F1 Rumors - news ahead of the headlines

Week starting 7th November, 1999

Ford watching Johnny

Johnny's form since winning a Grand Prix this year has been significantly improved - accordingly, it could save his seat for 2001.

Over the course of 1999, Barrichello comprehensively out performed the Brit, leading Ford to become concerned that the team is losing valuable constructor's points. Through 2000, Johnny's final year of contract, his progress against Irvine will be watched. If it flags, Jac Nassar is expected to 'persuade' Dario Franchitti to make the move from CART, probably in a swap arrangement with Herbert.

How much truth there is in these rumours will only be discovered in 2000...

F3 drivers expected to graduate...

Marc Haynes is expected to sign a testing contract with a ‘top’ Formula One team in the coming weeks.

The British Formula 3 champion expects to race in the FIA F3000 championship in 2000 and combine his racing duties with Formula One testing. "I have been presented with a great opportunity the sort of deal a driver in my position dreams about," explained Haynes. "Hopefully I'll be racing in the FIA Formula 3000 series and testing in F1. I feel very privileged to be in this position and plan to make the most of any opportunities as they arrive."

Haynes is managed by former Life Grand Prix driver Perry McCarthy, who added; "We have a contract on the table at the moment, but I don't think it is appropriate for me to say who we are talking to until a deal is signed."

Luciano Burti was the runner up to Haynes in the British Formula 3 championship and is expected to become the official Jaguar Racing test driver in 2000, following some impressive tests with Stewart Ford this season at Silverstone and Monza.

Dubai shaping up for F1?

Weeks after the first Formula One race in Malaysia, reports suggest that Dubai could be looking to host a Formula One event in the near future. With tobacco advertising currently scheduled for the chop in 2006 in Europe, Bernie Ecclestone will be looking at venues in which full blown tobacco advertising is permitted.

Negotiations between the Dubai government and Ecclestone have already begun if reports are to believed and the country could host a championship race as early as 2002.

Lotus to make a return?

Formula One fans world-wide will be pleased to hear this latest rumour.

The Lotus name may well be back on the grid as soon as 2001! This unlikely scenario will see the name Lotus return to racing as engine supplier to Sauber. The details are sketchy at the moment, but it seems that Sauber shareholder and sponsor Petronas, are keen to buy the Proton car company. In turn Proton own Lotus cars.. And hey presto: Lotus in F1!

This rumour does not take into account one small thing. Team Lotus, who raced in the series until their ultimate demise in 1994, is not the same thing as Lotus cars…

David Hunt, brother of the late James Hunt, owns the name Team Lotus and has talked of getting the famous British name back on the grid in the not too-distant future. It remains to be seen whether a Proton-Petronas-Sauber relationship would be willing to purchase the Lotus name for Hunt. Sauber are believed to be looking around for a replacement to the Ferrari V10 engines that they currently use.

Stay tuned….

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