2005/2006 F1 News and Testing.

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Cool - Will do. :D

All I need to do now is finish off Midland F1's Logo and Super Aguri's Logo and then the thread can start. :D

Although - tempted to do a preview in here before the main thread so I can get suggestions. :D

Simon/~Flibster
 
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Quick vote chaps...

Which Midland F1 logo looks the best? One is close to the original - others are taken from other images of carbon I've got lying around...

logo.jpg

logo1.jpg

logo2.jpg

logo3.jpg
 
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Team HQ
Based in: Viry-Chatillon
Founded: 1898 (active 1977-1985, 2001-...)

Renault SPort
Whiteways Technical Centre
Enstone
Chipping Norton
Oxfordshire
OX7 4EE

Tel: 01608 678000
Fax: 01608 678800

Website: www.renaultf1.com

Team Structure

President Renault F1 Team: Patrick Faure

Managing Director, Renault F1 UK: Flavio Briatore
Deputy Managing Director, Renault F1 France : Bernard Dudot
Chassis Technical Director: Bob Bell
Deputy Managing Director (Engine): Rob White
Deputy Managing Director (Support Operations): André Lainé

Executive Director of Engineering: Pat Symonds
Head of Engine Operations: Denis Chevrier
Chief Designer: Tim Densham
RS26 Project Manager: Léon Taillieu

Team Biography
The 'all new' Renault Formula One team was born from the purchase of Benetton in 2000, and a combined effort in the series in 2001. The Regie, however, has its own proud grand prix tradition.

The Renault name was among the pioneers of the sport, contesting the Paris-Rouen and other 'inter-city' trials that were classed as the races of the 19th Century. It wasn't until 1902, and the Paris-Vienna section of the Gordon Bennett Trophy that the company came home in front, however.

Despite one of the two Renault brothers, driver and designer Marcel, dying young and the other, Louis, quitting the sport as a result, the name lived on and set the tradition for Renault to keep making comebacks.

Sporadic success followed in the first decade of the new century, but Renault would gradually fade from the scene during the course of two world wars, before making another return in 1977 - some 69 years after its last appearance.

The yellow paintwork that is now associated with the marque was born here, with a single entry for Jean-Pierre Jabouille debuting at Silverstone. The company's re-appearance was all the more notable because of the powerplant in the back of the RS01, however, for the turbo-charged era of F1 was about to arrive.

Intially derided by its rivals, Renault stuck to its guns, developing the phenomenally-powerful unit to overcome the 'lag' that characterised the early years and become the benchmark for F1 - another Renault trademark in future years.

That 1977 season brought nothing but misery, and Renault took over a year to reach the chequered flag, let alone score a point. Distracted by its other desire - to win Le Mans - it was not until 1979 that the company really made its mark on the grand prix scene.

Now running a two-car RS10 operation, with Rene Arnoux partnering Jabouille, the team finally notched its first win in a thrilling French GP at Dijon. Although Jabouille's win was somewhat overshadowed by 'that' battle between Arnoux and Gilles Villeneuve, the turbo point had been proved, and several others soon began to follow the trend.

No further wins followed in 1979, but six pole positions testified to the power of the engine, before 1980's RS20 took three wins.

The 1981 version, in the hands of Arnoux and promising youngster Alain Prost, continued the success, but faced growing competition from the likes of Ferrari, Alfa, Porsche, Honda and BMW. Renault's management structure also made it slow to respond to changes in the sport, and it had to watch as Nelson Piquet, Brabham and BMW took the first world championship for a turbo-charged car.

In spite of 15 wins since its debut, the cost of the programme eventually became to much for Renault bosses, and the team was abandoned at the end of 1985. Its engines lived on, however, with Ligier, Tyrrell and, most successfully, Lotus, which took another prodigy - Ayrton Senna - to his first win, at Estoril in 1985.

A two-year break from F1 followed, but Renault could not stay away for long. With turbos now on the verge of being banned, the company announced its intention to return - with a normally-aspirated V10.

Again, F1 laughed at the notion of trying something new, but, again, Renault's tenacity proved it right.

Learning years with Williams in 1989, '90 and '91 produced trophies and tension in equal measure as the money issue was again debated back in Paris, but eventually led to Nigel Mansell's glorious championship campaign in 1992.

The burly Brit took nine wins that year - equalling the total achieved in tandem with Thierry Boutsen and Riccardo Patrese in previous seasons - while Patrese took advantage of his team leader's generosity to add a tenth for the Williams FW14B and the RS3 and RS4 engines.

That season paved the way for what would become the Renault era, as championships followed in 1993 for Mansell's successor, former Renault man Prost, Michael Schumacher (with Benetton) in 1995, and both Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve with Williams in '96 and '97. Despite Schumacher snatching the drivers' crown for Ford in '94, Renault also made it six constructors' title from six years.

With 75 race wins, 85 poles, 105 podium finishes, 250 podium visits and 2016 points, however, Renault decided that it was time for another sojourn, although the Mecachrome and Supertec names ensured that its technology lived on for several more years...

The Benetton team was formed following the takeover of the existing Toleman outfit in 1986. Benetton had previously sponsored several teams in Formula One - including Tyrrell, Alfa Romeo and Toleman - before deciding it would benefit greatly from running its own team.

The first Benetton-badged cars benefited from BMW turbo engines, allowing them to feature at the front of both qualifying and races. Teo Fabi took pole position for the Austrian and Italian races, but it was his young team-mate Gerhard Berger who gave Benetton its maiden win, coming home first in the Mexican GP.

The team continued to pick up the occasional win against the might of Williams, McLaren and Ferrari through the late 80s and early 90s. Notably, Benetton won consecutive Japanese GPs, first when Ayrton Senna was disqualified for cutting across the chicane and then, in 1990, when Senna and Prost tangled at the first corner.

The start of the change in Benetton's fortunes came with the appointment of Tom Walkinshaw and Flavio Briatore in 1989. An inspired Nelson Piquet and promising rookie Michael Schumacher - poached from Jordan mid-season - capitalised on the team's recent Constructors' championship finishes to establish Benetton as a regular member of the 'big four' in 1991.

Schumacher took his first win at Spa-Francorchamps in 1992, before going on to win the team's first drivers' titles in 1994 and 1995. The latter coincided with Benetton's only Constructors' championship crown, as Schumacher and team-mate Johnny Herbert racked up 11 wins between them.

Schumacher left in 1996 to join Ferrari, but Benetton expected to maintain its winning tradition by signing Jean Alesi and Gerhard Berger from the Italian team. Sadly neither could take victory that season, although Berger did win in Germany in 1997.

Both drivers left the team at the end of their second year - Alesi to move to Sauber and Berger to retire - along with several members of the design team. Benetton - now headed by Prodrive rally boss David Richards - signed two young drivers in their place and hoped to return to the front with a car designed by former Simtek man Nick Wirth. Giancarlo Fisichella and Alex Wurz both impressed in the first half of the year - the latter battling mightily with Michael Schumacher in Monaco - but the challenge for wins fell apart later on.

The driver pairing remained untouched for 1999, but team boss Richards left after a short tenure of the position. The reasons behind his departure varied according to source, but he was replaced by the young - for F1 - Rocco Benetton. The B199 chassis featured several radical innovations as the team strove to regain its position in the top four, but only served to confuse both team and drivers as a difficult year wore on.

Little changed on the surface over the winter of 1999-2000, with Fisichella and Wurz remaining despite the problems of the previous season, and both Benetton and technical director Pat Symonds also staying put. Designer Nick Wirth and team boss Joan Villadelprat both departed, however, with former Honda man Tim Densham arriving in place of the former and helping to create a much simpler B200.

However simple was not the answer the team needed and, once again, Benetton started strongly only to tail off dramatically. Fisichella came home second in Brazil, and third at Monaco and Canada, but did not score a point after Montreal, while Wurz' only points of a disastrous year came with a fifth place at Monza.

For 2001 Wurz was replaced by Jenson Button but, despite speculation that Fisichella would have a real job to maintain his status as team leader, the Roman managed it quite easily. Whether Button was distracted by his new lifestyle remains open to question, but it was Fisi who responded better to the problematic B201.

In contrast to previous years, Benetton started badly and got better in 2001. Having tied up the sale of its operation to Renault for 2002, the team employed the Regie's radical wide-angle 111-degree V10 in the back of its new car, but both components failed to set the world alight until a re-think mid-season. Even a switch to Michelin tyres could not help the team until the overhaul, and it often found itself in the company of Arrows, Prost and Minardi at the back of the grid.

With Button's job on the line, and that of technical director Mike Gascoyne also under threat, the team worked hard to drag itself out of the mire. The Briton overcame a shoulder problem to finally find some semblance of the pace he had shown at Williams in 2000, and Fisichella built on the handling of the car to take advantage of the engine upgrades produced by Renault from Magny-Cours onwards.

The second half of the season saw the team add to Fisi's single, and fortunate, point from Brazil, by taking two top-six finishes in Germany, before Fisichella delivered a remarkable podium in Belgium. The team eventually finished the year seventh overall with ten points.

For 2002, Renault returned to Formula One full-time, although the R202 beared the legacy of the Benetton years by combining Regie yellow with the pale blue of principal backer Mild Seven.

Button, despite a lot of speculation, stayed on board, but Fisichella went, returning to Jordan in a swap deal for Jarno Trulli. The team also landed Fernando Alonso, so promising at Minardi in 2001, as test driver, courtesy of his links with team boss Flavio Briatore.

Renault started their first season back well, and in the opening first four races scored points on three occasions - a fourth place in Brazil and Malaysia and a fifth in Italy at the San Marino GP.

However the performance of the R202 soon started to tail off, and while at the season start, their was talk the team might overhaul McLaren for third in the Constructors', by the Japanese GP, such hopes looked ridiculous. Fourth though wasn't bad and 23 points was a big improvement on 2001.

In 2003 Briatore dispensed with the services of Button, promoting test driver Alonso to a race role alongside Trulli. The team also signed two new test drivers, namely Franck Montagny and 2002 Toyota driver, Allan McNish.

Furthermore Renault were one of only four teams - the others being Jaguar, Jordan and Minardi - to take advantage of the new testing rules and thus opted for extra running on a Friday prior to a GP, in exchange for limiting testing outside this to just 10 days between March and October. The move proved a good one, allowing them more track time and therefore at many circuits an added advantage.

To say the year was successful, would be stating the obvious, by the end of the season, talk of a 'big three' had been replaced by a 'big four', Renault striving forward easily securing fourth in the Constructors' and on occasions showing up Ferrari, McLaren and Williams.

The season yielded 88 points in total, the main highlight coming in Hungary, when Alonso took the teams first win since their official F1 return. Add to this four more podiums and a further 16 points scoring positions and you can see why the year was considered a success. Two pole positions were just the icing on the cake!

2004 though was not so jolly, and before the season started, there were two significant changes behind the scenes.

Most noticeably technical director, Mike Gascoyne left the team to join rivals Toyota.

The outfit was also forced to redesign their V10 engine - binning the radically-wide 110-degree V-angle, due to new regulations which meant an engine must last an entire weekend. They therefore opted for a more conventional angle, the latest creation based on the old Supertec, hence the exit of Jean-Jacques His in May 2003, the man who championed the 110-degree V-angle.

They overcame these set backs though and ended up scoring points in every race by four, and although they lost out to BAR, towards the end of the season for second in the constructors', they still finished third on 105 points, ahead of both Williams and McLaren.

Trulli's win at the Monaco Grand Prix - along with pole - was undoubtedly the high, it was a shame therefore that boss, Briatore, fell out with him mid-season, leaving to his exit prior to the Chinese Grand Prix, when Jacques Villeneuve was brought in for the final three races to partner Alonso.

In 2005 Alonso was partnered by Giancarlo Fisichella, who returned to the squad, after leaving in 2001 [when it was still known as Benetton].

The year started strongly when Fisichella won the Australian Grand Prix from pole, while Alonso was third. After that their season just went from strength to strength, and while admittedly Fisichella never won again and seemed to be dogged by bad luck, Alonso went on to win seven more races for the Regie, as well as grabbing an addition eight podiums.

Renault ended the season with both titles secured, Alonso taking the drivers' at the Brazilian GP, while the team secured the constructors' at the final race, ending the season with 191 points, eight more than McLaren, who took second. Furthermore while McLaren pushed Renault hard at times and many reckoned the R25 was not as quick as the MP4-20, Renault definitely better balanced reliability and speed and - therefore deservedly took the titles.

This season Renault will again have Alonso and Fisichella, however the team was dealt something of a major blow even before the year began, when their number one driver, Alonso agreed a deal to join McLaren in 2007 - something that was announced in December '05.

Despite this though initial testing with the new R26 looks positive and now the team must defend their position at the top of the sport. Can they do it? That's the big question.

Statistics - Prior to 2006 Season
Drivers' Titles: 1
Constructors' Titles: 1
Seasons in F1: 13
Grand Prix: 192
Wins: 25
Points: 719
Poles: 43
Fastest Laps: 22

Best result in 2005: 1st - Alonso (7 times) Fisichella (1 time)
Best qualifying 2005: Pole - Alonso (6 times) Fisichella (1 time)
Worst qualifying 2005: 16th - Alonso (Japan)
2005 Average grid position: Alonso (4.05) Fisichella (5.42)
2005: Alonso out-qualified Fisichella 14 times
2005: Fisichella out-qualified Alonso 5 times
2005: Completed: 1976 out of 2214 laps (89.25%)
2005: Finished 36 times from 30 starts (83.33%)


R26.jpg



R26 Technical Specifications
Chassis: Moulded carbon fibre and aluminium honeycomb composite monocoque, manufactured by the Renault F1 Team and designed for maximum strength and stiffness with minimum weight. Engine installed as a fully-stressed member.
Front suspension: Carbon fibre top and bottom wishbones operate an inboard rocker via a pushrod system. This is connected to a torsion bar and damper units which are mounted at the front of the monocoque
Rear suspension: Carbon fibre top and bottom wishbones operating vertically-mounted torsion bars and horizontally-mounted damper units mounted on the top of the gearbox casing.
Transmission: Seven-speed semi-automatic titanium gearbox with one reverse gear.
Fuel system: Kevlar-reinforced rubber fuel cell by ATL.
Cooling system: Separate oil and water radiators located in the car's sidepods and cooled using airflow from the car's forward motion
Electrical: Integrated Step 11 chassis/engine electronics and software co-developed by Renault F1 Team and Magneti Marelli.
Braking system: Carbon discs and pads (Hitco); calipers by AP Racing
Cockpit: Removable driver’s seat made of anatomically formed carbon composite, with six-point harness seat belt. Steering wheel integrates gear change and clutch paddles.

Dimensions
Front track: 1450 mm
Rear track: 1400 mm
Wheelbase: 3100 mm
Overall length: 4800 mm
Overall height: 950 mm
Overall width: 1800 mm
Overall weight: 605 kg, with driver, camera and ballast.

Renault RS 26
Capacity: 2400 cc
Architecture: 90° V8
Weight: 95 kg
Spark plugs: Champion
ECU: Magneti Marelli Step 11
Fuel: Elf
Oil: Elf
Battery: Renault F1 Team

Optimum integration in the R26 chassis for improved stiffness and packaging.
Reliability of more than 1200 km for life cycle of two race weekends
 
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Bit more news pre-season...

Jordan: GPMA selfish and greedy

Former team owner Eddie Jordan has hit out at Formula One's manufacturers, branding them as greedy and selfish.

Renault, Honda, Toyota, McLaren-Mercedes and BMW-Sauber are still to commit to Formula One beyond 2007 as they seek a better deal with Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone.

The carmakers, through their GPMA company, have threatened to create a breakaway championship if their demands are not met. A solution, however, seems to be close after Ecclestone said this week a new deal was almost imminent.

Jordan, who was forced to sell his Formula One team to Midland last year, says the manufacturers are not thinking about what's good for the sport.

"The manufacturer teams have really lost it and left me disappointed," Jordan told The Daily Express in an interview.

"They have had no consideration or regard for the individual teams. They have come into a championship which was created and run by private teams and with their cash have totally abused it.

"At the moment they are throwing away $500m in testing behind closed doors. They need to get a grip on this immediately. It is impossible to consider a team without the right budget could win a race. It is not so long ago that a private team could win - Jordan in 1998 - but those days have gone.

"We have seen Alex Shnaider and Dietrich Mateschitz, who are successful and reputable businessmen enter F1, but can even they succeed?

"Now the manufacturer teams go there, write down what the requests are, take it away for corporate discussion about how it suits them. No one thinks of the good of the sport. What they are doing just now is nothing short of madness, it's greedy and selfish," Jordan added.

"The manufacturers will go, it's in their marketing strategy, and what will be left? I applaud Ferrari, who have a long, hard continuous involvement. Anything they get they deserve.

"But I am aggrieved that no young person can afford to get in as I did. If the lunatics can be controlled I would have every reason to come back and look at F1."

Jordan also said that the manufacturers should focus on improving the show for the fans, instead of spending their time thinking of how to get more money.

"No one sees a better race, nobody. The guy in the stand doesn't see anymore excitement," the Irishman added. "If anything it is worse because of the sophisticated aerodynamics they work on in testing which makes overtaking impossible.

"Fans want an exciting race and half the time they are not getting it. I say 'Guys get real and be responsible'. This is now the biggest budget championship. It is a joke."

And although Jordan admits he loved being a Formula One team boss, he claims he is not missing being around in the paddock.

"I loved being in it and I'm loving life being out of it, but I have to say in the current environment I don't miss it," he said.

"I know the circumstances have changed so dramatically so much in the last few years that I would not have been able to continue, never mind compete."
 
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Type_R said:
Superb preview of Renault F1 - keep them coming :)

Unfortunately - I've found more info so I'm re-writing at the moment. :eek:
The shortest one is Super Aguri - surprise that...

Any comments on the Midland F1 logo - kind of like no2 and no4 myself...same with the other half.

Odd though - no3 is the official background.
icon13.gif
 
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Flibster said:
Just been reading about that myself...£70 for the whole season though *gulp*

I'll stick with my mates info ta. :D

Simon/~Flibster

Yup - that is a bit steep. Only £50 if you don't want photos, but still seems like a lot.
I just see it as a useful way to get info if I'm away for the weekend and can't get near a telly or PC. Just sign up for the race that weekend rather than the whole lot.
 
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Dutch Guy said:
I like Midland logo #4 with #1 second.

And :eek: at the Renault info, VERY good
icon14.gif

Looks like No4 is in the lead then. :D

As for the Relault info - thats been tweaked as well again.. :eek:

However - still got the drivers to do...teams took long enough but there's 22 drivers now... *eep*

Simon/~Flibster
 
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McLaren sign Emirates deal
The McLaren team have signed a partnership with Emirates Airline, starting at this weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix.

The announcement was made today by Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of the Emirates Airline & Group, and Ron Dennis, McLaren's team principal.

Starting from the Bahrain race this weekend, the "Fly Emirates" insignia will feature on the MP4-21. In addition, it will also be on the uniform of drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Juan Pablo Montoya, and in the team's pit interior.

"Today's announcement makes the start to the 2006 Formula One World Championship even more thrilling for Team McLaren Mercedes," said McLaren chief Ron Dennis. "Emirates is globally recognized as a world-class airline and a leader in its field. We are proud that they recognize the mutual benefits of an association with Team McLaren Mercedes.

"The 2006 Formula One World Championship promises to be an exciting season and with support from a company like Emirates we are off to a good start. Everybody at Team McLaren Mercedes is looking forward to the opening race this weekend and a successful relationship with Emirates."

Sheikh Ahmed added: "Formula One and Team McLaren Mercedes are at the pinnacle of a sport where success is determined by having leading-edge technology, quick responses to strategy changes, ambition and teamwork - all of which resonate with Emirates' own practices to stay at the top of our industry."

I think this was rumoured last week sometime with the empty red sections of the car - rear wing etc - being the likely targets for the logos. Interestingly there's no mention of the length of the deal in light of Vodafone's arrival next year and Emirates commitment to Arsenal from August/September.
 
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Speed aims to beat Midland, Super Aguri
American Scott Speed says his Toro Rosso team's goal for the 2006 season can only be finish ahead of Midland and Super Aguri.

Red Bull took over the struggling Minardi team last season and the squad will now race under the Toro Rosso banner.

Despite the cash injection from Red Bull, however, Speed reckons the team will still be fighting at the bottom of the grid.

"Our objective this year is clearly to stay in front of Midland and Super Aguri," Speed told Autosprint. "I don't know about the former, but the Japanese look like losing four seconds a lap or more. They might as well have fit F1 tyres on a GP2 single seater."

Toro Rosso will be the only ones competing with restricted V10 engines this year, while their rivals will use V8s. Speed again claimed there is no performance benefit in running the V10, but he admits they will have a big advantage in reliability terms.

"As for us, I think we aren't doing too bad," Speed, who will make his Grand Prix debut in Bahrain, said. "We have the only 10-cylinder engine on the grid, but I don't see this whole performance advantage many are complaining about.

"Perhaps we'll have a little more torque, but it doesn't change anything. The real advantage we have, for the first races, is reliability. We won't be faster than the others, but almost surely we'll get to the end [of the races].

"That's why we must make the most of the start of the season to get points in the table."

Kinda obvious that one but he's right, they have to make hay while the sun shines and get points on the board while everyone fixes their engines.
 
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rpstewart said:
Now things start to get interesting - assuming that this does happen we end up with 22 of the possible 24 spots taken so as suggested in the previous post there's going to be a fight for the last spot. That is, of course, assuming that Renault don't pull out and Midland aren't available for sale. However if someone does take the final place the value of existing teams will increase as purchase then becomes the only access to the club.

Something's just occurred to me, Aguri Suzuki has announced that he's going to retire from motorsport fairly soon - something like 2009/10, I can't find the article now. Now that begs the question, why go to the hassle of setting up a team from scratch if you're going to walk away?

Is this a shrewd investment? Sure you need to find $48million to join the club but that gets paid back at $2million a month for 2 years and hence is taken as part of the operating budget. Now if F1 stays together beyond 2007 there is likely to be a queue of folk wanting in - Prodrive, Eddie Irvine, Roger Penske to name three. Suddenly even a struggling team has one precious commodity that no-one outside has, an F1 entry.

Therefore, is Super Aguri an interesting take on a retirement fund?

EDIT: He's said he'll quit at 50, he's 45 now so take that as finishing up at the end of 2010.
 
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rpstewart said:
Kinda obvious that one but he's right, they have to make hay while the sun shines and get points on the board while everyone fixes their engines.

and while their V10 is legal and isn't being restricted to hell and back. ;)

Simon/~Flibster
 
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rpstewart said:
Something's just occurred to me, Aguri Suzuki has announced that he's going to retire from motorsport fairly soon - something like 2009/10, I can't find the article now. Now that begs the question, why go to the hassle of setting up a team from scratch if you're going to walk away?

Is this a shrewd investment? Sure you need to find $48million to join the club but that gets paid back at $2million a month for 2 years and hence is taken as part of the operating budget. Now if F1 stays together beyond 2007 there is likely to be a queue of folk wanting in - Prodrive, Eddie Irvine, Roger Penske to name three. Suddenly even a struggling team has one precious commodity that no-one outside has, an F1 entry.

Therefore, is Super Aguri an interesting take on a retirement fund?

EDIT: He's said he'll quit at 50, he's 45 now so take that as finishing up at the end of 2010.


Good point - has the team and factory in place...

Could be a wise investment.

Honda paid the $48 million bond so he's in the clear there - obvious purchaser is Honda at the end of the run, thats if they want to stay in F1.

Prodrive are building their own facility, Penske will probably run from their base in the USA, that leaves Irvine *that we know of anyway*

Would he run from Ireland, Russia *where his business partner is based* or somewhere else?

Sure I've read about others who are lookign to join - just can't remember where now...

Simon/~Flibster
 
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Flibster said:
Good point - has the team and factory in place...

Could be a wise investment.

Honda paid the $48 million bond so he's in the clear there - obvious purchaser is Honda at the end of the run, thats if they want to stay in F1.

Prodrive are building their own facility, Penske will probably run from their base in the USA, that leaves Irvine *that we know of anyway*

Would he run from Ireland, Russia *where his business partner is based* or somewhere else?

Sure I've read about others who are lookign to join - just can't remember where now...

Simon/~Flibster

Does Penske still have their base down in Poole or did that disappear when they stopped manufacturing their own chassis for Champ car?
 
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