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News review - April to June 19 Dec 2006

Jacques Villeneuve (CDN) BMW Sauber passes the Royal Albert Hall at the Intel London Grand Prix in Hyde Park. Intel London Grand Prix, Hyde Park, London, England, 13 June 2006. © Capilitan/Sutton. Mike Gascoyne (GBR) Spyker MF1 Racing as of today.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 15, Italian Grand Prix, Race Day, Monza, Italy, 10 September 2006 Race winner Fernando Alonso (ESP) Renault and the Michelin man celebrate 100 GP wins for Michelin.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 9, Canadian Grand Prix, Race, Montreal, Canada, 25 June 2006 (L to R): David Coulthard (GBR) Red Bull Racing with fiancee Karen Minier (BEL).
Formula One World Championship, Rd 18, Brazilian Grand Prix, Race Day, Interlagos, Brazil, 22 October 2006 David Richards (GBR) CEO Prodrive.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, French Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Magny-Cours, France, 15 July 2006

From Michelin’s 100th Formula One win to the announcement that David Richard’s Prodrive motorsport group had won the 12th 2008 grid slot, we look back at the news that caught our attention from April to June…

April
The FIA reveals over 20 teams have applied for the 12 available slots in the 2008 Formula One world championship. Toyota suspend technical director Mike Gascoyne indefinitely after what the Japanese team describe as a ‘fundamental difference of opinion’. A day later, Gascoyne and the team terminate their working relationship. Meanwhile, Midland’s sporting director, Adrian Burgess, leaves the team after an internal re-structure.

On a lighter note, BMW Sauber announce plans to launch a special ‘Pit Lane Park’ at the European Grand Prix. The new initiative hopes to replicate the team’s actual garage and pit area, allowing the public to get up close and personal.

BMW Sauber hire Jorge Zander, formerly head of design with Williams, while Franck Montagny joins Super Aguri as the team’s official third driver. With the end of the month in sight, the FIA reveal David Richard’s Prodrive motorsport group as the winning bidder for the 12th 2008 grid slot.

May
Super Aguri’s Yuji Ide is dealt a bitter blow with the announcement he will be replaced by third driver Franck Montagny. Ide has struggled to get to grips with Formula One racing during his debut season. After the departure of Mike Gascoyne a month earlier, Toyota create two new posts of ‘senior general manager’, with Pascal Vasselon and Luca Marmorini taking respective responsibility for chassis and engine.

Rival Japanese manufacturer Honda, meanwhile, promote Mariano Alperin-Bruvera to the position of chief aerodynamicist. Red Bull’s David Coulthard becomes the tenth driver to make his 200th Grand Prix appearance when he lines up on the grid for the Spanish race. Fernando Alonso entertains more than a quarter of a million people in Seville with a demonstration run in his championship-winning Renault R25.

Forty two year-old Edouard Michelin, co-Managing Partner of Formula One tyre supplier Michelin, dies following a boating accident off the Ile de Sein in Brittany, France. BMW Sauber’s Jacques Villeneuve, meanwhile, marries his fiancee Johanna Martinez in a civil ceremony in Switzerland, ahead of a religious ceremony in Paris a week later.

June
Days after his marriage, Villeneuve drives his BMW Sauber through London’s Hyde Park during a promotional event. Renault start their 200th Grand Prix as a Formula One constructor, at the 2006 British Grand Prix. Super Aguri sign Sakon Yamamoto as the team’s third driver. Renault confirm Giancarlo Fisichella will continue to drive for the team in 2007 for a third successive season.

Honda appoint Shuhei Nakamoto to the new position of senior technical director while discussions take place concerning current technical director Geoff Willis’s role with the team. Michelin celebrate their 100th win in Formula One racing, after Fernando Alonso races to victory in Montreal.

More news from 2006 - January to March, July to September and October to December.