F1 Hot News
By Andrew Maitland
February 28, 2005
Jordan to run 'third' car
(GMMF1.NET -- Feb.28) F3000 race winner Robert Doornbos will be
Jordan's reserve and 'Friday' test driver in 2005, the Midland-owned
The 23-year-old Dutchman also filled the role late last year.
''I'll drive the team's third car during all nineteen grands prix,''
he revealed at an event near Moscow's Red Square.
New Ferrari may debut early
(GMMF1.NET -- Feb.28) THE newly-launched Ferrari 'F2005' may debut at
Bahrain's round-three grand prix.
Maranello chiefs had planned for a Barcelona (round five) start, but
Ross Brawn said in Italy last Friday that a new decision will be taken
following the car's initial test period.
''It also depends how the F2004 M goes,'' said the England-born
Test driver Luca Badoer will try F2005 next week.
World champion Michael Schumacher, meanwhile, admitted that he
would've liked to have raced the new car in Australia.
'Stick around' - Oz's Webber
(GMMF1.NET -- Feb.28) FAR from predict a winning Williams debut,
Australia's Mark Webber said it'd be 'great' to depart Melbourne with
a mere 'seventh or eighth.'
''It's not what you want to hear,'' he told a local reporter, ''but
stick around and I promise you we will be a force (in the near
After driving a BMW-powered runner across the fabled Sydney Harbour
Bridge early Sunday morning, the national hero said the biggest goal
would be to 'improve' on fifth place, scored on grand prix debut in a
He called completing a dozen 'runs' of the usually bustling Harbour
Bridge 'a bit eerie.
''I was amazed how nervous I was before we went,'' said the
28-year-old, ''because so much can go wrong (with the car) and so much
effort had gone in.''
Red Bull nick Smith
(GMMF1.NET -- Feb.28) RED Bull confirmed that lauded designer Mark
Smith had joined the F1 team as Guenther Steiner's 'deputy' technical
''He's one of F1's most experienced technical experts,'' Steiner said
of the 43-year-old Briton.
Red Bull has also nicked former Ferrari man Anton Stipinovich, the
South African to be head of development.
Rookie on time for F1 debut
(GMMF1.NET -- Feb.28) HE may drive for back-of-the-grid Minardi, but
25-year-old rookie Christijan Albers can't be accused of being tardy.
The Dutchman - the first F1 pilot to touch down in Australia - jogged
the entire Albert Park F1 layout at the weekend, prior to his imminent
grand prix debut there.
He said he'd practiced the Melbourne layout on a PlayStation. ''But
when I saw it for real,'' the former DTM star added, ''I realized how
different it is going to be.
''I intend to go round (the track) in a road car now.''
Albers, on a one-year deal, also said the goal for 2005 was to 'catch
the eye' of a bigger team.
F1 parade to draw 50,000
(GMMF1.NET -- Feb.28) UP to 50,000 Melbournians may gather for
Wednesday's F1 street parade.
Two Minardis, one driven by Coburg-born team owner Paul Stoddart with
a special livery, and Williams' Antonio Pizzonia, will 'bring the city
alive,' 50-year-old Stoddart said.
Lord Mayor John So added: ''We're hoping it will be the biggest parade
Melbourne's ever seen.''
Schu, JB in 'war of words'
(GMMF1.NET -- Feb.28) MICHAEL Schumacher and Jenson Button are engaged
in a mini war-of-words just a week before Australia's 2005 opener.
England's 25-year-old Button, driver for BAR-Honda, told BBC radio
that Ferrari can't keep winning forever, while his '05 goal is to
'look down on Michael' from the top of the podium.
JB added: ''Michael has the best equipment.
''If you put Raikkonen or Montoya in his position ... they would (do)
exactly the same.''
Seven time world champion Schumacher, however, replied by saying that
- with four days until opening practice at Albert Park - 'there's no
more time for talking.
''Now it's time for proving,'' the German, 36, added.
''Jenson, as a driver, is a question mark for me, but (the potential)
Rubens' quali concern
(GMMF1.NET -- Feb.28) FERRARI'S Rubens Barrichello is the latest F1
driver to express concern about the new 'aggregate' qualifying format.
Referring to the Saturday-Sunday system, Michael Schumacher's
Brazilian teammate hoped the final result would 'be clear' for the
''For someone in the grandstand, adding numbers, (it's going) to be
The biggest change for the driver, though, according to the
32-year-old, is just a little less time to relax on grand prix
morning. ''I'm cool about it,'' he said at the F2005 launch in
Tobacco and Malaysia
(GMMF1.NET -- Feb.28) Tobacco advertising in Malaysia, scene of the
annual grand prix, will be banned in June.
According to reports, the country is preparing to join the World
Health Organization's anti-tobacco framework, which became law in many
countries at the weekend.
All tobacco sponsorship in Malaysia, including by F1 teams at the
Sepang circuit every March, will no longer be allowed, following the
parliament's ratification of new legislation last September.
Sauber duo 'aren't friendly'
(GMMF1.NET -- Feb.28) According to team owner Peter Sauber, 2005 F1
line-up Felipe Massa and Jacques Villeneuve will 'never be friends.
''I doubt it,'' he said in an interview.
In pre-season testing, Brazil's Massa - nearly a decade younger than
1997 world champion and Canadian Villeneuve - was almost always the
quicker of the pair.
Switzerland's Sauber has no answer for why, but answered in the
negative when asked if they're getting along as friends.
But he downplayed the significance: ''In F1, (friendships) are few and
far between, and we aren't looking for that, anyway.
''Professional collaboration ... is much more important.''
Sauber also denied that Renault and McLaren are set to usurp Ferrari's
''In the end,'' he said, ''we'll again see Ferrari at the very
Button 'fitter than ever'
(GMMF1.NET -- Feb.28) Jenson Button is 'fitter than ever' ahead of the
2005 season, according to the English F1 driver.
BAR's 25-year-old told people.co.uk that, in the off-season, he
trained in the heat of Thailand and amid the Swiss alps' freezing
''I felt that you just needed to be fitter for the (2005) season,''
said Button, who had hoped to switch to the Williams team.
He concluded: ''I'm feeling so much better, (also) mentally.''
It's hot in Melbourne
(GMMF1.NET -- Feb.28) On Monday, it's a hot 31-degrees in Melbourne,
scene of the weekend's Australian grand prix.
But, for opening practice on Friday, it's expected to drop to a cloudy
23, with an even cooler - and overcast - day to hold sway for first
Come Sunday, race day for the '05 season opener in the southern Albert
Park, the cloud will have settled-in and a cool 18-degrees should
linger all afternoon.
No rain is forecast.
Indian's F1 preparation
(GMMF1.NET -- Feb.28) How did Narain Karthikeyan, India's first F1
driver, prepare for the Saturday night flight to Melbourne, scene of
his grand prix debut?
He played Geoff Crammond's PC computer game, GP4.
28-year-ikd Karthikeyan told Sunday Mid Day: ''It's really realistic,
as far as track measurement goes.
''But one of the first things I'll do when I get to Melbourne is walk
On Friday, Narain's Jordan team launched their 2005 campaign in the
freezing snow of Red Square, Moscow (Russia).
''I think India and Russia are similar in a lot of ways,'' he said,
''although the weather is certainly not one of them!''
New Brit GP chairman
(GMMF1.NET -- Feb.28) Following Ray Bellm's departure, the British
Racing Drivers' Club on Friday named a new chairman.
Board member Stuart Rolt got the nod after a meeting at Silverstone,
home of the Club's own British grand prix.
Sir Jackie Stewart, president, said Rolt won an unanimous vote.
And, despite the axe nearly falling on the 2005 F1 event, circuit
manager Richard Philips said the July race is nearly sold out.
France's man re-elected
(GMMF1.NET -- Feb.28) French grand prix promoter Jacques Regis has
been re-elected for another four-year term by the FFSA.
The 60-year-old became president in 1997.
Mark's 'more committed'
(GMMF1.NET -- Feb.28) Mark Webber is one of the most committed men on
the Formula One grid.
That's the opinion of countryman and colleague Sam Michael, Williams'
33-year-old technical director.
He told The Australian newspaper that Webber, 28, visits Grove HQ
'three times a week -- even when we're testing.'
The newspaper said the departed Juan Pablo Montoya visited the team's
Oxfordshire factory three times ... per year.
Michael admitted: ''Some drivers are as fast as Mark in the car but
they don't have his level of commitment.''
He also said FW27 won't be ready to win at least until mid-May.
No Villeneuve 'honeymoon'
(GMMF1.NET -- Feb.28) Jacques Villeneuve is not enjoying a so-called
'honeymoon' period with new F1 employer Sauber.
The 1997 world champion, regularly outpaced by young Brazilian
teammate Felipe Massa in testing, said bad weather has hampered winter
''So we didn't do enough (mileage),'' the 33-year-old - who memorably
clashed with team management at BAR - said at his 'Newtown' restaurant
He also claimed Peter Sauber's squad is 'not used' to working with an
experienced driver. ''We have to adapt our way of working better,''
JV did, though, praise Sauber's prioritization of budget. ''Unlike
other teams,'' he said, ''every penny goes into how to make the car
Ferrari's new main man
(GMMF1.NET -- Feb.28) Italian Aldo Costa designed the new Ferrari,
Rory Byrne admitted.
Byrne, who maintains the chief designer title, called F2005 the 'best
ever' scarlet car, but said Costa was responsible 'for the entire ...
''I'd like to congratulate him and his team.''
Technical director Ross Brawn, at the car's launch at Maranello last
Friday, admitted that F2005 isn't 'radical.'
He added that South Africa's Byrne - now in a 'different' role - acted
as a 'father' figure for Costa.
Meanwhile, Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo said he's 'glad' that
McLaren and Renault appear so competitive. ''It will make things more
interesting,'' he said at the launch.
Ferrari's oil trick
(GMMF1.NET -- Feb.28) Switching between different oil blends may be
one way F1 manufacturers tackle the new 'one-engine-per-two-races'
Ferrari's supplier, Shell, said it would offer a 'suite' of oils for
the world champion marque to choose from at each grand prix in 2005.
''We'll be able to offer the engine increased protection during
practice sessions,'' said F1 technical manager Mike Copson, ''before
we switch to a more viscous, power-liberating blend for the race.''
'Definite' Oz favorite
(GMMF1.NET -- Feb.28) Renault are 'definitely' favorites for victory
in the weekend's Australian grand prix, according to Sam Michael.
Williams' Australian technical director said the rival team's R24 car,
to be steered at Albert Park by Giancarlo Fisichella and Fernando
Alonso, is 'extremely' strong in the aero department.
He told Autosport magazine: ''McLaren (are) right behind them.
''After that the pack is pretty close.''
Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello also admitted that a scarlet car will not
necessarily lead the pace at the season opener. ''(Renault) are
looking really quick,'' the 32-year-old Brazilian remarked.
'We deserve more' - Ferrari
(GMMF1.NET -- Feb.28) According to Jean Todt, Ferrari deserves a
bigger slice of Formula One's cash pie.
The Prancing Horse's managing director, amid rivals' frustration of an
inferior new commercial deal, said Ferrari is 'special' and more
'tied' to grand prix racing than others.
''(We) helped create what F1 is,'' said the Frenchman.
''It's like in a movie where a big star gets paid more because the
producer knows he will sell it all over the world.
''Ferrari is a star and wants to be paid like a star.''
Todt suggests that Ferrari's dominant success is the main catalyst for
some rivals' frustration.
But he remarked: ''I'm sure if they were in our position ... they
would demand the same.''
BAR wanted 'more time'
(GMMF1.NET -- Feb.28) F1 team BAR is not as well prepared for the F1
season opener as it would have liked.
That's the admission of technical director Geoff Willis, who said the
Honda-powered '007' car encountered 'a number of problems' in the
''With a bit more time,'' he said, ''we would have felt more
So, despite the end-of-season pledge to challenge for prevalent wins
from 2005, Geoffrey Willis concluded that Brackley-based BAR-Honda
will 'travel to every circuit aiming (to be) on the podium.'
Kimi's no 'ice man' - JV
(GMMF1.NET -- Feb.28) 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve says he
knows why F1 is boring.
The French-Canadian, returning full time to pitlane this year with
midfield team Sauber, said in an interview with The Guardian (UK) that
the grid is devoid of 'heroes.'
Rather than blame Ferrari, then, 33-year-old JV said car manufacturers
and multinational sponsors instruct drivers to not 'say what you
''If you're ... not allowed to have a personality,'' he asked, ''how
can you be a hero?''
Villeneuve accused Finland's Kimi Raikkonen of deliberately trying to
appear 'one dimensional.
''It's sad. He's not the ice man.''
'Anti Ferrari' tire rule?
(GMMF1.NET -- Feb.28) F1 tire supplier Michelin said it dreamt up F1's
new-for-2005 'single tire' regulation.
Bibendum's competition director Pierre Dupasquier said the concept, as
well as reducing cornering speed by requiring more durable and
therefore harder rubber, 'saves money.
''(We're) absolutely behind the concept.''
Interestingly, technical director Ross Brawn - whose Ferrari team run
on rival Bridgestone tires - said he also 'likes' the rules'
Michael Schumacher, too, isn't worried that the changes - often
pronounced as 'anti Ferrari' - will be enough to curb Maranello's
The German said: ''Usually those who are better can react quicker and
better and adapt.
''It's the same for everybody.''
Oz GP rocked by departure
(GMMF1.NET -- Feb.28) The Australian grand prix has lost a key figure
mere days ahead of the event's tenth race.
Geoff Harris quit the role as top media man, reportedly citing
mismanagement of Mark Webber's Sydney Harbour Bridge over-drive and
the visit of 1970's actress Bo Derek.
In an email, he slammed 'excessive bureaucracy' and the leadership of
the Corporation's executive Tim Bamford.
''(Harris) was the driving force behind the grand prix,'' said a
'shell-shocked' Minardi chief Paul Stoddart.
Meanwhile, Australian GP security general manager Mario Siesta was
suspended following an appearance in a Melbourne court on 88 fraud
Bamford said the AGPC would, as a result, 'review' the contract with
Midland could retain Toyota
(GMMF1.NET -- Feb.28) Despite speculation of a Ferrari deal, F1's new
'Midland' (Jordan) team may retain Toyota power next year.
Sporting director Trevor Carlin admitted that Ferrari was an option,
but said the Toyota V10 is proving 'powerful and ... reliable.'
He added at Friday's team launch in Moscow: ''We have a good
relationship with them (so) we'd like to keep that ... going.''
Austrian set for shaky start
(GMMF1.NET -- Feb.28) You'll forgive Patrick Friesacher if he makes a
shaky start to his grand prix career at Albert Park.
Minardi's late-confirmed Austrian rookie, 24, has never completed a
race distance in a Formula One car.
''It's going to make the first few races quite tough,'' he admitted at
a PR event in Melbourne.
Asked how he thinks he'll cope with the 58-lap Australian grand prix,
then, Friesacher replied: ''I don't know!
''You'll find out, so will I.''
Dutch teammate Christijan Albers, though, insisted that Friesacher is
'definitely on the pace.'
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