The last few days have been pretty quiet in F1, the main topic of the past week was Red Bull’s purchase of Gerhard Berger’s share in Toro Rosso and all the implications of this (Gerhard Berger’s departure from the team, the future of Toro Rosso itself). This however may have been only the silence before the storm. The World Motorsport Council of FIA is meeting today if I am not mistaken and among other things should release the final version of 2009 Formula One Calendar as well as do something about that medal system proposed by Bernie Ecclestone. But before that let’s sum up the other F1 related news from last week.
Quick return to the medal system. Contrary to Ecclestone claims it seems that there are voices claiming that the medals do not have the support of all the F1 teams and even if the system is at the end implemented it will not be from 2009 season. We will see soon.
Now some driver news:
Ferrari tested 3 young Italian drivers in Fiorano last week – Mirko Bortolotti, Edoardo Piscopo and Salvatore Cicatelli. The test was a prize for their performances in Italian and Atlantic series F3 championships. The last Italian Ferrari F1 driver was Ivan Cappeli in 1992, the last Italian race winner in Ferrari car was Michelle Alboreto in 1985 … But although the young trio impressed the Ferrari sporting director Luca Baldiserri it may still take a while before another Italian races for Ferrari. Especially with the renewed speculations that Fernando Alonso may be on his way following the Santander sponsorship switch.
Nico Rosberg warned Williams once again that 2009 season may be his last one with the Grove based team. Give me a competitive car or else is how his message can be translated. What would that else be though ? Would McLaren still be as keen on him as they were a year ago ? Would he really want to go to McLaren ?
Rubens Barrichello confirmed he is talking with Toro Rosso about a drive for next year. This is not a big surprise as Barrichello is keen on staying in F1 and Honda and Toro Rosso are the only options left for 2009. He may not be the bad choice for Toro Rosso as they need some experience alongside Buemi (almost assured of his seat). Barrichello would however have to bring in more cash than Takuma Sato … Last weekend Barrichello competed in Brazil in kart race – International Championship of Kart Champs and won it ahead of one his rivals for the Honda seat – Lucas di Grassi.
Brendon Hartley, 3rd in recent Macau Grand Prix will be testing for Red Bull in Jerez in next week in a place of injured Mark Webber. According to Hartley’s agent the New Zealand driver is in running for 2009 test drive with Red Bull and that makes the Jerez test even more important for him.
Giancarlo Fisichella continues to dismiss any suggestions that Pedro de la Rosa may take his seat in Force India next year. Fisi says his contract was reviewed back in September between Singapore and Chinese GPs. He also revealed that the de la Rosa’s test has been planned since September too.
Fernando Alonso had something to say about his future. He has no plans to retire before he claims 3rd drivers title.
Robert Kubica lashed out again at BMW Sauber team saying that “In the last two or three months, I had the feeling that the team and I were no longer pursuing the same goal.” Kubica said earlier this season that he felt that he was the only in the team believing there was a chance to win the title.
The team however (understandably) still considers the 2008 season success. The BMW Motorsport squad of Formula One drivers (Robert Kubica, Nick Heidfeld and Christian Klien), FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) works drivers and the junior racers from Formula BMW were joined by over 500 guests at the Postpalast venue in central Munich on Saturday evening for the end-of-year party and Sports Trophy presentation.
BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen:
“We’re proud that we achieved our goals once again in the third year of our Formula One team. We were aiming to record our maiden victory, and we did so with a 1-2. Plus, we collected our first pole position and two fastest race laps.”
Staying in Germany – The future of German Grand Prix is in danger, at least that is what this article in The Guardian says. Vettel may have to start winning titles soon…
Here on F1Wolf – Looks like my post on ESPN Star Sports F1 coverage angered someone close to their F1 commentary team, judging from this comment addressed to me.
And finally – the voting for 2008 F1 Driver of the Year enters the week two. After close to 500 votes it looks like Lewis Hamilton is edging away from Fernando Alonso. Two more weeks left to vote, cast yours ! For more information check the Driver of the Year post.