We are all yet to digest Ecclestone’s idea of having drivers rewarded with medals instead of points and we have FOTA coming with their suggestions to spice up the show. The teams (at least some of them) are dicsussing some radical change to to qualifying (yet again). From what has been said it does look like the plan is to have sort of elimination race on Saturday to decide the grid.
All the cars would get on the track at the same time and with the same fuel level. The slowest car after every lap would be eliminated until only 6 are left. These six would do sort of shoot out for the top 6 grid positions. There is a talk about financial reward and a championship point for the pole setter. Sounds all sily and too complicated to me and judging from what is written all over the web I am not alone feeling this way. There is not much wrong about current qualifying. Except that race fuel in Q3 of course …
But one thing makes no sense here. On one hand Bernie says that teams are keen on his idea to scrap the points for drivers and go for the medals instead. At the same time the teams (FOTA) propose a point for the pole position. Hm …
It is nice to see that those in charge of Canadian GP do not plan to ever give up. The latest idea was for the car manufacturers to come up with the cash so F1 can keep presence in North America. Yes, I see the logic behind this. But I also remember that Ecclestone’s demands were branded “unreasonable” by the organizers. So unreasonable for organizers but reasonable for car manufactuerers ? If the car makers give in now and pay just to fill up Bernie’s pockets to keep any race on calendar it would only encourage Ecclestone to ask for even higher fees in the future …
The hunt for the remaining 2009 race seats is still on. Honda and Toro Rosso made use of the Barcelona test (click here for summary) to give chance to those with an eye on 2009 race drive. No decisions have been made yet. But Sebastien Buemi seems to be on track for the drive with Toro Rosso next year after Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz stated that “One will very likely be Buemi, the line-up will be confirmed before the last test in December.“. Takuma Sato, Sebastien Bourdais but also Rubens Barrichello and Bruno Senna all hope to land the other one. Bourdais in the meantime revealed that it will come down to money. He also said that he has no plan B:
“As far as I am concerned right now my priority is to stay here, but at some point I will have to make up my mind and take a potentially very difficult decision. In the meantime it is scary because I don’t know what I’ll be doing next year.“
Further down the pitlane Red Bull suffered setback after Mark Webber got injured during his charity challenge in Tasmania. Webber will very likely miss the entire winter testing season but should be ready by the time F1 comes to Melbourne. Perhaps they can ask Sebastien Loeb to test for them instead, he was not too bad behind the wheel of Red Bull F1 car (video here) !
Ferrari race drivers are taking rest but the team made the headlines with Valentino Rossi’s Formula 1 test. Rossi has no longer any plans to switch from MotoGp to F1 but he reckons he could have been good F1 driver.
Back to future of Grands Prix. The Mickey Mouse French GP is no more after scrapping of the Paris Disneyland F1 project. Ecclestone now does not see any chance for French GP return before 2011 season with Sarecelles project being the front runner now. But check Ecclestone’s language when it comes to French GP:
“We went to Magny Cours for the wrong reasons, for political reasons. Let’s try and avoid a repeat. What we want for sure is to find the right spot because the French Grand Prix has to be long lasting.“
What happened to that talk that he can live without French GP as F1 races in France anyway, somewhere near Nice … ? Why such change in attitude towards Grand Prix he was so willing to dump ?
Meanwhile there are changes planned for Singapore. The track is to be widened and run off areas extended at several places to promote more overtaking.
Here at F1Wolf voting for The Driver of the Year has begun. So far it is rather tight at the top with Hamilton, Massa Kubica and Alonso all doing well. The voting closes on December 15, you can vote now – click here for more information !