F1 Hot News
By Andrew Maitland
December 22, 2004
F1 Bull banned in France
(GMM -- Dec.22) Formula One's newest team may be forced to remove car
logos of the sun-dancing red bulls during the French grand prix next
Recently in the European Court of Justice, an appeal to overturn a
French government ban on the sale of Dieter Mateschitz's popular
energy drink was denied.
Red Bull is banned in the country after a study by the 'French
Scientific Committee on Human Nutrition' found it contained more
caffeine - and other substances (such as the more mysterious 'taurine'
and 'glucuronolactone') - than is desirable and also linked it to
The judge said France, and - presumably, other European governments -
have a right to ban a product on the advice of toxicology experts.
Sepang to woo with beauty
(GMM -- Dec.22) The Malaysian grand prix will use a trio of female
beauties to attract local rev-heads to the Formula One circuit next
The promotional tour, in February, is set to travel to cities Jakarta,
Bandung, Surabaya and Denpasar, in a bid to boost
Indonesia-originating race-goers from 4000 in 2004.
Miss Indonesia 2004 (Artika Sara Devi) and two other beauty queen
contestants are signed up to go 'on the road' with Sepang.
''(In 2005), we are expecting 6,000,'' said the Kuala Lumpur-based
circuit's sale manager Izzudin Rosli at a news conference at Planet
Rosli said a total crowd of 120,000 is expected at Sepang on March 20,
and a ticket can be bought from as little as US$40.
'We didn't steal' - Toyota
(GMM -- Dec.22) Formula One team Toyota denied it used stolen Ferrari
wind tunnel computer data.
Cologne DA Siegmar Raupach said in a recent Gazzetta dello Sport that
after a search at Toyota's HQ, police 'identified the ... software' in
Toyota's currently-used computers.
A statement provided by Toyota to this publication, though, said the
newspaper report did not reflect 'the true facts and said 'leakage' of
information when employees move from one team to another is a
'frequent occurrence in Formula One.'
The statement added: ''Toyota ... has never voluntarily been involved
in unfair acquisition or use of material or data from others.''
(GMM -- Dec.22) Antonio Pizzonia is a Dad.
The F1 hopeful's athlete-girlfriend Maureen Maggi gave birth to a baby
girl on December 21 (Tuesday), making them parents for the first time.
23-year-old Pizzonia, Williams' 2004 official tester, is hoping to
land the full time drive alongside former Jaguar team-mate Mark Webber
at the Grove-based team in 2005.
Maggi, a renowned Brazilian long-jumper, had the baby in so-nicknamed
Jungle Boy's home town amid the Amazon jungle in Brazil.
Ferrari man 'owes Minardi'
(GMM -- Dec.22) Formula One's next Rory Byrne-like figure owes his
burgeoning career to back-of-the-grid team Minardi.
That's the claim of Faenza-founder Gian Carlo Minardi, who gave Aldo
Costa, an Italian countryman, his first design job in pitlane as a
Costa mostly penned the 2005-spec Ferrari, soon-to-retire chief
designer Byrne recently admitted.
''He had many years of experience in Minardi,'' Gian Carlo told
atlasf1.com. ''I hope he ... thinks Minardi was an important training
ground for him.''
Zanardi - 'I prefer MotoGP'
(GMM -- Dec.22) Ask Alex Zanardi to choose, and he'll turn-on to
MotoGP rather than Formula One.
The former GP and Champ Car driver, who lost his legs after a German
race in 2001 but still steers a hand-controlled BMW touring car,
revealed that he watches Valentino Rossi at work with 'even more
pleasure' than any four-wheeled colleague.
''I have ... friends (in MotoGP),'' the Italian told crash.net.
38-year-old Zanardi's most recent F1 flaunt was with Williams in 1999,
and he also raced for Jordan (1991) and Lotus (1993 and 1994).
Facelift for Donington
(GMM -- Dec.22) Former British F1 venue Donington Park will undergo a
facelift, it is reported.
A new media centre, race control and paddock area is to cost more than
$7 million, but the oldest circuit in Britain - last a host for
Formula One with a stunning wet Ayrton Senna win in 1993 - is not
likely to re-attract the pinnacle of motor sport.
Today, Donington, near Nottingham, hosts MotoGP (motorcycle grand
BAR's '8 out of 10'
(GMM -- Dec.22) 'Eight out of ten' -- that's what BAR deserves for
finishing second to Ferrari (but failing to secure a maiden grand prix
win) in the 2004 constructors' championship.
Team technical director Geoff Willis reckons the Honda-powered 006 was
a 'better car' than Williams' and McLaren's respective (and,
therefore, intriguingly one-off winning) offerings.
He told ITV: ''It was a relatively good year, but we did make mistakes
we shouldn't have. There's certainly room for improvement.''
Willis, pressed for an explanation for such 'mistakes', referred to
Brackley HQ's 'lack of experience' at the front of the F1 grid, and
the first installment of a new collaboration with tire partner
''We know we're up against some very clever, well-resourced people (at
McLaren and Williams),'' GW continued. ''We'll discover who's done the
best job in Melbourne.''
Jaguar and Ford at it again
(GMM -- Dec.22) Jaguar and car manufacturer-owner Ford are back in the
Earlier, the US vehicle giant said it would stop funding the Jaguar
Racing F1 team, and engine supplier Cosworth, ultimately selling (the
former) to Red Bull energy drink magnate Dietrich Mateschitz.
Now, Jaguar road car workers in England are considering a strike after
Ford said it would cull more than a thousand jobs.
Initially, Jaguar workers resisted the strike push but the T&G union
said it would continue to urge Ford to 'reconsider their decision.'
Union Amicus' national officer Tony Murphy also said in a statement
that Jag workers were worried that Ford might withdraw an offered
Jaguar said in a statement that it was a 'difficult period' for the
Ford bought Jaguar in 1989.
Toyota went to court
(GMM -- Dec.22) Recently, Formula One team Toyota went to court.
In the case alleging the smuggling of stolen information from Ferrari,
police seized information from Toyota's HQ in Cologne. ''(It was)
freely handed over,'' read a statement issued to us, ''but contained
many confidential materials which are (our) property.''
Toyota applied to the German court requesting that such 'confidential'
material not be sent to Italy prior to it being inspected and that any
confidential material be removed. Cologne's Public Prosecutor opposed
the application, but the Appellate Court found in favor of Toyota.
Asked whether the material had now been returned, though, a Toyota
spokesman replied: ''(We) are still waiting. Only this inexplicable
attitude on the part of the Public Prosecutor ... has made it
impossible to release the appropriate materials as ordered by the
Decision 'not made' - BMW
(GMM -- Dec.22) Williams' engine partner, BMW, has denied German media
speculation that Nick Heidfeld will definitely be a team race driver
The Munich-based carmaker was contacted following their motorsport
director Mario Theissen's admission on Tuesday that 27-year-old 'Quick
Nick' would 'not be sent home.'
The BMW spokesman told us: ''There has not been a decision made about
Nick's role, but it is not up to BMW -- the last word is Frank
Williams' as he is in charge of drivers.''
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