Daily Archives: January 18, 2010

Fisichella may be Sauber driver for 2010

Giancarlo Fisichella at the Vrooom Ferrari event

Giancarlo Fisichella at the Vrooom Ferrari event

Giancarlo Fisichella is reportedly on his way to getting a race seat with the Sauber team for this year.

The Italian, who is currently Ferrari’s test driver, flew up to the team’s base in Hinwil, Switzerland. He had already driven for the team before, in 2004, alongside Felipe Massa.

The 37-year-old now looks likely to be joining Kamui Kobayashi for the 2010 season. The team which was previously owned by BMW will be running with Ferrari engines in 2010, and the Italian team has already admitted that it will not prevent Fisichella from joining another team should he wish to do so.

Button: Title chances better at McLaren

Jenson Button at the Autosport International

Jenson Button at the Autosport International

Jenson Button has said that his early experiences at McLaren have convinced him that his title chances are better at McLaren than former team Brawn.

Button left Brawn at the end of 2009, after winning the driver championship with the team. He has joined McLaren to partner Lewis Hamilton for next season.

At the Autosport International show, he is convinced that he has done the right thing:

“If I was at Brawn still, I would go into the season positive, but not as positive as I am now.”

“I have spent some time at the factory in the simulator, with the engineers and it is going very well. The two guys I have got looking after me, who are working with me, have been great.”

“They know this is a difficult switch for me, a difficult change, but they have been very good. They are very hungry to succeed this year – which is exactly what I am. It is a good partnership.”

Button has also responded to critics who think that Lewis Hamilton will dominate him this season. He believes that the two can spur each other on to achieve great things:

“I don’t know who will build the best car this year, but we will work as hard as we can. I am really looking forward to the partnership with Lewis. That is the truth – from the bottom of my heart.”

“We can work very well together and we can, as a team, fight for the world championship together. And us two together is a much stronger team than us in separate teams.”

“When we get to the end of the year we will see [where we finished]. But, at the moment, we will work together and there is no reason to say I am going to beat him, or he is going to beat me.”

“I am sure everyone is opinionated about it, but nobody knows until the last race finishes. We are going to work together and we are hopefully going to do a good job for the British fans.”

He was then asked about how he felt about Michael Schuamcher returning. He replied:

“A few people have said he is 41 years old, is he too old to be racing in F1 and has he lost it? I don’t think so.”

“He has won more world championships than anyone. He will be competitive. He is not a silly guy. He won’t be coming back to F1 to be slow – he is going to be competitive and he will be ready for the first race. And I hope so. It will be great if Michael is fighting it out at the front.”

“It is really good for F1, and it will bring a few fans back that maybe left when Michael did. And it is made for the best season in F1 I think – ever. I really do think that. It is going to be such a competitive season.”

“You have got four world champions – one guy that missed out by one point and a few very, very talented people. It is exciting. New teams. New drivers. It is great.”

Alonso: Ferrari titles may take time

Felipe Massa, Bernie Ecclestone and Fernando Alonso

Felipe Massa, Bernie Ecclestone and Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso has sais that, despite just joining Ferrari, world titles may take time to come for him and the team.

“It’s not that easy. Michael Schumacher himself needed five years to win after joining Ferrari,” Alonso told Spanish radio Onda Cero in an interview.

“Formula 1 is not simply mathematics. We see the same in football and in other sports, where you see that a great team can lose in a small team’s stadium.”

“In F1 it’s more or less the same, and theory is not everything. Then things on track must go well and you have to prove things.”

Also, Alosno says that it is difficult to tell who will be his main rivals for next year, as testing has not yet begun.

“It’s hard to pick the order,” he said. “The two Mercedes drivers, the two McLaren drivers, maybe the two Red Bulls, and also my team-mate Massa are in theory the big favourites for the title, but there could be some surprises, like it happened last year with Brawn or Toyota, which started the championship very well.”

Also, he responded to rumours that he and Felipe Massa were not getting along.

“The memory of the Nurburgring race is just for those who few who will be looking for any kind of controversy,” he said. “Surely there will be a start in which the two McLarens are too close to each other and then there will be a debate about Button and Hamilton having problems, and the same if Felipe and I have it, or Michael and Rosberg.”

“That’s the expectation created by a big team, with the all media attention it brings. There’s not a problem, we are both prepared to help Ferrari.”

Alguersuari set to retain Toro Rosso seat

Jaime Alguersuari

Jaime Alguersuari

According to Red Bull’s Helmut Marko, Jaime Alguersuari is set to keep his seat at Toro Rosso for next season.

There have been many doubts about Alguersuari’s place, mainly because Sebastian Buemi had been confirmed months ago. Mirko Bortolotti and Bruno Senna have been rumoured to replace him, but Marko says:

“It will be Alguersuari. We must still resolve some contractual details, but our choice will be him.”

It would be pointless to see Jaime ousted after only 8 races in Formula 1, and I’m sure he needs another season to get up to speed. However, a similar situation occured last year with Sebastien Bourdais, and he was removed halfway through last season.

Hopefully Jaime can prove his ability in the car, as his previous racing history shows us. I’m hoping that he can match Sebastien Buemi next year.

Briatore to sue FIA for “loss of income”

Flavio Briatore, when managing Renault

Flavio Briatore, when managing Renault

Former Renault team boss Flavio Briatore announced today that he is to pursue legal proceedings against the FIA, for the loss of income to his driver managment business.

The FIA had previously banned Briatore from all motorsport, after he was found to have conspired with Nelson Piquet Jr and Pat Symonds to cause a crash at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.

Last month, a Parisian court overturned this ruling, saying that the FIA did not have the authority to remove Briatore from the sport. However, the ban had meant that many of Briatore’s drivers had left his agency. This included Fernando Alonso, Heikki Kovalainen and Lucas di Grassi. Briatore told The Telegraph that the FIA would be sued for the money lost because of this.

“We lost Alonso, we lost [Heikki] Kovalainen, we lost several drivers,” he said. “We will sue the FIA for the money we lost.”

The FIA has already announced that it is to appeal the French court’s decision.

In my opinion, this can only end in disaster. Alonso, Kovalainen and Di Grassi left of their own accord, not because of the threat of having their superlicenses removed. This court battle is only giving negative publicity to a scandal which should have been closed up months ago.

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