Latest F1 news in brief
by Andrew Maitland
November 3, 2005
Speed and power
(GMMf1NET -- Nov.2) Bernie Ecclestone has added his voice to reject
speculation that rule changes for 2006 were designed to help Ferrari
and Michael Schumacher.
The German, 36-year-old Schumacher, endured in 2005 his worst season
in a decade at the Maranello team.
''Unfortunately, the regulations won't be able to help him.
Unfortunately,'' Ecclestone, F1 supremo, told Italian magazine
Schumacher, it seems, agrees with Ecclestone, but he also doubts that
the arrival of Williams and Toyota to the Bridgestone camp will power
Ferrari back to fighting form next year.
''I don't believe (it) will improve our problem,'' Michael told
Speaking of power, meanwhile, Schumacher does seem to think that the
FIA - enforcing the switch to smaller V8 engines - has found a handy
way to control the rising speeds in F1, perhaps unlike teams' swift
recovery from recent FIA aerodynamic limitations.
He told the magazine: ''I doubt that the loss of (engine) speed will
be recovered quickly. Rather, engine improvements are more gradual.''
As far as Bernie is concerned, F1's adrenalin junkies need not panic.
The 75-year-old thinks the return of tire changing in 2006 will ensure
that mighty speed is still a factor.
''Both tire manufacturers,'' said the Briton, ''will now have to
devise new compounds and constructions to best compensate for the loss
Fisi neared Williams ride
(GMMf1NET -- Nov.3) Giancarlo Fisichella came within a pen-stroke of
driving for Williams this year.
The Roman, who scored 75 points fewer than Renault teammate and
champion Fernando Alonso, revealed to 'F1 Racing' that a seat next to
Mark Webber, at one stage, looked more likely than the Enstone ride.
''But then Flavio (Briatore) came up with a very appealing contract
... and I accepted it.
''I admire Williams a lot. It was the best in formula one in the past
and I am sure they will achieve that again.''
32-year-old Fisichella endured a difficult year alongside Alonso, but
he singles out out-performing the Spaniard at Spa as one of the
highlights of season 2005.
''Fernando is extremely fast and consistent,'' Giancarlo said, ''and
makes very few errors.''
Ferrari test near Rome
(GMMf1NET -- Nov.3) As its rivals adhere to a November test ban,
Ferrari continued to plug away at the Vallelunga track on Wednesday.
New race signing Felipe Massa drove a F2004, alongside Italian tester
Luca Badoer, who steered 70 laps in a 2005 car.
''The program for the day centered on Bridgestone tire development,''
a statement read.
The pair continue on Thursday.
Rubens asks for early start
(GMMf1NET -- Nov.3) Rubens Barrichello has asked Ferrari to release
him from his 2005 contract so he can get a start at Honda prior to
While the Brazilian is being held to his obligations until December
31, therefore condemned to 'gardening leave', his young successor -
Felipe Massa - is happily already testing a Ferrari after driving for
Sauber in 2005.
33-year-old Rubens' first Honda test is slated for January 11.
''But I hope Jean Todt will authorize me to do a couple of test days
in December,'' he told the Estado de S. Paulo 'paper.
Barrichello had a seat fitting at Brackley based BAR last week. He
said: ''What I have seen is a young, hungry team and that usually
''The new full size wind tunnel ... really drew my attention,'' he
added of the facility to start working in March.
Schu slams rule revolution
(GMMf1NET -- Nov.3) Ferrari ace Michael Schumacher has slammed formula
one's ever-changing regulations as farcical.
The German, 36, referred to the latest raft of modifications ahead of
2006, including yet another qualifying revamp and the rolling-back of
a newly pioneered one-tire-per-race rule.
''(The rules) are constantly going back and forth,'' he was quoted as
saying by a German magazine, ''it's a farce.''
Schumacher's remarks come at a time when the governing FIA is taking
criticism for allegedly tailoring the rule changes to help Ferrari
back to form.
He also pre-empted the next round of 'when will Schumi quit'
speculation by rejecting the theory that not winning the 2005
championship might compel him to soon retire.
''My motivation is the pleasure I feel in purely being a F1 driver,''
Michael insisted, ''not always coming first or smashing the
Pizzonia seeks 'Friday' drive
(GMMf1NET -- Nov.3) F1 'Jungle Boy' Antonio Pizzonia has publicly
confessed that his hopes of staying at the wheel of Williams' race
seat in 2006 are now all but dashed.
The 25-year-old from Brazil revealed that, rather than wait for the
Grove team to officially confirm Nico Rosberg, he was chasing a
'Friday' ride at teams including BMW and Super Aguri.
''I am talking with (them) and all the other teams that will have a
third Friday car next year,'' he told 'Speed TV'.
Pizzonia's comments come amid news that he - who filled in for an
injured Nick Heidfeld post Monza this year - has been offered drives
He revealed 'surprise' that Frank Williams seems to be on the hunt for
'ride buyers' to fill the team's own Friday cockpit.
Pizzonia is perhaps also surprised that Rosberg, the 20-year-old GP2
champion, won the race drive. He said: ''Nico ... has the backing of
companies that want a German driver to fill Michael Schumacher's shoes
when he retires.
''He has potential, but has never been quick in the tests he did.''
F1 kart race in Colombia
(GMMf1NET -- Nov.3) A star studded cast of formula one drivers will
race go-karts on the streets of Colombia this weekend.
Juan Pablo Montoya, the organizer - with wife Connie - of the 'Race Of
Stars' event to raise money for poor Colombian children, will take on
rivals Pedro de la Rosa, Christian Klien, kart world champion
Vitantonio Liuzzi, Christijan Albers and Antonio Pizzonia.
They, along with 2005 Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon and IRL
rival Helio Castroneves, will pilot 125cc karts.
''Nearly 10,000 fans are expected to turn up for the event which will
be televised live in Colombia,'' read a statement.
Former drivers aim F1 fire
(GMMf1NET -- Nov.3) Former grand prix drivers Alex Zanardi and Emerson
Fittipaldi have aimed fire at F1.
The pair say the so-called pinnacle of motor racing is unspectacular,
ridiculously expensive and tangled up in rules.
''Is it logical to race in this formula one,'' Zanardi, who raced for
Williams in 1999 before returning to Champ Cars, told Autosprint
magazine, ''where if you don't spend a crazy amount of money you can
do absolutely nothing?''
Double title winner Fittipaldi, meanwhile, reckons he doesn't
understand 'a thing' about the new knockout qualifying format for
He said: ''Especially the reason why some cars will be able to re-fuel
and others won't.''
1997 champion Jacques Villeneuve, perhaps now resigned to losing his
Sauber-BMW seat next year, accused most teams of wanting '20 or
21-year-old boys' in cockpits.
''Drivers who sit, drive the car and shut up,'' the Canadian also told
Italy's Autosprint. ''I'm not like that.''
Webber going home
(GMMf1NET -- Nov.3) Mark Webber will return to his native Australia
later in November.
Williams' lead driver, 29, is reportedly to attend a V8 Supercar race
in Tasmania, but he'll also stop off in Melbourne to launch the '06 F1
The Australian grand prix, to be held in April for the first time next
year, will be officially kicked off with an event at Federation Square
on November 14.
''It's the best grand prix of the year and I'm not just saying that
because I'm Australian,'' Mark Webber told the Queanbeyan Age
On the topic of the Australian grand prix, Thursday actually marks a
full two decades since the very first - in southern city Adelaide -
was staged as a world championship round in 1985.
Believe it or not, the man at the top of the podium was Williams' Keke
Rosberg. Twenty years later, his 20-year-old son Nico was handed a
full time Williams-Cosworth race drive on 3 November, 2005.
Schu's an animal lover
(GMMf1NET -- Nov.3) Michael Schumacher is an animal lover.
That's the claim of Ingrid Newkirk, who is president and co-founder of
the influential 'People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals' (PETA)
On tour to promote a book, she revealed that F1's seven time champion
once signed a petition 'against a monkey lab', while Schumacher's wife
Corinna participated in a program to 'rescue work horses in Turkey',
according to the 'Nuvo' online publication.
Newkirk also claims that Jenson Button 'altered his lifestyle' after
receiving a 'PETA' letter and video in the mail.
''There's no excuse to eat animals any more,'' she said. ''There's a
substitute for everything.
''We can eat non-violently.''
Kimi's fortune still secret
(GMMf1NET -- Nov.3) Thousands of Finns flicked to the 'R' section of a
recent newspaper listing on Wednesday.
Uniquely, Finland's tax records for the previous year are annually
made public, meaning that how much a Finn earns is hardly a guarded
Nosey fans were, however, disappointed to find that Kimi Raikkonen -
Finland's formula one sensation with a rumored salary of between $22m
and $25m - was not listed.
The 'Iltalehti' tabloid said the 26-year-old McLaren driver was a
'zero-income millionaire' because, similar to countryman Mika Hakkinen
who calls Monaco home, he lives in countryside Switzerland.
For the record, Finland's Aatos Erkko, a media magnate, topped the
charts, with a personal fortune of (US) $232m.
Schu 'like a kid'
(GMMf1NET -- Nov.3) It's easy to understand why Rubens Barrichello is
hardly afraid of new Honda teammate Jenson Button.
The Brazilian, 33, has just rounded out his sixth season alongside
multiple champion Michael Schumacher at Ferrari.
Barrichello calls the German 'extraordinarily' talented.
''He's almost like a kid,'' Rubens told the Brazilian 'Estado de S.
''At Suzuka I don't know where he got a lap time from in the rain,
then a lap later he crashed.
''He comes back to the pits with this smile -- he just has incredible
Barrichello also marveled at Schumacher's ability to show up at a
track like Belgium's Spa 'and run through Eau Rouge flat out on his
''Michael taught me to go for the limit early on ... which is
something he can always do.''
Rosberg to race - official
(GMMf1NET -- Nov.3) Nico Rosberg will be the youngest driver on the
2006 F1 grid after Williams officially unveiled the German driver's
long term contract on Thursday.
The 20-year-old German is the son of Williams' 1982 drivers' champion
Keke Rosberg, who was born in Finland. Rosberg will be Mark Webber's
teammate next year.
''Given the attention he commands,'' said team boss Sir Frank
Williams, ''I am delighted he is making a contribution to formula one
Rosberg will kick off his grand prix career with a test at Barcelona
late in November.
''I am really looking forward to ... learning as much from the team as
I possibly can,'' Nico said.
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