FIA today released the 2008 Formula One World Championship Entry List. Quick look at it seems to reveal that Anthony Davidson and Takuma Sato will drive for Super Aguri in 2008. The team however clarified that the drivers have not been signed yet:
“The contracts of both drivers are still under negotiation. It is the team’s intention to retain both for the sake of continuity and because we are very satisfied with them. But no contracts have been signed yet.”
The entry list also confirms that McLaren were handed the final car numbers 22 and 23. This probably means Mclaren will occupy the last garage in the pit lane and will have Force India as neighbours. The only TBA left is Adrian Sutil’s team mate in Force India. There are fresh rumours linking Giancarlo Fisichella to the final vacant seat on the grid but the official confirmation of the Force India line up for 2008 is expected on January 11 in Delhi.
The teams have time to change their drivers until the beginning of the new season on March 16.
Here is the 2008 FIA Formula One World Championship Entry List
1. Kimi Raikkonen
2. Felipe Massa
3. Nick Heidfeld
4. Robert Kubica
5. Fernando Alonso
6. Nelson Piquet
7. Nico Rosberg
8. Kazuki Nakajima
Red Bull Renault
9. David Coulthard
10. Mark Webber
11. Jarno Trulli
12. Timo Glock
14. Sebastien Bourdais
15. Sebastian Vettel
16. Jenson Button
17. Rubens Barrichello
Super Aguri Honda
18. Takuma Sato
19. Anthony Davidson
Force India Ferrari
20. Adrian Sutil
22. Lewis Hamilton
23. Heikki Kovalainen
The most popular posts on F1Wolf drawing thousands of views were my picture reports from the Singapore street track. You can see here the Part 1 and here the Part 2.
I am glad to see I am not the only one walking around the Formula 1 street track to be with a camera. There is also a fellow blogger in Spain filling up his blog with lot’s of photos of the Valencia’s European GP track. And although my Spanish is limited to Hola ! and cerveza it is not that difficult to navigate the page and discover what the street track for the 2008 Euroean GP may look like.
There are lots of photos, some with English commentary, and the latest update shows the photos of the track just about a week ago. There are few remarks mentioning the European GP as a night race - that I do not think that is a correct assumption. First of all I do not remember that being announced. Second – Singapore GP is widely promoted as a 1st Formula 1 night race and as it takes part few weeks after the European GP there can’t be any other night race before that
In any case, if anyone is interested to follow the progress of the construction of the European GP street track in Valencia, or anyone plans to go to the race, the gpeuropa.net is a good address to visit.
Photo courtesy of gpeuropa.net
It is official – for the first time since 1991 the Schumacher name will be missing from Formula 1 grid. After retirement of Michael Schumacher the curtain falls on the F1 career of his younger brother Ralf as well. He finally admitted the obvious to the German site motorsport-total.com (external link, German). Ralf Schumacher will miss out the 2008 Formula 1 season.
He may still have a return to F1 on his mind, but that may not be easy and with so many young F1 wannabies in line I would say impossible. This is what Ralf thinks:
“Theoretically that may be possible, but practically you have to wait and see what happens. Formula One waits for nothing and no-one.”
Ralf Schumacher a realist ! That is a novelty !
He also gave some hints on his racing future, but only by stating what he is not going to do:
“Until now it has been my life, and motor sport is certainly a big part of my future. In which form, remains to be seen. No matter what car, an oval will never see me, and I will never go to Le Mans, or Dakar.”
In the meantime, Rupert Stadler, Audi Chief Executive made it clear what Audi thinks about signing up Ralf for DTM:
“There is absolutely no need for us to do that. It’s our goal to get young and ambitious drivers and let them grow within our team. Martin Tomczyk, Mattias Ekstrom and even Tom Kristensen came to us as ‘nobodies’. And now they are very popular and famous.”
Good sign for Ralf though, in Audi they do not consider him as “nobody”…
Will you miss Ralf Schumacher in F1 ?
Williams decided against the official 2008 car launch. With their sponsors and drivers long in place they do not see much reason for official launch event. So here is something to remember their 2007 challenger.
After the disastrous 2006 season came a big step forward in 2007 for AT&T Williams team. Several new backers, Toyota engines, Nico Rosberg with a year of experience under his belt that was what Williams was entering the season with. They finished it with a podium, regular points finishes and 20 points ahead of Toyota (their engine supplier) team in the constructors table. Here is the screensaver to remember 2007 Williams in F1.
You can download it here: 2007 Williams F1 Screensaver
Please check the screensaver tag for more F1 screensavers.
Franck Montagny announced he would be leaving Formula 1 to pursue his racing career elsewhere. Christian Klien may follow if he can’t land the Force India seat. Both these drivers have no desire to continue their 3rd driver or testing roles as they see no future for themselves.
Rewind few years back, when Robert Kubica in BMW and Anthony Davidson in Honda were making names for themselves in Friday free practice sessions regularly finishing on the top of the timesheets. Sebastian Vettel in his few Friday outings in 2007 season (in the expense of the race drivers) also had a chance to sell himself.
There are only 22 race seats available in F1 and after the Prodrive fiasco who knows when the 2 more vacant places on the grid will be filled up. For the drivers that can’t make it on the grid the test driver role used to be the obvious plan B. Some drivers are still willing to do the test and back up duties if they see a promise of a F1 drive in very near future. But with the current restrictions on testing and no room for 3rd drivers to showcase their skills on on race weekend Fridays many prefer alternatives to keep on racing. Champ car, IRL even Nascar became the destinations for many F1 drivers – Montoya, Villeneuve, Speed, Doornbos.
Some may say there is nothing wrong with older drivers leaving. But F1 teams could sure benefit from employing the experienced drivers in a way McLaren employs Pedro de la Rosa or Ferrari Luca Badoer. But as these drivers now face a season with only an odd drive on the test track here and there, they prefer going elsewhere.
The situation is more damaging when the young drivers are concerned. Christian Klien had enough of doing more less nothing in Honda colours for a year, Narain Karthikeyan does not feel Williams job has too many benefits for him. Vitantonio Liuzzi may be willing to take a testing job for a year, but if no race drive comes around he too will likely start looking elsewhere.
Then there are many up and coming young drivers from junior Formula series. Where do they get chance to put their F1 skills on display ?
And there is no Minardi any longer where managers could place their drivers to start off their F1 career (Fernando Alonso)…
I understand that the testing is where big money is burned. But some room should be made for those in line for the race drive. If nothing else than perhaps the 3rd drivers could return and feature on race weekend Fridays in some near future …