Monday, 26 July 2010

Ferrari are Back! (to their old tricks again)

My next blog post was to have been about my recent visit to the WTCC/F2 at Brands Hatch but having seen the debacle at the Hockenheimring on Sunday I felt compelled to write this rant instead!
For the first time in many a long year, I found myself actually agreeing with Eddie Jordan! (and that takes some doing).
We, the motor racing fans, who support and pay for the tickets, merchandise etc were robbed of a potentially classic race finish.
Ferrari's actions were totally indefensible and completely unnecessary.
Whether it had ended up a one two finish with Massa first and Alonso second or vice verse would have made absolutely no difference to the outcome of the constructors championship.
IF Alonso is to become World Champion once again does he really want to do it with race victories handed to him on a plate by a team mate?
IF he is the superior driver (he imagines himself to be), surely it would have been no problem for him to pass Massa with a LEGITIMATE move on the track?
It would seem that every time something does not go Alonso's way he throws a hissy fit like an adolescent schoolgirl.
Ferrari, like Renault beforehand, it would appear are prepared to pander to these outbursts.
If Massa really wants to become World Champion and is not just in Formula 1 to make money (like Eddie Irvine was in my opinion), he must now be regretting his recent decision to sign a new two year contract with Ferrari.
It is clear that all the time Alonso is in the same team, Massa will be expected to play second fiddle starting with the remainder of this season.
It was cringe worthy watching the pathetic farcical pantomime act put on my various Ferrari personnel post race to demonstrate that no team orders had been given. Even a casual observer of Formula 1 would have had no doubts as to what had just gone on.
Ferrari have been fined US $ 100 k and the matter has been referred to the FIA for further investigation.
Big deal.
The fine is a mere drop in the ocean for Ferrari with an annual budget which runs to hundreds of millions of dollars.
The FIA is now headed by ex Ferrari boss Jean Todt. Hmm, that'll be a very thorough and impartial investigation then I don't think.
The only sanction which would have any meaningful effect, to deter similar actions in the future and go some way to restore the sport's tarnished image would be a points deduction for both Ferraris.
Will it happen?
I think I have a greater chance of signing a Ferrari contract in 2013!

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Return of the US Grand Prix - Doomed to Failure

In this life, one thing counts, in the bank large amounts......
Yes, I'm afraid he's at it again. It has been announced that the United States F1 Grand Prix is to be resurrected and held at that world renowned motor racing metropolis of err Austin, Texas from 2012 onwards.
Mr Eccclestone, apparently, has no doubt this will be the perfect venue for F1 in the United States. Do me a favour. The only reason I can see that the US Grand Prix would be held in a backwater like Austin, Texas is the fat cheque that he will receive from the event organisers.
Holding an event in Austin is doomed to failure. It has been reported that the State Government is backing the scheme. If I were a Texan taxpayer and they wanted to put my tax Dollars into Ecclestone's pocket, I'd have the State Governor tarred, feathered and run out of town!
Formula 1 has already had a torrid time in the United States and has never achieved the popularity that it has elsewhere around the globe. In 1991 only 18,000 or so bothered to attend the US GP at Phoenix, Arizona.
In my opinion, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) made a good fist of running the GP from 2000 to 2007 and is the only sensible place to hold an F1 race in the US. After all they know how to put on an event after running the Indy 500 for a century and safely accommodating crowds of up to 500,000.

In 2000, the US GP attracted an estimated crowd of 225,000 - levels of support which other F1 venues around the world can only dream of. The US GP at Indianapolis was fatally damaged, not through any fault of the IMS, but by the Michelin tyre fiasco in 2005 when only six cars competed in the race.
Ecclestone's negotiations with the IMS foundered when they, sensibly, refused to pay his asking price to hold the event. Whilst some GP's receive financial backing from their Governments, the IMS did not have this luxury.
In 2002 I was fortunate to attend the US GP in Indianapolis and ticket prices (from memory)were only around $ 60 or $ 70. Two years later I attended the Belgian GP at Spa. Ticket price (from memory) £ 200 plus....
You hear Ecclestone whinging about low crowd attendances in places like Turkey and China. He blames the organisers for poor promotion but in reality it is the price of tickets which are totally out of the reach of the ordinary "man in the street" race fans.
It's a long time between now and 2012 but if the US GP does take place in Austin, Texas and continues for the full contracted ten races, I'll eat my hat!
What do you think? Do you agree/disagree with me? Why not leave a comment? They are always welcome.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

My Motor Sport May

Once again I must apologise for not posting more regularly to this blog. Unfortunately the day job is becoming the evening and weekend job too it seems.

I have given myself a slap on the hand and written out "I must remember to post more regularly" one hundred times.

Well for me the season finally kicked off in earnest over the May Bank Holiday weekend when I attended my first event of the year, the BTCC at Brands Hatch. As you can tell from the picture of Andrew Jordan above, it was a bit of a damp day (understatement of 2010).

Being a die hard BTCC fan, even though I hadn't got around to pre-ordering my ticket online, I decided to go (despite the weather looking a bit iffy before I'd even set off from home).

Ever the eternal optimist, I kept telling myself "it's bound to clear up in a minute" and "the odd shower always livens up the racing".

Well I have to confess it was the wettest, most miserable day I've ever had in all the years I've been going to Brands Hatch. The weather just got worse and worse....

Whilst watching the first race half way up Hailwood Hill, the rain managed to penetrate not one, not two but four layers of clothing including a "waterproof" coat, a sweatshirt, a shirt and a tee shirt. My jeans became so waterlogged they stuck to my legs. My feet were squelching in water inside my boots. My hands went red and eventually numb.

When water started to get into my camera I finally had to admit defeat and decamped to the cosy (and by that time very full!), Hailwood Restaurant.

The first race was historically won by Tom Chilton in the LPG powered Ford Focus. A first LPG victory in the BTCC and Chilton/Ford's first BTCC win since Adam was a lad.

The rain got even worse so I decided to remain holed up in the Hailwood Restaurant and watch race two on the TV. This wasn't actually a complete disaster as there was a good atmosphere in the room with many of my fellow bedraggled racegoers all huddled around the one small TV screen.

It looked like Chilton would take a double victory in race two. Although he crossed the line in front of his team mate Tom Onslow-Cole, there was a subsequent technical issue with the car (something to do with the ride height) and Chilton's victory celebrations were cut short. Onslow-Cole was therefore accredited with the second Ford win of the day.

By the time race three came around later in the afternoon the weather had finally started to dry up a bit. Unfortunately, by this time, many people had already called it a day and were making their way home.

Race three victory was taken by Jackson in the Airwaves BMW who always seems to pull a result out of the bag at Brands Hatch. I was quite pleased with myself as he had been one of my predicted winners of the day. My other predicted winner (Plato) had a largely forgettable day.

After the excitement of the BTCC at Brands Hatch, I watched the mundane Spanish Grand Prix. I was absolutely gutted to see Lewis' car let go two laps from the end of the race and miss out on a podium finish. It was good to see Mark Webber take a well earned victory after all the years of poor luck he has endured.

The Monaco Grand Prix although predictable is still one of my favourites on the F1 calendar. Highlights for me were a back to back victory for Webber and seeing Schumacher up to his old tricks and getting penalised (for once).

The surprise for me has been how well Kubica is going in the Renault. I had a feeling pre-season that the Renault would be pretty mediocre but it seems to be a half decent car.

Most gutting moment was seeing Barichello crash out after being on course for some decent points. Apparently the accident was caused by a loose manhole cover being sucked up by the car's downforce. Something that will have to be looked into for future events.

Well hopefully you have enjoyed reading this post. If you have (or haven't for that matter!), please feel free to leave a comment. They are always welcome.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

F1 2010 - How I see the season so far

I must apologise for the dearth of posts recently.

Unfortunately my day job is taking up far too much of my precious time at the moment!

Anyway, I thought now that we are already four races into the season I would share my thoughts on how things are going so far and take a look at how my 2010 predictions are panning out.

We've had boring Bahrain, amazing Australia, marvellous Malaysia and a captivating China so far. The common magic ingredient in the last three races has been rain.

Unfortunately I think we may revert back to boring again at Barcelona as it is unlikely to rain there..... as, wait for it, the rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain! (groan).

My 2010 predictions are holding up quite well.

The BBC's Jake Humphrey is still as irritating now as he was in 2009 although he does seem to have toned down the EJ, DC nonsense a bit thank God. Perhaps someone smacked him around the head a few times with a baseball bat until he saw the error of his ways?

There have already been the obligatory complaints about alleged technical infringements including McLaren's rear wing and Red Bull's supposed ride height control but nothing on the scale of last year's double diffusers saga last year.

Relations between Massa and Alonso are already said to be strained although this is of course flatly denied by Ferrari. They were not helped when Alonso craftily overtook Massa on the entry to the pit lane in China. I don't remember even Schumacher having the nerve to pull a stroke like that on a driver from another team let alone a team mate. This one will run and run over the season.

My prediction that Schumacher would win a race this year is looking shaky so far although there are still plenty of races left to run. The Mercedes car is OK as evidenced by Rosberg's results, so the problem clearly lies with Schumacher himself. I still have a hunch that he will pull off a win maybe at Monaco where outright pace is only part of the story or maybe in Korea, a new track where everyone is on a level playing field.

Button is doing better than I thought he would at McLaren and is currently well matched with Hamilton. Last season Button started well but faded in the second half of the season. I still think he will lose his title but it will be a close run thing.

It is still a bit early to say who will be the best rookie driver of the year. Alguersuari seems to have got his act together in the last couple of races after a lacklustre 2009. Hulkenburg has not been overly impressive to date but will get better as the season progresses.

Lastly, my prediction that Lotus will be top of the new teams seems to be on track.

By they way, if you are a Twitter user, you can follow Mike Gascoyne, he posts regular updates from the pit wall during GP weekends which give an interesting insider's view of the on track action. (You can of course also follow me on Twitter too by clicking the icon in the side bar)

If you have enjoyed reading this post, please feel free to leave a comment - they are always welcome.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Vettel on Pole for Bahrain GP

The first qualifying session of the new F1 season was a pretty intense affair today with 24 cars vying for the pole position which was eventually taken by Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel ahead of the two Ferraris of Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso.

Alonso looked decidedly pissed off in the post qualifying press interview shown on the BBC which helped to brighten up my day!

If you are a follower of this blog you will know that one of my 2010 predictions is for Massa to win the Bahrain GP. So far so good.... but I'll probably end up with egg on my face come tomorrow afternoon.

HRT's last minute signing Karun Chandhok was allowed to take part in qualifying despite never having driven the car before - HRT did not take part in Winter testing and Chandhok's car was not made ready in time for Friday practice.

Makes a bit of a mockery of the FIA's safety regulations allowing an untested car and driver on track during a Grand Prix weekend in my view.

Fortunately Chandhok made a good fist of it despite being thrown in at the deep end. He starts from the back of the grid. HRT will use this Grand Prix more or less as a shakedown test to identify any issues and try to keep out of everyone else's way.

In the battle of the McLarens first blood (as expected) went to Hamilton (P 4 versus Button P 8) but it would appear the car is lagging behind the Ferraris and Red Bulls by an alarming one second per lap. Hopefully McLaren can pull something out of the bag tomorrow when the cars run in race trim.

All did not go according to the script at Mercedes. Rosberg (P5) out qualified Schumacher (P7) by around 0.3 seconds.

Did anyone else notice BBC F1 Jake Humphrey's latest howler? Once again he put his size ten hoof right in it....

The camera panned to the Ferrari garage where Massa's father is being congratulated on Massa's SECOND place grid spot.

Jake Humphrey "Oh look they're celebrating Massa's POLE position". A couple of minutes later a sheepish Jake Humphrey "Of course Massa is in second position, not pole".

When are the BBC going to get shot of this berk?

Monday, 8 March 2010

Ten Predictions for the 2010 Formula 1 Season

As we approach the start of another season of F1 this weekend, I thought I'd share a few of my predictions with you.

I will warn you now, some of them are a bit tongue in cheek!

If you agree or disagree with me, please feel free to leave a comment or abuse (as appropriate).

1. 90 seconds

I'm sure many of you will agree with this one.... the amount of time it will take me to hurl abuse or possibly a heavy object, if one is to hand, at my telly when Jake Humphrey's soppy face appears and he starts to spout the usual fatuous drivel.

2. 95 seconds

The amount of time it will take me to get wound up by everyone on BBC F1 commentary being
referred to by their f*cking initials.

Are you listening EJ and DC?

3. The end of the first race (1)

Before one team will lodge a complaint of a technical rules against another team. There are already rumours that some are questioning the McLaren rear wing....

4. Massa to win Bahrain GP

I don't believe this to be beyond the realms of possibility.

The Ferrari car is good based on Winter testing. Massa goes well in Bahrain. All the hype is about Alonso so the pressure is off Massa.

This would get the season off to a great start and piss Alonso off at the same time - win win in my book.

5. End of the first race (2)

Before one of the established teams (probably Ferrari) registers a formal complaint about one of the new teams (probably Virgin or HRT) being too slow, holding up the front runners etc etc.

6. End of the third race

Before Massa and Alonso start to squabble.

7. Schumacher to win at least one race

I'll stick my neck out and say Schumacher to win at least one race this year. Probably somewhere like Monaco where outright pace isn't the only factor or Spa where the weather can play a role.

8. Button to lose his title

Jenson Button will not retain his title by the end of the season. It is hard to say who will walk away with the title but I'm pretty sure it won't be Jenson. I am leaning towards Hamilton or Vettel but time will tell.

9. Best rookie driver

I have a feeling that Hulkenberg will give Barrichello a run for his money in the Williams... Frank is a wily old dog and has a good eye for a talented young driver.

10. Best rookie team

I reckon out of the new teams joining the grid, Lotus will be the best of a fairly mediocre bunch.

They have an experienced technical team, two race winning drivers and have done more testing than the other new boys.

Virgin did some testing during the Winter but were hampered by a lack of spares (and I read into that lack of cash).

The much vaunted US F1 team came to the end of the road before their car even left the factory due to financial meltdown. Their entry on the grid has cancelled. A US F1 team looks set to remain a pipe dream.

Campos Meta also plagued by financial problems has now metamorphosed under new owners into Hispania Racing Team - to be known as HRT - no sniggering at the back please! The car is complete but has not turned a wheel on track - please refer to prediction no 5 above...

Well that's my predictions over for now. At the end of the season I'll check back and see whether I'm a Derren Brown or a complete Muppet!

Monday, 22 February 2010

BTCC - Free Entry to Season Launch at Brands Hatch

A taste of the action from the BTCC at Brands last year!

The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship's season launch event will be held at Brands Hatch on Tuesday 23rd March.

This will double up as the official media launch and first official test of the year.

A three hour test session will start at 10 AM, followed by a one hour lunch break before further testing in the afternoon.

Now here's the really good news!

Entry to the season launch will be free of charge for spectators, who will also be able to watch the action from the "comfort" of the public grandstands.

I'll give you all three guesses who will be giving himself a day off on 23rd March!

If you have found this post of interest you will probably also enjoy....

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

F1 Pre-Season Testing - Any Conclusions?

Well to be honest, after two sessions, err, no!
During pre-season testing last year it was easy to detect early on who the front running teams would be. This time around it's proving much harder.

The latest test session at Jerez has been badly affected by rain so the cars were not always able to run to their full potential.

Secondly, it has been difficult to know whether teams have been running their cars light or with heavy fuel loads. Following a rule change, this season there will be no refuelling during races so cars will start with full tanks and (in theory) gradually get faster lap by lap.

Some of the teams are currently short on sponsors so there is a school of thought that some may be tempted to run light during testing so that they appear towards the top of time sheets putting themselves in the spotlight.

One conclusion I have drawn is that some of the cars look absolutely appalling. Yes, I'm talking about you, Sauber and Renault!

Here are some pictures of the new cars and liveries taken at Jerez by Slitzferrari...
The terrible looking Sauber devoid of sponsor logos..... Put in some fast lap times but could be a glory run rather than real pace.

The even worse looking Renault. An ugly car with an equally bad livery. Kubica at the wheel.

At last something decent to look at! Good looking car and livery. Webber and Vettel are both said to be very happy with this car and hopefully it will be able to take the fight to Ferrari and McLaren.

Williams always turn out a decent looking car. It has been going OK in testing so far. I would love to see Williams mixing it with the front runners once again.
Virgin Racing's first F1 car. Nice looking livery but shame about the performance. So far it's several seconds off the pace. VR are running on a shoe string budget. A wing failure put them out of action on the first day of the test and they had to wait for replacement parts to be flown in.
I have a sneaking suspicion that Branson's commitment to F1 will be short lived.
The Force India car has been promising in testing so far and the progress which started to be made last year could continue into this season.
The return of the Silver Arrows! The new Mercedes with Rosberg at the wheel. He is already being outpaced by Schumacher.....
Massa back at the wheel of the Ferrari.

Jenson Button in the stylish looking McLaren. Hamilton set the overall fastest time at Jerez....

What do you think of the new cars and liveries? Why not leave a comment? They are always welcome!

Sunday, 31 January 2010

2010 Formula 1 Race Calendar

Well after a long boring Winter break with no A1 Grand Prix to follow, the long awaited 2010 F1 season is due to kick off on 14th March in Bahrain.

Here are some of my thoughts and observations on the venues...

14th March - Bahrain

Bahrain has taken over the season opening slot from traditional holder Australia. I do usually enjoy this grand prix. The track has recently been "remodelled" with an extra section added to hopefully increase the chances of overtaking.... We will see, is all I can say on that subject!

28th March - Australia

Following an intervention by the money grabbing Ecclestone, the race start time has been changed to 1700 hrs local to make it more convenient for television viewers in Europe.... Again, I find the Aussie grand prix one of the more entertaining ones.

Wouldn't it be great if Mark Webber could have a good home result? Remember how the crowd reacted when he came fifth in the Minardi on his F1 debut at the 2002 Australian GP?

4th April - Malaysia

Ecclestone has decreed that this race will start at 1600 hrs local time. It really annoys me when he sticks his nose in....

I find the racing at Sepang quite enjoyable particularly if it is rain affected. By changing the start time until the afternoon this race is more likely to be influenced by the weather.

It will be interesting to see if the new Lotus team can put on a good show.

18th April - China

All the BBC commentators bang on about what a lovely facility the Chinese have built... blah blah blah. The cars race in front of practically empty stands because the normal Chinese man (or lady) on the street can't afford to buy a ticket!

Last year's race was pretty lacklustre too. Not one of my favourites.

9th May - Spain

Not usually a classic. This year may be more interesting with the return of Michael Schumacher with Mercedes up against Alonso at his old team Ferrari.

16th May - Monaco

At last a proper old style classic GP. I know the race is won and lost during qualifying but there is always lots of drama. Even the best drivers can get caught out round this track.

30th May - Turkey

I have to say this is one of my favourites of the new circuits which have come on to the F1 calendar over the last few years. Sadly, I have seen reports that this venue's days in F1 may be numbered.

Our "friend", you know who, has apparently increased the fees which have to be paid to host the event. As per my comment for China, this was another track with empty stands last year.

It would be a shame to lose this event from the calendar in my view.

13th June - Canada

Wey hey! One of my favourites races makes a very welcome return after more posturing from Ecclestone last year.

Who will end up in "Champions Wall" this year!

27th June - Europe (Valencia)

From the sublime to the ridiculous. Why, Why, Why? another race in Spain - to line Mr Ecclestone's pockets of course! This race has taken over from Hungary as the most boring on the calendar. As Mark Webber put it "like racing around a supermarket car park". The sooner this one is killed off the better.

11th July - Great Britain

Saved and back at Silverstone (thank God) after the Donington debacle.

I really hope and pray that in their efforts to retain the British GP, Silverstone have not put themselves into financial difficulties and end up in the same boat as Donington.

Fingers crossed for a Lewis home win!

25 July - Germany

The crowd atmosphere here will be immense with Schumacher back in action. Hopefully this may make up for the usual lack of excitement on the track.....

1st August - Hungary

I've watched this GP for years and only remember one interesting race.... when Button took his first victory. I'm not expecting much from it although a certain Mr Schumacher could have a good shot at victory here.

29th August - Belgium

Probably my favourite race of the year. A classic driver's track with unpredictable weather to spice things up. Making a welcome return. A track which will suit Schumacher especially if the weather plays a part in proceedings.

12th September - Italy

Back to back classic race tracks. Definitely one of my top five. How will the Tifosi react now that
Schumacher has left Ferrari? One of the few high speed tracks left.

26th September - Singapore

I don't see why this race has to be run at night... It brings nothing to the show in my opinion. Not one of my favourites. It will be interesting to see if anything kicks off between Massa and Alonso at the scene of the crime!

10th October - Japan

I quite like the races in Japan as the weather usually plays a big part and results can be unpredictable.

24 October - Korea

The latest venue to pay into the Ecclestone retirement fund, I mean join the F1 calendar!

I have no idea what to expect from this race but judging by recent additions such as Valencia and Abu Dhabi, I'm not holding my breath.

Maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised and we'll get another Turkey....

7th November - Brazil

Another of my top five races of the year. I really hope that Massa will win his home GP following his return from injury. I expect Alonso will get a hard time from the partisan crowd.

14th November - Abu Dhabi

This is another venue which gets the BBC F1 commentary boys in a lather - Ooh what a lovely hotel they've built, ooh what a lot of money they've spent... why can't we do something like this back home...

Yawn. Yawn. Yawn.

I think I speak for other (real) F1 fans when I say, forget the window dressing, get back to basics and put on a decent race!

Well that's my thoughts on the 2010 venues for what their worth...

What do you think? Which races are you looking forward to and which ones would you ditch from the calendar? Why not share your views by leaving a comment?

Other posts you may enjoy.....

2010 F1 Teams & Drivers - Update

Schumacher Returns - It's Official!

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Superleague Formula Replaces A1 GP at Brands Hatch

I have just received my regular mailing from Motor Sport Vision, operators of Brands Hatch race circuit, stating that the A1 GP meeting that was pencilled in on the 2010 calendar has been replaced by the so called Superleague Formula.... (more about that later in this post)

The financial trials and tribulations of the A1 GP series are well documented and it does not surprise me one bit that they have been dropped from this year's race calendar.

Die hard fans of A1 GP cling to the hope that after a one year sabbatical, it will be resurrected phoenix like from the financial ashes.

I am not so sure myself given the size of their debts, their complex financial arrangements and the poor economic state of the world in general right now.

Personally I am sad to see it go having attended the very first ever A1 GP weekend at Brands Hatch back in 2005. It was one of the best supported meetings I have seen at Brands Hatch - the estimated attendence was I believe, 70000 plus and it brought back a sense of the glory days when the F1 British GP's were held at the track.

I have also attended all the subsequent A1 GP meetings at Brands Hatch including last year when Team Ireland won both the sprint and feature races tp lift the 2009 A1 GP Team Championship trophy for the first, and sadly almost certainly, last time.

Please read my post about the 2009 AI GP season finale here.

Now back to A1 GP's replacement on the Brands Hatch 2010 calendar. Superleague Formula will run three races over the weekend of 31st July/1st August using 750 BHP V12 engined cars.

It is not clear at this stage whether the cars will race on the Indy or GP circuit at Brands and no details have been published of the support programme so far.

Wheras A1 GP cars were in national colours, Superleague Formula cars are "affiliated" to world famous football teams such as Tottenham Hotspurs, Liverpool FC, AC Milan, Galatasaray, Corinthians, Atletico de Madrid etc.

I'm not sure how well this series will be supported. The organisers are gambling on the fact there will be enough football fans interested in motor sports and vice versa but in my experience footie fans and petrolheads are two completely different animals!

I had a trawl through the Superleague Formula web site this evening to see which drivers are involved. Unfortunately, there does not appear to be a separate list of drivers on the site so it means you have to check each team page individually.

There are two former F1 drivers listed - Antonio "Pizza Man" Pizzonia (anyone remember him?) and Sebastian Bourdais, who in my opinion, should be given another shot at F1 instead of pottering about in this series...

There are a few A1 GP refugees too including Giorgio Pantano, Ho Pin Tung and John Martin.

As for the others, to be honest I'd never heard of any of them before!

The weekend adult on-line ticket price has been set at £ 29 (about £ 10 lower than for A1 GP) and I think curiousity will get the better of me.

If I can't have my annual fix of A1 GP, I suppose I'll have to make do with this new series instead.

If you have already been to a Superleague Formula meeting in previous years, please share your views by leaving a comment below....

You may also enjoy the following -

Brands Hatch Circuit Guide

F1 2010 Teams & Drivers Latest

Superleague Formula picture courtesy of jo3hug

Saturday, 9 January 2010

2010 F1 Teams and Drivers - Update

First of all, a Happy New Year for 2010 (albeit somewhat belated), to one and all!

Better late than never I suppose...

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about my views on the 2010 Formula 1 driver line ups that had been announced up to that point. Since I wrote that post there have been many developments, the most remarkable of them being the return of Michael Schumacher.

This post is an update to my earlier one....


An all English line up of Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton.

It looks like I'm not the only one who thinks Button will get a hard time in the new season. Former Ferrari man (and general loudmouth) Eddie Irvine has said "Button will be murdered by Hamilton".

I may have put it more delicately but it seems we are singing from the same hymn sheet!


Drivers are confirmed as Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa.

Some other F1 bloggers, have tipped Alonso to become 2010 F1 World Champion but I don't buy it.

I think Ferrari have made a huge mistake employing two drivers with a Latin temperament and previous history at the Singapore GP. There could be the mother of all rows if one or the other driver feels the team are treating the other more favourably. Another replay of the Alonso versus Hamilton debacle at McLaren.

Still it will be fun to watch the fights!


They have pulled off the major coup of enticing Michael Schumacher out of retirement to form and all German line up with Nico Rosberg.

Although I am not a fan of Schumacher, it will certainly help to spice things up in 2010. Schumacher and controversy usually go hand in hand.

It is a shame for Rosberg that he will be overshadowed, although not necessarily outperformed by his illustrious team mate.

In some respects it could do Rosberg a favour that all the hopes and expectations of the whole German nation will be pinned on Schumacher.


The Sauber team have announced that their 2010 car will be launched at Valencia on 31st January and will confirm their driver line up beforehand.

Sauber have signed Toyota refugee Kobayashi. He had a couple of good races for Toyota at the end of last season and will be interesting to watch.

Will he be another Sato? Occasional flashes of brilliance spoiled by all too often, kamikaze style overtaking moves leading to numerous DNF's....

It would not surprise me if the second seat is filled by Nick Heidfeld who is still without a confirmed drive. The bloke has been around for years but has never set the world alight. Having said that, he does seem to have a knack of finding himself in the points somehow, although usually only in the lower paying positions.


A good blend of youth and experience in the form of Nico Hulkenberg and veteran Rubens Barrichello.

I just hope and pray that the Williams car will be competitive. The team definitely made progress last year. Bring back the glory days!

Red Bull

Business as usual at Red Bull with Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel.

I'm looking forward to seeing Vettel again. If the car is on the money he will definitely be challenging with Hamilton and Co for the Championship.


Still no drivers announced so far but it is highly likely they will be two pay drive rookies.

The team have been given special dispensation from the FIA to test their car next month at the Barber Motorsport Park in Alabama.

With two rookies on board, expect a lot of DNF's.


The only confirmed driver so far is Bruno Senna. The second seat is still open but it could be academic as the fate of Campos hangs in the balance.

According to reliable reports the team is currently seeking investors to ensure they have sufficient funding to make it to the grid. One investor linked to the team is said to be A1 GP boss Tony Teixeira.

Not a particularly good omen considering the financial state of A1 GP right now!


Timo Glock will team up with F1 rookie Lucas di Grassi.

I am just wondering how long Richard Branson will remain interested in F1. I have a horrible feeling it will be another short term fad. Apparently the team will be run on one of the lowest, if not the lowest, budgets of all. It looks to me like Virgin are making the minimum investment possible which does not smack of long term commitment.


Renault managed to off-load a large proportion of the team to investors Genii at the tail end of 2009. Robert Kubica is confirmed for 2010. The second seat remains vacant but is unlikely to go to Grosjean.


I am optimistic that Lotus will be the best of the new boys on the 2010 grid.

They have a good technical team and have recently signed two experienced drivers, both previous F1 race winners - Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen.

Force India

Force India have retained Adrian Sutil and Tonio Liuzzi for 2010. I really hope they have a good season but I worry that they will struggle to keep up with some of the new boys.

Toro Rosso

Toro Rosso have confirmed Sebastian Buemi but a question mark hangs over Jaime Alguersuari.

Buemi had some good performances in 2009 but Alguersuari made a lot of rookie mistakes.


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