Friday, November 21, 2003

Silly Season Continues

Traditionally the motorsports silly season starts in August and peters out some time in September. That's when most of the decisions regarding teams and venues for the next year ar set, and the rumors fly about who's going where and when.

This year, well into November odd bits of news are coming out. First McLaren announces that Juan Pablo Montoya, formerly of CART and currently of Williams-BMW has a contract to drive for McLaren-Mercedes in 2005. That's got to adversely affect two of the three top teams on the grid this year -- with JPM racing for Williams as a lame duck and the McLaren drivers knowing that one of them is in the same boat, but officially not knowing which. Ferrari's gotta be loving it.

In the meantime, there is all the weirdness about the Canadian Grand Prix and whether or not in can happen without tobacco money. This still isn't certain, but it's looking probable now. Now, suddenly, new sources are reporting that the French GP is also in trouble, and will likely be removed from the schedule for next year. This is probably going to be a relief to the teams. It looks the schedule had two sets of back to back races only separated by one week off, and pulling out France will give them three weeks to recover from doing three races (Canada, US, Britain) in four weeks.

There are suggestions that this isn't going to be the last of the upheavals before the end of this year. Given how much turmoil has occurred so far, that seems to be a safe prediction!