F1 Hot News
By Andrew Maitland
April 20, 2005
Wurz to race at Imola
(GMMf1NET -- Apr.20) Injured McLaren driver Juan Pablo
Montoya will also skip the grand prix at Imola.
With a fractured shoulder, the Colombian is to be replaced -
unlike in Bahrain where Pedro de la Rosa took the wheel - by
regular 'reserve' Alex Wurz.
It'll be the tall Austrian's first start since with
Benetton, in 2000.
''Medical experts have advised that it is still too soon for
Juan Pablo to return to the ... cockpit,'' read a statement.
Montoya, 29, is suffering from minor atrophy (the shrinking
of muscle tissue), but should - it's expected - be back at
De la Rosa will take the 'Friday' drive, and McLaren said
it'll decide a full-time resident 'after the Spanish grand
''It's going to be great to actually race a McLaren,'' Wurz
- McLaren tester since 2001 - beamed.
De la Rosa added: ''I am pleased for Alex that he's also
having a chance.''
(GMMf1NET -- Apr.20) Jarno Trulli is no fan of his 'home'
grand prix circuit at Imola.
But the Italian, a surprise second in the drivers'
championship, admitted that the pressure to perform is now
''We have to keep our feet on the ground,'' the 30-year-old
Perhaps dampening Trulli's enthusiasm is Toyota's dire
history over the curbs at the 'Enzo e Dino Ferrari' circuit,
and a question-mark about Michelin in cooler weather.
Teammate Ralf Schumacher, meanwhile, won his first grand
prix at Imola back in 2001.
The German smiled: ''Logic says the next podium should be
Jordan to stay in Britain
(GMMf1NET -- Apr.20) New team owner 'Midland' has bought the
Jordan Grand Prix wind tunnel in Brackley (England).
''This is a capital asset for the future,'' read a
statement, indicating that the team - owned by
Russian-Canadian billionaire Alex Shnaider - does not intend
Midland, to maintain the Dallara link, will also 'invest
heavily' in the aerodynamic asset so that it can test a 50
percent car model.
''(This) is definitely the right way to go,'' said Jordan
principal Colin Kolles.
Trevor Carlin added: ''Hopefully it will help us build a
much more successful car.''
Bahrain search for F1 star
(GMMf1NET -- Apr.20) The hunt is on for Bahrain's first ever
Formula One driver.
The ten-year plan was unearthed during a news conference at
Sakhir, home of the fledgling Bahrain grand prix.
Any Bahraini aged 18-26 can nominate by collecting an entry
form at a 'Bapco' fuel station.
The winner will be funded for a full season in the 'Caterham
Gulf Se7en' championship, and receive 'international race
tuition from a leading F1 team,' a local newspaper report
DC - 'blah, blah, blah'
(GMMf1NET -- Apr.20) 'Blah, blah, blah.'
Those words are not often featured in a grand prix team's
pre-race press release.
But Red Bull's David Coulthard is clearly weary of their
Musing Imola, the Scot said: ''I won't bore you with all the
'Imola is a difficult track, car must ride the curbs, have
to be aggressive, overtaking is difficult, blah blah blah
''I'm sure you've heard it a thousand times before.''
What, then, does the former McLaren driver want to talk
about? ''I like the fact that we're back in Europe,'' DC,
''(And) my track record (there) isn't too shabby.''
Villeneuve and Sauber
(GMMf1NET -- Apr.20) All is not well in Jacques
Peter Sauber, the struggling former champion's current grand
prix chief, admitted that the team and driver are at odds.
''We are trying to come together as much as possible,'' he
told Motorsport Aktuell, ''given our ... constraints.''
Speculation is now endemic that the pairing will soon split.
Sauber, though, denied that the problem is a clashing of
''He is a driver who polarizes, very much so,'' the Swiss
admitted, ''but there is no problem on the human side.''
Not even after Villeneuve was removed from the Barcelona
Sauber admitted: ''It was probably not pleasant (for
''And he does need more miles -- but look at (Alex) Wurz in
Bahrain. He had never sat in the new McLaren, yet he was
Jungle Boy 'ready' to sub
(GMMf1NET -- Apr.20) Williams' Antonio Pizzonia will attend
the San Marino grand prix.
It's significant because the Brazilian test driver and
official 'reserve' didn't travel - for example - to
Nick Heidfeld (back) and Mark Webber (rib), remember, both
pulled out of recent tests for the BMW-powered team with
Pizzonia, 24, is ''ready to race,'' he told Speed TV, ''in
case one of the drivers is not in best physical condition.''
Imola to host wet grand prix?
(GMMf1NET -- Apr.20) Rain could fall on the weekend's San
Marino grand prix in Italy.
It rained on Tuesday, and more is forecast for Wednesday,
ahead of an equally iffy weekend prediction.
A mere top of 10-degrees is expected for the first (dry) day
of practice, before cloud rolls in around early evening.
The 'Enzo e Dino Ferrari' circuit, not far from Bologna,
should remain dry all Saturday -- but GP Sunday is a
different matter entirely.
''At this time of year,'' said Williams' Mark Webber, ''it
often rains (at Imola) and temperatures are quite low.
''But normally it's a good time to be in a nice part of the
A 60 per cent chance of grand prix rain exists.
F1 champ's grandson
(GMMf1NET -- Apr.20) The grandson of a world F1 champion
will share Indianapolis' grand prix track in June.
18-year-old Marco Andretti, son of ex-Ayrton Senna teammate
Michael and with 1978 title winner Mario as a granddad, will
steer an IRL 'Infiniti Pro' open wheeler.
Porsche Supercup and Formula BMW USA will also support the
F1 event. ''There are more ... series than ever,'' enthused
Speedway president Joie Chitwood.
Marco's granddad, 65-year-old Mario Andretti, won twelve
grands prix, the Indy 500, the IndyCar championship, the
Daytona 500 and Sebring 12-Hours.
Ferrari plough ahead
(GMMf1NET -- Apr.20) Ferrari continued to plough ahead with
F1 testing in the week of Sunday's grand prix at Imola.
At Monza (Tuesday), Italy's Luca Badoer - in an older F2004M
- ran for a second day on the specially-modified track.
Spanish colleague Marc Gene will take over on Wednesday,
while Badoer travels to Fiorano for the F2005 'shakedown.'
36-year-old Ferrari racer Michael Schumacher, meanwhile,
hinted that luck may have played a part in title leader
Fernando Alonso's runaway start to 2005.
The German commented on his website: ''Events have gone in
(the Renault driver's) favor.
''However we cannot take it for granted that it will
(GMMf1NET -- Apr.20) Tonio Liuzzi has denied he is feeling
the pressure of making a grand prix debut at home.
The Italian, replacing Red Bull's on-form regular Christian
Klien at Imola, was born a two-hour drive from the track.
''(But) I don't feel stressed,'' the reigning F3000
champion, 24, insisted. ''I'm quite relaxed.
''Ok, maybe it would be easier if (fellow Italians) Trulli
and Fisichella had not done so well,'' he grinned to
newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport.
Someone, though, forget to tell the team's technical
director - Guenther Steiner - about Liuzzi's
cool-as-a-cucumber approach to San Marino.
''Tonio will be under some pressure,'' the Italian - with a
German-sounding name - predicted.
''But we will keep him focused on the technical side.''
No 'Friday' car - Sauber
(GMMf1NET -- Apr.20) F1 chief Peter Sauber has ruled out
running a 'third' car in 2005.
Although having reportedly considered the option, Hinwil's
owner and principal told Motorsport Aktuell that Sauber 'do
not need' an extra driver.
''We get (enough) support from Michelin,'' he said, ''to
decide which tire to use.
''And I doubt that a very young driver would be much help
regarding set-up anyway.''
Sauber, who put the 'Friday' cost at around five million
euro, had - however - negotiated with Timo Glock (now in
Champ Car) and Nicolas Kiesa.
He also explained that a fix for the C24's problems is not
likely this year. ''We lack the funding,'' Sauber lamented.
''We will have a proper Michelin car ... only in 2006.''
(GMMf1NET -- Apr.20) Curb, chicane, narrow, undulating,
technical, brakes, chilly, Tifosi.
These are some of the buzzwords on F1's traditional return
to Europe for the San Marino grand prix at Enzo e Dino
Ferrari track, near Bologna.
''It can be tough on the car,'' said McLaren's Kimi
So, too, are the very high curbs, which are - as Jenson
Button found out in 2000 - often a surprise for a rookie
''If you get your line wrong,'' warned Fernando Alonso,
''you're in the barrier.''
For Sauber's Felipe Massa, though, the biggest problem -
despite the many straights and slow corners - is the lack of
''So qualifying is even more important,'' said the
Imola has also, in the past, been called a 'car' - as
opposed to 'driver' - circuit. ''It rewards a complete
car,'' Renault man Giancarlo Fisichella agreed, ''that is
strong in all areas.''
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