Helmet designs should help us to identify the drivers on the track. Sometimes however the drivers depart from their traditional designs and confuse us all. In the last two races (Australia and Malaysia) Rubens Barrichello dropped his traditional red (orange) and white design – design he used throughout his entire F1 career. In Melbourne and Sepang the red (orange) went missing… Here is the gallery featuring Rubens Barrichello and his blue-white helmet:
The time flies. It is now only 40 days to the start of 2010 Bahrain GP. In the last 10 days some vacancies were filled, new cars and new liveries introduced, doubts about future of some teams increased and more. Here is the overview where the F1 stands with 40 days to go.
The car launch season started with Mercedes although their big launch was only a presentation of their new siver livery painted on the 2009 Brawn GP car. Ferrari, McLaren, BMW Sauber and Renault followed. There is significant lack of sponsor logos on both BMW Sauber and Renault liveries …
Ten days have passed since the 100 days mark, it is time for another 2010 season countdown post. Here is a summary where F1 stands with 90 days to go.
The final 2010 Formula 1 calendar has been published – see here. The only yet to be finalized race is the inaugural Korean GP that is still subject to the circuit homologation. The season opener will move from Melbourne to Bahrain, the finale will remain at Abu Dhabi after the late reshuffle of 2010 season ending races.
While the talk continues on the future of Sauber team FIA came up with yet another version of 2010 entry list. It is rather confusing reading. On one hand it lists Manor as Virgin Racing (witout any official announcement from either Manor or Virgin), on the other hand the Mercedes GP still features as Brawn GP (with a remark that the team has indicated its intention to change its team name to Mercedes Grand Prix prior to the start of the 2010 season). If the rest of the list is to be believed then Red Bull will retain Renault and Toro Rosso Ferrari engines. Despite some claims from Jaime Alguerusuari that his deal with Toro Rosso has been renewed a while ago there is still a TBA where his name should be…
There are only 12 teams on the entry list. There is an interesting remark regarding Toyota:
Toyota Motorsport GmbH remains formally bound by the Concorde Agreement to put forward a team for participation, though it has indicated that it will not be in a position to do so. An announcement will be made regarding this entry in due course.
Mercedes GP (formerly Brawn GP) announced today that from the 2010 season, as expected, German driver Nico Rosberg will drive for the new Mercedes team in the Formula 1 World Championship.
Nico Rosberg: “I am really happy to be a part of the Silver Arrows re-launch in 2010 as a driver for Mercedes. No other brand in Formula 1 can look back on such a long and successful tradition in motor racing. I am very proud that I will now drive for the new Mercedes team and work with Ross Brawn. I am more motivated than ever and can hardly wait to start testing with the new Silver Arrow and for the first race of the new season at Bahrain on 14 March 2010.”
Ross Brawn, Team Principal: “We are delighted to welcome Nico Rosberg to our Mercedes team and are very much looking forward to working with him. Nico is a great talent, and with four years of experience in Formula 1, is a driver who will be able to make a valuable contribution to our team right from the outset. I had the pleasure of working with his father Keke during his Formula One career and it is great to see Nico following in his footsteps. 2009 was Nico’s best season in Formula 1 to date and we look forward to seeing his development continue with us at Mercedes next year.”
Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: “I saw Nico racing karts alongside Lewis Hamilton and later in the support programme of the DTM events – I have known him since he was a young boy. Early on it was obvious that he would make his way as a race driver and we are glad that after four years with Williams he will now be one of our drivers at Mercedes. It makes our re-start even nicer, that we have as talented and sympathetic a driver as Nico in our line-up. Nico has positive ambitions, we have positive ambitions and together we want to achieve a great deal. I am really looking forward to working with him.”
Now the question is, who will be Rosberg’s team mate. Nick Heidfeld, Kimi Raikkonen and even Michael Schumacher have been mentioned since Jenson Button’s move to McLaren. Mercedes people may however take their time knowing that what they have is probably the best vacant seat on the grid …
More on 2010 F1 drivers – see here.
Although the Mercedes engines will power the McLaren F1 cars for few years to come (the new deal says 2015 at least) their privileged partnership is coming to an end. Following the takeover of Brawn GP Mercedes will run their own team and McLaren will turn into a customer. Let’s look back at the images of Mercedes powered McLaren since 1995:
Mercedes today made an announcement about their future F1 plans. Here is the quick summary:
– Daimler AG (Mercedes) is to buy a majority stake in the Brawn GP Formula One team. According to not exactly clear press release from Daimler AG the team is to be known as Silver Arrow Formula 1 team or Mercedes Grand Prix (read the press release at the end of this post)
– McLaren Group is to purchase Daimler AG’s 40 per cent shareholding
– Mercedes-Benz is to power McLaren’s Formula 1 cars until 2015
Few weeks after Jenson Button and Brawn GP secured their maiden driver and constructors world championships arrives the Brawn GP Champions & Victory Collection. At this time the only products available are Henri Lloyd caps and shirts.
Here are some of the championship products available at the moment:
Jenson Button victory cap
Brawn GP champions cap
Brawn GP champions T-shirt
All the above items are now available from OnPole (links below):
Although there is no info yet on any special die cast championship presentation Minichamps do have the 1:43 die cast replica of Jenson Button’s BGP001 from Brazilian GP (where he clinched the 2009 title) available for pre-order now ( click here ) with deliveries expected early in 2010.
The Abu Dhabi GP is the last race of 2009 Formula One season. It is also the last race we will see in F1 … Here is the list:
The ban on refueling will come to effect in 2010 season and so the Abu Dhabi is the last chance (for a while at least) to watch the refueling pit stops, strategies based on fuel loads as well as race fuel qualifying (in Q3). Well, and this will be the last time waiting for FIA to publish the post qualifying weights.
KERS only arrived this season but it will not return in 2010. The technology is likely to make comeback in not too distant future but for a time being Abu Dhabi GP is the last F1 race featuring KERS.
3) Drivers in their current teams
The Abu Dhabi GP will be the last opportunity (unless the drivers return in the future) to see Kimi Raikkonen in Ferrari, Fernando Alonso in Renault, Robert Kubica in the team currently known as BMW Sauber.
While nothing has been confirmed yet it is also possible (and in some cases very likely) that we will not see again Nico Rosberg and Kazuki Nakajima in Williams, Jarno Trulli or Timo Glock (will not be racing in Abu Dhabi) or both in Toyota, Rubens Barrichello in Brawn GP, Romain Grosjean in Renault, Heikki Kovalainen in McLaren…
4) Drivers racing
Giancarlo Fisichella may have a contract with Ferrari for next year and beyond but only as a test driver. So unless he is called in to stand in for the regular drivers Abu Dhabi may be Fisi’s farewell F1 race. He may be joined by some other drivers who are on the way out of their current teams …
BMW has decided to end its involvement in Formula One, Abu Dhabi GP will be the farewell F1 race for the Munich based manufacturer. And as the team currently has no place on 2010 grid it is also possible that this will be the last appearance of the Hinwil based F1 operation …
6) Engine deals
BMW engines will disappear following the BMWs withdrawal from F1. Williams has ended the deal with Toyota, this will be the last race of Toyota powered Williams car. (There has also been talk about Red Bull switching from Renault to someone else but nothing has been confirmed yet.)
7) 20 cars grid
Following the change of the regulations and entry of several new teams – Manor, Campos Meta, USF1, Lotus (provided they all show up in Bahrain next March) – the Abu Dhabi GP may be the last one for a while featuring only 10 teams and 20 cars.
Jenson Button clinched yesterday his first F1 title after one very determined drive. Here are few pictures from the 2009 Brazilian GP and the title celebration that followed. (Click on the thumbnails to enlarge the images).
Mark Webber won the 2009 Brazilian GP ahead of Robert Kubica, Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel. Jenson Button climbed from 14th to 5th after pulling off several overtaking maneuvres. Button secured the 2009 Formula One championship with a race to spare. The title was decided in Brazil for the 5th time in a row …
Last four drivers championships were decided in Brazil. In 2006, 2007 and 2008 Brazil hosted the title deciding final Grands Prix of the season. The title was also decided in Brazil the last time it wasn’t the final race of the season. In 2005 Fernando Alonso secured his first F1 title by finishing third in the Brazilian GP, with two races to spare. Will Brazilian GP decide the title for the 5th time in a row ?
Two races to go, three drivers left to fight it out for the 2009 F1 title. However only Jenson Button can claim the title this weekend in Brazil. Barrichello and Vettel need Button’s help to take the title fight to Abu Dhabi.