The Old Rumour Mill – June

Adrian Newey, Red Bull, Monte-Carlo, 2007The Adrian Newey saga dominated the headlines six years ago. Yet, in one of those funny little ironies, although he didn’t end up leaving McLaren for Jaguar at the time he did end up moving to the same team a few years later.

Plus F1 (nearly) at Laguna Seca and the absence of Audi.

Newey to quit F1
Autosport, June 7 2001

In a turgid season of almost uninterrupted Ferrari dominance, at least there was a juicy mid-season scandal to keep everyone interested.

The ‘will-he-won’t-he’ Adrian Newey saga was triggered when it was widely claimed that the designer had sensationally opted to defect to Jaguar from McLaren.

But he had an 11th hour change of heart – that fatally compromised Bobby Rahal’s position at Jaguar and shortly led to the American leaving. Rahal was an associate of Newey’s from their time in Indy Car together.

It was originally believed that Newey decided to stay at McLaren only for another year, after which he would pursue his long-held affection for the America’s Cup boat race.

But the designer instead extended his contract with McLaren. Eventually he did join the Milton Keynes team in 2006, one year after the team had been re-branded as Red Bull. But the ‘genius’ still hasn’t quit F1…

Audi is chosen brand for VW’s F1 activity
BusinessF1, June 2003

Long regarded with suspicion by leading F1 authorities, the controversial BusinessF1 is known for printing surprising headlines that turn out to be a little wide of the mark.

Volkswagen have never really looked like entering F1 despite the confident assertion by BusinessF1 that, “Volkswagen chairman Bernd Pischetsrieder has already made the obvious decision and decreed that the car will be labelled an Audi.”

Let’s put this one down to wishful thinking. It would be great to see Audi in F1, but for now they seem content to be big fish in the small pond of sportscar racing.

Second US GP?
Autosport, June 26, 1986

United States Grand Prix, Detroit, start, 1987Bernie Ecclestone confirmed there would once again be two United States Grands Prix on the calendar in 1987. In addition to the race on the streets of Detroit the championship was to go to the Lagune Seca road course in Monterey, California.

It would have been fantastic to see the turbocharged F1 cars of the late 1980s fly up the steep Laguna hill into the daunting corkscrew turn – but it never happened. F1 still has never visited the circuit and given the high specifications demanded of modern circuits it is highly unlikely it ever will.

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