Daily Archives: December 21, 2009

Petronas is Mercedes’ main sponsor for 2010

Mercedes GP Petronas Artwork

Mercedes GP Petronas Artwork

Malaysian oil company Petronas has announced a long-term agreement to be the main sponsor for Mercedes GP, starting next season. This means that the team’s official name is now Mercedes GP Petronas Formula 1 Team.

The team will make its track debut in its new livery in Valencia, on 1 February.

Team principal Ross Brawn said: “Our plans for the new season are progressing well, as is the development of our 2010 challenger, and we look forward to seeing the car run in the new Silver Arrows and Petronas livery at the Valencia test in February.”

The main picture here is an artwork concept, done by Mercedes GP. Combining the classic silver with Petronas turquoise will be a difficult job.

Rome has F1 race deal- Report

The Italian magazine Gazzetta dello Sport has claimed that there is a deal in place for a Rome Grand Prix from 2012 onwards.

It is reported that the organiser, Maurizio Flammini, has signed a provisional deal with Bernie Ecclestone. The first reports of this Grand Prix emerging were earlier this year.

This is continuing on Formula 1’s growth of new circuits: Valencia and Singapore in 2008, Abu Dhabi in 2009, South Korea for 2010 and India in 2011.

However, at time of writing this article, it must be noted that the circuit’s website (http://www.romaformulafuturo.com) has gone blank. Also, there is no info from their Twitter feed (thanks to F1Fanatic for this info).

Youtube link for the track is here:

Plans for joint F1 launch falter

The planned joint launch of all next years’ F1 cars in one location seems to have faltered.

The plan was to launch all of the cars at the end of January in Valencia. However, many teams are considering individual launches, like they have done in the past. This is mainly because of a concern for the smaller teams being ignored, and sponsors would get less coverage.

Also, some teams are concerned that they would not have had their cars ready in time.

Schumacher expected to join Mercedes

Michael Schumacher, as a Ferrari adviser in 2009

Michael Schumacher, as a Ferrari adviser in 2009

According to Luca di Montezemolo, Michael Schumacher is set to join Mercedes for next year. In an interview, he said:

“It seems he has a twin brother, identical in every way, who seems to have it in his head to go and race in Formula 1 with Mercedes. I don’t know him personally, but it seems we have nothing to offer him.”

His manager, Willi Webber, said that his client was in a “super-fit” state, which would indicate that he has recovered from the neck injuries he sustained earlier this year in a motorcycle accident.

Schumacher was actually set to sign a contract extension for Ferrari, which would have made this Mercedes move impossible.

Kobayashi confirmed at Sauber for 2010

Kamui Kobayashi

Kamui Kobayashi

Kamui Kobayashi has been confirmed at the Sauber team for 2010.

Kobayashi made his F1 debut at the Brazilian Grand Prix this year, substituting for Timo Glock. He put in two excellent drives in Brazil and Abu Dhabi, which was enough to convince Sauber to give him a try.

He said: “Ever since the start of my career I have dreamed of racing in Formula One. Now this dream has come true. I am very happy that my two races in 2009 have earned me a cockpit place. I will do my very best for Peter Sauber’s team and I am proud to be able to carry on flying the Japanese flag in Formula One.”

Peter Sauber said:  “I’m very much looking forward to working together with Kamui. In the final two Grand Prix of last season he was granted an unexpected chance to show his skills, and he made impressive use of it. Particularly in the Abu Dhabi race he demonstrated not only that he can drive fast and aggressively, but also his ability to successfully implement a strategy. I am convinced he has a great deal of potential and will be able to make the most of it in our team.”

Renault stays in F1 for 2010, and reaffirms Red Bull engine link

Renault F1 Team

Renault F1 Team

Renault have confirmed that they are to stay in Formula 1 for the 2010, and they are to sell a large stake of the team to Genii Capital.

The team will continue to run under the name Renault, and will keep its current engines. The Red Bull team will also continue to use Renault engines next year.

As part of a statement, Renault said: A statement issued by Renault said: “After 35 years in the sport, Renault announces a new phase for its F1 programme, consistent with Formula One’s drive for cost efficiencies. Formula One remains one of the biggest sporting spectacles in terms of annual television audiences and media exposure. Renault therefore believes that the impact of Formula One in terms of image, and brand awareness worldwide, particularly in new, emerging markets, will continue to play a key role in fulfilling the company’s growth objectives in years ahead.”

“With the anticipated sale of a stake in its F1 operational base in the United Kingdom to Genii Capital, Renault achieves another step that will definitely bring F1 participation to an affordable level for the Group. In addition, the new partnership will contribute to procuring the team the resources to compete sustainably at the highest level, and creates a great opportunity to modernise its governance.”

The team has already confirmed Robert Kubica as one of its drivers for next season.