Branson, Fernandes and the flight attendant uniform
If I am to participate in the Thursday Thoughts adventure it seems the only way is to convert it to Friday ones. Blame the time difference.
Anyway, here is the topic for this week, Thursday of Friday:
The three new teams made quite an impression on F1 this year. What do you think they brought to the sport? How would the year have been without them? Better or worse?
Maybe the question should be rephrased – Are the new teams welcome and is it OK to have on the grid teams several seconds off the pace ?
And few more questions to follow up – Was F1 better with Toyota after the car maker joined the sport in 2002 ? Were we better off with Minardi and Jordan on the grid (not Eddie himself but the team) or without them after the former was turned into Toro Rosso by Red Bull and the latter metamorphosed to Midland, Spyker and finally Force India ? Was F1 better with or without Super Aguri ?
FIA issued 2011 FIA Formula One World Championship entry list. Six teams have both drivers listed including Lotus (staying with Trulli and Kovalainen). Renault and Williams still haven’t confirmed team mates for Kubica and Barrichello, while no drivers have been officially confirmed by Force India, Virgin, HRT and surprisingly also Toro Rosso.
Team formerly known as Lotus Racing is listed as Team Lotus with Renault engines, BMW is no longer part of the name of the Sauber team. Here is the November 2010 version of 2011 F1 entry list:
Nick Heidfeld will race for his old team for the rest of the season
There will be two “new” faces on the grid this weekend in Singapore. Sauber announced after Italian GP that Nick Heidfeld will replace Pedro de la Rosa for the rest of the season. (Pedro de la Rosa will take on the Pirelli testing job previously held by Heidfeld and Grosjean).
Short while ago the HRT team announced that Christian Klien will replace Sakon Yamamoto for the Singapore GP. The official reason is food poisoning. The team hopes that Yamamoto will be OK to race in Japan. Here is the press release from HRT:
Sakon Yamamoto - The HRT race driver for 2010 British GP
In a move that surprised many HRT decided to replace Bruno Senna with Sakon Yamamoto for 2010 British GP. Well, July is the month when F1 drivers often get fired. But to do this on the eve of Grand Prix weekend is rather unusual.
Yamamoto’s deal is at the moment for one race only. The decision on who will drive for the team for the rest of the season is to be made sometime this weekend. That sounds like bad news for Bruno Senna as while the announcement suggests that Yamamoto only has a one race deal it does not indicate that Senna was dropped for this one race only …
2010 Formula One Team Logos
Here is another regular start of the season feature – look at all the logos of Formula One teams. Lot’s of changes compared to the year 2009 (see 2009 F1 logos here). Gone are the Toyota and Brawn GP logos. We have four brand new logos instead – Mercedes GP, Virgin, Lotus and Hispania. Then there is the BMW logo missing in BMW Sauber logo following BMWs pull out from F1 as well as the ING brand missing from Renault F1 logo.
Yesterday was the first day of proper F1 race weekend action for the new F1 teams – Lotus, Virgin and HRT (Hispania). Here are the photos of their cars on track during Bahrain Friday free practice (click on the thumbnails to enlarge the images):
Bruno Senna, HRT, Bahrain GP
Jarno Trulli, Lotus, Bahrain GP
Timo Glock, Virgin, Bahrain GP
2010 Virgin Racing Livery
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…
Karun Chandhok, the latest GP2 graduate in F1
What has been expected is confirmed now. Karun Chandhok was announced as HRT F1 driver for 2010 season. If I am counting correctly he is the 6th 2009 GP2 driver to get the 2010 F1 driver (Kobayashi, Alguersuari, di Grassi, Petrov, Hulkenberg). And that does not include his team mate Bruno Senna (confirmed in November by Campos META) who last raced in GP2 in 2008.
Here is what Colin Kolles and Jose Ramon Carabantes
Here is the final 2010 season countdown post. Just over a week from now the F1 cars will go out for the first practice session of the 2010 season, 10 days from today the Bahrain GP will start.
All is clear, at least it seems to be. We know USF1 will not make it although one of the team founders (Ken Anderson) still hopes they can do in 2011 what they could not in 2010. With USF1 out gone is also the race drive of Jose Maria Lopez. Stefan GP on the other hand failed to make it to the FIA 2010 F1 entry list and so we will only see 12 teams and 24 drivers in 2010 season.
FIA published the (almost) final version of 2010 F1 entry list. The most important information the list provides is that there will be only 12 teams on the grid this season. USF1 failed to get ready and FIA decided that it is too late for any other team to enter the championship (see the statement at the end of this post). The entry list also confirms the name change of Campos META team to HRT F1 Team while BMW remains attached to the name of now Ferrari powered Sauber team. The only piece of the puzzle left to filled is the name Bruno Senna’s team mate. The announcement from HRT is expected later today with Indian driver Karun Chandhok said to be the prime candidate for that seat. We can also see that the ex-BAR, ex-Honda, ex-Brawn GP Brackley based Mercedes GP will now race under German flag. So in case McLaren or Mercedes GP drivers win the race we will only hear one national anthem …