Looking At Your Sport Through Autosport – August 10, 1995

November 12, 2013 at 10:50 am
JV coming to an F1 track near you

JV coming to an F1 track near you

Villeneuve in F1 next year? Yes you are correct Autosport. The top story is Jacques Villeneuve’s test with Williams and the possibility of him joining the team for the 1996 season. It’s believed that Williams has a right of first refusal on Villeneuve in F1 for the next three seasons. In addition, it’s reported that if he was join Williams he would be taking a paycut from his six million dollar Indycar salary. Can you believe that today, a top Indycar driver taking a paycut to go to F1 and a current Indycar driver making six million a season.?

In other F1 news, Mika Salo is confirmed for Tyrrell for the 1996 season and Michael Schumacher gets married. In touring car news, recently crowned South African touring car champion Mike Briggs is announced to sub for James Thompson in the Vauxhall team at Brands Hatch in support of John Cleland’s title bid, Thompson was injured in a testing accident two weeks earlier at Knockhill.

In this edition of the Fifth Column Nigel Roebuck reflects on seeing the son of his late good friend Gilles Villeneuve test an F1 car for the first time. Roebuck talks with Jacques about his first impressions of driving an F1 car after driving an Indycar. Jacques describes the car as “more nimble” and “much lighter”. Jacques says that the Indycar would not be much slower than the Williams at Silverstone as “it would be slower in the corners, yes but it would probably make up time on the straights”.  This was in the era when CART cars were rocketships and provided possibly the best racing on earth.

Nigel also gets a comment from Bernie Ecclestone after having dinner with Jacques saying “It was almost like talking with Senna again”.

The Hungarian Grand Prix is previewed with Mark Blundell calling it an important race for Damon Hill and Simon Taylor predicting a Schumacher win. In the end Hill will go on to dominate the weekend winning the pole, setting fastest lap and winning the race.

It should also be mention that this was the race when Taki Inoue was hit by a marshal’s car when attempting to put the fire out of the Footwork.

Formula 3’s best were at Zandvoort to see who was the best at the Marlboro Masters. It was a familiar sight as the stars of the German F3 series dominated the occasion with Norberto Fontana and Ralf Schumacher going 1 and 2. Rounding out the podium was current Indycar star Helio Castro Neves (listed as Helio Castrol Neves). Other familiar names down the result sheet were Ollie Gavin in 4th, Max “The Axe” Angelli in 6th and future F1 driver Alex Wurz being caught up in a 2nd lap accident.

Fontana was dominate in German F3 this year and many expected him to be a star in the making, however his F1 career didn’t pan out and only started four races in 1997 and is mostly known for blocking Jacques Villeneuve during the title decider at Jerez that year.

At rounds six and seven of the ITC series at Estoril, Bernd Schnieder all but clinches the title by winning the first race and finishing second to teammate Jan Magnussen in the second race. Dario Franchitti, who is second in points plans to stop his AMG Mercedes team from winning the title by kidnapping Schnedier, locking him away and paying all the drivers to let him win.

In the World of Sport section, Dale Earnhardt wins the second running of the Brickyard 400 and Richie Hearn closes in on Toyota Atlantic points leader David Empringham after a win in race two at Trois Rivieres,. Empringham is one of the guys when looking back saying “why didn’t he get a good CART ride, he won in Atlantics and in Indy Lights?” After Empringham won the Indy Lights title he never really made it to CART.