I planned only one round up a week (roughly) during this off season but this day deserves its own wrap up. Some of the developments of last 24 hours may have some serious implications of the future of Formula 1. Or not …
First Bernie Ecclestone managed to convince somebody that Formula 1 is a good investment even in these rough times. LG Electronics will become new technology partner of Formula One from January 2009. The most visible part of this arrangment will be the LG logo on live timing screens. Let’s hope LG brings also some technology to make that live timing a bit more 21st century like.
Then the same Ecclestone said it again and loud, the medal system is going to happen next year. The whole reason for this is that Bernie is
“fed up with people talking about no overtaking. The reason there’s no overtaking is nothing to do with the circuit or the people involved, it’s to do with the drivers not needing to overtake.”
All the teams are happy and Ecclestone says and hopes this will be approved next time FIA meets.
Now to the teams. Big changes in Toro Rosso. Gerhard Berger is not only no longer a co-owner (see the earlier post), it looks like he is also leaving his post with the team although I haven’t seen that said out loud anywhere yet. But what else to make from this statement (to autosport.com):
“The new rules leave no room for improvement for a small team as STR. Also, Dietrich’s interest will focus on Red Bull Racing, therefore the support for STR will become smaller and prevent the team from improving further from sixth. I don’t want to decline, that is not in my nature. Yes, I will be out of STR, but the split with STR and Dietrich is completely amicable and there was no rift between us.”
It now looks more and more likely we will see Red Bull favourite Sebastien Buemi and the marketing ace (for Japanese market) Takuma Sato in the cockpits to Toro Rosso cars next year.
Fernando Alonso only very recently announced his commitment to Renault for another two seasons but the Alonso to Ferrari speculations are not going to stop anytime soon. Banco Santander boss Emilio Botin confirmed the switch of sponsorship from McLaren to Ferrari from 2010 (see the article here on as.com). And he made it clear whom he wants to have in the team:
“Alonso is the best driver in the world and we would like to work with him, but that’s not something that depends only on us.”
I hope that As is more reliable source than the one that said de la Rosa already signed for Force India . It wil be interesting to see how this story develops. Both current Ferrari drivers are under contract for 2009 and 2010, Alonso is to stay with Renault for two more seasons as well. Will Santander be patient and wait for Alonso till 2011 or will they push for the switch a season earlier ?
By the way, it looks like new tradition is developing in F1 – Ferrari and McLaren stealing sponsors from each other (Vodafone moved from Ferrari to McLaren after 2006 season).