NEWS ARCHIVE

31 JANUARY 2002

KIRCH UNDER PRESSURE

Bernie Ecclestone turned Formula 1 into a goldmine for himself but those who have tried to follow in his footsteps have suffered.

NO WORD ON US TELEVISION COVERAGE

There is much interest in the question of whether or not Formula 1 is going to be shown on television in the United States in 2002.

RENAULT SIGNS FINNISH RACER

The Renault F1 team has signed Heikki Kovalainen on a long-term contract.

SAUBER LEADS THE FIELD IN BARCELONA

Sauber continued to impress during testing Thursday in Barcelona, where Nick Heidfeld and Felipe Massa out-paced the rest of the testing field in new Sauber-Petronas C21s in qualifying trim.

WHO WILL BUY THE PROST FACTORY?

The biggest question since the collapse of Prost Grand Prix is what is going to happen to the team's 70,000 sq ft. factory in Guyancourt.

30 JANUARY 2002

ARROWS TO RUN THIS WEEK

The new Arrows-Cosworth A23 is expected to be run for the first time this week.

FORMULA 3000 TAKES SOME HITS

The F1-supporting Formula 3000 circus is not as healthy as it once was with the announcement this week that Prostar, the Prost GP junior team, has been liquidated and that the Belgian team KTR has decided not to compete this year and is switching to the Formula Open Nissan series in Spain.

KIRCH IN CRISIS AS SPRINGER EXERCISES PUT OPTION

Kirch, the company which controls the commercial rights of Formula 1 racing, is facing a financial crisis after German publishing house Axel Springer exercised a "put" option, forcing Kirch Media to buy its stake in ProSiebenSAT1 for $675m.

MARLBORO TO GET A NEW BOSS

Geoffrey Bible, the chairman and chief executive of Philip Morris, the parent company of Ferrari sponsor Marlboro, is to step down later this year.

SCHUMACHER WALKS AWAY FROM TESTING ACCIDENT

World Champion Michael Schumacher suffered a rather large accident during testing in Barcelona on Wednesday, but walked away unhurt.

THE "SPORTING" OJJEHS

Mansour Ojjeh caught the Formula 1 bug back in the early 1980s when his father's Techniques Avant Garde SA was a supporter of the Williams team.

TWO CARS DESTROYED, FERRARI CANCELS BARCELONA TEST

Rubens Barrichello followed his teammate's example and crashed the only Ferrari fit to test in Barcelona on Wednesday afternoon.

29 JANUARY 2002

BMW BEATS ITS OWN RECORDS

BMW is doing well on the race tracks in Formula 1 and in the showrooms. Despite the downturn in the world economy the German car company is still selling more and more of its products with a 7.1% hike in sales last year.

CRITICISM FLIES FOR ALAIN PROST

Alain Prost is not having a good week. Having been forced to close his team on Monday, he faced a barrage of criticism from the French racing community on Tuesday.

DEUTSCHE POST TO BE JORDAN TITLE SPONSOR?

Deutsche Post AG, Germany's mail service is rumored to be on the verge of signing to become the team's title sponsor for 2002.

FERRARI LEADS TESTING IN BARCELONA

Sixteen drivers took to the Circuit de Catalunya Tuesday for testing, of who the Ferrari pair of Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello were the fastest, and Nick Heidfeld, in the Ferrari powered Sauber C21 was third quickest on the day.

FRENTZEN OR VERSTAPPEN?

There are two experienced Formula 1 drivers, one of which might now be out of work following the announcement that Minardi has signed up new boy Mark Webber to be its team leader in 2002 and the demise of Prost Grand Prix.

HOW GOOD IS THE NEW HONDA ENGINE?

Everyone has been very polite to date but word is drifting in from testing in Spain that the all-new Honda V10 engine is rather a disappointment.

NEW MANAGEMENT PLANNED FOR ARROWS MAJORITY SHAREHOLDER

Deutsche Bank may not get much say in what is happening at the Arrows F1 team but the huge German bank, which owns 55% of the shares in the team, is about to have its management structure revamped and the new bosses may not be as patient as the current ones.

NEW MINARDI-ASIATECH PS2 WILL RUN THIS WEEK

The new Minardi-Asiatech PS2 chassis will turn a wheel for the first time later this week.

RUSSIA TO MAKE MORE EFFORT IN SPORT

The Russian State Council Presidium will meet today in Moscow under the chairmanship of President Vladimir Putin to discuss how to develop more sporting activities in Russia.

THE END OF "LES BLEUES"

The history of French racing blue goes back to the early days of the sport but in the modern era, it began with the first Matra entry into Formula 1 car in 1968.

28 JANUARY 2002

BRUNNER LAYS DOWN TOYOTA AMBITIONS

Gustav Brunner, the technical director of Toyota Motorsport, has told the Reuters newsagency that Toyota is not expecting huge success early in its Formula 1 program.

FAURE MAKES RENAULT'S POSITION CLEAR

Patrick Faure, the chairman of Renault Sport, has made the French company's position in relation the future of Formula 1 very clear.

FURTHER DETAILS ON PROST GRAND PRIX

The official liquidation of Prost Grand Prix means that Prost Grand Prix must now fold all its activities and sell off as many of the assets as it is able to try to raise as much money possible to pay the team's debts.

NEW RENAULT F1 COULD BE BEST OF THE REST

Renault's determination to become a leading F1 player alongside Ferrari, BMW Williams and McLaren-Mercedes was demonstrated in uncompromising style yesterday when the team's all-new R202 was unveiled at the French car maker's technical center in the Paris suburb of Guyancourt.

PROST GRAND PRIX GOES OUT OF BUSINESS

The Prost Grand Prix has been put into liquidation by a commercial court in Versailles after team boss Alain Prost failed to find a solution to pay debts of $28m.

RALF LEADS BARCELONA TEST IN NEW FW24

Testing in Barcelona continued Monday, with five teams in action. The Williams trio of Ralf Schumacher, Juan-Pablo Montoya and Antonio Pizzonia topped the time sheets, Schumacher in the new FW24.

STREIFF FIGHTS ON BEHALF OF THE HANDICAPPED IN FRANCE

Former Formula 1 driver Philippe Streiff is campaigning in France to get more money for the handicapped.

THE END OF PROST GRAND PRIX

Prost Grand Prix has been put into liquidation by the Tribunal de Commerce of Versailles with debts in excess of $28m.

WALTON JOINS MINARDI

John Walton, the sporting director of Prost Grand Prix, has started work at Minardi where he will be the sporting director and team manager of the ambitious Ledbury operation.

WEBBER SIGNS FOR KL MINARDI ASIATECH!

Mark Webber has signed for the Minardi team - and will make his Formula 1 debut at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.

WEBBER'S BIG MOMENT?

The news that Prost Grand Prix is going out of business could signal the arrival of Mark Webber as a Formula 1 driver with the KL Minardi team.

27 JANUARY 2002

RENAULT LANDS HANJIN BACKING

Renault has landed sponsorship from the Korean company Hanjin.

RENAULT LAUNCHES THE NEW R202

Renault took the rather strange decision to give the French TV station TF1 exclusivity for its launch in Paris on Sunday and the car had been shown on the television almost an hour before the assembled members of the world's media were given a glimpse of the new car.

WEBER UNDER INVESTIGATION?

The Germany authorities are reported to be investigating the business dealings of Willi Weber, the manager of the Schumacher Brothers.

26 JANUARY 2002

ANOTHER JAPANESE STAR ARRIVES IN EUROPE

Japan is firing in new young drivers into Europe every few weeks at the moment and the latest is Yuji Ide, who is to race in Aguri Suzuki's ARTA team this year's French Formula 3 Championship.

CONGRATULATIONS RON TAURANAC

Ron Tauranac has been recognized by the Australian government for his services to motor racing.

HERTA GIVES UP ON F1 DREAM

CART refugee Bryan Herta has abandoned hopes of landing a test drive with Arrows and has signed to drive for the works Panoz sports car team.

KIRCH AND MURDOCH TALKING DEALS OVER PREMIERE

The Kirch Group has been struggling for cash in recent months and that has led to all kinds of rumors about the role of the firm in the sport.

MOTOR RACING AND THE RECESSION

After months of pretending that there are no problems, the Formula 1 community is now waking up the reality that there is a recession: the first in 10 years.

PROST GOING TO THE WALL

The word on the street in Paris is that Prost Grand Prix is going to be liquidated on money, Alain Prost having failed to find a suitable package to save the team.

TROUBLE AT ILMOR

As we suggested some weeks ago all is not well at Ilmor Engineering with the new Mercedes-Benz engine having a number of problems and according to unconfirmed reports a senior Ilmor engineer has been asked to leave the company because of the problems which have been found.

WILLIAMS LANDS FEDERAL EXPRESS MONEY

The BMW Williams team has landed a new sponsorship deal from the Federal Express company which was ousted from Ferrari by the signing of the new Vodafone sponsorship deal.

25 JANUARY 2002

A COMPLETELY NEW CAR FOR SAUBER

At the start of the launch of his new Formula 1 car, Peter Sauber asked a rhetorical question: "What do we have in common with Ferrari?

BSKYB TO OFFER PAY-PER-VIEW INTERACTIVE BROADCASTS OF F1 RACES

Satellite Television operator BSkyB announced Friday that it has worked a deal with Formula One Management to broadcast live interactive coverage of the Formula One World Championship in 2002 and 2003.

BUTTON'S NEW MANAGER

Jenson Button has a new manager - but the word on the street is that he is not one of the establishment management names in F1 circles but rather a fairly low-key lawyer called John Byfield.

CHANGES IS SAUBER STRUCTURE

There have been some changes in the technical structure of Sauber with Belgian Jacky Eeckelaert appointed head of track engineering and race engineer for Felipe Massa.

F1 TO SIDESTEP FOOTBALL CLASH

Formula 1 cars are to qualify earlier than normal for the European Grand Prix on June 22 - to avoid the session clashing with quarter-finals of the soccer World Cup.

FORD ABANDONS MIDDLE EAST MOTOR SPORT

The first real cutback in the newly re-branded Ford Rallye Sport empire has come with the announcement that the works-supported Ford Focus program of multiple FIA Middle East Rally Champion Mohammed bin Sulayem is to be axed.

LAUNCHING TODAY...

Sauber and Williams will be unveiling their new challengers today at Dubendorf Air Force Base in Switzerland and at Silverstone respectively.

MONTAGNY TO TEST LATER FOR MINARDI

Franck Montagny was forced to miss his planned test last week with Minardi in Valencia because of an operation but the team still intends to give the young Frenchman a test in the not too distant future to see how he does.

MONTOYA DELIGHT WITH NEW BMW ENGINE BODES WELL FOR NEW WILLIAMS

It may have been wet, damp and cold at Silverstone today (Friday) for the launch of the new Williams-BMW FW24.

SAUBER AIMS FOR FOURTH PLACE

Peter Sauber launched his 2002 package at the Swiss National Military Aviation Museum in Zurich.

WILLIAMS, JAGUAR JOIN MCLAREN IN BARCELONA

Testing continued at the Circuit de Catalunya on Friday, where McLaren test driver Alexander Wurz shattered the track record he set earlier in the week.

24 JANUARY 2002

BRISCOE TO RACE IN MELBOURNE!

Toyota sources in Germany are whispering that the Toyota Motorsport test driver Ryan Briscoe will be racing at Melbourne this year.

NO NEWS FROM MELBOURNE CORONER

The lack of any word from the Melbourne Coroner is beginning to cause worries in Europe.

PENSKE CHOOSES DALLARA - AND ILMOR

Roger Penske has decided that his team will use Dallara chassis for its assault on this year's Indy Racing League.

PROST IS STILL IN BUSINESS

There is a delay in the decision but that means that Prost Grand Prix is still in business. The court in Versailles says that it has received several similar proposals for partnerships in Prost.

RISING SPANISH STAR TO GET SECOND PACWEST SEAT?

Oriol Servia may have long-term dreams of a career in Formula 1 alongside his fellow countrymen Pedro de la Rosa and Marc Gene but for the moment at least he is planning to stay in the United States of America.

TESTING CONTINUES...

Testing continued at various European circuits on Thursday.

THE FORMULA 3000 GRID IS FORMING

The International Formula 3000 scene has been pretty quiet for a while with most of the top teams yet to confirm their drivers (and in some cases their participation) in 2002.

23 JANUARY 2002

EVENT ORGANIZERS IN ARGENTINA SUFFERING

The decision by the government of Argentina to cut the value of dollar deposits in the country's banks is bad news for any company that had been hedging its bets on the failure of the peso but keeping hold of US dollars as well.

FIAT SELLING OFF ASSETS

The Fiat group, Italy's largest industrial company, is to sell off more than $2.6bn worth of non-core businesses as it tries to reduce its massive $5.2bn debt load.

HERBERT GETS FACTORY AUDI AT LE MANS

Johnny Herbert has been signed by Audi to drive in the Sebring 12 Hours and the Le Mans 24 Hours this year.

IRVINE GOES TO COURT

Eddie Irvine has taken legal action to gain some damages from a radio station which used his picture to promote its programming.

RECESSION: YES BUT NOT IF YOU HAVE THE RIGHT PRODUCT

These are hard times for everyone but the Italian motorcycle company Ducati is showing that if you have the right product you can still make money.

REYNARD CUTS 50 MORE STAFF

Reynard has announced 50 more redundancies to add to other jobs lost in the course of the last 12 months.

TESTING CONTINUES IN BARCELONA, SILVERSTONE

McLaren and Sauber were back at it again in Barcelona on Wednesday, where young guns Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa tested their teams' new machinery for the first time.

TURKEY PITCHING FOR A GRAND PRIX

Back in August we reported that Turkey was planning to pitch the FIA in the hope of landing a Formula 1 Grand Prix at some point in the years ahead.

WATCH OUT FOR THE BULLETS

When Jaguar decided not to go down to Barcelona but instead concentrate on trying to sort out a front wing aerodynamic problem at Lurcy-Levis in France, the writing probably went up on the wall for the design team.

22 JANUARY 2002

KEEP AN EYE ON LIUZZI

Vitantonio Liuzzi, the World Karting Champion, who also raced last year in the Italian Formula Renault series, is to take the top drive in German Formula 3 this year

OH, WHAT A PICKLE!

The organizational mess on the Monte Carlo has created a rather alarming precedent in motor racing jurisprudence - a complicated enough business as it is.

PROST - A DECISION TODAY?

Alain Prost spent Monday in meetings with the judicial administrator Franck Michel and the various proposals which Prost is believed to have been put to the court official.

RENAULT SPORT TO LAUNCH ON SUNDAY

The new Renault Sport team launch in Paris on Sunday and there will no doubt be much hullabaloo as France unveils another Grand Prix challenge.

THE GOOD NEWS FOR (SOME) PROST STAFF

The future of the Prost Grand Prix team may not be clear at the moment but if the worst comes to the worst there is a good chance that a number of them will be able to find work just around the corner at Citroen Sport.

WHAT, EDDIE, NO LAUNCH?

Eddie Jordan is always one for surprises but the team's decision to finish off the new car and go running with it without even announcing a launch date is both a good sign and a bad sign for the team.

WURZ FAST IN BARCELONA, JAGUAR MISSING FROM ACTION

McLaren and Sauber continued testing in Barcelona on Tuesday, where McLaren test driver Alexander Wurz set a new track record behind the wheel of an interim MP4/16.

21 JANUARY 2002

FERRARI WRAPS UP VALENCIA TEST

Rubens Barrichello was back behind the wheel for Ferrari on Monday for the first time since his spectacular crash on Saturday.

FORMER F1 DRIVER IN TROUBLE

Former Formula 1 driver Ian Ashley has been released on bail after being arrested at London's Heathrow Airport, allegedly trying to carry offensive weapons onto a flight to Seattle.

FRENTZEN AND PROST

A spokesperson for Prost Grand Prix has said that the team has no contract or written agreement with Heinz-Harald Frentzen to drive for them in 2002.

IS SAO PAULO A CITY WHERE F1 SHOULD BE RACING?

Crime in Sao Paulo has become a very serious issue in recent weeks and the murder of one of the mayors of one of the communes close to the city on Sunday has once again brought home to Brazilians just how dangerous the city has become since the autumn.

MCLAREN, SAUBER KICK OFF BARCELONA TEST

McLaren and Sauber began testing at the Circuit de Catalunya on Monday, where David Coulthard topped the time sheets ahead Nick Heidfeld and teammate Alexander Wurz.

NEW JORDAN EJ-12 HAS SILVERSTONE SHAKEDOWN

The Jordan Honda EJ12 today successfully completed its first shakedown test, running on the South Circuit at Silverstone, with Takuma Sato at the wheel.

RUBENS IN HOT WATER

Before he damaged his Ferrari in a heavy accident in Valencia last week, Rubens Barrichello gave his first press conference of the year at the annual Marlboro skiing event.

STEWART GIVES THANKS

Jackie Stewart and the British Grand Prix lobby have given thanks to the local community for the support received in the Northamptonshire circuit's continued bid to retain its Formula 1 event.

VERSTAPPEN CONFIRMS HIMSELF AT ARROWS!

The mystery deepens at Arrows. Jos Verstappen, who was signed by Arrows last summer, then mysteriously not confirmed by Arrows when they signed Enrique Bernoldi, told his fanclub that he will definitely be driving for the Leafield based team in 2002.

20 JANUARY 2002

ANOTHER JAPANESE STAR ON THE HORIZON

Ryo Fukuda had his first taste of a BAR-Honda on Saturday in Valencia.

CHEATING AND ACCUSATIONS - AS BAD AS EACH OTHER

The one thing that Formula 1 does not need right now is cheating - or allegations that cheating is going on. Both are as damaging as the other.

CRIME GETTING OUT OF CONTROL IN SAO PAULO

The mayor of Sao Paulo Mayor Marta Suplicy has told Globo TV that the city has now reached "the limit of tolerance" because of a new wave of violent crimes and kidnappings.

MCLAREN TEAM EXPECTS RAIKKONEN WRECKS

The McLaren team says that it is not expecting the coming season to be without a few crashes for new boy Kimi Raikkonen.

MINARDI UNVEILS GO KL LOGO

In a dramatic ceremony in Kuala Lumpur Sunday, complete with base jumpers and fireworks, Minardi unveiled its new "Go KL" emblem that will adorn the Minardis' sidepods and engine covers during the coming season.

RICHARDS MAY SIGN 100 YEAR RALLY DEAL

David Richards may take a leaf out of Bernie Ecclestone's book and sign a 100-year deal for the TV rights to the World Rally Championship.

SCHUMACHER FASTEST AGAIN IN VALENCIA

Michael Schumacher topped the time sheets again in Valencia on Sunday.

19 JANUARY 2002

BARRICHELLO FLIPS FERRARI IN VALENCIA

Testing resumed in Valencia on Saturday, and Rubens Barrichello provided some drama when he lost control of his Ferrari and crashed spectacularly.

COULTHARD UPBEAT ABOUT NEW SEASON PROSPECTS

David Coulthard positively radiated a glow of renewed confidence at the launch of the new McLaren-Mercedes MP4/17 and is confident that he will challenge for the World Championship.

DENNIS SAYS THAT NEXT TWO SEASONS WILL BE TOUGH

McLaren Chairman Ron Dennis has predicted that the next two seasons will be tough commercially for the F1 business and there could be a painful squeeze which will make it hard for some teams to survive.

RADICAL NEW MCLAREN-MERCEDES MP4/17 UNVEILED IN BARCELONA

The mood was distinctly upbeat and cautiously optimistic at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya today (Saturday) when the striking new McLaren-Mercedes MP4/17 was officially unveiled.

18 JANUARY 2002

CHANGES PLANNED FOR MONACO CIRCUIT?

For some time now there have been worries about the safety of the Monaco racing circuit, particularly the section of track which runs around the famous Swimming Pool.

DOES THE FORMULA 1 MONEY SUPPLY NEED TO BE CHANGED?

The financial problems which have hit Prost Grand Prix and which appear to be threatening one or two other F1 teams have revived debates about whether the financial system of the sport should be changed to help the smaller teams survive.

FORD ANNOUNCES $5BN LOSS OF THE LAST QUARTER OF 2001

The Ford Motor Company has revealed losses of an amazing $5bn in the last three months of 2001.

FORMER PROST PR HEADS PAUL RICARD PROMOTIONAL TEAM

Marie-Pierre Dupasquier, formerly the Prost Grand Prix press officer, is the new head of public relations for the Paul Ricard facility.

RALF LEADS THE WAY AT VALENCIA TEST

With the McLarens finished with their testing program for the week, Ralf Schumacher, wearing glasses for the first time behind the wheel of a Formula One car, was able to top the time sheets at Valencia on Friday.

STEVE CLARK MOVES TO MCLAREN

Steve Clark, a engineer with over 10 years experience with a variety of different teams in Formula 1 and in CART, has joined McLaren to take up a new role as a leading test team engineer.

17 JANUARY 2002

BAT BACK TO WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP

In a surprise announcement on the eve of the Monte Carlo Rally (January 18-20), British American Tobacco has announced that it will be reuniting its 555 brand with the works Subaru Impreza team of Prodrive, whose boss is new British American Racing chief David Richards.

FERRARI ANNOUNCES LAUNCH DATE

World Champions Ferrari have announced that they will unveil the F2002 on Wednesday, February 6th at the factory in Maranello, and immediately begin testing it at Fiorano and Mugello.

FIORIO LEADING ANOTHER CONSORTIUM

Cesare Fiorio, the former Ferrari team manager, is believed to be behind one consortium believed to have made a bid for Prost Grand Prix.

FRENTZEN AND ARROWS

We understand that Heinz-Harald Frentzen is still waiting to find out if Prost Grand Prix is going to be in Melbourne. Frentzen has a deal to join Arrows if Prost goes out of business.

MCLAREN GOING BACK TO INDIANAPOLIS!

The McLaren name is to go back to Indianapolis this year with the announcement that California-based McLaren Engines is to prepare Chevrolet engines for Blair Racing.

PREMIER 1 STILL OUT THERE

The Premier 1 racing series, written off by many in the sport as not being a very serious idea, insists that it will kick off in 2003 and that this year will be spent signing up deals with more of the football clubs which it hopes will lend their support to the championship.

RAIKKONEN SETS NEW TRACK RECORD IN VALENCIA

Kimi Raikkonen continued turning blisteringly fast laps at Valencia on Thursday.

SAFETY GURUS MEET IN FLORIDA

The leading lights of the motorsport safety world are gathered in Florida this week for a meeting to discuss the latest developments in global safety technology and to exchange information.

SCHECKTER LOOKING TO IRL

Tomas Scheckter, the former Jaguar Racing test driver, is to try his luck in the United States of America, following a season in Formula Nissan Open in Spain.

TOYOTA TEST DRIVER SIGNS FOR NORDIC FORMULA 3000 TEAM

Ryan Briscoe, the Toyota Motorsport test driver and Australia's next rising star, has signed to drive for the Coca-Cola Nordic Racing team in the International Formula 3000 series.

16 JANUARY 2002

DENIALS FROM FERRARI, BUT MONTOYA MUST BE A TARGET ON MARANELLO'S RADAR SCREEN

Nobody would question Ferrari sporting director Jean Todt's assurances when he says that there has been no approach, either directly or indirectly, to Juan Pablo Montoya as a possible long-term candidate to replace Michael Schumacher.

EX-LIGIER MAN KILLED ON DAKAR

A few days ago there were reports of "a Toyota mechanic" having been killed in an accident on the Arras-Dakar Rally.

F1 MEN STRUGGLE IN AMERICA

Former Williams test driver Bruno Junqueira did not have a great debut season in CART in 2001 but it now looks like he will be staying with the team for a second year.

FORD TO SELL OFF BRITAIN'S KWIK-FIT

As part of the plan to make the company profitable again, Ford is believed to be selling off its car repair business in Britain known as Kwik-Fit.

MCLARENS FASTEST AT VALENCIA

Kimi Raikkonen topped the time sheets at the third day of testing at Valencia on Wednesday, just a hundredth of a second faster than his McLaren teammate David Coulthard.

NEW SAUBER C21 HAS FIRST SHAKEDOWN AT FIORANO

The Sauber-Petronas C21 completed its first shakedown at the Ferrari team's Fiorano test track on Tuesday.

OLYMPIC FLAME DOES A LAP OF INDIANAPOLIS

The Olympic Flame, on its way to Salt Lake City for the Winter Olympics next month, drops into Indianapolis Motor Speedway this week.

RED BULL STAYS WITH SAUBER

One could never accuse Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz of being conventional and his decision to sell his shares in Sauber but remain as a sponsor, while also supporting (and trying to buy) Arrows is best described as an idiosyncratic move.

SAUBER CAUGHT OUT BY WILLIAMS LAUNCH DATE

The Sauber Petronas team is reported to be less than happy about the decision by BMW Williams to launch its 2002 car on exactly the same day as the new Sauber C21.

THE IRRESISTIBLE RISE OF CARLOS GHOSN

There was a time when Renault Sport boss Patrick Faure had ambitions of becoming the boss of the entire Renault company, as the successor to current chairman Louis Schweitzer.

WHAT IS SO RADICAL ABOUT THE NEW FERRARI?

There has been a great deal of speculation of what Ferrari is up to this season and it is rumored that Michael Schumacher's recent test at Fiorano was to try out one of the new systems on the car.

WHO GOES WHERE IF PROST CLOSES DOWN?

There continue to be suggestions that Alain Prost is going to be forced to close down his Formula 1 team later this week as the proposals he has put forward have not done enough to convince the judicial administrator Franck Michel that the team can survive.

WORK STARTS IN MELBOURNE

The construction work for the 2002 Australian GP has begun in Melbourne, despite the fact the race has still to receive an official green light from the FIA.

15 JANUARY 2002

ATTENTION TURNS TO RALLYING

The World Rally Championship kicks off very early on Friday morning with the 70th running of the Monte Carlo Rally, which takes place in the Alpes Maritime area of southern France.

BMW CONSIDERING A RALLY PROGRAM?

There has been some speculation on the Continent in recent days that BMW Motorsport may be considering an assault on the World Rally Championship with the Mini Cooper.

KIRCH GETS MORE TIME

The Dresdner Bank, which is owed around $400m by the Kirch Group, the commercial rights holders to Formula 1 racing, has granted the German firm an extension in order to pay the money outstanding.

MICHEL STUDYING THE PROST DOSSIER

Franck Michel, the judicial administrator appointed to oversee the affairs of Prost Grand Prix, is now studying the dossier put forward by Alain Prost.

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING

There have been reports in the German press that Ralf Schumacher could be in trouble because Formula 1 drivers are not allowed to wear glasses.

PROST WAITS FOR THE ADMINISTRATOR TO DECIDE

Alain Prost has done all he can do to save his indebted Formula 1 team and he is now waiting to see if the latest offer is enough to convince the team's legal administrator that the team can be saved.

SIR HUGUES...

French motor racing has been in the doldrums for some years following the government's decision to ban tobacco and alcohol sponsorship.

TESTING CONTINUES AT VALENCIA

Testing resumed Tuesday at Valencia, and teams who tested for Michelin on an artificially soaked track Monday were joined by the likes of Jordan, Minardi and Toyota.

THE 2003 SILLY SEASON BEGINS

Ferrari is reportedly chasing Juan-Pablo Montoya for the 2003 season.

14 JANUARY 2002

FERRARI TESTING AT HOME AND AWAY

Ferrari's intensive program of tire development with Bridgestone has stepped up a gear having left the rather public group test at Barcelona for some track time behind closed doors at Fiorano.

MICHELIN TESTING AT VALENCIA

Four teams resumed testing Monday in Valencia, conducting wet and intermediate tire testing for Michelin. McLaren-Mercedes driver David Coulthard set the fastest lap of the day at 1m30.750s.

MONTOYA TO FERRARI IN 2003?

World Champions Ferrari are looking to secure Juan-Pablo Montoya as a long term replacement for four time World Champion Michael Schumacher, the BBC Sport Online is reporting.

SCHUMACHER GOING DOWNHILL FAST

While the testing for the 2002 season has begun at Ferrari in the hands of Luca Badoer and Luciano Burti.

STEINHAUSEN AND MOSCOW

There are whispers from Germany that Kurt Steinhausen, the boss of the Olympia Reisen travel company, is going to be one of the major supporters of the planned Russian Grand Prix.

13 JANUARY 2002

ARE THESE THE MEN BEHIND PROST GRAND PRIX?

The word on the street in France is that the group of investors which may be coming to the aid of Alain Prost will include the Michelin family, which control the Michelin tire company.

AUSTRALIAN GP YET TO BE CONFIRMED BY THE FIA

Although the State Coroner in Melbourne has already said the he does not see there being a problem with this year's Australian Grand Prix going ahead as planned.

CUTS IN DETROIT - NO PROBLEMS IN MILTON KEYNES?

The news that the Ford Motor Company is closing five factories in North America and laying off 35,000 people has been followed by comments from Jaguar Racing that this will have no effect on the Formula 1 project.

JORDAN COUNTER-ATTACKS

Formula 1 team boss Eddie Jordan has vigorously denied stories that his team is facing financial difficulties. The stories began when the team failed to name Benson & Hedges as its title sponsor for 2002.

KATAYAMA MAKES IT TO DAKAR

Former Grand Prix driver Ukyo Katayama made it to the end of the gruelling Paris-Dakar Rally on Sunday, albeit nearly 55 hours behind the race winner.

LAUDA ENJOYS SUCCESSFUL JAGUAR F1 TEST

Niki Lauda had a successful test outing in the F1 Jaguar R2C at Valencia today.

REITZLE ALSO TRIES JAGUAR F1 CAR AT VALENCIA

After proving that driving today's F1 racers is perhaps not as difficult as it looks, Niki Lauda pulled off a personal PR coup for the whole Jaguar formula one program by persuading Wolfgang Reitzle, the president of Ford's Premier Automotive Group to take a turn behind the wheel.

SALO - MONEY CAN'T BUY TIME

Toyota's lead driver Mika Salo has continued to tow the party line in a BBC interview that despite huge investment and a year's intensive testing the Japanese team shouldn't be expected to be at or even near race-winning pace in its first season.

12 JANUARY 2002

FORD'S MAMMOTH JOB CUTS

The Ford Motor Company has announced that it is to close five of its factories in North America and lay-off 35,000 workers.

HERBERT AIMING FOR INTERNATIONAL DOUBLE

Johnny Herbert has said he is out to win the 2002 Indianapolis 500 and the Le Mans 24-hour classic in a bid to become the first man to bag this double in the same year since US racing legend A.J. Foyt did so in 1967.

RICHARDS REJECTS SUGGESTIONS OF VILLENEUVE SWAP

BAR team principal David Richards has specifically rejected any contractually possibility of Jacques Villeneuve leaving the team in a swap deal with Renault driver Jenson Button.

THE CONFIRMATION OF BERNOLDI

It has been expected for a long time but the interesting thing about the Orange Arrows announcement that Enrique Bernoldi is to stay for a second season with the Leafield team is that the press release completely failed to mention that Jos Verstappen has already been confirmed as a driver.

WEBBER TO TEST FOR MINARDI

Mark Webber is to join the Minardi team's testing next week in Valencia.

WILLIAMS TO LAUNCH ON JANUARY 25

The BMW Williams team is to unveil its new FW24 on January 25 at Silverstone.

11 JANUARY 2002

BERNOLDI CONFIRMED AT ARROWS

Enrique Bernoldi will drive for Arrows in 2002 the team announced Friday.

FORD TO ANNOUNCE BIG CUTS TODAY

The Ford Motor Company is to announce today that it is to reduce its global production capacity by one million units.

GAVIN TO REJOIN RENAULT TEST TEAM IN 2002

Renault has announced that Oliver Gavin will rejoin their testing team in 2002 to help in the development of the car's launch control and traction control systems.

JORDAN ENDS BARCELONA TEST ON TOP

The EJ11 Jordans of Giancarlo Fisichella and Takuma Sato topped the time charts during the last day of testing in Barcelona on Friday.

MINARDI'S SECOND DRIVER

The current focus in Formula 1 circles is on who will end up driving the second KL Minardi Asiatech.

PROST'S SECOND DRIVER

As France waits for news as to whether or not Prost Grand Prix is going to be saved, there is speculation that as part of the deal the team will run a young French driver in the second car.

SENIOR JAGUAR MEN TO DRIVE F1 CAR AT VALENCIA

Wolfgang Reitzle, the president of Ford's Premier Automotive Group, will join Niki Lauda at Valencia on Sunday where he will drive one of the Jaguar R2C development cars after the former triple World Champion has taken his turn at the wheel.

SHEER SCALE OF TOYOTA EFFORT IMPRESSES RIVALS

The sheer scale of the Toyota F1 effort has started to dawn on rival F1 teams amidst rumors circulating at this week's Barcelona test that the Japanese car giant had committed to a $1.45 billion budget.

WHITAKER TO JOIN BAR?

There were rumors at the Autosport International Show on Thursday that the boss of the Ford World Rally Championship operation Martin Whitaker is to leave the team to return to Formula 1

10 JANUARY 2002

A POSSIBLE RENAULT SPONSOR?

Renault will launch its new Formula 1 team in a couple of weeks from now in Paris.

ALBERS TO REJOIN MINARDI TEST TEAM

Minardi announced Thursday that Dutchman Christijan Albers will test for the team when they begin their on track preparation for the 2002 season on January 15th.

ANOTHER WAY OF SPREADING THE F1 WORD

The World Rally Championship has managed to build up quite a following with its computer games and Formula 1 is following suit as sales of Sony's Playstation 2 console boom.

DRY TESTING CONDITIONS FOR DAY FOUR IN BARCELONA

Conditions improved for the first time Thursday for teams testing in Barcelona.

ENGE TO JOIN ARDEN IN FORMULA 3000

Tomas Enge, who raced for the Prost team at the end of last season, has given up his plans to try to find a ride in Formula 1 this season.

FORMER F1 PR BECOMES OCTAGON DIRECTOR

Maria Bellanca, who used to work as a press officer in Formula 1, has been named a director of Octagon Motorsports.

HOW NASCAR DOES BUSINESS

The start of a new season is always a time when there is a great deal of media interest in the sport.

KATAYAMA STRUGGLING IN THE SANDS (SOMEWHERE)

Former Grand Prix driver Ukyo Katayama has been competing in the Paris-Dakar Rally this year at the wheel of a diesel engine, production-based Toyota Land Cruiser 4x4.

KIRCH ALLY STOIBER BIDDING FOR POWER IN GERMANY

Gerhard Schroeder has been Chancellor of Germany since the elections in September 1998 but this year the Social Democrat leader is to be challenged for power by Dr. Edmund Stoiber, the Christian Socialist who is the Minister-President of Bavaria.

NO SURPRISES YET IN BARCELONA TESTING

There has been a flurry of reporting about the first Formula 1 tests of the year with all the latest quotes being rushed out by the drivers.

PROST CONFIRMS (PROVISIONAL) FERRARI DEAL

Alain Prost has finally confirmed that his team will run with Ferrari engines in 2002 - if it survives the January 15 deadline which has been set by the team's legal administrator.

RENAULT AIMING FOR US MARKET WITH NISSAN

Renaullt-controlled Nissan says that it is planning to expand its operations in the United States in the next couple of years with six new Nissan models and four new Infiniti cars.

SAUBER ADMITS HE HAS BOUGHT OUT MATESCHITZ

Peter Sauber says that he has bought Red Bull's share of the Sauber F1 team but says that he is planning to sell it on to the team's sponsor Credit Suisse.

TOYOTA PASSES FIA SAFETY TESTS

Toyota F1 has announced that their new car has passed all the FIA safety tests, and has been cleared to compete in the 2002 Formula One World Championship.

9 JANUARY 2002

ARGENTINE ECONOMY CRISIS TO HIT BRAZIL?

The world economy is a complicated concept but analysts around the world are predicting that Argentina's decision to devalue the peso by 30% is going to have an effect on the value of the Brazilian real.

COULTHARD FASTEST AGAIN IN BARCELONA

Eighteen drivers took to the Catalunya circuit in Barcelona for testing on Wednesday in rainy conditions. The weather cooperated briefly.

EU TO DEMAND MAJOR CHANGES FROM CAR MAKERS

The European Commission is planning to announce later this month big changes to the way in which cars are sold in Europe.

PADDOCK RENOVATION WORK FOR MONZA

The Autodromo Nazionale at Monza has proved itself to be adept at dodging change in recent years but the pressures on the 80-year-old circuit have gradually increased to such an extent that finally a major revamp is happening to bring the facilities up to a more modern standard.

THE SANDS ARE SHIFTING AT RENAULT SPORT

The announcement that 54-year-old Jean-Jacques His is to become managing-director of Renault Sport in Paris marks an important shift in Renault policy.

8 JANUARY 2002

BAHRAIN LIBERALIZES - BUT TEAR GAS IS STILL IN ORDER

The Gulf state of Bahrain is in the process of building a Formula 1 racing circuit in order to promote its new liberal image around the world.

COULTHARD QUICKEST ON SECOND DAY AT BARCELONA

David Coulthard set the fastest time for the McLaren-Mercedes squad on the second day of the Barcelona F1 test which was spoiled by heavy rain during the morning.

HIS APPOINTED MD OF RENAULT F1 FRANCE AS CONTZEN REASSIGNED

Jean-Jacques His will take over as Managing Director of Renault F1 France on March 1 this year, the day of first practice for the opening Grand Prix of the season in Melbourne.

HUNGARY BANS TOBACCO ADVERTISING

Hungary voted a ban on tobacco advertising a year ago and that has now come into force.

INVESTORS DISCUSS A DEAL WITH PROST

Just days before a deadline which would have closed down Prost Grand Prix, it seems that a group of French businessmen are going to come to the rescue of the team.

MALAYSIAN GOVERNMENT ESTABLISHES COMPANY TO BUY SEPANG

The Malaysian government has decided that a company called Minister of Finance (MOF) Inc. will buy the Sepang racing circuit from Malaysia Airport Holdings.

7 JANUARY 2002

DE LA ROSA'S CHEEKY MOMENT

Possibly a little miffed by his boss Niki Lauda's suggestion that the current generation of Formula 1 cars could be driven by monkeys or grandmothers, the Catalan driver is looking forward to the triple champion's return to the cockpit with some relish.

FALLING VALUES IN F1

Although everyone in Formula 1 likes to say that the recession will not have an effect on the sport, there is no doubt that the value of the teams has been dropping in recent months.

MINARDI TO VALENCIA

The newly-renamed KL Minardi Asiatech team won't be traveling to Barcelona with the rest of the F1 circus this week, but will instead begin its pre-season program at Valencia on January 15.

MORE DETAILS OF THE SAUBER DEAL

More information is now emerging about the sale of Dietrich Mateschitz's shares in Sauber.

PIZZONIA TOPS THE BILLS IN BARCELONA

Testing got underway for the first time since the end of the 2001 season Monday in Barcelona with Williams' young test driver Antonio Pizzonia setting the early pace.

RICK GORNE JOINS LOLA CARS

Former Reynard director Rick Gorne is to join Lola Cars International Ltd. with immediate effect, as a Consultant and adviser in Business Development.

WHEN IT COMES TO PRE-SEASON TESTING, LOOK BEHIND THE LAP TIMES

The familiar ritual of pre-season F1 testing kicked off at Barcelona yesterday with nine of the current 12 F1 teams turning up to start what amounts to the long slog towards the first race of the season in Melbourne on March 3.

WILL MATESCHITZ NOW BUY INTO ARROWS?

It is possible that Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz will use the money he has raised by selling his Sauber shares to buy into Arrows.

WINTER TESTING BEGINS

The sound of V10 engines is at last ringing out after the three-month enforced drought since the end of last season's Japanese Grand Prix, and the current hot spot is the Circuit de Catalunya.

6 JANUARY 2002

GOODBYE NORTEL

The BMW Williams team does not have much space available on its cars at the moment but the end of the 2001 season marked the finish of the team's three-year relationship with Canada's Nortel Networks.

JAMES BOND TO DRIVE AN F1 CAR?

In just over a week the next James Bond movie begins filming at Pinewood Studios and MGM and Eon Productions have decided to run a 007 logo on the Jaguar Formula 1 car this year.

WHAT IS HAPPENING WITH ARROWS?

One of the teams which will be missing from testing for the next few weeks will be Orange Arrows which has been waiting for the delivery of its first Cosworth V10 engines.

WHERE THE TESTING IS HAPPENING

The winter testing ban is over and on Monday the leading teams will be in action again with Williams starting off the testing at Barcelona on Monday with three interim cars.

5 JANUARY 2002

MARK WEBBER AND MINARDI

Rumors are currently circulating suggesting that Mark Webber is getting ever closer to a deal to lead the Minardi team in 2003.

MERCEDES TO SUPPLY SAUBER

Sauber has announced that the Commercial Vehicle Division of DaimlerChrysler Schweiz AG, parent company of Mercedes-Benz, has become a technical supplier to the team.

NEW TESTING RULES

After much confusion and several controversial meetings, the Formula 1 team bosses agreed in November to new testing regulations which will see a continued midseason ban and additional breaks in testing after the final race and over the Christmas period.

NOW THAT THE HULLABALLOO HAS DIED DOWN

The launch season is always a time of hype and high expectations. The danger of being a Formula 1 journalist is that one can be swept along in all the warm woolly optimism of the season.

SCHUMACHER INSURED FOR A FORTUNE

Michael Schumacher has reputedly insured himself to the value of $81 million for the coming season with the renowned Lloyds of London.

SEPANG TO BE SOLD TO THE MALAYSIAN GOVERNMENT

It seems that Petronas, the Malaysian national oil company, has decided against buying the Sepang racing circuit to avoid criticism that an oil company has no need for such a facility.

TURKEY GIVES TOBACCO A BOOST

In a world where legislation is usually against tobacco companies, the Turkish government has just announced plans to open up its tobacco industry.

TWO SERIOUS OFFERS FOR PROST GRAND PRIX?

The protest by Prost employees at the French Ministry of the Economy, Finance and Industry drew attention to the team's plight - as it was intended to do.

VILLENEUVE LOOKING FOR WORK?

Jacques Villeneuve has not been exactly ecstatic about the ousting of his mentor Craig Pollock as the head of British American Racing and the Canadian driver has been dropping some hints to pressmen about the future.

4 JANUARY 2002

AGE IS NO PROBLEM FOR ME SAYS IRVINE

Jaguar Racing team leader Eddie Irvine says that he believes his age is no handicap when it comes to taking on young rising stars such as Kimi Raikkonen and Jenson Button over the next few F1 seasons.

BUTTON TO GET NEW MANAGEMENT

Jenson Button has decided to end his relationship with his management team.

HIGH HOPES FOR REVISED COSWORTH CR-3 ENGINE

The Jaguar team has high hopes for the revised and uprated Cosworth CR-3, 75-degree V10 engine which the team will continue to use this coming season.

MAJOR F1 TEST STARTS AT BARCELONA NEXT WEEK

Every F1 team apart from Arrows and Minardi will be out at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya next week as the first major test of the 2002 season starts the countdown towards the opening Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 3rd.

MATESCHITZ SELLS HIS SAUBER SHARES?

According to a report on the Internet, Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz has sold his shares in Red Bull Sauber Holding AG, the parent company of the Swiss F1 team.

MCLAREN WILL LAUNCH ON JANUARY 19

The West McLaren Mercedes team is to launch its new MP4/17 car in Barcelona on January 19, which is very early compared to usual McLaren launches.

NEW JAGUAR R3 SHOULD BE QUICKER, LIGHTER AND MORE COMPETITIVE

The new Jaguar R3 was unveiled this morning (4 January) at the British team's headquarters in Milton Keynes and will be rushed to Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya over the weekend for its first test in the hands of Eddie Irvine next Tuesday.

NEWEY UP FOR DESIGN AWARD

McLaren designer Adrian Newey has been nominated for the prestigious Prince Philip Designer Prize, which recognizes the career achievements of individuals involved in the world of design.

PROST MEN AND WOMEN PICKET MINISTRY

More than 200 Prost employees will protest outside France's Economy, Finance and Industry Ministry tomorrow, in the hope that the politicians will step in to help the team survive.

REYNARD TAKES CONTROL OF REYNARD AGAIN

As we predicted recently Rick Gorne has departed Reynard Racing Cars, having been unable to put together a deal to rebuild the company as he would have liked.

WISHFUL THINKING FROM VILLENEUVE?

Jacques Villeneuve has made the unlikely statement that he would like to drive for Ferrari.

3 JANUARY 2002

CAR MANUFACTURERS GATHER IN DETROIT

The North American International Auto Show, which kicks off in Detroit on Sunday, is expected to see a fair amount of soul-searching amongst the car manufacturers as they face up to the first serious recession in a decade.

NEW TOYOTA ENGINE RUMORED TO BE VERY POWERFUL

The new Toyota V10 F1 engine is rumored to be producing prodigious horsepower figures and we have heard suggestions in recent days that if the current development continues the team could be in a position to qualify in the top 10 in the early races of the year.

RENAULT ENGINE FLOPS ON DAKAR

Jean-Louis Schlesser has retired his Renault Kangoo Schlesser Special from the Paris-Dakar after only six stages.

REUTEMANN QUIET AS RIVALS COMMIT POLITICAL SUICIDE

Being an Argentine politician at the moment is a dangerous business.

SCHUMACHER BACK IN ACTION ON JANUARY 19

Michael Schumacher is still enjoying his winter break and is not expected to be seen back at the wheel of an F1 car until January 19 when he is due to test at Valencia.

SCHUMACHER PRAISES MOSLEY'S SAFETY EFFORTS

Four time World Champion Michael Schumacher praised the efforts of FIA President Max Mosley and the Grand Prix Drivers Association to continue to improve safety in Formula One, but said there are still "some old and grey men" working against those efforts.

WEBBER-MINARDI RUMORS GROW

The announcement of Mark Webber as team mate to the well-funded Alex Yoong with the recently renamed KL Minardi team is becoming the subject of much speculation as the final places in the 2002 Formula 1 driver market shake down and the testing season begins.

2 JANUARY 2002

BAD NEWS FOR THE YOUNGSTERS

The growing ranks of young talent emerging in Formula 1 such as Jenson Button, Nick Heidfeld, Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa have been given notice that their rise to the top will be no easier after 2004 when Michael Schumacher's current Ferrari contract runs out.

HOCKENHEIM WORK BEGINS

Work began Wednesday at the Hockenheimring on the $50m renovations planned to reduce the length of the track and increase spectator capacity.

PROST TEAM GOES RALLYING

Rather than heading to Monte Carlo for the classic season opener of the World Rally Championship, the 200-plus members of the beleaguered Prost Grand Prix team will be rallying in Paris this New Year as they attempt to drum up the interest of European industrialists in backing the outfit's future.

SCHUMACHER SECOND MOST IMPORTANT SPORTS STORY OF THE YEAR

A world-wide poll of Associated Press subscribers has voted Michael Schumacher's fourth World Championship as the second most important sports story of 2001.

TESTING DELAY FOR ARROWS

While many of the Formula One teams begin testing for the 2002 season in Spain next week, Arrows will not be among them.

WILLIAMS BACKS BUTTON

Sir Frank Williams has publicly backed Jenson Button's driving skills in the British paper the Sun.