME HONORARY PROFESSOR

Gordon Murray, one of the best known F1 designers of the 1970s and 1980s, will receive an Honorary Professorship from the Faculty of Engineering, Science, and the Built Environment at the Durban Institute of Technology in South Africa.

THE FUTURE OF FELIPE MASSA

There have been rumours for some weeks that Felipe Massa will move to Ferrari as a test driver next year. He does not deny that this is a possibility but it is clear that the Brazilian is still hoping to land a drive with another F1 team - and it is logical to assume that his major target is the Jordan team

THE WORLD ACCORDING TO OLIVER BEHRING

According to Oliver Behring, a 37-year-old German investment banker, his company Asset Trust & Partners has bought a 60% shareholding in Arrows for $50m.

19 NOVEMBER 2002

MORE BAD NEWS FOR ARROWS

It all seemed too good to be true and it now appears that the rescue of the Arrows F1 team is going to be more difficult than some had imagined. The case between Arrows and former partner Morgan Grenfell Private Equity has not been settled - as team members had previously implied

18 NOVEMBER 2002

MORE TEAMS IN TROUBLE?

Max Mosley has admitted that he is no sure that there will be 22 cars on the grid in Melbourne in March next year.

BAHRAIN AIMS FOR MARCH 2004 COMPLETION

Work has begun in earnest on the construction of the new Grand Prix circuit in Bahrain and if all goes to plan the construction will be completed in 16 months, in time for the start of the 2004 Formula 1 season.

BERNIE GETS ANOTHER AWARD

Bernie Ecclestone was in Vienna a couple of weeks ago to receive an award for ""entrepreneurs whose innovative accomplishments have positively influenced the business world, thereby achieving international recognition.". The award was given as part of an event to mark Men's World Day

CONGRATULATIONS ALAN JONES

The 1980 World Champion Alan Jones chose the beach on Daydream Island as the venue for his wedding. The 56-year-old married Amanda Butler-Davis, the mother of his two 20-month-old twins Jack and Zara in a very private ceremony in the perfect tropical setting.

DAVISON BECOMES GP AMBASSADOR

Australia's Will Davison has been appointed alongside Mark Webber and James Courtney as an international ambassador for the Australian GP.

MELBOURNE LAUNCHES 2003 PLANS

The Australian Grand Prix launched its program of events on Monday with a lot of emphasis being placed on the progress which has been made by Mark Webber. Next year Webber will be racing for Jaguar after a good learning year with Minardi in 2002.

NO SHORTAGE OF RACING PASSION IN MEXICO

CART's return to Mexico City was a big success with the organisers reporting a race day crowd of nearly 175,000 people and a three-day attendance of 350,000.

SAUBER PLANS FEBRUARY LAUNCH

The Sauber team will unveil its 2003 challenge in Zurich on Sunday February 9. The cars will then be sent straight to Italy where they will do their first shakedown runs at the Vairano test track the following day.

17 NOVEMBER 2002

GOMMENDY BIDS FOR GLORY

The little-known French Formula 3 Champion Tristan Gommendy won the Macau Grand Prix on Sunday. Gommendy ran second early in the race but then managed to overtake Finland's Heikki Kovalainen on stayed ahead all the way to the chequered flag. Third place went to Japanese champion Takashi Kogure.

16 NOVEMBER 2002

MCRAE SIGNS NEW MANAGEMENT TEAM

World Rally Championship driver Colin McRae has signed a new management deal with Essentially Sport, the company which manages the career of Jenson Button. The news is a minor coup for the relatively new company which only appeared last year.

ARROWS PUTS IN AN ENTRY

The Arrows Formula 1 team says it has applied for an entry for next year's Formula 1 World Championship. It remains to be seen whether the entry will be accepted by the FIA. The news that Arrows has gone ahead with the entry will not please the team's creditors as the entry costs around $250,000

15 NOVEMBER 2002

MINARDI SIGN ZLOBIN AS TEST DRIVER

Minardi has announced that they have signed Russian Sergei Zlobin as an official test driver in 2003. The 26 year old tested for the team in September, and is scheduled to test again for the team in late November, when the testing ban ends.

TODAY IS THE DAY FOR F1 ENTRIES

The entries for the 2003 Formula 1 World Championship close today and all eyes are on the Arrows team to see if an entry will be made.

BELGIANS TRY AGAIN

The Belgian Grand Prix may be off but members of the country's Senate Social Affairs Commission have voted 8-7 in favour of postponing the country's anti-tobacco legislation until 2006.

14 NOVEMBER 2002

ALL EYES TO MACAU

The annual Macau Grand Prix provides young drivers with an opportunity to show off their talents against the best Formula 3 drivers in the world and any driver with a Macau GP victory on his CV will be taken seriously by the F1 community.

KATAYAMA JOINS TOYOTA!

Former Grand Prix driver Ukyo Katayama has signed as a factory driver for Toyota - for the Paris-Dakar Rally in January. Ukyo will race an official Toyota Land Cruiser in the event which is extraordinary in that it is going nowhere near Paris nor Dakar.

HANSEN AND TILKE TO BATHURST

Peter Hansen, the former CEO of Confederation of Australian Motor Sport, is currently acting as the chief executive in charge of the new Grand Prix Circuit to be built in Bahrain, is to join forces with the circuit's designer Hermann Tilke to race a Honda S2000 in the forthcoming Bathurst 24 Hour race in Australia.

MINARDI DEAL WITH COSWORTH CLOSE

The European Minardi team is expected to sign an engine supply deal with Cosworth Racing this week, despite the fact that the costs of the deal will make it even tougher for the team to break even in 2003.

NELSON GOES TO EUROPEAN FORMULA 3000

The third of the Red Bull young drivers, Joel Nelson from Nevada, will race in the European Formula 3000 series next year with the John Village Automotive team, which finished runners-up this season with France's Romain Dumas scoring three wins in the series.

ROMAIN DUMAS TO TEST FOR RENAULT

The European Formula 3000 runner-up Romain Dumas is to be given a test by Renault F1. Dumas, a protege of longtime Renault favourite Erik Comas, was a frontrunner in the Euro F3000 title this year driving for John Village Automotive in a 1999 Lola Formula 3000 car.

ALAIN PROST - DON'T HOLD YOUR BREATH

There are a few wild rumours floating around that Alain Prost is about to make a comeback as a front man for a French company in Formula 1. These should not be taken too seriously although it is, of course, possible that Prost may be paid to represent a sponsor.

JIM DUTT

The name Jim Dutt will probably not mean much to modern Formula 1 fans but once he was seen as the man leading a huge American assault on Formula 1. That was back in the 1984 when Carl Haas announced that he had landed a mega-sponsor to fund an American Formula 1 team.

13 NOVEMBER 2002

ARROWS AIMS FOR CHAPTER 11!

The laws of insolvency differ from country to country but in most systems there exists a procedure by which a company can gain protection from its creditors for a period of time in order to hold a business together while plans are formulated to rescue the firm. In America this is called Chapter 11.

MO NUNN EXPANDS IN IRL

Morris Nunn Racing has officially announced its plans to switch to Toyota engines for 2003 and expand to become a two-car operation. Felipe Giaffone will be joined by another, as-yet-unannounced driver. MNR becomes Toyota's fourth IRL team joining Penske Racing, Target Chip Ganassi Racing and Kelley Racing.

MOVES TO GET ARROWS IN

We hear from a variety of team sources that Bernie Ecclestone has recently circulated a letter asking teams to consider whether they wish to accept the idea that the Arrows team has an automatic entry for the 2003 Formula 1 season. Our spies say that at least five of the teams have rejected the idea.

12 NOVEMBER 2002

ARROWS REINVENTS ITSELF AGAIN (MAYBE)

Over his years in Formula 1 Tom Walkinshaw has pulled many rabbits out of hats but on most occasions the rabbits have been not ended up being quite as first they seemed and there is an enormous amount of scepticism that the Arrows team has suddenly found a saviour.

MULLER TO TEST FOR WILLIAMS

European Touring Car Championship (ETCC) driver Dirk Muller will get the opportunity to test for Williams-BMW in early December, due to his close ties with BMW.

HAS ARROWS BEEN SAVED?

Numerous sources are reporting that Arrows F1 has been saved in the 11th hour by a group called German Grand Prix Racing, and will now attempt to reenter the championship in 2003.

11 NOVEMBER 2002

JORDAN AND DEUTSCHE POST

The announcement that Deutsche Post has ended its various sponsorship deals with the Jordan team was not unexpected.

A HUGE BLOW FOR BELGIUM

The Belgian motorsports community was just getting used to the fact that it looks certain that the country has lost its Grand Prix for 2003 but now it has now been hit with the sudden death of John Goossens

WHY F1 IS GOING TO SHANGHAI

People in F1 circles have been wondering why the sport should be visiting Shanghai from 2004 onwards but the first signs are beginning to emerge as to why the city has been chosen.

JORDAN LOSES DEUTSCHE POST

Jordan's largest sponsor, Deutsche Post World Net has pulled the plug on it's involvement with the team. The company has used the deal to promote its Danzas and, more recently, DHL brands with the deal, thought to be worth in the region of $15m.

BARRICHELLO AND CO. WIN AGAIN IN BRAZIL

Rubens Barrichello, Tony Kanaan and Felipe Massa dominated the annual Granja Viana 500 kart race in their native Brazil over the weekend. The win was the third in a row and fourth overall for Barrichello and Kanaan, who will switch from CART to the rival IRL in 2003, and the second for Massa.

10 NOVEMBER 2002

WINTER TESTING PREPARATIONS UNDERWAY

Most of the teams are preparing for the first winter testing, allowed in late November. Some new drivers are expected to test with their teams over the coming months, including newly crowned CART champion Cristiano da Matta for Toyota.

9 NOVEMBER 2002

GOODBYE VELTINS

German Brewing company Veltins has come to the end of its five-year relationship with the Williams team.

8 NOVEMBER 2002

WILLIAMS TO CONTINUE YEAR-ROUND TESTING IN 2003

When some of the teams are given the opportunity to run their cars on the Fridays of grand prix weekends in 2003, Williams will not be one of them.

THE FUTURE OF MIKA SALO

Mika Salo announced he would follow compatriot Mika Hakkinen into retirement after Toyota decided that they no longer needed his services after two development years with the team, but his announcement was due, in large part, to the betrayal he felt from Toyota and not because he felt his racing career should be over.

LOTTERER TO GET CART CHANCE

Former Jaguar test driver Andre Lotterer will compete in the Mexico City CART race next weekend for Dale Coyne Racing. The young German will make his CART debut in the Cosworth powered Lola that BAR test driver Darren Manning drove in the Rockingham round of the series in September.

7 NOVEMBER 2002

DEUTSCHE TELEKOM ENDS MCLAREN SPONSORSHIP

Deutsche Telekom has revealed that they will scale back their sponsorship activity, including the immediate discontinuation of their McLaren sponsorship.

JUNQUEIRA TAKES DA MATTA'S SEAT

Ex-Williams test driver Bruno Junqueira will take Cristiano da Matta's seat at Newman-Haas next year in the US-based CART series the team has confirmed.

JAGUAR ANNOUNCES R4 LAUNCH

After a disappointing 2002 season running the infamous R3 (and then the R3B), it is no surprise that Jaguar became the first of the teams to announce a launch date for their 2003 car.

6 NOVEMBER 2002

MICHAEL'S NEW HOUSE

Michael Schumacher has been trying to buy a farm for himself and his family for some years but the Swiss-German authorities have made life rather difficult for Michael because he has rather grandiose plans which the planning authorities say are too much.

HAS FERRARI SIGNED MASSA?

Luciano Burti, Ferrari's second test driver this year, is under the impression that he has just lost his job to Felipe Massa. Burti was quoted in the Swiss daily newspaper Blick as saying that he contract had not been renewed and that Massa will now take over his role.

ERRANT BANKER GOES TO JAIL

Stephen Troth, the Monaco-based banker who helped himself to $20m from a number of clients, including Michael Schumacher, has been sent to jail for four and a half years. Troth was also ordered to pay a fine of $30,000.

ASIATECH SHUTS UP SHOP

The Asiatech company has closed its doors and laid off its staff. The news means that more than 200 people are out of work in the Paris area, just 10 months after the closure of Prost Grand Prix. Asiatech has been in operation for two seasons.

5 NOVEMBER 2002

THE HAFFAS GO TO COURT

Thomas and Florian Haffa, the leading figures in EM.TV & Merchandising AG, which once owned the commercial rights to Formula 1, have gone on trial in Germany on charges that they deceived investors about the state of the company's finances

THE FUTURE OF ARROWS

The website www.allaboutarrows.co.uk is reporting that a solution has been found for the future of the Arrows team and that the staff will soon be paid. The information apparently comes from Arrows staff

TOYOTA CONFIRMS DA MATTA

Toyota Motorsport GmbH has finally announced that 2002 CART champion Cristiano da Matta has signed a two-year contract to become a Formula 1 race driver for the Panasonic Toyota Racing team. The 29-year-old Brazilian will partner Frenchman Olivier Panis in 2003 and 2004.

4 NOVEMBER 2002

SAVING THE BELGIAN GRAND PRIX

The Belgian authorities are beginning to wake up to the reality that the FIA is serious about the cancellation of the Belgian Grand Prix and are now scrambling to find ways to save the race at Spa-Francorchamps.

WEST AND MCLAREN

The current sponsorship deal between McLaren and West has been going on since the German tobacco company joined the team in 1996 after the departure of Marlboro to Ferrari. The initial West McLaren deal was for five years between 1997 and 2001 but this was later extended

PANTANO TO TEST FOR WILLIAMS

The news that Antonio Pizzonia will switch to Jaguar Racing next year has opened the way for Williams to sign up a second test driver and the team is planning to have a look at a number of youngsters in the weeks ahead.

3 NOVEMBER 2002

BRIDGESTONE SIGNS CART SPONSORSHIP DEAL

The Bridgestone tire company has become the m"presentingen" sponsor of the CART series in the United States of America. Bridgestone replaces Federal Express, which announced it is pulling out of the series recently. The company says that it intends to use the program to sell street tires to the public

2 NOVEMBER 2002

A CHANGE OF DIRECTION FOR JAGUAR

The announcement that Jaguar Racing had signed Antonio Pizzonia and Mark Webber for 2003 did not come as a surprise.

SPEED LEAPS AHEAD

The Red Bull F1 Driver Search winner Scott Speed will race for Alan Docking in the 2003 British Formula 3 championship.

1 NOVEMBER 2002

DA MATTA'S TOYOTA DEAL FINALIZED?

BBC Sports Online is reporting that the rumored deal for Toyota to bring CART Champion Cristiano da Matta to F1 in 2003 has been finalized. According to the British website, Toyota bought da Matta out of his contract with the Newman-Haas team, who is supplied with Toyota engines, in order for the deal to take place.

IT'S WEBBER AND PIZZONIA

Jaguar has indeed confirmed that Australian Mark Webber and Brazilian Antonio Pizzonia will drive for the team in 2003, replacing Eddie Irvine and Pedro de la Rosa.

ANTONIO PIZZONIA AND JAGUAR

The rumors that Jaguar Racing will sign up Mark Webber and Antonio Pizzonia for next year have been circulating for some weeks and although Jaguar has yet to make any official announcement it is perhaps significant that Williams, for which Pizzonia works as a test driver, is planning to test Vitantonio Liuzzi.

FIAT FINDS $2.5BN FOR FIAT AUTO

The Fiat group has announced that it will pour another $2.5bn into the troubled car company Fiat Auto. It is not clear where the money has come from except that Fiat says that the money comes from within the group and that it will not increase the company's debts.