Latest F1 news in brief
by Andrew Maitland
June 24, 2005
Spain likes it hot
(GMMf1NET -- Jun.24) McLaren's Juan Pablo Montoya remained on top as
Michelin shod F1 teams again tested at Jerez.
BAR, Renault, Toyota, Red Bull and Sauber joined the silver team in
boiling weather on day two, while Williams - the seventh Michelin crew
- also got pre-Magny Cours preparations under way.
McLaren tester Alex Wurz headed to the medical centre after eight
laps. The Austrian was told to skip the rest of the test with a
Montoya had an engine failure, as did part time Renault runner Heikki
Also in Spain, reigning champion Michael Schumacher showed up at
Barcelona to join Ferrari's Luca Badoer on track.
Jordan had been due to roll out the new 'b' spec EJ15, but reported
fire-up problems now make a Friday debut likely.
F1 fix at Goodwood
(GMMf1NET -- Jun.24) With the sport getting over its Indy debacle and
between back to back grands prix, you can still get your F1 fix this
Ferrari tester Marc Gene will pilot a F2003-GA up the Goodwood hill,
as the famous 'Festival of Speed' event is run.
Ayrton Senna's nephew, Bruno, is slated to drive the 1988 McLaren,
used by the great Brazilian to win his first title.
Nelson Piquet Jr, meanwhile, will steer Williams' Honda-powered FW-11.
In 1986, his father won four races in the car.
A 1993 McLaren will also run, as will Darren turner, in last year's
BAR's Jenson Button and Takuma Sato are set to drive the current 007,
while sporting director Gil de Ferran will get behind the wheel of the
Honda NSX GT racer.
''We play a little bit,'' said Button, ''doing donuts and burnouts.''
BMW motor sport director Dr Mario Theissen will drive a M3 GTR, and
Vitantonio Liuzzi the Red Bull Formula One car.
Goodwood is held at the Earl of March's Sussex property.
More scorn in Indy wreck
(GMMf1NET -- Jun.24) Tomas Scheckter has added his voice to
'disappointment' about last Sunday's F1 fiasco at Indy.
The South African, son of Ferrari's 1979 world champion Jody and a
regular in the Indy Racing League, said an American series would not
have unleashed a farce on its fans.
Tomas is also a former Jaguar F1 test driver.
''I think F1 is so out of control in popularity and ego,'' he told
Times Dispatch, ''(they) forget the people that make it possible to go
''The more time I spend in America, the more I learn how ... (we)
appreciate the fans.''
Former F1 paddock personality and Spaniard Joan Villadelprat,
meanwhile, told the 'Marca' newspaper that the FIA and Ferrari were
not at fault for baulking at Michelin teams' call for a chicane.
The ex-McLaren, Ferrari, Benetton, Tyrrell and Prost man said F1 might
have found itself in even hotter water had Max Mosley sanctioned the
''Imagine someone crashed at the chicane and died,'' he said.
''It would have gone to an American court and they would find that the
course (was) changed without all the correct procedures in place.''
F1 fate at stake
(GMMf1NET -- Jun.24) June 29 may be a crucial date in the history of
modern Formula One.
That's the warning of Paul Stoddart, after all seven Michelin teams -
everyone except his Minardi camp, Ferrari and Jordan - were summoned
to the FIA world council.
They face sanctions for bringing the sport into disrepute in last
weekend's six-car catastrophe at Indianapolis.
It could, Stoddart suggested, prove the ultimate stand off between the
teams and carmakers' lack of faith in the FIA president, Max Mosley.
He told Reuters: ''If (it) goes wrong, F1 will be facing the biggest
crisis ... in its ... history.''
Mosley, though, promised a 'calm and polite' atmosphere at next
Wednesday's FIA summit.
''There are two sides to every story,'' he said.
''We'll listen carefully. The Council ... will ... take a decision
that is fair and balanced.''
Kimi 'held back' in US
(GMMf1NET -- Jun.24) Kimi Raikkonen had to be 'almost physically'
restrained from taking the grid in Sunday's fated six car grand prix
McLaren boss Ron Dennis told Autosport that the Finn, desperate to
close the title gap to Fernando Alonso, took a bit of 'holding back'
before agreeing to pull into pitlane.
He added: ''How can anyone ... suggest that guys like these hit a
speed limiter button in a racing situation?''
Dennis' comments should be seen, although far more veiled than Paul
Stoddart's recent eruptions, as a criticism of Max Mosley's decision
to not sanction a chicane.
The FIA president said he offered to set up a pitlane-like 'speed
trap' for Michelin runners, worried about unsafe tires, in turn-13.
''It's incredible,'' Dennis' comments concluded.
Tire rule to blame - Luca M.
(GMMf1NET -- Jun.24) Luca di Montezemolo has declined to aim fire at
Michelin following Sunday's Indy indignity.
Ferrari's president, instead, said the wayward tire regulations should
cop the blame.
''We've won with Michelin in the past,'' the Italian told La Gazzetta
dello Sport, ''so I have much respect for them.''
Montezemolo said the controversial single-tire regulation - requiring
'risk' and 'extreme innovation' - would 'inevitably' have caught
''So when there are problems,'' he added, ''they tend to be magnified.
''Thus F1 lived maybe its blackest moment.''
But he had only praise for the governing FIA, who did not 'surrender
''This is not a circus,'' the Italian said, slamming Michelin teams'
call for a chicane.
(GMMf1NET -- Jun.24) If Indy's ill fated grand prix had enjoyed a
twenty car grid, pole sitter Jarno Trulli would have pitted on lap-2.
According to ITV, when the Italian qualified with three laps of fuel
on board, his Michelin clad team already knew Sunday's race was a
ITV pit reporter Ted Kravitz wrote: ''How did they know? Because they
now employ Pascal Vasselon, ex-Michelin ... manager.''
And, with all the pre-race talk of a chicane, ''(He) is probably now a
very relieved man.''
Kravitz said Vasselon's contacts back at Michelin would have told him
that there was no way bosses were going to green light the race.
''So, with that knowledge,'' Ted continued, ''they sent Trulli out to
grab the pole.''
Rossi rules out F1
(GMMf1NET -- Jun.24) MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi has closed the
lid on a speculated switch to Formula One.
The Italian vowed to 'stick to motorbikes' after watching the Canadian
grand prix on TV.
''I realize that the driver's task is to take the car to the finish,''
Rossi told La Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper.
''I won't take F1 in consideration for my future.''
Alonso cringed at Schu 'walk'
(GMMf1NET -- Jun.24) Fernando Alonso cringed when the fifth light went
out on Michael Schumacher's 'present from heaven' in the United
Schumacher's victory in the six-car walk put him within three points
of challenger Kimi Raikkonen, and just twenty five behind Renault's
''Sure, I was very sorry not to race,'' the 23-year-old told f1.com,
''and it is not easy to see your competitor have an easy walk to
Spain's Alonso said the real battle will resume at Magny Cours.
''We will fight it out on the track,'' he added, ''not in a meeting.''
Wounded Williams' next move
(GMMf1NET -- Jun.24) Williams has issued a stern 'no comment' to news
that works engine partner BMW went and bought F1 team rival Sauber.
''And that might be the case for some time,'' a spokesman at Grove
told The Guardian newspaper.
Speculation, for the time being, doubts the likelihood of a customer
BMW deal, and instead points to a deal either with Toyota or Cosworth.
Amid Williams' predicament, meanwhile, is a rumor that Sir Frank may -
at the whim of an appealing commercial offer - be successfully
convinced to switch from Michelin to Bridgestone next year.
Indeed, at Indianapolis, Bridgestone's director of motor sport,
Hiroshi Yasukawa, admitted to some 'concern' about the tire
'imbalance' up and down pitlane.
''Ten teams are running in F1,'' said the Japanese, ''and now we
support just three.
''Maybe we can have one or two more teams, this is true.''
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