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H. H. Frentzen
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F1 Hot News
By Andrew Maitland
November 19, 2002
Two More Teams Set To Crumble?
FIA President Max Mosley has warned that two more Formula One
outfits may be about to succumb to financial turmoil.
'We are just keeping our fingers crossed that they will all be
there in March,' said the Briton.
Alain Prost's Guyencourt team crumbled under debts late last
year, and British constructor Arrows disappeared from the
circuits this July and are in serious doubt as to their
But the already stressed Formula One world might be about to
lose up to two more privateers with tiny Anglo-Italian team
Minardi and cash-strapped Jordan Grand Prix facing tough
Responding to a question about whether the Australian Grand
Prix grid will boast a full grid, the FIA President said 'It
would be nice to have 22 (starters), but I think 20 is more
probable as the number.'
For the balance of season 2002, Formula One boasted just
twenty cars but the loss of two more teams could reduce the
Albert Park grid to just sixteen contenders, or eight Grand
'It is not necessarily because of the Arrows situation, but
because there are another team or two that are not 100 hundred
per cent in good shape,' adds Mosley.
Paul Stoddart's Minardi outfit nearly hit the pavement
mid-season with a dispute over FIA prize-money. The
47-year-old Australian now says that his black racers will
only appear in '03 if a group of four F1 teams drops an
'Something like that will completely wipe us out,' promised
Stoddart at the time.
Now, the Australian chief is telling the Australian media: 'We
will be here (Albert Park in March), but only if we sort one
or two things with sponsorship and what-not.'
Eddie Jordan's yellow ranks, on the other hand, are still
reeling from the loss of primary backer Deutsche Post World
Net and the resultant $40 million sponsorship black-hole.
Jordan sacked 50 workers - some 25 percent of its total
workforce - earlier this year when it first heard of the
impending sponsorship loss.
But the Silverstone team insists: 'Deutsche Post leaving us
was a big blow - but it was certainly not critical.'
Max Mosley continues that the long-term survival of privateer
teams depends heavily on the governing FIA successfully
getting the sport's escalating costs under control.
'And we've not been as successful as I would like us to have
been at getting down the costs,' he admits. 'The problem has
been to get agreement among the teams.'
The Technical Working Group will meet in early December to
find unanimity in changing the Formula One cars for season
2002. Expensive trappings like bi-directional telemetry and
traction-control are top of the list.
'If it goes on getting more and more expensive, then I think
manufacturers that are not currently in it will be inclined to
say it's perhaps not as good value as they would like,' adds
The FIA chief even hints that some existing F1 manufacturers
might eventually decide to halt their Grand Prix racing if the
costs continue to spiral.
He says: 'So I'm keeping the pressure on all the time on the
teams to do a large number of things.
'There are several things which could be done which wouldn't
interfere with the spectacle, or the sporting contest, at all
but would make it significantly cheaper.'
Strong speculation on the rumor mill this week, however, is
that manufacturer Audi is indeed involved in the reported
Ecclestone Welcomes Webber Rise
Bernie Ecclestone has applauded the rise of Australian
speedster Mark Webber to the Jaguar Racing seat.
'Everybody is really behind him,' says the diminutive F1
impresario, head of Formula One Management. 'Everybody is
hoping, hoping, hoping he is going to get the job done.'
The 72-year-old also welcomes the return of young Spaniard
Fernando Alonso from the Renault development role to the 2003
Grand Prix grid. 'It's good to see some new faces,' says
Bernie of the 21-year-old.
Alonso debuted for Minardi last year but will field a top-four
contender next year when he lines up alongside Jarno Trulli
for the Flavio Briatore-headed Enstone outfit.
Bernie adds: 'Because - like our regulations - maybe some of
the old timers have been around - and maybe I'm one of them -
too long, and maybe we should be thinking of doing something
'So I think it's always good to keep some new faces around.'
26-year-old Mark Webber, who harks from Queanbeyan near the
nation's capital of Canberra, joins a list of Australian Grand
Prix hopefuls who rose from the island continent to the top of
the F1 pile.
Mark hopes to follow in the footsteps of triple champion and
constructor Sir Jack Brabham and 1980 Williams world champion
Alan Jones as those Aussies to conquer the F1 world.
The youngster makes the graduation from an impressive rookie
season with pitlane minnows Minardi to the works-backed,
Ford-owned Leaping Cat, which endured a dismal season in 2002.
But Bernie thinks that one of his old drivers, Jag chief and
triple world champion Niki Lauda, has the wares to restore the
green team to the upper echelons of world motorsport.
'Niki doesn't like being in the position they are, so they are
doing their best,' says Ecclestone who owned and ran the
Brabham team in the Eighties when Lauda was a Grand Prix
The red-capped Austrian now heads the Jaguar Racing project as
team principal and boss of Ford's Premier Performance
Ecclestone continues of Jaguar's prospects: 'They've got a new
engine next year, which hopefully will be reliable and
hopefully will have a lot more power, although this year's
engine has not been that bad.
'The chassis they've obviously been working on like everybody
else. (Eddie) Irvine put up one or two good performances this
year when they got things right, so there is no reason why
they shouldn't do well.'
But the 72-year-old supremo has a warning for those who expect
Mark Webber to improve on his stunning fifth position and two
highly-popular points at the Australian season opener this
He might be in a better-funded team for 2002, but podiums are
- according to Formula One's ringmaster - highly unlikely. 'If
anyone thinks that Webber is going to be a superstar, that's
not going to happen,' he warns.
'If you think he is going to be on the podium three times or
four times next year you can think again although I hope I am
But Bernie concedes that the world of Grand Prix racing has
not yet seen the full potential of the young Australian. 'But
even in the Jaguar, we still might not see the best of him,
The 72-year-old thinks it would be nice to see all of Formula
One's up-and-comers in the consummate, race-winning Ferrari.
'If Ferrari would take their cars for a week somewhere and let
everyone drive the cars, you would soon sort out the guys that
are good and those that aren't, because the good guys can more
or less get into a car and show their stuff.'
Season 2002 kicks off at Australia's Albert Park setting, just
South of Victorian capital Melbourne, next March.
Sauber To Launch In February
The Swiss-based Sauber Petronas team will launch its all-new
C22 Formula One contender on February 9 next year.
Headed by founder and boss Peter Sauber and an all-German 2003
driver line-up of Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Nick Heidfeld, the
unveiling will take place in Zurich-Oerlikon, close to Zurich
A press conference will follow the launch in co-operation with
Art on Ice' show in the 'Hallenstadion' in Zürich.
Sauber, with their headquarters in Hinwil, finished a solid
fifth in this year's Constructors' World Championship behind
only Ferrari, Williams, McLaren and Renault.
In 2002, the privateer outfit wound out the year a best-ever
But Nick Heidfeld says 'I think that we can be proud to have
reached fifth position in the World Championship for
'We can expect some good surprises with the C22,' the
27-year-old German charger adds.
Heidfeld lines up for his third year at Sauber next year, to
be joined by the team's most successful-ever pilot
Heinz-Harald Frentzen who debuted for Sauber in 1994.
35-year-old Frentzen harks from the same German town -
Moenchengladbach - as his younger Sauber teammate.
'I look at my new contract with Sauber Petronas as a reward
for not having stopped racing,' says Frentzen, the third
oldest current Grand Prix pilot behind Eddie Irvine (37) and
Olivier Panis (36).
The German was controversially fired by his Jordan team in
July last year, and has since spearheaded the final throes of
ailing teams Prost and Arrows before signing for Sauber for
the full 2003 season.
Frentzen re-debuted for Sauber at the United States Grand Prix
in late September as a forerunner to his full return in 2003.
He adds: 'It has not taken me a long time to discover that
this team has developed very well.'
The C22, again powered by year-old Ferrari engines, is set to
take a brave step away from the nimble concept of the previous
two Sauber challengers.
'All the knowledge that we have gathered in the past years
will be incorporated in the design of the new C22,' says boss
Arrows Update: Court Protection Stalled
Struggling Formula One team Arrows has had its application for
administration frozen by the London High Court.
Last week, the Leafield-based team announced it had signed
contracts for sale with a consortium known only as German
Grand Prix reportedly working on behalf of investors from the
United Arab Emirates.
But Arrows added that an impending winding-up petition, headed
by engine supplier Cosworth and former driver Heinz-Harald
Frentzen, meant that it had sought 'The protection of the
The British team added that application for administration
would be sought merely to 'Provide the time it needs to
achieve Completion on the deal.'
However, lawyers for Arrows said yesterday they would adjourn
the administration petition until Mr Justice Lightman
discovers if existing Arrows creditor Morgan Grenfell has a
security over Arrows's assets.
Morgan Grenfell has been the source of consternation since
Arrows struck trouble around July of this year, first taking
out an injunction against the team's sale and now delaying
Arrows' protection from the Court.
The hearing will now be heard from December 9 at the London
High Court, and could result in Morgan Grenfell seeking the
appointment of an administrative receiver over Arrows' assets.
It is expected to last ten days and will chiefly see Justice
Lightman decide if Morgan Grenfell was given guarantees from
Arrows' boss Tom Walkinshaw to recover any financial
'It is a matter of great urgency for the parties and creditors
generally to know whether or not this security is valid,'
Lightman said during Monday's hearing.
Arrows lodged its official entry and $300,000 deposit for the
2003 Formula One World Championship, but as we speak has no
engine, sponsor, drivers or guaranteed berth in pitlane after
missing six races last year.
Engine supplier Cosworth intend to chase unpaid debts, chief
sponsor Orange has withdrawn its support, and lead driver
Heinz-Harald Frentzen penned his name on a winding-up
But Oliver Behring, a spokesman on behalf of the German Grand
Prix investors, insists that the governing FIA will accept
Arrows' entry in next year's championship.
Dubai's Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum, involved in the
airline industry and an owner of racehorses, is thought to be
chiefly embroiled in the Arrows takeover.
'Arrows has agreed and signed Contracts with German based
investors for the introduction of substantial new equity into
the Team,' said Arrows last week in a statement.
'Until we reach Completion, the terms of the deal must remain
Bernie To Sponsors: Keep The Faith
Bernie Ecclestone has urged Formula One's sponsors to continue
backing the struggling privateer outfits.
'There's room for the small teams, but I think the sponsors
need to look at it in a different way to how the Vodafones and
the Marlboros look at it with Ferrari.'
The 72-year-old's plea comes after governing FIA President Max
Mosley's warning that Grand Prix racing could be set to lose
yet another handful of privateer outfits before season '03
Minardi and Jordan are rumored as being in danger of following
Prost and Arrows into the financial doldrums.
Ecclestone, F1 impresario and head of Formula One Management,
adds: 'The sponsors need to look at the little teams and
think, 'We are not going to win but, you know, we can get an
awful lot out of it'.
Former champion and team owner Sir Jackie Stewart notes that
Formula One is quite possibly the best platform in the world
to globalize a product.
But Formula One, coupled with a waning global economy, has
been further rocked by the worrying decline in television
audiences thanks in part to the waning spectacle at the head
of the field.
Michael Schumacher, Rubens Barrichello and their Scuderia
Ferrari turned off millions of casual sports viewers this year
as they painted the entire championship scarlet red.
But the little Englishman, Ecclestone, thinks that new rules
for qualifying, for a start, will give better coverage for the
lesser Formula One sponsors. 'In qualifying at least,' says
Bernie, 'They will get the same coverage.'
Each car will embark on a single flying lap from 2003 to make
up the Grand Prix starting-grid.
Undoubtedly, the two shaky privateer teams hinted by Max
Mosley are Anglo-Italian pitlane minnows Minardi, run by
Australian entrepreneur Paul Stoddart, and Silverstone-based
Jordan Grand Prix.
The latter team, run by eponymous Irish boss Eddie Jordan,
last week announced the loss of some $30 million in title
Ecclestone says that Formula One Management will assume the
role of host television broadcaster in 2003 and, accordingly,
will spent more time giving F1's privateers better value for
'In the race, the way we are going to set that up, we will
also be going down the field a bit more than hanging on to the
leaders, whoever they may be,' he said.
At the F1 Commission meeting last month, Formula One unveiled
a five-step plan for reform that included a novel way of
saving money: a voluntary proposal to limit expensive
Participating teams, who must agree to a 10-ban in-season
limit, will be given an extra two-hour session at the Grands
Prix events on Friday.
'If I was running the team, I think rather than test on a
circuit where we are not racing immediately, I'd rather have
the two extra hours,' says Bernie Ecclestone.
'I would be coming to Melbourne with my team and I would have
two extra hours over some of the others. So it's a big, big,
At least three teams must sign up to the proposal by December
in order for it to be ratified.
F1 Plans The Return Of Slicks
FIA President Max Mosley will attempt to push through another
raft of reforms for Formula One in December.
The Briton, all team bosses and technical directors will meet
to discuss changes to F1's Technical Regulations; the code of
rules dictating the actual formula for building a Grand Prix
Mosley's plan is to promote a myriad of changes that stab at
Formula One's escalating costs without damaging the racing
spectacle. 'The idea is to make our championship significantly
The basic outline of Mosley's 'perfect' World Championship is
for the return of slick tires - more mechanical grip - but the
vast reduction in the car's aerodynamic efficiency.
'In a perfect world we would have bigger tires, more grip,
more mechanical grip as they call it, but much less
downforce,' explained the FIA chief.
But he adds: 'The problem is if we were to allow the tires,
the engineers would come forward with proposals for the
'And our experience over the last 34 years has taught us that
it doesn't work; they always get more back over the winter
than they give up in the summer.'
The FIA President, therefore, concedes that December's meeting
of the Technical Working Group is likely to be a non-event as
any changes require total unanimity.
That is, each stakeholder effectively has the power of veto.
And Mosley adds that nearly every proposal will be met by at
least someone who stands to personally suffer from the change.
'The teams are going to have a look at the proposal but I'm
dubious as to what will emerge,' he said.
Mosley adds: 'Usually when the teams do this nothing much
comes out of it because there is always someone that's got a
vested interest in some particular rule.
'Even, you could say, whoever has got the most money has a
vested interest in not reducing costs.'
The meeting will be held in early December.
Stoddart Considers CART Assault
According to emerging reports, Minardi boss Paul Stoddart is
seriously considering an assault on US-based CART racing.
The 47-year-old Australian, who owns and operates the tiny
Anglo-Italian Formula One team, is reportedly encouraged by
moves to curb the cost of entering a Champcar team.
Stoddart is toying with the idea of setting up a one-car
outfit for the American series for 2002 F1 driver Alex Yoong,
with the backing of Malaysian companies.
The Minardi chief was quoted as saying that a CART project
would be considered 'if the right deal, with the right
funding' came along.
In conjunction with a raft of recent cost-cutting measures, a
full season of CART racing is said to now be possible on a
budget of just $6 million for season 2003.
An example of CART's push to drive down costs is a freeze on
aerodynamic development for major components through to the
conclusion of 2003.
'CART continues to act in the best interest of our sport in
facilitating cost cutting measures going forward,' says CART
Vice President of Racing Operations John Lopes.
A great proportion of the CART world is side-stepping to rival
oval-series Indy Racing League next year, including engine
manufacturers Honda and Toyota, lead drivers Michael Andretti
and Dario Franchitti and teams Chip Ganassi and Team Green.
The Minardi team or Paul Stoddart was unavailable for comment.
But 26-year-old Alex Yoong, who struggled through his first
full year of Grand Prix racing with Minardi, makes no bones
about his desire to head Stateside for CART.
'There's no hurry to make the announcement,' said the
youngster from Kuala-Lumpur. 'It's a comfortable situation and
there's no shortage of offers.'
Stoddart recently hinted that he was searching for a novel
approach to keep the Malaysian on his books: I'm a bit funny
with drivers,' he said. 'Once they've driven for me, they sort
of become a bit of the family.'
He adds: 'If Alex can get something else that he wants to do
then I'll help and support him to do that.'
Blundell Swaps Four Wheels For Two
Former Formula One pilot Mark Blundell will try out another
form of motorsport this winter; the British Winter Supermoto
(motorcycle) Championship at Brands Hatch.
The 37-year-old Englishman, hot on the heels of his
disappointing debut at the Rally of Great Britain, will mount
a 640cc single cylinder CCN Supermoto bike with the help of
Jack Lilley Racing early next month.
Blundell will embark on an intensive test session to
reacquaint him with the challenges of on and off-road bike
'As a youngster, I enjoyed my motocross career and have always
loved riding motorbikes, so when I was offered this
opportunity I jumped at the chance to get back out on track on
two wheels,' he said.
The Briton swapped two wheels for four at the age of 16 when
he emerged as junior Motocross champion.
His car-racing career took him to the heights of the sport
with stints at Tyrrell and McLaren, but he now returns to his
roots all these years later.
'Having competed in the Rally GB with my great little MG ZR,
I'm used to slipping and sliding in mud, although I hope I
don't end up covered in the stuff next month,' he smiled.
Blundell was devastated to retire from the Rally through the
forests of Cardiff with transmission failure, but is buoyed by
the lure of his next challenge.
He says: 'The Supermoto format of combining motocross style
off-road racing with the tarmac on-track element really
appeals to me.
'It's got an extreme element with the mud, dirt tracks, peaks
and troughs providing the thrills, but also has the technical
side with the track racing needing precision and strategy.
'Supermoto is big in the States and is rapidly gaining in
popularity in Europe. It's been described as rally cross for
bikes, so it should produce lots of stunning action and be a
great spectacle for the fans.'
Blundell moved his premier career across the Atlantic when his
Grand Prix career faded in 1995, winning races in the US-based
Mark beams: 'As I've now done rallycross in a car, I just have
to have a go on a bike!'
Without a grand prix drive in 1992, Blundell shared the
winning Peugeot at Le Mans. But he raced 61 times at the
pinnacle of motorsports, finishing a championship-best tenth
in 1994 (Tirell) and 1995 (McLaren).
The British Winter Supermoto Championship heads to Brands
Hatch for the race on 8 December.
Jordan Tackles African Adventure
What does Eddie Jordan do in the Formula One winter break?
Find new sponsors? Put his feet up on a tropical isle? No -
the eponymous team boss heads to Africa for a 400km bicycle
It may sound more like punishment than a winter sojourn, but
ever the adventure-seeker, Irishman Eddie Jordan rode through
the African wilderness for a Charity Cycle ride organised by
CLIC (Cancer and Leukaemia in Childhood) on the weekend.
Eddie, a patron for the Charity, together with his wife and a
few friends, began the 'Kenya Cycle Challenge' on 11th
November and finished this Sunday after a grueling 404
kilometres over five days.
Starting in Nyeri, the cycle passed through villages, across
savannah plains and through a tropical rain forest to Kakamega
before ending at Kisumu for a well-deserved dinner and rest.
'It was fun but very tough,' said Eddie when he got home, 'And
I won't tell you how sore I am and where!'
The funds raised go straight to CLIC to continue providing
support for the families of children who are terminally ill
with leukaemia or cancer.
The African adventure was not Eddie's first on a bike; the
Silverstone F1 team boss took part in a similar charity cycle
challenge in Spain last year and successfully completed the
full 400km distance.
The Flamboyant Eddie Jordan now heads back to Britain where
his team continue the task of wooing vital sponsors for the
impending 2003 Formula One World Championship, set to kick off
down-under next March.
Last week, the yellow-clad team disconsolately announced the
departure of Deutsche Post World Net and, accordingly, some 40
percent or $30 million out of their entire F1 budget.
'And therefore, as you would expect, we are in negotiations
with new sponsors,' said Jordan last week.
Benson & Hedges take up the new mantle as Jordan's principal
sponsor and are embroiled in negotiations aimed at stepping up
their financial support of the mid-field team.
French telecommunications giant Orange, having recently
severed ties with ailing constructor Arrows, is also touted as
a possibility for Jordan.
Popular veteran Eddie Irvine, fresh from his three-year Jaguar
Racing career, is expected to grace the sister EJ12 next year
alongside Italian ace Giancarlo Fisichella.
2002 pilot, 26-year-old rookie Japanese Takuma Sato, is widely
expected to follow engine-supplier Honda back to BAR as a
Montoya Returns To Native Colombia
Formula One superstar Juan Pablo Montoya has returned home to
his native Colombia for a week of promotional events.
The 27-year-old, from the troubled nation's city of Bogota,
will embark on a round of public appearances and work for
local sponsors before 'Returning to Europe to start working on
the 2003 (Williams) car.'
Montoya, at the end of his second year of Grand Prix racing,
finished 'best of the rest' in 2002 with third place in the
Drivers' chase behind the untouchable Ferraris of Michael
Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello.
Despite taking home the solid third-placed mantle, Juan Pablo
insists that his Grove-based, BMW-powered Williams team needs
to 'step up its game massively' if they are to compete with
the scarlet juggernaut next year.
If Grove are planning 2003 as their championship year, says
Montoya, they will have to unveil a Williams contender that is
'every bit as good as the Ferrari.'
'We've got to step up our game massively technically,' said
Montoya, who failed to add to his 2001 Italian Grand Prix
victory this year but soared to a superb seven pole positions.
Only five times world champion Michael, with eight qualifying
triumphs, fared better on the Saturday afternoon challenge.
'The equipment we had was not quick enough - plain and simple
- in the race,' the feisty, no-nonsense Colombian added.
'If Williams wants to win, we have to have the speed of
Ferrari next year.'
Williams' technical chief, Patrick Head, concurs that the
challenge for Grove is to produce a package for 2003 that is
'in absolute terms' better than the next Ferrari contender.
BMW-WilliamsF1 wound out the year a mammoth 129 points shy of
the Italian-based Scuderia in the Constructors' chase.
'On the chassis side, the difference is big,' admits the
Briton. 'We have to identify the cause and not just produce a
car that is as good as Ferrari's this year.
'We have to try to produce one in absolute terms that is as
good as we possibly can.'
Williams' engine partner, Munich-based German giant BMW, are
lauded as presently building the best, highest-revving and
most powerful powerplants in pitlane.
But Juan Pablo Montoya warns: 'If you look at the split times
throughout the year, Ferrari is now right there with the
Juan Pablo will again - for the third consecutive season -
accompany German charger Ralf Schumacher at the wheel of the
2003-spec, FW25 BMW-Williams.
Formula One, 2003-style, kicks off at Albert Park in early
March for the Australian Grand Prix.
Testing Rules Will Catch On: Mosley
FIA President Max Mosley is confident that Formula One's new
testing restrictions will catch on.
He said: 'On reflection, the front-running teams will probably
feel that the advantages to be gained from being able to test
at every single Grand Prix circuit outweigh the current
While smaller privateer outfits Minardi, Sauber and Jordan
look like the only ones seriously toying with the 10-day
in-season testing ban for 2003, Mosley is confident that the
system's advantages will soon become apparent.
'At the moment, all the signs suggest that the big teams have
no intention of signing on,' Mosley adds.
But at least three teams must opt for the plan to allow
private testing at the seventeen Grand Prix circuits before
the World Motor Sport Council meets in mid-December.
Mosley adds: 'This is something nobody has been able to do
ever before; to have your test driver running at the track on
Friday, to run your new components and still get the 10 days
of completely free testing elsewhere.'
The governing authority thinks that the plan, voted through
the F1 Commission at Heathrow Airport last month, will cut
costs but also prove a benefit over the almost completely
liberal - and massively expensive - testing.
'You get to use all sorts of simulation technology and still
have the ten days, and get the experience of the Grand Prix
circuits before practice,' explains Max.
'That might just outweigh the current practice of going around
and around and around.'
So far, Paul Stoddart and his struggling Minardi outfit are
the only ones fully committed to the new regulation but Sauber
and Jordan are showing indications of signing on.
'We don't know who will sign up for it, nor do we know how big
the effect will be,' admits Mosley.
The FIA chief, however, thinks that the front-running teams
will eventually decide that two hours additional running at
the Formula One venues on Friday mornings is more valuable
than infinite running at Jerez or Valencia.
'My suspicion is that more will sign up for it than currently
think they will,' he adds. 'Provided you meet the safety
precautions and the normal safety rules, you can really do as
Co-BMW Motorsport Director Gerhard Berger has already avowed
Williams' intentions to continue their full-blown approach to
'We will continue to use every opportunity,' he said. The
Austrian added that 'Only the smaller teams will use the
Stoddart says he will be using the opportunity as a novel
revenue-raising measure by fielding up-and-coming drivers in
return for sponsorship.
'You will probably find drivers from a certain country running
and having a go,' says Mosley.
'It will be a really interesting mix.'
Pending the participation of at least three Grand Prix teams,
the innovative Friday testing plan will debut at Melbourne's
Albert Park next March.
F1 News In Brief
F1 impresario Bernie Ecclestone was last week bestowed an
award for 'Entrepreneurs whose innovative accomplishments have
positively influenced the business world, thereby achieving
international recognition'. The 72-year-old accepted the award
in Vienna as part of Men's World Day, a global initiative
based on supporting the cause of peace, freedom and tolerance.
Other winners - in different categories - included Pope John
Paul II, actors Jeremy Irons and Christopher Lee and film
producer Roman Polanksi.
Williams' first world champion, 1980 victor Alan Jones of
Australia, was married on the weekend on Daydream Island. The
56-year-old married Amanda Butler-Davis, the mother of his two
20-month-old twins Jack and Zara, in a private ceremony. Jones
won 12 times in Formula One and still puts in the odd
appearance in Australia's great endurance touring-car race at
Bathurst. He retired from the pinnacle of motorsports for good
in 1986 after the dismal failed Lola-Ford revival.
A little known Belgian by the name of Philippe Adams is
celebrating his 33rd birthday today. Adams hit the Formula One
scene with a home debut at Spa in 1994, driving for the ailing
Lotus team. He qualified last and spun into retirement, but
re-emerged a few weeks later for the Portuguese event. This
time, he qualified second-to-last at the twisty Estoril - but
finished last and was lapped four times.
The Shanghai branch of global bank HSBC has extended a $40
million line of credit to Shanghai International Circuit Co.
The company will construct a Formula One circuit for their
inaugural Chinese Grand Prix in 2004. The $300 million
Shanghai circuit is being built in Anting, an industrial town
north of the city. The Kingdom of Bahrain will also hit the
Grand Prix calendar in 2004 with their Sakhir track; the first
such event in the Middle East.
According to a study by Swinburne University, Michael
Schumacher is the overwhelming favourite to win the Australian
Grand Prix and 2003 World Championship. Carried out by the
university's Sports Statistics Unit, over 20,000 simulations
and 1.16 million laps of the Albert Park circuit showed that
Schumacher and Ferrari have a 41% chance of victory in
Melbourne. The caution, however, comes with the fact that the
study's predictions are based on historical data and do not
take account of any improvements by drivers or teams over the
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