2005 Belgian Grand Prix

19 Oct 2003
Right here, right now!
Former team boss Eddie Jordan believes Frank Williams has made a major mistake by opting for a Cosworth customer engine deal for 2006 after parting ways with BMW.

Jordan says manufacturer backing is a prerequisite of success in contemporary Formula 1 and Cosworth will simply lack the financial wherewithal to challenge the might of the big car makers – despite its long experience of building V8 engines.

Speaking in the October edition of F1 Racing magazine, Jordan said: “I don’t understand BMW and I certainly don’t understand Frank.

“Cosworth’s last race win in about ten years must have been with Jordan in Brazil with [Giancarlo] Fisi[chella] in 2003.

“Bear in mind that the new Cosworth people, good as they are, can only build an engine with the cash that Williams pays them, which won’t match a manufacturer’s financial muscle.

“No doubt Cosworth will build a brilliant V8 as it’s their forte but, sadly, bigger budgets will dominate.

“The rule is: the more you spend, the quicker you go. Cash is king and engine costs are huge, which restricts the quality of the drivers, staff – virtually everything.”

Jordan reckons Williams should have tried harder to keep BMW on board, if necessary by selling shares in the team to the German manufacturer.

“The logical move would have been for Frank and [co-owner] Patrick [Head] to sell part of their equity and embrace BMW as a shareholder and sporting partner, instead of allowing Sauber to sneak in and steal BMW from under their noses.

“In the current climate, I’d rather be a 50 percent part of something that’s winning than 100 percent of something that cannot win.”
Man of Honour
18 Oct 2002
Hmmm...What doeds EJ know about it though.

Cosworth have always been a good manafacturer - plus over the years their V8's have won more championships than anyone elses.

This year the engine has been very strong.

All they need to do is get their V8 in the car and test it in a live enviroment. I reckon there could be a few surprised people out there.

Anyway...Heidfeld to BMW...Starting in 2006...

Heidfeld joins BMW for 2006

BMW and Nick Heidfeld will embark on a joint future in the FIA Formula 1 World Championship in 2006. The Munich automobile manufacturer has concluded a three-year contract with the racing driver from Mönchengladbach. This fills the first cockpit in the new team run by BMW.

BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen comments: "For us, a new era in Formula 1 will begin on 1 January 2006 when BMW takes over the team operated by Peter Sauber. We are very pleased that Nick will be with us in what will undoubtedly be a difficult initial phase. He is not simply a fast and courageous driver, he is also an analytical and meticulous worker. Nick already knows the two sites in Munich and Hinwil, and is familiar with everybody involved."

Heidfeld, who is currently recovering from a cycling accident in his adopted home of Switzerland, said: "I'm really looking forward to the future. As far as I'm concerned, this represents the fulfilment of a big dream. I have a great deal of respect for the work carried out in Hinwil from 2001 to 2003. And for nearly a year now, I've experienced at first hand the commitment and resources BMW puts into its Formula 1 project. Naturally, I'm not expecting a miracle during the first season after a new start in 2006. But I'm confident that the new team will be successful over the long term." Heidfeld has been lining up on the grid for the BMW WilliamsF1 Team since 2005. He achieved his first F1 pole position in May at the Nürburgring and took second place in two races (Monaco and Nürburgring).

On 22 June 2005, BMW announced it would be running its own Formula 1 team from 2006 after acquiring a majority holding in the Swiss team Sauber. BMW has been racing in Formula 1 as partner of WilliamsF1 since the 2000 season. The team has now competed in 101 grands prix, achieved 10 victories and 17 pole positions. Second place in the Constructors' Championship for 2002 and 2003 provided the best season's result.

BMW will not only retain the Hinwil site, it will expand the workforce from a current headcount of nearly 300 to some 400 employees. Around 300 people are working on the Formula 1 project at BMW Motorsport in Munich. Theissen explains: "Overall, we will have a team numbering around 700. Expansion of the aerodynamic department in Hinwil has top priority. At present, it isn't possible to fully exploit the opportunities offered by the first-class wind tunnel, because there are not the personnel to operate several shifts. We are gradually working towards using the facility round the clock"
Man of Honour
18 Oct 2002
Rossi slams Ross Brawn

MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi has slammed as 'bull****' Ross Brawn's claim that he'll test for Ferrari once a month in 2006.

The exciting Italian rider, who will probably wrap up the 2005 crown in Japan this weekend, said at Motegi that reports of an imminent switch to Formula One are wide of the mark.

'For me it's very funny,' Rossi said of the Ferrari technical director's once-a-month statement. 'For me, it's a lot of bull****. For sure, I don't have time to do a lot of tests in the (Ferrari).'

The 26-year-old, though, has already found time for three days at Fiorano, and it is speculated that Felipe Massa's one-year deal is timed to coincide with the end of Rossi's 2006 Yamaha ride.

Valentino says he hasn't decided what the future might hold.

'I don't know if I go to the car,' he continued. 'Maybe yes, but maybe no. Speaking about (F1) tests for me is like speaking in ten years. I don't know what I do next week.'

He insists that if he makes the four-wheeled switch, it'll be a clean break. 'But if I am (in MotoGP), I'm here to win,' Rossi added.

'Maybe Ferrari need to speak with me because I know I haven't made any decision yet.

'Maybe I never race in Formula One.'

Someone's not happy about having it announced then... ;)

Man of Honour
18 Oct 2002
The dilemma of Eddie Irvine and others

Until last weekend Eddie Irvine was busy working away to buy the Minardi team. And then Red Bull came steaming in at the last minute and dropped $35m in cash on the table and told Paul Stoddart to sell. Stoddart, seeing the signals, realised that his time had come and that if he did not sell, Red Bull would set up a second team and he would find himself running the 11th most successful team in a world where only the top 10 are paid to take part. Red Bull had the financial muscle to convince Stoddart that his game was up. The problem for Irvine is that if really wants to be a Formula 1 team owner he now has no choice other than buying Jordan, the last real straggler in the sport.

The option of starting a new team is a nice idea but it costs a great deal of money and a look through the books of Toyota or BAR in recent years will tell you that you have to have at least $500m which you are willing to spend to get to a competitive level, while buying a team will give you a start in the business and, perhaps more importantly, access to the TV money which until now has helped the keep the small teams alive.

In the current political climate, investing in a new team does not make any sense at all because no-one knows which way the World Championship is heading. There are, so the FIA says, a group of new teams waiting to come rushing into a new cut-price World Championship in 2008. That is fine but a new F1 with only Ferrari and a bunch of neophytes will lack the heritage that surrounds the sport. The racing will lack credibility particularly if the rules are restricted in the name of cost-cutting.

The problem for the FIA is that the manufacturers might stick together and call the federation's bluff and do their own thing. They do not want to go down that route but nor do they want to accept the FIA's idea of what F1 is in the future. To date no-one seems to have had the oomph to make this happen and thus far we have seen lots of committees and not a lot of action. But not being united does not mean that they are not in opposition to what the FIA is doing.

Before the debacle at Indianapolis it was unthinkable that such a disaster would occur and yet it did.

It may be unthinkable that F1 will split into two series in 2008, but with the attitudes that exist today it could happen and then the World Championship will be in an Indy Racing League-Champ Car type of battle from which there will be no winner.

Why, in such circumstances, would anyone - be they Irvine or the cut-price brigade - invest a huge sum of money in a sport which does not know where it is going?

Good point - well made.
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