Latest F1 news in brief
by Andrew Maitland
July 30, 2005
Williams' engine on way
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.30) Williams' 2006 engine supplier will be
signed and sealed within the next two weeks.
And team boss Frank Williams, although thought to favour
Cosworth next year before a semi-works Toyota deal could
kick off in 2007, refused to rule out a final stop-gap
season with BMW.
He said in Budapest: ''We will be signing one contract in
the next fortnight at the very most.''
Some say Frank is holding out for Jordan's early-August
Toyota contract deadline. If the Midland owned team fail to
stump up with the cash, Williams could land Japanese power.
But of the BMW link, Sir Frank added: ''They've asked us to
stay for one more year.''
Williams recently tested BMW's 2006 V8 engine, even though
the team may soon split altogether with the Sauber-owning
''All we can say is that we've got some good options for the
future,'' technical director Sam Michael commented.
Work stopped on 'RB1'
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.30) Like at Ferrari, development of Red
Bull's current 'RB1' car has been stopped in favour of
working on next year's challenger.
Technical director Guenther Steiner said the final bodywork
package for David Coulthard's 2005 car was fitted for the
Hungarian grand prix.
''Now we concentrate fully on the RB2,'' he said in
Renowned designer Mark Smith is leading the Ferrari powered
car's design, while Steiner revealed that a second wind
tunnel will be operational from September this year.
He added: ''That will mean a lot more people in our
Pedro set for McLaren return
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.30) Pedro de la Rosa will probably return
to McLaren's 'Friday' cockpit in Turkey following the three
week summer breather.
The Woking based team's 'Formula One CEO' Martin Whitmarsh
said in Budapest that a decision hadn't been made.
''Ordinarily we are alternating,'' said the Briton, ''and we
are keen to be as fair as we can possibly be.''
Austria's Wurz, McLaren's more experienced test driver,
drove the spare silver car at the Hungaroring.
Whitmarsh said the selection for each race is 'typically'
based on the drivers' performance in a pre-race test.
With Turkey following a complete track ban, though, McLaren
will most likely make the switch in de la Rosa's favour.
'GPMA' met with Max
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.30) Formula One began to plot a new course
to peace on Friday when the rogue carmakers' GPMA group met
with FIA president Max Mosley in France.
BMW's Burkhard Goeschel, Toyota's Tsutomu Tomita and John
Howett, and - representing the teams - Ron Dennis of
McLaren, travelled to Cannes for what was described as a
'very good' meeting.
''I think both sides were able to establish they were much
closer to one another than had perhaps been supposed,'' said
McLaren's Martin Whitmarsh.
Howett, meanwhile - who is Toyota's F1 president - reckons
the meeting may have made a 'breakaway' championship beyond
2007 'less likely.'
Tobacco races on in F1
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.30) McLaren's nine year tobacco sponsor
'West' was removed from the silver car overnight, but it is
believed that Ferrari, Renault, BAR and Jordan will continue
to advertise cigarettes on their F1 liveries at the
Italian based Ferrari is not subject to the British
legislation, and the final trio will race ahead as planned
after the UK government declined to issue expected legal
clarification on Friday.
The news enraged anti-smoking group ASH, who said the teams
were acting in a 'deplorable' manner.
''It is ... regrettable that the European Commission has not
given member states clear guidance on the implementation of
the (law),'' said ASH's Deborah Arnott.
''But that does not give Formula One free rein to ignore the
ASH singled out Renault and Ferrari, who it says will carry
tobacco liveries 'in defiance' of the European ban.
Jordan retain Toyota power
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.30) After a long delay, Midland-owned F1
team Jordan has announced that it will retain customer
Toyota engines for the 2006 season.
Team boss Colin Kolles said the Japanese carmaker, to supply
the new V8 to the Silverstone based team which will next
year be known as 'Midland F1', is 'magnanimous' in 'putting
Formula One above (its) own exclusivity.'
''I hope we can help Toyota in the battle for world
championship honours,'' he added.
Toyota principal Tsutomu Tomita said: ''It has always been a
priority for Toyota to support the independent teams.''
Button's not for sale
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.30) Sir Frank Williams vowed to fight
Jenson Button in court if BAR's racer doesn't slip quietly
to Grove for the 2006 season.
The team boss issued a stern 'NO' to the English driver's
plea to dodge a contract he signed months ago and stay at
''There needs to be a clear understanding of the word
commitment,'' Frank said in Hungary.
''He should be better advised -- once you give your word,
you should keep it.
''English law is as clear as it comes. We will defend
ourselves in court.''
If Williams is playing a hand of poker in upping the price
of a transfer-deal with BAR, then he's playing a very good
Indeed, Sir Frank said some 2006 sponsorship deals rely on
Button's imminent arrival. ''In capital letters, Jenson is
not for sale,'' he insisted.
F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone also waded into the 'Buttongate
2' saga by warning the young Briton to 'stick to what you've
agreed to do.
''When you sign a contract,'' the 74-year-old added,
No engine change - Schu
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.30) Mercifully for Michael Schumacher, his
electrical breakdown on Friday did not dictate a change of
engine in Hungary.
The loss of track time, said Ferrari's seven time world
champion, is not really a problem as he knows his way around
the tight and twisty layout.
''I have been around here a few times,'' the 36-year-old
German - on his fourteenth visit to the Budapest circuit -
Schumacher also played down teammate Rubens Barrichello's
mark as the quickest race driver in Friday morning running.
He said: ''We have seen before that being good on Friday is
not a guarantee that we will be good in the race.''
Irvine is Minardi buyer '37'
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.30) Paul Stoddart says Eddie Irvine is the
thirty seventh guy to knock on his door wanting to buy
With that, the Faenza based chief played down speculation
that Irvine - the former Ferrari and Jaguar driver - and a
Russian backer were set to drive him out of the paddock.
''There always are discussions,'' Stoddart told Reuters.
''I'm up to number 37 now.''
He said Minardi has been for sale since 2001 -- Stoddart's
first year as team principal. He would sell, in a flash, to
a manufacturer like VW or Hyundai.
Paul added: ''But am I desperate to sell? Categorically
No 'big' aero change - teams
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.30) Team chiefs have effectively ruled out
a swift 2006 rule change to make it easier for one Formula
One car to follow another.
The biggest criticism of this year's slow-down aerodynamic
changes is that passing, even on an overtaking-friendly
circuit like Hockenheim, is now much more difficult than
''It's quite late to make a big (rule) change,'' said BAR
technical director Geoff Willis.
''To suddenly make a change now without finding out what is
the right way to go would be wrong.''
Even if his colleagues disagree, the likelihood of a change
in time for next year is remote, as it would require an
unanimous team vote.
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