Latest F1 news in brief
by Andrew Maitland
November 18, 2005
Midland adopt Russian label
(GMMf1NET -- Nov.18) Alex Shnaider's 'Midland' team will race under
the Russian flag.
In a statement, the outfit bought from Eddie Jordan a year ago, and
based at Silverstone, said a mandatory license had been issued by the
'Russian Automobile Federation'.
UK-based 'Midland MF1 Racing' is thus F1's first Russian team.
FIA rules state that a team must obtain a license from a national
motor sport authority. Shnaider, although a naturalized Canadian, was
actually born in Russia.
He said the Russian connection 'reflects this project's core targets
and values, and hoped the decision would 'push ... the development of
Russia's motorsport' and 'open new horizons for Russian racing
Sepang still trying to sell
(GMMf1NET -- Nov.18) Sepang's current owner is still trying to sell
the F1 venue.
It is presently owned by 'Malaysia Airports Holdings', with the sale
linked to the company's desire to restructure.
But general manager Datuk Ahmad Mustafa told 'The Edge Daily'
publication that the agreement with Bernie Ecclestone's Formula One
Management is holding up the sale.
In Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, he said Bernie would expect the Malaysian
government to guarantee the race's future, but 'as a sovereign
country, (Malaysia can) not be taken to court.
''(They) ... are working out a (solution).''
Malaysia's 'Finance Ministry' agreed in 2003 to buy the Sepang circuit
for $103.6 million. The current F1 promoters' contract runs to 2010.
Paffett says F1 test 'proper'
(GMMf1NET -- Nov.18) Gary Paffett has contradicted speculation that
his upcoming McLaren test is merely symbolic of his DTM title crown.
The Briton, who has tested for the Woking team before and came close
to a 2005 Sauber move, told Autosport that the November run in Spain
was indeed a 'proper' test.
The magazine said Paffett, 24, would test for two full days at
Barcelona, and might then be kept in the silver car for the next Jerez
''I want to show the team how well I can drive a formula one car,''
Gary Paffett said, ''and now I've got my chance.''
It is acknowledged, however, that the Englishman's Mercedes link - and
the 2005 championship win - was instrumental in the test chance.
Monza to appeal court ban
(GMMf1NET -- Nov.18) Monza will appeal a court verdict that threatens
the running of next September's Italian F1 race.
A Milan court ruled on Wednesday that race events at the historic
venue face bans if measures to reduce noise for local residents are
Director of the 'Autodromo Nazionale di Monza', Enrico Ferrari, said:
''At the moment we wouldn't be able to host any formula one
But he told 'La Gazzetta dello Sport' that the November verdict does
allow for 'plenty of time' to challenge the court's decision.
The Milan magistrate had upheld a group of local residents' complaint
by ruling that motor racing is 'a superfluous, dangerous and socially
useless activity with a big impact on the environment.'
However, the weekend's Monza Rally is expected to go ahead, presumably
because their sound is quieter than in F1.
Milan deputy mayor Riccardo de Corato baulked at the court's F1
ruling: ''It is right to protect the environment but it is also right
that we should avoid (wiping) out important traditions.''
BMW exit a 'major regret'
(GMMf1NET -- Nov.18) Sir Frank Williams has described the departure of
engine partner BMW as a 'major regret'.
After a six-year collaboration with the Munich carmaker, Grove has
been left without a works supplier following BMW's decision to buy
Sauber and go it alone in '06.
''It is a major regret that we were unable to make the partnership
work,'' the team co-owner and principal told the 'WilliamsF1
He admitted that the behind-the-scenes split inevitably 'had an
affect' on the team's form.
Sir Frank continued: ''The marriage ... promised much but
unfortunately failed to deliver. We never forget what happened in the
past but we anticipate and look towards the future as best we can.''
BMW aside, it is all change at Grove. Like Cosworth and new driver
Nico Rosberg, also arriving on the scene is Bridgestone after several
seasons on Michelin's F1 tires.
Despite the French based company's grand prix dominance in 2005,
however, Frank Williams is confident about sharing a tire with
''For most of the time that we were supplied by Michelin, we received
a thrashing. Bridgestone know how to win ... so it's probable that
neither will enjoy total domination,'' Sir Frank insisted.
Willi Weber in trouble
(GMMf1NET -- Nov.18) After the Ralf Schumacher affair, 62-year-old
Willi Weber is back in the newspaper headlines.
In the German press, it is alleged that Weber - who split with Michael
Schumacher's younger brother after a 12-year partnership - will be
prosecuted for allegedly embezzling company funds.
The case surrounds the insolvent 'Pole Position Marketing' company -
once involved in the licensing of Schumacher merchandise - amid
suspicion that Weber moved money from the sinking firm when it struck
It is also suggested that the insolvency of the company was announced
later than is allowed.
Media reports said Weber's company headquarters in Stuttgart were
raided by the Stuttgart public prosecutor's office, amid allegations
that more than $6 million was illegally moved to another company.
Earlier this year, Weber settled with a Stuttgart court after alleged
involvement in perjury. He agreed to donate $60,000 to charity.
BMW-Sauber to test youngster
(GMMf1NET -- Nov.18) The newly-named 'BMW Sauber' outfit will soon
offer a F1 test drive to an up-and-coming young Formula BMW driver.
Nicolas Huelkenberg, Dean Smith, Salman Al Khalifa and Robert Wickens
- '05 standouts of the open-wheeler series all over the world - will
fight for the privilege at the Formula BMW World Final in Bahrain in
December, motor sport boss Mario Theissen said.
The quartet was also named to appear on the support bill at December's
Race of Champions in Paris.
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