BUDAPEST, Oct 27 - German carmakers BMW are aiming to be Formula
One winners with the Williams team by the end of the 2001 season.
Hakkinen keeps a low profile in Japan
SUZUKA, Oct 27 - McLaren are making sure that reigning world champion
Mika Hakkinen keeps a low profile and stays focused ahead of Sunday's decisive
Japanese Grand Prix. The Finn, who is four points behind Ferrari's Eddie
Irvine in the Formula One standings, was pulled out of a promotional news
conference with tyre manufacturers Bridgestone on Wednesday and will not
arrive at Suzuka until Thursday. ``In preparation for the Japanese Grand
Prix, it is of paramount importance that Mika Hakkinen is at the peak of
physical and mental fitness,'' said McLaren boss Ron Dennis in a prepared
statement. ``It is equally important that Mika remains totally focused
on winning the 1999 world championship.'' ``I believe that everyone involved
will appreciate that these measures are taken in the best interests of
the team and its partners,'' Dennis added. Hakkinen won at Suzuka last
season to take his first title and McLaren are determined for him to be
in peak condition, especially with Irvine being boosted by the return of
German team-mate Michael Schumacher. An exhausted Hakkinen was bent over
double on the podium after the last round in Malaysia when he finished
third behind the two Ferraris led by Irvine. That followed last month's
Italian Grand Prix in Monza, where the Finn was seen hunched behind track
barriers in tears after a mistake sent him out of the race while leading.
Hakkinen was named provisional champion after Irvine was disqualified from
the Malaysian Grand Prix but was stripped of that on Saturday when a five-man
panel of the International Court of Appeal upheld Ferrari's appeal. McLaren's
decision is in stark contrast to the atmosphere at Ferrari and their handling
of Irvine. The Briton faced the world's media on Wednesday after several
nights of celebrating his team's appeal success.
By Quentin Bryar
LONDON, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Bernie Ecclestone agreed on Tuesday to sell
half his Formula One empire to Deutsche Bank's Morgan Grenfell Private
Equity in a $1.3 billion deal which puts the company's flotation back on
track. Morgan Grenfell said it had agreed to buy 12.5 percent of Formula
One Holdings, which owns grand prix broadcasting rights, and would bring
in other investors to take the holding to 50 percent over the next few
weeks. Morgan Grenfell Private Equity chief executive Graham Hutton said
it had agreed a strategy with Ecclestone, chief executive of Formula One
Holdings, that will lead to a flotation probably in two to three years.
He said a Financial Times report that Morgan, which owns half of the Arrows
F1 team, would pay $325 million for 12.5 percent of the company, with an
option to buy another 37.5 percent for $975 million was ``not wildly inaccurate.''