Latest F1 news in brief
by Andrew Maitland
August 15, 2005
JV to drive in 'Villeneuve'
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.15) Hollywood heartthrob Leonardo DiCaprio is likely
to play the part of Jacques Villeneuve in the 2007 movie about the
Canadian world champion and his father, Gilles.
34-year-old Villeneuve, who today drives for the Sauber team, also
revealed to La Gazzetta dello Sport that he will do most of the
driving in the film, including those scenes depicting his father, who
died in a Ferrari in 1982.
JV will also advise producers for the screenplay.
''The screenwriters will have to change some stuff to make it more
Hollywood-like,'' Jacques told the Italian newspaper.
He said the actors haven't yet been chosen, but 'won't complain' if
the good-looking and diminutive DiCaprio is picked.
Jacques also revealed that he hoped 'Villeneuve' would further
demolish the rumor that he and his Dad didn't get along.
''I'm proud to be the son of a man so well loved,'' said the driver,
who was 11 when Gilles died. ''He was my hero, but it was important to
make clear that I wasn't him.''
No Renault caution - Symonds
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.15) Renault must not be 'over cautious' in its
campaign to maintain a lead over title rivals McLaren in the '05
That's the warning of engineering director Pat Symonds, who reckons
Hungary - for example - 'slipped through our hands' in the error.
''McLaren are clearly very quick at the moment,'' the Renault chief
told Britain's The Observer newspaper. ''The important thing for
Renault is to maintain the advantage we have carved out.''
In Hungary, a race ceded to Kimi Raikkonen, Symonds lamented Renault's
questionable tire choice.
He admitted: ''We never really got the car dialled in. I think that
was partly a function of concentrating ... our practice running on the
It is also a source of Enstone based concern that many of the
remaining tracks this season are some that are thought to particularly
suit the McLaren racer's strengths.
Symonds, though, noted that at Silverstone - probably Renault's most
worrisome venue - Fernando Alonso was on the pace.
He added: ''I think we will see (the) two teams playing something of a
cat and mouse game all the way through to the end.
''I believe the edge will switch from one camp to the other.''
Ralf's wife in hospital
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.15) Ralf Schumacher's wife took a turn in hospital on
Saturday after a big smash in her Mini at the German Nurburgring
According to reports, Cora Schumacher slid across the gravel after a
tap from a rival racer and smashed into a barrier head-on at 80km/h.
Although not injured, she went to hospital with a sore neck.
The front end of her Mini Cooper, though, was totally destroyed.
''It happened so fast,'' Cora told Bild.
'It's not over yet' - Kimi
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.15) Kimi Raikkonen reckons title rival Fernando
Alonso and his Renault team will have deserved the 2005 championship
-- if the blue and yellow camp lift the crown.
The 25-year-old Finn, who conquered Hungary last month and raced back
into contention, has the quickest car but also one more likely to
''It's not over yet,'' Raikkonen, the McLaren racer, told Germany's
Bild newspaper. ''Maybe now it's my turn for the good luck and he can
have some difficult times.''
Kimi, the hardest driver in F1 to interview, offered a typical
response when asked what he thought of 24-year-old Alonso. ''What can
I say?'' he shrugged. ''I don't know him.''
What the 'Iceman' does know, however, is that his silver car is
quicker than Alonso's Renault. ''The annoying thing is breaking
down,'' he added.
''If Renault win the championship, they have earned it. They're a good
Kimi's boss, Ron Dennis, also won't spit the dummy if McLaren - less
reliable than its rival - is beaten to the checker. The Briton said it
serves 'absolutely no purpose' reflecting on what might have been.
''We have fielded the most ... competitive car this season,'' he
remarked. ''Our percentage of wins, however, reflects the reality that
we have failed to maximize its potential.''
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.15) Whether such antics occur today, perhaps we will
only discover in a decade or so. 1992 champion Nigel Mansell, though,
has an intriguing tale of F1 trickery to impart.
In Adelaide (Australia) for the '94 finale, the Briton found himself
in the late Ayrton Senna's Williams. Perhaps more worthy of note,
though, was the title duel between Michael Schumacher and Damon Hill.
Mansell put his car on pole. ''It was probably the worst moment of my
life,'' he recalled.
Nigel, now 52, says he was 'taken aside' and told to make a slow start
so as not to get in the way of the 'Schu v. Hill' battle. ''I'm not
prepared to say who by,'' he told ITV.
'Our Nige' also recalled how he got into 'so much trouble' for
stopping circuit workmen from - against FIA rules - lowering curbs at
the chicane after Schumacher's Saturday shunt.
In the end, Mansell - after Schumacher took out Hill - won. It was his
thirty first, and last, grand prix victory.
''But what went on beforehand,'' he said, ''has soured my memories of
'Wake up, F1' - Stoddart
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.15) Minardi boss Paul Stoddart has renewed his attack
on formula one's vastly inflated budgets.
While addressing the South Australian Press Club in Adelaide, the
50-year-old millionaire said grand prix racing 'has a PhD in how to
Stoddart said that while Ferrari and Toyota spend $1 billion per year
between them on F1, back of the grid Minardi scrape together 'a
miserable' $36m for the season.
Stoddart said: ''It's time formula one woke up and grew up. These
ridiculous budgets are not sustainable in the long term.''
Stoddart, in town on business for his new domestic OzJet airline, also
backed countryman Mark Webber, who has come under fire for failing to
excel in his first season at Frank Williams' team.
''(He) certainly could be world champion,'' Paul insisted.
Not so hot in Turkey
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.15) Although most F1 travelers will be packing
sunburn lotion and board shorts, the Turkish weather may not live up
to expectations at the first ever grand prix in Istanbul.
Although highs of 40-degrees had been expected, Friday will actually
throw down a shower or two, and a top of 30. It'll be a similar story
on Saturday, although race-day Sunday should at least be dry.
Whatever the forecast, F1 teams are preparing for the worst. BMW's
Mario Theissen, for one, revealed that Williams will fit the 'largest
air intakes possible' to help keep the Budapest-spec V10 engines cool.
Turkey is also likely to be a challenge for the tire makers. Michelin
said it has an eye on the unusually black, new asphalt on the Otodrom
layout. ''(It) will absorb bright sunlight more readily,'' warned the
motor sport director Pierre Dupasquier.
''That will send track temperatures soaring.''
Another V8 day for Ferrari
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.15) Although not formally announced by the Maranello
based team, and while team rivals adhere to a voluntary August test
ban, Ferrari ran a final day of initial V8 testing at Fiorano last
Marc Gene, after shaking down the Turkey bound F2005 cars, hopped back
into the modified 2004 model to verify some repairs to hydraulic
problems encountered earlier in the week.
The Spaniard turned another sixty laps.
''In full acceleration, with the throttle valve wide open,'' he told
Autosport, ''you can feel the difference in power.''
Whether or not Ferrari have recovered much of the 200 horse power loss
by March 2006, though, beleaguered world champion Michael Schumacher
vowed to be back in the running for an eighth drivers' championship
''I still have the hunger,'' the 36-year-old German vowed, ''and if we
make the improvements we need, then I have no doubt we are capable of
winning another championship.''
Schu has eye on tire wear
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.15) Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher, it seems, is
keeping a close eye on Bridgestone's rear tire wear -- even during
Eagle eyed observers noticed that, in Hungary, the German's F2005 was
fitted with asymmetrical rear view mirrors; on the right side, the
mirror was elevated, while the left one remained in a more traditional
Website prancinghorse.co.uk said the unique setup is adjusted based on
where in the world F1 is racing. In Hungary, the right rear will wear
more quickly than the left, so the mirror is situated from a higher
point so as to give Schumacher a better view of the right tire's
''Rubens (Barrichello) does not run (in) this configuration,'' the
Drivers' quali doubted
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.15) Paul Stoddart says F1 drivers' own proposal for
2006 qualifying may not fit into the one hour format.
The Minardi chief reckons their idea, sent to all team principals
after a driver meeting with FIA president Max Mosley, would take
longer than the time allocated as a 'contractual requirement' for TV.
He told Autosport magazine: ''At one or two of the longer tracks, like
Spa ... it'll be hard to find time for everyone to do a (second)
Clearly, Mosley also noted that a potential forty laps (two per
driver) in an hour might look a little congested.
In the FIA president's letter to the team bosses, he said that if they
supported the concept, the governing body would 'prepare a ...
proposal to fit all the laps into the hour.'
Alonso 'not worried'
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.15) 2005 title leader Fernando says he is not
'worried' despite a poor showing in Hungary and a closing gap to world
championship rival Kimi Raikkonen.
The Spaniard did, though, admit that his problems around Budapest
''But in reality,'' the 24-year-old added, ''I think we could have
been pretty competitive with a trouble free race.
''That doesn't matter because ... we need to score points in Turkey.''
Alonso is 26 points ahead of Raikkonen in the drivers' chase, while
Renault lead McLaren by a mere 12 point margin.
Even so, Fernando said he will take the final six grands prix of the
year 'one by one.'
Teammate Giancarlo Fisichella supported Alonso's apparent relaxation
by revealing that the R25, unlike in Hungary, should perform well on
Istanbul's brand new 'Otodrom'.
The Roman said: ''Turkey is much more like the tracks where we have
been successful, and the hot weather is good for our car.''
Jordan eye Davidson
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.15) Jordan is 'definitely' interested in putting BAR
tester Anthony Davidson in a Midland branded formula one race car next
That's the revelation of the Silverstone based camp's sporting
director, Adrian Burgess.
He told Autosport that it is not the case that Midland will only look
at pay-drive options, even though both Tiago Monteiro and Narain
Karthikeyan will be considered.
''If we had a driver of (Davidson's) experience and ability, he'd be
able to tell us a huge amount about the car and how to develop it,''
said Burgess, who actually race engineered for Anthony in F3.
Davidson's BAR deal ends next month. ''I want to stay,'' he told the
magazine. ''It's the team I love.''
What is clear, though, is that the diminutive star from Hemel
Hempstead has had enough of mere testing. ''I've learned as much as I
can,'' the Englishman insisted. ''I have to race again.''
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