F1 Rumors - news ahead of the headlines

Week starting 18th April, 1999:

Irish GP

Following news that Dublin property developer Jim Mansfield is interested in building a Grand Prix standard circuit near Dublin, Eddie Jordan commented on the large number of European venues already being supported.

Whilst there is no room for an Irish Grand Prix in the immediate future, it cannot be ruled out that they could take the place of a more established venue, if the FIA are to make an example of a circuit that fails to meet it's high standards.

The prospects of an Irish Grand Prix are slim - but if the proposed circuit lives up to it's billing, it will stand about as much chance of getting a place in the calendar as the Dutch circuit at Zandvoort.

Atlas-F1 Grapevine

This week's Atlas F1 Grapevine:

  • McLaren's Parts in the Works
  • Ferrari have a Wet Solution
  • Prost gearing for action
  • Honda Out, Toyota In?
  • Picked from the Bunch

Another Salo Rumour

With the Zonta accident making it possible to start more rumours concerning available seats, there is a new one about Mika.

Basically, the rumour has it that even if Zonta is fit for San Marino - which is looking quite likely at the moment - he might have a "tactical relapse" for Monaco, allowing the 'Monaco expert' Salo to race.

The fuel for the rumour appears to be Mika's loyal fan base, and BAR's fortunes to date. Unless Supertec's new engine for San Marino is a real step forward, the team are unlikely to score points. Add Jacques track record at Monaco (he's not known for going well there), and his friendship with Salo, then you can see how Mika's name is being linked.

It's an interesting rumour, but unlikely to happen - if Zonta is fit to race, you should expect to see him on the circuit!

Toyota Gather Momentum

The Japanese car manufacturer is getting it's act together, with the intention of entering Formula One in either the 2002 or 2003 season.

They have been recruiting heavilly. Peter Sauber stated, "Toyota has taken away four of my high-level technicians. I wasn't able to do anything about it, because the offers were too big."

It is speculated that Toyota are also gunning for the services of designer Alan Jenkins and aerodynamicist Eghbal Hamidy.

Toyota are rumoured to have recruited Paolo Martinelli from Ferrari, the man responsible for Ferrari engines and "father" of last Ferrari V12. If this is the case, we might well be seeing Toyota enter Formula One with a top of the line V12 power plant.

Honda Abandon Team Plans

With the death of Harvey Postlethwaite, Honda are currently not intending to make their own team to compete next year. Instead, they will probably supply customer and works units to teams in 2000.

Rumours suggest Jordan and BAR are likely to take top billing for Honda works power next year, though it also seems likely that BAR could wrangle a full works deal whilst Jordan run customer Mugen tuned units.

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