Latest F1 news in brief
by Andrew Maitland
November 15, 2005
F1 set to slow down - Webber
(GMMf1NET -- Nov.15) Mark Webber thinks formula one's new V8 rulebook
will cost the sport up to four seconds a lap.
''(And) at somewhere like Monza it would be more like six seconds,''
Williams' Australian driver said on Monday.
The 28-year-old, whose employer will switch from BMW power to Cosworth
for 2006, reckons the end of the V10 era - in the name of safety -
'will feel very slow' for drivers who are used to 900hp grunt.
He also said in Melbourne: ''The V10 sounds better but we will get
used to the V8.'' Overall, though, Webber supports the FIA's 'massive'
''The cars were getting very quick. We had to do something,'' Mark
''It will be safer. If it kept going like that you would have to move
the fans a kilometer away from the circuit.''
Weber and Schu sibling split
(GMMf1NET -- Nov.15) Formula One's younger Schumacher brother has
split with his long time manager, Willi Weber.
Although seven time world champion sibling Michael is to remain under
the German's wing, Ralf, 30, explained that the 13-year partnership
was 'just not working anymore'.
62-year-old Weber insisted that the pair were 'still friends', even if
the German media speculated that the dispute was about money.
''There's no animosity,'' he added.
'Bild' newspaper said that Ralf's current agreement with Weber was
actually due to continue throughout 2006, leading to speculation that
a cash settlement was probably needed.
Weber is often referred to as 'Mr. 20 Percent' in the F1 paddock, in
reference to his rumored lucrative stake in Michael and Ralf's huge
Weber's replacement was not named.
''We simply found nothing in common for a further cooperation,'' Weber
said on Monday.
BMW to keep 'Sauber' name
(GMMf1NET -- Nov.15) New formula one team owner BMW will retain the
'Sauber' name in 2006, the Munich based German carmaker has announced.
Ahead of the FIA's November 15 deadline, the Hinwil outfit is to be
called 'BMW Sauber F1', a statement outlined.
''It reflects the makeup of the team -- run by BMW but with a core of
almost 300 Sauber employees,'' said motor sport director Mario
The likely 2006 team principal also explained that the new car, to be
launched on 16 January at Valencia (Spain), had been designed by
BMW, meanwhile, will retain Sauber technical director Willy Rampf,
with Peter Sauber in an 'advisory' position.
The Swiss, who founded the formula one team in 1993, said: ''It's nice
to see that the Sauber name will continue in F1.
'''The (name) is also an expression of the huge respect which BMW has
for the employees in Hinwil,'' he added.
Another F1 son
(GMMf1NET -- Nov.15) Yet another son of a former formula one driver is
carving out his own name in motor racing.
Kazuki Nakajima, son of Japan's 74-grand prix veteran of the 80s and
90s Satoru, will race at the fabled Macau F3 grand prix, an event
conquered in the past by Michael Schumacher and Takuma Sato.
Nakajima is twenty.
''As a driver,'' he explained, ''I want to be like my father. I know
people are watching me, but I do try not to think about it.''
Satoru Nakajima, now 52, debuted for Lotus in 1987 and finished his
last grand prix - at Adelaide in 1991, where he crashed - driving a
Ferrari 'theme park'
(GMMf1NET -- Nov.15) Separate from Bernie Ecclestone's 'F1 World'
theme park in Dubai, it is reported that Ferrari is involved in a
similar concept for Abu Dhabi.
Abu Dhabi owns 5 per cent of the 'Prancing Horse', so it is no real
surprise that the theme park - in collaboration with 'ALDAR
Properties' - will carry an all-Ferrari theme.
It is said that the park would involve a race track, rides,
simulations and hotels.
''This ... will create an exciting destination ... which offers
something for the entire family,'' said ALDAR chairman Ahmed Ali Al
The Ferrari theme park is slated for completion in 2008.
'Red Bull Racing' turns 1
(GMMf1NET -- Nov.15) F1 outfit Red Bull Racing is celebrating its
Almost an exact year to the date, the baton was passed from Ford's
sinking Jaguar ship to Dietrich Mateschitz, the visionary magnate of
the marketing-savvy drinks company.
''I suppose our main objective was to achieve credibility and lay the
foundations for the future,'' said team principal Christian Horner,
who was made boss in January, ''and that's what we've done.''
He also insists that Red Bull, now with a second grand prix team
(Minardi/Squadra Toro Rosso) on the grid, is not just about parties
Horner said: ''If you can have a bit of fun along the way then great,
but we don't turn up at a race to go to parties.
''We want to move forward and win.''
Montoya errors defended
(GMMf1NET -- Nov.15) Juan Pablo Montoya has been defended amid claims
he was one of the disappointments of 2005.
Former 10-time race winner Gerhard Berger, who worked closely with the
Colombian when he was a Williams driver, said Montoya failed to prove
a consistent match for McLaren teammate Kimi Raikkonen.
''He also made too many mistakes,'' the Austrian added.
However, Mercedes' Norbert Haug reckons 30-year-old 'JPM' is
developing 'in the right direction' -- and, in the last 9 races of the
year, won three times to Kimi's four.
''We are even more optimistic for the future,'' the German told the
Austrian 'Sport1' publication.
Montoya, meanwhile, will appear in a circus ring before the end of the
year, after agreeing to be on the German 'Stars in the Arena' TV show.
Two years ago, Kimi appeared on the show, as a knife thrower.
Button 'touched by God'
(GMMf1NET -- Nov.15) Jenson Button has been 'touched by God'.
That's BAR-Honda 'sporting director' Gil de Ferran's portrayal of the
De Ferran, a former IRL and Indy 500 winner, joined the Brackley based
team in April and was reportedly instrumental in BAR's signing of
countryman and friend Rubens Barrichello for next year.
But he said Englishman 'JB' also has the skills to not only win some
grands prix, but become world champion: ''His skill is just
''He's a driver like few I've seen before,'' Gil explained, ''with a
fine touch and an amazing feeling for the car.''
He said: ''There's no question that he has the raw materials within
him to achieve the ultimate success.''
Gil also welcomed the new 2006 'knockout' qualifying format, saying
that it will demonstrate who is the fastest.
The Brazilian explained: ''At least we will (see that) during the
first part ... when cars will run with low fuel.''
(GMMf1NET -- Nov.15) 'BMW Sauber' driver Nick Heidfeld's first child
and daughter, Juni, is four months old.
The German, 28, and girlfriend Patricia, welcomed their baby into the
world in July. To Heidfeld, it sparked a re-evaluation of life.
''Recently, if you had asked me my goals, I would have said something
about the sport. Now I would say something about my small family.
''More than anything else, I want Juni - and any other children that
may follow - to just have a wonderful childhood.''
Heidfeld, who drove for Williams in 2005, was a standout of the
season, securing three podiums to teammate Mark Webber's one, and even
taking a pole position.
Button not 'grade one driver'
(GMMf1NET -- Nov.15) Jenson Button is not worth his $20m per-year
price tag, Williams' technical director has admitted.
For 2006, the Grove based team had two options -- insist that 'JB'
honor his contract, or 'sell' the Briton to BAR for a whopping profit.
Sir Frank Williams, probably considering the loss of world BMW power
and title sponsor 'HP', plumped for the latter choice.
Sam Michael, it seems, agrees with his boss. The Australian says $20 -
$30 million should only be spent on a 'grade one driver'. And JB, he
reckons, isn't one of them.
''We are only talking three options -- Kimi, Fernando and Michael,''
he told News of the World.
Sam Michael explained: ''Once you drop out of those three ... then you
would rather try to bring on the guys you have.''
'Replacing' Button, then, is 20-year-old Nico Rosberg, who Michael
says is 'much better prepared' for F1 than was Button, who debuted for
Oxfordshire based Williams in 2000.
''Nico has already won races on many of the F1 tracks,'' he said.
MV to honor 'Senna'
(GMMf1NET -- Nov.15) Legendary motorcycle name 'MV Agusta' will
reportedly unveil a Superbike called the 'Senna' at the Milan Bike
Various motorcycle media sources said the limited edition machine, to
be powered by a 1000cc engine, is named by MV boss Claudio
Castiglioni, who was a close friend of the Brazilian champion.
Reports said the superbike is tipped to pack nearly 180 horse power,
with a top speed of 190mph.
If that sounds like an expensive Christmas present, however, England's
'The Telegraph' presented a report on Monday reviewing formula one
teams' finest merchandise.
A Renault MP3 player will set you back $105, or a set of earrings made
out of ceramic transmission bearings are $161.
A 'Fernando Alonso Collection' watch can be snapped up for $280, while
a clock in the style of the Spaniard's helmet with an engine-revving
alarm is $72.50.
At Ferrari, about $150 will get you a set of baby-sized F1 overalls.
Branded 'Ferrari' skis are more than $1500.
Among McLaren's range is a Ron Dennis-style black leather jacket for
$513, red or white wine for $30, or a 'team manager' teddy bear for
Rosberg wants Dad's trophy
(GMMf1NET -- Nov.15) Nico Rosberg is aiming to become the first driver
since Damon Hill to emulate his world drivers' championship winning
The 20-year-old, born in Germany unlike 'Flying Finn' 1980 victor Keke
Rosberg, will take a step in the right direction next year when he
debuts for Frank Williams' team -- his Dad and Hill's F1 home.
Another son of a great former driver, Jacques Villeneuve (father
Gilles), won Williams' last drivers' title in 1997.
Nico, though, admitted that his ultimate goal is some way off.
''But being world champion remains my long-term target,'' he told the
BBC, ''but first I've got to get myself integrated into the team.''
'Rosberg Jr' insisted that wanting to claim F1's highest honor has
nothing to do with 'beating' or matching his Dad.
He added: ''But that doesn't mean I don't want to be champion. I still
want to be world champion, in my own right.''
Father and son to race
(GMMf1NET -- Nov.15) Former triple world F1 champion Nelson Piquet and
his similarly-named son are to team up for Brazil's 'Mil Milhas'
endurance race at Interlagos.
The father and son pairing will reportedly be at the wheel of an Aston
'Speed TV' also claimed that a Fittipaldi super-team might contest the
season opening event in January -- Emerson, his brother Wilson, and
Emerson's nephew Christian. All three raced in formula one.
Haug 'accepts' Newey exit
(GMMf1NET -- Nov.15) Mercedes' Norbert Haug says he can 'understand
and accept' Adrian Newey's desire to leave McLaren for Red Bull.
The German marque's competition director thus wished the departing
technical director all the best after an eight-year tenure.
''Adrian created much of his success in formula one with us,'' Haug
told Austria's Sport1.
'''Now he is seeking a new challenge, to bring a smaller team right to
the front. I can understand and accept that.''
Haug said he would 'remain friends' with the Englishman.
''Ok, we will be rivals during the races,'' the German continued,
''but not before the green light and not after the checkered flag.''
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