Yesterday Williams announced signing of Pastor Maldonado, a Venezuelan driver, to partner Rubens Barrichello, the Brazilian. As a result, Williams will contest the 2011 F1 season with two Latin American drivers. There have been many drivers from Latin America in F1 and Argentina and Brazil also gave the world some World Champions. But having both drivers from that part of the world hasn’t been that common. Here is brief look back to the recent F1 history.
Williams F1 today confirmed that 2010 GP2 champion Pastor Maldonado will race for the AT&T Williams team in 2011 season. The appointment finalises the team’s line up for next year following confirmation of Rubens Barrichello last month.
“Pastor first caught my eye in 2007 when he drove a masterful race at Monaco. Since then, he has regularly reminded us of his unquestionable talent with some skilful wins, particularly during this year’s GP2 championship, taking an unsurpassed record of six successive victories. Of course, we already know Pastor from the time he spent with the team at the Abu Dhabi test, but we are very much looking forward to developing his talent over the winter and a fruitful season with him next year.” – AT&T Williams Team Principal, Frank Williams
“I feel very privileged that Williams has selected me as one of their race drivers. It is a great way to end what has already been an amazing year for me. I tested with the team in Abu Dhabi, but can’t wait to start working with everyone properly to be in the best possible shape going into next year. I will be doing my best over the winter to prepare myself, and I know the team will be working hard to ensure a successful season. 2011 will be the first time in nearly thirty years that a Venezuelan has driven a Formula One car so I will be looking to get some good results in return for the support my country has given me to help get me to this position today.” – Pastor Maldonado
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:
Right on the first day of the off-season Williams announced some decisions on the their 2011 drivers line up. Rubens Barrichello will stay on with team, Nico Hulkenberg however will not. The team will confirm their second driver before the end of the year. Current GP2 champion Pastor Maldonado has been connected with the team.
The AT&T Williams team today announced that Rubens Barrichello will continue to drive for the team in 2011. The team’s second driver will be confirmed before the end of the year.
Rubens Barrichello enjoyed a successful first season with Williams, and his 18th in the sport. The Brazilian drove his FW32 into the qualifying top ten a total of 13 times and claimed 10 points scoring finishes over the year, all of which helped the team move forward to sixth place in the Constructors’ Championship at yesterday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The team can also confirm that Nico Hulkenberg will not contest the 2011 FIA World Championship with AT&T Williams. Nico joined the squad as a rookie at the start of the season, following a dominating career in Formula 3 and GP2 supported by Williams. Convincing performances in his debut year in Formula One culminated in 14th place in the Drivers’ Championship and an undoubtedly bright future in the sport. The team wishes to thank Nico for his dedication and team work over the past year, and for delivering a memorable first pole position in five seasons for the team at the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Helmet designs should help us to identify the drivers on the track. Sometimes however the drivers depart from their traditional designs and confuse us all. In the last two races (Australia and Malaysia) Rubens Barrichello dropped his traditional red (orange) and white design – design he used throughout his entire F1 career. In Melbourne and Sepang the red (orange) went missing… Here is the gallery featuring Rubens Barrichello and his blue-white helmet:
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.
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…
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 …
Today is the last test session in Jerez this winter. There will be three drivers changes – Nico Rosberg takes over from Michael Schumacher, Vitantonio Liuzzi from Adrian Sutil and Jarno Trulli will make his Lotus debut. Here is the Saturday line up:
The voting in the poll for The Best 2010 F1 Livery has ended. From the beginning it turned into the battle of two new teams. Lotus and Virgin together received almost half of all the votes. It was a tie for quite a while but at the end it was the Lotus T127 with most votes next to its name. BMW Sauber ended up as the least popular livery on the grid. Here is the result of the poll:
The second Jerez test continues with the day 2. Eleven teams will be action today. The talk of the day yesterday was the test debut of Lotus. Today Heikki Kovalainen takes over from Fairuz Fauzy. His car will be fitted with power steering and some front wing aero updates. It will be interesting to see how they compare with Virgin Racing. Virgin team spent most of the day one identifying the cause of hydraulic problems.
The winter testing continues this week. The venues Jerez in Spain, same as last week. And same as last week the rain is expected to affect the program. All eleven teams that have already launched their 2010 cars will be present. The second Jerez test will be the first official test for the new Lotus Racing team.