Williams have announced that they will launch their 2000 challenger on January 10th, according to the BBC. The team have said that Ralf Schumacher will be their number 1 driver next season, and has dismissed reports that Alex Zanardi has lost his place as the "second driver".

Ralf, meanwhile, has spoken about the new BMW engine: "In terms of power, the BMW is already at the level of the Supertec, a weak point remains the high weight, but that can quickly be overcome."

Jordan predicts suprise for Eddie

Eddie Jordan has said he doesn't expect Irvine to find it easy being Johnny Herbert's team mate in 2000.

"He's gone there in a blaze of publicity and on a big contract, he won't like being beaten by Johnny. He'll get frustrated. It could be very interesting. Johnny killed Eddie in the recent test down at Jerez, and there's every chance he will surprise him again when the season starts. Johnny's been there for a year, he knows the team and the car and he finished the season on a high."

New bid for Arrows

A new bidder for a 51% stake in Arrows has emerged - Rupert Manwaring, erstwhile boss of Lotus, Tyrrell, and Honda's erstwhile solo F1 project. Walkinshaw has denied selling the team, but the reality is that he may have little say in the matter, with Morgen Grenfell owning 50%, and Prince Malik known to be selling his 25% through HSBC. Manwaring's consortium is said to be offering UKP 25m for a 51% stake.

Benetton hope for better luck

Rocco Benetton has spoken on his hopes for 2000: "We know what it is like to win and we want that feeling again... We hope 2000 will give us a slight let-up in our luck and so we can show everyone how hard we work."

-- Stephen M Baines --

"I've never been one for threesomes. Inevitably someone ends up making the tea, and knowing my luck it would be me." Marc Almond.