F1 Hot News
By Andrew Maitland
January 26, 2005
Ferrari 'further isolated'
(GMMF1.NET -- Jan.26) Ferrari, on Tuesday, were further
isolated from their grand prix rivals at a principals'
meeting inside Heathrow Hilton (London).
Not only did they shake hands on a 30-day test limit, a
letter agreeing to leave Ferrari in the cold as the only
team to (so far) sign Bernie Ecclestone's new 'Concorde,'
They also asked FIA president Max Mosley to delay a planned
Friday meeting, slated to discuss another radical overhaul
for the technical code, including a tire monopoly.
Among other proposed (by the FIA) changes are the
elimination of telemetry, standard brakes, a mandatory
engine rev-limiter and two-day GP format.
In the letter, it said teams need a few grands prix - maybe
up to seven or eight - to first evaluate the 2005 regulation
Ferrari did not attend the meeting.
Ferrari build 3-seater F1
(GMMF1.NET -- Jan.26) World champion marque Ferrari will
soon unveil a three-seater Formula One car.
The Maranello-designed vehicle should be ready by Spring.
Ferrari principal Jean Todt said the three-seater, similar
to Arrows' concept of 2002, would be better than the
(Minardi-like) two-seater concept.
The Frenchman told 'Autocar' that the single passenger 'is
blind' in the traditional two-seater model.
The three seat Ferrari will feature a passenger on each
Todt was ferried around Fiorano in a re-painted Minardi
two-seater in 2003, with a notable chauffeur -- Michael
Montagny and Jordan
(GMMF1.NET -- Jan.26) Franck Montagny is near the top of the
list to race in Formula One with Midland-owned Jordan in
2005, we can reveal.
Renault's test driver, a Frenchman, is also linked with the
second Minardi berth.
New Renault up and running
(GMMF1.NET -- Jan.26) Fernando Alonso debuted Renault's 2005
grand prix car at Valencia (Spain) on Tuesday.
The familiar-looking 'R25' stopped twice on track in the
''I have a good first impression,'' said the Spanish driver
after fifteen laps. ''The engine is powerful ... and the
driving position is comfortable.''
Interestingly, teammate Giancarlo Fisichella - in the older
Enstone-built model - amassed more mileage but stopped the
clock with a much slower best time.
Also circulating at the twisty (and windy) Spanish venue
were Red Bull, Williams, BAR and Toyota.
Ron won't quit McLaren
(GMMF1.NET -- Jan.26) McLaren rebuked the F1 rumor mill
following talk that chairman and principal Ron Dennis might
quit to head-up GPWC.
Martin Whitmarsh, the Briton's right hand man and 'F1 CEO',
said he imagines Ron being 'zimmer-framed' to the pitwall.
He added: ''I don't believe Ron will be standing down ...
any time soon -- and certainly not during the course of
On the subject of Adrian Newey, though, Dennis himself
admitted that he's 'in dialogue' with the designer and
assessing 'various options,' including a sabbatical.
'It's a boy!' - Montoya
(GMMF1.NET -- Jan.26) Juan Pablo Montoya, in about late
March, will be father to a baby son.
The F1 driver, from Colombia, revealed that he and wife
Connie - seven months' pregnant - are having a boy.
''Right now, we think he's going to be called Sebastien,''
said Montoya, McLaren driver.
The 29-year-old competitor also revealed that Mrs. Montoya
is sporting a 'big belly.
He added: ''You see the baby kicking around a lot and it's
hard to imagine it's your baby in there! When he comes,
hopefully it's going to be great.''
'Respect' at Sauber - JV
(GMMF1.NET -- Jan.26) According to Jacques Villeneuve, the
best trait at new F1 employer Sauber is 'respect.
''And that includes the boss,'' smiled the '97 drivers'
champion, referring to fellow resident of Switzerland, Peter
In a published interview with major team sponsor Credit
Suisse, 33-year-old Villeneuve also admitted that driving a
few grands prix for Renault last year - in terms of scoring
points - 'was a mistake.
''But at least the team benefited from the impressive media
coverage,'' JV insisted.
(GMMF1.NET -- Jan.26) The first ever 'A1 Grand Prix' race
will be delayed a week to dodge a motor racing clash.
Originally slated for Sept. 18, the date for Goodwood and a
BTCC event, the England A1 round - at former GP circuit
Brands Hatch - is now scheduled for Sept. 25.
''Many of the fans ... were not going to be able to attend
our event,'' said A1 founder Sheikh Maktoum Hasher Maktoum
The A1 debut, though, will now take place on the day of the
Brazilian (F1) grand prix.
Bruni out of Minardi race
(GMMF1.NET -- Jan.26) Gianmaria Bruni is no longer in the
race to drive for Minardi in '05.
The young Roman, just 23, debuted for the Faenza-based team
last year but will now step back to fledgling support
category 'GP2' with Coloni.
He nearly clinched the Euro3000 championship in 2003.
''I am a racing driver and I need to race,'' 'Gimmi' said,
explaining the move.
Montoya 'surprising' McLaren
(GMMF1.NET -- Jan.26) McLaren and new signing Juan Pablo
Montoya are in a 'honeymoon period,' team F1 CEO Martin
The Briton is unsure if the Woking-based team, and Williams'
feisty Colombian since 2001, will always share their current
style of relationship.
''You never know,'' Martin smiled.
Whitmarsh also said 29-year-old Montoya had surprised
McLaren with his technical ability, and dedication to
becoming fitter -- like shedding 6kg.
''I'm really getting on well with everyone,'' Montoya said
on Monday, ''including Kimi (Raikkonen).''
But Whitmarsh admitted that all may change in and around
Melbourne, 'in the heat of the battle.'
Wurz will fit - McLaren
(GMMF1.NET -- Jan.26) Both Alex Wurz and Pedro de la Rosa
may drive a 'third' car in Friday practice at 2005 grands
prix, McLaren principal Ron Dennis hinted.
But he said whichever test driver is nominated for
Melbourne, will go on to do the same job at least until May.
Dennis admitted feeling surprised that no-one tried to
change a rule that allowed a top team like McLaren - even if
it finished in the 'bottom six' last year - to exploit it.
''As far as I can tell,'' said the Englishman, ''I can't see
(the rule) changing this season.''
Team 'F1 CEO' Martin Whitmarsh, meanwhile, confirmed that
Woking will - somehow - squeeze lanky Austrian, Wurz, into
the more compact MP4-20 model.
He revealed: ''The only issue of modification ... at the
moment ... is the fire bottle.''
EJ - 'I've been lucky'
(GMMF1.NET -- Jan.26) Eddie Jordan paid tribute to his
family as the charismatic former team owner prepares to
swing out of the F1 turnstile.
The Irishman thanked, especially, wife Marie.
''In many ways,'' said EJ, who'll stay in a commercial role
in 2005, ''I owe them everything. Their unrelenting support
has allowed me to pursue my dream.''
Jordan, who gave Michael Schumacher his debut in 1991, said
the Silverstone-based grand prix team - and thus a
substantial living - were borne out of 'a hobby.'
He added: ''I realize that very few people are lucky enough
to experience (that).''
F1 tire regulation 'unclear'
(GMMF1.NET -- Jan.26) There's too much confusion about F1's
new long-life tire regulation, according to Hisao Suganuma.
The Japanese, technical manager at Bridgestone, said the
Ferrari-supplying marque - but also rival Michelin - will
seek 'clarification' from the FIA.
''Or maybe we have to go via the teams,'' he told Autosport.
Suganuma's main concern is that, according to the current
understanding, a driver cannot change a tire if it's damaged
- and therefore dangerous - but still inflated.
Another concern is how the FIA intend to police whether or
not a driver has run over what it's calling 'unavoidable
Wind disturbed F1 test
(GMMF1.NET -- Jan.26) Red Bull's Christian Klien
surprisingly emerged fastest from a chilly and windy test
session at Valencia on Tuesday.
The Austrian outpaced Antonio Pizzonia, although at least
one unofficial timesheet put Williams' Brazilian hotshoe
atop the field of ten.
Pizzonia, crucially, went nearly a full second quicker than
Nick Heidfeld, the other contender for Grove's spare racing
''We haven't tested here for about a year,'' remarked
Williams' team manager Tim Newton.
Takuma Sato tried the new BAR-Honda (007) for size, while
Toyota and Renault also circulated.
''(The new car) felt pretty good,'' said the Japanese,
alongside tester Anthony Davidson, in another new BAR. ''I'm
looking forward to running in slightly lower wind.''
FIA reject teams' appeal
(GMMF1.NET -- Jan.26) F1's governing body have rejected a
nine-team appeal to adjourn a technical meeting (Friday)
with Max Mosley.
Paul Stoddart, the teams' apparent spokesman after Tuesday's
Heathrow Hilton (London) summit, said a better date would be
post-Bahrain, to consider the raft of '05 reform.
''The (Friday) meeting will go ahead,'' confirmed an FIA
spokesman, who noted that Ferrari, BAR, Renault and Williams
have already submitted their own proposals for '08 and
Mosley, the FIA president, would like to impose yet another
raft of sweeping changes for a 'new' F1 -- like a 2-day
weekend, a control tire supplier, standard braking and no
Even Bernie Ecclestone appeared to support the teams'
requested delay. ''The commercial side and technical side
will all be wrapped up together,'' the F1 supremo said in
Delegation watch Badoer test
(GMMF1.NET -- Jan.26) A delegation from the Italian Olympic
Committee watched Luca Badoer test at Ferrari's private
Fiorano circuit on Tuesday.
Meeting Luca di Montezemolo, Jean Todt and Michael
Schumacher were president Gianni Petrucci and 50
They also toured Maranello HQ.
''The victories of the Olympic team and Ferrari are the
expression of Made in Italy,'' Petrucci commented.
With Badoer finished on track, the delegation got a close
look at the test driver's mount -- the '03-model F2003-GA
fitted with 2005 components.
Badoer will resume work at Barcelona on Friday, alongside
drivers' champion Schumacher.
Renault 'weak area'
(GMMF1.NET -- Jan.26) Renault identified a weak area on the
design of last year's F1 car -- and fixed it.
Engineering director Pat Symonds discussed the
similar-looking 'R25' model - most revised in the nose area,
evidently - prior to it debuting at Valencia on Tuesday.
''We have addressed (the weak area),'' he promised in
Symonds also vowed that the new V10 engine is more powerful
than its predecessor, despite being designed to handle twice
Ferrari snub 30-day cap
(GMMF1.NET -- Jan.26) Ferrari will not join every other F1
team in agreeing to limit testing to a 30-day program in
2005, we can verify.
Team spokesman Luca Colajanni said the scarlet marque would
push ahead with their own 15,000km cap, to save around 3
''We're doing our own project,'' he reiterated.
Minardi's Paul Stoddart, though - after a landmark teams'
meeting west of London - warned Ferrari that going against a
nine-team agreement is risking credibility.
''One day (Ferrari will) realize they can't race against
themselves,'' said the Australian, the nominated spokesman.
50-year-old Paul Stoddart also confirmed that Ferrari had
been invited to Heathrow, but failed to turn up.
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