Latest F1 news in brief
by Andrew Maitland
December 6, 2005
McLaren lose another worker
(GMMf1NET -- Dec.6) With technical director Adrian Newey off
to Red Bull, McLaren is preparing to lose yet another high
It is understood that former Ferrari man Nicholas Tombazis,
the talented aerodynamicist who was recently promoted to the
post of 'vehicle project director', will follow Newey
through the Woking HQ's doors.
Greece-born Tombazis joined McLaren in late 2003 as chief
engineer in the aerodynamic development.
Reports also suggest that Peter Prodomou, head of the
aerodynamics department, has circulated his CV to rival
teams, as has electronic expert Paddy Lowe, the Briton.
Meanwhile, it is expected that Neil Oatley or Mike Coughlan
are first in line to succeed Newey as technical director.
McLaren boss Ron Dennis said in London at the weekend: ''One
person I have to acknowledge is Adrian Newey, who has got a
challenge ... ahead of him and I wish him well.''
Kimi hailed in Finland
(GMMf1NET -- Dec.6) The ultimate trophy may have eluded him,
but '05 title runner-up Kimi Raikkonen has continued to bag
After he accepted Autosport's similar award in London at the
weekend, it emerged that the Finnish motor sport governing
body - the AKK - had already named Kimi, the 26-year-old
McLaren driver, as its own 'Driver of the Year'.
Raikkonen failed to attend the ceremony - at a place called
Jyvaskyla - late last month. He addressed the 1000 guests
with a special video message.
Kimi also won the award in 2003.
He said at the weekend: ''(2005) could have been better but
I am happy. It is always exciting to fight, and of course we
wanted to win, but that is part of the game -- and still it
was one of the best years for me in F1.''
Raikkonen also told 'Autosport' that he hoped McLaren had
done all the learning it needed to do this year.
''I hope we know what we are doing now,'' he said at the
awards. ''I think so, anyway. If we can just make the car
last, we should be alright.''
Elsewhere, on Monday, Renault's Pat Symonds - honored at the
Autosport Awards - won yet another award; a 'BRDC Special'
at Silverstone. Honda's Jenson Button was also in
FIA resume work on CDG wing
(GMMf1NET -- Dec.6) Although F1 bosses have vetoed the
introduction of a radical rear wing in 2007, the governing
body will plough ahead with plans to spice up the sport with
the novel concept.
Picking up where Adrian Newey left in perfecting the
so-called 'Centerline Downwash Generating' wing, it is
suggested that the Paris-based FIA has appointed Jean-Claude
Migeot to take the early blueprint to the next phase.
Migeot, a French aerodynamic engineer who formerly worked
for Renault, Ferrari and Tyrrell, founded 'Fondmetal
Technologies' -- with one of the best wind tunnels in
'Auto, Motor und Sport' reports that Migeot, 52, will build
a 'CDG' wing prototype and test it in the wind tunnel.
Fisi aims to keep '07 ride
(GMMf1NET -- Dec.6) Giancarlo Fisichella has denied that
Flavio Briatore-protégé Heikki Kovalainen will certainly
replace him in '07.
The Roman, teammate to Renault's world champion Fernando
Alonso, insists that his 'primary objective' is to stick
around at the Enstone team for longer than one more year.
''But (that is) forgetting (the fact that) there will be 14
or 15 seats available in one year's time,'' the 32-year-old
told Gazzetta dello Sport.
Fisichella admitted that he will be open to rival teams'
He continued: ''I'll have to see who offers the best
And, although 75 points behind 24-year-old Alonso's title
charge in 2005, Fisi insisted that the objective for next
year is the 'big prize'.
''I hope I'll have better luck.
''Sometimes (in 2005) it was a nightmare.''
Ferrari on 'right path'
(GMMf1NET -- Dec.6) Ferrari has not yet solved every problem
that blighted the former champions' charge in 2005.
That is the admission of team test driver Luca Badoer, who
revealed that Bridgestone's tires are the centerpiece of the
Ferrari winter test joblist.
The Italian told the 'Gazzetta dello Sport' newspaper: ''But
we have found the right path -- there are still months ...
ahead and let's not forget that Toyota and Williams will
give us a hand now.''
Badoer, 34 and born in Montebelluna, revealed that testing
of the new V8 engine is also progressing. ''We have already
done several race simulations,'' Luca added.
The long time Ferrari tester also said Felipe Massa -
Michael Schumacher's '06 teammate - had 'definitely matured'
since he last drove for the scarlet team back in 2003.
''He's envied a bit by everyone,'' Badoer admitted,
referring to his former test driver colleague, ''me
Monteiro and Midland
(GMMf1NET -- Dec.6) 'MF1 Racing' is still yet to admit that
Tiago Monteiro will stay at the Midland-owned team in 2006.
In a statement emailed and faxed to the press on Monday, the
Silverstone based team started the headline with the
28-year-old Portuguese's name.
But the document was merely a recognition that the '2005
Portuguese driver' had won Autosport's Rookie of the Year.
''It is probably one of the most important ones,'' Monteiro
said in the statement, ''as it reflects the best rookie all
over the world in the leading ... categories.''
He dedicated the prize to Midland.
Midland's sporting relations manager, Johnny Herbert, added:
''Hopefully in the future this will be something he could
use to his advantage to further his career in (F1).''
Ferrari visits the Pope
(GMMf1NET -- Dec.6) Pope Benedict XVI had a special guest on
Monday -- Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo.
The Italian, also president of Italian carmaker Fiat, handed
over a $1.1m check to the head of the Catholic church, after
auctioning the 400th 'Enzo' Ferrari road car.
Montezemolo also gifted a Michael Schumacher-signed 'F2004'
F1 car steering wheel.
''It's very complicated to use, Your Holiness,'' Montezemolo
told the Pope, to which he replied: ''It's very complex
guiding the Church, too.''
The steering wheel was inscribed: 'To His Holiness Benedict
XVI, who drives the Christian world'.
A Ferrari delegation, including Schumacher and Rubens
Barrichello, visited Benedict's predecessor, the late John
Paul II, in January.
Meanwhile, Montezemolo was named 'world's most elegant man'
in the Japanese 'EX' magazine.
The result was a survey of 450 designers, businessmen,
journalists and fashion buyers.
''He stands out from the others not only for his fashion
sense,'' read the magazine, ''but also because of his strong
personality and charisma.''
DC - 'I can win again'
(GMMf1NET -- Dec.6) David Coulthard has denied that he
cannot now add to his tally of thirteen F1 grand prix wins.
Although the vast majority were scored at the wheel of a
McLaren, with whom he ended a nine-year pairing one year
ago, 34-year-old DC will be reunited with Adrian Newey in
Every one of Coulthard's wins, at Williams and McLaren, were
achieved with a Newey-penned grand prix machine.
''I've won grands prix, so I can win again,'' he told The
Independent newspaper this week.
David joined Red Bull in 2005, the team earning credibility
throughout the season and thus luring McLaren's long time
DC's last win was Melbourne 2003.
Date set for Schu return
(GMMf1NET -- Dec.6) Deposed 2004 world champion Michael
Schumacher will return to track action at the long Jerez
test next week, it's reported.
Ferrari's German, 36, is scheduled to run at the southern
Spanish circuit on December 15 and 16, with president Luca
di Montezemolo insisting: 'He's raring to go'.
''The vacation is over.''
Elsewhere, Schumacher was interviewed for the 'Automagazine'
publication. He answered 'Corinna, Gina Maria and Mick' when
asked what three items he would pack on a desert island
And his ultimate ambition? ''I have already achieved it,''
he answered, quickly adding that his first Ferrari title had
completed his goals.
Viry salute Alonso crown
(GMMf1NET -- Dec.6) If you're driving on the 'A6 Autoroute'
south of Paris, you can hardly fail to miss Renault's latest
Last week, the Viry-Chatillon factory - where the engines
for world champion Fernando Alonso and Giancarlo
Fisichella's cars are built - was decorated as a tribute to
the double '05 formula one crowns.
Across the front, huge letters exclaiming 'RENAULT ET ALONSO
- CHAMPIONS!' - and a picture of the 'R25' car - can be seen
from the A6 Autoroute.
''When you win a world title, you have to let the world know
about it,'' read a statement.
250 staff work at the Viry HQ.
Wheldon wants F1 test
(GMMf1NET -- Dec.6) Despite turning down BMW's offer of the
Friday drive in 2006, Indy 500 winner Dan Wheldon would
'love' a one-off F1 test.
The Englishman, who rejected the Munich based manufacturer's
'BMW Sauber' bid because it did not include a guaranteed
2007 race ride, will stay in the IRL next year to defend his
''If it was a test that was scheduled properly, with enough
time, then I would love to have a go,'' he told Autosport.
''A one-day test would be difficult to turn down, but it can
hurt your career.'' Asked why he turned down the full-time
2006 offer, Wheldon added: ''I didn't feel comfortable with
the race stuff.''
'Rosberg Sr' is 57
(GMMf1NET -- Dec.6) 1982 world champion Keke Rosberg turns
fifty seven (57) on Tuesday.
The Finn, who won the title despite winning just a single
race in Frank Williams' Cosworth-powered car, drove 114
grands prix between '78 and '86.
Uniquely, 19 years after retiring from F1, Rosberg's
20-year-old son - German-born Nico - will make his F1 debut
in a Williams-Cosworth next year.
''It warms me that he is here in F1 with this team,'' Keke
Rosberg, observing Nico's test at Barcelona last week, told
England's Telegraph 'paper.
He added: ''When we started out it was just father and son
going karting. A bit of fun. Now it is only the son ...
which is how it should be.''
So far, the F1 paddock has been impressed with Rosberg Jr's
attitude -- like his dad, there's not a hint of arrogance.
Keke said: ''The only advice I have ever given him is not to
change. This business has a way of doing that to people.''
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