F1 Rumors - news ahead of the headlines

Week starting 21st March, 1999:


Prost Moving Forward

The Prost record at Brazil is quite good: although 1998 saw both cars retire, they qualified 9th (Panis) and 12th (Trulli) - one of the best performances of their season. In 1997, Panis qualified 5th and finished 3rd in excellent style, whilst 1996, he qualified 15th to finish in 6th, again turning in an excellent performance.

The recent work at Magny-Cours has put together a solution that should be strong for Brazil: with a good setup, and the at least one driver who likes the circuit, Prost are optimistic for showing some good progress at Interlagos.


BAR and GM linkup

Well, we were caught out by this item, I have to say... but that's only an excuse to swing into action, and dig out the details!

Whilst there is a lot of talk concerning the possibility of a linkup, General Motors has not been tied very strongly to Formula One in the past. On being approached concerning the feasability of producing an engine for the 2001 season, a company representative stated 'that would be an interesting challenge,' but refused to be drawn further.

With the return of Formula One to the USA, the General Motors tie in - realistically - will be about one thing alone... how successful the reintroduction is. If F1 can show itself popular in the States, and pick up a strong American fan base, then General Motors would find a commercial reason to be involved. If it fails, then they have nothing to gain.


F1 Rumors Mailing List

Not on the Mailing List? Then, over the last few weeks, you didn't read about:

  • Fast car, fast Food - McDonalds in F1.
  • Renault / Nissan F1 Engine
  • Underweight runners on the track?
  • Ferrari's plans
  • McLaren PR stunt a trackside advantage?
  • Ferrari pushing V12 plans
  • Lamborghini in Formula 1
  • Honda V12 News
So, make sure you don't miss out. Join the F1 Rumors Mailing List today to be sure you're in the know!


Atlas-F1 Grapevine

This week's Atlas F1 Grapevine:

  • Temporary Role Reversal
  • Television Coverage
  • Picked from the Bunch


Toyota in the Rumour Mill

Toyota are back in the rumour mill - this time as a potential sponsor for Benetton.

With Ford taking a stronger interest in Stewart, and likely to maintain only the single customer deal, and BAR likely to draw the new Renault plant, Benetton are rumoured to be in talks with Toyota about a possible works deal.

This is far from the first rumour concerning the means by which Toyota will get back into Formula One. There is speculation that Toyota will announce a Works partnership with Arrows as their mystery sponsor; in which case, Benetton would be looking to capitalise on the Arrows/Toyota development to avoid the usual 'new engine' problems.

Also rumoured to be jockying for Toyota power are Jordan (whose deal with Honda is in doubt) and Sauber (who run last years Ferrari engines).


Raynard working hard at BAR

Adrian Raynard has opened up on the speculation concerning his relationship and future with BAR. He revealed that being missing from Melbourne was related to a failed rear crash test: he needed to be working at the factory to ensure the test was properly passed ahead of the Sunday race.

Furthermore, he expressed his commitment to the project, and the strength of the relationship with Pollock (having bought a house next door to his colleague).

Regarding Melbourne, he was disappointed with Villeneuve and Zonta, but puts their lack of competitivity squarely on the shoulders of the Supertec engine, which is as much as 60bhp down on the top models; he was shocked at Villeneuve losing the rear wing (and didn't mention engine vibration as the cause!)

Looking forward, Raynard's expertise and resources were used to build the first chassis, but all the people and equipment are in place at BAR for future builds to take place in house from now on. The project is moving along as expected - with only the engines power output being a key concern at this time.


Hollywood Grand Prix; Sylvester Stallone Meets Formula One

or; Jackie Stewart trained BayWatch Girls for an Indianapolis Pit Crew because Sylvester Stallone had WonderBra for a sponsor and some French guys made Richard Petty drink white wine instead of beer. Revised by the Author

by Inky Black

Filming of the Sylvester Stallone Grand Prix Movie is under way and under wraps at a secret location called the "Brickyard." A Top Secret Report from Hollywood reveals the script, the plot, the girls, and the drama of "Hollywood Grand Prix." This is that report.

"We're back from Hollywood and boy are the movie people happy about that. The Wet T-shirt contests in the BayWatch Pit were our fault, a rookie mistake; but the Le Mans Start was not our idea. Still the Hollywood crowd sneered at our efforts; and bad feelings hung over our team like this upcoming flashback. At least we didn't get a nickname like Ricardo "Wrong-Way" Rosset.

To read the whole article, click here!


Salo/Zanardi Rumour

Well, the rumour that Mika Salo could replace Alex Zanardi is certainly an interesting one! In it's present form, it doesn't bear any semblance to reality -

  • The reliable source is not one of ours - and ours does not confirm it;
  • Imola GP is the third this season - noone is replaced after 2 imperfect performances - even Rosset lasted longer;
  • Williams do not need the money Salo is rumoured to bring - they get a bundle in sponsorship for having Zanardi;
  • If Salo had had a sponsor, he would still be at Arrows...
Compelling reasons why Salo would, in fact not have Zanardi's seat. Having said which, there are a couple of scenarios that could see the Fin driving a Williams this year: it is conceivable he could get himself a testing position with the team. He is a recognised talent in the car, after all, and since Williams were rumoured to be interested in his services last year, a testing linkup is quite possible.

Furthermore, with Williams being a Constructor rather than Driver championship oriented team, and Salo being something of a Monaco expert, it is conceivable - though unlikely - that he would get to drive instead of Zanardi at Monaco. If for no other reason than this would be the circuit where Alex Zanardi is most likely to be at a disadvantage, with his relative inexperience of both the modern F1 car and the Monaco circuit.

So, although the rumour as originally reported appears to be pure speculation, there are some circumstances that could see it come to fruition - but they are, quite frankly, remote.

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