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 …
Mercedes GP unveiled their 2010 livery today at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart. Here is the official description of the colour scheme. (Photos inside the article):
The new silver and green livery creates a true marriage between the heritage of the Silver Arrows and the team’s title partner PETRONAS. The legacy of the Silver Arrows goes back to the 1934 Eifel Race when, on the evening before the event, the white paint was sanded off the Mercedes W25 race car to fulfil weight regulations (750kg formula) and the silver colour of the aluminium surface of the car appeared. This season, with the return of the Silver Arrows, the MGP W01 will shine in silver combined with a flow of iridescent silver and green shading. On the nose and other parts of the car, traces of black carbon fibre visible are visible – a reminder of the first Silver Arrow of 1934.
Lotus F1 Racing Website
New F1 teams, new F1 team owners resulted in (among other things) in new online presence. Here is an updated list of Formula One teams websites featuring all the 2010 F1 teams. Former BrawnGP website is now redirected to new Mercedes pages (new site to be launched on 25th January). BMW Sauber F1 (while still keeping the “BMW” as a part of the official team name) have been moved away from the BMW Motorsport site to a new blog like team site. Renault website reflects the departure of their title sponsor ING.
The speculations are over. Michael Schumacher will make the F1 comeback after finalizing the deal to join Mercedes GP for 2010 season. He will join Nico Rosberg completing the all German line up at the team formerly known as BAR, Honda and Brawn GP … This announcement comes exactly one month after the confirmation of Nico Rosberg by Mercedes GP.
Nothing has been officially confirmed yet by Mercedes GP or Michael Schumacher himself. But with so many serious and reputable sources now reporting that the deal with Mercedes GP has been done it does look like Michael Schumacher will indeed be back in F1 next year.
The original story suggesting that Schumacher signed one year contract with Mercedes yesterday at Brackley was published by Bild (link – in German).
It will be interesting to find out what had to happen behind the scenes to make this move from Ferrari to Mercedes and from Shell to Petronas possible.
The official announcement of Mercedes GP second driver for 2010 season is expected later today.
Mercedes Petronas Concept Livery
By now we should be used to the off-season Monday announcements, some expected some not. The one that came out earlier today was definitely an unexpected one. Mercedes GP announced the signing of a long-term agreement with Petronas which will see the Malaysian national oil and gas company become the title partner to the new Silver Arrows works team.
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.
McLaren launched their 2007 contender in Valencia
Lots of talk about the great things we can or should expect from F1 in near (or distant) future is coming out of Monaco these days. One of the great ideas is to be a common car launch of 2010 Formula 1 cars planned by all the teams. The proposed event already has a date (late January) and a place (Valencia).
Neither Toyota nor Sauber on the list, yet
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.
Nico Rosberg will race Silver Arrows next year
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:
Here is the video interview with Norbert Haug on the purchase of Brawn GP by Mercedes, the separation from McLaren and on the 2010 drivers. No there are no names yet but some hint that announcements may come in next 2 weeks with possible surprises …