Latest F1 news in brief
by Andrew Maitland
August 22, 2005
Williams' failures explained?
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.22) As the Sunday sun disappeared in Istanbul, no-one
was any the wiser as to why Williams - and no other F1 team - suffered
five right-rear tire failures at the 'Otodrom' venue.
Michelin's director of F1 activity, Nick Shorrock, vowed to check the
condition of the other French made tires in the Turkish grand prix.
''But this is a problem that we have seen only on the Williams cars,''
In that way, then, any correlation between the failures and the
Indianapolis pullout is perhaps not fair, although it is true that -
at the ill fated US grand prix - only Toyota appeared affected.
One piece of speculation in the Turkish paddock, though, is that the
FIA were sent a note from Michelin before the race that its seven
teams had been told to stay away from the sharp edge of the turn-13
The Clermont-Ferrand tire supplier apparently ascertained that Mark
Webber's practice failure - on his right rear - was caused by the rim
rubbing on the curb.
Michelin encountered a similar problem at Spa last year.
F1 summit in Istanbul
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.22) F1's 'GPMA' alliance, otherwise known as every
team and carmaker except Ferrari, met in Istanbul on Saturday
The object was to prepare for the August 31 meeting with FIA president
Max Mosley, slated as the first step to reconciliation with regards to
regulations for 2008 and beyond.
Also discussed was a change of qualifying format for 2006, but
McLaren's Ron Dennis reckons that - so late in the design process of
new cars - scrapping the single lap system is 'virtually impossible.'
He added: ''We have now moved beyond the point ... that we can (do)
qualifying with no fuel.''
Weber to field A1 team
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.22) Willi Weber, manager of formula one's famous
Schumacher brothers, will run a German national team in September's
all new 'A1' open wheeler series.
Timo Scheider is set to take the wheel, 'Mr. 20 per cent' confirmed at
the Turkish grand prix, at a test on Wednesday.
GP2 personality David Sears will manage the German team.
''David is one of the best team managers,'' Weber said, ''and Timo one
of the best drivers.''
Tyson brings Kimi luck
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.22) Controversial boxer Mike Tyson brought Kimi
Raikkonen good luck before the Finn drove his McLaren to victory in
''It was nice to see him,'' the deadpan McLaren driver, referring to
his grid visit, said.
''He said 'good luck' and that's it.''
Tyson, a newcomer to the world of grand prix racing, was a guest of
Renault's F1 team principal Flavio Briatore.
Raikkonen, though, probably didn't need a lot of luck. With the
fastest car in the field, the 25 year old confirmed that - a few
annoying back markers aside - the ride to the flag was 'not too hard.'
''But I was not too happy with some of the (lapped cars),'' he added.
However, he could have done with a bit more luck in the
Monteiro-Montoya stakes. If not for their late race clash, Alonso
would be four - not just two - points closer to Raikkonen's
'It's not perfect,' Kimi agreed, 'but I can't do anything more than
win. Two points are betting than none.''
One 'b' Jordan for Monza run
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.22) Jordan will revert to the rather low-tech toss of
a coin to determine who will drive the single 'b' spec racer at Monza.
After a string of debut delays, India's Narain Karthikeyan revealed in
Turkey that the Italian grand prix had finally got the green light --
pending the outcome of a pre-race Monza run.
''Tiago (Monteiro) and I will share the car (at the test session) and
if things go alright we'll have the car in Monza.''
But, although the troubled EJ15 has been up and running for weeks,
only one - for now - exists. Karthikeyan, 28, said the team will toss
a coin after the test to determine who gets to race it.
''They said the coin will decide,'' he told the Indian Times.
A second car will then be ready for the Belgian grand prix.
Traffic chaos in Turkey
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.22) Enthusiastic back-seat chatter about Kimi
Raikkonen and the challenging Turkish layout soon disappeared as
thousands of F1-goers became locked in a traffic nightmare.
75,000 showed up at the 'Otodrom' - usually a 45-minute drive from
Istanbul - to watch the inaugural grand prix.
But some fans said they had to abandon their cars on the road
approaching Istanbul Park before the kick off, and then the trip home
A media report said one traffic jam stretched for 15kms.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a spectator and podium presenter
at the circuit, called the problems 'small.
''These shortcomings will be overcome,'' he insisted, ''and this will
become the world's premier (grand prix).''
Bernie wins website name
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.22) Bernie Ecclestone has won a legal challenge for
control of the F1.ch internet domain in China.
The F1 supremo's Formula One Licensing arm complained to the China
International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission when it
discovered that a Chinese computer company owned the domain.
'Zhihui Dongfang Information and Technology' used the website for an
online computer education program. The 'F1' connection is that, on a
computer keyboard, the F1 key activates a help function.
Bernie's company, though, claims it is the 'owner' of the F1 brand,
and - in the arbitration court - said 'Zhihui' is infringing upon its
intellectual property rights.
The winner? Ecclestone. The Beijing based company has already lodged
an appeal with the Intermediate People's Court.
BAR offer to buy Button
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.22) BAR has offered to pay Williams for Jenson
Button's 2005 services.
The two formula one teams both want the English driver, but he -
already at BAR and desperate to stay with the Brackley team - signed a
Williams contract last September.
Sir Frank Williams is adamant that no amount of money or persuasion,
even the 25-year-old's plea that he doesn't want to drive the blue and
white car, will change his mind.
BAR CEO Nick Fry, though, said the Honda co-owned team is 'open' to a
''If it helps, and Williams want to involve us,'' he said, ''then we
are all open to help.
''(But) it is up to them to make a suggestion.''
Frank, the Grove co-owner and principal, has publicly criticized BAR
for getting involved in the Button-Williams squabble, which he says
has nothing to do with what effectively is a 'third party.' Legally,
too, BAR would be unwise to start fiddling around with others'
Honda's Yasuhiro Wada, meanwhile, doubted that cash is the answer. ''I
don't think it is the way to go,'' the racing boss said, ''but we may
have to think about it.''
Schu finds new 'guru'
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.22) Michael Schumacher has lined up a successor for
friend and full time physiotherapist Balbir Singh.
The 42-year-old Indian massaged, prepared food and acted as a sort of
'spiritual guide' for the seven time world champion for the last time
at the Turkish grand prix.
Schumacher's replacement 'guru' is Michael Harner, already a regular
at the number one Ferrari driver's tests.
''We are on the same wavelength and get on with each other really
well,'' Schumacher, 36, said in Istanbul.
''It's a new chapter. I found such a friend in Balbir and it's a bit
of a sad feeling.''
Singh, a part of the Schumacher army since 1996, is pulling out of
formula one to give more time to his wife and two young children. He
plans to start a 'wellness centre' near Cologne in Germany.
He concluded: ''I thank God that He gave me the opportunity to get to
know Michael and to become his friend.''
Schumacher's sadness was also tinged with frustration in Istanbul. He
tangled with a furious Mark Webber in the race and spent much of the
rest of his afternoon trundling around, hoping for retirements so as
to minimize the damage of an early qualifying slot next time out.
The dissatisfied German shrugged: ''We didn't really expect to achieve
Montoya move 'stupid'
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.22) If Tiago Monteiro had said 'sorry, my fault,' yet
another slanging match would have been averted in Istanbul.
The Portuguese rookie, though - two laps down in his Jordan - is
adamant that Juan Pablo Montoya only had himself to blame after
Monteiro punted the Colombian out of second place.
The clash, eerily reminiscent of the one involving Jos Verstappen that
denied Montoya of maiden victory in 2001, saw Juan Pablo lap
28-year-old Tiago and immediately re-join the racing line while still
''I couldn't avoid him,'' Monteiro - whose painful Turkish toothache
was relieved by Jordan principal and former dentist Colin Kolles on
Saturday night - insisted.
''It was stupid.
''I braked early and he braked really early -- and really hard. My
wheels locked. I don't understand why he did it.''
With a damaged diffuser, Montoya later spun and handed his place to
Renault's Fernando Alonso. It hurt not only for McLaren's
constructors' championship charge, but also that of teammate Kimi
McLaren boss Ron Dennis weighed in on the row, as did Mercedes' motor
sport director Norbert Haug. ''I don't want to make a big deal out of
it,'' said the German, ''but it doesn't ring very correct to me when a
rookie wants to give driving lessons to the more experienced guy.''
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