Latest F1 news in brief
by Andrew Maitland
August 10, 2005
BAR's new title sponsor?
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.10) 'Intel' is on the road to a major sponsorship
deal with an F1 team.
Speculation says the computer chip maker, already with a small Toyota
contract, is in talks with BAR, McLaren and Williams about 2006 and
Intel's F1 interest is reportedly in response to key rival AMD's
presence in the sport.
Website bar-talk.com said the Brackley based team has offered Intel a
title sponsorship deal to effectively replace co-owner BAT's tobacco
sponsor Lucky Strike.
A source said: ''Make no mistake, BAR Honda is a serious contender for
F1 bomb scare in Rotterdam
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.10) Up to 300,000 lined Rotterdam's streets on Sunday
to see Dutch locals Christijan Albers and Robert Doornbos burn rubber.
The 'Monaco aan de Maas' event, though, also hit the headlines for the
wrong reasons, after a bomb scare led to the arrests of three people.
An email, allegedly from Muslims and sparking a lengthy police search,
falsely warned that bombs had been planted along the 3km route.
''(The program) demonstrates the value of events that bring ...
formula one closer to the fans,'' said Minardi boss Paul Stoddart.
Meanwhile, it has been clarified that Albers' appearance at the
upcoming DTM race in Zandvoort will not include a shoot out between
his Minardi and Mika Hakkinen, at the wheel of a DTM.
''All attention will go to Christijan attacking the four year old
track record,'' read an albersf1.com press release.
Stoddart said an F1 car would be sent to the late August event even
though the little Faenza based team will be testing at Monza on the
days just prior to the Zandvoort race.
''By using some of our British based personnel,'' he said, ''we have
been able to accommodate both commitments.''
Ferrari make early V8 debut
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.10) After a mock up prototype recently hit the track,
Ferrari - one month ahead of schedule - debuted its actual 2006 2.4
liter V8 at Fiorano on Tuesday.
According to Italian reports, Marc Gene lapped the private facility
three seconds slower than Michael Schumacher's best with a current
The Spanish tester, in a modified 2004 car and the V8, completed a
total of just under 100km.
Ferrari confirmed that Tuesday's test was an 'engine testing program
aimed at next year.'
''The sound (of the V8 engine) is ... just as loud (as the V10),''
said the German 'Bild' newspaper. Bild also said the engine is about
730 horse power -- approximately 220 less than the V10.
BMW, Toyota and Honda have already track debuted their V8s. Gene will
continue on Wednesday.
Narain's Indian 'insult'
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.10) Jordan's Indian rookie, Narain Karthikeyan, has
backed away from claims that his country could soon host a grand prix.
After talking up the event's future prospects, the 28-year-old told
the Pioneer newspaper that getting ready for an inaugural race would
be 'tough' for any Indian state.
''No city in India is ready to host a race,'' Karthikeyan added.
''It requires huge infrastructural development.''
Narain, though, has apparently met with a government minister about
throwing a F1 race in Chennai.
He also insisted that several teams have 'approached' him about
switching camps for 2006.
''Some other formula one teams have been impressed with my performance
so far,'' he told India Express. ''But it's too early to decide on the
Elsewhere in India, the 'Mahatma Gandhi National Foundation' has
called on the government to ban Karthikeyan from using the Indian flag
design on his grand prix helmet.
Eby J. Jose, president, said the tricolor design - with replicas for
sale on his website and featuring commercial logos - was an 'insult'.
'Theissen for BMW top job'
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.10) Peter Sauber says Mario Theissen should take over
as team principal at his Hinwil based F1 team.
The Swiss, who has sold Sauber to German carmaker BMW, reckons the
current BMW motor sport director is a worthy front runner for the
Peter Sauber told 'Sport1': ''Mario Theissen would fulfill the
requirements for the job. I personally hope that he makes it.''
Sauber, who will step down as owner and principal after December 31
this year, will retain a part time role as an 'advisor' for BMW next
Turkey's 'nervous' F1 debut
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.10) Nobody, not even the circuit's designer, knows
what to expect at the first ever Turkish grand prix this month.
Renowned track creator Hermann Tilke - who also penned Sepang,
Shanghai, Bahrain and the new Hockenheim - says he is 'a bit nervous'
ahead of August 21.
The German added: ''There's so many things that can go wrong.
''It's only after the first race that we'll be able to make a judgment
of what it's like.''
Preparing for a brand new circuit is also an arduous task for the
drivers. For Williams' Nick Heidfeld, the most obvious training was to
hop out to the local shop to pick up a copy of the latest formula one
''Obviously, the possibilities of preparing for a race are limited
when you haven't got proper data,'' he said.
''I'll also prepare in our simulator at the Williams factory.''
What can be properly predicted, though, is the weather. Most experts
agree that Istanbul will be as hot, if not even hotter, than Hungary.
'We'll lift crown' - BAR
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.10) Two thirds into what might be described as BAR's
annus horribilus, boss Nick Fry reckons the Brackley team will
ultimately win the title.
For sure, it won't happen this year. But the BAR CEO said that with
part-owner Honda's full backing, formula one's ultimate prize is
''(Honda) have done it enough times before. There's no reason why we
shouldn't do it again,'' he said.
While Honda have indeed done it all before - six times with Williams
and McLaren in the eighties and nineties - BAR, founded in 1999 and
banned for two races this year, have not.
Fry, though, insisted that his world championship boast is made with
'a straight face.'
''We know it's going to be difficult,'' the Briton continued, ''but we
are convinced it will happen, otherwise we wouldn't bother.''
Hakkinen denies F1 return
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.10) Mika Hakkinen has slam dunked media gossip that
he may return to formula one with BMW's new works team next year.
The Finn, who retired as a two-time McLaren world champion in 2001 but
returned to racing this year in the German DTM series, was linked by
Germany's 'Bild' publication to alleged Sauber talks.
Bild said BMW's Mario Theissen would almost certainly pay Jacques
Villeneuve up to $4.5 million to cancel his 2006 driver contract.
Williams' Nick Heidfeld is considered favorite for the other seat, and
may even have already signed a letter of intent.
''There are many options,'' BMW director Mario Theissen said, ''but
still no decision.''
36-year-old Hakkinen, though, told Autosport that he is not one of
those options. ''I'm extremely comfortable in the Mercedes family,''
''I don't fully understand where this story comes from,'' he added.
''I know of no contact, but you should ask my manager.''
Indeed, Mika Hakkinen's manager, Didier Coton, called the Bild story
Stoddart to auction F1 gear
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.10) Minardi boss Paul Stoddart is to hold another
auction of formula one equipment and memorabilia.
After the Australian sold Minardi, Tyrrell, Arrows, BAR and Benetton
gear from his personal collection last year, he has again asked
auctioneers Bache Treharne to do the same at his Ledbury HQ.
''F1 cars will go under the hammer as well,'' Paul Stoddart said,
''with this being the final opportunity to purchase the former Arrows
F1 equipment in a public sale.''
The auction is set for September 17 and 18.
Button rekindles love affair
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.10) English formula one driver Jenson Button and
ex-fiancÚ Louise Griffiths are reportedly back together.
The UK's 'Sunday Mirror' tabloid said the BAR star, who dumped
27-year-old Griffiths three months ago, celebrated their reunion at a
St Tropez hotel at the weekend.
''Jenson called the wedding off because he got cold feet,'' the
newspaper quoted an alleged 'friend' of the pair.
''But he's never stopped loving (her).''
Schu 'unbelievable' - rivals
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.10) Win or lose, Ferrari's Michael Schumacher is the
most lauded formula one driver of the time.
And, with seven world championships behind him, the 36-year-old
German's plaudits come from rivals past, and present.
Mika Hakkinen, title winner in 1998 and 1999, marvels at Schumacher's
ability to dig deep whether he is a front runner or, more relevant to
this season, a mid field dweller.
''Michael is unbelievable,'' Mika told the Bild tabloid. ''He can be
having a poor run but still say 'I want, I want, I want'. That is
Similarly, '05 champion-elect Fernando Alonso sees Schumacher's seven
drivers' titles as granting him the right to be called the 'best
''But that was the past,'' the 24-year-old Spaniard hastily added.
''Now is now.''
Meanwhile, Hakkinen - now a regular in the DTM category - recoiled
when asked what advice he could offer friend and compatriot Kimi
Raikkonen in his own battle for F1's crown.
''He doesn't need my advice,'' Mika explained.
''Kimi is so good that I think I have nothing to tell him about
racing. Maybe off the track I can give him some tips.''
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