Daily Archives: January 25, 2010

Teams agree to new points system – again

The Formula 1 teams, working as FOTA, have agreed to change the current F1 points system again.

Last year, a new points system was agreed, gining 25 points to the winner, and extend the points down to 10th place. However, there were many complaints, such as not enough gap in points between 1st and 2nd.

Today, FOTA announced a new set of points, that will be submitted to the FIA World Motor Sport Council. However, this is really only routine, as this new system will almost definitely be introduced.

The new points system is as follows:

Winner 25
Second 18
Third 15
Fourth 12
Fifth 10
Sixth 8
Seventh 6
Eighth 4
Ninth 2
Tenth 1

The most notable change is the bigger difference in points between 1st and 2nd, which is now 7 points instead of 5. Also, there are more equal gaps between the other places.

Overall, this is a better idea than the previous version. Many of the people I have talked to also agree, so this is a step in the right direction.

The idea of points being introduced for fastest laps and pole positions were suggested, but no agreement was reached.

This idea should be accepted by the WMSC in the next few days.


A virtual goodbye from Toyota

It would be very easy for Toyota to simply walk away from F1 quietly, even after 9 years of squandered money. However, they have not done so, as they have made a website to say goodbye to the F1 world.

You can view the site here. It is a nice compilation of pictures and memories from the years of Toyota. Each picture includes a comment from Toyota supporters.

It’s simple but nice. The navigation is actually quite poor for a flash site, but I’m not bothered. It’s worth a visit, even if you never cared for Toyota.

Bahrain circuit to be longer and slower

The new section of Bahrain

The new section of Bahrain

The Bahrain F1 circuit has been changed, with a new section added after Turn 4.

There will be 0.8 km added to the track. This will make Bahrain the second longest track on the F1 calendar (6.299km), behind Spa (7.004km) and ahead of Suzuka (5.807km).

After Turn 4, the circuit usually goes into an S-shaped curve. Instead of this, there will be a left turn, followed by a series of 90 degree corners, followed by a long hairpin.

The chairman of the circuit, Zayed Alzayani, said:

“The loop was completed in 2006 as part of the built-in evolution of the venue for competitors and fans. We gave it its debut with the inaugural 24 Hour Race of Bahrain that same year where it proved extremely successful, and with the changes to the regulations, the teams and the driver line-ups in Formula One this year it is the perfect time to evolve the circuit with this new challenge and new overtaking opportunities.”

This makes very little sense. There is no overtaking opportunity in this new section, and seems to be to be less punishing on the cars’ brakes.

This track has been used before, at the 24 Hour Race of Bahrain. This has 120 cars in it, so we can be assured that 26 F1 cars will fit.

I’m not convinced by this move, but it doesn’t seem to be too bad. Let’s see how it fares as the season opener on the 14th March.

Schumacher sticks with red helmet

Micheal Schumacher's helmet for 2010

Micheal Schumacher's helmet for 2010

Michael Schumacher has said that he is to stick with his red helmet while driving for Mercedes this year.

A red helmet, very similar to the one he used back in 2006, was revealed alongside the new livery of the Mercedes WG01.

The only differences are the Mercedes logo on the top, and the Petronas sponsorship on the visor. Nico Rosberg has made the same changes to his helmet.

2010 Mercedes colour scheme revealed

Mercedes have revealed the colour scheme that they will be using on their 2010 car.

It must be noted, however, that the car in the pictures is just the Brawn BGP001, repainted. The new car, the WG01 (not the RB1 as I previously said), will be revealed on 1st February in Valencia.

The car was unveiled at the Mercedes museum in Stuttgart. Drivers Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher were also attending.

Mercedes say this about their colour design:

“The new silver and green livery creates a true marriage between the heritage of the Silver Arrows and the team’s title partner Petronas. The legacy of the Silver Arrows goes back to the 1934 Eifel Race when, on the evening before the event, the white paint was sanded off the Mercedes W25 race car to fulfil weight regulations (750kg formula) and the silver colour of the aluminium surface of the car appeared. This season, with the return of the Silver Arrows, the MGP W01 will shine in silver combined with a flow of iridescent silver and green shading. On the nose and other parts of the car, traces of black carbon fibre are visible – a reminder of the first Silver Arrow of 1934.”

However, this appears to be wrong. There is an article on F1 Fanatic explaining this.

There are quotes from Michael Schumacher:

“Finally the 2010 Formula One season is firing up! I have to say that I am totally committed to this new challenge. This season feels like a re-start for me and I am so motivated. We have a very exciting combination at Mercedes. We have a World Champion team in every sense of the word and I cannot wait to get into the car for the first time in Valencia. I am convinced that Mercedes will be in a very good position to fight for the championships this season and I will definitely give it a go. Driving for Mercedes-Benz again is like the closing of a circle for me as I started my racing driver career with the three-pointed star on my helmet. This is another reason why I cannot wait for the competition to get underway.”

Nico Rosberg:

“You can really feel the successful motorsport history of Mercedes-Benz here at the Museum in Stuttgart and to be part of the new Silver Arrows team and that racing heritage makes me feel extremely proud and motivated. Since joining the team in November, I have spent a lot of time at the factory in Brackley, at Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines in Brixworth and here in Stuttgart, which has given me the opportunity to settle in and get to know everyone. I have seen how hard the team is working on the new car and I really can’t wait for the opportunity to drive it for the first time in Valencia next week. I am looking forward to working with everyone at Mercedes and will give it my all to reward their fantastic efforts with good on-track results this season.”

Team principal Ross Brawn:

“It is a privilege to be here at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart today for the official presentation of the Mercedes Formula One Team. With your first look around the Museum, you realise the fantastic racing heritage of Mercedes-Benz and we hope to be able to contribute to those successes going forward. Our team have been working extremely hard throughout last year and over the winter on the development of the MGP W01 and everyone at the team is looking forward to the start of testing in Valencia next week. We have two excellent drivers in Nico and Michael, who will form one of the most exciting and one of the best partnerships on the grid, and with the support of Mercedes-Benz, Aabar, our new title partner Petronas and all of our team partners, everyone is looking forward to the 2010 Formula One season with anticipation.”

Pictures from the event:

Renault: Money not incentive for Petrov interest

Eric Boullier, team boss of Renault

Eric Boullier, team boss of Renault

Renault team boss Eric Boullier has denied that the team are looking into having Vitaly Petrov as a driver because of his sponsorship, saying that the first priority is talent.

The Frenchman, who relaced Flavio Briatore as team principal last year, says that he is considering many other drivers.

He told ESPN:

“I am not just talking to five drivers but actually to everyone who does not have an F1 contract. I have been speaking with Nick Heidfeld (now confirmed as Mercedes’ reserve driver) and also with Takuma Sato, Christian Klien and Romain Grosjean, amongst others.”

“I am looking for talent first and foremost, but then after that I do need to consider the sponsorship opportunities; people say we are only looking at Petrov because he is bringing a lot of money, but he is not the richest driver we are talking to.”

So I was right in saying that Renault were interested in Klien, Sato and Grosjean. But, none of these 4 have really proved themselves. Klien seems to be pushed aside a lot, and tends to go as test driver. Sato is a bit dangerous for a team that wants to distance itself from crashing (owned!!). And Grosjean does deserve another chance, but I doubt that anyone will offer it to him.

Petrov has shown form in the GP2 series, but possibly not enough of it. This may leave Renault in a tough spot. If they wanted proper talent, they should have gone for Heidfeld while he was still there. Fisichella is still in the market, however.

At the end of this, however, I still think Renault will sign Petrov. MegaFon (who sponsor Renault) are underdstood to have interest in the Russian, he has huge backing behind him, and the GP2 guys always deserve a chance.