Drivers line up for Williams chance

With the rumours not going away about Zanardi's days at Williams being numbered, a number of drivers have emerged as contenders for the drive, including JJ Lehto, Jörg Müller and Darren Manning. The latter is down to test for the Grove team at Jerez, whilst Jörg has done most testing over the year of the BMW engine.

JJ Lehto is reported to have negotiated a contract with Williams, and has strong links with BMW through their sports car program. Lehto himself commented "It's good for us, because we know all the Williams bosses. There is a little chance that something happens. I'd be happy if I'd get a chance to test Williams. I guess they'll choose the driver according to the tests"

Michelin to announce F1 entry

Michelin is now expected to announce a 2001 return to F1. The teams expected to be customers of the French concern include Toyota, Ferrari, Williams, Prost and Benetton. The company has until January 1st to announce it's intention to enter. Bridgestone itself would welcome the entry of a second manufacturer to increase competition, and as a result publicity, for the tyre companies.

March plans now under threat

The accepted entry of Toyota Motorsport GmbH has scuppered the plans of Robin Herd and Mike Earle to revive the March name in F1. The pair had been working to secure sponsorship (which is believed to have been done) and gear up for a 2001 entry. According to recent reports, Herd lodged an application for the final spot, but the FIA selected Toyota over Herd's application. The only option for Herd and Earle is to make a bid for an existing team, such as Arrows which is currently up for sale.

Teams ban V12s

The Formula One Commission has voted to ban V12 engines from F1. Several teams, including Ferrari and new-boys Toyota, were investigating building V12s with new exotic lightweight materials. The teams, however, decided to ban them due to the huge financial costs that would be required.

-- Stephen M Baines