It is only 30 days to go to the start of first Grand Prix of 2010 F1 season. With only a month to go there are still some question over the shape of the 2010 F1 grid. Virgin Racing became the first one of the new teams to launch their car – the CFD designed VR-01 (images here, shakedown video here). The last of the “old teams” to have launched their 2010 challengers were Force India and Red Bull. Later today Lotus will unveil the first Lotus branded F1 car since 1994 (click here to see new 2010 Lotus F1 car – Lotus Cosworth T127). And that is about as much as we can be sure about.
There are still doubts about the USF1 and Campos Meta and there are lots of stories circulating speculating about the immediate and long term future of these two new teams. All that is sure is that none of these 2 teams has a car ready yet. There is also no indication on when the cars may be launched. Both teams still have one driver vacancy each, the only 2 remaining vacancies on 2010 grid.
There have been some indications from Bernie Ecclestone and Jean Todt that teams are allowed to miss three races. This would in theory give USF1 and Campos time until 18 April (Chinese GP) to sort themselves out. FIA however came out to clarify that missing even a single GP event will not go unpunished …
Stefan GP still hopes to be allowed to participate in 2010 F1 season, they even shipped their stuff to Bahrain. They seem to have a car (from Toyota), they have drivers on their radar (Ralf Schumacher, Kazuki Nakajima, Christian Klien have been mentioned in connection with the Serbian outfit). What they do not have is the F1 entry… USF1 and Campos Meta not making it does not automatically mean that Stefan GP will fill up the vacant slot.
In the meantime those ready to race are testing. We are in the middle of first Jerez test, with one more test in Jerez and one more in Barcelona still to come before the racing begins. Elsewhere Stefan GP plans to test their car at Portimao and USF1 (if they build one) in Alabama.
Back to drivers – after loosing out the Mercedes GP drive to Michale Schumacher, possible Sauber drive to Pedro de la Rosa and potential Renault drive to Vitaly Petrov Nick Heidfeld had to settle for 3rd driver role at Mercedes. Paul di Resta was signed by Force India for the same role.
Yesterday the organizers of British GP at Silverstone confirmed that the 2010 GP will be run on modified track using the Arena layout originally designed with MotoGP in mind.
Season countdown will be back in 10 days.