F1 in the news

Alessandro Zanardi, BMW, Valencia, 2006In our weekly roundup of F1 headlines the next generation of F1 stars have impressed at the Formula Three Macau Grand Prix, the ‘Michael Schumacher comeback’ rumours have started already, Juan Pablo Montoya makes a crash-bang debut in the NASCAR Nextel Cup, and Alessandro Zanardi makes an incredible return to an F1 cockpit.

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Andy Priaulx, WTCC, Macau, 2006Priaulx is Schu-perb – British touring car ace Andy Priaulx won a second consecutive World Touring Car Championship at Macau last weekend – on top of winning the same series in 2004 when it was called the European Touring Car Championship. Priaulx drives for BMW and has tested their F1 car, but despite his sterling service for the Munich marque a switch to single-seaters now seemly highly unlikely. Murray Walker sang his praises in This is Guernsey.

Formula One test driver Vettel completes rite of passage in Macau – But it was British Formula Three champion Mike Conway who won the prestigious F3 race (see Autosport) with the highly-rated BMW tester Sebastian Vettel a lap down.

F1 to remain on free-to-air TV – Sports Business reports on FIA President Max Mosley scotching rumours that more F1 broadcasts could be moved to pay TV

Bahrain Grand Prix Start 2006 (2)Schumcher says he’ll never make F1 comeback – The Guardian with the first of no doubt many stories speculating on a possible return for Michael Schumacher.

Airfield victory for protestors – Elvington Airfield will only be permitted to allow the running of F1 cars on ten days per year due to a ruling from York council following a protest by local residents. According to GrandPrix.com the venue is mainly used for cross-checking results based on wind tunnel data.

Montoya’s Nextel Cup debut ends in great ball of fire – Juan Pablo Montoya did not get a winning start in his Talladega Nights-esque arrival in top flight NASCAR racing (source: Miami Herald) – but his presence will open up a predominantly southern American sport to the US Latino community according to the Washington Post.

Alessandro Zanardi, BMW, Seat-fitting, 2006Alex Zanardi Makes Heroic Return to F1 – Lastly, Alessandro Zanardi drove an F1 car for the first time since 1999 – and for the first time since losing his legs in his horrific crash during a CART race at the Lausitzring, Germany in 2001. He used modified hand controls incorporating an accelerator and brake to lap the Valencia track in Spain. (Source: ABC News)

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