Hill's new engine falls short

Motor racing
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The Independent Online
Damon Hill's hopes of earning his first points of the Formula One season with his Arrows team has suffered a setback. The world champion said yesterday that the new Yamaha engine lacked "promise" following a testing session at the Magny-Cours circuit in France.

Hill believes he will be forced to use the present engine, which he has already said lacks horsepower. "The new engine we have been trying here hasn't shown too much promise, so we're going to be using the same engine for the rest of the season," Hill said.

The new engine was originally earmarked for the San Marino Grand Prix last month but was set to be introduced at the Spanish round in Barcelona a week on Sunday.

Hill, however, hopes he can still force his way back into the top 10 on the grid in Barcelona through the team's use of Bridgestone tyres. "We did some testing in Barcelona and if Bridgestone put together their knowledge of the circuit, we could hopefully work our way back into the top 10," he said. Arrows have already been linked with a new engine supplier, Mugen-Honda, for the 1998 campaign.

This year's Portuguese Grand Prix has been cancelled and replaced by a race at the Spanish circuit at Jerez because of doubts about the completion of improvements at the Estoril track, the FIA, the sport's ruling body, announced yesterday.

The event at Jerez will be known as the European Grand Prix and will take place on 26 October, the end-of-season date scheduled originally for the Portuguese round.