NEWS ARCHIVE

27 DECEMBER 2006

QUIZ ANSWERS

The answers for our Christmas Quiz were as follows. Click on the links to learn more in the Grandprix.com encyclopedia.

CHINESE BOUND FOR SPYKER?

There are reports in Holland that Ho-pin Tung, a Dutch-born Chinese racer, is trying to land the test drive with the Spyker F1 team.

SUPER AGURI NAMES SAKON YAMAMOTO AS SECOND TEST DRIVER

Super Aguri F1 has confirmed that it will continue its relationship with Japanese driver Sakon Yamamoto, who will take on the position of second test driver in 2007.

25 DECEMBER 2006

IF YOU GET BORED AT CHRISTMAS - TRY THIS QUIZ

There are only 10 questions. No prizes. Just for fun.

A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS

It has been a busy year at grandprix.com but we would like to say thanks to all our loyal readers and we hope that you enjoy a very merry Christmas and a suitably festive New Year.

22 DECEMBER 2006

THE FIA PUBLISHES 2009 RULES

The FIA has made no announcement about its plans for the Formula 1 technical regulations for 2009 but if you take a look on the FIA website you will find that a copy of the regulations has now popped up and it features some interesting changes.

CHANGING THE STRUCTURE OF F1 DECISION-MAKING

The FIA is considering further changes to the structure of decision-making in Formula 1 and we hear that the latest idea is to create a Formula 1 Major Manufacturers' Advisory Commission with members from the senior managements of BMW, DaimlerChrysler, Ferrari, Honda, Renault and Toyota.

21 DECEMBER 2006

GLOCK SIGNED AS BMW SECOND DRIVER

Timo Glock has been signed as BMW Sauber's second test driver for 2007. He will work with race drivers Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica and the team's test driver Sebastian Vettel.

SUTIL JOINS ALBERS AT SPYKER

The Spyker F1 team has signed Adrian Sutil to partner Christijan Albers in the 2007 FIA F1 World Championship. The 23-year-old Munish driver did the Friday test driving for the team at three races this year while winning the Japanese F3 Championship for the Tom's Toyota team.

DOORNBOS AND SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO

Back in October we reported that in an effort to raise sponsorship for 2007 Scuderia Toro Rosso would most likely replace Scott Speed with Robert Doornbos. The team is a joint venture between Red Bull and Gerhard Berger and as part of the agreement Berger has to find half the budget each year.

NETWORKING A LA SPYKER

The Spyker Formula 1 programme has been a triumph of networking with connections between the many companies now involved and the latest announcement is a further step in that direction as the team's three-year deal with the McGregor Fashion Group.

A GREEN POLICY AT HONDA

As we suggested recently Honda looks like going green in colour in Formula 1 in 2007 with reports that the company has decided to push hard to market its environmental policies using F1.

THE TROUBLE WITH ARBITRATION

There has been some vague talk of a team or two going to arbitration over the question of whether or not Scuderia Toro Rosso and Super Aguri F1 will be bending the rules next year with their chassis.

19 DECEMBER 2006

WHILE LUCA SNIFFS AT POLITICS AGAIN

Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo has been a man who has often been mentioned as a possible national politician in Italy.

AN INTERESTING MOVE FOR PURNELL

Tony Purnell is 48 and never has to worry about working again. He made a considerable fortune in 1999 when he sold his PI Group to the Ford Motor Company and from there went on to become involved in Ford's F1 activities, as the boss of Jaguar Racing.

REGAZZONI'S FUNERAL

Clay Regazzoni's funeral will take place on Thursday at the Sacro Cuore church in Lugano, Switzerland and there will be a memorial service in Monaco in January. Reports from Italy say that the autopsy for the former Ferrari driver, who died following a car accident near Parma, did not reveal fatal injuries.

MINARDI TEAM USA DRIVERS

It is logical to suggest, given their history together, that Paul Stoddart and Jos Verstappen will come to some agreement for Verstappen to race in Champ Car with the new Minardi Team USA but in Holland there is also talk of Jos moving in at Forsythe Racing, alongside Paul Tracy.

18 DECEMBER 2006

PORSCHE TO DEVELOP DRIVING CENTRE AT SILVERSTONE

The British Racing Drivers' Club has voted through plans for Porsche Cars GB to develop a Porsche Driver Training Facility at Silverstone. Porsche and Silverstone are now in the process of formalising the relationship and will then move ahead and apply for planning permission.

PURNELL JOINS THE FIA

Tony Purnell, the former team principal of the Jaguar Racing and Red Bull Racing Formula 1 teams, has been appointed as a Technical Consultant to the FIA. Purnell's main role will be to assist the FIA in developing Formula 1 technologies that will be road-relevant and which will help to improve the racing on the track.

STODDART BUYS HVM

Paul Stoddart has acquired a majority shareholding in the HVM Champ Car team and will rename the operation Team Minardi USA. The plan is for the team to continue to be run by Keith Wiggins and for it to run "multiple" entries in the series in 2007.

15 DECEMBER 2006

CLAY REGAZZONI

Former Grand Prix driver Gianclaudio "Clay" Regazzoni has been killed in a road accident in Italy. Details of the accident are confused but it seems that Regazzoni arrived at high speed at a sudden and unexpected traffic jam.

WORK PROGRESSING WELL AT HINWIL

The BMW Sauber team is expanding all the time at the moment with the staff climbing rapidly and the factory being expanded significantly as the team brings in new people and new departments.

SUPER AGURI NAMES VAN DER GARDE

The Super Aguri team has announced that Dutchman Giedo van der Garde will be the team's reserve and test driver for the 2007 season. A member of the McLaren Young Driver Support Programme, the 21-year-old has been competing this year with the ASM team in the Formula 3 Euroseries.

ALONSO POPS UP

Fernando Alonso popped up this morning for the final day of Formula 1 testing in 2006 - at the wheel of a completely-unsponsored McLaren. The test came despite remarks in recent days by Renault that Fernando would not be released from his contract until the end of the year.

AN INTERESTING MOVE

Adrian Campos is a very wealthy man. The maternal grandson of industrialist Luis Suner Sanchis, Campos and his brother sold the family's huge refrigerated food business back in 1991.

HOW TO LEARN HOW TO MANAGE RISKS

The inaugural Centre of Excellence Summit hosted by the FIA, the FIA Institute and the French Ministry of Sport will be held at the Paul Ricard circuit in mid-January with Management of Risk in Sport being the theme.

IN PASSING

The tobacco world is no longer a part of Formula 1 - despite some red and white chevrons that will be seen on the Ferraris - but it is worth noting that the industry continues to consolidate and that Japan Tobacco, backer for many years of the Renault F1 team, is buying Britain's Gallaher Group Plc for $14.7bn.

TODT TALKS OF RETIREMENT

Jean Todt, the boss of Ferrari, says that he would have retired from the team if Michael Schumacher, Ross Brawn and Paolo Martinelli had not all departed at once. The Frenchman told Le Figaro that he did not feel that it was right to jump ship at the same time and so stayed on to hold the fort.

MARCO STATES HIS AIMS

Marco Andretti will climb aboard a Honda F1 car today in Jerez, Spain, marking the return of America's most famous racing name to F1 for the first time since 1993, when his father Michael departed McLaren in less than happy circumstances.

F1 BEHIND THE TIMES?

Formula 1 is looking to the future with vague ideas of biodiesel-powered turbo engines in the medium term but by then Audi will possibly have achieved victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours using biofuels.

THE PLIGHT OF SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS

Sebastien Bourdais should not need to feel the urge to prove himself to anyone. With three Champ Car titles to his name he has shown that he is a top driver - even if Champ Car is not considered in Formula 1 circles to be what once it was.

14 DECEMBER 2006

NELSON TO JOIN WILLIAMS

Williams remains tight-lipped on the subject of whether or not the team has hired Renault F1 engineer Rod Nelson. What is clear is that Nelson is on gardening leave at Renault and will not be rejoining the team - so it is really just a question of where he turns up next.

GERMANY LOSES TOBACCO CASE

The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg has ruled Germany has to implement a ban tobacco advertising in newspapers, magazines, radio and on the internet and also comply with regulations banning cross-border sponsoring of events, such as Formula 1.

MOSLEY TALKS OF PROMOTION AND RELEGATION ONCE MORE

FIA President Max Mosley is talking about promotion and relegation again, hoping to create a structure in which the top GP2 team could move into Formula 1 and the weaker F1 teams could drop out of the sport.

JANES GOES TO ILMOR

Mike Janes, the man who has been running Cosworth's race engineering team this year, has left the Northamptonshire company and is to take up a new role as the team manager of the new Ilmor MotoGP team.

THE SALE OF MCLAREN

Ron Dennis had a meeting with some of the British F1 media last week and discussed a little about whether or not the team will be sold to Mercedes-Benz. For some time there have been rumours that a deal was done last summer and our sources are absolutely certain that a sale is taking place.

ANOTHER WINDTUNNEL FOR FERRARI?

The talk at the launch of the new BMW Sauber supercomputer was that Ferrari will soon begin work on a second windtunnel to complement the current facility at Maranello.

BMW'S NEW SUPERCOMPUTER

BMW Sauber this morning revealed a new generation of supercomputer with mind-blowing capabilities to help the team develop better Formula 1 cars. The computer, known as Albert 2, can complete 12, 288, 000 000 000 calculations per second, which enables the team to get five times the performance of the previous computer.

HOW TO CONTROL AERODYNAMIC DEVELOPMENT?

BMW Sauber boss Dr Mario Theissen says it is going to be hard for the FIA to control aerodynamic development in Formula 1.

13 DECEMBER 2006

SPEED STANDS IN FOR NASCAR CHAMPION

Scott Speed, the only American driver in Formula 1, will replace injured NASCAR cahmpion Jimmie Johnson in the Race of Champions on Saturday in Paris. Johnson suffered a broken left wrist when he fell off the roof of a golf cart while horsing about in Florida.

TOM WALKINSHAW BUYS A CAR COMPANY

Tom Walkinshaw is the proud new owner of the Elfin car company - Australia's best known manufacturer of racing machinery - and the builder of some interesting road cars in recent years.

12 DECEMBER 2006

SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO: NEW IDEAS ON HOW TO MOTIVATE DRIVERS

Bringing in Sebastien Bourdais for a test and telling pressmen that the drivers are not guaranteed for 2007 is a great way for Scuderia Toro Rosso to motivate its current incumbents to want to stay for the future.

A TEST IN MALAYSIA?

There is talk in Formula 1 circles at the moment of trying to organise a test in Malaysia in March next year, in order to try to make sense of the daft calendar that was presented - with a three week gap between the Australian and Malaysian GPs and then a mad dash to get everything to Bahrain.

NEW DESIGNS ON HONDA?

There is much chatter at the moment about Honda colour schemes for next year and indeed about why the team is currently running in plain black. The explanation is very simple.

11 DECEMBER 2006

BOURDAIS TO TEST FOR TORO ROSSO

Sebastien Bourdais has been trying to break into Formula 1 for years. The 27-year-old Frenchman went to America in 2003 after being unable to find an F1 drive despite winning the International Formula 3000 title.

9 DECEMBER 2006

MEANWHILE IN FLORIDA

Juan-Pablo Montoya's participation in the Rolex 24 at Daytona will provide him another opportunity to race Jeff Gordon,

PRIZE GUYS

The FIA Prizegiving Gala in Monte Carlo is beginning to expand and has started handing out new awards in addition to simply doling out the usual trophies to its champions. This year's haul included FIA Gold Medals for Sir Stirling Moss and the retiring Michael Schumacher.

MARCO ANDRETTI TO TEST FOR HONDA F1!

Rising American star Marco Andretti is to test for Honda Racing F1 at Jerez on Friday.

8 DECEMBER 2006

THE WORLD COUNCIL MEETS

The World Motor Sport Council met in Monaco this morning and made the following decisions. As plan ned F1 will undergo considerable change in the years ahead with a switch towards renewable energy to make the sport more relevant to the motor industry.

7 DECEMBER 2006

THE NEXT STEP

Efforts to cut costs in F1 are never easy to achieve because there is always opposition from engineers who believe that the sport should be given more freedom to develop rather than increased restriction.

A CONFIDENT DAVID RICHARDS

David Richards was much in evidence at the Motorsport Forum in Monte Carlo and is very confident that he is now well on his way to having his F1 team up and running next year.

THE TALK IS OF CHASSIS DESIGN

The Formula 1 team principals will meet later this week in Monaco to discuss a number of issues but the big question is going to be one of chassis design as there are very serious questions being asked about who is designing the Scuderia Toro Rosso chassis for 2007 and the Super Aguri F1 car.

6 DECEMBER 2006

SOME GOOD NEWS FOR F1

The Motorsport Business Forum in Monte Carlo is a time for the sport to examine itself and it is not surprising that there is a level of criticism about things that the sport is not doing or what it is doing wrong. However, Mick da Haas, the man who brought ING to Renault had a very positive message for the sport.

WADA GETS PROMOTED

Yasuhiro Wada, the head of Honda's F1 activities, has been promoted to head all of Honda's worldwide racing, including motorcycle racing, and overseeing the circuits at Suzuka and Motegi.

BUTTON TO MISS MORE TESTS

The word is that Jenson Button will not only miss this week's testing in Jerez but that the Honda driver will now not be seen again in action this year - and that means that he probably won't be racing at the Race of Champions in Paris as it makes little sense to take any further risks if he is not ready to test F1 cars.

MONTOYA TO RACE DAYTONA 24 HOURS?

The word in America is that Juan Pablo Montoya will exploit his new-found liberty to race with a run in the Daytona 24 Hours at the wheel of one of Chip Ganassi's Riley-Lexus GrandAm sportscars.

NASCAR GIVES UP ON STATEN ISLAND

New York is the mecca for all racing series but getting a venue within easy reach of the Big Apple is not an easy thing to achieve - something which Formula 1 found out in the 1990s when it tried to organise a street race in Manhattan.

THE FUTURE OF GARY PAFFETT

Gary Paffett is rumoured to be returning to the DTM in 2007 after his attempt to sign for Honda failed to materialise. The story of what happened with negotiations depends on who one talks to with Paffett's people saying that he had a better offer and whispers from Honda that he was asking too much.

TYRE STRATEGIES OR PUBLICITY PLAN?

The departure of Michelin from F1 means that Bridgestone is facing a great deal less publicity from the sport than was previously the case. It is inevitable that if everyone uses the same tyres, the only mention of the company involved will be when there is a problem.

4 DECEMBER 2006

HAMILTON AND SPYKER

There is an interesting report today in Holland that Michiel Mol of Spyker tried to sign Lewis Hamilton on a long-term deal, offering him $10m for the drive.

HERE AND THERE

It was a very quiet weekend for motorsport action but Marcus Gronholm was in the spotlight as he gave Ford its first British WRC win for 27 years. The result was made somewhat less impressive by the fact that Sebastien Loeb was not present - as he is still recovering from his shoulder injuries.

A SWITCHAROUND AT LOLA

Lola Cars International has hired Dr John Davis as the new manager of its technology centre in Huntingdon, a facility which includes a state-of-the-art half-scale, rolling road windtunnel.

ALONSO WINS TOP AUTOSPORT AWARD

The annual Autosport Awards in London resulted in further recognition for Fernando Alonso, who took the award for International Racing Driver of the Year although the Spaniard was not there to be pick up his latest trophy.

A DANGEROUS TIME FOR TURKEY

It is a dangerous time of year to be a turkey - and the FIA World Council will be discussing this matter when it meets this week to discuss what to do about the outstanding fine of $2.5m that the Turkish Automobile and Motorsports Federation (TOMSFED) needs to pay.

MEANWHILE IN COURT

The case between the Formula One group and Kamos-Finanz over the question of repayment of a loan made to the group to help buy the commercial rights to Formula 1 is still going through the courts - and it is a complicated business.

1 DECEMBER 2006

PANASONIC GOES GRANDSTANDING

At the end of the Barcelona test only Toyota remained at the track but the team took the opportunity of setting times which were well clear of the best set by Ferrari the previous day. Jarno Trulli set a best of 1m15.936s and Ralf Schumacher lapped in 1m15.976s.

THE FIA OFFICIAL ENTRY

The FIA has issued the official numbers of the 2007 season with no big surprises on the list, which is led by World Champion Fernando Alonso, who takes his number one to McLaren.

PENSKE HONOURED BY RBS

The Royal Bank of Scotland has presented Roger Penske with an RBS Outstanding Achievement Award for his contribution to the motorsport industry in the course of the last 40 years.

TOYOTA PUTS FUEL CELL GURU INTO F1

Toyota Motorsport GmbH has announced that Tadashi Yamashina, who oversees motorsport-related activities, has been appointed the new vice chairman of the Cologne-based operation.

THIRTY YEARS AT VIRY-CHATILLON

Renault F1 celebrates 30 years at Viry-Chatillon this week although the factory actually dates back to 1969 when Amedee Gordini moved his engine operation into the facility after it was taken over by Renault in 1968.

KERKORIAN DUMPS ALL GM STOCK

Kirk Kerkorian is now punishing General Motors for refusing to listen to him and to merge with Renault and it is reported in the Wall Street Journal that he has sold all 28m of his remaining shares in a deal worth around $800m.

DA MATTA YET TO DECIDE ON HIS FUTURE

Cristiano da Matta is now back in Brazil and has been continuing his recovery following his crash in August at Road America when he suffered serious head injuries after colliding with a deer.

A CHAMP CAR IN CHINA

Global expansion is all the rage at the moment and following the news that NASCAR is looking at Europe and China, comes news that Champ Car has sent a new Panoz DP01 to Zhuhai for tests in front of local dignitaries, guests and the Chinese media.

JACQUES HAS A DEAL - NOW HE NEEDS MONEY

According to reports in Canada, former Formula 1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve has reached an agreement with Roush Racing to help him set up an operation in NASCAR next spring.

A GOOD IDEA FROM SUPER AGURI

The new rules for practice and qualifying in 2007 mean that teams can run different drivers on Fridays, but the big question is whether they will because the regular drivers want as much time as possible in the cars and testing has been cut back.

A NEW MAN AT THE BRDC

The British Racing Drivers' Club has announced the appointment of a new club secretary, Stuart Pringle.