As opposed to the first 4 parts of my 2009 review, this part is dedicated to the new teams for 2010: Virgin, Campos, Lotus and USF1.
The Lotus F1 team is nothing like the Lotus of the past, except in name. It is now owned by 1Malaysia, and run by Tony Fernandes, Group CEO of Air Asia. Money seems to have helped the team start off, as Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen are two very talented drivers. Also, Mike Gascoyne’s arrival as chief technical officer will have a large impact on the car’s design.
The team’s plans appear to be on schedule, according to Tony Fernandes. However, before the season has already begun, the team has already decided where they need to finish: anywhere ahead of Virgin. As you will probably know, there is know a bet between Fernandes and Richard Branson (principal of Virgin Racing). Whichever team loses next year to the other, that team prinicpal must work for a day, as an air stewardess in the other’s airline! Whatever happens, it is sure to motivate both teams well.
The Virgin Racing team started off by announcing its drivers as Timo Glock and Lucas di Grassi. Again, another good pairing. Glock has speed and experience, while di Grassi can hopefully grow, in his first year of F1. Virgin’s car is to be designed using only CFD (Computer Fluid Dynamics), which is the first ever F1 team to do so. This plan may either fail or succeed hugely, depending on how good the technology is. To be honest, I want it to work, because otherwise we may see Branson in a stewardesses costume!
Lotus are so confident of beating Virgin, they have even picked out an outfit!
Campos are probably the least reported new team for next year, because they make the least noise about anything they’re doing. The problem is, they appear to have very little done at all. Bruno Senna has been confirmed as one of their drivers, and that’s it. Their website is practically useless, as all they do is advertise for small positions within the team. This concern has been repeated by Bernie Ecclestone, who in December, said that he doubts they will be ready for the 2010 season. We will have to wait and see what happens next.
The Campos Meta logo
While Campos appear to be failing quietly, USF1 appear to be failing with an enormous bang. They came in claiming to be the first ever “all-American” team, which would be based in America, try to use American parts, and hire American drivers. However, no drivers from the US will be avilable until at least 2011, most of their parts suppliers are European, and the team is secondarily based in Spain. Worse than that, they have hired no drivers at all yet. The ony progress they appear to have made yet is their company base, in Charlotte, is up and running.