A Busy Week Before Spain

A Busy Week Before Spain

It has been a busy week for Formula One following the European Grand Prix. At the moment, the teams are settling in at the Circuit De Catalunya in Spain for the Spanish Grand Prix, and whilst it has not even been a full week since Schumacher took the chequered flag, a few things have happened that are worth mentioning…

Villeneuve has had to have his engine changed, despite not even driving the car on Spanish soil yet. It is rumoured that the plant was dropped whilst the team were packing everything up in Germany last Sunday. Mario Thiessen of BMW Sauber won’t give an exact reason, but has said that the engine has been changed as a precaution. This means the improving Vileneuve will drop 10 places on the grid no matter where he qualifies on Saturday.

Other teams are threatening to adopt a Ferrari-esque flexi-wing after it was realised that the FIA are not pursuing the matter any further. It was suggested that The Scuderia had bent the rules a little too far when on-board footage of the Ferrari showed elements in the wing flex at high speeds. The FIA asked for modifications which Ferrari did (for performance reasons) and since then the matter has been dropped. The teams still insist that Ferrari’s wings are flexing, but in light of no further involvement of the FIA, it looks like the technique will be employed by all those teams that can afford to develop and implement such a feature.

Yuji Ide has had his superlicense revoked by the FIA. After the governing body advised Super Aguri not to run the Japanese rookie, team boss Suzuki said that Ide would continue testing and hopefully with more mileage and a better understanding of the car, he may return to Grand Prix racing in the future. But now Ide cannot even test a Formula One car.

I find the FIA’s decision to stop Ide from even driving the car at a test session utterly rediculous. I agree with the advice of asking SA not to race Yuji, but to prevent him from learning and improving away from the races is simply wrong.

It now looks as though Frank Montagny will drive for Super Aguri at least until the Monaco Grand Prix and Suzuki is apparently weighing up his options.

Oh yes, and what do teams do when everything goes wrong and performance is poor? They shake up the management, that’s what! Both Toyota and Honda have done a little re-structuring, with Toyota not replacing Mike Gascoynes’ position but instead promoting two other employees (Pascal Vasselon and Luca Marmorini) who share the title Senior General Manager. And Honda have promoted Mariano Alperin-Bruvera as Chief Aerodynamicist.


  • it makes a bit of a mockery of the super-license. they only just gave it to him. methinks they may need to up the difficulty somewhat.

    what did he do that was so bad anyhow? michael used to chop people up off the start line on a regular basis, and no-one took his piece of paper away.

  • It does make it a bit of a mockery, but I do feel Ide’s decision-making is a little wrong on occasion. MS did chop people off, but he was mature enough not to do it in the braking zone of turn one lap one, he would do it before drivers committed themselves to the corner. And I don’t believe MS ever tipped another driver into a multi-somersault roll into the gravel. Up on two wheels, yes! (1994, ahem.) But nothing too dangerous!?

  • martin b has in the past suggested michael could have ended up killing someone due to the way he was starting gp’s. i’m sure not ide came close to killing anyone, especially on a weekly basis as micheal was doing.

  • I’ll have to take your word for that, but I do take the sentiment onboard – Michael certainly has done some things that are perhaps unnecesarily risky. And Ide wasn’t given the chance to do these in much quantity ;). I agree with the FIA advising SA to put Ide on the sidelines, but I totally disagree with revoking his license. I personally feel much of the blame lies on the teams shoulders for not allowing Yuji more testing time, and I know the reasons behind this, which why I also feel that SA should have waited one more year before competing.

    But what do the FIA care? As long as the’re making money, everyone’s happy, right…?

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