Latest F1 news in brief
by Andrew Maitland
August 24, 2005
Massa tests Ferrari at Monza
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.24) It was a case of past-meets-future at Monza on
Tuesday, as future Ferrari driver Felipe Massa got a sneak preview of
2006 at the wheel of a red car.
In the other F2005? Departing six-year incumbent and compatriot,
Alone on the Autodromo Nazionale, ahead of the busy multi-car test to
kick off on Wednesday, Barrichello - predictably - led the Maranello
charge with a lap time nearly a second quicker than the younger
Massa, who has five races yet to run in his Sauber, will test
alongside Luca Badoer on Wednesday and Thursday, before he slips back
into a Hinwil mount.
''In the morning I just familiarized myself with the car,'' said
Felipe, ''and in the afternoon I did some setup.''
BAR, Toyota, McLaren, Renault, Williams, Red Bull, Sauber and Jordan -
every team except Minardi - will get into gear in Italy on Wednesday.
Baby to blame
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.24) A mother and baby have copped the blame for
Giancarlo Fisichella's latest run of bad luck in his Renault squad.
The Roman, after qualifying ahead of team leader Fernando Alonso in
Turkey and leading the race early on, lost a pile of time in the pits
when a problem struck during refueling.
''The person in charge of refueling was new,'' Renault boss Flavio
Briatore told La Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper.
Why trial a new guy when the 32-year-old Roman finally looked set for
a tasty grand prix? Briatore explained that the regular refueling man
was at hospital for the birth of his and his wife's child.
V10 gets further restriction
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.24) An air restrictor, as well as a rev limit, aims
to ensure that no other team will be tempted to join Minardi in opting
to stick with the V10 formula next year.
Anyway, all manufacturer teams signed a letter in Istanbul committing
themselves to the new 2.4 liter V8 format, amid fears that - even with
the restrictions - the V10 may be quicker.
It should be noted, however, that the 'letter' is more a 'gentleman's
agreement' - much like the current 30-day test limit - than a binding
To illustrate the point, Toyota and BAR will - in an agreement
'loophole' - take more than two cars to the Monza test, but still
adhere to the agreement by only running two on track at any time.
The other teams have vowed to stick to the spirit of the accord by
unveiling just two cars at the Italian test venue.
'Monza should suit Ferrari'
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.24) Monza should be a better race for Ferrari,
according to departing driver Rubens Barrichello.
How can the Brazilian, who finished out of the points in Istanbul, be
so sure? Firstly, the Brazilian reckons, it can hardly get worse.
Barrichello, 33, said the Bridgestone tire taken to the inaugural
Turkish event was 'far too hard' -- but that's not the end of the
story, he added.
''We need to understand, test, and I'm testing in Monza for one day to
help the team improve the situation and go quicker in the next
The high speed Italian grand prix, Rubens continued, should suit the
scarlet camp as top speed, traction and braking is more important than
''We should be quick (at Monza).''
From F1 boss to golf caddie
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.24) In one swift stroke this week, Eddie Jordan will
no longer be thought of as formula one's former rock'n'roll team owner
-- now, he's just a golf caddie.
The Irishman will carry the clubs for compatriot Paul McGinley at the
BMW International Championship in Munich.
''This was a bit of a joke when it first came up,'' Jordan, 56, who
sold his yellow clad team earlier this year, smiled.
''There were lots of things I wanted to do in 'retirement' and
caddying for a top class pro like Paul was one of them.''
Even so, EJ is 'staggered' that McGinley wants him to stand in for
regular Darren Reynolds at the prestige event.
McGinley said: ''We've been friends for years and years. I only hope
my driving is better this week than his cars over the past couple of
Jordan plays off a handicap of 12.
Massa 'hungrier than Schu'
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.24) Felipe Massa's Sauber teammate Jacques Villeneuve
has tipped the young Brazilian to give Michael Schumacher a run for
his money at Ferrari next year.
Villeneuve, the Canadian whose 1997 title rival was a defeated
Schumacher, said 24-year-old Massa is likely to be 'more hungry' than
a champion who has been there 'forever.
''It could mean that Felipe beats Michael,'' said JV, who knows well
what it feels like to be outdone by the youngster.
The 34-year-old Villeneuve continued: ''There is always the chance
(that) a newcomer ... really takes risks ... and beats you. It doesn't
mean the person is necessarily faster than you.''
If Massa expects an easy ride at the Italian stable, though, he should
probably think again. Ferrari boss Jean Todt reckons a
down-in-the-dumps Schumacher is the German's most dangerous
''He is like someone who has the hunger and has not eaten,'' the
Frenchman told La Gazzetta dello Sport, ''so when food arrives the
plate is thrown ahead with more force.''
Ferrari focus on 2006
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.24) Ferrari has given up on 2005 but will keep
pushing in order to produce a better 2006 package.
That's the claim of Jean Todt, who - in a rare deed of defeatism -
gave up on the drivers' and carmakers' titles even if they are
mathematically still retainable.
''Working in 2005 should help us for 2006 as well,'' he said.
Although the current car will be modified to suit the remaining
circuits, though, development of F2005 was stopped quite a while ago.
All focus is on the 2006 racer.
However, where the work will remain unrelenting is in the
(Bridgestone) tire department. ''Developing (them) is crucial,'' Jean
''Everything we do now is good learning, I hope, for 2006.''
'Williams likely to beat BMW'
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.24) A Cosworth-powered Williams car will probably
beat a BMW-powered Sauber car next season.
That's the admission of BMW motor sport director - and likely to be
F1's newest principal - Mario Theissen, who said speed will arrive
slowly at the new works outfit.
BMW and Williams, partners since 2000, will sever all ties at the end
of season '05 after the German carmaker bought privateer rival Sauber.
''We have a team which has never been ahead of Williams so far,'' the
German chief told Reuters, ''and that cannot be changed in a few
While adding to the budget might be instant, Theissen reckons hiring
new people and expanding the Hinwil factory is a more than 12 month
So he admitted: ''To me it would be only natural if Williams ... were
ahead of us.
''I hope that we will be champions within five years,'' Mario
nonetheless added, ''but I cannot predict it.''
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