Latest F1 news in brief
by Andrew Maitland
November 16,  2005

Red Bull go for late launch
(GMMf1NET -- Nov.16) Red Bull Racing will not launch the 'RB2' 2006 F1 car until mid March, the energy drink-owned grand prix team said Tuesday.

A spokeswoman at Milton Keynes (UK) confirmed that the new racer, to debut on the test track just before Christmas, would be officially unveiled at the Bahrain track on the Thursday before the 2006 season opener.

In Britain's Autosport magazine, meanwhile, Red Bull principal Christian Horner revealed that David Coulthard's teammate would soon be announced by the team.

In the running are Christian Klien, the most probable candidate from Austria, and the likely 'Squadra Toro Rosso'-bound Vitantonio Liuzzi.

Horner said the decision would be made public at the end of November or early December.

Fisi eyes 2006 crown
(GMMf1NET -- Nov.16) Giancarlo Fisichella is certain he will take a sharper stab at next year's title.

The experienced Roman, 32 but outshone by a teammate nearly a decade his junior in 2005, told Italian magazine Autosprint that Renault's next car will give him a better chance of taking on world champion Fernando Alonso.

''He is very aggressive with the steering wheel at turn entry,'' said Fisichella, ''while I'm very tidy. The R25 had to be driven more with his style than with mine.''

Often referred to as 'Fisico' in the F1 paddock, Fisichella insisted that he had been given a 'precise guarantee' that Enstone would work on 'adapting' the new car for him.

He continued: ''With this change ... I don't see why the difference between Fernando and me shouldn't also change.''

Like Alonso, Fisichella will do just one pre-Christmas day of testing before the V8-powered R26 is rolled out in January.

He said boss Flavio Briatore told him that a budget for 'two winning cars' would be available next year, and that his countryman had always been 'positive' about his driving.

Also in the magazine, Fisichella said he doubted whether Ferrari should ever sign up MotoGP's Valentino Rossi.

''I'd prefer Fisichella-Trulli, as we'd deserve it more,'' he said. ''A guy at 26 can't come to F1 and start winning.''

F1's Skip Barber
(GMMf1NET -- Nov.16) America's Skip Barber is better known as founder of the 'Skip Barber Racing School' and the 'Skip Barber Formula Dodge' junior category.

But, with a car designed for 'Formula A' racing, he actually contested five grands prix in 1971 and '72, although his best result was sixteenth.

Skip Barber turns 69 on Wednesday.

Also celebrating a birthday on 16 November is Roberto Guerrero, a Colombian like Juan Pablo Montoya who raced twenty one times in 1982 and 1983.

Guerrero, 47, turned to IndyCars in 1984.

Karthikeyan honored
(GMMf1NET -- Nov.16) India's first formula one driver, Narain Karthikeyan, will be honored in Calcutta on Thursday.

The 'Confederation of Indian Industry' (CII) is to 'felicitate' the 28-year-old, who debuted for Jordan in 2005.

CII chairman Ravi Poddar told Calcutta's Telegraph newspaper that the formal congratulation 'will be part of our endeavors in promoting sports in the region.'

Legge to test next week
(GMMf1NET -- Nov.16) Katherine Legge will reportedly test Minardi's 2005 car next Tuesday and Wednesday.

Following the announcement last month that the 25-year-old Briton, who races in Toyota Atlantic (US), would get a shot at Vallelunga, she told the 'Globe and Mail' newspaper that her F1 debut would likely be two half-days.

Legge will be the first woman since Giovanna Amati in 1992 to drive a modern grand prix car.

''When someone offers you an F1 test,'' she said, ''nobody in their right mind would say no.''

The newspaper wrote that Legge has been training hard for the Minardi test, and today sports a 'muscle bound' physique.

She added: ''I'm serious, but I'm not expecting anything out of it. I don't have any delusions about racing in F1 next year.''

Her principal backer is Kevin Kalkhoven, co-owner of the Champ Car series and also Cosworth -- Minardi's engine supplier.

Legge will also test a Kalkhoven-owned Champ Car in December.

'Schu Snr' to stay with Weber
(GMMf1NET -- Nov.16) Michael Schumacher has distanced himself from the bombshell that younger brother Ralf fired their common F1 manager.

Seven time world champion Michael, 36, clarified this week that his relationship with both Ralf and 62-year-old Willi Weber would not change.

''I have never questioned mine and Willi's cooperation,'' Schumacher told Sport Bild.

''The fact that Willi and Ralf have ended their cooperation has nothing to do with me.''

Meanwhile, the curious German media has been warned off the story by Ralf Schumacher, whose 1997 F1 debut for Jordan was engineered by Weber. He also negotiated Ralf's hugely lucrative Williams and Toyota contracts.

''Willi Weber and I have agreed not only to end our cooperation,'' Ralf said, ''but to not publicly discuss it.''

It was reported earlier in 2005 that Guido Piedade had started working with Ralf as a sort of co-manager with Weber.

Piedade told the 'SID' agency: ''Ralf has been in F1 long enough to make do without Mr. Weber.'' 'Bild' newspaper speculated that a multi-million 'buyout' figure had passed from Ralf to Weber.

''I am no longer a young man,'' Weber - who said he would not try to replace Ralf with another F1 client - conceded.

''If I find myself with more spare time, that's a good thing.''

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