The Monaco organisers have taken the unprecedented step of moving the date of the Grand Prix from May 23 to the 16th next year. Usually the race weekend is tied to a public holiday. However Bernie Ecclestone had scheduled the Turkish GP for May 30, a week after Monaco, and the F1 teams soon informed him that it was physically impossible to get their equipment to Istanbul in time.
Williams will switch to Cosworth power in 2010 after ending its deal with Toyota a year early. The team will thus run the upgraded 18,000rpm-limited version of the engine it had exclusive use of in 2006, and which has been mothballed for the past three years. Williams will provide a useful yardstick for the four new F1 teams, all of which are committed to Cosworth.
Flavio Briatore has launched a legal action against the FIA in the French courts as he tries to restore his reputation and find a way back into motor sport following his lifetime ban for the Singapore crash scandal.
A statement from Briatore cited the FIA’s ‘abuse of power’ and referred to a ‘breach of the laws of natural justice’.
Otmar Szafnauer has been appointed chief operating officer of Force India. The American replaces Simon Roberts, who was on secondment from McLaren for a year. Szafnauer was involved in a similar role in the early days of BAR and later headed Honda’s F1 operations in Europe.
A host of drivers will attend the first ‘Powered by Mercedes-Benz Live’ event at Mercedes-Benz World, Brooklands, on November 8. Lewis Hamilton, Heikki Kovalainen, Mika Häkkinen, David Coulthard, Ross Brawn and various Mercedes DTM drivers will be present, and both the McLaren and Brawn GP cars will be on track.
Sir Rodney Walker, who has a long history working in sport, will become the non-executive chairman of Donington Park if the circuit succeeds in its bid to run the British GP. CEO Simon Gillett is nearing the end of his race to raise the finance for the re-development. Feature, p69