F1 Hot News
By Andrew Maitland
March 23, 2005
Barrichello's broken F2005
(GMMf1NET -- Mar.23) Ferrari's new F2005 is 'definitely
quicker' than the older model, Rubens Barrichello claimed
after trying the scarlet car at Mugello.
The Brazilian toured the Ferrari-owned Italian circuit on
Tuesday, but pulled to a trackside halt on the ninety sixth
lap when he sensed 'something wasn't right with the motor.'
However, his first impression had been of an 'extremely'
32-year-old RB commented: ''(F2005) represents a step
forward in every area. I'm very happy.''
Ahead of a decision about whether to fast track the car's
debut to Bahrain, world champion teammate Michael Schumacher
is at the wheel on Wednesday.
Narain dobs-in a doubter
(GMMf1NET -- Mar.23) If Narain Karthikeyan can keep beating
his teammate and maybe score a point or two, the sport's
first Indian thinks he can stay in F1 beyond 2005.
The 28-year-old, in his home country on Tuesday after a
flying visit to Bahrain, noted the recent climb from Jordan
of drivers like Giancarlo Fisichella and Nick Heidfeld.
''If I keep finishing,'' he told a video conference, ''I
will (also) be on the wanted list.''
Manager Piers Hunnisett, meanwhile, is hopeful he can get a
bigger team 'interested.'
Karthikeyan also used the occasion to dob-in a rival who
questioned the Indian's physical ability to finish the
grueling Malaysian GP -- '(Juan Pablo) Montoya.'
''He felt I wouldn't be able to do it,'' NK said, ''but I
showed I could.''
Indian GP 'by 2010'
(GMMf1NET -- Mar.23) The on-again, off-again 'Indian grand
prix' may be back on track, according to Suresh Kalmadi.
He's the president of the Indian Olympic Association and
staunch advocate of bringing Formula One to India.
''Plans should be firmed up in the next six months,'' he
vowed at a sponsor event in Delhi attended by India's
first-ever F1 driver Narain Karthikeyan.
Although Hyderabad's original GP bid foundered, Maharashtra,
Karnataka and Delhi are still connected with the grand prix
pursuit, Kalmadi revealed.
He added: ''I'm sure by (2010) we'll have F1 in India.''
Red Bull's engine supply
(GMMf1NET -- Mar.23) Settling Red Bull's engine supply for
2006 and beyond 'is a priority.'
That's the claim of former GP driver Helmut Marko, of
Austria, and motor sport 'advisor' to billionaire F1 team
owner Dietrich Mateschitz.
He told 'Sport am Sonntag' that Red Bull might plug ahead
with current partner Cosworth, although speculation also
connects the fledgling team with BMW and Honda.
''In truth,' Marko answered, ''there are three or four
(manufacturers) in the frame.''
He said: ''We aim to make a decision by the end of April, so
(the engine) can be integrated with the design of the new
JV boot 'speculation' - agent
(GMMf1NET -- Mar.23) The suggestion that Anthony Davidson is
set to replace Sauber straggler Jacques Villeneuve is 'pure
JV's manager, Craig Pollock, denied the existence of a
'performance clause' in the French-Canadian's 2005 contract.
''I ... would never have accepted that,'' he told Autosport.
Pollock, ironically the founder of Anthony Davidson's
employer (BAR) and author of his test driving contract,
suggested the reports are the work of an imaginative British
And he dismissed 33-year-old Villeneuve's 'C24' struggle as
a simple lack of confidence.
''Jacques isn't comfortable with the setup,'' Pollock said,
''so both driver and team have to find out how to get back
to one hundred per cent.''
'Hard but fair' - Ralf S.
(GMMf1NET -- Mar.23) In the controversy surrounding
Giancarlo Fisichella's crash into Mark Webber at Sepang, it
was easy to overlook that the latter Australian collided
earlier with Ralf Schumacher.
Mercifully, neither driver said much about it.
''It proved that Williams' car is harder than mine,'' Toyota
driver Schumacher, 29, smiled, ''as he seemed to come away
with no damage.
''I think the racing was hard but fair.''
Nevertheless, Ralf - who later lost a chunk of bodywork in
the melee - found the rest of the race a struggle, due to
''It became so strong that I couldn't read my pit board
anymore,'' the German revealed.
Bridgestone come clean
(GMMf1NET -- Mar.23) Bridgestone have come clean regarding
Ferrari's dismal showing in the Malaysian grand prix.
The Japanese supplier's Technical director Hirohide
Hamashima said the woeful result 'is undoubtedly down to our
He added in the Italian 'La Gazzetta dello Sport' newspaper:
''There are no attenuating circumstances.
''It is a lesson for us (but) we are ready to respond.''
Bridgestone said a 'new generation' F1 tire would be
introduced for Ferrari at the next grand prix, in Bahrain
Only Renault rule Toyota
(GMMf1NET -- Mar.23) Jarno Trulli's podium feat elevated
Toyota to a best-ever second in the constructors' world
''It's commendable,'' said German teammate Ralf Schumacher,
who finished fifth, ''considering Toyota have had only fifty
races in F1.''
Renault, on 26, rule a commanding 14-point lead over the
Cologne-based outfit, with Red Bull, Ferrari, Williams and
McLaren all within a 3-point striking distance of Toyota.
Ralf, 29, continued: ''Ferrari, McLaren and Williams have
more than a century of experience between them.
''People underestimate how difficult F1 is.''
Michelin man to Toyota
(GMMf1NET -- Mar.23) Pascal Vasselon, ousted project manager
at Michelin, will soon re-emerge in grand prix pitlane -- in
a Toyota uniform.
It's reported that the Frenchman will take up a position in
Cologne's R&D department prior to the San Marino grand prix
late next month.
To the chagrin of many Michelin-clad teams, Vasselon -
ostensibly due to a lack of performance at the French tire
supplier - was moved to the non-racing 4x4 line in America.
But, asked what Pascal's next move might be, motor sport
director Pierre Dupasquier said in Melbourne: ''It's up to
''He loves Formula One.''
Sato to resume training
(GMMf1NET -- Mar.23) Takuma Sato is getting over a bad dose
of 'flu that sat him out of Sunday's grand prix in Malaysia.
BAR's Japanese driver spent race day on a drip but a blood
test ruled out any grave ailment.
''It sounds like there were several other people in the
paddock suffering from a similar thing,'' said the
28-year-old's manager, Andrew Gilbert-Scott.
He told crash.net that, although a PR trip to Jakarta was
cancelled, Sato wasn't scheduled to test at Paul Ricard and
will shortly resume a training program for Bahrain.
''I don't see why he shouldn't be able to do that,'' said
Sauber hunt 'third' man
(GMMf1NET -- Mar.23) Sauber may reconsider their decision to
not run a 'third' car in Friday practice, it's reported.
Following Jacques Villeneuve's claim that it would be a 'big
help,' F1 owner Peter Sauber is believed to have commenced a
hunt for someone able to foot the $5m bill.
Autosport said the Swiss team has talked to Timo Glock and
Minardi hopeful Nicolas Kiesa.
Sauber said: ''We would need (an) experienced, quick
Villeneuve, 33, said last week that leaving tire evaluation
to a 'third' driver would clear time for him to 'look at
setup a lot more.
''I started the year not really knowing the car,'' the
French-Canadian, a former world and Indy champion, moaned.
Bernie 'backing down'?
(GMMf1NET -- Mar.23) F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone is 'close
to a settlement' with a trio of control-seeking banks.
The banks' lead lawyer told a High Court judge on Tuesday
morning that 'something' could be agreed within a day or so.
The banks, with a majority share in SLEC - F1's holding
company - have already won control of one Ecclestone
''He must have figured he risks losing the next round as
well,'' someone told FT.com.
On May 10, the banks intended to pursue their claim for
Bernie's Formula One Administration and Formula One
The Financial Times speculated that an agreement could lead
to a 'quick settlement' between the banks and GPWC.
McLaren and their 'third' car
(GMMf1NET -- Mar.23) McLaren has hit back at Ferrari's
complaint that a top team should not be allowed to run a
'third' car in Friday practice.
Maranello's Ross Brawn said at Sepang that there's 'no
logic' in giving McLaren an edge that was intended for
But Ron Dennis, McLaren principal and chairman, said he's
only doing something that's allowed in the rulebook.
''We are not proud of our 2004 performance,'' he said,
referring to the 'bottom six' stipulation.
The only way the rule could be overturned would be through
unanimity -- an impossible feat, given McLaren's delight at
RD concluded: ''We are entitled (to do it) and feel
Ferrari unmoved over testing
(GMMf1NET -- Mar.23) A letter to Luca di Montezemolo will
not change Ferrari's 'attitude.'
That's the defiant stance of Maranello principal Jean Todt,
who had a copy of the eight teams' scathing letter sent to
Excluding Ferrari-powered Sauber, every F1 team signed the
admonition of Ferrari's snubbing not only of the
'gentleman's' test agreement, but the long-held 'Suzuka'
''I have a question,'' the Frenchman fired -- ''If they want
to reduce costs, why didn't they come to the (FIA) meeting?
''Sometimes in life we disagree. The important thing is to
be able to look at yourself in the mirror, and we can.''
But, gentleman's agreement or not, how can Todt justify
violating established guidelines such as that prohibiting
Monday running, or testing during grand prix week and the
race weekend itself?
''We denounced (the agreement) in a letter,'' Todt
explained. ''They made a new agreement and we're not part of
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