NEWS ARCHIVE

31 MARCH 2008

DAVID LESLIE AND RICHARD LLOYD

It is with great sadness that we must mark the passing of Richard Lloyd and David Leslie in a plane crash in Kent on Sunday afternoon. Although neither was involved in Formula 1 they were both wellknown and highly-respected members of the motor racing fraternity.

30 MARCH 2008

SCANDALS

The News of the World newspaper has long specialised in sexual scandals. On Sunday it invaded the world of motor racing, with allegations involving FIA President Max Mosley.

29 MARCH 2008

JACQUES JOINS SPEEDCAR

Former Formula 1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve is the join the Speedcar series for the last two rounds. He will take to the grid for the upcoming race at the Bahrain Grand Prix on April 4-6, followed by the final round in Dubai a week later on April 11-12.

28 MARCH 2008

JEAN-MARIE BALESTRE

The controversial Jean-Marie Balestre has died at the age of 86. For 13 years, until he was toppled by Max Mosley, he was the most powerful man in the motor sport world, as president of the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA).

27 MARCH 2008

A COMPLICATED BUSINESS

With Red Bull having faced up to the fact that there is not much point in having two Formula 1 teams, the Austrian drinks company is now trying to find a solution to the problem of Force India taking Scuderia Toro Rosso to arbitration.

MICROSOFT GOES RACING

The Microsoft Corporation is one of the world's richest companies but generally avoids direct sponsorships in motorsport. The computer giant is now involved in F1 as the supplier of the standard Electronic Control Unit (ECU).

VIEWING FIGURES IN AUSTRALIA

The Australian newspaper has just published the TV ratings for the Australian Grand Prix and revealed that Channel Ten’s GP telecast was the 11th highest rating programme of the week, with 1.2m viewers across Australia.

26 MARCH 2008

QATAR LOOKS TO F1

Qatar has one of the highest per capita incomes in the world thanks to healthy oil and natural gas revenues. The country is booming and the country has began to look at reducing its dependence on oil (which currently accounts for 85% of export earnings).

A TRIUMPH FOR BRITAIN

Bernie Ecclestone has crowned England’s Team Pulse World Champions of the F1 in Schools competition. The four-man team of John Ware (16), Samuel Wood (15), Andrew Lees (16) and Thomas Simpson (17) from Devonport High School for Boys in Plymouth, fought off competition from 24 teams from 15 countries to claim the coveted BEng Automotive and Motor Sport Engineering scholarships at City University London.

FIA APPOINTS A NEW COMMITTEE

The FIA World Motor Sport Council met in Paris and appointed a Management Committee for the Motor Sport Safety Development Fund, the body which will distribute the $60m from the McLaren-Mercedes fine.

RED BULL TO SUPPORT CITROEN SPORT

Red Bull has agreed a new partnership with the Citroen C4 WRC team in the FIA World Rally Championship. The deal kicks off in Argentina this weekend. Red Bull was previously a partner of Skoda in the WRC, but the Czech company has renounced its WRC plans and is now developing a Fabia S2000 car for use in racing.

RICHARDS TO DELIVER KEYNOTE SPEECH AT BAHRAIN FORUM

David Richards, chairman of Prodrive and Aston Martin, and a former F1 team principal of the BAR and Benetton, will deliver the opening keynote address for the first Motor Sport Business Forum Middle East on April 1-2.

BAHRAIN GP CLAIMS HALF A BILLION BOOM

A report by the Godo Research & Marketing Consultancy in Dubai, commissioned by the Bahrain Grand Prix, suggests that the economic impact of the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix on the local economy was $548m. This figure is believed to include air fares, hotels, and expenditure while the visitors were in the country.

A NEW TOLL ROAD AT SILVERSTONE

Eddie Jordan, the former owner of the Force India F1 team, has been out of the F1 picture for several years, since selling his team to the Midland Group. The team was then sold on to Spyker and last year was acquired by Vijay Mallya and renamed Force India.

MSA LAUNCHES GO MOTORSPORT

The Motor Sports Association in Britain has launched a nationwide marketing campaign to attract new people to motor sport. Backed by initial funding of $500,000 from the Motor Sports Association, Go Motorsport follows in the footsteps of Let's Go Karting (a nationwide programme to give youngsters a taste of karting), free first-time competition licences for the under-16s, continued investment in the successful Volunteers in Motorsport programme and the on-going commitment to the development of the UK's Elite talent through the MSA British Race and Rally Elite schemes.

25 MARCH 2008

DREAM CHASING, PART 2

The start of the Formula 1 season has not been an easy one for the Renault F1 team, after what was a very poor year in 2007. The team has not looked very competitive thus far although Fernando Alonso has managed to score points in both of the first two races.

EVERYONE'S DOING IT?

The 2007 scandals in Formula 1 highlighted the amount of information that flows between the teams in the sport. It seems that NASCAR may now be running into similar problems.

DREAM CHASING

McLaren boss Ron Dennis has always enjoyed the concept of inspiring others to follow their dreams. It was this concept that led him to include an educational area in the McLaren Technical Centre in Woking and is behind a new charitable foundation that he has now launched (albeit quietly) called Dream Chasing.

24 MARCH 2008

RACE REPORT - KIMI DOMINATES IN MALAYSIA

After qualifying in Malaysia, we thought that the McLaren team had something up its sleeve. But that was not the case at all. Ferrari was dominant. The Italians ought to have scored a 1-2 but Felipe Massa spun out. Lewis Hamilton had a tough afternoon - by the end of the day he was fifth and is still three points ahead of Kimi Raikkonen in the Drivers' World Championship. But if we see the same kind of performance from Ferrari in Bahrain, McLaren will be in trouble.

23 MARCH 2008

RACE NOTES - RAIKKONEN WINS MALAYSIAN GP

Malaysian GP - Race Notes

SUNDAY PHOTOS

Malaysian GP - Sunday Photos

SUNDAY PRESS CONFERENCE

Malaysian GP - Sunday Press Conference

SUNDAY TEAM QUOTES

Malaysian GP - Sunday Team Quotes

RACE INCIDENTS

Malaysian GP - Race Incidents

RACE RESULTS

Malaysian GP - Race Results

22 MARCH 2008

QUALIFYING REPORT - FERRARI TO THE FORE

Ferrari grabbed pole position for the Malaysian Grand Prix with Felipe Massa well clear of his team-mate Kimi Raikkonen. The fact that neither man made any obvious mistake suggests that the Brazilian may have a lighter fuel load than the Finn, as in the Q2 session Kimi was three-tenths ahead of Massa.

WHY THE MCLARENS HAVE BEEN SENT BACK FIVE PLACES

Heikki Kovalainen and Lewis Hamilton will start the Malaysian Grand Prix from eighth and ninth on the grid, rather than third and fourth, following a decision by the FIA Stewards to penalise the two McLarens for impeding the progress of Nick Heidfeld's BMW Sauber.

SATURDAY PHOTOS

Malaysian GP - Saturday Photos

SATURDAY PRESS CONFERENCE

Malaysian GP - Saturday Press Conference

SATURDAY TEAM QUOTES

Malaysian GP - Saturday Team Quotes

QUALIFYING RESULTS

Malaysian GP - Qualifying Results

PRACTICE 3 REPORT - THE BUZZ ABOUT BEE-EM

Nick Heidfeld set the fastest time of the Saturday morning session in Malaysia in his BMW Sauber, setting himself up for a shot at pole position in qualifying.

PRACTICE 3 RESULTS

Malaysian GP - Practice 3 Results

21 MARCH 2008

PRACTICE 2 REPORT - PS LEWIS

Just when everyone thought that Ferrari had the Malaysian GP weekend sewn up, Lewis Hamilton threw water on the Italian fireworks, snatching the fastest time of the Friday afternoon session in Kuala Lumpur, with a lap that was two-tenths faster than the best time that Ferrari's Felipe Massa could manage.

FRIDAY PHOTOS

Malaysian GP - Friday Photos

FRIDAY PRESS CONFERENCE

Malaysian GP - Friday Press Conference

FRIDAY TEAM QUOTES

Malaysian GP - Friday Team Quotes

RED BULL MUST PROVE SUSPENSION STRENGTH

The FIA stewards have asked Red Bull Racing to verify "the integrity of the suspension" of the RB4 to show that it should not be deemed "of dangerous construction", following David Coulthard's problems in the Friday morning session in Malaysia.

PRACTICE 2 RESULTS

Malaysian GP - Practice 2 Results

PRACTICE 1 REPORT - APRES LE DELUGE

Ferrari started the practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix with a strong showing, but the Friday morning session at Sepang was not without problems, as Kimi Raikkonen's car came to a halt out on the circuit in the middle of session, with mechanical troubles.

PRACTICE 1 RESULTS

Malaysian GP - Practice 1 Results

20 MARCH 2008

SAO PAULO SIGNS F1 DEAL UNTIL 2015

The mayor of Sao Paulo Gilberto Kassab says he has signed a new deal with the Formula One group for the Brazilian Grand Prix to remain at Interlagos until the year 2015.

A BIT OF GIVE AND TAKE

British Labour MP Andrew MacKinlay has attacked Formula 1 saying that the BBC should not be paying the fees to broadcast the races and that the public broadcaster should spend its money on "real sports" rather than "the wealthy industry of F1". MacKinlay said that licence-payers have a right to know what the deal is costing the BBC.

THURSDAY PRESS CONFERENCE

Malaysian GP - Thursday Press Conference

FERRARI DRIVERS

There are reports in Italy that Ferrari has signed Sebastian Vettel. These seem rather unlikely as Vettel's contractual situation is, at best, complicated and probably best described as convoluted, with BMW and Red Bull both having claims on the German rising star.

BBC LANDS F1 DEAL

The BBC has secured the television rights to show Formula 1 in the UK, starting next year. The five-year deal includes radio, Internet and and mobile phone rights. It is 12 years since the BBC lost the deal to rival ITV.

THE MONEY BEHIND SUPER AGURI F1

The big question in F1 circles in recent days has been where the money is coming from to fund the takeover of the Super Aguri F1 team. This is rumoured to be from the Middle East.

19 MARCH 2008

INDIANAPOLIS CHASES SPONSOR FOR US GRAND PRIX IN 2009

Indianapolis Motor Speedway president and CEO Tony George is planning to bring Formula 1 back to the Speedway in the summer of 2009. The race was lost this year because George and F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone could not agree terms for a new deal, with a rumoured $7m difference between what George was willing to pay and what Ecclestone was hoping to get.

THE DECIMATION OF CHAMP CAR

The deal between the Indy Racing League and Champ Car was billed a merger, but it is now emerging that this was not the case at all, as most of the Champ Car teams are now dropping out of the sport.

THE SALE OF SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO

It has been known in Formula 1 circles for the last six months that Scuderia Toro Rosso was up for sale, despite a series of denials from some of those involved. There were in-depth negotiations with A1 Grand Prix Series's Tony Teixeira last autumn and Force India's Vijay Mallya also took a look at the team before buying the Spyker operation.

THE FUTURE OF JEAN TODT?

Ferrari has confirmed the long-awaited news that Jean Todt has left his current position at Ferrari. The 62-year-old Frenchman, who has run Ferrari's racing operations since July 1993, has yet to give any details of his future plans, but we are hearing increasing rumours that Todt will make a run for the FIA presidency in 2009, when current incumbent Max Mosley stands down.

18 MARCH 2008

STEINER ON "VACATION"

Gunther Steiner was once a big wheel in Jaguar Racing in Formula 1. He was then sent off to America to head Red Bull's efforts in NASCAR but after a year of problems it seems that the Italian is now officially on "vacation" from the team.

GURDJIAN GETS A NEW JOB

Philippe Gurdjian spends his life fixing Formula 1 problems. Over the years he has sorted out problems at a strong of different venues, making sure that they are ready for F1 to arrive.

17 MARCH 2008

RACE REPORT - RON'S SILVER LINING

The 2008 Australian Grand Prix was a blockbuster. As others lost their cool in oppressively hot temperatures, Lewis Hamilton kept everything under control and, a year after his stunning F1 debut, began his World Championship challenge for 2008 with a victory.

FORMULA 1 IS HIGHEST EARNING SPORT PER EVENT

The Sports Business Group at Deloitte has piublished details of a survey into profits in sports and has concluded that Formula 1 is the highest revenue generator, with the 18 Grands Prix in 2007 having an average revenue of $217m.

16 MARCH 2008

RACE NOTES - HAMILTON DOMINATES AUSTRALIAN GP

Australian GP - Race Notes

BARRICHELLO DISQUALIFIED FROM SIXTH PLACE FINISH

Rubens Barrichello was disqualified from the results of the Australian Grand Prix, after finishing in the sixth position.

SUNDAY PHOTOS

Australian GP - Sunday Photos

SUNDAY PRESS CONFERENCE

Australian GP - Sunday Press Conference

SUNDAY TEAM QUOTES

Australian GP - Sunday Team Quotes

RACE INCIDENTS

Australian GP - Race Incidents

RACE RESULTS

Australian GP - Race Results

15 MARCH 2008

QUALIFYING REPORT - LEWIS ON TOP AS FERRARI STUMBLE

Lewis Hamilton kicked off his World Championship challenge with pole position in Melbourne. In a relatively staid Q3 session, the McLaren star found no real challenge from Ferrari, as Kimi Raikkonen's car had stopped in the pit road at the end of the Q1 session.

SATURDAY PHOTOS

Australian GP - Saturday Photos

SATURDAY PRESS CONFERENCE

Australian GP - Saturday Press Conference

SATURDAY TEAM QUOTES

Australian GP - Saturday Team Quotes

QUALIFYING RESULTS

Australian GP - Qualifying Results

PRACTICE 3 REPORT - WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

The BMW Saubers of Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld gave everyone a surprise in Melbourne on Saturday morning, setting the fastest times of the last practice session in Melbourne. The major players were nowhere and the conclusion was that they were working on race settings while other teams were fine-tuning the cars for qualifying.

PRACTICE 3 RESULTS

Australian GP - Practice 3 Results

14 MARCH 2008

PRACTICE 2 REPORT - REALITY FAILS TO BIT

The Formula 1 teams are not giving much away at the moment. The second session in Melbourne on Friday afternoon gave little indication of what we can expect this year with Lewis Hamilton blitzing the field by nearly a second, but his major rivals failed to show their hands as everyone worked towards the race set-ups abd tyre choices.

CAPITO TO SUPER AGURI?

There are rumours in Europe that 49-year-old German Jost Capito coluld be the man to be the new chief executive of the Super Aguri F1 team. The team has announced that it has a deal with Martin Leach's Magma company, but at the moment they are saying nothing about the plans.

FRIDAY PHOTOS

Australian GP - Friday Photos

FRIDAY PRESS CONFERENCE

Australian GP - Friday Press Conference

FRIDAY TEAM QUOTES

Australian GP - Friday Team Quotes

PRACTICE 2 RESULTS

Australian GP - Practice 2 Results

OLD RACERS NEVER DIE

Giacomo Caliri was a celebrated engineer in the racing department at Maranello in the 1960s, working initially on sports cars. Moving into Formula 1 for a period, he headed off to start his own design company in the mid 1970s, working for Ferrari on road car projects.

AUDETTO'S FUTURE AT SUPER AGURI IN DOUBT

The change of ownership at Super Aguri was always going to result in some serious reshuffling and the latest indications are that Daniele Audetto, who has been the managing director of Super Aguri since its inception, will not be part of the new structure.

CHANGE IN MALAYSIA

The Malaysian government has been a big supporter of Formula 1 in recent years, funding the Grand Prix as a means of showing the world that Malaysia is a technically-advanced economy.

FERRARI STRENGTHENS ABU DHABI LINK

errari has announced a new sponsorship deal from Etihad Airways, the United Arab Emirates national airline.

ELECTION THROWS VERSAILLES F1 RACE INTO DOUBT

The first round of the French municipal elections took place last weekend and the results in Versailles suggest that unless there is a huge upset in the second round this weekend, there is little chance that the French Grand Prix will take place there in 2010.

PRACTICE 1 REPORT - KIMI LEADS THE WAY

The Formula 1 season got underway in Melbourne with Kimi Raikkonen setting the fastest time of the Friday morning session. The World Champion set a time that was four-tenths of a second ahead of Lewis Hamilton's McLaren.

PRACTICE 1 RESULTS

Australian GP - Practice 1 Results

13 MARCH 2008

THURSDAY PRESS CONFERENCE

Australian GP - Thursday Press Conference

12 MARCH 2008

SYDNEY STIRS IT UP

As Bernie Ecclestone and the Melbourne authorities continue their negotiations about the future of the Australian Grand Prix, the city of Sydney - Melbourne's constant rival - has been stirring up the situation by suggesting that it could hold a race under floodlights at the Eastern Creek circuit.

TORO ROSSO TO GET NEW CARS IN TURKEY

Scuderia Toro Rosso will have its new cars this year in Turkey. The team will use an updated version of the STR2 for the first few races of the year and hopes that the team's knowledge of the car will bring good results before the team switches to newer machinery.

STODDART ARRIVES, GUNS BLAZING (AS EVER)

Paul Stoddart, formerly the team boss of the Minardi F1 team, is in Melbourne this week to work as a radio commentator and says he would like to get back into F1, but only if there are some changes at the FIA.

MCLAREN LANDS ANOTHER FERRARI SPONSOR

McLaren has announced a deal with Olympus, which was previously a sponsor of the rival Ferrari team. It is the second Ferrari sponsor to jump to McLaren in the last couple of years, the other being the team's title sponsor Vodafone.

RON STAYS ON

Ron Dennis is not going to change his role at McLaren, at least not in the immediate future. There have been many rumours suggesting that Dennis was going to stand down from his role as F1 team principal but Dennis told the staff at McLaren that he will stay on to oversee this year's activities.

11 MARCH 2008

A DIFFERENT KIND OF PREVIEW

Grandprix.com's Joe Saward has been taking part in an International Herald Tribune Global Sports Forum in recent days. This a Web-based talk show that brings together sports writers from different countries to analyze the big events during the year.

10 MARCH 2008

THE CONSTANT PURSUIT OF NUMBERS

Bernie Ecclestone is a man who likes numbers. They are the way in which he can measure progress. His chief aim is to expand the Formula 1 circus year after year, pushing up the number of viewers, and reaching the widest possible audience around the world.

SUPER AGURI CONFIRMS

Super Aguri had announced that it has reached agreement with Magma Group regarding the acquisition of the team. Magma has also reached agreement with Honda regarding technical cooperation and engine supply to Super Aguri F1 Team. It is expected that the acquisition process will be completed over the next few weeks.

MELBOURNE TO SEEK 1700 START IN 2009

The Australian Grand Prix says that it could be asking Formula One Management for a start time of 1700 in 2009. This will mean that the number of people watching the race on TV should increase significantly as the event will begin at 0700 in Europe and 0600 in Britain. In Asia the race will be televised in the afternoon.

CHAMP CAR FILES FOR BANKRUPTCY

It has emerged that the Champ Car World Series has officially filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and has sought protection from its creditors.

9 MARCH 2008

TOYOTA SCORES A NASCAR 1-2

Kyle Busch scored Toyota's first NASCAR Cup victory at the weekend in Atlanta. It was the first victory for a foreign car manufacturer since 1954, when Al Keller won a race at Linden Airport, New Jersey, at the wheel of a British-built Jaguar.

NIGEL STEPNEY VERSUS THE FIA

The FIA announced on Friday night that it has concluded its investigations into Nigel Stepney, regarding "the unauthorised use of intellectual property within Formula 1". This was odd and raised more questions than it answered.

BAHRAIN MOVES AGAINST TOBACCO

Tobacco advertising on billboards relating to the Formula 1 Grand Prix have been banned in Bahrain. The move is reported to be part of an anti-smoking campaign by government health officials.

STEPNEY DENIES

Nigel Stepney has responded to an FIA recommendation that licence holders "do not professionally collaborate with Mr. Stepney without conducting appropriate due diligence regarding his suitability for involvement in international motor sport" until July 1, 2009.

8 MARCH 2008

THE FIA AND NIGEL STEPNEY

The FIA announced very late on Friday night that it has concluded its investigations into Nigel Stepney, regarding "the unauthorised use of intellectual property within Formula 1".

7 MARCH 2008

SAYONARA WADA-SAN

For the last eight years, Yasuhiro Wada has been a key player in Honda's motorsports activities, initially in the United States, where he was head of Honda Performance Development and oversaw the company's Indy Racing League programme from 2003.

6 MARCH 2008

DAMON MAKES A GOOD POINT

Damon Hill, the head of the British Racing Drivers' Club, says that Formula 1 needs to retain its traditional venues, such as Silverstone, "to provide a history and prestige" for the sport.

MAGMA AND SUPER AGURI

There are indications that the London-based Magma Group, headed by former Ford and Maserati executive Martin Leach, may be the bidder to save the Super Aguri F1 team.

LORDS TO DISCUSS MOTORSPORT INDUSTRY

The British House of Lords is to debate the British motorsport industry later today. The government has been asked what plans it has "to improve support for the British motorsport industry to ensure it does not lose its global leadership". The question has been raised by Lord Astor of Hever, the opposition spokesman for Defence, who is also president of the Motorsport Industry Association.

5 MARCH 2008

A CHANGE AT HONDA

Honda Racing F1 is not having an easy time at the moment but the word is that change is once again afoot with Kevin Taylor, the team's chief designer, departing.

FORMULA 1 LEGEND SELLS OUT

John Barnard dropped out of a high-profile Formula 1 position 10 years ago when he fell out with Tom Walkinshaw's Arrows operation. He later did work for a number of teams but remained a consultant and was happy to be out of the limelight.

4 MARCH 2008

SILVERSTONE REVEALS ITS HOPES FOR THE FUTURE

The British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) has released the first pictures of what it hopes the new pit and paddock complex at Silvestone will look like if the club gets planning permission to push ahead with itys redevelopment of the facility. This is necessary in order to retain the British Grand Prix in 2010 and beyond.

RTL RENEWS GERMAN F1 TV DEAL

German commercial broadcaster RTL had agreed a new four-year deal with Formula One Management for the TV rights for Formula 1 in Germany. The deal will run from 2008-2011.

3 MARCH 2008

PORSCHE RETAKES CONTROL OF VOLKSWAGEN

Ferdinand Porsche was one of the great automobile designers of the 20th century. He designed the highly-successful Mercedes S, SS and SSK sports cars in the 1920s and helped create the powerhouse that is Mercedes-Benz.

A BIT MORE BAUGUR AT WILLIAMS

Hamleys, the celebrated London toy emporium, has extended its sponsorship of the Williams F1 team. The Hamleys logos will now been seen on the sidepods of the cars. The company, which is owned by Icelandic investment group Baugur, has supported Williams since 2004 and says that the sponsorship has been a great success.