Proxis News - 97-08-29

Proxis Grand Prix - Volume 35B - Fri 29 AUG 97 E-Mail: Internet: _______________________________________________ N E W S R E P O R ...

Proxis Grand Prix - Volume 35B - Fri 29 AUG 97 E-Mail: Internet: _______________________________________________ N E W S R E P O R T

Jordan dominates Monza testing

Bright yellow Benson & Hedges Jordans ran 1-2 this week at Monza in preparation for the upcoming Italian Grand Prix. Giancarlo Fisichella set the top time of the four-day test, with a lap of 1m23.32s. Ralf Schumacher, who had topped the times the first two days, was second with a 1m23.85s.

A test in July saw Ralf and Giancarlo first and third respectively, so these results are extremely encouraging for next weekend's grand prix.

Jordan's success at Monza was also appended as F3000 star Ricardo Zonta, who has been helping Jordan develop their 1998 vehicle, topped the list of the "next-generation" cars with a best lap of 1m28.49s.

Williams was extremely discouraged with their tests, with Heinz-Harald Frentzen netting only the sixth fastest time of 1m24.53s. Jacques Villeneuve had a horrible week, and was tenth on the time sheets at 1m25.36.

Current Constructors Championship leaders Ferrari concentrated on race setups, with Michael Schumacher fifth and Eddie Irvine eighth.

1. Giancarlo Fisichella  (Jordan-Peugeot),  1m 23.32s
2. Ralf Schumacher  (Jordan-Peugeot),  1m 23.85s
3. Jean Alesi  (Benetton-Renault),  1m 23.90s
4. David Coulthard  (McLaren-Mercedes),  1m 24.35s
5. Michael Schumacher  (Ferrari),  1m 24.42s

Tyrrell 'racing towards the millenium'

It was officially announced Wednesday that Ford will supply Tyrrell with their customer V10 powerplants next season. The announcement is in conjunction with the team's new program called 'Tyrrell2000', in which they wish to have the team back to the front of the grid and challenging for a title by the year 2000.

Silly Season Status - August 28th, 1997

Williams: All parties confirmed: Mecachrome, Jacques Villeneuve, and Heinz-Harald Frentzen. Williams has made no formal announcement on Frentzen, but he confirmed at Hungary that he will finish out his two-year contract with Williams. Jean-Christophe Boullion will remain as test driver.

McLaren: All parties confirmed: Mercedes, Mika Hakkinen, and David Coulthard. Nick Heidfeld will also continue his testing duties next season, and may move up to F3000 next year from German Formula 3.

Ferrari: All parties confirmed: Michael Schumacher and Eddie Irvine, along with Nicola Larini back as tester.

Benetton: Still under agreement with Mecachrome, and yet to finalize the money part of it. Alexander Wurz also has a tentative agreement with Benetton to drive, and a deal could be announced at any time. Giancarlo Fisichella is very likely to go to Benetton, as it does not seem that Eddie Jordan has a solid claim on him. If not, expect Jarno Trulli to be promoted.

Jordan: Confirmed are Mugen-Honda, who will be building an entirely new engine next year, and Ralf Schumacher. As noted, Fisichella is not likely to return, and Jordan has confirmed they have no interest in Damon Hill. Jean Alesi has now made it clear that he is willing to take a significant paycut in order secure a competitive drive for next year, so he seems the likeliest candidate now for the job.

Prost: Peugeot will support the team and Olivier Panis, with the second driver now said by Alain Prost to be either Jarno Trulli or Damon Hill. The offer to Hill, as stands, is rumored to be in the area of $4 million dollars, with most of that money coming from Peugeot. However, Hill's agents are biting, and there appears to be less and less interest on Prost's side.

Sauber: Johnny Herbert will return along with the Petronas-backed powerplants. The second seat has been turned away from Damon Hill when he asked for a bit too much money, but now it appears that he may be willing to talk lower numbers. It was recently rumored that Petronas was backing a $20 million deal over two years for Hill, but that has been denied and even laughed at by involved parties. Ferrari still have an interest in their team, and are still insisting they keep Gianni Morbidelli -- but Petronas may well buy them off.

Arrows: TWR has confirmed they are looking for sources to develop their own engine next year. Among people they've talked to are both Brian Hart, and Yamaha. It is thought that one of those two will likely sell off their engines to TWR. On the driver side, Jorg Muller will be partnered by Pedro Diniz if Damon Hill does infact decide to leave.

Tyrrell: They will use Ford-Cosworth V10s, and will likely return Jos Verstappen to the lineup. The second driver may very well not be Mika Salo, and could be Formula Nippon star Toranosuke Takagi.

Minardi: An engine has yet to be negotiated, and could be either Yamaha or Hart again -- whichever one does not committ to Arrows. Tarso Marques will fill one seat next year, and the second is up for grabs. Ukyo Katayama, Pedro Diniz, or test driver Esteban Tuero will likely fill the seat. Tuero has been promised that he will drive at Jerez this year for Minardi, to get some F1 experience.

Stewart: Ford and Barrichello will be back, and it is now expected that Jan Magnussen will return as well. CART rookie Dario Franchitti still remains linked by rumors with the team, but Stewart denies they will sign him. ________________________________________________ Copyright ,1997 by John E. Klender. All rights reserved.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Eddie Irvine , Giancarlo Fisichella , Jarno Trulli , Ralf Schumacher , Johnny Herbert , Michael Schumacher , Heinz-Harald Frentzen , Jean Alesi , David Coulthard , Mika Hakkinen , Olivier Panis , Jacques Villeneuve , Nick Heidfeld , Ricardo Zonta , Tarso Marques , Alexander Wurz , Mika Salo , Dario Franchitti , Tora Takagi , Jorg Muller , Alain Prost , Damon Hill , Jean-Christophe Boullion , Ukyo Katayama , Gianni Morbidelli , Nicola Larini , Esteban Tuero , Pedro Diniz
Teams Ferrari , Mercedes , Sauber , McLaren , Williams , Benetton , Minardi , Jordan