Low Profile tyres for F1
In the second leak of the day, Max Mosley is considering a move to low profile tyres in F1. He feels this would be a 'more modern appearance' and would do little to the performance of the cars.
Lauda critisises Ferrari.
Niki Lauda has said that if Michael Schumacher doesn't win this year, it will be Ferrari's fault, and he will leave in a German magazine. He is quoted saying: " It's a shame that Ferrari isn't able to supply a suitable car to the best driver in the world, Michael Schumacher. If Michael will loose the 1999 Championship due to technical failure and other mistakes of the team again, he'll either leave the team or even retire from Formula One racing".
BAR launch 99 colour schemes
British American Racing have officially unveiled their 1999 colour schemes. The cars are running in Lucky Strike and 555 colours, as had been expected. The launch is set to rile the FIA who are now in arbitration with BAR over the idea of running two colour schemes.
Tom Moser of BAT said "As a company, we market our products in a different and innovative way compared with our rivals. It follows that we adopted a similarly unique approach when we decided to enter Formula One with British American Racing. Two of our most important international brands are Lucky Strike and State Express 555, and it seemed perfectly logical to promote each of them via our Formula One programme."
"This approach has generated controversy in Formula One circles, but from our standpoint it's difficult to understand why. After all, Formula One teams have in the past run dual-liveried cars. It certainly doesn't detract from the overall show '96 if anything, it enhances it."
Special deal for Ferrari causes controversy
Bridgestone has agreed to supply Ferrari with an extra 200 tyres a year so that the team can conduct private tests at Fiorano. This move is set to cause controversy, as the teams agreed to a reduction in testing, and only tyres for public F1 tests. It is unclear if other teams have the same supply.
Think tank says yes to All Weather Tyres
The F1 Think Tank has given a thumbs up to all weather tyres from 2001. Drivers and teams are more cautious and wonder about the durability of the tyre, or the suitability of a dry-suitable tyre in the wet.
Beryllium banned from 2000
Beryllium is to be banned from F1 in the year 2000, following the agreement of the F1 Think Tank. The metal caused heated debates between the Ferrari and McLaren-Mercedes teams this season, as Mercedes uses the metal in cylinder linings. It has been linked to lung cancer, and Ferrari wanted it banned on 'health grounds'. Luca di Montezemolo said ''In a world that is doing the best for ecology, F1 shouldn't give a bad example'. The fact th at Ferrari is sponsored by a bigger cause of lung cancer worldwide seems to have escaped the team...
Badoer - no Minardi drive
Luca Badoer has lost the chance of a drive for Minardi, as Ferrari are unable to release him. The problems stem from Marlboro not funding the team for the drive, and so Ferrari were unwilling to release him from his Ferra ri testing deal. Shinji Nakano is now almost certain to take the remaining seat for the Faenza based team.
BAR confirms new sponsor
BAR has confirmed sponsorship from Teleglobe in a multi year contract.
Villeneuve critisises new tyre rules
Jacques Villeneuve has laid into the new tyre regulations for 1999. He said that 'For a tyre to work in the dry it would have to be as hard as a rock, if we lose control of the car in the wet it will be like skating on ice. We'll end up in the wall even if it's 500 yards away. I don't understand why the FIA, having seen that the 1998 regulations didn't achieve anything, has carried on with the same argument. They want us to use road tyres but we're driving racing cars.' This latest comment may bring him into conflict again with the FIA. In 1993, FISA - under Max Mosley - threatened to withdraw Alain Prost's superlicence for criticising decision made by the FISA.
New sponsor at Williams may be 'title' sponsor
There is increasing speculation that the new Williams sponsor to be named at The Autosport show this week is a new title sponsor, replacing current sponsor Rothmans International. The team has said so far that the deal is a 'long term contract' and 'major initiative with a new leading global sponsor.'
Jordan announces launch and test dates
Jordan have announced the launch date for the Jordan 199. It is to be launched to the press on 1st February. Testing will next take place at Jerez 23-25th January, Barcelona 28-30th January, then Silverstone 3-4 Feb, Barcelona 9-11 Feb, Mugello 16-18 Feb and Silverstone again between 22-24th February. As testing is now restricted, expect these to be full F1 tests for the teams.
Flavio and Campbell on holiday together
Flavio Briatore, ex-boss of Benetton and now boss of Supertech, has been photographed on holiday with Naomi Campbell on his yacht. Since meeting her he has split up with ex-partner Emma Heming. Naomi admits that she loves him.
Knighthood for Williams
Frank Williams, owner of the Williams Grand Prix team, has been awarded a Knighthood in the New Years Honours List. The honour has been granted for his services to motorsport. 'I am very surprised and very happy that I have received such an important honour' he said.