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 Munich carmaker.

''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 Budapest.

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 aerodynamic department.''

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 Hungaroring.

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 law.''

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 BAR.

''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 one.

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, ''that's it.''

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 - grinned.

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 Minardi.

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 not.''

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 ever.

''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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