Tag Archives: Valencia

Renault set to unveil Petrov

Vitaly Petrov

Vitaly Petrov

Renault are ready to reveal Russian Vitaly Petrov as their second driver, alongside Robert Kubica, for the 2010 season.

He apparently had his seat fitting in Enstone yesterday, and signed his contract today.

The Russian is known to have around €10m in backing from sponsors such as Gazprom and the Russian government, who are keen to have their first Russian in Formula 1.

It seems, however, that there was more than sponsor backing that may have helped this deal. Gazprom, his main sponsor, is owned (50%) by the Russian government. It is understood that there was a deal between Gazprom, the Russian government, and Petrov, regarding the Renault seat. To give you an idea of how powerful Gazprom is when it comes to these negotiations, their little-known chairman from 2000 to 2008 was Dmitry Medvedev, who then became president of Russia. Why Gazprom is so interested in Petrov, I don’t know. However, it is rumoured that the Russian government and Bernie Ecclestone were (supposedly) looking for a Russian Grand Prix in the future.

But back to Petrov. He finished 2nd in the GP2 championship last year, behind Nico Hulkenberg. He may be good, but he certainly is nowhere near as good as Hulkenberg, in my opinion. Having said this, it’s good to see him given a chance. Kubica will almost certainly beat him, but that’s not the point, as it will be his first year, and it’s only an indicator of how good he will be in the future.

Also, I hear that he will be a great addition to the paddock. Unlike so many other PR robots in F1, Petrov speaks his mind and has a wicked sense of humour.

Petrov will probably be unveiled tomorrow, at Renault’s launch of their 2010 R30 car in Valencia.


Valencia testing line-up

Formula 1 testing last year

Formula 1 testing last year

The schedule for February testing is close to completion. The 4 tests will take place in Valencia and Jerez, and the drivers taking part are nearly fully announced.

The first Valencia test will be as follows:


Monday: Gary PAFFETT
Tuesday: Lewis HAMILTON
Wednesday: Jenson BUTTON

Mercedes GP

Monday: Nico ROSBERG (morning) & Michael SCHUMACHER (afternoon)
Tuesday: Nico ROSBERG
Wednesday: Michael SCHUMACHER


Monday: Felipe MASSA
Tuesday: Fernando ALONSO
Wednesday: Fernando ALONSO


Monday: Pedro DE LA ROSA
Tuesday: Kamui KOBAYASHI
Wednesday: Pedro DE LA ROSA


Monday: Rubens BARRICHELLO
Tuesday: Rubens BARRICHELLO
Wednesday: Nico: HÜLKENBERG


Monday: Robert KUBICA
Tuesday: TBC
Wednesday: TBC

Toro Rosso-Ferrari

Monday: Sébastien BUEMI
Tuesday: Sébastien BUEMI
Wednesday: Jaime ALGUERSUARI

Not attending:

– Campos-Cosworth
– Force India-Mercedes
– Lotus-Cosworth
– Red Bull-Renault
– US F1-Cosworth
– Virgin-Cosworth

Virgin VR-01 to launch online on Wednesday

Virgin Racing

Virgin Racing

Virgin Racing have announced that they are to launch their car online, on their team website, on Wednesday 3rd February.

The car, to be called the VR-01, will make its track debut at the second Valencia test.

Virgin have called it an “all-digital” launch, to coincide with the fact that they are only using Computer Fluid Dynamics (CFD) as opposed to normal wind tunnels.

The car will be launched at 10:00 GMT. Hopefully they have more server capabilities than Ferrari, whose site was overrun when they launched their F10 last Wednesday.

I have added this to my list of launches on the F1 2010 page.

First picture of Williams FW32

Autosport has revealed the first picture of the new Williams FW32. For copyright resaons, I can’t reproduce the photo on this site, but you can view the photo here.

Nico Hulkenberg gave the car a shakedown today, before the F1 tests begin in Valencia on 1st February.

Sam Michael, the Williams technical director, said of the FW32:

“The FW32 is a clean-sheet design from front to back. It’s pretty much brand new from an aerodynamic point of view.”

“The fact that we had a consistent car across all of the tracks in 2009, and wiped out a lot of the vices that we had in the previous car, gives us confidence.”

Rubbish, as far as I can see. The nosecone looks to be higher, and the bargeboards have been hightened. Apart from a revised engine intake vent, it looks exactly the same to me.

Also, this is not the livery that Williams will be using. I’m not sure about the colour scheme, but there will be more sponsor logos on it when the Valencia tests begin.

Renault R30 fired up for first time

The Renault R30 has been fired up for the first time, as the team looks forward to their launch on Sunday 31st January.

Pictures have been supplied by Renault, but they do not show the new car, as it will be under wraps until the Valencia test.

On its official site, the Renault team said:

“The fire-up of a new car is always a symbolic moment. Not only does it reassure the engineers that the car’s systems are in good working order, it also gives everybody a big morale boost. The sound of that V8 engine revving away was pretty sweet for everyone who played a part in getting it ready on time.”

Pictures from the engine fire-up:

Renault, McLaren and Lotus announce launch dates

Circuit Ricardo Tormo (Valencia), where testing will start

Circuit Ricardo Tormo (Valencia), where testing will start

Three F1 teams today announced the release dates for their 2010 challengers: Lotus, McLaren and Renault.

McLaren’s MP4-25 will be released on the 29th January in the UK (no specific location yet).

Renault will show off their R30 on the 31st January, the same date as BMW Sauber. Their launch will take place in Valencia, which hosts 3 days of testing the day after this launch.

Meanwhile, the new team Lotus, have announced their release date to be February 12th. They will miss the first 2 (out of 4) testing sessions, but will start to test the car at the third test, 17th February, in Jerez, Spain.

Meanwhile, Toro Rosso have confirmed there will be no launch of their car. Their STR5 will, however, appear at all the tests, starting 1st February.

No launch for Williams FW32- and first Williams picture of Barrichello

Williams have announced that they are not to hold an official launch for their 2010 car, the FW32.

Instead, the car will make its debut on the 1st February, at the first test day, in Valencia. However, USF1, Lotus and Red Bull have already announced that they are not to appear at the first test.

After the failed plan for a joint launch in Valencia, some teams have decided to skip “launch season” and go straight to testing.

Also, Rubens Barrichello has been pictured for the first time in the Williams outfit. For copyright reasons, I can’t copy the picture onto this site, but you can see the picture here.

Schumacher impressed by Mercedes

Michael Schumacher visiting the Mercedes GP factory in Brackley

Michael Schumacher visiting the Mercedes GP factory in Brackley

Michael Schumacher has said that he is impressed by the work of the people in Mercedes. He visited the Brackley factory for 2 days this week, as part of getting to know the team before the season starts.

He had visited the team factory in December also, as part of finalising his deal to drive with them next year.

On his personal website, he wrote:

“I have been in the factory in Brackley now for two days and spent the time to get to know the engineers and the structures a bit better, and I am extremely positive surprised about how motivated everbody was. This a world champion team but it does not seem to be spoilt by success at all; it seems to be hungry for more instead!”

The trip marked the start of his serious work with the team, as they prepare for the 2010 season.

“It is important for me to be informed about everything and it was very interesting to get to understand the engineers and their structures and the way they work. I was there already around the time of the signature of the contract and learned a lot, now I have seen much more about the team.”

Schumacher was also impressed by the many German-speaking people who worked at the factory. This will surely help him adapt to his new team.

Mercedes are set to launch their car on the 1st February, in Valencia, with Nico Rosberg driving the car first. It is unclear when Schumacher will get to drive, but it will probably be the 2nd or 3rd February.