McLaren's widow in battle over Swiss accounts
Bruce McLaren's widow, Patricia Brickett, has set about her husbands former manager Phil Kerr, and is claiming NZ$500,000 off him. She is to appear in court tomorrow, claiming that Kerr took 429,602 Swiss Francs from an investment trust run for the benefit of Bruce and his wife in 1975 and 1976 in three lumps. The NZ$500,000 includes interest. Under the agreement between Kerr and McLaren, Kerr was entitled to 15% of all monies going to Ecurie Top Gear (the investment company), but this would cease on McLaren's death. The withdrawls are said to have been made by Kerr after McLaren's death. Telefonica buys out Minardi
The Minardi team has bowed to the inevitable, and sold a majority stake in the team. The team had been negotiating with Telefonica over the summer, and now the Spanish telecoms company has bought a majority/controlling stake in the team from Gabriele Rumi and Giancarlo Minardi. The move will reportedly secure Ford CR1 engines for next season.
The future for Rumi and Minardi within the team isn't known as of yet. A Spanish speaking driver is expected to take the second seat alongside Gene. Norberto Fontana is favourite, whilst Pedro de la Rosa cannot be ruled out. Testing ban to be expanded The top teams and Bernie Ecclestone are putting pressure on the FIA to have a longer ban on testing. The current ban lasts from the last race to the 1st of December. The teams would like to see this extended to the New Year in future. It has been estimated that this would save teams around £500,000 a year. The FIA are unlikely to disagree with the suggestion, due to their own interest in reducing costs in F1, and could aid smaller teams. Ownership of Jordan partly revealed
In an interview with The Sunday Independent, Eddie Jordan revealed that is was "no secret we got IR£68m for a minority stake in Jordan" from Warburg Pincus. Old stories had said was a 40% stake sold for £45m. Minardi to get Fords? In a surprise move, it is now expected that the Minardi team will not be using Supertech engines next season, but the Ford CR-1 engine. The move would be highly surprising if it comes off, as Ford had stated earlier this season that they would not supply customer engines any more. The CR-1 engine has 40 bhp more than the unit the team enjoyed this season.
It is reported that the deal has been brokered by Bernie Ecclestone, as the Minardi team was increasingly looking like not having an engine for 2000, as Flavio Briatore once again was refusing to supply engines, despite a previous agreement.
Stephen M Baines http://www.motorsport.org.uk