Daily Archives: January 21, 2010

Santander sponsors De la Rosa

Pedro de la Rosa (middle right), at a Santander event

Pedro de la Rosa (middle right), at a Santander event

On one of my posts yesterday, I said that Pedro de la Rosa, the new Sauber driver, had backing from Universita, which is a network of 11,000 universities in 15 countries. This, in turn, is sponsored by bank Santander.

So, Santander have today announced – surprise surprise – that they are to sponsor Pedro de la Rosa.

Santander is already an established bank in  Spain, and is now targeting the British market. They are the company behind Abbey, Alliance & Leicester and Bradford & Bingley.

“Pedro is a friend and a very intelligent person who impressed us very much in our three years together,” said Santander’s Juan Manuel Cendoya, referring to de la Rosa’s former association with the Woking team as test driver. “We are going to support him personally but we are not going to be at Sauber with any of our brands.”


McLaren sign Nyck de Vries

Nyck de Vries

Nyck de Vries

Nyck de Vries

Nyck de Vries

McLaren have announced that they have signed 14-year-old Nyck de Vries to their young driver programme.

The Dutch driver will be managed by Anthony Hamilton, Lewis’s father, and the Hamilton Management Group throughout his racing career in different categories.

“McLaren has a long-held commitment to assisting young talent – we believe it’s part of the responsibility of the motor racing community to encourage and nurture junior racers, and we are committed to doing just that,” said team boss Martin Whitmarsh.

“Nyck appears to be a very exciting prospect, and we are looking forward to assisting his junior career, providing him with the support and training he requires to succeed.”

Anthony Hamilton, his manager, said:

“Nyck is an extremely promising youngster. His father Hendrik has been fantastically supportive of Nyck’s career, and has been instrumental in raising him up to not just be a great young racing driver, but also a fine young man. Together, we both believe that, with the right level of support, we can take his career to the highest level.”

“We’ll be working very closely with Dino Chiesa, who will be running Nyck in Italy this year. Dino is an old friend, who previously ran Lewis and Nico (Rosberg) in Team MBM, so he knows everything about nurturing and developing young talent. We believe this is a very exciting and dynamic partnership.”

Nyck also paid a visit to the McLaren Technology Centre. Afterwards, he said:

“My visit to the McLaren Technology Centre has been a fantastic experience and I am very honoured and grateful for the support of McLaren in helping to develop my career.”

“The resources they have are incredible, and I believe they’ll be able to provide me with the perfect framework for improving my skills, my fitness and my motorsport experience.”

More details regarding McLaren’s driver development programme will be released later this month.

Williams team change tyres in less than 3 seconds

A Williams pit stop in 2009

A Williams pit stop in 2009

Because of the refuelling ban in place for 2010, incredibly fast pit stops are going to be in place. The Williams team appear to have set the standard, by changing all sets of tyres in less than 3 seconds.

On their official Twitter feed, Claire Williams, the team’s media manager, posted:

“More pit stop practice on the agenda today, the guys have made it into the sub-three second range to change a set of tyres!”

However, it wasn’t all practise. Nico Hulkenberg had a go at using the front jack, as part of the team’s pit stops.

The fastest F1 pit stop ever was set by Benneton on Ricardo Patrese’s car, at the 1993 Belgian Grand Prix- which was 3.2 seconds. Clearly, that record will be completely smashed this year.

Obviously, the other teams will be practising as well. It will be hugely interesting to see how quick the times can go this year.