F1 Rumors - news ahead of the headlines

September 27th 1998:

US GP at Indianapolis?

F1 has agreed a deal to return to America with a race at the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the year 2000, according to reports. The 'Indianapolis Star' reported that Indy has concluded a 10-year contract to host the United States Grand Prix.

However rival promoter Chris Pook, who is trying to set up a race in San Francisco, said that the rumours were premature. Ecclestone, who is secretive about his arrangements for the Grand Prix calendar, refused to comment on the Indy situation but top-level F1 sources said they thought the race would happen in 2000.

Ecclestone is said to be interested in establishing an event at Indy because of the cachet it would give F1 in America. The Indy name, synonymous with motor racing, should ensure that the Grand Prix wins substantial attention and should help secure interest from the major US TV networks. At the moment, it is only carried on cable TV.

Japanese Engine Suppliers invade F1

Honda are almost certainly making their Formula One debut in 2000 following the acceptance of the Formula One Commission to allow the team to enter the series, and now just needs to be ratified by the FIA World Council.

Honda, who are expected to announce its decision at its 50th anniversary party this month, will test next year in preparation for a full-scale entry with its own car and engine in 2000. Tyrrell driver Toranosuke Takagi is likely to conduct the testing, although sources say that the company will have two test cars. It is rumoured that Mika Salo has an agreement to test with Honda as a fall-back in case he is forced to leave his team. The test car will be the design commissioned by Honda from race car manufacturer Dallara although Honda will more than likely design its own car from scratch for its race debut.

Toyota meanwhile are still trying to decide whether to take the leap and enter the series in 2001. Toyota are also expected to create their own team, although they could face problems in gaining approval as the current Concorde agreement limits the number of teams to twelve. With Honda entering in 2000, the limit would be reached and Toyota may face the prospect of having to purchase an existing team. A Toyota Team Europe spokesman said recently that :"there is a big meeting in January, after which we should be told what we are doing after 2000. The technology is here to do any kind of programme."

In addition, French manufacturer Renault are also considering a return to the sport that they so recently left.

The most Powerful Engine in F1 is.....

The new evolution Mugen-Honda engine is rumoured to most powerful V10 at the moment - possibly breaking the 800HP mark & looking very strong against even Ferrari & Mercedes.

Diniz to sign with Sauber in 99?

Pedro Diniz is ready to quit Arrows and join Jean Alesi at Sauber next year.

The 28-year-old Brazilian, keen to shed his pay-driver reputation, is understood to view Sauber as the most competitive option open to him and was reportedly impressed with Sauber's factory when he visited it two weeks ago.

Diniz had hoped to go to Jordan and was very disappointed when the team signed Heinz-Harald Frentzen instead.

Diniz's place at Arrows is expected to be taken by Tyrrell's Ricardo Rosset or Toranosuke Takagi, Jordan test driver Pedro de la Rosa or Minardi's Shinji Nakano. The two favourites are Rosset and de la Rosa. Takagi is expected to test for Honda, and Nakano to stay where he is.

Malayaian GP 99?

According to a newspaper, the FIA has officially announced that next year there will be a GP in Malaysia to fill the gap between Nurburgring and Suzuka. The Hungarian GP is not certain yet it could be replaced with Kyalami.

Barrichello Confirmed for 99

Rubens has confirmed he is staying with Stewart next season and Jackie has said they are talking with Gary Anderson, who recently left Jordan, about the Chief Designer position.

It was rumored that Barrichello was going to Williams, but since Williams has annoucned it link-up for next season, he will remain at Stewart for another year. It is unknown if he is contracted to stay for 2000.

Toyota to Enter F1?

Rumours around the paddock at the Nürburgring suggested that Toyota will enter Formula One in the year 2001. Although the Japanese car manufacturer earlier denied such rumours, the entrance of Honda into Formula One by 2000 is said to be an important reason for Toyota to reconsider their decision.

The team is likely to operate from Toyota's motorsport department in Germany, Toyota Team Europe in Cologne, which also runs the Toyota rally team and also competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans with three GT1 cars.

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