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.
When I returned from Singapore to Hong Kong I spotted Nico Rosberg at the Hong Kong airport. Then I saw him waiting for his luggage at the same belt as me and it became sort of obvious he would be spending some time between Singapore and Japanese GPs here in Hong Kong. I found a video interview he did last week for South China Morning Post. Big part of the interviews focuses on Nelson Piquet’s crash last year in Singapore. Funny how he compares individuals doing stupid things in F1 and in banking world . He also spoke about his future (without giving too much away) and about his Macau GP experience that includes a crash with Lewis Hamilton.
The Brazilian embassy in Rome is paying tribute to Ayrton Senna this weekend (September 18-20) to mark the 15th anniversary of the driver’s death during the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix at Imola. Here are two videos. One introduces the event (have to click here), the other one shows what is on display:
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
With F1 back from the summer hiatus we also have some fresh news, rumours and speculations coming out of the paddock. Here is a summary of today’s F1 news, tweets and speculations.
Sebastian Vettel extended his contract with Red Bull until the end of 2011 season. Red Bull Racing also has an option for Vettel’s services for 2012 season. This is a fact.
Yesterday McLaren made it clear that Heikki Kovalainen has to up his game if he wants to keep his seat beyond this season. Martin Whitmarsh very much confirmed it today. But while doing so he also said something interesting about Fernando Alonso and Ferrari:
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:
With all the attention focusing on Red Bull, Jenson Button (or Lewis Hamilton in Hungary) Nico Rosberg does not get too much TV time during the races. His moments of fame usually come during the free practice sessions. But after 10 races of the season Nico Rosberg is 5th in the drivers championship especially thanks to recent string solid points scoring finishes. The most impressive perhaps is his climb from 15th on the grid to 4th at Nurburgring.
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.
As the biggest number of visitors to this site comes from United Kingdom I believe that the British Grand Prix is the race of the season that most regular or ocassional readers may actually go to. For those who plan to go and want to show up in their favourite team colours, here are the links to 2009 F1 teams merchandise:
Brawn GP is probably the most popular team when it comes to merchandise these days. One of the reasons may be that the team is new and nobody has any caps or shirts from previous seasons . But their popularity also has something to do with the team’s performances … The latest addition to their products range is the Jenson Button flag.
A week after images of FW31 were released by one of William’s sponsors the team put their final version of 2009 livery on display. The livery is almost identical dark blue and white as that that we could see on Allianz website last weekwith most of the advertising space going to RBS and Philips.
Same as last winter I hoped Williams would keep the dark blue livery they used at and since their launch. It does look like however that the final version of their 2009 livery will again have a touch of white. Here are the photos that Ollie from BlogF1 discovered at Williams’ sponsor (Allianz) website, marked as FW31 …
Following the explanations from Charlie Whiting FIA further clarified to Autosport the issues of penalties for drivers who use more than 8 engines per season. The penalty for using an extra engine would only be applied at the first event it was used. That means that if a driver used a ninth engine for Singapore and Japan he would only receive the penalty for Singapore. But if he had to use 10th engine for Brazil and Abu Dhabi he would suffer another penalty for Brazil.