Latest F1 news in brief
by Andrew Maitland
October 3, 2005
Ferrari 'making progress'
(GMMf1NET -- Oct.3) Michael Schumacher has revealed that he was not
originally scheduled to test tires at Paul Ricard (France) last week.
The German, according to the Italian press, supposedly told Ferrari
technical director Ross Brawn that he wanted to personally inspect the
new Bridgestone specifications for Japan and China.
''There are definitely signs that we are making progress,'' Brawn, in
reference to Michael's decent pace on Thursday and Friday, explained.
Meanwhile, like BAR teammate Takuma Sato in Brazil, Jenson Button will
enjoy the extra power of Honda's 'Suzuka special' engine in Japan on
''I ran the Suzuka engine at Jerez last week,'' team tester Anthony
Davidson said, ''and it felt good and strong.''
Trulli to race 'b' Toyota
(GMMf1NET -- Oct.3) Jarno Trulli has followed teammate Ralf
Schumacher's lead in opting to debut the 'b' Toyota car in Japan this
Unlike Schumacher, however - who loves the updated model - Italy's
Trulli admits to finding the decision to ditch the regular TF105 model
He said: ''I don't necessarily get more out of the car over one lap.
''But I will go for it because it's the car we'll use as a basis for
30-year-old Ralf Schumacher, on the other hand, is delighted that -
after a season in Trulli's shade - he at last feels comfortable at the
wheel of a red and white racer.
''(The car) has addressed some of the issues that I had found more
difficult with the standard car,'' the German said.
Technical director Mike Gascoyne admitted to the 'risk' of taking a
brand new car - with minimal spare parts - to flyaway grands prix, but
basically conceded that Ferrari has now beaten the Cologne based camp
to third in the constructors' championship.
''So we think it's worth taking the risk,'' said the Englishman, ''and
maybe we might be able to push for third at the final race in
Ferrari may join test pact
(GMMf1NET -- Oct.3) Ferrari might fall in line with its formula one
rivals next season by signing a voluntary 2006 agreement to limit
Of the ten teams, the Maranello based Prancing Horse was the only to
rebuff the 'gentleman's accord' this year when it argued that tire
supplier Bridgestone should be entitled to more miles than rival
Michelin, with several top teams on the books.
However, with Toyota and Williams set to switch to Japanese rubber,
Ferrari boss Jean Todt told Autosport that he was 'in discussion'
about whether to join the test limits.
There has, incidentally, been talk of expanding the 30-day limit for
'06, amid talk that BAR-Honda considered joining Ferrari in the test
A sticking point for Ferrari, though, will be retaining the advantage
of having invested in its private test track at Fiorano.
The team's technical director Ross Brawn admitted of the Fiorano
issue: ''That's something we would have to resolve.''
Schu reign 'over' - Brundle
(GMMf1NET -- Oct.3) Michael Schumacher's decade-long reign at the top
of the F1 tree is over, according to former teammate Martin Brundle.
The retired Briton and F1 commentator told his column in the 'Sunday
Times' newspaper that Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen took over the
mantle during 2005.
''At times this year,'' the 46-year-old wrote, ''Schumacher has looked
as though the trials and setbacks ... of the season have robbed him of
Brundle, Schumacher's teammate at Benetton in 1992, said he stood at a
corner during a Brazilian practice session last month and - 'for the
first time' didn't see Schumacher's exciting driving style.
He added: ''To my surprise he appeared to lack commitment and
confidence. It's the first time I can recall him looking ordinary.
''The most extraordinary reign in F1 history is probably over.''
(GMMf1NET -- Oct.3) Exactly thirty four years ago today, Francois
Cevert won his only grand prix.
The handsome Frenchman, a protégé of Tyrrell teammate Jackie Stewart,
won the formula one race at Watkins Glen (USA) on October 3, 1971.
29-year-old Cevert was killed in a violent practice crash at the same
circuit two years later, a move that pre-empted Stewart's withdrawal
from the race and total retirement from F1.
(GMMf1NET -- Oct.3) Prior to jetting off to Japan for the '05 season
finale, Jenson Button will lay in a dentist's chair for a bit of pain
According to the British tabloid 'Sunday Mirror' newspaper, the BAR
driver was due to have a bad toothache seen to.
Meanwhile, the 25-year-old Englishman calls the Honda-owned Suzuka
circuit 'one of my favorites' on the F1 tour.
''I think if we sort out the issues we had in Brazil,'' JB said,
''we'll be reasonably quick.''
BMW struggling with V8
(GMMf1NET -- Oct.3) BMW may be struggling to surpass 19,000 rpm with
its early 2.4 liter V8 engine design for 2006.
Last week, Williams' Patrick Head revealed that the specification of
his team's 2006 Cosworth power plant 'is quite a lot higher' than the
The Munich carmaker's motor sport director Mario Theissen appeared to
confirm the unpleasant news when musing to news magazine 'Der
''It will be a genuine challenge (with the V8 designs) to surpass
19,000 rpm again,'' the German remarked.
Customer supplier Cosworth has previously let slip that the 2006
Williams unit is already clocking up around 20,000 rpm on the test
BMW, a fierce opponent of the move to abandon the V10-route, is also
thought to be grappling with the common problem of excess V8 engine
vibration, particularly in the upper range on the rpm scale.
Other marques, however, don't know what all the vibration fuss is
about. Toyota's Ricardo Zonta, who has slammed the 200hp loss as
'boring,' at least expected to be rocked with vibration at the wheel
of an early V8 at Jerez.
The Brazilian said: ''I was pleasantly surprised at how smooth the
Toyota is. I think the guys have done a good job.''
No F1 ride for Wheldon
(GMMf1NET -- Oct.3) Briton and new IRL champion Dan Wheldon will not
be lining up on the formula one grid next year.
Although his manager Julian Jakobi had been in talks with Williams
about the vacant 2006 seat, the 27-year-old told the Indianapolis Star
newspaper that he would not be returning to Europe any time soon.
Asked whether the Williams seat was a real possibility, Wheldon
answered: ''At least not in the time frame that I have.''
The newspaper suggested that Jakobi's new priority is to seal a new
multi year contract with the Andretti-Green team.
Wheldon, at least, will cross the Atlantic in December this year, when
he reportedly will take part in the popular 'Race of Champions' event
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