F1 Hot News
By Andrew Maitland
December 8, 2004
DC at Jerez
(GMM -- Dec.8) David Coulthard's motor home driver has seemingly
settled the 'will he, won't he test at Jerez?' saga.
The veteran Scot's all-blue Mercedes-Benz motor home trundled through
the gates of the southern Spanish venue on Tuesday night, intensifying
speculation DC will try a 'Red Bull' car.
33-year-old Coulthard drove the past nine Formula One seasons for
Red Bull's spokesperson at Milton-Keynes dismissed the 'Will DC test'
question, instead confirming that Christian Klien, Tonio Liuzzi and
Neel Jani are all scheduled to run at Jerez.
Montoya on move
(GMM -- Dec.8) A grey-clad Juan Pablo Montoya topped the time sheet as
Formula One testing resumed in Spain on Tuesday.
The Colombian, in a McLaren, edged Toyota's Jarno Trulli - who tried a
developmental all-black carbon fiber racing helmet for size - at a
sunnier-than-last-week Jerez de la Frontera.
Ferrari's 2005 test line-up of Luca Badoer and Marc Gene were also in
action, as were Pedro de la Rosa (McLaren) and Ralf Schumacher
(Toyota), who's still inside a pair of plain white overalls.
Williams, Red Bull, Renault and BAR will join the action on Wednesday.
JB saga 'handled badly'
(GMM -- Dec.8) Jenson Button's bungled move from BAR to Williams was
handled 'very badly,' F1 driver Mark Webber said.
The Australian, signed-and-sealed to Sir Frank Williams' Oxfordshire
outfit for 2005 and beyond, had hoped to line up alongside the rated
''Yes,'' he admitted, ''I am a bit disappointed. It would have been
good to have had someone of his caliber in the other car.''
The comment might be seen as a continuing dig at likely new team-mate
Antonio Pizzonia, whom he destroyed at Jaguar Racing a couple of years
Last week, 28-year-old Webber was verbally reprimanded by Grove
honchos Sam Michael and Patrick Head for calling the little Brazilian
a 'liar' and a 'loser' in a newspaper interview.
A1-Ring revamp called off
(GMM -- Dec.8) Red Bull have abandoned plans to redevelop the former
Austrian grand prix venue in the Styrian mountain region, a report
The energy drink's billionaire mogul, Dietrich Mateschitz, had
promised nearly a billion dollars to improve the A1-Ring.
''The project is finished for us,'' F1's newest team owner told daily
newspaper Kleine Zeitung.
A local citizens' group argued that the project would have
contradicted noise and air pollution laws, and - on Monday - a
government environmental panel agreed.
Kleine Zeitung said Mateschitz could appeal, but would not. ''We were
asked to do (it) but it has been rejected,'' said the Austrian
magnate. ''We do not need a race track where no cars can race.''
Schu created 'mayhem'
(GMM -- Dec.8) Ferrari is still best at creating mayhem and rampant
enthusiasm, not boredom.
That's the claim of Jean Todt, the Napoleon-like Frenchman at the helm
of the world championship-winning F1 marque.
''We did (created mayhem) here,'' Todt joked, referring to the parade
led by Michael Schumacher's F2004 Ferrari down Paris' Champs Elysees
at the weekend.
Organizers didn't close the road to traffic, instead opting for police
motorbikes which tried to clear a path for the seven time title
Todt and FIA president Max Mosley, in an Enzo, followed, but
Schumacher - for fear of an embarrassing and smoky engine failure due
to rising heat - had to stop the V10 after grinding almost to a
standstill in the French fans' frenzy.
The German parked it at Place de la Concorde and hopped into Rene
Arnoux' road Ferrari.
''What we've seen,'' Todt said afterwards, ''is definite refusal of
the claim that people are bored with Ferrari!''
No 'Kimi v. JPM' at Jerez
(GMM -- Dec.8) Formula One's 'iceman' will return to the wheel of his
McLaren on Thursday.
But, if you've been itching to see Kimi Raikkonen head-to-head with
new team-mate Juan Pablo Montoya, the wait is set to go on -- the
25-year-old will only get going at the end of JPM's current two-day
Kimi's Spanish run is his first track outing since finishing second to
Montoya in the 2004-ending Brazilian grand prix.
He will test on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, following
Colombian-born Montoya's Tuesday-Wednesday session.
'Who'll pick up the bill?'
(GMM -- Dec.8) Every Formula One team could pick up the hefty bill of
the recent 'BAR-versus-Williams' scuffle for English driver Jenson
It is estimated that the legal costs at the FIA-sponsored contract
recognition board were in the region of $1 million.
McLaren's Ron Dennis baulked at the proposal that the cost should be
paid out of a bespoke pot of cash contributed to by every grand prix
''I think not,'' he told F1 Racing magazine. ''I think you will find
that the costs have to be borne only by the teams that were party to
Nick to get dry Jerez
(GMM -- Dec.8) After recent and rare December rain at Jerez de la
Frontera, weather forecasters believe Formula One teams will this week
enjoy a dry track in southern Spain.
It'll be the last winter action of 2004.
Sunny although often cloudy conditions, with temperatures in the
mid-to-high teens (degrees-C), will predominate the sky at Jerez at
least until Monday, when rain may return.
One driver no doubt pleased with the surely-overcast-but-dry report
will be Germany's Nick Heidfeld, who's been given another shot to
impress Williams chiefs at the circuit from Wednesday.
The 27-year-old didn't get to demonstrate his skill on a single dry
lap last week.
Priaulx to run in January
(GMM -- Dec.8) European Touring Car champion Andy Priaulx's
newly-announced test drive for Williams may take place as early as
January at Valencia, it is reported.
The run will be a half-day session and - although it's a BMW gift for
winning the title and earning a full works drive in 2005 - the
30-year-old Briton promised to take it 'seriously.
''(BMW) have told me they are going to take it seriously,'' Priaulx
told autosport.com, ''and I want to do the same.''
Williams deal 'delayed'
(GMM -- Dec.8) An announcement regarding Williams' new Royal Bank of
Scotland sponsorship has been delayed, we can reveal.
The $13m-per-year deal was actually agreed in October, but Royal Bank
chiefs waited on a final signature while the future of the British
grand prix hung in the balance.
In December, just prior to the 2005 calendar's ratification by the FIA
World Council, RBS' rubber-stamping of the F1 deal was still pending.
It is speculated that the financial terms of the agreement could be
altered if Bernie Ecclestone and Silverstone do not meet a 2005
compromise, and may already have taken a blow after English driver
Jenson Button's intended move to Grove hit the dirt.
Honda's 'lifetime' award
(GMM -- Dec.8) Japanese F1 carmaker Honda won a 'lifetime achievement'
award in central London at the weekend.
At Grosvenor House Hotel, for the annual 'Autosport Awards', Honda
took home the 'John Bolster Award' after - with BAR - coming second in
the constructors' title and also for winning the US-based Indy Racing
''Racing is at the very core of Honda,'' said HRD president Shoichi
Tanaka, who took the trophy from IRL champion Tony Kanaan.
He added: ''We love racing.''
Button won't get 'caught up'
(GMM -- Dec.8) When Jenson Button wins a grand prix, he'll celebrate
wildly -- and then move on.
''The world championship is the aim,'' the English driver said this
On Sunday, he took home the coveted international racing driver of the
year prize from London's annual Autosport Awards.
Button agreed that a maiden win is going to be 'very emotional.
''But I won't get too caught up,'' he promised. ''It's most people's
dream to win a race. If it happened in Melbourne (next March) it would
be a special moment for everyone in the team.''
GPWC can't match $500m carrot
(GMM -- Dec.8) In just one day, F1 'supremo' Bernie Ecclestone might
have loosened an iron grip on Formula One but discretely won the
allegiance of the ten competing teams.
The F1 banks' court ruling went against him, but 74-year-old
Ecclestone called 'check mate' in the chess-like race to defeat a
group of rogue F1 carmakers.
Although 'GPWC' promises more revenue, Bernie dangled a more tangible
$500m carrot in front of the teams' collective nose on Tuesday -- and
the GPWC can't match it, according to cash-strapped Minardi owner and
principal Paul Stoddart.
''And that's just (Bernie's) starting bid,'' the Australian noted.
What's more, Ecclestone is purportedly offering to start the new flow
of cash immediately. ''It's a lot of cash,'' he said, ''and I think
the teams will want to accept it.''
Ferrari ally absent
(GMM -- Dec.8) Both of Formula One's Ferrari-powered teams failed to
show up at the principals' recent summit at London airport.
Private team Sauber appeared to step politically away from Ferrari in
recent days -- first, by signing the anti-Ferrari 'Cost Saving
Initiative' and then abandoning the scarlet team's near-exclusive tire
At the meeting, the rest (eight) of the bosses agreed to contest an
unprecedented nineteen grands prix in 2005, two above the maximum
allowed in the Concorde Agreement.
Meanwhile, Bernie Ecclestone appeared to suggest that a British grand
prix (the nineteenth race) will happen. ''Bernie's word,'' he smiled,
albeit warning that Silverstone's BRDC only have until Thursday to
sign a new promoters' contract.
Feedback can be sent to
Go to our
to discuss this article
Copyright 1999-2012 AutoRacing1 is an
independent internet online publication and is not affiliated with, sponsored by, or endorsed
by the IRL., NASCAR, FIA, Sprint, or any other series sponsor.
This material may not be published, broadcast, or redistributed without