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 …
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.
Only day after Bridgestone announced their future plans do not include F1 and on the same day Toyota ended their 8 year long winless F1 adventure the story is emerging that Renault may be the next one to quit. An emergency board meeting is on today in Paris. The French car company is to discuss its F1 future. The options for Renault are to stay on with their own team, to continue as an engine supplier only or to follow the examples of Honda, BMW nad Toyota and pull the plug on F1 programme completely.
On Thursday, Renault Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn said:
“You will have to be patient. We will make an announcement on our participation in Formula 1 before the end of the year.”
What must be going on in Robert Kubica’s head following his move from ex-BMW team to Renault …
Photo: Bridgestone Motorsport
The (off-)season of announcements continues with news of another withdrawal. This time it is the rather expected news from Toyota. Toyota confirmed today they are pulling out Formula One. There goes the commitment to stay on board till 2012 …
“Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announces it plans to withdraw from the FIA Formula 1 world championship at the end of the 2009 season. TMC, which had viewed its participation in F1 as contributing to the prosperity of automotive culture, remained dedicated to competing at the pinnacle of motor sports even in the face of the abrupt economic changes that started last year.
However, when considering TMC’s motorsports actitives next year and beyond from a comprehensive mid-term viewpoint reflecting the current severe economic realities, TMC decided to withdraw from F1.”
First day of the offseason is turning into a day of announcements. As expected the AT&T Williams team today confirmed Rubens Barrichello and Nico Hulkenberg will drive for the Cosworth powered team in 2010 season. The 2009 GP2 champion Nico Hulkenberg is the second rookie already confirmed for 2010 season following the Campos META/Bruno Senna announcement.
Sebastian Vettel won the rather dull inaugural Abu Dhabi GP and claimed second place in the drivers championship. One of few exciting parts of this GP was the final laps fight between Webber and Button for 2nd place. Webber prevailed and helped to secured fourth 1-2 finish of the season for Red Bull Racing. Rubens Barrichello finished 4th, Nick Heidfeld 5th in BMW Sauber’s final F1 race. Kamui Kobayashi scored 3 points for 6th place in only his second F1 race. The final 2 point scoring positions belong to Jarno Trulli and Sebastien Buemi.
Campos META and Bruno Senna ended the speculations yesterday. Both parties confirmed the deal that will see the Brazilian driver racing for the new Spanish F1 team in F1 next season.
“For Campos Meta 1, it is an extraordinary honour to be returning the name Senna to Formula 1. The deal with Senna confirms and re-enforces our prime objective of being not only the first Spanish Formula 1 team, but rather the first Iberian-American F1 team. The 2014 World Cup, the 2016 Olympics, and three drivers in F1 – it’s clear that Brazil is coming up.” – Campos Meta CEO Enrique Rodriguez de Castro
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 …