F1 Hot News
By Andrew Maitland
December 30, 2004
''F1 drivers take cocaine'
(GMM -- Dec.30) The use of cocaine is widespread among Formula One
drivers, a former Ferrari team doctor has claimed.
Although random FIA tests have never returned a positive result,
Benigno Bartoletti said in Rome that 'as many as one third' of the
current field take the drug as a stimulant prior to grands prix.
''There is a lot of cocaine (in Formula One),' the 68-year-old told
Italy's 'Quattroruote' motoring magazine.
The Italian said that, for about 90 minutes, cocaine's effect boosts
reaction time and a driver's feeling of invincibility. But he warned
that when a grand prix goes longer, 'it could become dangerous.'
'10' star to attend Oz GP
(GMM -- Dec.30) Blonde Hollywood beauty Bo Derek will likely be the
star attraction at next March's Australian grand prix in Melbourne.
The 48-year-old, female star of the hit 1979 comedy 10 and author of
the cornrow braid craze, has been asked to attend the race to help
Albert Park celebrate a decade as a grand prix venue.
Australia's grand prix moved to Melbourne in 1996 after southern
capital city Adelaide hosted it for eleven years.
Bo Derek also starred as Jane in Tarzan (1981) and Tommy Boy (1995).
Belgian for Minardi job
(GMM -- Dec.30) A Belgian is favorite to fill the 'third driver' role
at back-of-the-grid grand prix team Minardi in 2005.
27-year-old redhead Jeffrey van Hooydonk recently tested a single
seater at Misano and has since maintained 'good' contact with team
principal Paul Stoddart.
Asked about progress, Jeffrey's father admitted a two-season test/race
contract was the target. He told F1Racing.net: ''We're working on it.
Nothing is signed yet.''
Van Hooydonk, sponsored by Immo Wilton, drove for junior Jordan F3000
team Super Nova and also Coloni in 2004, while countryman Bas Leinders
tested for Minardi.
Shake-up at A1
(GMM -- Dec.30) The new 'A1 grand prix' winter championship has made a
number of 'personnel changes' within the company.
President and chairman, Dubai's Sheikh Maktoum Hasher Maktoum Al
Maktoum, said A1's focus had now turned from setup to franchise
management, race promotion and running the actual championship.
He said: ''I am pleased to be able to promote those people around me
who have understood my vision and who can carry it forward.''
Tony Teixeira, for example, is now CEO, and the office in London is
RB 'determined' to seat share
(GMM -- Dec.30) Bosses of newly-purchased F1 team Red Bull Racing are
'determined' to give both Vitantonio Liuzzi and Christian Klien a
racing job next year.
That's the claim of the Italian-born champion of F3000, Liuzzi, who
earlier baulked at the prospect of a job-sharing role.
He told Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper that he'd like to
continue with Red Bull in 2005, but made note of the other vacant
positions at Williams, Jordan and Minardi.
Liuzzi, who hinted that the appointment of David Coulthard came out of
the blue, added: ''With Red Bull we've built a very good relationship.
(But) the (team) owners are determined to use both of us (Liuzzi and
Klien) -- maybe alternating.''
In mid-December, 23-year-old Vitantonio Liuzzi said becoming a part
time Red Bull driver would be 'counterproductive.'
'I'm not quitting' - Schu
(GMM -- Dec.30) Team and driver rivals may want the opposite to be
true, but world champion Michael Schumacher is adamant -- 'I'm not
even thinking about quitting.'
The 36-year-old, a seven time title winner who drives a Ferrari, has
achieved so much that - according to some - the only thing left undone
is calling it a day.
Asked, for the umpteenth time, about the will-he speculation, Michael
told Germany's RTL TV: ''I don't know (why), honestly -- I always say
how much enjoyment I get out of being a part of my sport. How much
more motivation do you need?''
German-born Schumacher rejects the argument that, with every
meaningful record in the bag, there's nothing left to drive for. ''I
don't think (that) counts, not in sport,'' he added.
'Red Bull must succeed' - DC
(GMM -- Dec.30) Scotland's F1 refugee is 'relishing' the challenge of
driving private team 'Red Bull' to the front of the grand prix grid.
33-year-old David Coulthard has signed a one-year contract, including
no options for 2006 or beyond, to appear for the formerly Ford-owned
team during next season's 19-race calendar.
But, despite having worked for the giant McLaren outfit since 1996,
David now claims that 'small armies can do a lot of damage.'
He also told Autosport: ''McLaren is maybe two or three times bigger
(than Red Bull) -- I relish being involved in a situation where you
have greater responsibility for leading the team in the right
DC also claimed that Red Bull billionaire Dietrich Mateschitz would
not have put a fortune on the line by investing in motor sport's
highest category 'without a serious ... commitment.
''He cannot afford to fail,'' said Coulthard.
Liuzzi to resume testing
(GMM -- Dec.30) F3000 champion Vitantonio Liuzzi will resume testing
for the 'Red Bull' F1 team next month.
The 23-year-old Italian, in contention like Christian Klien to become
David Coulthard's 2005 teammate, was in England prior to Christmas for
He told Italy's Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper: ''After the break ...
we'll go back to testing.''
But the black haired youngster, openly not keen on Red Bull's plan to
'seat share' the sister Cosworth-powered car, claimed that
'employment' at RBR will not be the 'sole aim' of his New Year running
'Jordan' popular on 'net
(GMM -- Dec.30) 'Jordan' is one of the most popular internet search
keywords in the United Kingdom.
It's unlikely, though, that number-7 in 2004's 'top 100 by MSN' is
referring to the cash-strapped F1 team that is based in rural
Jordan is also a busty British model.
'Big brother' was the most searched-for word on 'net search engines in
the UK in 2004, followed - curiously - by 'inland revenue'.
'Football' came in at number five, 'cricket' rounded out the year
eighth -- and Formula One or Ferrari weren't even in the top 100,
although 'Britney Spears' and 'Wimbledon' were.
China to increase F1 fee
(GMM -- Dec.30) China will increase the price of a Formula One ticket
ahead of the 2005 world championship finale.
For the inaugural grand prix in Shanghai this year, the price for a
three day ticket was around $300 -- a huge chunk of out the average
But Yu Zhifei, deputy general manager at the purpose-built F1 venue,
said adding dollars to the gate price is a 'traditional rule' at the
pinnacle of motor sport.
''(But) we do understand that young people can hardly afford the
expensive ticket,'' he admitted.
Yu hinted that higher-priced tickets, such as top grandstand seating,
might go up while young people enjoy a cheaper 'grass' rate. The
worry, he confessed, was that the 'novelty' factor of the first-ever
F1 event in China may soon wear off.
A source in the Chinese media, meanwhile, said Shanghai planned to
build a 'F1 theme park' near the grand prix circuit.
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