NEWS ARCHIVE

31 DECEMBER 2005

WHY INTEL IS IN F1

Intel, the world's biggest chipmaker, will launch a major rebranding shortly. The phrase "Intel Inside" is to be dropped and the new motto will be "Leap Ahead". The company will also be changing its corporate logo.

BMW EXPANDING SAUBER FACILITIES

BMW is in the process of adding 100 new staff members to the team at Sauber headquarters in Hinwil, Switzerland. These will be mainly engeering staff. In order to house the new staff the team is renting office space in the town but work will soon begin on a new building which will house the expanded team by 2007.

30 DECEMBER 2005

PAFFETT GETS A NEW CONTRACT!

McLaren's new test driver has signed a new contract - with his fiancee Lisa. The pair were married in the village of Cavendish, near Cambridge, just before Christmas with his guests including his former DTM team mate Jamie Green.

THE DEATH THROES OF TOBACCO SPONSORSHIPS IN F1

A court in Paris has fined newspapers Le Point, Le Monde and Les Echos $1000 apiece for failure to observe the advertising rules which insist that photographs of Formula 1 cars must have all tobacco sponsorship air-brushed out of the picture.

27 DECEMBER 2005

A VERY QUIET TIME OF YEAR

With most of the big players in F1 away on Christmas breaks in the Alps or sunny beaches in the southern hemisphere, it is a quiet time for the Formula 1 world and as a result there tend to be some fairly exciting stories published as Internet sites look for readers.

CIRCUITS GOING BROKE

The cost of hosting Formula 1 races is a nice little earner for Formula One Management, bringing in around $200m a year, with many of the contracts featuring clauses which increase the cost of the fees by 10% a year.

25 DECEMBER 2005

MERRY CHRISTMAS

The staff of Grandprix.com would like to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy new year in 2006. The grandprix.com "club" continues to grow each year and now averages more than 400,000 individual users per month, most of you clicking on several times a day.

24 DECEMBER 2005

SUPER AGURI AND MATSUURA

Super Aguri F1 will run Takuma Sato in 2006. The news has not yet been confirmed but Sato is one of the reasons that the team exists and it would be amazing if he did not drive.

FITTING 22 CARS IN THE F1 PITLANE

There will be no problem fitting 11 teams into the garages of Bahrain and Malaysia but as the Formula 1 season goes on in 2006 there may be problems in other places, notably Melbourne and Monaco where space has always been very tight.

23 DECEMBER 2005

REMEMBERING KEITH DUCKWORTH

A website has been established to remember Keith Duckworth, a man who had an enormous influence on motorsport in Britain and around the world. The website is there so that there will be a virtual monument to Duckworth.

21 DECEMBER 2005

A QUESTION OF COST-CUTTING OR POWER?

Timing is everything in the world of information and you can be sure that it was no accident that the FIA press release relating to regulation changes in Formula 1 in 2008 came out late in the day, four days before Christmas, when most of the Formula 1 teams are winding down for the holiday.

SUPER AGURI GETS 10 SIGNATURES

As we exclusively reported two days ago, Super Aguri F1 has managed to secure the necessary 10 signatures from the other Formula 1 teams which will allow the team to compete in the 2006 World Championship. The team will now apply to the F1.

THE DECISION FACING CARLOS GHOSN

Carlos Ghosn has a big job on his hands. The new chief executive officer of Renault is faced with a situation in which the company he runs is losing market share in Europe.

A WHISPER FROM JAPAN

Bad news often comes at the same time, and we hear following the news of Fernando Alonso's planned departure from Renault F1 there will soon be an announcement that Japan Tobacco is not planning to go on with its Mild Seven sponsorship of the team beyond the end of the current deal at the end of 2006.

PAFFETT JOINS MCLAREN

Gary Paffett is to replace Alexander Wurz as the second test driver of the McLaren Mercedes F1 team. The news was announced this morning and leaves Wurz out of work for the moment.

20 DECEMBER 2005

THE COMPLEX WORLD OF F1 DEAL-MAKING

Flavio Briatore says that he had nothing to do with Fernando Alonso's deal to join McLaren.

ANDRETTI JOINS ANDRETTI GREEN

As we suggested a few days ago, Marco Andretti, the 18-year-old son of Michael Andretti, has joined his father's team in the Indy Racing League. Marco will drive the ArcaEx Dallara-Honda which was previously driven by Dario Franchitti.

KUBICA SIGNING A BIG BOOST FOR F1 IN EASTERN EUROPE

BMW has announced that it has signed up Robert Kubica of Poland to be its test and development driver in 2006. Kubica will run in the team's third car at Grands Prix events.

19 DECEMBER 2005

KEITH DUCKWORTH

Keith Duckworth, the man who designed the Cosworth Formula 1 engine, the most successful engine in the history of the sport, has died at the age of 72. Duckworth's influence on motor racing was enormous not simply as a designer but also for the role he played in building up the British motor racing industry.

NOW HERE IS A THOUGHT

Fernando Alonso's negotiations with McLaren will almost certainly have involved his manager Flavio Briatore. At the very least Alonso could be expected to have had to inform his manager that talks were taking place with the Woking team.

RENAULT DISAPPOINTED BY ALONSO

Renault F1 president Patrick Faure says that he is disappointed that Fernando Alonso has signed for McLaren in 2007.

GOODBYE GIANCARLO

Giancarlo Minardi has left the team that used to have his name. The 58-year-old Italian has been involved in running his own teams since 1972 when he entered Formula 2 with a team called Scuderia del Passatore.

AND SO WE WAIT FOR A KIMI ANNOUNCEMENT

The news that Fernando Alonso has signed to drive for McLaren in 2007 is probably just the first of a series of dominos which will fall in the weeks ahead.

ALONSO SIGNS FOR MCLAREN!

Fernando Alonso has signed for McLaren in 2007

TOYOTA CONFIRMS BRUNNER DEPARTURE

Toyota Motorsport GmbH has confirmed that Gustav Brunner has left the team.

DAVID RICHARDS COMES CLEAN

David Richards has run two Formula 1 teams to date: Benetton back in 1997-1998 and then British American Racing from 2002-2004. He has gone away to do other things but keeps coming back, despite saying that F1 is not the be-all-and-end-all of his existence.

SUPER AGURI TO GET AN ENTRY

Our spies tell us that a deal has been struck to allow Super Aguri F1 to get its entry in the World Championship. There are no details of the deal but clearly pressure has been applied (one might say pressure and/or enticement) to MF1 Racing, which was not keen to sign.

18 DECEMBER 2005

BRUNNER HAS LEFT

Our spies in Cologne have confirmed that chief designer Gustav Brunner has left the team but there is no indication why he has gone nor where, if anywhere, he is going.

AUF WIEDERSEHEN, HERR BRUNNER?

There are reports in Germany that Gustav Brunner has left Toyota. The 55-year-old Austrian has been with the team since 2002 when he joined the team from Minardi, having walked out in the middle of 2001. The dispute had to be settled with a large payment from Toyota to Minardi.

SEVENTEEN-YEAR-OLD WINS F1 TEST

Germany's Marco Holzer has won a BMW Sauber Formula 1 test with his victory in the Formula BMW World Final in Bahrain. Holzer, who comes from a wellknown German racing family, which is involved in DTM, Formula 3 and Formula BMW, dominated the event.

15 DECEMBER 2005

A CLEAR MESSAGE FROM MICHELIN

There is a sound argument for control tyres in Formula 1, even if it may ultimately have a detrimental effect on the quality of the F1 show, removing a key element of uncertainty.

TURKEY TO SELL OFF TRACK OPERATION

The Istanbul Chamber of Commerce has announced that it is to put the operation of the Istanbul Park racing circuit out to tender. The organisation has invested $160m in the facility.

FERRARI IN WONDERLAND?

Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro needs to find a big new sponsor to replace Vodafone in 2007 and there are whispers in Italy that the team is already well on its way to a big new deal with Alice, the broadband service of Telecom Italia.

ANDRETTI TO RACE FOR ANDRETTI?

The word in America is that Andretti Green Racing is about to announce that Marco Andretti will be hired by his father Michael to replace Dan Wheldon in the Andretti Green Racing line-up in the Indy Racing League.

WHITMARSH WINS QUOTE OF THE WEEK

McLaren's Martin Whitmarsh is a man who knows how to talk the corporate talk but at a media lunch yesterday he took the prize for one of the best remarks for months in F1 circles when discussing whether or not Super Aguri F1 will be granted the right to race in F1 in 2006.

BMW CONFIRMS INTEL DEAL

As we exclusively predicted yesterday, Intel has signed a major deal with the American chip-making firm Intel. The deal will include a technology partnership to develop BMW's worldwide IT infrastructure.

14 DECEMBER 2005

TOMBAZIS STILL AT MCLAREN

McLaren has moved to kill stories that it is to lose Nick Tombazis. "At the moment he is staying here," said the team's Martin Whitmarsh, "although some of our engineers have been receiving amazing offers from other teams." Ron Dennis added that Tombazis "has not asked to leave".

WHY VODAFONE CHOSE MCLAREN OVER FERRARI

The news that Vodafone has signed a long-term title sponsorship deal with McLaren, starting in 2007, came as a surprise in F1 circles. It was widely know that Vodafone was not entirely happy in its relationship with Ferrari but all the signs were that a deal was in the wind with Honda.

MCLAREN AND VODAFONE - A 10 YEAR DEAL

McLaren boss Ron Dennis says that the deal with Vodafone is for 10 years although there is the possibility that the company will not continue after five. This has been included because Vodafone is a public company

THREE DRIVERS VIE FOR MCLAREN TESTING DEAL

Alexander Wurz, Gary Paffett and Lewis Hamilton are all in line for the second testing role at McLaren, alongside Pedro de la Rosa, who already has a contract for 2006.

INTEL AND BMW

Intel is expected to sign a title sponsorship deal with BMW Sauber.

MICHELIN TO PULL OUT AFTER 2006

Tyre giant Michelin has announced that it will quit Formula One at the end of the upcoming season.

VODAFONE ANNOUNCE MCLAREN TITLE SPONSORSHIP IN 2007

Vodefone has announced today a long-term deal to be the title sponsor of the McLaren-Mercedes team beginning in 2007.

13 DECEMBER 2005

SCHUMI PAL IN THE DOCK

Jurgen Dilk, the man who funded much of the early career of Michael Schumacher and has been head of the official Schumacher fan club, has been found guilty of tax evasion and given a one-year suspended jail sentence and a fine of $36,000.

12 DECEMBER 2005

THE VALUE OF ALLSPORT MANAGEMENT

Allsport Management exists to make life easier for Bernie Ecclestone. The company looks after commercial aspects of Formula 1 that Formula One Management does not have time to deal with and pays FOM an annual fee for the privilege.

POOR OLD SILVERSTONE

One has to feel a little sorry for the British Grand Prix. First of all it has been kicked off its traditional date because the French wanted it, having been kicked out of their traditional date by the United States Grand Prix, and now the soccer World Cup draw has made life all the more difficult.

FISICHELLA - THE EMPIRE GROWS

Fisichella Motor Sport is to join forces with Coloni Motorsport for an assault on the 2006 GP2 title. FMS International is to be the name of the new team which combines Fisichella Motor Sport and Coloni Motorsport.

RED BULL AND VOLKSWAGEN

Tomorrow in Paris Volkswagen subsidiary Audi will announce the new R10 prototype which the company will use in the years ahead at Le Mans. Our spies tell us that the new car will be a twin-turbo diesel device and it will be the major thrust for Audi in competition for the next couple of years.

9 DECEMBER 2005

EUROSPORT TO PROMOTE KARTING

The only other point worthy of note from the FIA World Council is that SRW Events, a subsidiary of the Eurosport Group, has been awarded the media and marketing rights for the 2006 CIK-FIA karting championships. The contract is being finalised. Tghis should guarantee that top line kart racing is shown on Eurosport.

MYSTERIES

The Formula 1 world may have been very lovey-dovey in recent months (at least in public) but the FIA World Council gave a reminder that chaos is still standing in the wings, waiting to leap in if either the FIA or the manufacturers throw their toys out of the pram.

MOVEMENTS IN THE F1 PADDOCK

This is the time of year when the race teams are trying to improve themselves and there have been several significant moves between the teams in recent times with Renault in particular suffering the loss of several top people.

THE WORLD ACCORDING TO ALONSO

An interview with the World Champion.

8 DECEMBER 2005

REVAMPING THE COURT OF APPEAL

The FIA has unveiled a number or reforms for the International Court of Appeal which it is hoped will change the perception that exists in some quarters of the sport that it is not an independent body.

MARQUES FOR MF1 RACING?

The rumours suggesting that Nicky Pastorelli's job as the third driver may be under threat because of sponsorship problems seems to explain Tarso Marques's recent remarks about getting a Formula 1 drive.

WHY FORMULA 1 NEEDS TO SETTLE DOWN NOW

NASCAR has just signed a new TV deal in the United States worth $4.48bn for the period 2007-2014. The long-term nature of the deal highlights the need for Formula 1 racing to stop fighting internally and get its house in order so as to do deals while there is still room for the sport on the US market.

BRISCOE HOPS INTO A TOYOTA

Ryan Briscoe has not been seen in action since his big accident in the Indy Racing League in the autumn but on Wednesday Briscoe popped up at the wheel of a Toyota F1 car in Spain.

HONDA'S F1 WINDTUNNEL IS READY!

The new Honda Racing F1 windtunnel at Brackley is alsready completed and will begin to go through the commissioning phase before Christmas. Work on the windtunnel began just a year ago and its completion is several months ahead of schedule.

MEANWHILE IN THE BACKGROUND

It is worth noting that the legal firms Linklaters and Baker & McKenzie are facing negligence claims that could run into millions of dollars for advice they gave to Williams and McLaren back in 1997 when negotiations were in full swing for the current Concorde Agreement.

NELSON JR AND HONDA

The word in Brazil is that Nelson Piquet Jr could be seen in 2006 as the second test driver of Honda Racing F1. The team has confirmed drivers Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello and it is clear that Anthony Davidson will be the third driver once again.

NEW JUDGES FOR THE INTERNATIONAL COURT OF APPEAL

The Motor Sports Association, governing body of motor sport in the UK, is proposing two new judges for the FIA's International Court of Appeal, following Graham Stoker's election to the FIA World Motor Sport Council. The new UK judges will be Anthony Scrivener QC and Edwin Glasgow QC.

THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF SUPER AGURI

There are a variety of different stories doing the rounds today about what is happening with Super Aguri F1's bid to enter the World Championship in 2006. The word is that Aguri Suzuki now has the money he needs to pay the FIA bond.

7 DECEMBER 2005

WILLIAMS SIGNS UP TO CONCORDE AGREEMENT!

Williams F1 has agreed to sign up for an extension of the Concorde Agreement from 2008-2012. The news will be announced later today.

6 DECEMBER 2005

WILLIAMS SIGNS WITH PHILIPS

Williams has announced a new sponsors deal with the Dutch consumer electronics firm Philips, to promote Philips shavers. The deal offers Philips marketing opportunities specifically designed to drive sales and position Philips shavers as the premier male shaver brand to the Formula 1 audience.

SCUDERIA TORRO ROSSO CONFIRMS LIUZZI AND SPEED

Tonio Liuzzi and Scott Speed will race for Scuderia Toro Rosso in 2006. Switzerland's Neel Jani will be the test driver. The news means that America will have its first fulltime F1 driver since Michael Andretti raced for McLaren back in 1993.

RED BULL CONFIRMS KLIEN

Red Bull Racing has confirmed that it is giving the second Ferrari-powered Red Bull RB2 to 22-year-old Austrian Christian Klien. The news means that Tonio Liuzzi is being consigned to Scuderia Toro Rosso where he will drive a Cosworth V10-powered car.

KARTHIKEYAN TO TEST FOR WILLIAMS

Narain Karthikeyan is to test for Williams in Spain this week. The 28 year old from Chennai, India, will join Williams on Wednesday behind the wheel of the Williams FW27C interim chassis and will work alongside Nico Rosberg.

JP MORGAN SELLS OUT

JP Morgan has sold its 14.175% shareholding in the Formula One group to Alpha Prema UK Ltd, the company controlled by CVC Capital Partners. This means that Alpha Prema, which previously owned 71.65% of the shares, now has 86% of the company and 100% of the voting shares.

A POINT OF INTEREST

In the course of the recent round of F1 politicking one thing has stood out as being rather odd. Renault is rumoured to be pushing for the new F1 financial deal to come in before 2008.

NEW MANUFACTURERS IN FORMULA 1

While there are some who say that the Formula 1 circus will inevitably lose some of the manufacturers in the not-too-distant future, it is worth noting that there are other companies showing signs of interest or at a point in their development where F1 makes a lot of sense.

MOVEMENT AT MCLAREN

McLaren's Vehicle Project Director Nick Tombazis is reported to have left the team after only 18 months. Tombazis joined McLaren from Ferrari in April 2004 to work on car design but McLaren already head chief designer Mike Coughlan in place in addition to executive engineering director Neil Oatley.

5 DECEMBER 2005

LOEB IS CHAMPION OF CHAMPIONS

World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb won the Race of Champions in Paris's Stade de France. Loeb beat sports car star Tom Kristensen in the final.

4 DECEMBER 2005

BANKERS AT PLAY

There is a minor kerfuffle going on between the former shareholders of SLEC over the deal to sell the majority of the Formula One holding company to CVC Capital Partners. BayernLB set the ball rolling by selling its 46.65% share in SLEC to a CVC company called Alpha Prema.

2 DECEMBER 2005

WINTER COMES TO MONACO

Winter has come to Europe in no uncertain fashion with snow falling in many parts of the Continent.

HONDA CONFIRMS RA106

Honda Racing F1 has confirmed that the new car for 2006 will be designated the RA106.

RENAULT CONFIRMS KOVALAINEN

Renault has confirmed that it is to have Heikki Kovalainen as its third driver in 2006.

THE MSA GETS A NEW BOSS

There is to be a change of management at the Motor Sports Association, the national sporting authority of Britain, with John Grant, the current chairman, stepping down and being replaced by Alan Gow. He will take over on January 1 2006.

1 DECEMBER 2005

FIA CONFIRMS MONTEIRO AT MF1

The FIA entry list for 2006 has confirmed that Tiago Monteiro will be the second driver at the MF1 team next year, alongside Christijan Albers. The team had previously denied that a deal was done.

MEANWHILE AT TESCO IN BRACKLEY...

Eagle-eyed shoppers at the Tesco supermarket in Brackley will have noticed that the team's branding has changed since yesterday, with a new Honda Racing F1 sign and flags replacing the old BAR-Honda branding.

SUPER AGURI F1 IS MISSING

The FIA Formula 1 World Championship entry list does not include the new Super Aguri F1 team.

HEYLEN TO CHAMP CAR

Jan Heylen was once thought of as one of the brightest hopes for Formula 1. The winner of the Formula Ford Festival in 2002, he was signed to a four-year contract by Mercedes-Benz at the start of 2003.

THE OFFICIAL F1 ENTRY LIST

The FIA has now published its official entry list for the 2006 Formula 1 World Championship and there are no real surprises on the list.

BMW CONFIRMS VILLENEUVE

BMW has confirmed Jacques Villeneuve for 2006