Germany is supporting Britain in its call to stop the European Union pushing ahead with its plan to restrict the number of hours that people can work. The EU wants Britain to adhere to a strict 48 hour working week but Britain wants to retain an opt-out clause that it has enjoyed for the last 10 years.
As we have been reporting for some time, Ralf Schumacher is on the verge of signing a huge new deal with Toyota for the 2005-2009 seasons, with reports of Ralf earning $20m a year. Our sources say that the deal is actually worth more than that.
The Indianapolis Motor Speeedway is to resurface the oval later this year. The work will take around two months to complete and will use 36,500 tons of asphalt. The infield section of traffic used by the Formula 1 cars will be not resurfaced but as the F1 cars run for part of the lap on the oval it will be significant.
The Bahrain Ministry of the Interior says that all the necessary security precautions have been taken in preparation for the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix, which will be the largest sporting event to take place in the Middle East.
Independent of the presentation of the new A1 Grand Prix series and apparently unrelated, the new Dubai Autodrome and Business Park was launched on Monday with a major event at the new circuit, which is nearing completion not far from the city of Dubai.
His Highness Sheikh Maktoum Hasher Maktoum Al Maktoum has announced his plans for the new A1 Grand Prix series, which the Dubai royal believes will be a completely new concept in motor racing.
The new A1 Grand Prix series, the Dubai-based "winter" championship is to be launched today at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel in Dubai. The series is being promoted by His Highness Sheikh Maktoum Hasher Maktoum Al Maktoum, a member of the ruling royal family of Dubai.
The Bahrain Monetary Agency has issued a medal and a coin to commemorate the inaugural Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix.
A man was arrested in Bahrain for allegedly attempting to print forged tickets for the forthcoming race.
Takuma Sato was the first Formula 1 driver to arrive in Bahrain, flying into the Kingdom on Sunday night. Many of the F1 team crews have already arrived and have been setting up at the circuit.
The French Grand Prix was saved last winter by the intervention of the regional government, led by republican Jean-Pierre Soisson after the socialist Conseil General of the Nievre, which oversaw the race, pulled the plug on the event after two years of losses.
Scott Dixon impressed the BMW Williams F1 team with his first day of testing at the Paul Ricard circuit, lapping the track within four-tenths of regular runner Ralf Schumacher. Schumacher lapped the track at 1m11.330s while Dixon did a best time of 1m11.753s.
Former Jordan driver Ralph Firman will take a step back this year and will race in the Nissan World Series. The Anglo-Irish driver will join the Gabord Competition team, which is aiming for a third consecutive Nissan title.
Earlier this week Ecuador become the 100th country to sign the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. The following day Congo lifted the number to 101.
Justin Wilson has been confirmed as Mi-Jack Conquest Racing's driver in 2004. The Formula 1 refugee will almost certainly be joined by a second driver but at the moment there is no indication who will this be.
Jaguar Racing's Chief Engineer Malcolm Oastler is going back to Australia and giving up motorsport. Oastler will work with the team until June.
There are reports from the United States that former Jaguar F1 driver Justin Wilson is on the verge of signing to drive for Eric Bachelart's Mi-Jack Conquest Racing in the Champ Car World Series. The team is expected to run Lola chassis this year rather than last year's Reynards.
Max Mosley, the head of the FIA, yesterday met with Roberto Castelli, the Italian Justice Minister, to discuss the problems of the European Union arrest warrant law.
More than 200 demonstrators yesterday attacked the US Embassy compound in Manama, shouting "Death to America and Israel" and pelting the facility with rocks. The attack, which caused no damage, was broken up by riot police using tear gas and batons.
In February Canada's Auditor General Sheila Fraser released details of a explosive report on government advertising and sponsorship programmes. Fraser concluded that huge fees and commissions were paid to PR agencies without there being any real benefit for Canadians.
The FIA World Motor Sport Council met in Paris today and agreed to change the format of qualifying in Formula 1. The first part of Saturday's session will now move forward to 13.00 and there will then be a gap before the start of the second session at 14.00.
The BMW Williams F1 test team is in action today at Paul Ricard where Marc Gene and Antonio Pizzonia kick off the development work today. Tomorrow Ralf Schumacher will take over from Gene and on Friday he will be joined by Indy Racing League champion Scott Dixon, in his first try-out with the team.
The FIA World Motor Sport Council meets today in Paris and while there is nothing major expected, it is possible that the Council will look at the question of Formula 1 qualifying, although there does not appear to have been any movement from the teams towards finding a solution to the problem.
Reports of a fire at the new Sauber windtunnel have been grossly exaggerated. According to the team there was a short circuit in one of the transformers yesterday afternoon and the smoke produced triggered the fire alarms to go off at Hinwil.
Despite rumours to the contrary, we understand that Ralf Schumacher's deal with Toyota is as good as done and the German will be with the team earning a very decent salary for a long period of time.
For the British Chessington is famous for its World of Adventures, a former zoo that became an theme park. But for racing fans Chessington is a name synonymous with the Brabham Formula 1 team.
The British Minister of Sport and Tourism Richard Caborn was present for the race in Malaysia at the weekend and it is fairly clear that one of the matters that will have been discussed is the British government's new law about tobacco sponsorship.
Mike Gascoyne said before the start of the season that he was planning to create two overlapping design teams at Toyota Motorsport in order to speed up development and thus improve performance in 2005 and 2006.
The Ferrari technical director Ross Brawn says that he wants more clarity over the engine change regulations that exist because the team believes that they need to be tightened up to stop teams qualifying with one engine and then switching to a more powerful one for the race.
These days Formula 1 is a bit like doing jigsaw puzzles. You do not get the full picture easily. It takes time to understand what is going on. The first hint that Ferrari was not as strong as things might suggest came when Michael headed for the pit lane after just nine laps...
Allan McNish might not have a Formula 1 drive this year but he has kept his name in the spotlight with victory at the weekend in the Twelve Hours of Sebring in Florida. The Scotsman shared an Audi Sport UK Team Veloqx Audi to victory with Frank Biela and Pierre Kaffer.
Malaysian GP - Race Notes
Malaysian GP - Sunday Photos
Malaysian GP - Sunday Press Conference
Malaysian GP - Race Results
The Reuters newsagency is reporting that the Bayerische Landesbank, the state bank of the southern German state of Bavaria, JP Morgan Chase Bank and Lehmann Brothers, which together hold 75% of SLEC, have filed a law suit against Bernie Ecclestone, who holds the remaining 25% of the shares.
Malaysian GP - Qualifying Report
One name that one does not hear much of in Formula 1 circles is that of 25-year-old Englishman Dan Wheldon, who moved to America in 1999 after a very successful career in karts and British Formula Ford, in which he fought and often beat the likes of Jenson Button and Anthony Davidson.
The Renault team will be fitting a new engine in Fernando Alonso's car the Malaysian GP.
While the Formula 1 authorities continue to talk up Bahrain's forthcoming event there continue to be quiet worries that the arrival of the sport will cause some reaction from some of the more extreme locals.
The proposed Mercedes-Benz Heritage and Technology Centre at Brooklands has been granted planning permission by Elmbridge Borough Council.
Malaysian GP - Saturday Photos
Malaysian GP - Saturday Press Conference
Malaysian GP - Qualifying Results
Malaysian GP - Practice Session 4 Results
Malaysian GP - Practice Session 3 Results
Malaysian GP - Practice Session 2 Report
The Toyota Motorsport team has signed a deal to use high-performance machine tools manufactured by Toyoda Mitsui Europe. There is a certain irony in the deal because Toyota grew out of the Toyoda company,
Ford's motorsport boss Richard Parry-Jones suggested in Australia that one way to cut costs in Formula 1 would be to introduce a system of budget-capping.
The top Formula 1 team bosses were on the spot in Malaysia on the subject of what they would like to see from qualifying this yea and the consensus was that the big teams would all like to go back to the situation where the drivers all have 12 laps to go for times.
The top Formula 1 team bosses are split on whether they would like to reduce testing away from the Grands Prix if there was more mileage allowed at a Grand Prix event.
McLaren boss Ron Dennis wanted to stop speculation about his position at McLaren and in Malaysia told the international media that he has recently signed a new contract with the team.
Late on Friday afternoon in Malaysia Olivier Panis and his manager Didier Coton were spotted walking quietly into the McLaren team area at Sepang for a meeting with Ron Dennis. This was obviously not a rendezvous of old pals but rather a talk about the future.
The talk about a change of management at Silverstone has gone rather quiet in the last few days.
Malaysian GP - Friday Photos
Malaysian GP - Friday Press Conference
Malaysian GP - Practice Session 2 Results
Malaysian GP - Practice Session 1 Results
In March last year Ulrich Giezendanner, a member of the Nationalrat, the national council of Switzerland, proposed a modification to the law to allow motor racing competitions to be held in Switzerland.
The Champ Car series received another major hit with the news that former three-time CART champion and one-time series chief executive Bobby Rahal is pulling his team out to switch to the Indy Racing League. The decision comes a few days after Adrian Fernandez announced a similar move.
Malaysian GP - Preview
Ralf Schumacher is not happy with his BMW Williams team mate Juan Pablo Montoya after an incident between the two men in Australia and Ralf - who is expected to sign for Toyota for 2005 shortly - says that if the same thing happens again he will "have him off the track".
King Hamad of Bahrain yesterday opened the new Formula 1 racing circuit in Bahrain after 18 months of frantic building work to get the circuit ready for a Grand Prix in April.
It seems that we misinterpreted the rather confusing press release from the FIA which appeared to suggest that qualifying in Malaysia will be changed. It seems that the FIA was merely suggesting what it would like to see happen and not what is actually going to happen.
Sources in Switzerland are suggesting that the country is becoming more serious about its attempts to overturn the ban that exists on competitive motor racing. The Swiss banned races in 1955.
The word on the street up at Silverstone is that the circuit is about to get a new boss with rumours suggesting that Andrew Waller is being moved aside.
As we reported exclusively a few weeks ago Williams is to test the Indy Racing League champion Scott Dixon. The test will take place next week at Paul Ricard with a further session planned for April.
The China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) has signed a long-term agreement to be sponsor of the Chinese GP in Shanghai. The news comes as a surprise as it had been thought that a deal was in place for Marlboro.
The F1 in Schools competition has been such a success in Britain in recent years that last week there was a reception at the House of Commons in London to thank the sponsors and supporters of the programme. These include Jaguar F1, BAE Systems, Denford Ltd and Pitsco.
A fire broke out early this morning at Ferrari's headquarters burning several prototype cars in development at the Maranello production site.
The Sauber team always has a lot to do before the Malaysian Grand Prix, thanks to team's title sponsor Petronas and this year has been no exception.
With a lot of the F1 circus in Asia and not much happening in Europe, some of the F1-related websites have been struggling to put up very much news other than notoriously dull team previews.
Jean Alesi is to demonstrate Juan Manuel Fangio's 1955 Mercedes-Benz Formula 1 car at the formal opening of the new circuit on the Wednesday. The car took Fangio to two World Championship titles in 1954 and 1955.
The president of the Italian Automobile Club (ACI) has written to the country's Prime Minister asking for cash to pay for an upgrade for the Enzo & Dino Ferrari Circuit at Imola, in the hope that the work will safeguard the future of the San Marino Grand Prix.
Justin Wilson will compete in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring sports car race at the wheel of a Citgo-sponsored Taurus Sports Lola-Judd. The event is the first round of the 2004 American Le Mans Series.
The Ayrton Senna Institute in Brazil is to mark the 10th anniversary year of the great Brazilian driver's death with a concert on March 20, the day before what would have been his 44th birthday.
The way decisions are made in Formula 1 has once again reared its ugly head - and the result is that the hugely unpopular qualifying structure tried for the first time in Australia will remain in place.
The Champ Car series in the United States was once seen as a potential global rival to Formula 1 but in recent years it has not been able to compete because of the split in US open-wheeler racing.
Tomas Enge, who raced on occasion in Formula 1 in 2001 with Prost Grand Prix and came close to winning the Formula 3000 title in 2002 until failing a drugs test, wants to rebuild his single-seater career. The Cezech driver spent 2003 racing GT cars.
Minardi's third driver Bas Leinders has completed the necessary mileage in order to qualify for a Formula 1 superlicence. The Belgian driver was not allowed to take part in practice in Melbourne because he did not have the licence but will now be able to take part in the Friday sessions in Malaysia.
For the last five years Formula One Management has been trying quietly to secure the intellectual property rights to the Formula 1 and F1 trademarks.
Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, the chairman of Ferrari, has been picked as the head of Italy's influential Confindustria, the industrialists lobbying organisation. He will now represent around 25% of the Italian workforce.
The big rumour in the United States at the moment is that one of the Champ Car races to be announced later in the year will be a race on the streets of Las Vegas. The race is scheduled for some time in November and one of Champ Car's new owners Paul Gentilozzi says he is negotiating with at least one Las Vegas hotel.
We hear that the Formula 1 broadcasters have got together to try to convince the Formula 1 authorities to change the qualifying regulations, arguing that it is impossible to schedule the new format because the length of the qualifying is dependent not on a fixed time limit.
Japan has become a signatory of the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, committing itself to stamping out tobacco advertising and sponsorship around the world.
In Australia a number of Formula 1 teams reported quietly that they have become aware of a head-hunting agency in Britain which, in recent weeks, has been approaching experienced F1 engineers and offering them well-paid jobs for an new project being planned in Britain.
There is much debate going on behind the scenes in Formula 1 at the moment over whether or not the qualifying format needs to be changed.
Flavio Briatore has denied that he is negotiating to sign Ralf Schumacher for 2005 - and that means that someone in Formula 1 circles is not telling the whole truth. Schumacher's manager Willi Weber told a German newspaper that Ralf is close to a deal with Renault.
The Champ Car series will include a street race in South Korea this year, on October 17.
Willi Weber, Ralf Schumacher's manager, says that he is close to a deal to put Ralf at Renault F1 in 2005.
The Malaysian general elections will take plan on the same day as the Formula 1 Grand Prix, but the race organisers say that this should not present any problems.
Jaguar Racing continues to ramp up its technical back-up in Formula 1 with the revelation that the team will have a third windtunnel for the project by 2005.
Australian GP - Race Report
Paul Stoddart, the boss of Minardi, is to launch a low-cost airline in Australia later this year, taking on Richard Branson's Virgin Blue and Jetstar, Qantas's no frills airline which was launched last month.
Richard Parry-Jones, the head of Ford's competition activities and the man who is now running negotiations for the Grand Prix World Championship (GPWC) organization is proposing to try to implement a new strategy for keeping down the costs of Formula 1.
Australian GP - Race Notes
The Formula 1 team bosses are likely to decide that a change is necessary in the qualifying format after criticism of the new system which was used for the first time in Melbourne.
Australian GP - Sunday Photos
Australian GP - Sunday Press Conference
Australian GP - Race Results
Australian GP - Qualifying Report
Australian GP - Saturday Photos
Australian GP - Saturday Press Conference
Australian GP - Qualifying Results
Australian GP - Practice Session 4 Report
Australian GP - Practice Session 4 Results
Australian GP - Practice Session 3 Results
The Formula 1 bosses have been trying for some time to agree to reduce engine capacity in an effort to cut speeds without creating too much extra cost.
A crossed wire meant that we made a mistake about the race at which Jeff Gordon will be appearing as a guest of BMW Williams. It seems that the American will be appearing in Spain a little later in the year, rather than in Malaysia.
Australian GP - Practice Session 2 Report
Australian GP - Friday Photos
Australian GP - Friday Press Conference
Bernie Ecclestone says that the Australian Grand Prix may drop off the Formula 1 calendar in 2006 because of the clash with the Commonwealth Games.
Bas Leinders was unable to test drive for Minardi in Australia because the Belgian driver was unable to get a superlicence in time for the test sessions on Friday in Melbourne.
The Formula 1 teams have long been keen to tap into potential sponsors from the People's Republic of China but to date have found it very difficult to land any big fish.
Australian GP - Practice Session 2 Results
Australian GP - Practice Session 1 Results
Bernie Ecclestone turned up in Melbourne on Thursday, his first visit to the Australian race since 1997 and, inevitably, this led to speculation that the Formula One boss needed to talk to some of the big players about the future of the race.
Lawyers representing the tobacco companies involved in Formula 1 met in London recently to discuss the problems which will be created by the new British law which bans British-based F1 teams from running with tobacco branding at any race anywhere in the world.
After days and days of talk, claims and counter-claims and media speculation Formula 1 is finally getting down to business today.
Australian GP - Preview
Any hopes there might once have been of a government-funded Formula 1 race in South Africa have gone out of the window with the news that the legislature of the Free State has instructed its Public Accounts Committee to invesigate into the loss of public money at the Phakisa Freeway racing circuit.
The Australian Grand Prix will introduce a new marketing concept to Formula 1 this year with all the team's having finally agreed to sell their merchandise in the same store at the race track.
Minardi chief aerodynamicist Loic Bigois was not able to do much last year because of the team's financial situation and it seems that in the end he decided to take up an offer to go to work at Williams, where he is assisting Dr John Davies in the development of the Grove team's aerodynamic facilities.
Paul Stoddart has been very busy in recent weeks selling sponsorship on his cars and the latest deal was announced in Australia when the Minardi boss revealed that Dutch bathroom fitting company Wilux is to be the team's title sponsor in 2004.
The Minardi team is to have a pair of test drivers this season with Belgian Bas Leinders and Portugal's Tiago Monteiro both expected to drive for the team in the course of the year.
Ferrari may be suffering at the moment because of the weak dollar but the Italian car firm has no plans to change its marketing focus. Speaking at the Geneva Motor Show, Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo said that nearly 40% of Ferrari sales come from the US and that the company must grin and bear the current situation.
Max Mosley's decision to move to Monaco has gained the support of Roberto Castelli, Italy's Minister of Justice, who has long been against the European Arrest Warrant.
Hamleys, one of the world's best-known toy shops, has agreed a ground-breaking new deal with Williams F1 in an effort to internationalise the company's brand name.
Paul Stoddart has been making noises in Australia about the car manufacturers not having honoured their deal last year to provide teams with "affordable engines" and he says he is going top reverse his decision about traction-control.
Formula One group chief executive Bernie Ecclestone says that teams need to agree to stop doing as much testing or the sport is going to run into trouble. Most of the teams are in agreement that it makes sense to cut testing but any move to do that is being blocked by Ferrari.
Max Mosley is moving to Monaco to avoid the threat of arrest in the event of a serious motorsport accident in the European Union. The FIA President said that he has decided to relocate from Britain on legal advice following the introduction of a new European arrest warrant.
Fiat has announced that it is to shelve plans for the flotation of Ferrari because of deteriorating conditions on the Italian stock market.