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News and Analysis


Barcelona 4: Renault on top

Fernando Alonso and Giancarlo Fisichella continued their ultra-close battle on the final day of testing at Barcelona in Spain this week as the pair were left separated by just one hundredth of a second after another encouraging day for Renault

Waltrip wins Duel One

Michael Waltrip dived past team-mate Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the last corner of Thursday's first Gatorade Duel qualifying race to grab victory at Daytona International Speedway.

Daytona grid complete

The grid for the Daytona 500 has now been completed, following Thursday's two Gatorade Duels that decided the order behind the front-row. Those positions had been secured by Dale Jarrett and Jimmie Johnson in qualifying

Harvick, Johnson warned

Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick have been warned that they will face being banned from races if they do not put a stop to their on-track troubles following the major shunt that marred Thursday's second Gatorade Duel qualifying race

Barcelona 3: McLaren go top

Pedro de la Rosa moved his McLaren-Mercedes team to the top of the timesheets on the penultimate day of this week's test at the Barcelona circuit.

Gascoyne: redesigning the future

Mike Gascoyne knows better than anyone what it's going to take to turn around the poor performances of Toyota, and as the highest paid technical director in the paddock he knows there can be no excuses - they must improve this year, period.

Barcelona 2: Fisi sizzles

Giancarlo Fisichella claimed the top spot on the lap sheets in Barcelona today, taking half a second off teammate Fernando Alonso's record time from yesterday. The ever-improving times are making last year's statements about slowing down the cars look positively foolish.

Piquet eyes F1 'within two years'

Nelsinho Piquet, the teenage son of three times World Champion Nelson Piquet, has said that he plans to be in Formula 1 by the start of the 2007 season - and has not ruled out making the jump as early as next year

BAR progress 'on target'

Jenson Button and BAR's pre-season preparations are going according to plan, the team's boss Nick Fry has told autosport, despite doubts about the team's overall speed that emerged after mixed results from last week's test at Jerez in Spain

Trulli upbeat about 'new' Toyota

Jarno Trulli has hailed the new look Toyota TF105 as a big step forward over the car that has been running since the 2005 launch, even though he admits it is hard to make a definitive judgement about the car because of weird tracks conditions in Barcelona

Barcelona 1: Alonso shines

Fernando Alonso claimed the fastest ever lap at the Circuit de Catalunya today at the opening of a week's worth of testing at the Barcelona circuit, but lap times were put in the shade by a lurid crash suffered by Kimi Raikkonen late in the afternoon.

Provera criticises Gronholm

Outgoing Peugeot WRC boss Corrado Provera was highly critical of his driver Marcus Gronholm for crashing out of a close second place on the final morning of the Swedish Rally

Doctor awarded top medal

A doctor who has been credited with doing for British motor sport what Sid Watkins has done for Formula 1 in terms of advancing medical expertise and facilities has been awarded the most prestigious award from the Motor Sports Assocation

Mexico date changes

Champ Car World Series organisers have decided to move the date of the second round of the series in Monterrey back to Sunday May 22 - its original planned date - so as to avoid a clash with the playoff action in the Mexican football league

Relaxed Ralf is ready for the off

Ralf Schumacher is well aware that success at Toyota is not going to be easy to achieve. But despite a fairly low key start to testing for its new car, the German is remarkably serene about his new life in Cologne. He even apologises to for turning up late to our interview

Gordon tops practice

Jeff Gordon made the perfect start in his bid to claim his maiden Daytona 500 pole when he topped the times during final practice for the event, ahead of Sunday's qualifying sessions

Johnson wins Shootout

Jimmie Johnson put in some pretty impressive defensive driving for the final 16 laps of the Budweiser Shootout on Saturday night to take a two-tenths of a second victory over Ryan Newman

Jerez 5: Zonta's day in the wet

Ricardo Zonta put an unexpected two hour break in testing, caused by a truck crashing off the track, behind him to just outpace Jenson Button's BAR during wet weather testing at Jerez in Spain on Saturday

Ralf: Ferrari not strongest

Ralf Schumacher claims that Ferrari may not be heading into the season as favourites for glory - and believes that his brother Michael may find that he has to sit back and watch McLaren and Renault fight it out for glory

Coulthard buoyed by reliability

David Coulthard has given his new RB1 an early thumbs up in terms of reliability after its first pre-season test at Jerez in Spain this week - even though he admits that it is too early to make any definitive judgements about the car's overall pace

Truck shunt stops testing

Jenson Button and Ricardo Zonta were left completely amazed at Jerez in Spain on Saturday when their wet weather testing programme was brought to a halt after a water truck spun off into the gravel trap

Nemechek tops practice

Joe Nemechek just pipped Jeff Gordon at the top of the practice timesheets for Saturday's Budweiser Shootout, as the pair proved to be the most consistent men out on the track

Jarrett on Shootout pole

Defending winner and three-times champion of the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona, Dale Jarrett has claimed pole position for the event for the first time in his career

Jerez 4: Button tops in Spain

Jenson Button has put his team's recent problems behind him by claiming the best ever time for a 2005 car at an increasingly hot Jerez today. Button's time was just short of the unofficial track record, claimed by Michael Schumacher in testing last year.

Plato to run in WTCC

Jason Plato is set to compete in as many as five rounds of the World Touring Car Championship around his British series commitment, it was revealed in this week's Autosport magazine.

Jerez 3: Alonso flies at Jerez

Fernando Alonso confirmed that Renault's sparkling pace at last week's Valencia test was no flash in the pan as he came close to breaking the lap record at Jerez in Spain on Thursday, with team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella not far behind

Weather concerns remain

The arrival of snow overnight in the Varmland area where this weekend's Swedish Rally will take place has done little to ease concerns about the event, because the fall does not appear to have been heavy enough to cover the stages

Villeneuve: I must change style

Former world champion Jacques Villeneuve has admitted to that he is struggling to get himself tuned in to Sauber's new C24, and claims that he may have to change the way he drives if he is to get on equal terms with rapid team-mate Felipe Massa

Jerez 2: 'Darth Vader' shines

Juan Pablo Montoya made the most of the car that he has labelled his 'Darth Vader' during testing at Jerez in Spain on Wednesday when McLaren's radically winged MP4-20 topped the times

Sato crashes again

BAR star Takuma Sato has decided to call an early end to his day's activities during testing at Jerez in Spain on Wednesday after suffering his second major crash in just 24 hours

Carlin signs Ihara

Carlin Motorsport has announced that it has signed former model Keiko Ihara for the British Formula 3 championship this year - in a move that will see her follow in the footsteps of compatriot Takuma Sato

Test frustrations for Minardi

Minardi has admitted that it was left frustrated by its test at Misano in Italy this week, when snow and poor weather conditions wiped out any chance of its conducting much meaningful evaluation work for its 2005 preparation

Gardemeister ready for win

Ford's new recruit Toni Gardemeister, fresh from his runner-up spot in the season opening Monte Carlo Rally, believes that he can realistically target victory on next weekend's second round of the championship in Sweden

Da Matta back in the cockpit

Former grand prix driver Cristiano da Matta took a break from his preparations for this weekend's Daytona 24 Hours to drive down to Sebring in Florida to make his return to the cockpit of a Champ Car on Friday as he tested for his new PKV Racing team

Philippe signs for Conquest

Frenchman Nelson Philippe, who is the youngest driver in Champ Car history, has re-signed with Mi-Jack Conquest Racing for 2005, having joined the team halfway through the 2004 campaign

Valencia 4: Schuey's warning

World champion Michael Schumacher proved that Ferrari remains as big a threat as ever during the final day of dry weather testing at Valencia in Spain on Friday when he used the latest tyre developments from Bridgestone to top the times

Hemelgarn returns to IRL

Former IRL IndyCar Series and Indy 500 winners Hemelgarn Racing have decided to make a return to the category in 2005 after choosing to make the step up from the Infiniti Pro Series with American Paul Dana

Pruett takes Daytona pole

Scott Pruett secured his second consecutive pole position for the Daytona 24 Hours after setting the quickest time during first qualifying in his CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley

Ace management signs Wurz

McLaren test driver Alexander Wurz has signed up to the newly formed Aces Management Group, created by Didier Coton - the long-time manager of double Formula 1 world champion Mika Hakkinen

Valencia 3: Kimi in top form

Kimi Raikkonen proved that the new generation of Formula 1 cars are not going to be much slower than their predecessors when he topped the times at Valencia in Spain on Thursday - edging out the 2004 McLaren of Alexander Wurz

Schuey pushes for winning start

World champion Michael Schumacher has warned his rivals that Ferrari is not viewing the start of the season as merely a damage limitation exercise because it is using its old car - and has instead vowed to try and carry on the F2004's victory march from the off

ADR signs up Stoddart

Two-time McLaren Autosport BRDC finalist Susie Stoddart has landed a drive with Alan Docking Racing, to compete in the Championship class of the British F3 series, reports this week's Autosport magazine

Gronholm's Sweden warning

Marcus Gronholm has fired a warning shot to title rival and World Rally champion Sebastien Loeb by declaring his intention to win the Swedish Rally. The Finn is keen to stop the Citroen star, who won the season-opening Monte Carlo Rally at a canter, from breaking away at the top of the points table and has targeted a fourth win on the Swedish Rally, which takes place next weekend

Kanaan targets Indy victory

The reigning IRL IndyCar Series champion Tony Kanaan has admitted that winning the Indianapolis 500 is his primary target this year

Valencia 1: Wurz on top

Alex Wurz set the fastest time for McLaren on the first day of a crucial three-day test at Valencia in Spain on Tuesday. The Austrian, driving a modified version of last year's McLaren-Mercedes MP4-19B, set a lap time of 1m09.386s, which was more than a second quicker than anyone else managed all day

Fisi: Valencia test crucial

New Renault signing Giancarlo Fisichella believes that this will be a crucial week for the French manufacturer to find out how good its new R25 is

Schwarz ruled out of Sweden

Factory Skoda driver Armin Schwarz has been withdrawn from next weekend's Swedish Rally so that a shoulder injury he sustained in the WRC season-opening Monte Carlo Rally can be given more time to heal. Even though the German declared last weekend that he would be fit to take part in the event

Renault to keep start advantage

Renault will retain its renowned startline advantage over its rivals despite tweaks to the rules regarding engine software in Formula 1 for 2005, that is the view of the team's director of engineering Pat Symonds.

Indian on verge of Jordan drive

Jordan's 2005 driver line-up could be made up of former Carlin Motorsport drivers after Narain Karthikeyan confirmed that he had agreed terms and expected to sign a deal with the Midland F1- owned team in the next few days. He is expected to be joined in the squad by Carlin's Nissan World Series driver Tiago Monteiro

Theissen criticises engine rules

BMW Motorsport director Mario Theissen has once again critcised the recent raft or regulation changes, and in particular the two-engine rule, which he claims cost Formula 1's manufacturers money instead of saving it

Williams targets victories

Regular race wins and beating Ferrari are the targets laid out by BMW Williams team principal Frank Williams at the launch of the FW27 challenger at Valencia on Monday

Solberg Sr in at Ford

Petter Solberg's brother Henning will drive the third works Ford Focus WRC in the Swedish Rally on February 11, alongside regular drivers Toni Gardemeister and Roman Kresta. It will be the first time the Norweigen has competed for a factory team in the WRC.

Nunn calls it quits

Hemelgarn Motorsports has acquired Mo Nunn Racing's Dallara chassis after the veteran team owner and engineer called time on his participation in the IRL IndyCar Series, according to

McLaren pleased with first tests

The first week of testing for the new McLaren-Mercedes MP4-20 has been declared a success by the team, despite some difficulties with conditions at the Catalunya circuit

Valencia 4: Montagny tops test

Franck Montagny topped the times for Renault on the final day of this week's Valencia test session, albeit in the team's 2004 car, while BAR continued to suffer technical problems - including a dramatic engine failure for Anthony Davidson.

Pla joins strong line-up

French driver Olivier Pla, a protégé of former Formula 1 star Jean Alesi, has signed up to join Ryan Sharp in Dave Price Racing's new GP2 Series team in 2005

Montoya tries out MP4-20

Juan Pablo Montoya has had his first taste of the McLaren MP4-20 at Barcelona on Thursday. The Colombian took over testing duties from team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, who has driven the car for the last three days

Pizzonia makes his case

Antonio Pizzonia fired off a spectacular sequence of laps at the end of the third day's testing at Valencia, and sent a timely reminder to Williams and BMW as they adjourned to consider the verdict over whether the Brazilian, or Nick Heidfeld, will partner Mark Webber in the race team in 2005

Panis: TF105 has potential

Retired French Formula 1 star and Toyota test driver Olivier Panis believes that the Japanese manufacturer's TF105 chassis is a step ahead of its predecessor, despite the new car having struggled for pace in recent tests

Rosberg works with ART

Nico Rosberg, son of 1982 Formula 1 world champion Keke, has signed a deal to race with the ART Grand Prix team in the inaurgural GP2 Series in 2005