NEWS ARCHIVE

30 NOVEMBER 2005

TOMORROW AND TOMORROW AND TOMORROW

Tomorrow will see the publication of the official entry list for the FIA Formula 1 World Championship and there is much interest in whether or not this list will feature Super Aguri F1 as the 11th team.

INTERESTING ACTIVITIES IN INDIA

The last few days have seen some interesting developments in India with the news that Tata Motors, a sponsor of Narain Karthikeyan is planning to do a number of things to increase its international profile and sales - and its involved in automotive technology and in motorsport.

29 NOVEMBER 2005

RUMOURS OF "A 60% DEAL"

It may seem to be relative quiet in Formula 1 circles but the important business with regard to the future of the sport is being conducted behind closed doors and there are hopes that a solution will soon be found to settle the commercial future of the sport, and allow everyone to move forward together to build up the sport.

MICHELIN OBLIGED TO TAKE SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO

Michelin is none too happy with Red Bull at the moment, thanks to the recent vote to change the tyre regulations for 2006 in which Red Bull Racing voted in favour of the change, alongside all the Bridgestone teams.

BMW DRIVERS

The news that Gary Paffett is to play a more regular role in McLaren test driving this year can only lead to speculation that one of the current test drivers may be on the move and it is perhaps inevitable that this will lead to suggestions that Alexander Wurz could be on his way to BMW Sauber.

TARSO MARQUES? REALLY?

According to reports from Brazil Tarso Marques is on the verge of announcing a return to Formula 1. The 29-year-old has been quoted as saying that he will soon announce a Formula 1 testing deal for 2006 leading to a race deal in 2007.

RED BULL CONFIRMS DOORNBOS DEAL

As we suggested recently, Robert Doornbos has been taken on as the third driver for Red Bull Racing. The 24-year-old Dutchman will drive on Fridays and in tests between races.

28 NOVEMBER 2005

WHELDON JOINS TARGET CHIP GANASSI RACING

Dan Wheldon is staying in America in 2006, having been unable to agree to a deal with the BMW Sauber F1 team. He will race for Target Chip Ganassi Racing, alongside Scott Dixon.

26 NOVEMBER 2005

THE NEXT STEP

As the Formula 1 community tries to work out the structure of the new deal between Bernie Ecclestone, the Ecclestone Family trust company and CVC Capital Partners, and what it will mean for the sport, the action moves on.

25 NOVEMBER 2005

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

If the sale is confirmed, the Formula One Group will soon be owned by CVC Capital Partners. The anonymous bankers who have been flitting around the paddock in recent years, trying to learn the business, will disappear and make way for another set of newcomers, leaving Bernie Ecclestone to continue to run the business.

CVC CONFIRMS DEAL

CVC Capital Partners, Bayerische Landesbank and Bambino Holdings are pleased to announce that a new company, Alpha Prema has reached agreement to acquire Bayerische Landesbank's and the Bambino interests in the Formula One Group. The deal must get approval from the European Union.

IS BERNIE STILL A SHAREHOLDER?

There is considerable confusion about the deal that is currently going through involving the Formula One group and the venture capital company CVC Capital Partners.

WILL CVC KEEP F1 SHARES?

The acquisition of the Formula One group by CVC Capital Partners begs an interesting question: will the firm hold on to the business and build it up or is it looking for a quick profit?

SLEC SOLD AGAIN

The Ecclestone Family and BayernLB, the major shareholders in SLEC, the Formula One group holding company, are selling their shares to a venture capital company called CVC Capital Partners.

24 NOVEMBER 2005

F1 LOOKS TO THE FUTURE

F1 in Schools, the global motorsport design challenge for school children, has been granted the right to use the Formula 1 logo by Formula One Management. F1 in Schools aims to encourage youngsters to become interested in high-technology engineering and to promote teamwork.

BMW CONFIRMS PETRONAS CASH

It is no big surprise but Petronas, the Malaysian national oil company, has agreed to remain as the principal sponsor of the BMW Sauber team.

MF1 TO TEST RUSINOV

Some Formula 1 teams have been known to generate income by offering drivers tests and one gets the impression that MF1 may be doing the same as the list of drivers who are due to test for the team in the next few weeks continues to grow with the latest name to be added to the pile being that of Russia's Roman Rusinov.

PAIN IN THE INDY RACING LEAGUE

The financial realities of the split between the Indy Racing League and Champ Car are now beginning to bit with the news that several IRL teams are having to pay off staff. Target Chip Ganassi Racing laid off nine mechanics a few weeks ago when the decision was taken to cut his entry next year from three cars to two.

ILMOR ENGINEERING AND MOTOGP

Ilmor Engineering is not what it used to be. The company, which was established by Mario Illien and Paul Morgan back in 1983 to design engines for General Motors in CART racing, became Mercedes-Ilmor Ltd in June and three weeks later changed its name to become Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines Ltd.

THE CHASSIS AT SUPER AGURI F1

There has been talk in recent days about the planned Super Aguri F1 team using old 2002 Arrows F1 cars because of the problems of timing. The team is in a rush to build cars because it is apparently not allowed to buy chassis from BAR.

VODAFONE CUTS BACK WITH MAN UNITED

Vodafone has decided not to continue with its sponsorship of the shirts of the high-profile Manchester United soccer team. The deal was worth around $15m a year. Vodafone has however announced that it will be the official partner and official mobile network of the UEFA Champions League for the next three years. I

WHY THE BELGIAN GRAND PRIX WILL HAPPEN

It is no fun being a Belgian politician at the moment. The contract that exists between the government of Wallonia and Formula One Management leaves the new regional premier Elio di Rupo, who has been in office for just a few weeks, with a major problem.

SCHNEIDER AND SCHWARZ JOINS RACE OF CHAMPIONS

The final teams are now being put in place for the forthcoming Race of Champions in Paris with the decision having been taken to put Champ Car winner Sebastien Bourdais and rally raid star Stephane Peterhansel together in a second French team, sponsored by Playstation.

LONG-TERM PLANNING AT BMW

As we suggested would happen, Heikki Kovalainen is going to remain in the Renault F1 camp in 2006, doing the test driving for the team in place of Franck Montagny. Montagny was last seen heading for the United States hoping a drive in Champ Car racing.

KATHERINE GOES WELL

Katherine Legge gave a very decent account of herself yesterday at Vallelunga, making up for her unfortunate incident on Tuesday. Legge did 27 laps and set a sensible lap time, prompting departing team boss Paul Stoddart to remark that "she's definitely got what it takes to be a Formula 1 driver."

SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO

Red Bull has decided that it does not like the name Squadra Toro Rosso and has applied to enter the World Championship with the team Scuderia Toro Rosso. Both words mean "team" in Italian but scuderia is generally used for racing teams whereas squadra is used for soccer and other teams which feature a "squad".

23 NOVEMBER 2005

KEY IS NAMED TECHNICAL DIRECTOR OF MF1

The MF1 team has named James Key as its new technical director. The 33-year-old Englishman has been working in motor racing since he graduated from university in 1996, initially joining the Lotus Esprit GT1 programme.

DOORNBOS AND RED BULL?

There are rumours in Japan that Robert Doornbos is soon to be named as the third driver of one of the two Red Bull teams. The suggestion we have heard is that this will be with the main team, where his experience will be more valuable.

TOYOTA BEATS HONDA TO JAPANESE GP?

The Asahi Shimbun newspaper in Japan is reporting that Toyota has won the deal to host the Japanese Grand Prix at Mount Fuji in 2007. The race is currently held at Honda's track at Suzuka. Toyota bought Fuji in 2000 and has since invested $168m to bring the track up to Formula 1 specifications.

GM SLASHES 30,000 JOBS

General Motors has finally bitten the bullet and is to take what the company boss Rick Wagoner calls "tough medicine" to reduce its costs and return to profitability. The company is to close eight plants in North America and reduce its workforce by 30,000. The aim is to cut costs by $7bn over the next three years.

COCA-COLA AND F1 - FORGET IT!

The Coca-Cola Company has signed to be a partner of the international soccer federation FIFA until the year 2022.

22 NOVEMBER 2005

LEGGE TO GET SECOND CHANCE TOMORROW

Katherine Legge made her F1 testing debut for Minardi in Vallelunga but crashed out on just her second full lap. The British driver shrugged off the mishap and will be given a full day of running tomorrow at the track in the hills above Rome.

PATRICK GETS HITCHED

Katherine Legge may be the one in the newspapers this week because of her first Formula 1 test but Danica Patrick has scooped her even then by getting secretly married in Scottsdale, Arizona.

21 NOVEMBER 2005

ACTION HERE AND THERE

Formula 1 might be in a quiet period at the moment but racing is still going on here and there with the FIA World Touring Car Championship being decided at the weekend in Macau.

GP2 EXPANDING TO 26 CAR

The GP2 series has announced that a 13th team, called Trident Racing, will join the series in 2006. This is a new team established by Gimmi Bruni's manager Maurizio Salvadori. Bruni will drive one of the cars but there is no word yet on the second driver.

20 NOVEMBER 2005

HONDA'S NEW LOOK

There has been talk in recent days of the name of the new Honda-owned BAR team with suggestions, coming from a presentation made by Nick Fry in Monaco at last week's sponsorship forum that the team will be known as Honda Racing F1 Team.

19 NOVEMBER 2005

A QUESTION OF FOCUS

Formula 1 is all about markets these days and this may help to explain why the Midland F1 team has made much of getting a Russian racing licence for the team. Midland (or rather MF1) boss Alex Shnaider came originally from St Petersburg but grew up in Israel and later in Canada.

WILLI IN TROUBLE AGAIN

Willi Weber has had his fair share of legal action in recent years.

18 NOVEMBER 2005

JABBY CROMBAC

Gerard "Jabby" Crombac has died in Paris. The most experienced Formula 1 journalist of them all, Jabby reported on Formula 1 before the World Championship began in 1950. As an indication of his standing, although everyone knew him as Jabby, in recent years his friends had taken to calling him Legend.

ALBERS AND DUVAL FOR THE ROC

The Race of Champion event in Paris in December will feature a Benelux team featuring Midland F1 driver Christijan Albers from Holland and Belgian rally star Francois Duval.

A MEETING IN MUNICH

The word on the street in Monaco was that the decision over the second BMW Formula 1 drive will be taken within the next few days and that Jacques Villeneuve was on his way to Munich for discussions with team boss Mario Theissen.

FOM AND THE MALAYSIAN GOVERNMENT

It is no secret that some of the Formula 1 race promoters are less than enthused by the demands placed upon them by Formula One Management.

MOVEMENT IN FORMULA 1

Things have been quiet in Formula 1 in recent days - or at least that is how it seems. However, those who were present at the Formula 1 Sponsorship Forum in Monaco were curious about the movement of some of the Formula 1 team bosses in the course of Wednesday.

NOISY OLD MONZA

The Autodromo Nazionale in Monza has been there since 1922 and so anyone who is old enough to remember the place without the speedway is going to be well into his or her eighties and probably not having quite as good hearing as younger folk.

17 NOVEMBER 2005

AN F1 BOOM COMING?

The F1 Sponsorship Forum is happening in Monte Carlo and there have been some interesting observations on the sport.

BAHRAIN REVEALS BUSINESS PARK

The Bahrain International Circuit has until recently been a rather lonely and desolate place but on December 2 work will begin on the construction of Sakhir City, a business park next to the circuit.

FERRARI BRAND BRINGS IN $700M

Ferrari's head of brand development and partnerships Giulio Zambeletti has revealed at the F1 Sponsorship Forum that Ferrari's income from merchandising and licensing deals is now worth $700m a year.

HONDA'S SECRET F1 DRIVER

BAR-Honda boss Nick Fry has revealed that the team has had a secret test driver in Japan in recent seasons.

PRIAULX WOULD LIKE TO BE A TEST DRIVER

Andy Priaulx says he would like to be the Williams Formula 1 test driver in 2006.

16 NOVEMBER 2005

MF1 TO TEST BELGIAN VAN HOOYDONK

Midland F1 has added Belgian Jeffrey van Hooydonk to the list of drivers that will test with the team next month in Spain.

2006 CALENDAR CHANGE

The FIA has announced a change to the 2006 schedule, with the dates for the Japanese and Chinese Grands Prix being swapped.

15 NOVEMBER 2005

MF1 RACING IS BORN

The Midland Group has announced that it will enter the Formula 1 World Championship under the name of MF1 Racing. This is an unexpected change of branding as it was thought that Midland wanted to use Formula 1 to spread its name around the world.

RALF AND WEBER GO THEIR SEPARATE WAYS

The word from Germany is that Ralf Schumacher and Willi Weber have ended their relationship.

14 NOVEMBER 2005

FOUR COMPANIES LEFT IN SILVERSTONE BIDDING

There are four companies in the final bidding to win the contract for redevelopment of Silverstone. The final decision will be made by the board of the British Racing Driver's Club on November 24.

NOW EVERYONE IS INTO THEME PARKS

Ferrari has announced that it is to establish its own theme park in Abu Dhabi, in league with ALDAR Properties, a real estate development company whichis controlled by the Mubadala Development Company.

AN INTERESTING RUMOUR FROM GERMANY

According to reports in Germany Volkswagen boss Bernd Pischetsrieder and Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz have been talking about deals in the future in Formula 1. The stories say that former BMW Motorsport boss Gerhard Berger is in the middle of all the intrigue.

SOME DETAILS FROM BMW

BMW has registered its new Formula 1 team under the name BMW Sauber F1 Team. This name will have to now remain the same for the next five years, keeping the Sauber name alive in Formula 1.

MANSELL WINS FROM POLE

Nigel Mansell won the Altech Grand Prix Masters in Kyalami on Sunday in front of a crowd of 70,000. The 30 lap race was a fight between Mansell and Emerson Fittipaldi.

12 NOVEMBER 2005

JONES PULLS OUT OF GP MASTERS

The old Formula 1 champions may like to think that they can do everything that they used to be able to do but Alan Jones proved at the weekend that things are not quite what they used to be.

MANSELL LEADS THE WAY

The Altech Grand Prix Masters event kicked off in Kyalami on Friday with the first practice sessions for the event with Nigel Mansell setting the pace with a lap of 1m35.0862s.

10 NOVEMBER 2005

MONTAGNY AND CHAMP CARS

If Sebastien Bourdais can do it, Franck Montagny reckons that he is up to the job as well. Now that Montagny is no longer the Renault test driver and does not seem likely to get a drive anywhere else, he is looking to the United States where Bourdais, his old rival, has done so well.

MORENO TO RACE AT HOME

Former Formula 1, Champ Car and IRL driver Roberto Moreno will make his debut in Brazil's Stock Car V8 series this weekend at Jacarepagua. Amazingly, it will be the first time that Moreno has ever raced in a Brazilian national series.

9 NOVEMBER 2005

US UNDER ATTACK OVER TOBACCO

The United States government is coming under increasing attack from health campaigners for its failure to ratify the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, to which it is a signatory.

ALEC STOKES

Alec Stokes, one of the key members of the BRM Formula 1 team has died. Stokes joined the team in November 1947, shortly after it was established by Raymond Mays.

FORMER FERRARI MEN INDICTED

Former Ferrari employees Angelo Santini and Mauro Iacconi were formally indicted on Monday in Italy accused of having stealing information from Ferrari to give to their new employer Toyota.

SAVING SPA

The regional government of Wallonia in Belgium met yesterday to discuss the problem of the Belgian Grand Prix and concluded that the best way forward was to negotiate with Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone.

THE NEW SILVERSTONE

The British Racing Driver's Club says that there are nine bidders for the redevelopment of the facility. The $880m scheme would include a new circuit, an extended technology park, leisure facilities and a hotel.

WHAT IS AN F1 DESIGNER WORTH?

There is a school of thought in F1 these days that no one man (or woman) can be wholly responsible for the design of a modern Grand Prix car. It is an interesting argument.

8 NOVEMBER 2005

MONTEIRO CLOSE TO THE SECOND JORDAN

Tiago Monteiro is going to get the second Jordan seat in F1 next year. The Portuguese driver is rumoured to have around $12m from the Portuguese government.

WHO WILL BE THE SECOND (AND THIRD) BMW DRIVERS?

The big question at the moment in Formula 1 circles is who is going to partner Nick Heidfeld at BMW next year. On paper Jacques Villeneuve has a contract but there is no doubt that BMW is talking to other drivers.

FORMULA 1 SPONSORSHIP FORUM GAINS MOMENTUM

John Armstrong, the UK's CEO of Momentum, one of the world's biggest sponsorship agencies, will deliver the keynote address on the second day of the forthcoming Formula 1 Sponsorship Forum in Monte Carlo.

WINKELHOCK TO TEST FOR JORDAN

As part of its ongoing effort to discover talented drivers, The Midland Group is going to test Renault World Series driver Markus Winkelhock at Jerez on December 10.

RED BULL CONFIRMS NEWEY

Red Bull Racing has confirmed that Adrian Newey will join the team as Chief Technical Officer at the end of February 2006. The 46-year-old engineer will leave McLaren after eight seasons during which the team won the World Championship twice with Mika Hakkinen.

NEWEY TO RED BULL RACING

There are reports in The Independent newspaper in London that McLaren's Adrian Newey is to join Red Bull Racing, when his contract with McLaren expires in January. Newey has been the most successful F1 designer of the modern era.

7 NOVEMBER 2005

SUPERCHEAP FRENCH GP TICKETS ON SALE

The tickets for the French Grand Prix went on sale today and in an effort pull in an even larger crowd than last year the organisers of the race are offering a 10% discount for all tickets purchased before the start of the new F1 season.

LIUZZI STARS IN COLOMBIA

Pedro de la Rosa won the Race of Stars kart in Colombia on Sunday by playing it safe.

WILSON WINS IN MEXICO

Justin Wilson won the Champ Car finale in Mexico City, leading home his team mate AJ Allmendinger on a day dominated by the RuSport team.

4 NOVEMBER 2005

WHO FRAMEWORK CONVENTION ON TOBACCO CONTROL HITS 100

There are now 100 countries which have ratified the World Health Organisation's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, the international anti-tobacco treaty which binds its signatories to get rid of tobacco advertising.

FOURTEEN CONFIRMED FOR GP MASTERS

Fourteen former F1 drivers have confirmed for the GP Masters event at Kyalami next week.

BIAGI TO TEST FOR JORDAN

FIA GT driver Thomas Biagi will be testing for Jordan at Jerez, Spain in December 2005. Biagi will also participate in the Bologna Motorshow later that month.

MONTOYA ATTRACTS BIG NAMES TO COLOMBIA

Juan Pablo Montoya's annual Race of Stars karting event returns to the streets of Cartagena, in his home country of Colombia, with a strong international flavour led by IndyCar champion Dan Wheldon.

FERRARI CONTINUES TO ENJOY UNFAIR ADVANTAGE

Ferrari continues to test at every possible moment with a lengthy test last week at Vallelunga and plans for a four-day test in Bahrain in the middle of November.

PRESTON IS CHIEF TECHNICAL OFFICER OF SUPER AGURI F1 TEAM

Mark Preston has confirmed that he is the Chief Technical Officer of the new Super Aguri F1 team, based at the team's headquarters at Leafield.

FOSTER'S JOINS A1 GRAND PRIX

In a rare switch from its established philosophy, Foster's, Australia's most recognisable brand name worldwide, has announced that it is to sponsor A1 Team Australia. Normally Foster's sponsors individuals or events.

3 NOVEMBER 2005

SUPER AGURI AND PRESTON RACING

One of our eagle-eyed readers, Michael Tomkins, has drawn our attention to an interesting point which has just come to light about the new Super Aguri F1 team. The company, Super Aguri F1 Ltd was incorporated on October 31 this year with its address listed as the Leafield Technical Centre.

TANAKA TO HEAD GPMA

There has been talk for some days that the Grand Prix Manufacturers Association is to be headed by former Honda F1 president Shoichi Tanaka, who retired earlier this year as head of the Japanese company's F1 operations, after a long and successful career with Honda.

YAMAHA DROPS GAULOISES BRANDING

Following yesterday's statement by the World Health Organization about country's ignoring a European tobacco ban it is worth noting that Yamaha is to drop its Gauloises colour scheme at this weekend's MotoGP race in Valencia.

WILLIAMS CONFIRMS ROSBERG JR

Williams F1 has confirmed the appointment of Nico Rosberg as a team race driver for next season.

HONDA AND FORMULA 1

Over in Japan there seem to be a lot of people getting very excited about Super Aguri Racing's planned assault on Formula 1 with Honda but one has to wonder whether this really makes sense for Honda.

LEGAL TROUBLE DOWN UNDER

Australia this weekend hosts the fourth round of the A1 Grand Prix series in the face of an attempt to stop it using the term Grand Prix by the organisers of the country's Formula 1 race.

2 NOVEMBER 2005

TOBACCO AND THE GOVERNMENTS OF EUROPE

The World Health Organization is going public to try to make sure that the European Union ban on tobacco advertising is not being flouted. The WHO says that eight member countries have yet to confirm to the European Commission that they are enforcing the measures, including Germany and Spain.

AGURI AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Aguri Suzuki faces a problem in getting his chassis designed in time to start the 2006 Formula 1 World Championship season. But that might not be quite as big a problem as some would imagine.

1 NOVEMBER 2005

TOST JOINS SQUADRA TORO ROSSO

As we exclusively reported recently, Franz Tost has been named as the team principal of Squadra Toro Rosso. He will take up the role on January 1 2006. TheĀ 49 year old Austrian has been Track Operation Manager at BMW Motorsport since June 2000.

THE GPMA IS STILL OUT THERE

There has been much talk in recent days of compromise and the various FIA meetings appear to have gone off without any major blow-ups but that does not mean that the Grand Prix Manufacturers Association has gone away, or indeed altered any of its stated goals.

ALBERS JOINS MIDLAND

The Midland Group has announced that Christijan Albers will be one of its race drivers in 2006.

MATSUURA TO JOIN SATO?

Aguri Suzuki says that he has not yet made any decisions about his drivers for 2006 and there is already speculation in Japan that Kosuke Matsuura could be one of the drivers.

SUZUKI FILED ENTRY ON OCTOBER 26

Aguri Suzuki filed his entry for the 2006 Formula 1 World Championship on October 26. The team must now wait until December 1 to find out whether or not the entry will be accepted.

DAVE CLAPHAM

Dave Clapham has died at the age of 74. He was a major figure in the development of motorsport in South Africa, starting out as a competitor in 1956 and becoming the manager of Sports Car Cub of South Africa in 1960.

FOR THE YOUNGER GENERATION

Aguri Suzuki was the second Japanese racing driver to become a Formula 1 regular, following in the footsteps of pioneer Satoru Nakajima. Suzuki had raced karts from the age of 12 and made his debut in racing with three races in Formula 3 (straight from karts) in 1979.

PENSKE MOVES TO NASCAR COUNTRY

Penske Racing, the second oldest team in the Indy Racing League, is moving its operational headquarters from Reading, Pennsylvania to Mooresville, North Carolina. Penske has been based in Reading since in 1973 after moving there from Philadelphia, where the team was established in 1966.

SUPER AGURI F1 IS GO!

It has been confirmed in Tokyo that Aguri Suzuki is the man behind the new Honda team, as we exclusively predicted some weeks ago. The name of the new team will be Super Aguri F1 and the cars will be known as Aguri-Hondas.

PATRICK LONG IS ALMS GT2 CHAMPION

Grandprix.com's Young Driver of the Year from 2001 Patrick Long has won the American Le Mans Series GT2 Championship, driving for the US based Petersen-White Lightning Porsche team.