F1 News 98-12-29

Ferrari to switch all cars to Bridgestone? Stories are circulating that Ferrari are set to fit Bridgestones onto their road cars as part of the deal between the two companies. Other motor manufacturers are also reflecting on their...

Ferrari to switch all cars to Bridgestone?

Stories are circulating that Ferrari are set to fit Bridgestones onto their road cars as part of the deal between the two companies. Other motor manufacturers are also reflecting on their deals with Goodyear in light of the pull out of motor sport. Most manufacturers feel that F1 develops new tyre technologies.

Mosley to make move?

There are increasingly strong rumours that the FIA feel they may have gone too far with the extra groove this year. The FIA is rumoured to be playing with the idea of an increase in downforce to increase overtaking, which is somewhat different to the generally accepted view of downforce in F1.

Bridgestone gives Ferrari parity

Bridgestone has assigned a tyre expert to the Ferrari team, as well as to McLaren. The move signals a marked improvement in relations between the two, after a somewhat shakey start in December. The move is believed to have been negotiated by the presidents of both companies directly, and a move to make up for differences over testing in 99.

Ferrari loses jewels

Ferrari has lost one of its sponsors. Asprey, the company owned along with Garrards the royal jeweller by Prince Jeffrey - the nephew of the Sultan of Brunei - has long been reported to be in financial crisis.

Lotus offers reward

Team Lotus have offered a =A35,000 reward to the person who can locate a Lotus 102 driven by Mika Hakkinen in 1991-92. The car was stolen 4 years ago, and is only one of 4 made. The car is valued at =A3100,000.

Superpowers feared in F1

The F1 teams are expecting a huge increase in power outputs from Mercedes and Ferrari next season, with some estimates in excess of 800bhp. The next best engines, such as the Mecachrome and Mugen Honda are expected to be around 750bhp. The teams fear a 70 bhp gap between the second-string constructors and the front pair.

Malaysia wants finale

Malaysia, who are to get there first GP next season, are aiming to get the season finale in 2000. Sepang boss, Hussin Mohd Ali, has written to Bernie Ecclestone requesting the date.

Jenkins leaves Stewart

Alan Jenkins, designer at Stewart GP, has left the team. He has been replaced by Gary Anderson who left Jordan in the summer.

BMW denies Ford merger

BMW has gone on the defensive, denying rumours that Ford and BMW are to merge. BMW made the statements whilst reporting increases in orders and profits. Eberhard von Kuenheim, board chairman, has said that 'There are no plans or talks about a merger or an extensive cooperation'. He also said that the Quandt family, which have a large stake in the firm, have no plans to sell their shares, and are not in talks. He also dismissed reports of board wrangles between the Chief Executive and the Chief of Development.

Tobacco barons go to court

Rothmans, BAT, Gallaher & Imperial Tobacco have won the right in the British Courts to challenge the legality of the tobacco advertising ban in the European Court of Justice. The Tobacco Manufacturers Association has said the ban has no legal basis.

Pedro impresses at Arrows

Pedro de la Rosa has impressed the Arrows F1 team during testing, finishing only 0.3 seconds behind team-leader Salo. The team was also impressed with the quality of his feedback. Pedro said he doesn't know if it will lead to a drive: 'I've not spoken with anyone about that yet. If they don't want me I would like to know soon, but after this test I hope I can get close to Arrows.'

Lotus in F1 return?

Proton, the current owner of Lotus Engineering, has said it is keen to enter Formula One with the Lotus name as an engine supplier. The boss of Proton, Tengku Datuk Mahaleel has gone on record saying: '...we are totally committed to the future of F1 and we want to make sure that Proton is a part of that. The fact that we now own Lotus is very important, and will form part of the discussion, and we cannot underestimate that'.

Further rumours suggest this could link in with Malaysian oil company Petronas, which wanted to develop its own engine for Sauber. Mahaleel has admitted discussions between the two, but would not be drawn on their nature. Recently the boss of Sauber, Peter Sauber, has said it is important to link up with a manufacturer.

Salo speaks out

Mika Salo has been talking to the press about the Arrows situation. He has said that the team had been courting Toyota, Yamaha and other engine manufacturers about an engine deal of some sort.

-- Stephen M Baines http://www.motorsport.org.uk

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Pedro de la Rosa , Mika Hakkinen , Mika Salo , Peter Sauber , Bernie Ecclestone , Gary Anderson
Teams Ferrari , Mercedes , Team Lotus , Sauber , McLaren , Jordan