The Electronic Formula 1 News Service for the Internet World Wide Web server at http://www.enigmatic.co.uk/formula1/ *** January 21st 1998 *** *** Issue Number 100 *** Testing The serious testing...
The Electronic Formula 1 News Service for the Internet World Wide Web server at http://www.enigmatic.co.uk/formula1/ *** January 21st 1998 *** *** Issue Number 100 ***
Testing The serious testing is getting underway now, with most teams in Spain. Williams were top again today with Damon Hill 3rd. Hill had his first run in a Jordan Honda on Tuesday, he only completed three laps with a best time of 1.27.39.
The new Tyrrell 026, and the last before they become the new BAT owned team was launched today (Wednesday). Speaking at the launch Ken Tyrrell said "We intend to go out this year with a bang, so we have put everything into designing the car. We are aiming for podium places and we think we have the car to get a few." Tyrrell have still not confirmed their second driver for 1998 but are expected to sign one from Norberto Fontana, Ricardo Rosset, Vincenzo Sospiri and Andrea Montermini.
Ferrari Test Cut Short
Ferrari have had electrical problems which hampered their testing programme. The problem causes the car to change into second gear by itself.
EU To Investigate F1
A senior EU official has voiced concerns over the way F1 is run. It is possible that the EU will investigate the running of F1 after Karel van Miert commented that the running of F1 is "layer upon layer of exclusive deals amounting to cartel behaviour added to abuse of a dominant position for the benefit of one company". The EU will also be investigating complaints about the administration of F1 from a group of businessmen in the Spa region of Belgium.
Jordan Confirm de la Rosa
As expected, Jordan have confirmed Pedro de la Rosa as their test driver, they will also take young Japanese driver Juich Wakasaki on board as part of their youth development programme.
Prost Launch 1998 Car
Alain Prost unveiled his new 1998 car today. The AP01 is the first car to be truly developed by Prost F1. The AP01 will use the new Peugeot V10, one of the more potent engines in F1 at the moment. Commenting on the new cars prospects Prost said "What's very important to me is how we envisage to work together for the future both technically and at the human level........I believe we are going in the right direction,"..
Prost Hits Out At Hill
Alain Prost hit out at Damon Hill - at the launch of the new Prost AP01. When asked about Hill's decision to join Jordan Alain said "I was very disappointed - more with the way it was done than with anything.
"Now I realise I would have had a lot of doubts about Damon's motivation."
Williams Duo Top Testing
Williams are back at the top of the time sheets after the two drivers dominated Tuesday's testing session. Frentzen was quickest with a best time of 1.21.38 while Villeneuve managed 1.24.64. Frentzen had last year's car fitted with grooved tyres, while Villeneuve had the slower 1998 car fitted with slick tyres.
Jordan Launch 1998 Car
Jordan Launched their new car earlier this week, with the team giving an upbeat opinion on their chances for 1998. Former World Champion Damon Hill said he was confident that he would score Jordan's first GP win in 98. The team also had the chance to announce a new sponsorship deal with Nat West (National Westminster Bank - one of the 'big four' clearing banks in the UK). The new car also has a Hornet motif on the nose cone to replace last year's Snake.
Benetton Launch 1998 Car
Benetton have launched their 1998 car and are confident that it will enable them to mount a strong challenge throughout the year. Benetton are keen to return to the form they had in 1994 and 1995. Technical director Pat Symonds added: "I am confident we have everything in place now to return to the top." Benetton also unveiled a deal with Bridgestone, making them the second of the 'big four' to defect to the Japanese tyre company. Bridgestone now have six teams signed for 1998 and currently do not have the capacity to service any more.
The Jerez incident continues to rumble on in the background. Latest in the references to it comes from the man himself. Answering questions on the race Schumacher said "I certainly do not feel that my reputation has gone down.....I believe most people do not reduce the season down to one race.......I am well aware the season ended badly for me but I have to look to the future......I have said I made a mistake".
New Sponsor For McLaren
McLaren have announced a new sponsorship deal with the chocolate and soft drinks giant Cadbury Schweppes.
New Sponsor For Arrows
In an unusual alliance, TWR Arrows have teamed up with a business school from the University of Oxford. Arrows will get free advice on marketing and attracting sponsors while the business school will get free advertising on the drivers suits and the cars.
F1 Fans In Belgian GP Legal Battle
The row over next year's axing of the Belgian GP has taken a step nearer the courts now that Belgian race fans have contracted lawyer Jean-Louis Dupont (the one who represented Jean Marc Bosman in his football transfer case). The Belgian fans want the European court to force the FIA to drop their threat to cancel the race because of tobacco advertising restrictions.