Latest F1 news in brief
by Andrew Maitland
December 12, 2005
Bernie back on F1 board
(GMMf1NET -- Dec.12) Despite only recently resigning from the post,
Bernie Ecclestone once again sits on the F1 board.
The 75-year-old left the board last year, when three banks sued him
for control of the billion dollar sport. Now, 'CVC' owns most of the
banks' former shares, and Bernie is a minor shareholder in the new
company, Alpha Prema.
England's 'The Independent' newspaper said Ecclestone was made a
Formula One Holdings board member again in late November.
The appointment is probably significant, given that the 'GPMA' group
of F1 carmakers intend to quit the sport if a row is not settled this
'Blown away' by F1 contrast
(GMMf1NET -- Dec.12) Narain Karthikeyan says he has been blown away
with the difference between F1's stragglers and a top flight team.
After spending his rookie year with Midland owned Jordan, the
28-year-old Indian made his test debut for former title winner
Williams at Jerez last Tuesday.
Karthikeyan told the Indian media that the difference between the two
cars was 'huge'.
Narain is perhaps first in line to become the Grove team's 'Friday'
driver next year.
He said: ''Now I know why this team has done so well in grands prix.
It's truly fantastic.''
Oxfordshire based Williams has won 113 F1 races since 1979.
Jerez action takes a break
(GMMf1NET -- Dec.12) Water tankers marked the end of Jerez's first
week of winter testing.
On Sunday, Bridgestone's four teams - Ferrari, Toyota, Williams and
Midland - hung around at the southern Spanish circuit to run on an
artificially dampened asphalt.
Full action will resume at 'Jerez de la Frontera' on Tuesday, for the
last running before a short Christmas break.
A day earlier, youngsters Markus Winkelhock, Fabrizio del Monte and
Russia's Roman Rusinov debuted for the Midland 'MF1' team in a 2005
BMW Sauber's Jacques Villeneuve, however, was quickest of ten runners,
while Pedro de la Rosa (McLaren) led Friday's thirteen.
It was Jarno Trulli's last test at the wheel in 2005, and he looked
pretty quick in the 2006 spec Toyota TF106 car.
But he cautioned: ''We still have to find how to get the maximum out
of the (Bridgestone) tires.
''I can now look forward to Christmas with my family and, for the
first time, our son Enzo.''
Cosworth top 20,000rpm
(GMMf1NET -- Dec.12) Williams' new supplier, Cosworth, is probably the
first ever to clock up 20,000 revs per minute with a F1 engine.
It is reported in Britain's Autosport magazine that the 20,000 barrier
was broken with the new V8 in an interim car at the recent Barcelona
''We don't plan to run the engine to 20,000rpm as a matter of
course,'' said Cosworth's head of development Alex Hitzinger, ''but it
will be available to us.''
Cosworth won 155 grands prix in F1 with the fabled 'DFV' V8.
V8 makes F1 tougher - Heikki
(GMMf1NET -- Dec.12) Driving a formula one car has been made more
difficult with the advent of V8 engines, Renault test driver Heikki
Renault do not plan to debut the V8 until the New Year, but the Finn -
tipped to succeed Giancarlo Fisichella in the Renault race seat next
year - has sampled the team's attempt to simulate V8-style power with
the rev-limited V10.
''Maybe we have less power than before, but don't be mistaken --
driving a F1 car is never easy,'' Kovalainen said.
He suggested that making a mistake is now more costly, presumably
because getting back up to speed takes longer.
''I think it makes it more difficult,'' Heikki continued. ''You can't
make many mistakes because it costs you more time, and that makes the
job even more challenging.''
Fisichella to race in GP2
(GMMf1NET -- Dec.12) Renault's Giancarlo Fisichella will graduate to
GP2 next year -- as a team owner.
The Roman's camp is joining forces with Coloni, team boss Paolo Coloni
announced at the 'Bologna Motor Show' in Italy.
The team will be called FMS International.
Giancarlo Fisichella's junior racing team debuted in the Italian F3000
championship this year.
Earlier this year, Coloni admitted that joining the formula one grid
as a grand prix team owner was 'the aim'.
Schu friend gets jail term
(GMMf1NET -- Dec.12) A close associate of Michael Schumacher has been
handed a suspended jail term, according to reports in Germany.
Jurgen Dilk bought a ten-year-old Schumacher, now 36, his first
go-kart. He guided the eventual seven time world champion through the
junior formulae until Willi Weber took over for Formula 3 and beyond.
But Dilk stayed in the Schumacher camp and payroll, running the
official fan club.
The 62-year-old has been found guilty of tax evasion.
Schumacher had reportedly prepared a written character witness
statement for his friend, but Dilk ultimately accepted the suspended
one-year jail term and $36,000 fine.
He must also repay $177,000 to the taxation department.
Fittipaldi turns 59
(GMMf1NET -- Dec.12) Brazil's twice world champion Emerson Fittipaldi
is celebrating a birthday on Monday.
The winner of 14 grands prix, and twice a winner of America's fabled
Indy 500, turns 59 on December 12. His brother, Wilson, raced 35 times
in F1 in the 70s, while nephew Christian raced in '92-'94.
Monday also marks the 46th anniversary of legendary figure Bruce
McLaren's first grand prix win, at Sebring in the US in 1959. His car
was one of eight Coopers in the field.
DC feels 'more pressure'
(GMMf1NET -- Dec.12) These days, it's no uncommon thing to observe
that David Coulthard is enjoying a new lease of life in the F1
After nearly a decade at the wheel of a McLaren, the Scottish veteran
joined new entrant Red Bull Racing in 2005.
In his harshest words against Ron Dennis' silver clad camp so far,
34-year-old 'DC' also explained that he feels a true part of his new
''At McLaren I was a driver and a marketing instrument,'' he told
Motorsport Aktuell magazine.
''Now I'm experiencing another side of the job.''
However, being part of the actual establishment of a team comes with
its side effects -- for example, Coulthard said the track debut of Red
Bull's 2006 car this week carries 'more pressure'.
He insisted: ''If (RB2) does not turn out to be better than the
current car, then I must shoulder some of the blame.''
David also revealed how he pushed Red Bull's bosses to scrap the
controversial 'driver swap' and install a full-time race line-up for
Alonso favorite - Zanardi
(GMMf1NET -- Dec.12) Fernando Alonso will start the 2006 championship
favorite to retain his crown.
That is the opinion of former grand prix driver Alex Zanardi, who
trumpeted the chances of the '05 world champion.
''For 2006 I see him as favorite,'' Italy's Zanardi - who lost both
his legs in a Champ Car crash in 2001 - said at the Bologna Motor
Zanardi last raced in F1 for Williams in 1999, but returned to racing
in a hand-controlled BMW and even won a world touring car race this
The 39-year-old told La Gazzetta dello Sport: ''Even if the
regulations are changing, Fernando's triumph has surely made him even
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