Daily Archives: November 28, 2009

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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