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Latest F1 news in brief
by Andrew Maitland
August 12, 2005


Webber 'no' to Renault swap
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.12) Williams driver Mark Webber has shot down suggestions that he will be involved in a 2006 'seat swap' with Renault's Giancarlo Fisichella.

The Australian, whose career is overseen by Renault boss Flavio Briatore - reportedly bearing an uneasy rapport with Italian countryman Fisichella - backed out of the speculation by insisting he is '100 per cent behind' Grove.

''We're not where we want to be in terms of performance,'' 28-year-old Webber - on a two-year deal - admitted to Autosport, ''but I want to keep pushing and for us all to come through the other side.''

An ironic twist to the 'swap' is that it would probably reunite Giancarlo Fisichella with Jenson Button - who he thrashed at Benetton in 2001 - at Sir Frank Williams' team.








Jordan rumors quashed
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.12) Jordan's road back into shape in formula one is a long one, new 'sporting relations manager' Johnny Herbert has warned.

The little Englishman, who in 2000 drove his last grand prix for Jaguar, has been drafted in to help quash new owner Midland's bad image, including that of boss Colin Kolles.

Kolles, for one, has reportedly said off the record that Midland is losing interest because the Paddock has not been at all welcoming.

Herbert, 41, met Midland magnate Alex Shnaider in Hungary.

''His explanation of where they want to go,'' he told Autosport, ''is not anything like all the rumors you hear.''

One such rumor is that Jordan is for sale for $70m. Eddie Irvine, now sniffing around at Minardi, reportedly had a look but baulked at the price.

Herbert said the real problem with such speculation was that there was 'no denial' from the team. ''It was not being addressed,'' he explained.

''Hopefully now they can be.''








Minardi upbeat about '06
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.12) Minardi will race its current 'PS05' car and rev-limited Cosworth V10 engine next year, team boss Paul Stoddart has revealed.

The fifty year old Australian said he is 'incredibly encouraged' that - perhaps unlike other teams and years gone by - the improving back of the grid team will have a 'stable, quick car' for season '06.

''We know that (the car has) got potentially another three seconds in it,'' Stoddart told Autosport magazine, ''and we've just got to find it.''

Unlike nearly every other rival in pitlane, Faenza based Minardi - with the smallest budget - do nearly no testing either on the track or in an aero wind tunnel.

Their advantage for next year, though, is that while the others will switch to 2.4 liter V8s, Minardi - thanks to an FIA provision for small teams - can rev-limit their V10.

Stoddart said: ''We're the only team ... that know exactly the characteristics and performance of their (2006) engine.

''It's a moment in time where Minardi could really do quite well.''








Can Artam to sign '06 F1 deal
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.12) Just as countryman Jason Tahincioglu stepped up as Jordan's one off demo driver, Turkish star Can Artam boasted that he is on the verge of a 'Friday' test deal for the 2006 season.

The 24-year-old, a regular in the support 'GP2' category, reckons he was in line for Tahincioglu's yellow seat before his management said no.

''We have been in touch with several teams since the beginning of the season,'' he said in a statement released by marketing agency Steam Group, ''and we now have finally reached a point where I feel happy about the outcome.''

Artam added that 'senior formula one executives' advised him against the solid offer of a demo-run in Istanbul.

He explained: ''There is no point in getting distracted by a show event. As any other racer, I want to compete in F1, not just act as a F1 driver.''

So where's Artam off to? ''The only thing I can say now,'' he insisted, ''is that it will be a very competitive team.''








'B' Jordan to roll at Monza
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.12) Jordan's long awaited and delayed 'b' car may finally be ready to roll for the Italian GP at Monza next month.

Indian rookie Narain Karthikeyan, at a news conference in Chennai, said the EJ15b - although he would not confirm a definite launch date - will help him beat Minardi and catch up to Sauber.

He said the car is better in 'braking' and 'aerodynamics'.

''It will help us challenge the Saubers and Red Bulls,'' Karthikeyan, 28, explained. ''Braking is the old car's biggest problem.''

Reclaiming the glory of wins and podiums under Eddie Jordan's leadership, such as in 1998 and 1999, though, will no doubt be an even tougher task, according to new 'sporting relations manager' and ex-F1 ace Johnny Herbert.

Asked for a definite debut date for the 'b' car, the little Englishman smiled: ''The earlier the better. No -- I don't know a date at the moment.''

Johnny, 41, warned that, although better than the two-year old EJ15, the 'b' version is 'not going to be a revolution.'








F1 to howl in Adelaide again
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.12) After an absence of more than a decade, the howl of formula one horse power is set to return to the streets of Adelaide.

Minardi magnate Paul Stoddart, said to be considering basing his new OzJet airline in the South Australian capital city, met with Premier Mike Rann on Friday.

Among their discussion was the finishing touches to a plan to see a Faenza-built racer screamed around the former F1 street track during the 'V8 Supercar' event next March.

Adelaide hosted the Australian grand prix between 1985 and 1995 before it moved to rival state Victoria (Melbourne).

''We've had a very, very humorous and good natured meeting,'' fifty year old Stoddart told ABC News in Adelaide.

It is suggested that the formula one principal might even live permanently in the city.

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