Latest F1 news in brief
by Andrew Maitland
June 18, 2005

BMW decision due
(GMMf1NET -- Jun.18) BMW will decide next week whether to plug ahead with Williams or buy Peter Sauber's F1 team.

Principal and co-owner Sir Frank Williams acknowledged at Indianapolis that, in 2006, he may 'have to pay' for power.

''We're waiting for BMW's answer,'' the Briton added.

To speculation, though, that the Munich marque's departure might force Frank to downsize, or even hit the pavement, he insisted: ''We'll still be in business, solidly.''

Peter Sauber, meanwhile, didn't exactly dodge rumors that Mario Theissen may soon be the team principal at Hinwil.

The Swiss said: ''It's not my principle intention to sell the team.

''But it's important to do the right thing at the right time.''

Bernie won't say sorry
(GMMf1NET -- Jun.18) Bernie Ecclestone has refused to apologize to Jacques Villeneuve for claiming the 1997 champ had lost motivation.

''All I said was he's got to get going,'' the 74-year-old F1 'supremo' said, ''and he did.''

JV, 34, qualified his Sauber eighth at Montreal.

But Bernie continued: ''He's got to get motivated.

''I don't believe he's lost his talent, he has not, but Sauber can't win.

''He's stuck in neutral there.''

Peter Sauber, meanwhile, gave short thrift to fresh speculation that the French Canadian might soon be replaced.

''The fact is,'' said the Swiss-German, ''he is still here after all these rumors.''

No F1 ride for Danica
(GMMf1NET -- Jun.18) The only Honda powered vehicle Danica Patrick steered around Indy on Friday was a road car.

And BAR's Nick Fry said there are 'no plans' to try America's top female racer in a F1 cockpit later this summer.

''In the end, (her planned demo run) just proved totally impractical,'' Fry added, explaining that the 23-year-old had a sponsor meeting in Phoenix.

Patrick said in the Paddock: ''I would never say definitely no to F1.''

And, although devoted to the marketing potential of having an American woman on the grid, F1's Bernie Ecclestone will today be hoping the country also has a sense of humor.

He said: ''I've got this wonderful notion of women all dressed in white, like all the other domestic appliances.''

Ralf must pass medical exam
(GMMf1NET -- Jun.18) Toyota's Ralf Schumacher will undergo a medical examination before he is cleared to practice and qualify at Indy on Saturday.

The German complained of blurred vision and underwent a CT scan on Friday after - like one year ago - crashing heavily in the flat out oval turn.

Michelin and Toyota are still determining the cause, but speculation hints at either coincidental debris damage, or running too low tire pressure.

Pierre Dupasquier said: ''There were 17 Michelin cars on the circuit ... and we did not have widespread problems.''

''I'm glad the modifications we requested for the wall,'' said brother Michael, referring to the foam barrier known as SAFER, ''were carried out after last season.

''Ralf is pretty tough anyway.''

Ralf, 29, had tempted fate on Thursday by professing to not being afraid of his accident scene.

''We all know we can crash, big crashes,'' Schumacher said.

''If you fear that, you'd better stop.''

Fernando Barrichello
(GMMf1NET -- Jun.18) Rubens Barrichello will welcome a new son into the world in September.

With F1 rivals Jarno Trulli and Juan Pablo Montoya enjoying first sons Enzo and Sebastian, the Ferrari racer will name his second child Fernando.

Rubens' first son is Eduardo.

''We know it is a boy,'' Barrichello beamed.

''I have been spending time in Miami with my friend Tony Kanaan, which is fine because no one there wants to talk about F1!''

Meanwhile, 29-year-old Juan Pablo Montoya's wife Connie and new born son Sebastian can be spotted in the Indy paddock.

Asked if Sebastian looks more like himself or his wife, Juan turned to McLaren PR lady Ellen Kolby and said: ''Ellen?''

Kolby grinningly replied: ''Well, he's very cute, so I guess he must be more like Connie!''

And Woking boss Ron Dennis commented: ''If the price we pay for Connie being around is that the baby comes too, fine by me.

''She is an extremely positive influence on Juan Pablo.''

F1 cool on Max's rule
(GMMf1NET -- Jun.18) Max Mosley's proposed 2008 F1 regulations received a subdued reception at Indianapolis.

''Whenever something is changed, the cost goes up, not down,'' said independent team owner and boss Peter Sauber.

Perhaps indicating the gravity of the FIA's leaked proposal, though, he added: ''Actually, I haven't read it yet.''

BAR's Nick Fry sung a similar tune: ''I've read it but haven't digested it.

''I'm sure there are good bits and probably not so good bits.''

Sir Frank Williams suggested that Mosley's 'perfect' grid of independent, 30-staff teams is not really Formula One.

He wondered: ''And would it still have the world's third largest sporting TV global footprint?''

Ferrari driver Rubens Barrichello remarked: ''In my life, I always like to go forwards.

''I'm not sure whether it's a good idea to make a backwards step.''

DC had eye test
(GMMf1NET -- Jun.18) F1 veteran David Coulthard had his eyes tested at the Mayo clinic in Minnesota last week.

''I've always had great eyesight,'' he told the Daily Record.

''(I have) 20-15, which is better than 20-20.''

Coulthard, 34, said countryman and triple world champion Sir Jackie Stewart has been advising F1 people to visit the clinic for a check.

Stewart, 64, had a tumor removed from his face at the Mayo clinic, and son Paul was also treated for cancer there.

DC said Mayo recently checked had 48 members of the F1 community.

As well as good eyesight, David is also enjoying a bit of positive speculation at present, with links to BAR for 2006.

The Red Bull driver said: ''It shows my results have been enough to get other teams' attention.

''This is the start of a serious comeback for me.''

Kanaan set for BAR test
(GMMf1NET -- Jun.18) IRL champion Tony Kanaan will test BAR's F1 car later in 2005.

The Brazilian, friend and countryman of the Honda powered team's sporting director Gil de Ferran, is 'definitely' to get a go, Gil said.

And Kanaan added: ''Gil said it's going to happen with the Honda people. It'll be a dream.''

Brackley based BAR will have a race vacancy next year if Jenson Button completes his highly anticipated switch to Williams.

Kanaan suggested that the test was serious, rather than a Danica Patrick-like demo stunt.

''If (BAR) like me,'' he continued, ''they'll have to ask (team boss) Michael (Andretti) what's going to happen.''

Small crowd at Indy
(GMMf1NET -- Jun.18) Two of F1's three German drivers expressed disappointment with the turnout at Indy on Friday.

Williams' Nick Heidfeld noted that the huge, double-decker grandstands were nearly empty for the two practice sessions.

''It's definitely emptier than last year,'' the 28-year-old said.

''But, I mean, it's ok. The Montoya fans are still screaming!

''I am sure it will fill up tomorrow and on Sunday.''

World champion Michael Schumacher also said that less Americans appear to have flocked to the fabled 'Brickyard'.

''On the Friday of previous years here,'' he noted, ''there were more people than today.

''But usually the trend is more for later in the weekend, so I think the attendance will still be high.''

'We'd stay' - Bridgestone
(GMMf1NET -- Jun.18) Bridgestone would offer to become the sole F1 tire supplier if Max Mosley's 2008 regulations vision is realized.

''We want to showcase our technology,'' said the Japanese's technical manager Hisao Suganuma, ''even with a one make (situation).

''We want to be in Formula One.''

Mosley, the FIA president, claims that imposing a single slick tire would improve safety and reduce the need to test.

It will also ensure that no team is affected by being 'contracted to the 'wrong' supplier', an FIA dossier read.

Team orders exist
(GMMf1NET -- Jun.18) Like it or not, team orders exist in F1.

The FIA banned the practice after Austria 2002, where the race leading Rubens Barrichello was ordered to pull over for Michael Schumacher.

But there are ways around the ruling.

''Even Max knows that a team has certain requirements. (It is ok) as long as any maneuvering doesn't grotesquely offend the public,'' Frank Williams said.

Ron Dennis' approach is more subtle.

The McLaren chief, whose main title challenger Kimi Raikkonen is on a desperate hunt to close the gap to Fernando Alonso, said his drivers may choose to pull over because it's in the 'team interest.'

''I don't think that constitutes an instruction by the team,'' the Briton said at Indy.

''It's called having honor and integrity.''

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