Atlas F1 The Formula One Insider

by Mitchell McCann, U.S.A.


Seems that rumors of Zanardi's reprieve are premature. With two other drivers trying out for his job, even Williams' spokespeople are gossiping about what's going to happen to their future ex-driver. The Insider, however, has once again come up with the scoop. Villeneuve is going to drive for Williams and Zanardi's going to marry Danniiiii Minogue. Allegedly. (Damn lawyers!) Alex has been strangely silent for the last month or two but is probably looking forward to a long, paid vacation given Frank Williams pronouncement that the new blue and white colour scheme makes the car very pretty and "pretty cars are usually good cars". Jaguar must be ruing their decision now that its evident that blue cars are faster than green cars.

Williams have also announced that Reuters will be joining them as a sponsor, which means that the fact that his cars suck will be news to Frank.

Benetton have also announced a new sponsor with Marconi coming on board for 2000. A spokesman for Marconi said: "DOT DOT DASH - DASH DOT DASH - DOT DASH DASH - DOT DOT DOT". (Loosely translated this means: "Dorothy, you just swallowed a whole bottle of laxatives! Hurry up, Dorothy, run! Oh, Dorothy, you should have run quicker).


Ferrari's annual ski trip gave Michael Schumacher a good chance to laugh at new team-mate Rubens Barrichello who had never skied (it doesn't look right to me either but that's what my spell-checker said) before. Michael probably stopped laughing though when Rubens lapped him in a kart race on ice. Ferrari meanwhile have further refined their launch date from "any time between January 25 and 30" to "sometime between February 7th and February 10th". I guess they're having a really hard time deciding where to put that fourth wheel. Either that or my desk diary arrived with the pages in the wrong order.

While "announcing the launch date", team manager Jean Todt took the opportunity to praise the driver he sacked last year:

"Eddie Irvine worked very hard for four years [even though we asked him not to take that part-time job at Tescos] and it wasn't always easy [to get him out of bed in the morning]. We all know the good [wine with every meal] and the bad [pasta at every meal] about being at Ferrari and that includes being the teammate [flunky] of an enormous [              ] talent like Michael Schumacher. It was to Irvine's credit that he [showed up for every race no matter how hung-over he was] handled the pressure right through to the final race.[Well, up until the final race anyway]."

"Eddie Irvine worked [as] well [as anybody else] at Ferrari. He brought a lot to the team [crates of Guinness and plenty of spare babes] and the team brought a lot to him [never less than three wheels]. I think Eddie changed a bit while he was with us [but if he'd changed any less his shoes would've walked off by themselves] and I'm grateful [he's gone] for what he did, how he helped us win the Constructors [Consolation] Championship [next year. I mean] this year. [I meant this year!]"

"As for next year, [we will win the championship next year] our aim is to win both championships [I mean, we will win both championships next year]; that's our aim for the new century [well, maybe not next year]. The new car will be introduced sometime between February 7th and 10th [that's in January, right?]. It is a development of last year's car, with modifications. [As opposed to a development of last year's car, without modifications, which we could've done already and launched sometime in mid-April]."

Ferrari management has gone on to clarify the situation with regard to the status of their drivers. Following Schumacher's comments last week that "It's never written into any contract that a driver is a Number Two driver". Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo confirmed that this week stating: "The top driver remains Schumacher. There is a number one and a number 1A."

So there you have it. Barrichello is NOT the number two driver; he is the number 1A. Ferrari have not yet announced who will be their number two driver but Jos Verstappen has revealed that he's not interested.

(Excuse me while I attend to my daughter. She's gone number 1As in her diaper).


After a tough month off celebrating every religious holiday they could, as well as a few of the pagan ones, the FIA World Council has put their collective cells together and, to my amazement, completely failed to do anything particularly stupid. The outlawing of V12s was only slightly stupid, I mean, who the hell wants to see anybody innovating in F1. No, the key to F1 is keeping money out of the R&D departments and in the budgets of the marketing department where it can be wisely spent on lavish corporate junkets for executives who think that Formula 1 is what they use to keep the grey out of their hair. (Do you know how much canapés cost!?)

The FIA also went on to reduce pit lane speed limits for 2000. I had to sit down for this one. Not only isn't it stupid, I actually like this one. This was of course done for safety reasons and you can't argue with that but my hope is that this will reduce, if only by a small percentage, the number of pitstops next year. Finally, on a whim, while they were waiting for the waiter to bring another crate of brandy, they decided to ban private testing in December. This presumably means that they'll have to test in public.

Having polished off the brandy and made a serious dent in a crate of port, they decided that the issues of frivolous Fridays, increasing the schedule and making the sport more entertaining where too hard to handle on an empty stomach and ordered another round of canapés while they were waiting for dinner.


I just want to point out that in honour of this, my birthday issue, I'm sitting here in the suit my mother gave me. It's bloody freezing!

Mitch McCann© 2000 Kaizar.Com, Incorporated.
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