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, Rubens Barrichello.

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 Paulista.

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 pact.

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 races.''

The high speed Italian grand prix, Rubens continued, should suit the scarlet camp as top speed, traction and braking is more important than grip.

''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 years!''

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 incarnation.

''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 agreed.

''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 weeks.''

While adding to the budget might be instant, Theissen reckons hiring new people and expanding the Hinwil factory is a more than 12 month process.

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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