******************** (-: Formula1 NEWS :-) ********************* The Electronic Formula 1 News Service for the Internet World Wide Web server at http://www.enigmatic.co.uk/formula1/ *** September 24th 1997 *** ...
******************** (-: Formula1 NEWS :-) ********************* The Electronic Formula 1 News Service for the Internet World Wide Web server at http://www.enigmatic.co.uk/formula1/ *** September 24th 1997 *** *** Issue Number 095 *** ****************************************************************
In This Issue
*Suspended Bans *BAT Team Back *Villeneuve / Prost? *Magnussen Safe *New Sponsor For Minardi? *Schumacher 100 *1998 Calendar *1998 Line Up *Hill Joins Jordan *Benetton Confirm Wurz *Austria Results *Drivers Championship *Constructors Championship *Austria Review *Luxembourg Preview *News Services *Contacting Us *Formula1 News Back Issues *How To Change Your Address/Unsubscribe etc.
Many of you wrote to me asking about the suspended bans that Villeneuve and Coulthard received at the Italian GP. In F1, if a driver commits an offence, such as overtaking under a yellow flag he will get a one race ban. The FIA realise that this would have a serious impact on the driver's season , so *normally* they will issue the driver with a ban, but suspend it over a number of races. Usually the bans are suspended over 1,2 or maybe 3 races. After the suspended races have been run, the driver's ban is wiped off. If a driver commits another offence that is serious while under a suspended ban, his one race ban will have to be served and more likely a second race would be missed too as a result of the second offence. As I said, usually drivers only get 2 or 3 race suspensions (it's a bit like probation) but Villeneuve has already had two suspended bans this year. So the FIA have given him a one race ban suspended for 9 races. The ban was given before the Italian race, so he has already served one of his 9 races. But if he commits another offence in the next 8 races he will have to miss at least one race. It does seem a bit harsh to me, but there you go.
BAT Team Back
The BAT team could make it into F1 by next season after all. The BAT team will enter under their own name, probably in a deal with Reynard. The team are expected to 'break cover' at the final race of the season at Jerez.
Villeneuve / Prost?
Big rumours that Villeneuve will be joining the Prost team for next year. Prost are expected to have a press conference on the 25th Sept, where the deal will *supposedly* be announced. Villeneuve was reported to have had a HUGE row with Patrick Head during the Austrian GP. It has long been known that they have different ideas on car set up.
Common opinion has it that Magnussen's performance at the A1 ring has saved his seat at Stewart. A similar performance this weekend would almost certainly secure him the drive for next year. I'm sure Stewart will make it known one way or another in the next few days.
New Sponsor For Minardi?
Rumours that Minardi might have landed a new sponsorship deal with the Labatts Brewing Company. Labatts were last active in F1 as a sponsor to Williams.
This weekend Michael Schumacher will join the fairly limited number of drivers (38) that have competed in 100 GPs. With 26 wins, 16 pole positions and 28 fastest laps he occupies 6th place in the all time wins / races ratio table. He will join Gerhard Berger, Jean Alesi and Johnny Herbert as the only current drivers to have 100 GPs under their belt. We wish him all the best for the next 100. Gerhard Berger will also compete in his 208th race, putting him joint second on the all time list with Andrea de Cesaris and behind Ricardo Patrese(256).
The draft 1998 calendar has been released. This doesn't usually change though the official calendar will be released around December as usual. The only real changes I can see is the Spanish GP appearing before Monaco and the German GP being split from the trio of the French, British and German GPs that usually occupy the mid season slot. The Austrian GP effectively moving into its place. Still only 17 races too.
Australia March 8 Brazil March 29 Argentina April 12 San Marino April 26 Spain May 10 Monaco May 24 Canada June 7 France June 21 Britain July 12 Austria July 26 Germany August 2 Hungary August 16 Belgium August 30 Italy September 13 Luxembourg September 27 Portugal October 11 Japan November 1
1998 Line Up
The line up for 1998 is almost fixed, so here is a run down.
Arrows Yamaha(?) Bridgestone Diniz Salo
Benetton Mecachrome(?) Goodyear Wurz Fisichella
Jordan Honda Goodyear R.Schumacher Hill
Minardi Ford Bridgestone Marques Katayama (?) Verstappen (?)
McLaren Mercedes Goodyear Hakkinen Coulthard
Prost Peugeot Bridgestone Panis Trulli (?) Zanardi(?)
Sauber Petronas Goodyear Alesi Herbert
Stewart Ford Bridgestone Barrichello Magnussen(?)
Tyrrell Ford Goodyear Verstappen(?) Takagi(?)
Williams Mecachrome Goodyear Villeneuve Frentzen
Hill Joins Jordan
Jordan have confirmed that they have signed Damon Hill on a two year contract. The deal is believed to be worth 5 Million UKP a year. Team boss Eddie Jordan said "I have paid more for him than any other driver but we have never had a world champion before. This brings us level with the other teams. This time last year, we were not able to buy his services. Our sponsors have boosted the budget." Hill was also full of praise for his new (old) team which he rejoins after a 7 year gap, saying "My aim is to win races and challenge for the championship. Jordan have shown they can challenge for the greatest prize. Together we will be an awesome combination." The Hill Jordan tie up comes at the end of a simply bizarre summer when he refused drives and offers from Sauber, McLaren, Arrows and Prost. The deal to sign Hill was apparently sealed after the Italian GP and before Jordan went to court to fight Benetton for Fisichella.
Benetton Confirm Wurz
Benetton have (as expected) finally issued official confirmation that Alexander Wurz will drive for the team next year. Wurz, the Benetton test driver, showed well in the races that he took part in this year as Berger's replacement.
1 J. Villeneuve Williams Renault 22.214.171.1249 2 D. Coulthard McLaren Mercedes + 2.909 3 H. H. Frentzen Williams Renault + 3.962 4 G. Fisichella Jordan Peugeot + 12.127 5 R. Schumacher Jordan Peugeot + 31.859 6 M. Schumacher Ferrari + 33.411 7 D. Hill Arrows Yamaha + 37.207 8 J. Herbert Sauber Petronas + 49.057 9 G. Morbidelli Sauber Petronas + 1.06.455 10 G. Berger Benetton Renault + 1 Lap 11 U. Katayama Minardi Hart + 2 Laps 12 J. Verstappen Tyrrell Ford + 2 Laps 13 P. Diniz Arrows Yamaha + 4 Laps 14 R. Barrichello Stewart Ford + 7 Laps Went Off 15 J. Trulli Prost Mugen Honda + 13 Laps Engine 16 J. Magnussen Stewart Ford + 13 Laps Engine 17 S. Nakano Prost Mugen Honda + 14 Laps Engine 18 M. Salo Tyrrell Ford + 23 Laps Gears 29 E. Irvine Ferrari + 33 Laps Collision 20 J. Alesi Benetton Renault + 33 Laps Collision 21 M. Hakkinen McLaren Mercedes + 71 Laps Engine
XX T. Marques Minardi Hart Disqualified Underweight after qualifying.
1 M. Schumacher Ferrari F310b 68 2 J. Villeneuve Williams FW19 Renault 67 3 H. H. Frentzen Williams FW19 Renault 31 4 D. Coulthard McLaren MP4/12 Mercedes 30 5 J. Alesi Benetton B197 Renault 28 6 G. Berger Benetton B197 Renault 21 7 G. Fisichella Jordan 197 Peugeot 20 8 E. Irvine Ferrari F310b 18 9 O. Panis Prost JS45 Mugen Honda 15 10 M. Hakkinen McLaren MP4/12 Mercedes 14 10 J. Herbert Sauber C16 Petronas 14 12 R. Schumacher Jordan 197 Peugeot 13 13 D. Hill Arrows A18 Yamaha 7 14 R. Barrichello Stewart SF1 Ford 6 15 A. Wurz Benetton B197 Renault 4 16 J. Trulli Prost JS45 Mugen Honda 3 17 S. Nakano Prost JS45 Mugen Honda 2 17 . Salo Tyrrell 025 Ford 2 19 N. Larini Sauber C16 Petronas 1
Mika Hakkinen had a brilliant start and beat Jacques Villeneuve away from the line. Within the first lap, Trulli and Barrichello had also passed the Williams driver as he struggled with his tyres. Hakkinen's lead lasted almost a lap, as they approached the finish line Hakkinen pulled off in front of the grandstand with engine failure. This left Jarno Trulli in the lead with Barrichello second. Behind them Villeneuve was being pressed by Magnussen in the second Stewart, followed by Frentzen, Schumacher, Coulthard and Hill. The Bridgestone tyres were working much better during the first few laps and Villeneuve was being pushed by Magnussen, not something we have seen before. Trulli began to pull out from Barrichello, setting a string of fastest laps and by lap 14 he was 4.6 seconds clear of Barrichello. The race then began to turn in favour of the Goodyear runners and by lap 20 Villeneuve was closing in on Barrichello, Trulli set his last fastest lap on lap 22 with a time of 1.13.211, two laps later Frentzen was the fastest man on the track with a time of 1.12.958 and Villeneuve passed Barrichello to go second. On lap 24 the running order was Trulli, Villeneuve, Barrichello, Magnussen Frentzen, Schumacher, Coulthard and Hill. It then became apparent that the Stewart cars were running a two stop strategy, something which turned out to be a mistake, Barrichello dropped to 12th and Magnussen to 13th after their stops. Villeneuve began to assert himself and set a fastest lap on lap 26 with a time of 1.12.577, he was 7.985 seconds behind Trulli and closing. Back markers allowed Trulli to keep his lead at around 7 seconds until lap 32, but then Villeneuve began to close with every lap. Berger and Diniz both pitted on lap 32 and both drivers had lengthy stops because of fuel rig problems. Villeneuve went faster still on lap 34 with a time of 1.11.934 and two laps later he had cut Trulli's lead to 4.477 seconds. Trulli then came into the pits and despite a 9.7 second stop the Prost team did not manage to get as much fuel into the car as they had planned. This meant Trulli would probably have to pit again for more fuel. The biggest incident of the race happened on lap 37 when Alesi tried to go inside Irvine, the two cars touched and Alesi was launched over the Ferrari and into the gravel trap. Alesi was out on the spot, Irvine managed to tour back to the pits to retire with suspension damage. While Alesi's car was being recovered Schumacher got past Frentzen, but only because Frentzen had seen the Yellow flags. That illegal move cost Schumacher a 10 second stop go penalty and effectively ruled him out of contention. While all this was going on (phew) Villeneuve pitted and managed to get out in front of Trulli to lead the race. By lap 45 everyone had pitted and the race order was Villeneuve, Trulli, Schumacher, Barrichello, Magnussen, Coulthard, Frentzen and Fisichella. After Schumacher served his 10 second stop go penalty and the two Stewarts had made their second stop, the race settled down again and the order was now, Villeneuve, Trulli, Coulthard, Frentzen, Fisichella, R. Schumacher, Hill, Barrichello, Schumacher and Magnussen. Prost's race ended with the leaders on lap 58, Nakano's engine blew in spectacular fashion and within a minute Trulli's engine also blew in similar style. This was good news for Coulthard and Frentzen as they both moved up a place and Hill also moved into the points. Between lap 58 and 64 Schumacher began to close on Barrichello and he started to look at ways to get past the Stewart. On lap 64 he almost managed to pass him but Barrichello just held on, Barrichello then seemed to concentrate more on Schumacher than the track and he ran wide and into the gravel trap breaking his front wing and suspension arm, handing seventh place to the Ferrari. Coulthard began to close on Villeneuve though it looked like he would run out of laps before he caught the Williams and the final drama of the race happened on lap 69 when Schumacher managed to get past Hill (seemingly without any resistance from Hill !) to take sixth place and one all important championship point. Man of the Match: Villeneuve, measured performance worthy of a champion. Special mention for Schumacher, 6th and 30 seconds behind despite a stop go penalty, not bad.
Williams will be looking back at last year's Nurburgring race and seeing that Jacques Villeneuve won his first GP there, beating Michael Schumacher into second place. This year though, the Williams FW19 is not so far ahead of the Ferrari 310b as the FW18 was against the Ferrari 310. Last year Jacques beat Michael by 0.762 seconds with the Ferrari all over the back of the Williams in the closing stages. This year it could be the other way round. Also, the Nurburgring will fire up McLaren who with West and Mercedes have a strong desire to do well in Luxembourg (Germany) and the McLaren car seems to be improving all the time. Jordan will also be in with a good chance and Ralf will want to impress his home crowd, the other German racing on Sunday is probably in the hardest position. Now that team orders appear to be in force at Williams (for the first time in a long time) Heinz Harald may have to let his team mate past. The wild card will be Irvine, unpredictable at the best of times he could well prove an entertaining distraction :-) hopefully it will not be Villeneuve or Schumacher that gets distracted by him. Last year the European GP was one of the better races, lets hope that carries on this year.
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Copyright September 1997 Formula 1 News
Check out our Web Site at: http://www.enigmatic.co.uk/formula1/ Updated news available from the home page. ---------------------------------------------------------------- This document is most definitely Copyright September 1997 Formula 1 News. This publication is free for the Internet community and may be freely distributed to news groups and forums provided it is reposted completely, in a wholly unedited form complete with this copyright notice and credited to Neil Whiley.
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Formula 1 News is written and edited by Neil Whiley at Enigma Publishing (Neil@bigvern.demon.co.uk).