News and views on motorsports

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Some News From Bahrain

Just when everyone thought that Ferrari was going to rule the roost this weekend with their illegally developed F2005, all the other teams responded in Saturday Practise 2 with just about 0.8 seconds separating the top 11 runners.

Mark Webber in the Williams broke the unofficial lap record at the Sakhir circuit, dipping below the 1m 30s. So much for slowing the cars down, eh Max? Mark Webber producing a scintillating lap time that lifts Williams out of the doldrums for the first time this weekend. What's nice to see is the two Toyotas in second and fourth separated by Giancarlo Fisichella. Ralf Schumacher heading Jarno Trulli this weekend.

Rubens Barrichello seems imminent to start qualifying in the F2004M having had gearbox problems on his F2005. Due to the accelerated introduction of the F2005, Ferrari have no gearboxes to spare. One is being flown over from Italy but seems destined not to reach the Brazilian on time.

In other news, BMW's Mario Thiessen claims that a customer engine deal with another team is "imminent." The chances of a customer supply is "greater than 50 percent."

I think everyone is expecting this to be Sauber despite denials from both parties. But what I like is Peter Sauber's quote: "As a Bridgestone customer, we played second fiddle to Ferrari. But with the Frenchmen, everything is transparent -- even the relationship with the other teams." 'Nuff said.

Not so good news is Toyota's seemingly non commital stance with regards the future of F1.'s headline even suggests they will go with "The Dark Side."

I think its just typical Japanese diplomacy. But I think its obvious these guys want to remain in Grand Prix racing. However, the report suggests that rather than calling themselves the Group of Nine, it will now be the Group of Eight, with Toyota abstaining.

We anxiously await the results of qualifying one, set to happen in about an hours time. Though from the evidence this weekend, Michael Schumacher will still be a force to be reckoned with, but it looks close.

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