NEWS ARCHIVE

28 FEBRUARY 2003

BADOER CRASHES NEW FERRARI

Ferrari test driver Luca Badoer crashed the new F2003-GA Friday while testing the car at the Jerez circuit in Spain. The Italian escaped unscathed after leaving the track and hitting a barrier, but the car suffered damage that could not be repaired at the circuit. The team will return to Maranello to examine the car.

BANGALORE AND THE AUTOMOBILE

The city of Bangalore in India is currently considering building a Formula 1 circuit and the plans for Bangalore to play a big role in the future in India's high technology industries has been given a boost this week with the news that General Motors is opening a new technical centre there.

F1 REFUGEES IN ACTION WITH TELEFONICA WORLD SERIES

The first official test for the Telefonica World Series in Barcelona saw a number of ex-F1 drivers and F1 hopefuls in action in the 450 horsepower cars.

TOYOTA EXPANDS LEXUS BRAND

Toyota has announced that it will shortly introduce the Lexus brand to Japan. Lexus was developed as a brand apart from Toyota in the United States because of restrictions of imports but has since expanded to become a strong luxury brand in its own right.

27 FEBRUARY 2003

PRE-SEASON TESTING WINDS DOWN

Testing continued Thursday across Europe, as the teams put the finishing touches on the cars they will take to Australia next week, and continue to develop new systems for the future.

RENAULT AND THE FRENCH

Renault has been owned or controlled by the French government since 1945 when Louis Renault was accused of collaboration because his factories had produced war material for the Germans.

DUDOT GOES BACK TO RENAULT

As expected Renault Sport has taken on a new manager to help Flavio Briatore run Renault Sport operations in Paris. Although the new man is actually the old man as the company has decided to rehire Bernard Dudot,

WILLIAMS-BMW CONTRACT "IN A MONTH OR TWO"

Sir Frank Williams says that he is confident that there will soon be a new deal between Williams and BMW despite the fact that the team is currently not very competitive.

F1 TO BROADCAST DRIVER BRIEFINGS

It is likely that the FIA will allow the screening of F1 dirver briefings on Sunday mornings to fill the slot left open by the cancellation of the warm-up. Up to now the meeting has been held in private although there have quiet often been incidents between drivers in these meetings

FOSTER'S TO SPONSOR IMOLA

The Foster's brewing company has stepped in to take the title sponsorship for the San Marino Grand Prix, beginning in 2003. Foster's is already the sponsor of the Australian GP and of the British GP.

MONTEZEMOLO TO JOIN MAIN FIAT BOARD?

Giuseppe Morchio is expected to be named as the new chief executive of Fiat tomorrow as the company undergoes another management reshuffle and Umberto Agnelli is named chairman.

RTL TO PAY $91M A YEAR FOR F1 TV RIGHTS IN GERMANY

The RTL network has concluded a new four-year deal with the Formula One group to continue its coverage of F1 in Germany. The company is reportedly paying $91m a year for the races which are amongst the most popular TV shows in the country, thanks mainly to Michael Schumacher's recent successes with Ferrari.

THE 107% RULE TO BE AXED

The FIA says that it will propose the cancellation of the 107% qualifying rule because of the new format in qualifying which may result in some rather unconventional grids and lap times.

26 FEBRUARY 2003

DENNIS AND WILLIAMS GO ON OFFENSIVE

F1 bosses Ron Dennis and Frank Williams have responded to FIA president Max Mosley's most recent letter to the two with a further threat of arbitration over the recent F1 rule changes imposed by the governing body.

TESTING HEATS UP

Testing intensified Wednesday as the teams are running out of testing time before the season starts in Melbourne in just over a week. The Imola, Jerez and Silverstone circuits were all very busy on the day, with development work and final shakedowns for the cars to be run in Australia.

QUALIFYING FORMAT FINALIZED

The FIA has clarified the new one lap qualifying rules to be used throughout the 2003 season, which will kick off in Melbourne in a week and a half.

AUDI SAYS NO TO F1

The German newsagency DPA is reporting that Audi chief executive Martin Winterkorn has confirmed that the Ingolstadt company has no plans to enter F1. Winterkorn says that the company which has been dominant at Le Mans in recent years will spend less on the sport this year but will up the budgets again in 2004.

ECCLESTONE BACKS MOSLEY

Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone says that the teams have only themselves to blame for what happened with the regulations and agrees that the FIA had to act to safeguard the future of the sport.

FORGET BELGIUM, SAYS MOSLEY

Despite optimistic noises from Belgium's deputy head of Wallonia regional government, Serge Kubla, about the future of the Belgian GP, the FIA president Max Mosley has made it clear that there is no chance of a race in 2003.

FORSYTHE WANTS CART-F1 MERGER

CART team owner - and the biggest shareholder in the CART business - Gerry Forsythe says that he thinks it would be a great idea for American-based series to merge with F1.

FRESCO TO LEAVE FIAT ON FRIDAY

Paolo Fresco, the boss of Fiat, is to quit on Friday, opening the way for Umberto Agnelli to take on the role that was previously held by his brother Gianni. Fresco has beenw ith Fiat since 1998 when he joined from General Electric.

25 FEBRUARY 2003

BELGIANS MEET WITH ECCLESTONE AND MOSLEY

Serge Kubla, the deputy head of the Wallonia regional government, was in London on Monday to discuss what can be done to save the Belgian Grand Prix with Max Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone.

FINAL WEEK OF TESTING UNDERWAY

This is the final week of testing before the teams head for Australia for the opening round of the new season, and the teams were busy Tuesday at circuits across Europe.

MAX MOSLEY'S LETTER

The following is the text of a letter sent by FIA President Max Mosley in reply to the February 20, 2003, letter from Ron Dennis and Sir Frank Williams:

MOSLEY BLASTS WILLIAMS AND DENNIS

FIA President Max Mosley has replied to the recent letter from Ron Dennis and Frank Williams about the changes to the F1 regulations, saying that he is "disappointed" at their decision to take the FIA to arbitration.

LYONS STAYS IN JAPAN

Richard Lyons, who was mentioned as a possible driver with the Jordan team this year, has decided to stay in Japan and has re-signed for Kiyoshi Muraoka's DoCoMo Dandelion Formula Nippon team.

IRONY IN AUCKLAND

The Swiss Alinghi team and its America's Cup sailing rival Team New Zealand have been fighting it out in recent weeks for the big prize but in recent days weather problems have delayed the racing.

TOYOTA - WAIT AND SEE

Toyota says that it has not yet made a decision as to whether or not to sign up as a member of the GPWC. The suggestion that this was about to happen was made in The Sunday Times over the weekend,

24 FEBRUARY 2003

HOGAN AT JAGUAR

As exclusively predicted by Grandprix.com, Jaguar Racing has now confirmed that its new sporting director is to be John Hogan, the former boss of Marlboro's racing activities. Hogan (59) retired from Philip Morris last year.

TRACY HAS IT ALL HIS OWN WAY

Paul Tracy won the opening round of the CART Champ Car series in St Petersburg, Florida on Sunday, taking his Players Forsythe Racing entry to victory by 12 seconds over Michel Jourdain Jr of Team Rahal.

23 FEBRUARY 2003

BERNIE AND THE BANKS

There have been a rash of stories arising for a report in The Sunday Times suggesting that Bernie Ecclestone is willing to buy back the Formula One group from the banks which currently own the 75% which the Ecclestones do not control. This is not news.

TOYOTA ABOUT THE JOIN THE GPWC?

The Sunday Times is reporting - presumably from a leaK - that Toyota is on the verge of joining the GPWC, a move which would strengthen the stretched credibility of the manufacturers' organisation which is supposed to be running its own championship in 2008.

22 FEBRUARY 2003

THE REVISED TIMETABLE FOR GRANDS PRIX

The FIA has released details of the timetable which will be in place at all Grands Prix this year. The action will begin at 08.30 on Friday mornings with the two-hour testing sessions.

HOGAN TO BE THE NEW FACE OF JAGUAR?

Our spies tell us that John Hogan, the man who spearheaded Marlboro's efforts in Formula 1 for more than 29 years before retiring last April, is likely to be named as the new sporting director or Jaguar Racing with his role including all commercial aspects of the team.

21 FEBRUARY 2003

HALFORDS AND MINARDI

It is expected that the the Dutch offshoot of the Halfords car accessory company will be sponsoring Jos Verstappen at Minardi this year - but it is not a major sponsorship deal for the struggling team.

ARDEN PLANNING A CART ATTACK?

The Arden Formula 3000 team, which came close to winning the International Formula 3000 title last year with Tomas Enge is rumoured to be planning to embark on a CART Champ Car programme this year.

IS SAFETY A GOOD ARGUMENT?

Safety is clearly a subject about which Ron Dennis and Frank Williams feel strongly, as over the years both have had to deal with difficult situations resulting from accidents which have befallen their drivers.

MOSLEY: "A STORM IN A TEA CUP"

The FIA President Max Mosley has played down the news that McLaren and Williams are going to go to arbitration over the federation's re-interpretation of the Formula 1 regulations.

RAIN COMES TO MELBOURNE

Months of drought have come to an end in Melbourne, with rain falling across the state of Victoria and more rain expected in the days ahead. In some places as much as five inches have fallen in the last 36 hours.

20 FEBRUARY 2003

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

The news that Williams and McLaren are going to take the FIA to arbitration over the federation's decision to re-interpret its rules and change a number of procedures in Grand Prix racing is not altogether unexpected as both teams have clearly indicated that they are not happy with the way the change was introduced

MEANWHILE IN BARCELONA...

Poor weather conditions limited track time again in Barcelona Thursday, where six of the teams continued pre-season testing. The circuit was closed in the morning, but opened after lunch, allowing those who wished to take advantage of the track time.

RON DENNIS'S COMMENTS ON JORDAN AND MINARDI

Ron Dennis told pressmen on Thursday that he is happier to help out the Jordan team than he is to support Minardi.

THE LETTER TO MOSLEY

Here is the text of the letter sent from Williams and McLaren to the FIA President Max Mosley.

DENNIS ACCUSES OF MOSLEY OF BEING "DICTATORIAL"

Speaking to the press after the announcement that McLaren and Williams will be challenging the FIA's reinterpretation of the Formula 1 rules, McLaren boss Ron Dennis claimed that FIA President Max Mosley has been too autocratic.

FIA "CONFIDENT" THAT IT WILL WIN

The FIA has responded to the news that McLaren and Williams are to go to arbitration over the rule changes announced in January and says that it is confident that its position will be upheld.

MCLAREN AND WILLIAMS GO TO ARBITRATION

Williams and McLaren are going to take the FIA to arbitration over what they call "new regulations" which have been introduced this year. They claim that the federation is "in breach of the contract that covers the running of the World Championship".

BURTI TO TRY THE TELEFONICA WORLD SERIES

Ousted Ferrari test driver Luciano Burti is going back to racing and will be testing an Adrian Campos Racing Telefonica World Series Car in Barcelona shortly.

ARBITRATION CASE COMING?

Our spies say that McLaren and Williams have decided that they will be going to arbitration because of the way in which the FIA decided to reinterpret its Formula 1 regulations on January 15. The two teams are believed to be arguing that the decisions break the Concorde Agreement.

THE QUESTION OF HANS

The question of the Head and Neck Support system which is to be worn by Formula 1 this year has provided media outlets with ready-made stories when one driver or another has griped about wearing the new system.

19 FEBRUARY 2003

WILLIAMS NEEDS TO IMPROVE

As the new Formula 1 season approaches there are signs that the new Williams-BMW is not going to be very competitive at the start of the year. Testing times so far suggest that the Williams may not even be on the same pace as the Toyotas.

WANT TO SPEND AN EXCLUSIVE DAY WITH RENAULT F1?

The Renault Sport team is throwing its weight behind a fund-raising programme to help raise funds for the new Oxford Children's Hospital.

MINARDI-FORD COSWORTH RUNS AT FIORANO

The new Minardi-Ford Cosworth ran for the first time at Fiorano today with Jos Verstappen at the wheel.

SALO FOR PK RACING?

Mika Salo is still trying to decide what to do now that he has been dropped by the Toyota F1 team. The Finnish driver has been over in the United States in recent days, attending the CART test in Sebring in Florida and having a look at the CART scene.

NETWORK 10 CONFIRMS AUSTRALIAN TV DEAL

Australia's Network 10 will be the covering Formula 1 this year in Australia and will kick off as the host broadcaster of the Australian Grand Prix. The company replaces Channel Nine which had the F1 coverage last season.

18 FEBRUARY 2003

TESTING CONTINUES IN BARCELONA

Testing continued at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona Tuesday, where Olivier Panis showed the potential of the new Toyota TF103 by setting the fastest time on the day, outpacing Renault's Fernando Alonso by about four tenths of a second.

MORE DETAILS OF QUALIFYING

We hear that the current 107% qualifying rule will remain in place despite the fact that a driver may choose to run with a very heavy fuel load.

GIORGIO PANTANO AND JORDAN

Giorgio Pantano's plans to race this year in CART fell flat but the Italian has signed to drive for the Super Nova team in Formula 3000 and as part of the deal seems likely to be named as the Jordan test driver.

JAGUAR WILL HAVE A SPORTING DIRECTOR

Jaguar Racing has confirmed that it is looking for a new high profile sporting director to be the team's public face.

EM.TV SELLS F1 SHARES TO BAYERN LB

The complicated shareholding structures of Formula 1 have been streamlined with the news from Germany that EM.TV has agreed to sell its 16.7% share in SLEC to the Bayerische Landesbank for $9m.

MINARDI MUST PAY FOR ENGINES IN ADVANCE

Tony Purnell, the chief executive of Ford's Premier Performance Division, has revealed that Minardi has yet to pay for its 2003 Ford Cosworth engines and needs to make a substantial payment before the season begins if he wishes to have the engines. It is believed that the team needs around $5m before the Australian GP.

THE LIQUIDATION OF ARROWS

The disposable assets of the Arrows Formula 1 team will be auctioned in about a month and could provide a welcome chance for F1 teams to pick up bits and pieces that they need without having to spend too much to do it.

BAHRAIN PARLIAMENT CLEARS TRACK FUNDING

The members of the Shura Council, the upper house of the Bahrain national assembly, have voted in favour of the funding necessary for the construction of the Formula 1 circuit.

A SIGN OF THE TIMES

The auction of the assets of Asiatech in Versailles last week gave an indication of the state of the Formula 1 economy at the moment.

17 FEBRUARY 2003

BOBBI TO TEST FOR MINARDI AGAIN IN 2003

Minardi announced Monday that Italian Matteo Bobbi will return as a test driver for the team for the third consecutive year. The 24 year old will assist with the development of the new PS03, which is scheduled to run for the first time later this week, and will take part in the Friday morning test sessions at each grand prix event.

JORDAN AND RENAULT TESTING IN BARCELONA

Jordan and Renault resumed testing in Barcelona Monday in cool conditions. Renault fielded three drivers, and Jordan two, with Fernando Alonso ending the day at the top of the time sheet in a Renault R23 by nearly three seconds.

MINARDI FINALLY SIGNS WITH BRIDGESTONE

Minardi has finally come to an agreement with Bridgestone for a supply of tires in 2003 after weeks of reports that the Japanese tire company was unwilling to supply the team.

ALBERS TO TEST FOR JORDAN?

There are rumours in Holland that Christjian Albers may have found the money needed to become the Jordan team's test driver this year. Albers had been in line for the second Minardi drive

DAVIDSON HELPS OUT HIS BOSSES

Anthony Davidson, the BAR test driver, is to race for the Prodrive Ferrari team in the Sebring 12 Hours and 3e Mans 24 Hours races.

WHERE THE SMALL TEAMS CAN TEACH THE BIG TEAMS

In these difficult economic times, the role of the small F1 teams has been put into the spotlight. Some of the big teams treat those at the back of the grid with disdain and have no interest if they disappear or not, others would like to see them kept alive as they provide an easy way for the bigger operations to train drivers

MCMURRAY'S NEW CAREER

More than 30 years of service with the McLaren F1 team has come good for New Zealander Bob McMurray, who left the team a couple of years ago and returned to his native land. McMurray is to become the resident F1 pundit for New Zealand's TV One broadcasts of the Formula 1 Grands Prix.

16 FEBRUARY 2003

BERNIE THE TAXMAN

Bernie Ecclestone and the taxman have never been soul mates but now it seems Bernie is planning to collect his own taxes in Formula 1 in an effort to support the struggling small teams in Formula 1. Ecclestone is proposing that a "TV tax" be levied on the teams which get the most coverage.

15 FEBRUARY 2003

JAGUAR AND FRIDAY TESTING

Although it is being said that Jaguar Racing will be joining Minardi, Jordan and Renault in Friday testing, it is not as easy as that. According to FIA President Max Mosley the teams involved in the testing agreement have to agree to accept the new team and the FIA also has to accept the application.

14 FEBRUARY 2003

THE RULES BECOME CLEARER

The Formula 1 teams have been given further details about how the FIA intends to police its regulations with regard to parc ferme - and the result is that teams will have to rethink many of their race strategies.

JAGUAR SIGNS UP FOR FRIDAY TESTING

Jaguar announced Friday that they will join Renault, Jordan and Minardi in the two one-hour testing sessions on the Fridays of grands prix. By doing so, the team will be limited to 20 additional testing days during the season with one car at each test.

F1 ENTRY FEE TO BE AXED

FIA President Max Mosley is expected to propose to the Formula 1 Commission that the $48m bond for new teams entering the Formula 1 World Championship be axed to help newcomers come into the sport to replace teams which have failed or are in the process of failing.

OCTAGON TO INVEST IN SILVERSTONE

Octagon Motorsports has announced that it will invest $6.5m in revamping Silverstone in order to retain the British Grand Prix. The company, which has been losing money at Silverstone, is biting the bullet and investing again in order to avoid the venue losing the race and thus much of its value.

SMOKESCREENS...

There have been some rather silly stories in the last 24 hours suggesting that Formula 1 can go on with its relationship with tobacco companies until beyond the planned global ban on tobacco advertising in motor racing in 2006.

FORD AIMS FOR COST-CUTTING AT JAGUAR

The Ford Motor Company has announced plans to slow its expansion of its luxury brands and switch the emphasis to cutting costs. The plan, announced by Mark Fields, the chief executive of the Premier Automotive Group, includes a revamp of the management

TWR GROUP GOES INTO RECEIVERSHIP

Tom Walkinshaw's TWR Group has been placed in receivership. The failure of the firm is being blamed on the loss of $30m which TWR had invested in Arrows and on the difficult economic climate at the moment with car manufacturers cutting back on specialist engineering projects.

13 FEBRUARY 2003

TESTING...

We are into the final run-up to the opening round of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship and teams are testing all over Europe in preparation for the new season. Each passing day brings a new record somewhere or other with all the teams taking turns at wowing the observers.

MONTOYA BACK ON TOP IN VALENCIA

Testing continued in Valencia Thursday, where Juan Pablo Montoya set another track record in the new Williams. Montoya's best lap of 1:10.55 was nearly a second faster than the second fastest driver on the day, Mark Webber in the new Jaguar R4.

PROVISIONAL GRAND PRIX TIMETABLE RELEASED

The FIA has released a provisional schedule for race weekends, incorporating in the additional testing time for Renault, Jordan and Minardi, and the two qualifying sessions, which will replace the old format of one open qualifying session.

STODDART LOOKING FOR HELP

We reported in January that Bernie Ecclestone proposed to the manufacturers that they set up a fund to ensure the smaller teams would not go the way of Prost and Arrows, and there would be ten teams on the grid in 2003, but Paul Stoddart said recently that nothing has come of the talks as of yet.

12 FEBRUARY 2003

ALONSO SETS THE PACE IN VALENCIA

Testing resumed in Valencia Wednesday, and at the end of the day it was Fernando Alonso in the Renault sitting atop the time sheet, where there is usually a Ferrari, Williams or McLaren driver.

RENAULT HANDS MORE POWER TO BRIATORE

Renault Sport boss Flavio Briatore has been put in charge of the Renault Sport operations in France as well as in England.

THE MANAGEMENT OF JAGUAR

In the last few days some rather strange stories have emerged from former F1 driver John Watson.

VILLENEUVE KNOWS WHAT HE HAS TO PROVE

Jacques Villeneuve knows very well that this year he has to beat Jenson Button if he wants to have a career in Formula 1 in the future.

VERSTAPPEN TALKS ABOUT WALKINSHAW

Jos Verstappen has blamed his former boss Tom Walkinshaw for the collapse of the Arrows F1 team.

11 FEBRUARY 2003

...WHILE SCHUMACHER DEBUTS THE F2003

Michael Schumacher showed the potential of the new F2003-GA during its on-track debut Tuesday at the team's Fiorano test circuit. Ferrari reported that the German broke his old track record, set last summer in the FW2002, by nearly half a second while completing 78 laps of the circuit.

MONTOYA SHOWS OFF THE FW25...

Ferrari joined Williams, Renault and Jordan Tuesday for the second day of testing in Valencia this week. Juan Pablo Montoya set a blistering pace in the new FW25, setting a new unofficial track record, while teammate Ralf Schumacher also worked on the new Williams challenger.

SAUBER SEEKS FIA ASSURANCES FOR HANS

Peter Sauber says that he wants the FIA to give assurances that the new head and neck support system is completely safe. Sauber says that he is not entirely convinced.

EMERSON BECOMES A TEAM OWNER

Double World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi cannot stay away from racing. After a long career as a driver which ended in 1996, the 1972 and 1974 World Champion retired but at the age of 50 he is now coming back as a CART Champ Car team owner

STEWART AND THE OLYMPICS

There are rumours in British racing circles that Sir Jackie Stewart could soon be named as the head of London's bid for the Olympic Games in 2012.

MERCEDES-BENZ REVEALS F3 PLANS

Mercedes-Benz has unveiled details of its assault on the new Formula 3 Euro Series with the new M271 engine.

MORE LAYOFFS AT SILVERSTONE

There have been more lay-offs at Silverstone, the latest group of 20 including circuit director Brian Pallett. This will bring the staff at Silverstone down to under 40 people.

10 FEBRUARY 2003

TESTING KICKS OFF IN VALENCIA

Williams, Renault and Jordan began a new test session in Valencia Monday, with less than four weeks until the opening round of the 2003 season in Melbourne, Australia.

MOSLEY PUSHES ON

The FIA has written to each of the Formula 1 teams pointing out that the changes resulting from the January 15 meeting are of a long-term nature and that they should be considered as a package.

RAMPF TALKS ABOUT THE C22

Sauber technical director Willy Rampf has been talking about his new C22.

SAUBER LOOKS TO THE EAST

Peter Sauber announced on Sunday that his team has signed a long-term agreement for sponsorship from the Russian mobile telephone operator Mobile Tele Systems.

9 FEBRUARY 2003

ALBERT PARK IN NEED OF A DRINK

Less than a month out from the start of the Formula One season in Melbourne, Australia remains in the grip of a severe drought and Albert Park is parched.

MTS SYSTEMS TO SPONSOR SAUBER

The Russian MTS Systems company is to join Sauber's impressive sponsorship portfolio in 2003.

SAUBER UNVEILS THE C22

Sauber Petronas unveiled its new Formula 1 challenger in Zurich on Sunday.

MASSA TO DO SAUBER TESTS

Peter Sauber told the media at the launch of his new F1 challenger that Felipe Massa may be made available to Sauber this year when he is not doing tests for Ferrari.

7 FEBRUARY 2003

MONTEZEMOLO ALWAYS LOOKING AHEAD

Ferrari President says that the team will be going into the new Formula 1 season as though "we were a team that has never won anything, a team hungry for wins."

FERRARI HONOURS AGNELLI

Ferrari has honored the memory of Gianni Agnelli by naming its new car the F2003-GA which was revealed today in Italy.

DAIMLERCHRYSLER BECOMES MORE GERMAN

DaimlerChrysler, the company which owns Mercedes-Benz, has revamped its management board leaving just one American executive on the board. The 14-man board is now dominated by the Germans, an indication that the supposed merger between Daimler-Benz and Chrysler was, as critics said at the time, a takeover.

FERRARI TO LAUNCH TODAY

Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro will be launching its new Formula 1 challenger today at Maranello with hundreds of journalists expected to attend the event.

MCLAREN AND WILLIAMS CONSIDERING ANTI-FIA LEGAL ACTION

There have been whispers since the January 15 meeting that McLaren and Williams may be considering taking their gripes about the FIA's interpretations of the regulations to the court of arbitration at the International Chamber of Commerce.

MORE FROM BAHRAIN

The Bahrain National Assembly will on Monday reconsider its opposition to the funding of a Formula 1 circuit in the country.

6 FEBRUARY 2003

MANFRED VON BRAUCHITSCH

Manfred von Brauchitsch, the last of the Titan drivers from the 1930s, has died at the age of 97.

MASSA AT FERRARI

As we have been suggesting for the last few days, Ferrari has now confirmed that Felipe Massa has been signed up as the Italian team's second test driver

BAHRAIN WILL GO AHEAD

Despite the rejection of funding for a Grand Prix circuit by the Bahrain parliament earlier this week, the race will go ahead.

BURTI LEAVES FERRARI

Luciano Burti is to leave his role as a Ferrari test driver and will be replaced by Felipe Massa.

F1 TEAMS LOSE INTEREST IN SMALL GUYS?

It is becoming increasingly clear that the apparent agreement decided a month ago to help the small teams survive this year is unlikely to happen - at least in the form it was discussed.

5 FEBRUARY 2003

JORDAN CONFIRMS BENSON & HEDGES AS TITLE SPONSOR

Jordan confirmed Wednesday that Gallaher PLC cigarette brand Benson and Hedges will remain with the team as its title sponsor in 2003.

FERRARI AGAIN QUICKEST IN BARCELONA

The teams returned to Barcelona for the fifth day of testing at the Circuit de Catalunya this week, and it was the Ferrari men setting the pace again.

PROBLEMS IN BAHRAIN

Bahraini politcians have voted against spending $200m on the construction of a racing circuit in the country - despite the fact that work has already begun.

REHM DRIVES TOYOTA AT DAYTONA

Grandprix.com's 2000 Young Driver of the Year award winner Josh Rehm produced a noteworthy performance at the 24 Hours of Daytona this past weekend.

4 FEBRUARY 2003

FERRARI FASTEST IN BARCELONA TESTING

Testing in Barcelona continued Tuesday, and Ferrari drivers Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello continued to set the pace while testing with tire supplier Bridgestone.

SALO HEADING FOR LE MANS

Mika Salo is to have a go at winning the Le Mans 24 Hours with a team entered by Audi Sport UK.

TILKE GOES TO BANGALORE

Hermann Tilke, the man who designs most of the Formula 1 circuits these days, has been visiting the city of Bangalore in India to inspect a site which the local government is considering turning into a Formula 1 racing facility.

HERBERT AND BLUNDELL TEAM UP AT BENTLEY

Former Grand Prix drivers Johnny Herbert, Mark Blundell and David Brabham are teaming up to race the second Bentley in this year's Le Mans 24 Hours. They will take on another Bentley driven by Tom Kristensen, Rinaldo Capello and Guy Smith.

SWISS AUTHORITIES PROBE KIRCH DEALINGS

The Swiss authorities are investigating the collapse of the Kirch empire.

JORDAN SIGNS FIRMAN

As we anticipated, Jordan has signed 27-year old Briton Ralph Firman Jr. to drive alongside Giancarlo Fisichella in 2003.

WATCH OUT FOR FIRMAN

It is anticipated that Ralph Firman will be confirmed as a Jordan driver later today. The British driver will join Giancarlo Fisichella in the Silverstone-based team.

3 FEBRUARY 2003

TESTING IN BARCELONA

Seven teams gathered in Barcelona for testing Monday, where all except Ferrari ran new cars in preparation for the new season which kicks off in Melbourne on March 9th.

MASSA TO FERRARI

With his deal at Jordan now scuppered by the arrival of Ralph Firman Jr, it looks like Felipe Massa will end up as a test driver at Ferrari, a route which was first mentioned when Massa was dropped by Sauber last autumn. Massa has always enjoyed a rather mysterious link with the Italian team.

FIRMAN TO SIGN FOR JORDAN TODAY?

All the indications are that Ralph Firman Jr will join David Coulthard, Jenson Button and Justin Wilson to bring the total of British drivers in F1 back up to four. The 27-year-old, who has been exiled in Japan for several years, is expected to sign a contract today.

2 FEBRUARY 2003

PAFFETT AND JORDAN

Britain's Gary Paffett is reported to still be in with a chance to race for Jordan this year. The 21-year-old McLaren protege, who won the German Formula 3 title last year is yet to decide what to do in 2003 with possibilities in Formula 3000 and the German Touring Car Championship.

1 FEBRUARY 2003

JORDAN AND RED BULL

Last summer Eddie Jordan was being accused of having lost interest in Formula 1. Jordan argued that this was not the case and said that he was as dedicated as ever to make his team a success. Whatever the case then it is now clear that Jordan has decided to go it alone.

CHANNEL 10 DEAL GIVES AUSTRALIA GP TV COVERAGE

For several months it has not been clear who would be the host broadcaster for the Australian Grand Prix. Channel Nine had given up on the rights to Formula 1 and Channel 10 was the only serious bidder but no deal was done.

MASSA-JORDAN DEAL IN TROUBLE

The word from South America is that the deal for Felipe Massa to go to Jordan has fallen through at the last minute.

RED BULL AND SAUBER STAY TOGETHER

Red Bull is to remain a sponsor for the Sauber team for the 2003 season, bringing to an end all the speculation suggesting that the Austrian drinks company will but into the Jordan team. The deal is for just one year.

CHANGES FOR HUNGARY

The Hungaroring is to be lengthened by just over 400m this year in an effort to make overtaking easier at various points on the track.

ANDRETTI TO RETIRE

Former McLaren F1 driver Michael Andretti is to retire from racing after this year's Indianapolis 500.

DINIZ TRIES TO CREATE STREET RACE IN RIO

Pedro Diniz has been working away in recent years as promoter of Formula Renault in Brazil and is now in the process of trying to convince the city of Rio de Janeiro to let him run a street race in the city.

GM TO MODIFY FIAT PURCHASE DEAL?

General Motors is reported to be considering a proposal to Fiat to cancel its option to buy 80% of Fiat Auto in return for financial assistance for the company now.