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.
Only of two F1 ready operations will race next year
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.
2010 Force India Drivers - Vitantonio Liuzzi and Adrian Sutil
Force India F1 team are the fifth team to have officially confirmed their 2010 driver line up. There will be no changes – both Adrian Sutil and Vitantonio Liuzzi will retain their seats. All the hopefuls testing for Force India next week in Jerez (Paul di Resta and J.R. Hildebrand) can hope for now are the test (third) driver positions with the team …
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 ?
I have finally managed to sort out all the photos taken in Macau last weekend. Here is the second set featuring images from the track and from the paddock and garages. This is a mix of pictures from Formula 3, Formula BMW, motorbike race, GT Cup and WTCC. And yes, the photos of former Minardi F1 driver and current Star Sports F1 commentator Alex Yoong and his strange Bufori car are also in the mix . Click on the thumbnails to enlarge the images.