2005 Japanese Grand Prix

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2005 Japanese Grand Prix
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Current Standings

2005 Drivers Championship.
Code:
[b]Pos	Driver			Nationality	Team			Points [/b]
[b]1	Fernando Alonso		Spanish		Renault			117 - World Champion[/b]
2	Kimi Räikkönen		Finnish		McLaren-Mercedes	94
=4	Juan Pablo Montoya	Colombian	McLaren-Mercedes	60
=4	Michael Schumacher	German		Ferrari			60
5	Giancarlo Fisichella	Italian		Renault			45
6	Jarno Trulli		Italian		Toyota			43
=8	Ralf Schumacher		German		Toyota			38
=8	Rubens Barrichello	Brazilian	Ferrari			38
9	Jenson Button		British		BAR-Honda		32
10	Mark Webber		Australian	Williams-BMW		29
11	Nick Heidfeld		German		Williams-BMW		28
12	David Coulthard		British		Red Bull Racing		21
13	Jacques Villeneuve	Canadian	Sauber-Petronas		9
14	Felipe Massa		Brazilian	Sauber-Petronas		8
15	Tiago Monteiro		Portuguese	Jordan-Toyota		7
16	Alexander Wurz		Austrian	McLaren-Mercedes	6
=18	Narain Karthikeyan	Indian		Jordan-Toyota		5
=18	Christian Klien		Austrian	Red Bull Racing		5
=20	Christijan Albers	Dutch		Minardi-Cosworth	4
=20	Pedro de la Rosa	Spanish		McLaren-Mercedes	4
21	Patrick Friesacher 	Austrian	Minardi-Cosworth	3
22	Antonio Pizzonia	Brazilian	Williams-BMW		2
=24	Takuma Sato		Japanese 	BAR-Honda		1
=24	Vitantonio Liuzzi	Italian		Red Bull Racing		1

2005 Constructors Championship.
Code:
[b]Pos	Constructor 		Points[/b]
1	McLaren-Mercedes 	164
2	Renault			162
3	Ferrari 		98
4	Toyota 			81
5	Williams-BMW 		59
6	BAR-Honda 		33
7	Red Bull Racing 	27
8	Sauber-Petronas 	17
9	Jordan-Toyota 		12
10	Minardi-Cosworth 	7
 
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Didn't see this coming. :eek:

Honda BAR buy out - Official Press Release

Honda Motor Co, Ltd has underlined its determination to win the Formula One World Championship with its acquisition of the full 100% shareholding in the BAR Honda F1 team.

Less than a year after purchasing a 45% share in BARH Limited, Honda has agreed to acquire founding owner British American Tobacco's 55% majority share. Honda will complete the purchase of the remaining shares by the end of 2005.

The acquisition was announced in a press conference held by Honda in Tokyo today, ahead of its home grand prix at Suzuka this weekend. This race will also mark Honda's 100th grand prix with the BAR Honda team.

During the course of the past six seasons with the BAR Honda team, Honda's F1 programme has gone from strength to strength. In 2000, Honda returned to the F1 World Championship, having entered into a contract with BAR to supply engines and jointly develop chassis technology. In December 2001, a new 3-year contract, effective from 2002, was signed, the provisions of which included the strengthening of the joint chassis development project. In July 2004, an agreement was reached to extend the contract period to the end of the 2007, with the additional aim of further strengthening the partnership's structure for technological development.

The 2004 season marked the 40th anniversary of Honda's inaugural F1 campaign and saw BAR Honda achieve second place in the Constructors' World Championship.

Honda now considers 100% ownership of the team to be a crucial step in its ambition to win the Constructors' World Championship in the next few years.

The team will continue to conduct operations from its current base in Brackley, Northamptonshire, UK, working together with Honda Racing Development Ltd., located in Berkshire.

Hiroshi Oshima, Operating Officer, Corporate Communications and Motor Sports, Honda Motor Co., Ltd, commented: "After discussing Honda's future F1 participation, we have decided that Honda should own 100% of the team. We greatly appreciate the partnership of BAT, which has managed the team with us until now, and we wish BAT the best of luck in its future endeavours. From next season, we will be even more energetic in our F1 activities, working hard as a team in order to improve our technology, develop our young engineers and achieve our goal of winning the World Championship. We look forward to your continued support."

Jimmi Rembiszewski, British American Tobacco Director, Marketing, commented: "It will be sad to end our association but it is immensely satisfying to leave the team in the competent hands of Honda who are proven winners in the sport. We wish Honda every success for the future and look forward to our last year of sponsorship."
 
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WilliamsF1 in £30m Concorde deal with Bernie?

The British newspaper The Times is claiming that WilliamsF1 is close to doing a deal with Bernie Ecclestone which would see the Grove based outfit join Ferrari, Jordan and the two Red Bull teams in the Formula One World Championship in 2008.

According to The Times, although WilliamsF1 was mentioned in last week's statement issued by the Grand Prix Manufacturers' Association (GPMA), team boss, Frank Williams, was not a signatory. The newspaper claims that Williams would 'settle' for around half the signing on fee given to Ferrari, thought to be £60m. The Italian team, previously the driving force behind the threatened breakaway series, sensationally did an about-turn earlier this year, signing a secret deal with Ecclestone.

If the Williams story is true, this would be damaging to the other F1 teams that are sticking with the manufacturers, though sceptics have always said that the issue is simply about establishing the amount of cash the 'rebel' teams would settle for.

Then again, with no official engine partner for 2006, WilliamsF1, more than the other teams which are either owned, or part owned, by manufacturers, needs the money.

Talking to The Times, Ecclestone said: "They know what is on the table and they know I mean it. If you sell something at Harrods, it doesn't mean you want to own the store with all the risks and overheads. That is what these people in the GPMA want, but the Formula One brand has been running for more than 50 years and we have been running things very well for 30 years, taking the risks and giving them plenty of money. It is up to them to decide if they can do a better job and take that risk."

It's believed that Ecclestone has offered the 'rebel' teams as much as 50-per cent more cash than they currently receive, plus an up front 'sweetener', if they sign up. However, the manufacturers and teams insist that it is not only money that is the issue, they are also seeking greater transparency in the governance of the sport.

In a curious aside, the report also suggests that Ecclestone could also "steer Coca-Cola in the direction of Williams", suggesting a possible sponsorship deal. However, the American soft drink has successfully done without F1 up until now, and should it opt to enter F1 surely it would be looking at a team a little further up the pitlane.
 
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Raikkonen in £22m Ferrari deal?

British tabloid, the Sunday Mirror, is claiming that Kimi Raikkonen has already signed a £22m deal with Ferrari, which will see the Finn join the Maranello outfit in 2007.

At a time when McLaren is on the ascendant, leading the Constructors' Championship from Renault by two points, while Ferrari trails behind in third place, a 'leading Formula One source' told the tabloid: ""This is not about money.

"McLaren and Mercedes are big companies and can afford to match, or better, anything Ferrari is offering," the source added. "They value Kimi highly. It is just down to what he wants to do."

The paper claims that Raikkonen's contract stipulates that the Finn has "equal status", though it also says that Michael Schumacher is likely to retire at the end of 2006 - when his current contract expires - "rather than take the risks involved in facing up to a young, ambitious and super-quick driver like Raikkonen".
 
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Sato says new team wants him in '06

BAR Honda driver Takuma Sato said Tuesday he has received an offer from a team making a bid to join Formula One, giving him the chance to race next season.

"The new team is yet to be decided, but I have received an offer from it," the Japanese driver said. "There are various options for the next season. I will not give up on competing in F1."

He was speaking at a press conference with Honda, which announced it will take full control of BAR Honda, for which Sato raced for two full seasons.

The team dropped the 28-year-old Japanese from the lineup for the next season.

Honda officials also said they were prepared to offer engines to a new team that might join the Formula One world, without specifying details.

Sato - like BAR - has failed to shine this season after a promising debut year with the team in 2003 and his options for a place on the grid are limited with virtually all the top team drives already taken.

BAR and Honda have been trying hard to help Sato secure a drive. Jordan chief Colin Kolles has previously said the team could make a bid to bring in Sato as a driver for next season.

Jordan, which will be re-branded as Midland next year, runs with Toyota engines but Kolles confirmed the Japanese company has given his team clearance to bid for Sato's services if they see him as their best option.
 
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Coke to put fizz back into F1?

Coca-Cola is being tipped to become the next major brand to invest in Formula One - possibly following the lead of drinks market rival Red Bull and buying an entry.

Although the number of teams thought to be up for sale is extremely limited following the acquisition of both Jaguar and Minardi by Red Bull, Britain's Daily telegraph newspaper reports that Coca-Cola 'is looking at a range of options to break into F1, including buying or becoming a sponsor to an existing team. It is also examining the feasibility of setting up its own team'.

Although the drinks brand has dabbled in motorsport before, particularly via its American operation - sponsoring a NASCAR race at Charlotte and securing endorsements with leading drivers, as well as backing the Bob Akin Porsche 956/962 teams in the early-mid 1980s -
and its Eastern European arm - which has backed various rising stars, including Tomas Enge and Jarek Janis, and led to backing the Nordic Racing F3000 team in 2001 - Formula One remains something of unfamiliar territory.

F1 commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone has confirmed that he is aware of Coca-Cola's interest, but could not reveal whether the company had asked him for advice on potential takeover or sponsorship opportunities. However, Ecclestone did indicate that Formula One's expanding global reach had produced a reawakening of interest from a number of possible sponsors.

The price of title sponsorship and team ownership could vary as much as four-fold, depending on the team involved, while starting a team from scratch would also incur other financial burdens, such as the $48million bond required to secure an entry. Such an opportunity exists as FI bosses look to expand the grid to at least twelve teams, and is understood to be a route currently being investigated by former Ferrari driver Eddie Irvine and Russian entrepreneur Tariko Roustam, following their failure to buy Minardi.

"It is very early days yet," a company executive told the newspaper, "But the growing popularity of F1 in several key Asian markets is something that is of interest to Coca-Cola."
 
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Williams "not yet" a GPMA member

Williams has refused to elaborate on speculation that it is about to commit to a long-term agreement with Bernie Ecclestone, despite confirming that it is not yet a signatory of the breakaway GPMA initiative.

The team was named in a statement issued after the rebel manufacturers met last week which said it would not to commit to any series which didn't have an "equitable" commercial structure.

But The Times has suggested Sir Frank Williams is being courted heavily by Ecclestone.

The newspaper added that given its current lack of a title sponsor or manufacturer support, a cash sweetener like the one used to lure Ferrari may sway Williams's decision.

The team insists that its decision will be based on what is in the best interests of the sport.

"It is correct to say that Williams is not yet a signatory to the (GPMA) agreement, but we do not consider it appropriate to discuss the reasons for this at the moment," said a team spokes person.

"We will continue to work for a resolution that is in the best interests of both Formula One in general, and Williams too, in a non-confrontational manner."
 
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2006 grid shaping up

With just the Japanese and Chinese Grand Prix remaining, the 2006 lineup is fairly complete. There are however some uncertainties in some of the teams and it will undoubtedly be some while before the complete 20 cars line-up is know for next year. Here’s out best guess as to who goes where:

McLaren Mercedes
No changes on the race driver lineup with Kimi Raikkonen and Juan Pablo Montoya remaining in the race seats. Test drivers Pedro de la Rosa and Alex Wurz both are keeping an eye on the situation at BMW for next year.

Renault
Again, the race driver line-up will remain the same with World Champion Fernando Alonso partnering Giancarlo Fisichella. The testing role is less certain with Franck Montagny looking to race in 2006. Heikki Kovalainen is tipped by many to be the third driver at Renault next year.

Ferrari
Michael Schumacher will start the final year of his multi-season contract with the out-going Champions. He is joined in the squad by Felipe Massa who replaces the BAR Honda bound Rubens Barrichello. On the testing side, it is not know whether both Luca Badoer and Marc gene will be retained while Valentino Rossi is expected to test more for the team in 2006.

Toyota
No major changes at Toyota, apart from Bridgestone tyres, with Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumacher remaining in the two race seats. Ricardo Zonta and Olivier Panis are expected to continue as the team’s test drivers.

Williams Cosworth
With Cosworth V8 engines and Bridgestone tyres, Mark Webber is expected to remain with the squad in the second year of his deal with the team while Nick Heidfeld is no longer effectively with the team having joined BMW. Antonio Pizzonia and Nico Rosberg are expected to take the second race seats and testing role although at Williams it is hard to tell for sure who will take the final race seats. Witness the start of 2005.

BAR Honda
Rubens Barrichello joins the squad from Ferrari and will partner Jenson Button. Takuma Sato is expected to leave the squad as he is not too keen on testing for the squad, especially when the race driver’s have such long-term contracts. Anthony Davidson also is expected to leave his testing role at the teams for something new, so in effect, there is one testing role up for grabs at BAR Honda.

Red Bull Ferrari
David Coulthard is confirmed in the race seats while Christian Klien will almost certainly join Coulthard once again on the driving front, even if rumours have linked him to a role at BMW. It is however hard to imagine Klien in anything other than Red Bull colours. The testing role is up for grabs even though the team announced at Monza that Scott Speed would take the role. Speed is expected to race in the Red Bull Junior team.

BMW
Nick Heidfeld will lead the team as the team changes from Sauber Petronas to BMW over the off-season. Jacques Villeneuve seemingly has a water-tight contract to race for the team in 2006 and given his recent performances, would be a solid choice for the squad. It remains to be seen whether Villeneuve will fit in with the new management at the Swiss-based squad. Alex Wurz has also been linked to a drive with the team while the testing role is uncertain.

Midland Toyota
The team will lose its Jordan name over the off-season and there are a number of drivers linked to the two race seats at the team. Current Jordan driver Narain Karthikeyan is expected to leave the team and find a testing role with another outfit, while Tiago Monteiro is one of many looking to race with the squad. Other driver’s linked to the team include Anthony Davidson, Franck Montagny and Takuma Sato. It could well be some time before Midland announces who races for them in 2006.

Red Bull Cosworth
The second Red Bull team, currently dubbed the junior team, is what we currently know as Minardi Cosworth. The team will change hands at the end of the season and are expected to fun the Cosworth V10 engine and Michelin tyres. On the driving front, Scott Speed and Vitantonio Liuzzi are expected to race for the team while an up and coming Red Bull driver will take the testing role.

So there we have it. A very rough and ready view of who will move where for next season. It would be of course very disappointing if all this would prove to be correct as a little last minute shuffle is always rather entertaining.
 
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Thats a good shot of Suzuka from Google Earth...

Love the fact that you can see the cars on track. :eek:

Can't quite make out what they are though. ;)

Will do the A1GP thread later - no rush for that one. No real important news. ;)

Simon/~Flibster
 

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Flibster said:
Will do the A1GP thread later - no rush for that one. No real important news. ;)

Simon/~Flibster

Now now... ;) Thanks for the info Simon. Always good to have this thread and seeing as I'm a bit cutoff at the moment, means I can keep upto date.

Surprised about the 100% takeover bid from Honda though...

Cheers.
 
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Yup.

Apparently paying £18 million out of his own pocket.. :eek:

Wonder if he know about the Honda takeover which was one of his main reasons for wanting to stay.

Simon/~Flibster
 
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It is coming out of his own pocket.

However - it's not all at once and he's getting more than enough in return from BAR Honda.

As it was a multi year deal with Williams - he's paying them back over a couple of years iirc.

Simon/~Flibster
 
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I would think that button knew about the honda deal. Seems to backup the reason why he was so adament to stay there. I honestly thought that button would waste most of his career at BAR, like JV did :(. I hope honda can give him a better car than he currently has now.
 
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Doesn't look like ITV are showing the Qualifying live :( It should be on 5am but it's only being shown at midnight sat night!!
 
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