The gap between now and Australian GP is smaller than the gap between Hungarian and European GPs this summer. We have only 20 days to go.
The last 10 days were rather eventful, the most important is that we finally know that there will be 20 cars lining up on the grid in Melbourne and all the drivers have been confirmed.
The biggest question has been answered – the former Honda team has been saved (for now), taken over by Ross Brawn and renamed to Brawn GP. Both Rubens Barichello and Jenson Button keep their race seats for 2009 season. On the day of the announcement the team took to the Silverstone track for initial shakedown revealing rather simple sponsorless livery but at the same time no a bad looking car.
Bridgestone told us about the tyre compounds and tyre markings for 2009 season.
The teams were also busy testing. Some conducted their private tests but all the attention focused to Jerez where all the teams except Toro Rosso and Brawn were present. Five days of testing, four different cars finished the day on top of the timesheets – Vettel, Glock, Alonso and Heidfeld while Ferrari finished every day with second fastest time (except the rainy Tuesday when they decided not to run). If four different teams finished at the top the same can be said about the very bottom – Toyota, Force India, Williams and Renault.
Here are the best times from last week of testing (on different days):
1) Sebastian Vettel – Red Bull – 01:19.055
2) Timo Glock – Toyota – 01:19.814
3) Fernando Alonso – Renault – 01:19.945
4) Nick Heidfeld – BMW Sauber – 01:20.052
5) Felipe Massa – Ferrari – 01:20.238
6) Kimi Räikkönen – Ferrari – 01:20.250
7) Heikki Kovalainen – McLaren – 01:20.535
8 ) Adrian Sutil – Force India – 01:20.621
9) Kazuki Nakajima – Williams – 01:20.948
10) Robert Kubica – BMW Sauber – 01:21.069
11) Lewis Hamilton – McLaren – 01:21.272
It is interesting that McLaren keep reverting to the 2008 specs rear wing during testing. While they do have had their share of troubles during testing I suspect they are keeping their cards very close to their chest …
FOTA revealed their roadmap for F1 and among other things recommended immediate change to F1 point scoring system. Their proposals were based on the findings of the global audience survey that they published as well.
The countdown will return in 10 days time with the last installment.