Latest F1 news in brief
by Andrew Maitland
August 25, 2005
Weber sues F1 magazine
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.25) Formula One journalist Tom Rubython is enduring
an expensive year at the pinnacle of motor sport.
The editor of 'Business F1' magazine was recently ordered to pay
damages to Alan Donnelly after he accused the FIA representative of
diverting FIA fees intended for his company for personal use.
Now, Rubython has earned the ire of Michael and Ralf Schumacher's
German manager, 'Mr. 20 per cent', Willi Weber.
Weber, asking for damages of up to $180,000, has issued a High Court
writ against Business F1 after an article in March alleged he was once
involved in prostitution and drug running.
Montoya off to Monza flier
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.25) Juan Pablo Montoya signaled a blistering start to
F1 test action at Monza by smashing the circuit record on Wednesday.
After Ferrari ran alone on Tuesday, every rival except Ferrari has
rolled through the Autodromo Nazionale's gates to prepare for the
fastest grand prix on the calendar.
Colombian Montoya's 1.19.887 record in the McLaren was a full second
clear of title leader Fernando Alonso. Sixteen runners circulated in
the Italian heat, including test driver Olivier Panis, a whopping
eight seconds off the pace with Toyota's new V8, before the unit
Felipe Massa, who will revert to his Sauber on Friday, showed well -
just a tenth behind - alongside fellow Ferrari Monza runner Luca
Notable incidents of the day included Pedro de la Rosa, who spun his
McLaren on an in-lap. Added to a gearbox glitch, it meant Kimi
Raikkonen - to take over the car - hardly turned a lap. Ralf
Schumacher suffered a Toyota V10 engine failure, and later spun into
BAR decided not to run at all on the 'green' track, so saved a day
under the 'gentleman's' test agreement and will kick off on Thursday.
''We reach the highest speeds of the year at Monza,'' said Renault's
Pat Symonds, ''so we need to test our specific (aero) packages to
New technology for F1
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.25) 'Nanotechnology' may soon be used in formula one.
American journal 'Science' said the engineering practice, involving
the manipulation of materials at the molecular level, could be used by
F1 early as next year.
Scientists in Texas and Australia have reportedly already created
sheets of 'nanotube' material that are stronger than steel, and
A possible application in formula one is the creation of stronger,
lighter race cars that could even store energy.
''This is a jumping-off point for a technology a lot of people will
pursue,'' Rice University chemist Andrew Barron told the USA Today
Toyota chase McLaren
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.25) Toyota would like to chase down F1 frontrunner
McLaren -- by October's Japanese grand prix.
Technical coordinator Keizo Takahashi said on Wednesday that the 'main
difference' between the 2005 spec TF105 and the Woking built race
winner is in the area of aero.
And, unlike some teams, the Cologne based outfit is still charging
ahead with 2005 development. Toyota's Jarno Trulli lies between Juan
Pablo Montoya and Giancarlo Fisichella in the drivers' title, and the
team is just 15 points behind Ferrari for third in the constructors'
Japan's Takahashi insisted: ''Hopefully we can close the gap by Suzuka
at the latest.''
F1 'seniors' tour proposed
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.25) Bernie Ecclestone has backed a proposed F1
support category that could see ex-grand prix drivers duke it out in
'Senior' ex-F1 stars 45 years or older would be eligible for the
possible Sunday morning category, ITV reported.
''Anything that improves the overall package of a grand prix weekend
is a good idea,'' said the formula one supremo.
Former McLaren and Jordan driver, Martin Brundle - 46 - called the
proposal to spice up the morning of grand prix Sunday a ''great idea.
Count me in.''
Jordan has 'no regrets'
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.25) Eddie Jordan says he has 'no regrets' after
selling his formula one team to Midland's Alex Shnaider earlier this
The Irishman, caddying for golfing countryman Paul McGinley at the BMW
Championship in Munich, likened the competition to the uphill
'privateer v carmaker' battle in grands prix.
''We are being wonderfully hosted here by BMW,'' he said.
''Ask them what they spend on their ... program and then think what a
privateer could achieve.
''It's just not in the same league.''
EJ said he sold Jordan because he thought the Silverstone based outfit
could no longer win. ''I felt I had more success with drivers than I
did with the team.''
He's probably right. Although Heinz Harald Frentzen had a title crack
in 1999, Jordan brought names like Michael and Ralf Schumacher, Eddie
Irvine and Rubens Barrichello onto the F1 stage.
Multimillionaire Jordan also confirmed that he is not being paid for
his caddying duties. ''I can't imagine him sending me an invoice,'' he
Dutch group eyes Minardi
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.25) A Dutch consortium is reportedly keen on buying a
chunk of Paul Stoddart's formula one team Minardi.
Rotterdam newspaper 'Het Algmene Dagblad' reportedly claims that a
meeting with the Australian owner, who has two Dutch drivers at the
wheel, was held in Turkey last weekend.
grandprix.com reckons bank ABN AMRO and Christijan Albers sponsor
Michiel Mol might be involved in the group.
Shnaider 'serious' about F1
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.25) Jordan owner Alex Shnaider has directly refuted
suspicions that his Midland company is not serious about formula one.
The Russian born Canadian, who bought the Silverstone squad from Eddie
Jordan this year, reportedly owes several Jordan suppliers money, and
is already in talks about selling the ever uncompetitive team.
''I am not actively looking for a buyer,'' he told f1.com, although
Shnaider does admit that a Russian backer - although perhaps not the
one hawked around in Turkey by Eddie Irvine - did look into buying
some team shares.
Alex, who once said 'everything is for sale,' reckons gossip about him
already tiring of the Paddock is a ''misconception. (I) never meant
that I had intentions to sell the team.''
He insists that Jordan, to be known as Midland next year, has a keen
eye on 2008, when - he hopes - smaller teams will be able to more
Until then, 'Midland F1' can look forward to 2005-like annual budgets.
This should see an increase for next year, as Shnaider says he had to
pay old bills.
Some are still not paid.
''Obviously some tried to take advantage of the new management,''
Shnaider claims. ''We're not going to pay inflated or ... manipulated
Donnelly to drive Senna car
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.25) Former 1989 and 1990 F1 driver Martin Donnelly
will drive Ayrton Senna's 1985 Lotus-Renault 97T at Donington next
The Ulsterman, now 41, never raced again after a near fatal crash in
practice for the Spanish grand prix at Jerez.
Donnelly, who debuted in an Arrows at Paul Ricard but drove for Lotus
in 1990, is scheduled for a demo run - in the car Senna raced to his
maiden win at Estoril - at the World Series by Renault event in mid
''(Ayrton) was one of the first guys who came up to me when I did my
first F1 test in 1989,'' Donnelly told Motorsport News.
7-time grand prix winner Rene Arnoux, meanwhile, will drive a year-old
Renault (R24) racer.
Schu better on hot lap - RB
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.25) Departing Ferrari driver Rubens Barrichello says
F1's single lap qualifying system made him appear inferior to six year
teammate Michael Schumacher.
The Brazilian, who will switch to BAR for the 2006 season, insists
that he is not slower than Schumacher - the seven time drivers' world
champion - in terms of 'pure speed.'
'''But (Michael) immediately got the upper hand with the hot lap
qualifying,'' said 33-year-old Barrichello, winner of nine grands
prix, all with Maranello based Ferrari.
''I am better at building on a lap,'' he added.
Tifosi have eye on Massa
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.25) Felipe Massa says the ardent Monza tifosi are
casting a 'thorough eye' on him this week.
The young Brazilian, although a full time tester for the Scuderia in
2003, is undertaking his first test for the team since he was
announced as Rubens Barrichello's 2006 race replacement.
Massa, 24, called the F2005 'fast in the fast corners.'
''I am not running the exact aero specification for the Italian grand
prix,'' he told the Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper, ''but the car
seems stable and quite fast.''
Massa, who will switch back to his regular 2005 Sauber mount on
Friday, also admitted to - at his maiden run - a little 'tension' at
the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza.
''I think for an F1 driver,'' he said, ''to drive a Ferrari at Monza
is truly the maximum.'' He also said the press is following him
everywhere in the Italian paddock.
Michelin, curbs, not to blame
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.25) Williams' Sam Michael has absolved Michelin and
Turkish curbs of blame for five right-rear tire failures in Istanbul.
The Australian chief said the Oxfordshire based team has used the
first day of the Monza test to analyze the problem.
Back at the factory, meanwhile, 'tire deflection tests' have been set
up to test the theory that rubbing bodywork could have burst the
Michael said: ''A number of changes will be made during the (Monza)
test ... to avoid the problem occurring again.''
Mark Webber and tester Nico Rosberg were in action on Wednesday.
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