• In light of Lewis Hamilton’s ‘hooning’ saga in Melbourne, the FIA is to keep a close eye on any indiscretions by F1 drivers on public roads. Henceforth superlicence holders must have a valid road licence, while in extreme circumstances the FIA could withdraw the former.
• Ex-Renault driver Romain Grosjean took over from Sauber-bound Nick Heidfeld for Pirelli’s F1 tyre test at Monza. The Italian firm has yet to confirm whether the Frenchman will be its main choice for winter testing.
• Jacques Villeneuve is pushing ahead with plans to have an F1 team in 2011, despite the FIA’s decision not to award the 13th entry spot. Villeneuve and partner Durango will try to join an existing team. The other unsuccessful 13th candidate, Epsilon Euskadi, has admitted it did not have a full budget.
• Dean Stoneman has earned a Williams test drive by winning the FIA F2 series. The 20-year-old headed home Jolyon Palmer, son of series organiser and former Williams driver Jonathan.
• Mexican teenager Esteban Gutierrez will be Sauber test and reserve driver in 2011, increasing speculation that his backer Telmex – run by ‘world’s richest man’ Carlos Slim – will join forces with the team. The GP3 champion will run in this year’s Abu Dhabi young driver test.
• Nabil Jeffri became the youngest person ever to drive an F1 car after a day of aero testing for Lotus. The 16-year-old has been racing in Formula BMW Pacific this year.
• The BRDC is running a contest to name Silverstone’s new Pit, Paddock and Conference complex. Entries should be sent by October 8. The winner will attend the launch of the site as a VIP as well as the British GP and MotoGP races and enjoy a driving experience at the track.
• Belgian GP2 driver Jerome D’Ambrosio is Virgin’s new Friday tester. He is also Renault’s reserve driver, and is managed by the group that owns the team. Virgin has promised a winter test to Indonesian Rio Haryanto, the best driver from its sister Manor GP3 team.
Out of the Past, June 1996
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