Eleven out of the thirteen 2010 F1 teams have revealed their liveries already. Here are all of them line up in alphabetical order. We may still see some changes before the season kicks-off in about 1 months time. USF1 and Campos Meta may come up with their cars, some of the teams may add a new sponsor logo here and there, the BMW Sauber racing livery probably will not feature names of both their drivers … What do you think of the 2010 liveries ? Which one is the best ? Scroll down and vote in the 2010 Liveries Poll !
It is only 30 days to go to the start of first Grand Prix of 2010 F1 season. With only a month to go there are still some question over the shape of the 2010 F1 grid. Virgin Racing became the first one of the new teams to launch their car – the CFD designed VR-01 (images here, shakedown video here). The last of the “old teams” to have launched their 2010 challengers were Force India and Red Bull. Later today Lotus will unveil the first Lotus branded F1 car since 1994 (click here to see new 2010 Lotus F1 car – Lotus Cosworth T127). And that is about as much as we can be sure about.
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.
While there are four new F1 teams being built from the scratch (USF1, Manor, Campos META, Lotus) at least one of two established F1 operations is unlikely to make it to the 2010 grid.
BMW has finally managed to do what they should have done right away – after the failed Qadbak deal they sold the team back to Peter Sauber. The problem is BMW decided not to sign the new Concorde Agreement and the team has lost its entry. Before they made up their mind what to do with the Hinwil operation FIA granted the 13th entry to Lotus … All that Peter Sauber’s team has now is the “14th” entry.
So, no Quadbak sale. BMW has at the end agreed to sell their F1 team back to Peter Sauber. There is one condition attached though – the team needs to have a place on 2010 grid. And that is one thing they don’t have at the moment thanks to the failure of BMW to sign the Concorde Agreement. There is a possible vacancy following Toyota’s withdrawal from the sport. But that vacancy does not have to go to Sauber … Toyota still owns that 13th entry and there are some reports that Toyota may be selling it to another party – that party being Stefan Grand Prix, the Serbian entity that took FIA to European Commission for the way the original team selection process was handled … Here are the links to Joe Saward’s blog entry and to Autosport feature (subscription required).
The original sale to Quadbak was announced just after FIA granted the entry vacated by BMW to Lotus. Will the history repeat itself ? Has the BMW / Sauber solution arrived too late yet again ?
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.”
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.
Toyota announced earlier today that Timo Glock will not be able to race in Brazil due to injuries he suffered in qualifying at Suzuka. Glock was initially diagnosed with only a minor cut to his leg. Subsequent medical checks in Germany have however revealed a cracked vertebra. Toyota’s third driver Kamui Kobayashi will replace Timo at Interlagos.
Some interesting bits of information came out last night from Toyota and Williams camps. Let’s look at it.
First Toyota’s John Howett revealed that it is likely Toyota will not renew the contract with Jarno Trulli. Although no specifics have been given there are obviously some differences between the expectations of two parties involved:
“We are in negotiation (with Trulli) and we haven’t reached an agreement and there is a possibility that we won’t close the gap. At the moment the gap is reasonably large. We have to say there is a very strong probability not (to renew).” – John Howett
Unlike last season this year we have already had some mid-season drivers changes. Jaime Alguersuari has replaced Sebastien Bourdais in Toro Rosso, Nelson Piquet was dropped by Renault and Luca Badoer is about to step in to Ferrari F60 for injured Felipe Massa. Unlike last year we can also expect some serious shuffle to come before the 2010 season begins. BMW is on their way out, 3 (or 4) new teams are on the way in, several contracts are up for renewal (or else). Let’s have a first look how the things are (or may be) shaping up:
The World Motor Sport Council met in Paris on 24 June 2009. The following decisions were taken:
FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
All currently competing teams have committed to the FIA Formula One World Championship.
There will be no alternative series or championship and the rules for 2010 onwards will be the 2009 regulations as well as further regulations agreed prior to 29 April 2009.
As part of this agreement, the teams will, within two years, reduce the costs of competing in the championship to the level of the early 1990s. The manufacturer teams have agreed to assist the new entries for 2010 by providing technical assistance.
The manufacturer teams have further agreed to the permanent and continuing role of the FIA as the sport’s governing body. They have also committed to the commercial arrangements for the FIA Formula One World Championship until 2012 and have agreed to renegotiate and extend this contract before the end of that period.
All teams will adhere to an upgraded version of the governance provisions of the 1998 Concorde Agreement.
The following teams have been accepted for the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship.
SCUDERIA FERRARI MARLBORO (FERRARI)
VODAFONE McLAREN MERCEDES (McLAREN MERCEDES)
BMW SAUBER F1 TEAM (BMW SAUBER)
RENAULT F1 TEAM (RENAULT)
PANASONIC TOYOTA RACING (TOYOTA)
SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO (STR TBA)
RED BULL RACING (RBR TBA)
AT&T WILLIAMS (WILLIAMS TOYOTA)
FORCE INDIA F1 TEAM (FORCE INDIA MERCEDES)
BRAWN GP FORMULA ONE TEAM (BRAWN TBA)
CAMPOS META TEAM (CAMPOS COSWORTH)
MANOR GRAND PRIX (MANOR COSWORTH)
TEAM US F1 (TEAM US F1 COSWORTH)
In view of this new agreement and with the prospect of a stable future for Formula One, FIA President Max Mosley has confirmed his decision not to stand for re-election in October this year.
Puma Motorsport website still offers fans chance to go behind the scenes at Formula One through their cool consumer initiative called Fan Reports. I tweeted about this a week or so ago but forgot to mention it here on the site. The idea is that PUMA will take a fan to different races this year, including Silverstone, Interlagos and Monza, and provide them with a paddock pass, as well as access to one of the PUMA sponsored teams. All you need to do is go to their website, sign up and then put forward your argument as to why you should be chosen. As a recent lucky winner of great prize in different competition I can only recommend everybody to try your luck. You never know …
Those who would like to own some bits and pieces of real Formula One cars may head to Toyota online store and check out their F1 parts sale. The items start from about EUR200 for wheel rims or break disks to EUR5000 for engine cover with underfloor & rearwing.