Monthly Archives: November 2009

FIA publishes 2010 entry list

FIA FlagThe FIA has published the entry list for the 2010 world championship, with 12 teams instead of the expected 13. This is because of the departure of Toyota, and an announcement regarding their entry will be provided in due course.

Also, Manor are officialy entered as Virgin, even though an announcement has not yet been made regarding their main sponsor. Reb Bull have kept their Renault engines also.

The full entry list of constructors and drivers as published by the FIA is as follows:

McLaren Mercedes
1 Jenson Button (GB)
2 Lewis Hamilton (GB)

Brawn Mercedes Benz*
3 Nico Rosberg (D)
4 TBA

Red Bull Racing Renault
5 Sebastian Vettel (D)
6 Mark Webber (AUS)

Ferrari
7 Felipe Massa (BR)
8 Fernando Alonso (E)

Williams Cosworth
9 Rubens Barrichello (BR)
10 Nico Hulkenberg (D)

Renault
11 Robert Kubica (PL)
12 TBA

Force India Mercedes
14 Adrian Sutil (D)
15 Vitantonio Liuzzi (I)

STR Ferrari
16 Sebastien Buemi (CH)
17 TBA

Lotus Cosworth
18 TBA
19 TBA

Campos Dallara
20 TBA
21 Bruno Senna (BR)

US F1 Cosworth
22 TBA
23 TBA

Virgin Cosworth
24 Timo Glock (D)
25 TBA

NB: Statement by FIA- 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.

Turvey to test for McLaren at Jerez

Oliver Turvey, driving the Team Loctite Renault World Series car

Oliver Turvey, driving the Team Loctite Renault World Series car

Oliver Turvey will make his Formula 1 testing debut with McLaren, in Jerez in Spain this week.

Turvey has been handed the testing role as part of his prize for winning the 2006 McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver Award. He says that he cannot wait to get out on track:

“I’ve gone over this moment so many times in my mind, so it’s very exciting to be getting this opportunity to test with the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team at Jerez this week. My aim is to enjoy the experience, but also to learn as much as I can from it. If possible, I’d also like to be able to help the team with their preparations for the 2010 season.”

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said: “We’re extremely proud of our commitment to young talent and the efforts we’ve made to ensure the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award winners are given the experience of a lifetime when they test with us. A drive in a race-wining Formula 1 car is every racing driver’s dream, and I’m sure Oliver will use this week’s test as the perfect opportunity to broaden his experience as he continues his successful single-seater career.”

Turvey will drive McLaren’s MP4-24 as part of the winter testing schedule, alongside Gary Paffett.

Interview with Peter Sauber

Peter Sauber

On Friday, it was announced that Peter Sauber was to buy his F1 team back off BMW. Following their departure, Sauber is now back in control, to many peoples’ surprise. Here, in an interview with formula1.com, he talks about the new Ferrari powered C29:

Q: Peter, what does the agreement with BMW really mean? Is it true to say that both parties wouldn’t have reached an agreement if there hadn’t been strong signals that the team had a slot on the 2010 grid…
Peter Sauber:
This agreement means that the future of the team and the location in Hinwil are secured. I am very relieved about that development. It would have been a crying shame had one of the best Formula One factories closed down. Regarding the slot on the grid I am very confident that we will be given a final confirmation very shortly.

Q: Do you expect the confirmation to come during next month’s FIA meeting in Monaco?
PS:
I am pretty confident that there will be a decision before that date.

Q: Did you feel obligated to keep the team alive?
PS:
I was strongly focused on that topic before I made the decision to acquire the team. Now the responsibility rests solely on my shoulders, but be sure that I will do everything in my power to secure a positive future for the team.

Q: How have you got the finances in place? Will Qadbak, the investment group that had planned the original deal with BMW, get involved now? Or do you envisage something similar to what happened between Honda and Brawn last year?
PS:
I have obtained the financial resources for the acquisition by myself. No other backers are involved.

Q: There was always an air of mystery surrounding Qadbak, with some suggesting the name was a composition of the initials of Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain. Can you shed a bit more light on it now?
PS:
I have not made any comments on Qadbak in the last two months and I want to keep it that way.

Q: You faced a difficult task to reduce the number of staff by around 130 to reach the agreed headcount of 250. The Hinwil workforce was a perfectly functioning unit. How have you tried to avoid slumps in quality?
PS:
That was indeed a very painful procedure. In my 40-year career as an entrepreneur I have never before had to lay off staff on financial grounds. All departments were equally affected by the cutbacks and there is a hope that no quality issues will arise. Regarding performance, we will try to compensate for the lower headcount through efficiency.

Q: You could benefit from Toyota’s withdrawal. Without it, would you have to have waited for one of the new entrants to falter?
PS:
The FIA had already promised us the 14th slot on the grid. Under that circumstance it would have been our obligation to persuade the one team that had voted against us to accept our entry.

Q: From your position as a minority stakeholder you have been propelled back into the team principal’s role…
PS:
It was truly never my desire to return to the pit wall. But once I decide for myself to get involved with something, then I am fully committed and do it with all my passion.

Q: It seems as though the development of the 2010 car has not been affected by BMW’s withdrawal. What is the state of affairs?
PS:
Our 2010 car is perfectly on schedule. The development and fabrication have been unaffected by the situation. Having been able to proceed with uninterrupted development was also possible thanks to excellent cooperation with Ferrari, who submitted all the relevant data very early. Regarding the performance of the C29 we are all very confident. Two months before the first tests, we have already reached a very good basis for further development.

Q: So after four years of racing a BMW engine, you’re back using a Ferrari engine…
PS:
That was one of the fixtures very early on. Shortly after BMW announced its withdrawal at the end of July I talked to (Ferrari chairman) Luca di Montezemolo and in a very short time – and without any bureaucracy – we received an okay. We will use a Ferrari engine and drive train.

Q: How about the driver line-up? Is the market for good drivers already swept clean?
PS:
No, definitely not. And we have two very attractive cockpits to offer.

Q: How is your schedule looking for the coming weeks?
PS:
On my personal list there are two priorities – the slot on the grid and the Concorde Agreement. Then I will look for drivers. My guess is that a lot of time will be consumed by the restructuring from 380 employees to 250.

Canada to return to 2010 calendar

Canadian Grand Prix 2008

The Canadian Grand Prix has been confirmed on the 2010 F 1 calendar, as the government helped to secure athe event’s future for another five years – until 2014.

After many months of uncertainty, and a year on the sidelines, the race in Montreal was confirmed on Friday afternoon. This deal to secure the place on the calendar has been assisted by the Canadian and Quebec governments, Montreal and Tourisme Montreal, who have created an annual £8.5m investment plan for the next five years.

Under the terms of the agreement, Montreal and its partners will 30% of the profits from ticket sales for the Grands Prix, which will be taking place on June 13th next year.

Montreal’s mayor Gerald Tremblay was delighted, saying: “The return of the Formula 1 to Montreal attests to our sustained efforts and determination. This win-win deal falls in line with the terms we set and the taxpayer’s ability to pay and will create stability for the next five years. I am very pleased that our metropolis is bringing back this crucial stage in the Formula 1 series for fans from around the world and an outstanding opportunity in terms of the event’s international reach.”

Quebec’s minister for finance and minister for the Montreal region, Raymond Bachand, said: “For Quebec, this event by itself results in annual tax revenues of more than $10 million (£5.5 million), for a $4 million (£2.2 million) investment, minus revenues from ticket sales.  All three levels of government have worked together tirelessly over the past few months to bring the grand prix back to Montreal, while acting in a financially responsible manner. With this agreement in hand, I am delighted that our efforts have finally succeeded.”

BMW to sell F1 team back to Sauber

Peter Sauber

BMW have announced on friday that they have reached an agreement with Peter Sauber regarding the sale of the BMW Sauber F1 team. However, the sale is subject to the team being granted a slot for the 2010 season. This means that the planned sale to Qadbak Investment Ltd. will not be completed.

As part of the agreement, personnel will be cut from 388 to 250 employees. Also, because of the restructuring of the team, further redundancies cannot be ruled out in the future.

BMW had previously bought the team from Sauber in 2005, who had founded the team in 1993.

“I am very relieved that we have found this solution,” said Peter Sauber. “It means we can keep the Hinwil location and the majority of workplaces. I am convinced that the new team has a very good future in Formula One, whose current transformation with new framework conditions will benefit the private teams. Our staff here are highly competent and motivated, and I look forward to taking on this new challenge together with them. I would like to thank BMW for four shared years that have in the main been very successful.”

Dr Klaus Draeger, member of the board of management of BMW AG with responsibility for development, added: “We are very happy with this solution. This fulfils the most important requirement for a successful future for the team. Our relationship with Peter Sauber has always been excellent and marked by absolute respect. We would like to express our thanks to Peter Sauber and the whole team for the excellent cooperation during the recent four years.”

Force India retain Sutil and Liuzzi for 2010

Force India have announced that they have retained Adrian Sutil and Vitantonio Liuzzi for the 2010 season. The team believes that this will give consistency in their driver line-up.

2010 will be Sutil’s fourth season in F1. He started in 2006 with Force India’s predecessors, Midland, as a test/reserve driver. He then went to a race seat with Spyker for 2007.

“2010 will be my fourth consecutive year with the team,” said Sutil. “I feel good here, it feels like family, and when you feel at ease you can focus your energy 100 percent on getting it right on track. Next season I want to be in the points on a regular basis, maybe even challenging for the podium, and the team has exactly the same goals. We are going massively in the right direction so with our combined energies I’m confident we can achieve even more than last season.”

Tonio has kept his seat since his move up from test driver in Monza this year, when Giancarlo Fisichella moved to Ferrari. He had made his debut in 2005 for Red Bull, and moved to Toro Rosso for 2006 and 2007.  He then moved to being test driver for Force India for 2008.

Tonio said, “It was always my goal to be back racing in 2010 and I’ve finally achieved it. I feel the five races I did in 2009 were a bit of a warm-up; get back racing, learn the car, get the feeling back. Now I’ve done that I feel ready to really push next season. We were pretty strong in the last part of the 2009 season so if we pick up where we stopped I think we could be in for a good year. For sure points are the aim and showing everyone what we can do.”

Dr Vijay Mallya, chairman and team principal of Force India, stated, “We are very pleased to retain the services of both Adrian and Tonio for another season. We have always maintained that consistency is key at this stage in the team’s development and for the first time in many years we will have the continuity of not only the same drivers, but also the same engine and senior management. With this stability now in place I truly believe we have an excellent platform to build on and move forward on our strong 2009 performance. I am sure we have one of the most dynamic line-ups on the grid and I hope this will stand us in good stead in what we all hope will be a transitional year for the team.”

However, the role of third driver has not been announced yet. Next week, Force India will hold a young driver test, featuring Paul di Resta and current Indy Lights champion JR Hildebrand. The test will be three days long, and will be held on the Jerez circuit starting next Tuesday.

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