Here is the final part of the pre-season miniseries of post recapping the changes in Formula One.
There were no drivers changes during the 2008 F1 season (other than the seats lost following the demise of Super Aguri) and the only changes in drivers line up ahead of 2009 were related to the retirement of David Coulthard. Vettel moved from Toro Rosso to Red Bull, Sebastien Buemi took Vettel’s seat at Toro Rosso. Buemi was also the only rookie on the grid of the season opening Australian GP last March. What a difference a year makes…
Vettel, Webber, Hamilton, Buemi, Alguersuari, Liuzzi and Sutil are that will appear in Bahrain in the same colours as they did in Abu Dhabi last year. The only other driver who kept his seast is Felipe Massa (missed half of 2009 season after his Hungarian GP accident).
The 2010 season will start with 5 rookies – Hulkenberg, Petrov, Chandhok, Senna and di Grassi. At the same time we have Michael Schumacher coming out of his retirement and Pedro de la Rosa returning to proper racing after 7 years of test of test driving duties for McLaren and for the first time since his stand-in racing appearance in 2006 Hungarian GP.
And to complete the statistics – 9 drivers moved to new teams (Rosberg, Button, Alonso, Barrichello, Kubica, Glock, Trulli, Kovalainen and Kobayashi) and 5 drivers that raced in 2009 season finale failed to secure race drives for 2010 (Heidfeld, Fisichella, Grosjean, Raikkonen and Nakajima).
The post 2009 season earthquake was not limited to drivers only. Several manufacturers called it a day. BMW and Toyota left F1 taking with them also their engines. Renault sold big chunk of the team to Genii Capital leaving not much more that the company name (and colours) with the F1 team. On the other hand Mercedes bought the Brawn GP team from Ross Brawn and company while selling their stake in McLaren. Toro Rosso became a constructor proper building the car themselves for the first time since the Minardi purchase (although the car still looks very much like the Red Bull proper).
Sauber team managed to survive the BMW pull out and will race in 2010 season with BMW in the name but Ferrari engines at the back of their cars. Williams ditched Toyota power even before the Japanese car maker announced their withdrawal from F1 and switched to Cosworth engines.
Virgin Racing (formerly known as Manor GP), HRT F1 (Hispania Racing, formerly known as Campos META) and Lotus Racing are three of the four new teams that managed to build the cars and are likely to appear in Bahrain.
There will only be 4 engine suppliers represented in F1 in 2010. Ferrari, Mercedes, Renault remain, Cosworth has returned. BMW and Toyota are gone …
Ferrari, McLaren, Red Bull, Toro Rosso, Force India and Williams continue with looks very similar to the ones we remember from 2009 season. BMW Sauber ditched the BMW blue and replaced it with black. Renault while no longer Renault owned returned to Renault corporate yellow/black colour scheme. Mercedes GP replaced the Brawn GP colours with silver. And then of course there are the new teams with some more and some less exciting liveries – see all 2010 liveries here.