Daily Archives: March 4, 2010

Renault now sponsored by Lada

The Lada logo on the new Renault car

The Lada logo on the new Renault car

The Russian influence appears to have crept into Renault, with the news that prestiged (not) car maker Lada is to sponsor the team for 2010.

The Renault F1 team owns 25% of AvtoVAZ, which manufactures Ladas. Also, Renault driver Vitaly Petrov won championships in Ladas in 2002 and 2005. This all seems to be playing into Bernie Ecclestone’s hands, as a large Russian manufacturer going into F1 edges the sport further and further into a Russian Grand Prix situation. If you need any more confirmation, just look at the fact that only Vitaly Petrov’s overalls will have the Lada logo on it, and not Robert Kubica.

The chairman of Renault, Gerard Lopez, said:

"Through Mangrove Capital we have been actively investing in Russia
over the last years. We know the country well, we have a high degree
of appreciation for it and, as such, it is an honour for our F1 team
to spearhead Russia’s entry into the sport and to carry the Lada
brand at the highest level of world motorsport. We look forward to
an exciting and successful season together."

Pictures of the slightly less good looking Renault:

HRT F1 car launched, and Chandhok confirmed

The HRT 2010 car

The HRT 2010 car

The HRT Formula 1 team have unveiled their F1 car, and confirmed their second driver as Karun Chandhok, only 8 days before the season begins in Bahrain.

The car was entirely designed by Dallara. However, when getting the car, HRT then proceeded to do absolutely nothing in terms of an interesting livery. First of all, it’s grey and greyer. Then, there are no sponsors at all, apart from Bruno Senna’s sponsor Embratel. I’ll look forward to not seeing it at all in Bahrain, as hopefully the cameras will focus on something more interesting, and quite a bit quicker as well.

On a slightly nicer note, Karun Chandhok was revealed alongside the new HRT car as their second driver for the season. Colin Kolles had this to say about the Indian driver:

"I am very pleased to use the Murcia site to officially unveil our
car livery today. We also complete the driver's team line-up with
the Indian Karun Chandhok at the wheel of the car for our first ever

We have been very impressed with Karun's performance in GP2. India
is a great country. It will be great for the sport to have an Indian
driver on the grid for the first Indian Grand Prix. Murcia is part
of the roots of the team.

Everything is now in place after an impossible race against time to
register the team's name and I truly believe that we have an
excellent platform to build on and move forward for a strong 2010
performance. Now, we need to work together. We need to learn
together and keep developing as a team."

The team chairman, Jose Ramon Carabante, added:

"The new HRT F1 Team, Hispania Racing F1 Team is born in Murcia. I
am proud to welcome you in Murcia where the team has its roots and
to have given to my country the pride of the first ever Spanish
Formula 1 team.

The name of the team contains the word Hispania, which is not only
the name of one of my companies, but Hispania was also the Roman name
for the Iberian Peninsula. That reflects now our team's new identity.
2010 will be a major debut for the team and drivers at the wheel of
our HRT F1 Team car."

Karun Chandhok is also the latest driver to feature on Twitter. His profile is available here.

This signing also means that there are now no more seats to fill for the 2010 season, with only a few reserve places yet to be confirmed. The disallowance of Stefan GP means that Jacques Villeneuve is unable to race in 2010, alongside Jose Maria Lopez, who was without a drive after the collapse of USF1.

Video of the launch:

Pictures of the new HRT car (more will be added soon):