F1 News 99-03-12

BAR apologises to FIA BAR have apologised to the FIA saying that their lawyers acted without consulting them first. Craig Pollock said that they made a number of declarations which did not reflect his views. The team also restated that it has ...

BAR apologises to FIA

BAR have apologised to the FIA saying that their lawyers acted without consulting them first. Craig Pollock said that they made a number of declarations which did not reflect his views. The team also restated that it has withdrawn its complaint it lodged with the EC.

Bernie Bond moves back into fast lane

WestLB has been appointed alongside Morgan Stanley as joint Lead Manager for the Bernie Bond issue. The bond issue is now expected to be next month, and is expected to raise capital of $1.4billion. This level was chosen as it means that Standard & Poor will give it a good rating, which will help the bond to sell. It is also expected to have a term of around 5 to 10 years instead of the original 22 years. The bond is now expected to go ahead, despite the EC investigation still going on. An insider, according to The Telegraph, has said the bond will be a prelude to a full float in two years time. For the float to be a big success, there must be massive progress on Digital Television, which is the building block of the bond.

Schumacher would back Irvine

Michael Schumacher, speaking at the Geneva motor show, has said that he wouldn't mind backing Irvine up for the championship if the team asked him to. For this to come into play, Irvine must have 30-40 points after four races.

BAR denies split

British American Racing have gone on the defensive for the first time, denying that the team is splitting apart. The stories surfaced over Adrian Reynard not attending the first GP. Adrian Reynard has since gone on record saying "I have faith in Craig, believe he's doing a terrific job and am supporting him all the way.". Some stories suggest that Pollock will be forced out of the team.

Reynard to buy Riley & Scott

According to latest reports, Reynard are planning to purchase Riley & Scott to expand their US presence. Reynard are hoping to float the company on the stock exchange later this year. A Reynard spokesman said "No deal has been concluded"

F3000 to stay with F1

The majority of the F3000 teams have decided they want to stay partnered with the F1 series, despite the hiccups it can cause. Most teams have said their sponsorship deals hang on being the support race for F1. The FIA had threatened to split after the teams complained about race timetables.

Verstappen has crash

According to Dutch newspapers, Jos Verstappen is to appear in court for an accident which he had on the open roads. He got angry, according to the reports, when a fellow driver failed to give way, he then made contact with the car and knocked its mirror off, he then overtook the man in an illegal manner, and then gave him a break test. The driver was unable to stop in time, and colided. The police said "All witnesses confirmed that Mr Verstappen caused the accident on purpose"

Sauber admits to flexiwings

Leo Ress, technical director at Sauber, has admitted that the team has used a flexible wing on the car at the Australian Grand Prix. "I saw something similar on some of the cars last season, so when we designed the new car, the rear wing was deliberately designed to flex a little bit". Last week the F1 rules think tank was told that flexi- wings are not allowed and would be severely dealt with, which makes this confession remarkable.

Ferrari technical director, Ross Brawn, when asked about Ferrari running a flexible wing said "That's not something I'd want to comment on at this stage. If you make the wing light, it will happen.".

Ron Dennis of McLaren said that if the wing flexes it "is not designed to provide us with an aerodynamic advantage, whatever the degree. The wing is designed to stay fixed to the car and therefore you have a degree of flexibility. You design something you believe is optimised for structural integrity. You don't want it overly strong."

A load test on wings is expected in time for the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Indy wants September date

Tony George, boss of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, has said that he wants a September date for the return of F1 to the US. He said that the date that Bernie Ecclestone wants - June to coincide with the Canadian GP - isn't feasable due to other events being run at the circuit, such as the Indy 500 in May and the Indy 400 in August. Tony George said if he gets the date he wants, he will get 200,000 visitors to the circuit.

Williams defends Zanardi

The Williams team have defended Alex Zanardi's return to F1, saying that he "was just really unlucky". His race engineer, James Robinson, went on to say that he required more track time. Patrick Head said that he had "a very troubled weekend and I am sure it will be a lot better in Brazil." Of Ralf Schumacher he went on to say "'It was a great drive from Ralf, he didn't put a foot wrong"

Eddie thanks everyone

Eddie Irvine has thanked all the people who helped him to his first win: "I would like to thank everyone who has helped me, all the way up from Formula Ford. They know who they are. If I named them all, I would be here for a few hours. I needed a lot of help. It is a fantastic feeling to get a win and to do it with Ferrari afer all this time." He also in a separate interview thanked Michael Schumacher for doing the development work on the car over the winter and him getting all the glory.

Norbert aims for reliability

Norbert Haug has said that McLaren will have to work on their reliability:

"Naturally it is a piy that we could not run further. However, I think we have proved that we are on target as far as performance is concerned. Of course now all we must do is to make sure we can last a race distance with reliability".

Ron Dennis, meanwhile, has defended the decision to run the new car "We would not be professional if we did not go back and examine the decisions we made, but I believe we were right to bring the new car here even if we did not win this time". David Coulthard described it as a "perfect finish with Michael Schumacher not scoring"

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

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Eddie Irvine , Ralf Schumacher , Jos Verstappen , Michael Schumacher , David Coulthard , Alex Zanardi , Ross Brawn , Norbert Haug , Patrick Head , Tony George , Bernie Ecclestone , James Robinson
Teams Ferrari , Sauber , McLaren , Williams , British American Racing