2005 Chinese Grand Prix

Man of Honour
OP
Joined
18 Oct 2002
Posts
40,060
Button unwell at 100th race

It is perhaps fitting that Jenson Button is not feeling at all well for his hundredth grand prix. Speculation in the Shanghai paddock on Friday suggested that Anthony Davidson, earlier 'on standby' for Takuma Sato, has been told to be ready for a last minute Chinese dash after 25-year-old JB recorded a high temperature. Jenson, 25, has had to fend off the press' enquiries so far this weekend about what it feels like to be notching up race number 100 without an accompanying grand prix victory. ''It just means I have experienced a lot, more than most,'' the visibly irked English driver told the ranks. To his rivals, though, naked statistics tell little of the story about a driver's talent. Ralf Schumacher, JB's first ever F1 teammate, reckons that with the right car, Button 'can win a championship'. ''Michael (Schumacher) was called the best ever driver but he's not able to win a race with an average car,'' he added. Button's next teammate will be Rubens Barrichello, who was similarly asked to rate the BAR star in the Chinese paddock. ''It's quite difficult,'' said the Brazilian, ''because it depends on a lot of things, but I don't think he is lacking anything against Raikkonen and Alonso. I think he is very, very talented.''
 
Man of Honour
OP
Joined
18 Oct 2002
Posts
40,060
Final Grand Prix to be Dry

According to local Chinese weather reports, a sunny and probably dry grand prix awaits at the Shanghai circuit.

Although a bit of low cloud and a small chance of rain will exist for all three days of track action, it should stay dry and in the low-20s, they say.

"Although September is the month when Shanghai moves out of its rainy season," read Jordan's Chinese preview, "some showers can still be expected."
 
Man of Honour
OP
Joined
18 Oct 2002
Posts
40,060
Fiat Co-owner Recovering Following Reported Drug Overdose

Ferrari co-owner Fiat is engulfed in a scandal this week following the drug overdose of 28-year-old brand manager and Gianni Agnelli family member Lapo Elkann.

According to reports, the Italian - although now recovering - was in a coma after overdosing on cocaine, heroin and opium in a 53-year-old transvestite's house.

Elkann will recover, reports say.

His uncle, Edoardo, committed suicide in 2000, while his brother, John, is Fiat vice president.

Ferrari and Fiat president Luca di Montezemolo played down the impact the latest Agnelli scandal would have on Fiat.

"I think it's time to drop the curtain of morbid curiosity," the Italian, referring to Lapo Elkann, told the 'AGI' agency, "on what is a strictly personal event."

And I thought my Grand Prix parties were wild...

53yr old transvestite???

Nice to see Fiat and Ferrari are in reliable hands...
 
Man of Honour
OP
Joined
18 Oct 2002
Posts
40,060
Peter Sauber Says Goodbye Amongst Formula One Friends

With preparations well underway the Formula One fraternity is gearing up for the final race of the 2005 season in China. It was during these preparations that Credit Suisse hosted one of Sauber Petronas’ final events as a team under the leadership of Peter Sauber.

Following a long and successful partnership with Peter Sauber’s Formula One team, the Swiss banking group took the opportunity to say farewell to a man who has dedicated so many years to motorsport.

The event, themed ‘Moments in Time’, celebrated Peter Sauber’s 36-year career in motorsport and his 13 years in Formula One. Some of Formula One’s most famous personalities including Formula One Supremo Bernie Ecclestone and Max Mosley, President of the Fédération Internationale de L’Automobile, were there to pay their respects to Peter Sauber and his achievements.

Commenting on the event Mr Ecclestone said: “The evening has been superb, a very special evening to celebrate the career of one of Formula One’s most dedicated and best loved characters.”

During dinner, images spanning Peter Sauber’s career in Formula One were displayed around the exclusive venue in Shanghai, including pictures of him with his many former drivers. Ferrari Team Principal Jean Todt gave a speech honoring the man who gave Switzerland its Formula One Team.

Speaking at the event, Peter Sauber commented: “Saying goodbye to something fantastic is very difficult. However in the past ten years I have faced many difficult situations so I am confident that I will handle this one too. In recent weeks people have asked me if I will miss F1 – the answer is yes of course.”

“Of course I’m sad and there are many people I will miss after spending so many years with them, but I feel very good about handing Sauber Petronas over to BMW. I feel honored and moved that so many people have shared this evening with me. Special thanks must go to Oswald Grübel, CEO of Credit Suisse for organizing such a fantastic evening and sharing such a fantastic partnership.”

Despite the Chinese Grand Prix marking the final race for the Sauber Petronas Formula One Team, Credit Suisse is pleased to continue its relationship with Formula One. As of January 1, 2006, it will support BMW, who announced last June that it will acquire the majority stakes of the Sauber team. The bank has signed a contract with the new team as an official partner from 2006 to 2008, and will benefit from the support of Peter Sauber who will take on a new role as a consultant.
 
Man of Honour
OP
Joined
18 Oct 2002
Posts
40,060
Rubens to try 3-seat Ferrari

Rubens Barrichello says he will share his last blast in a scarlet F1 car with his family. The Brazilian, to drive his last race for Ferrari in China on Sunday, will travel to Fiorano (Italy) next week to try Ferrari's new 3-seater car. ''That's going to be the bye-bye to Ferrari,'' the 33-year-old said in China. ''I've wanted to do it for so long -- show them what I mean by 'go fast'!'' Barrichello's grandfather, father, mother and sister will all get a ride in the car - with Rubens at the wheel - which is based on the F2002 single seater but with a passenger located on each sidepod.
 
Man of Honour
OP
Joined
18 Oct 2002
Posts
40,060
Schumacher urges rules caution

At a time when the powers that be are considering a number of rule changes, ahead of the 2006 season, seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher has called for caution.

In addition to the re-introduction of tyre stops, the qualifying format is also scheduled to be totally revamped, with the current single 'hot lap' format being dropped in favour of a new system which would involve a 'knock-out' process.

Speaking in Shanghai, ahead of this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix, Schumacher said: "The fact is we changed qualifying for the first time five years ago. There is no optimum version that will please everybody. It is an opinion."

Since the previous 12-lap free-for-all was dropped, various computations of a single lap format have been tried, none of them proving popular with drivers, TV broadcasters or fans.

"We changed qualifying for the first time five years ago," the German continued. "There will now have been seven different changes and none of them pleases everyone. Whatever we decide on, we should stick with. As soon as people don't understand the sport, they will lose interest and then they will stop following it. To me, this is a fact that should be considered before people chop and change for the sake of changing."

F1 supremo, Bernie Ecclestone, has long complained of the folly of asystem which sees the fastest cars at the front of the grid, and therefore disappearing into the distance when the lights go green on Sunday afternoon.

In Japan, last week, following freak weather conditions that affected qualifying, most of the fast cars started from the back of the grid, consequently drivers were forced to overtake, thus producing one of the best races of the season. However, Ferrari boss, Jean Todt, warned that artificially 'reversing' the grid would turn F1 into "a circus".
 
Soldato
Joined
19 Oct 2003
Posts
3,212
Location
Right here, right now!
Flibster said:
Rubens to try 3-seat Ferrari

Rubens Barrichello says he will share his last blast in a scarlet F1 car with his family. The Brazilian, to drive his last race for Ferrari in China on Sunday, will travel to Fiorano (Italy) next week to try Ferrari's new 3-seater car. ''That's going to be the bye-bye to Ferrari,'' the 33-year-old said in China. ''I've wanted to do it for so long -- show them what I mean by 'go fast'!'' Barrichello's grandfather, father, mother and sister will all get a ride in the car - with Rubens at the wheel - which is based on the F2002 single seater but with a passenger located on each sidepod.

me me meeee!
can I have a go
 
Man of Honour
OP
Joined
18 Oct 2002
Posts
40,060
Friday Free Practice 1.
Code:
[b]Pos	No	Driver			Team			Time[/b]
1	35	Pedro de la Rosa	McLaren-Mercedes	1:33.463
2	2	Rubens Barrichello	Ferrari			1:35.303
3	38	Ricardo Zonta		Toyota			1:35.373
4	9	Kimi Räikkönen		McLaren-Mercedes	1:35.481
5	1	Michael Schumacher	Ferrari			1:35.494
6	10	Juan Pablo Montoya	McLaren-Mercedes	1:35.521
7	5	Fernando Alonso		Renault			1:35.605
8	7	Mark Webber		Williams-BMW		1:35.945
9	14	David Coulthard		Red Bull Racing		1:36.089
10	3	Jenson Button		BAR-Honda		1:36.096
11	8	Antonio Pizzonia	Williams-BMW		1:36.208
12	4	Takuma Sato		BAR-Honda		1:36.829
13	17	Ralf Schumacher		Toyota			1:36.866
14	37	Vitantonio Liuzzi	Red Bull Racing		1:37.119
15	12	Felipe Massa		Sauber-Petronas		1:37.123
16	6	Giancarlo Fisichella	Renault			1:37.143
17	15	Christian Klien		Red Bull Racing		1:37.490
18	11	Jacques Villeneuve	Sauber-Petronas		1:37.688
19	16	Jarno Trulli		Toyota			1:37.764
20	19	Narain Karthikeyan	Jordan-Toyota		1:38.308
21	18	Tiago Monteiro		Jordan-Toyota		1:39.088
22	39	Nicolas Kiesa		Jordan-Toyota		1:39.687
23	20	Robert Doornbos		Minardi-Cosworth	1:40.724
24	21	Christijan Albers	Minardi-Cosworth	1:40.787

Sector Times - Free Practice 1

Code:
[b]Sector 1[/b]
[b]Pos	No	Driver			Time[/b]
1	35	Pedro de la Rosa	25.023 
2	7	Mark Webber		25.135 
3	2	Rubens Barrichello	25.253 
4	9	Kimi Räikkönen		25.282 
5	38	Ricardo Zonta		25.284 
6	1	Michael Schumacher	25.299 
7	10	Juan Pablo Montoya	25.388 
8	5	Fernando Alonso		25.450 
9	3	Jenson Button		25.459 
10	4	Takuma Sato		25.609 
11	17	Ralf Schumacher		25.610 
12	14	David Coulthard		25.620 
13	37	Vitantonio Liuzzi	25.636 
14	8	Antonio Pizzonia	25.718 
15	12	Felipe Massa		25.764 
16	15	Christian Klien		25.816 
17	16	Jarno Trulli		25.937 
18	39	Nicolas Kiesa		26.059 
19	19	Narain Karthikeyan	26.084 
20	18	Tiago Monteiro		26.106 
21	6	Giancarlo Fisichella	26.114 
22	11	Jacques Villeneuve	26.160 
23	20	Robert Doornbos		26.523 
24	21	Christijan Albers	26.539

Code:
[b]Sector 2 [/b]
[b]Pos	No	Driver			Time[/b]
1	35	Pedro de la Rosa	27.790 
2	7	Mark Webber		28.123 
3	10	Juan Pablo Montoya	28.419 
4	2	Rubens Barrichello	28.512 
5	9	Kimi Räikkönen		28.515 
6	8	Antonio Pizzonia	28.542 
7	1	Michael Schumacher	28.613 
8	38	Ricardo Zonta		28.621 
9	5	Fernando Alonso		28.689 
10	14	David Coulthard		28.746 
11	3	Jenson Button		28.809 
12	17	Ralf Schumacher		28.827 
13	4	Takuma Sato		29.029 
14	37	Vitantonio Liuzzi	29.052 
15	15	Christian Klien		29.095 
16	12	Felipe Massa		29.095 
17	6	Giancarlo Fisichella	29.108 
18	16	Jarno Trulli		29.260 
19	11	Jacques Villeneuve	29.329 
20	19	Narain Karthikeyan	29.627 
21	18	Tiago Monteiro		29.735 
22	21	Christijan Albers	30.274 
23	39	Nicolas Kiesa		30.319 
24	20	Robert Doornbos		30.406

Code:
[b]Sector 3 [/b]
[b]Pos	No	Driver			Time[/b]
1	35	Pedro de la Rosa	40.617 
2	38	Ricardo Zonta		41.311 
3	5	Fernando Alonso		41.429 
4	7	Mark Webber		41.497 
5	9	Kimi Räikkönen		41.501 
6	8	Antonio Pizzonia	41.526 
7	2	Rubens Barrichello	41.538 
8	10	Juan Pablo Montoya	41.554 
9	1	Michael Schumacher	41.582 
10	3	Jenson Button		41.632 
11	14	David Coulthard		41.635 
12	6	Giancarlo Fisichella	41.921 
13	4	Takuma Sato		41.929 
14	11	Jacques Villeneuve	41.930 
15	17	Ralf Schumacher		42.220 
16	12	Felipe Massa		42.260 
17	37	Vitantonio Liuzzi	42.323 
18	15	Christian Klien		42.333 
19	16	Jarno Trulli		42.343 
20	19	Narain Karthikeyan	42.597 
21	18	Tiago Monteiro		42.838 
22	39	Nicolas Kiesa		43.049 
23	20	Robert Doornbos		43.368 
24	21	Christijan Albers	43.687

Speed Trap

Code:
[b]Pos	No	Driver			Time		Speed[/b]
1	5	Fernando Alonso		11:44:01	334.8 
2	6	Giancarlo Fisichella	11:43:30	334.4 
3	38	Ricardo Zonta		11:59:46	331.8 
4	35	Pedro de la Rosa	11:33:24	331.6 
5	10	Juan Pablo Montoya	12:00:53	331.2 
6	4	Takuma Sato		11:56:13	330.9 
7	3	Jenson Button		11:57:55	329.6 
8	37	Vitantonio Liuzzi	12:01:12	329.3 
9	19	Narain Karthikeyan	11:30:53	328.3 
10	15	Christian Klien		11:59:42	328.0 
11	11	Jacques Villeneuve	12:00:20	326.8 
12	12	Felipe Massa		12:00:31	325.4 
13	8	Antonio Pizzonia	11:58:07	324.8 
14	21	Christijan Albers	11:59:50	324.8 
15	17	Ralf Schumacher		11:56:12	324.6 
16	2	Rubens Barrichello	11:51:14	324.3 
17	9	Kimi Räikkönen		11:58:56	324.2 
18	1	Michael Schumacher	11:58:42	323.3 
19	20	Robert Doornbos		11:57:09	322.4 
20	18	Tiago Monteiro		11:26:02	322.2 
21	39	Nicolas Kiesa		11:38:23	321.7 
22	7	Mark Webber		11:26:08	319.8 
23	14	David Coulthard		11:42:13	318.9 
24	16	Jarno Trulli		11:59:14	317.2
 
Man of Honour
OP
Joined
18 Oct 2002
Posts
40,060
Friday Free Practice 2.
Code:
[b]Pos	No	Driver			Team			Time[/b]
1	35	Pedro de la Rosa	McLaren-Mercedes	1:32.834
2	38	Ricardo Zonta		Toyota			1:32.977
3	9	Kimi Räikkönen		McLaren-Mercedes	1:34.092
4	5	Fernando Alonso		Renault			1:34.226
5	10	Juan Pablo Montoya	McLaren-Mercedes	1:34.541
6	2	Rubens Barrichello	Ferrari			1:34.618
7	6	Giancarlo Fisichella	Renault			1:34.932
8	7	Mark Webber		Williams-BMW		1:35.035
9	3	Jenson Button		BAR-Honda		1:35.072
10	12	Felipe Massa		Sauber-Petronas		1:35.196
11	14	David Coulthard		Red Bull Racing		1:35.201
12	37	Vitantonio Liuzzi	Red Bull Racing		1:35.306
13	4	Takuma Sato		BAR-Honda		1:35.397
14	1	Michael Schumacher	Ferrari			1:35.567
15	15	Christian Klien		Red Bull Racing		1:35.613
16	8	Antonio Pizzonia	Williams-BMW		1:35.709
17	11	Jacques Villeneuve	Sauber-Petronas		1:35.894
18	17	Ralf Schumacher		Toyota			1:36.051
19	16	Jarno Trulli		Toyota			1:36.079
20	39	Nicolas Kiesa		Jordan-Toyota		1:36.644
21	20	Robert Doornbos		Minardi-Cosworth	1:36.993
22	21	Christijan Albers	Minardi-Cosworth	1:37.173
23	18	Tiago Monteiro		Jordan-Toyota		1:37.435
24	19	Narain Karthikeyan	Jordan-Toyota		1:37.467

Sector Times - Free Practice 2

Code:
[b]Sector 1[/b]
[b]Pos	No	Driver			Time[/b]
1	38	Ricardo Zonta		24.553 
2	35	Pedro de la Rosa	24.723 
3	5	Fernando Alonso		24.830 
4	9	Kimi Räikkönen		25.013 
5	10	Juan Pablo Montoya	25.022 
6	2	Rubens Barrichello	25.030 
7	37	Vitantonio Liuzzi	25.126 
8	14	David Coulthard		25.162 
9	6	Giancarlo Fisichella	25.162 
10	3	Jenson Button		25.256 
11	12	Felipe Massa		25.257 
12	15	Christian Klien		25.279 
13	7	Mark Webber		25.283 
14	4	Takuma Sato		25.307 
15	1	Michael Schumacher	25.309 
16	8	Antonio Pizzonia	25.341 
17	16	Jarno Trulli		25.343 
18	17	Ralf Schumacher		25.369 
19	21	Christijan Albers	25.429 
20	39	Nicolas Kiesa		25.512 
21	11	Jacques Villeneuve	25.521 
22	20	Robert Doornbos		25.544 
23	18	Tiago Monteiro		25.728 
24	19	Narain Karthikeyan	25.953

Code:
[b]Sector 2 [/b]
[b]Pos	No	Driver			Time[/b]
1	35	Pedro de la Rosa	27.547 
2	38	Ricardo Zonta		27.558 
3	9	Kimi Räikkönen		28.106 
4	10	Juan Pablo Montoya	28.155 
5	7	Mark Webber		28.271 
6	12	Felipe Massa		28.328 
7	5	Fernando Alonso		28.345 
8	2	Rubens Barrichello	28.381 
9	3	Jenson Button		28.395 
10	1	Michael Schumacher	28.437 
11	37	Vitantonio Liuzzi	28.486 
12	14	David Coulthard		28.491 
13	8	Antonio Pizzonia	28.529 
14	4	Takuma Sato		28.547 
15	15	Christian Klien		28.564 
16	6	Giancarlo Fisichella	28.590 
17	11	Jacques Villeneuve	28.614 
18	17	Ralf Schumacher		28.649 
19	16	Jarno Trulli		28.804 
20	39	Nicolas Kiesa		29.053 
21	21	Christijan Albers	29.140 
22	19	Narain Karthikeyan	29.157 
23	20	Robert Doornbos		29.206 
24	18	Tiago Monteiro		29.311

Code:
[b]Sector 3 [/b]
[b]Pos	No	Driver			Time[/b]
1	35	Pedro de la Rosa	40.413 
2	5	Fernando Alonso		40.793 
3	38	Ricardo Zonta		40.866 
4	9	Kimi Räikkönen		40.973 
5	10	Juan Pablo Montoya	41.062 
6	6	Giancarlo Fisichella	41.141 
7	2	Rubens Barrichello	41.207 
8	3	Jenson Button		41.359 
9	7	Mark Webber		41.453 
10	4	Takuma Sato		41.461 
11	14	David Coulthard		41.510 
12	1	Michael Schumacher	41.543 
13	12	Felipe Massa		41.545 
14	11	Jacques Villeneuve	41.567 
15	37	Vitantonio Liuzzi	41.628 
16	15	Christian Klien		41.733 
17	16	Jarno Trulli		41.809 
18	8	Antonio Pizzonia	41.839 
19	17	Ralf Schumacher		41.956 
20	20	Robert Doornbos		42.021 
21	39	Nicolas Kiesa		42.079 
22	19	Narain Karthikeyan	42.117 
23	18	Tiago Monteiro		42.239 
24	21	Christijan Albers	42.604


Speed Trap

Code:
[b]Pos	No	Driver			Time		Speed[/b]
1	6	Giancarlo Fisichella	14:59:21	342.4 
2	5	Fernando Alonso		14:32:41	339.6 
3	1	Michael Schumacher	14:51:44	332.4 
4	38	Ricardo Zonta		14:09:40	331.7 
5	35	Pedro de la Rosa	14:45:50	331.7 
6	10	Juan Pablo Montoya	15:01:02	331.3 
7	9	Kimi Räikkönen		14:12:31	331.1 
8	2	Rubens Barrichello	14:39:14	329.7 
9	11	Jacques Villeneuve	14:36:07	329.6 
10	20	Robert Doornbos		14:39:04	329.5 
11	12	Felipe Massa		14:59:07	329.1 
12	14	David Coulthard		15:00:20	327.7 
13	39	Nicolas Kiesa		14:57:28	325.0 
14	37	Vitantonio Liuzzi	14:10:01	324.6 
15	17	Ralf Schumacher		14:47:34	324.2 
16	15	Christian Klien		14:39:10	323.6 
17	16	Jarno Trulli		14:31:07	323.0 
18	3	Jenson Button		14:59:03	322.8 
19	4	Takuma Sato		14:33:31	322.5 
20	21	Christijan Albers	14:29:01	322.2 
21	8	Antonio Pizzonia	14:57:31	321.9 
22	7	Mark Webber		14:15:19	321.8 
23	19	Narain Karthikeyan	14:05:36	321.5 
24	18	Tiago Monteiro		14:24:39	320.4
 
Man of Honour
Joined
11 Mar 2003
Posts
10,706
Location
Greenock, Scotland
Strange performance from Ferrari, a lot quicker than usual in the first session but back to normal in the second. Looking at the speed trap though it looks like certainly MS might be looking for speed down the straight and then hold everyone up round the twisty bits. That's OK if you're on pole but he ain't going to get pole when he's 1.5 seconds off Kimi's time.

wow those renaults as fast with their new engines

I've only just noticed how much faster than anyone else they are, that's some serious grunt. It's interesting to cast an eye back to the beginning of the season when folk were crticising Renault's decision to go with a 72 degree V10 rather than the current trend of 90 degree units. It seems people have short memories - it wasn't all that long ago that a 72 degree (albeit 3.5l) Renault V10 was the engine to have.
 
Last edited:
Soldato
Joined
18 Oct 2002
Posts
24,560
Location
Amsterdam,The Netherlands
rpstewart said:
Strange performance from Ferrari, a lot quicker than usual in the first session but back to normal in the second. Looking at the speed trap though it looks like certainly MS might be looking for speed down the straight and then hold everyone up round the twisty bits. That's OK if you're on pole but he ain't going to get pole when he's 1.5 seconds off Kimi's time.
I think MS likes his car to have less downforce all the time, it's not the first time I noticed he wins in fast sections and lose in slow sections.
 
Soldato
Joined
19 Oct 2003
Posts
3,212
Location
Right here, right now!
rpstewart said:
I've only just noticed how much faster than anyone else they are, that's some serious grunt. It's interesting to cast an eye back to the beginning of the season when folk were crticising Renault's decision to go with a 72 degree V10 rather than the current trend of 90 degree units. It seems people have short memories - it wasn't all that long ago that a 72 degree (albeit 3.5l) Renault V10 was the engine to have.

look at their sector 2 times.... thats the twisty bit as well
Ferdy is a sec slower and fisi is nearly 2!!!
they are running a very low downforce to be quick down the start finish/back straights
at least they'll be able to overtake
 
Man of Honour
OP
Joined
18 Oct 2002
Posts
40,060
Rosberg agrees deal with WilliamsF1 for 2006

Nico Rosberg has revealed that he has agreed a deal with WilliamsF1 for 2006, however, the German is unsure whether he will continue as 'third driver' or have a full race seat.

Talking to reporters in Shanghai, the German revealed that the deal was agreed earlier this week: "At the beginning of the week Frank Williams said I will be one of the three drivers for 2006. So at least I will be test driver next year and hopefully race driver. It will be decided in the next week or two."

With Mark Webber occupying one seat, and Nick Heidfeld heading to BMW, there has been much speculation over who would drive the second Cosworth powered car in 2006. Rosberg had been tipped as a likely contender, though his lack of F1 race experience has many believing that Antonio Pizzonia could slot in alongside the Australian.

Williams is playing it close to his chest, as ever, and says only that he will reveal his team's line-up in the next few weeks.

A Rosberg in a Williams would invoke memories of the 'glory days' of the early 80s, when Nico's father, Keke Rosberg, spent four seasons with the British team, winning the 1982 title.

"It would be Williams-Cosworth-Rosberg," said the German, referring to the package that his father drove to World Championship success. "That was a world championship-winning combination 24 years ago, so it would be very nice.

"I feel very much at home and want to be part of the team next year," he added. "Am I ready? Yes, definitely, 110% ready."
 
Man of Honour
OP
Joined
18 Oct 2002
Posts
40,060
Teams shun expansion plans

Formula One's top team bosses have voiced their displeasure at suggestions the season could be expanded.

The sport is coming to the end of the longest season in its history in China this weekend, when Shanghai hosts the 19th grand prix of 2005.

Formula One commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone forced through his expansion plan last year thanks to threats over the French and British Grands Prix.

Teams are only committed to a maximum of 17 races under the Concorde Agreement but special terms were agreed to keep Magny-Cours and Silverstone on the calendar as the 18th and 19th races.

Ecclestone will not be able to repeat that trick this time due to long-term contracts with those circuits, giving him a headache as he bids to keep all 19 races on the calendar - and potentially expand to 20 with another Japanese race.

Leading team bosses are unhappy with such a long schedule, with Ferrari's Jean Todt unusually siding with his rivals.

He said: "The calendar normally plans to have 17 grands prix with a possibility of 18. This year, for maintaining he British and French Grands Prix we agreed to make 19 grands prix but we would not normally."

McLaren chief Ron Dennis added: "Every time we go to a grand prix it costs us money, so if there is a motivation to have more races it probably means someone else is making money."

"Putting aside the fiscal elements, it really is changing the characteristic of the grand prix team. It is more difficult for the mechanics and engineers etc."

"Working hard is part of being in Formula One but when it starts to impact on your private life, when you have seen relationships with wives and girlfriends put under the strain they are, it is unfair."
 
Back
Top Bottom