Proxis Grand Prix - Volume 44 - Thu 16 OCT 97 E-Mail: Internet: _______________________________________________

Villeneuve, Williams drop appeal [Thu., Oct.16, 1997, 2:05PM EDT]

The Williams team and driver Jacques Villeneuve have dropped their appeal of Villeneuve's yellow flag infraction, which occured last weekend during practice for the Japanese Grand Prix. As a result, he has been disqualified from the race, and has lost the two points that he earned for fifth place.

Both Villeneuve and Frank Williams had lodged the appeal in order for him to race at Suzuka, but they now have realized that carrying out the appeal could mandate that championship-challenging Villeneuve be banned from the final round at Jerez as well as being disqualifed from the Japanese GP. By dropping the appeal, Villeneuve is assured that he has only been disqualified from Suzuka, and will race against Schumacher in the championship- deciding Grand Prix of Europe in just over one week.

Additionally, the official result of the Japanese Grand Prix has shifted along with the championship tables, with Benetton's Jean Alesi gaining a point moving from sixth to fifth, and with Sauber's Johnny Herbert moving into the=20 points from seventh to sixth.

Berger to announce retirement? [Wed., Oct.15, 1997, 4:29PM EDT]

Gerhard Berger is expected to announce Friday that he will retire from Formula One at the end of this season. He had recently been linked with Ferrari, Prost, and BMW for next year, but instead it is thought that he will hang up his Nomex racing suit.

Berger has signed a wealth of endorsement deals in recent weeks, and had sold his aircraft he used to fly between his home in Austria, the Benetton factory in England, and to the grands prix, which has lead to media speculation that he has decided to end his driving career.

He is, however, expected to remain with the sport in some fashion, likely with magazines or television. ________________________________________________ Copyright =A9 1997 by John E. Klender. All rights reserved. =20