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News review - July to September 20 Dec 2006

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) with the McLaren MP4-21. Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, 19 September 2006. World ©  Bumstead/Sutton. Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) Renault Third Driver.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Hungarian Grand Prix, Preparations, Budapest, Hungary, 3 August 2006 Robert Kubica (POL) BMW Sauber F1.06 Third Driver.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, United States Grand Prix, Practice Day, Indianapolis, USA, 30 June 2006 Juan Pablo Montoya (COL) McLaren with family.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, United States Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Indianapolis, USA, 1 July 2006 Missy Elliott (USA) Hip Hop Artist at the Grand Prix Party.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Turkish Grand Prix, Practice Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, 25 August 2006

From Honda's new land speed record to Lewis Hamilton's first test for McLaren, we take a look back at the stories that caught our attention from July to September...

July
The FIA selects Bridgestone as the sole tyre supplier for 2008, 2009 and 2010. Juan Pablo Montoya announces he will quit Formula One racing in 2007 for NASCAR. A day later, McLaren reveal test driver Pedro de la Rosa will replace Montoya for the rest of the 2006 season.

Changes are also afoot at Super Aguri, with Franck Montagny relegated to testing after taking over from Yuji Ide in May. The team confirm Sakon Yamomoto will race alongside veteran Formula One driver Takuma Sato for the rest of the season. Honda set a new land speed record for a Formula One car at the Bonneville Salt Flats. Driver Alan van der Merwe clocks an aggregate best of 355 km/h (just over 250 mph).

Super Aguri introduce the paddock to their new car, the SA06, at the German Grand Prix. BMW Sauber drop their unusual vertical nose fins after concerns are raised about the safety of the devices. Williams announce they will run with Toyota engines in 2007. Jarno Trulli signs a three-year contract extension with Toyota.

The Red Bulletin, Red Bull’s daily race-weekend magazine for the Formula One community and fans, is published for the 100th time at the German event. The month ends with controversy as both Midlands are disqualified from the results of the German Grand Prix, after their rear wings are deemed to be illegally flexible.

August
BMW Sauber test driver Robert Kubica becomes the first Pole to contest a Formula One Grand Prix when he stands in for Jacques Villeneuve in Hungary. Later in the month, the team announce Kubica will replace Villeneuve for the rest of the year. Williams confirm Alexander Wurz will replace Mark Webber as Nico Rosberg’s team mate in 2007. Red Bull, meanwhile, announce Webber will join the team next season to partner David Coulthard.

Toyota leave the GPMA (Grand Prix Manufacturers Association), declaring it believes the body had achieved all its initial goals. Geoff Willis and Honda agree to conclude their working relationship. The FIA deem Renault’s mass damper technology to be illegal. Sebastian Vettel tops the timesheets in Istanbul, during his first practice session as BMW Sauber’s third driver.

Rap star Missy Elliot performs at the Turkish Grand Prix party. The Belgian event returns to the newly-announced 2007 Formula One calendar, whilst the San Marino and European races are dropped. The organizers of the Turkish Grand Prix are summoned to appear before the FIA World Motor Sport Council after breaching rules relating to the podium ceremony during the event.

September
Renault confirm third driver Heikki Kovalainen will race for the team in 2007 alongside Giancarlo Fisichella, while Ricardo Zonta and Nelson Piquet Jr will join the team as test drivers. Flavio Briatore also announces he will stay on as the team’s managing director for the 2007 and 2008 seasons. The Midland Formula One team is sold to Dutch sportscar manufacturer Spyker.

Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher announces he will retire at the end of the season, after an emotional win at Monza. The team confirm Kimi Raikkonen will replace Schumacher next season and drive alongside Felipe Massa. Red Bull replace Christian Klien with third driver Robert Doornbos for the last three rounds of the 2006 season.

German driver Michael Ammermuller gets his first taste of Formula One power testing for Red Bull at Jerez. Red Bull announce at least one of its two Formula One teams will use Renault power in 2007. Toyota tester Olivier Panis confirms he will retire from Formula One racing at the end of 2006, after a 12-year career.

The Formula One teams agree to bring forward the 2008 engine homologation rules by a year. GP2 champion Lewis Hamilton tests for the first time with McLaren and fellow GP2 runner Adrian Valles also debuts for Midland. The National Sporting Authority of Turkey (TOSFED) and the organisers of the Turkish Grand Prix (MSO) are fined a combined total of US$5 million by the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council.

Super Aguri promote chief technical officer, Mark Preston, to the position of technical director. Michael Ammermuller lands Red Bull’s third driver seat for the rest of 2006, while Toro Rosso appoint Cosworth’s Alex Hitzinger as technical director. Williams retain Narain Karthikeyan as an official test driver and Spyker confirm Christijan Albers will stay on to race with the team in 2007.

More news from 2006 - January to March, April to June and October to December.