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' overhaul.

''The cars were getting very quick. We had to do something,'' Mark explained.

''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 wages.

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 Theissen.

The likely 2006 team principal also explained that the new car, to be launched on 16 January at Valencia (Spain), had been designed by Sauber.

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 Tyrrell.

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 Sayegh.

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 first birthday.

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 and girls.

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 25-year-old driver.

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 remarkable.

''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.''

Heidfeld's goal
(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 Show.

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 $15.

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 father.

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 Martin DBR9.

'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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