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.
Barely a week before the first practice session kicks off in Bahrain we are a bit closer to the final shape of the 2010 F1 grid.
It is now more less certain that there will be no USF1 team in 2010. The reports coming out last night suggest that the USF1 factory effectively closed down. (And they did so without even making that toaster ). This followed the earlier reports that the team asked FIA to deffer their entry till 2011. With no car, no money and lots of empty promises I can’t see a single reason why would FIA want to block the vacant slot for the team that failed while others (namely Lotus) have shown that things can be done in even much shorter time …
While Virgin Racing and Lotus have already begun testing their F1 cars, Stefan GP (a team without an entry for 2010 season) is planning a Portimao test there still haven’t been any signs of Campos or USF1 hitting the test tracks anytime soon. Last night some new reports surfaced suggesting glimmer of hope for Campos but doom and gloom for USF1. Here is quick summary and links:
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.
Jose Maria Lopez during his days with Renault
USF1 team has finally confirmed their first driver for their debut F1 season – the Argentine José Maria López. Whether this was wise choice only time will tell. His only previous F1 experience is from his testing duties with Renault back in 2006 (the team claims he has 6,000 km of F1 test mileage under his belt). López also scored one F3000 podium in 2004, one win, one pole and total of six podiums in GP2 in 2005-2006. Since 2007 López competed in TC2000 series in Argentina. Here is what Ken Anderson had to say:
“So many things go into starting a Formula One team from scratch. You can nail every step along the way but if you don’t have the right guys in the seats, everything else is for naught. With Jose Maria Lopez we have further positioned ourselves for a successful 2010 debut campaign.”
One has to wonder what (other than financial and government backing) makes a driver with no F1 racing experience “the right guy in the seat” of a rookie F1 team …
Lopez’s US F1 contract was officially announced by the President of Argentina, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, in the Casa Rosada (Government House) in Buenos Aires on January 25.
“The Argentine government is very happy to get behind this exciting new project and we wish Jose Maria and the team all the best for the 2010 season.” – Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner
“This is a truly memorable day for me, my family and the people of Argentina. I have been working towards this day for much of my life and I can’t thank Peter and Ken enough for this opportunity. Of course a new F1 team faces many challenges but our goal is to improve with each race and build a foundation that will eventually see this team competing for wins and championships.” – José Maria López
This announcement leaves only three vacancies on 2010 F1 grid – one each at Renault, Campos Meta and USF1.
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 2010 season countdown is back. It is 50 days to the start of 2010 Bahrain Grand Prix. We are now only days from the first 2010 F1 car launches with Ferrari, McLaren, BMW Sauber and Renault all set to unveil their cars before the end January. McLaren team has announced their launch will be streamed live on the team’s official website on 29th January at 11:00 local time. Ferrari’s new car will only be unveiled on January 28 but some pictures of what the 2010 Ferrari livery may look like have been leaked out already – see here.
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).
For about a month a funny short animated videos kept appearing on YouTube bringing us “behind the scenes” look at the new USF1 team. They feature the almost real life characters called Ken Anderson, Peter Windsor as well as guests appearances by Danica Patrick or Mike Gascoyne. Not to be missed is the talk about their “conditional driver signing” Jose Maria Lopez and some 80,000 USF1 toasters .The latest and apparently the final episode appeared yesterday. Here are all of them – from Day 1 to Day 8:
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.
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:
Will Canadian GP return in 2010 ?
North America made F1 headlines this week. First have at a look at the USF1 information published by TechCrunch. This is a quote from article written by Michael Arrington:
“I also ran into YouTube founder Chad Hurley at the Fuze offices, who was meeting with the Best Buy team along with the execs from the new U.S. Formula 1 Racing team USGPE (previously US F1).
Hurley is “the big investor” in USGPE said Best Buy Chief Marketing Officer Barry Judge, and it looks like Best Buy is also looking for ways to get involved in the project. There are also rumors that YouTube will sponsor the car.”