Marussia Virgin Racing have launched their car to take on the 2011 world championship in a lavish London ceremony.
The Marussia name now preceeds Virgin following a major tie up with the Russian sportscar manufacturer and the team at the end of 2010. It has led to the new car being designated as the MVR-02.
Designed purely by CFD last season, the VR-01 was largely disappointing mostly due to reliability issues, but the Cosworth powered team are hoping for better things this season. The new car is a clear advancement on last seasons machine, in a similar fashion to Team Lotus, the experience of a season with development has led to a much tighter overall package being produced.
The Virgin features a much lower front nosecone than we have previously seen, and there is also an interesting exhaust design at the rear of the car – whether that is forcing some form of blown aerodynamics at the rear end we do not know.
Nick Wirth, head of design at the team was clearly very happy with the new car, citing a serious gain in aerodynamic strength and reliability.
“Since the middle of year we worked on process, we calibrated how fast we had to improve and what did we have to work on,” he said.
“We have done a huge amount of development of physics and what we are doing to catch up with everyone.”
“The back of car is heavily regulated from last year, and we managed to take this car and not only catch up where we were, but go above it in terms of aero efficiency – in every single way this car is faster and better than last year.”
The car still retains its red and black paintwork, but this year has some white thrown into the mix to make quite a good looking machine. Various high profile sponsors including of course Virgin and Marussia, but also QNET and CSC have retained sponsorship with the backmarkers providing a good financial base.
Timo Glock will race the car for a second season alongisde promoted rookie Jerome D’Ambrosio who ousted 2010 racer Lucas di Grassi from the race seat.
Glock, 28, says he is hopeful of a big step forward this season.
“We want to grab points in first races and then work from there,” he said. “We are much more sorted out, more structured, we have one year experience so we should be on a good way.
“But we have to realistic, we were 3-4 seconds off the pace last year and you never catch 3-4 seconds in winter time, so we have to make some improvement and then move up.
“I am hoping for a realistic step. I am happy to do a proper step over the winter with the team together and be strong in first races. When you see back to lots of crashes and technical problems – that is where we struggled last year and that is where we have to be strong.”
Polish racing driver Robert Kubica will spend at least one whole year recovering from a rally crash he suffered this morning, according to his surgeon.
Kubica, who races for Renault Lotus crashed the Skoda Fabia rally car this morning and was airlifted to hospital suffering serious injuries.
He has spent many hours in surgery, with rumour speculating around the internet about his condition. However tonight, his surgeon has told reporters that he will spend 5 days in intensive care and will need at least one year to rehabilitate his right hand. His hand shattered in the accident, along with fractures to his right arm and leg.
Initially it was suspected the Pole could have his right hand amputated,however surgeons were confident they could save it. His doctor has now said it could take a week to decide if he will regain full functionality.
“We have to wait at least a week to see if his hand survives,” Professor Igor Rossello told Italian media, referring to the likelihood of a return to full functionality. He added that it could take a year for the Pole to be able to use his right arm again.
Racing drivers from around the world have been quick to send in messages of support, and Fernando Alonso has already flown in to visit Robert in hospital. Michael Schumacher is rumoured to be on his way to visit also.
Bruno Senna could well be drafted in to race as Renault Lotus’ spare driver in the short term at least. Whether the team decide to bring in another driver for the season is unknown.
We wish Robert Kubica all the best. Our thoughts and prayers are with him tonight.
UPDATE ON KUBICA’s CONDITION: http://wp.me/p3uiu-11K
Renault Lotus F1 driver Robert Kubica has been airlifted to hospital following a car accident while competing on a rally.
The incident, described as a high speed accident, left the Pole injured and he had to be airlifted to hospital. His co-driver Jakub Gerber was uninjured in the incident.
While he has remained conscious throughout the whole incident, the extent of Kubica’s injuries are as yet unknown. Reports are variable, with some suggesting he has fractured a wrist, while others say he has broken both legs. Speculation as ever with such incidents is rife.
Renault have released a minor statement, with a press conference that has been pushed back to 3pm GMT.
“Robert Kubica suffered an accident at high speed this morning while competing in the Ronde di Andora Rally,” a Renault statement said. “The driver was airlifted to Pietra Ligure Hospital, where he is currently undergoing medical checks. His co-driver is fine. [We] will issue another statement as soon as more information is known about Robert’s condition.”
Kubica is a well known Rally enthusiast, he and other drivers have competed in many events such as this one before. However with the incident potentially ruining the start, or all of his season perhaps drivers will now be banned from competing in such events by their employers.
We will get a post up as soon as the press conference is over this afternoon with more information. Right now though, our thoughts are with Robert.
This week FOM, the Formula One Management company run by Bernie Ecclestone, has announced it will be providing native High Definition Formula One coverage for the very first time. This heralds the entrance of the sport into the super clear broadcast territory.
High Definition television has been available for some time now in the United Kingdom, initially with the Sky satellite service, and then later with both Cable and free to air boxes and solutions. HD is said to reach over 25% of homes in the UK alone. Europe is playing catch up to the United States of America however, who have had a super high definition broadcast for many years.
While the UK is playing catch up to the USA, F1 is playing catch up to other sports. Soccer, Cricket and American Football are just three sports which are all regularly broadcast in the clear definition, which provides a stunning amount of clarity over a normal SD broadcast. For some reason, despite being one of the most commercially driven sports in the world, F1 was slow on the uptake to HD. That commercial edge is somewhat surprising.
It has to be assumed, that part of the reason why soccer made it onto HD so quickly was this commercialism. Consumers drove the change. With the number of advertisers on F1 cars and around the tracks, one would assume they would be “chomping at the bit” to get it into the greater clarity viewing. But alas not, and 11 years into the 21st century will be the first time we get to see it.
Perhaps it is the investment into equipment that FOM were struggling with. After all, the number of cameras needed for a decent HD broadcast at an F1 circuit would be huge. And think of all of the cameras on the cars too, one can only presume micro HD cameras will be installed for the new season. Indeed some are now calling for F1 to go the whole hog and invest into 3D coverage. While a lovely concept for the novel new viewing of television, there are an unbelievable number of pitfalls and problems surrounding the ability to broadcast such things – the technology really isn’t there yet.
Bernie Ecclestone had always said HD would only come to F1 when the broadcasters really demanded it. ”I said to the broadcasters, are you going to get more viewers, will more people watch F1 because it is HD or will less people watch it because it isn’t? They really need to have a check and see who has got the right televisions.
“I don’t think the average public realise that it is not the television, they have to have something to receive it as well. It is like producing a colour signal when people only have black-and-white sets.”
The decision however seems a good one. With both television companies and fans applauding the decision. Forums, and the popular micro-blogging service Twitter have been full of praise for the move. Some viewers have written that they will now be investing in HD receiving equipment in order to watch the new service. People without the ability to view HD should also see some improvement in the standard definition coverage, with BBC saying that their British SD channel viewers will receive a downscaled edition of the HD feed.
Brian Sullivan, CEO of Sky Germany, said: “The broadcast of Formula 1 in true HD is something that millions of racing fans in Germany, Austria and Switzerland have yearned for.” Meanwhile, Danielle Nagler, Head of BBC HD in Britain said “It’s fantastic news that FOM has decided to green light HD broadcasts, and we’re looking forward to sharing with the fans all the races in all their detail on BBC One HD and BBC HD.”
So far, confirmed broadcasters of HD F1 are:
- BBC – Britain
- Sky – Germany, Austria & Switzerland
- Network Ten: One HD – Australia
- Speed – USA
- Globo – Brazil
Narain Karthikeyan has made a surprise return to Formula One after being announced as one of Hispania HRT’s drivers for the 2011 season.
The Indian driver was unveiled as the first racer to be working with the Spanish based squad, who look likely to enter into a second season of racing despite on-going financial concerns. Karthikeyan first raced in Formula One with Jordan in 2005, before spending a brief time as a Williams test driver. He has also raced in Superleague and in Audi sportscars.
Team principal Colin Kolles said: “It is a great pleasure for us to have signed Narain Karthikeyan as our race driver for the 2011 Formula 1 World Championship.
“I have known Narain for a long time and he can revert to the experiences he gained when he was competing for Jordan Grand Prix and being test and reserve driver for Williams F1. Narain has also been driving in other racing series and running in one of the legendary Audi sportscars in the Le Mans Series.
“I am sure that his experience and speed will be very useful for the team during the season. We are welcoming Narain to our team and we look forward to working closely with him this year.”
HRT have yet to announce their second driver, but it will not be Karun Chandhok. He claims he declined the chance to race for the team. Sources also suggest that Bruno Senna will not be returning as he cannot find enough sponsorship capital. Nico Hulkenberg and Tonio Liuzzi are both linked to the seat with the minnows.
Ferrari have reshuffled their senior engineering team following a series of failures that saw them lose the 2010 Formula One World Championship at the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi.
One of the most senior Ferrari members called Fernando Alonso into the pits too early, forcing him to be stuck well down the field and handing Sebastian Vettel the title.
Chris Dyer, who worked with both Michael Schumacher and Kimi Raikkonen during their championship years has been ousted from the pit wall. His new role is as yet undefined.
Pat Fry steps into the team as head of race track engineering. Fry formerly worked for McLaren. Neil Martin also formerly of McLaren joins the team, working under chief designer Aldo Costa.
“The mistake was, in terms of magnitude, huge – and it produced devastating effects. But in a normal race it would have been a normal error,” Team principal Stefano Domenicali told Italian newspaper La Repubblica.
“So you must not jettison everything, even the good things, because of that mistake. We will change things and officially announce things in the coming hours – and we will make sure that those who make delicate decisions are able to have all the tools they need not to be wrong again.”
He added: “I will personally try to help the team from a psychological point of view as well, because the hardest penalty in a shoot-out is the one coming after you missed one.”
Williams CEO Adam Parr has rubbished rumours that Pastor Maldonado is simply racing for the Williams team as a “pay driver”.
Maldonado has joined the British based team alongside Rubens Barrichello, ousting popular German rookie Nico Hulkenberg. Speculation in the press had been that Maldonado could raise more sponsorship capital for the team and Hulkenberg, something Williams desperately needs as many of their main sponsorship deals come to an end in 2011.
“The guy just won the GP2 with a rookie team with more victories than anyone. The mere fact that we have to talk about it is absurd. It’s a shame, really,” Parr told motor21.com
Parr also had good words to say about former man Hulkenberg;
“I would like to see him at Williams again,” Parr explained.
“He has the dedication and the passion to be a great driver and I was so impressed with his maturity and professionalism.
“I hope he finds a position somewhere else but on the other hand I would like to maintain a relationship with him,” he added.
Russian driver Vitaly Petrov, who had an up-and-down season with Renault in 2010 has cleared up all speculation about his future following an announcement that he has secured a two yar race seat deal with the Lotus Renault team.
He raced with Renault last season, and will continue alongside popular Polish driver Robert Kubica as we approach the new year. Renault has been undergoing some changes recently, announcing a partnership with the Lotus Cars group meaning the team is now known as Lotus Renault. They will be running in classic John Player Special style liveries next year.
“We are very pleased to confirm that Vitaly will be staying with us for 2011 and 2012, in order that both he and the team can build on a promising 2010 campaign,” Team Principal Eric Boullier said.
“The entire team has been working flat-out over the past months to improve our competitiveness, and a stable driver line-up is essential to achieving our targets.
“Robert Kubica provides a remarkable benchmark for both speed and consistency, and we are certain that Vitaly will move closer to this level of performance next year.”
Team chairman Gerard Lopez said:
“Last season, he showed on several occasions that he clearly has the potential to deliver,” Lopez said. “It was just a matter of putting everything together during the same weekend, race after race, and this will be his target for 2011.”
Kimi Raikkonen and Adrian Sutil had been linked with the Renault seat.
Jerome D’Ambrosio has been confirmed as the second driver at the Marussia Virgin Racing team for the 2011 season.
The Belgian driver, who tested with both Virgin and Renault at the recent rookie tests in Abu Dhabi, will take over the race seat from ousted 2010 driver Lucas di Grassi. D’Ambrosio clearly did enough to impress the team during the test and as expected takes the race seat.
Timo Glock will race alongside Jerome at the team, which is now receiving backing from Marussia a Russian sportscar manufacturer.
Speaking about the deal, D’Ambrosio said: “I’m thrilled to have achieved my goal of a Formula 1 race seat with Marussia Virgin Racing.
“When I came to the team in September this year it was everything I could hope for. I had a tough test to complete because there was a lot of competition for this seat, but at the same time I got on well with the team and felt that I had found my home.
“I feel very comfortable with them – they are extremely professional and ambitious people and it is exciting to think that I can be a part of shaping the team’s future.”
Scuderia Toro Rosso have announced that they will be launching their 2011 Formula One car on February 1st.
The launch will take place at the Valencia Circuit on the day that official pre-season testing starts. Swiss based squad Sauber are also launching their new car at the circuit.
The Faenza based team will have Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastien Buemi driving for them once again.
Mark Webber believes that the recent changes in the ruling on team orders, changing them from being banned to being allowed, will not change anything in the sport.
The team orders ban had been in force for some time, but following Ferrari’s flagrant disregard for the rule at Hockenheim in 2010, speculation was to be that the rule needed to either be enforced or dropped.
Webber, of Red Bull Racing, has been at the forefront of “second driver” following his teams clear desire to support team mate Sebastian Vettel.
“Like they [team orders] never went!” said Webber during an interview with BBC Radio Five Live.
“Look, it is something that has been around since the 1950s, 1960s. It’s always been there, when you have got two drivers driving for a team and you swing results around every now and again to help the team achieve a better result.
“It has been done in the past, done up and down the field. I’ve done it myself at times and been on the receiving end.
“I think people should not get too nervous, they won’t see it every weekend, nothing is going to change.”
The FIA have today announced a range of new rules and regulations for the forthcoming seasons, the most notable of which being the new engine rules to take place from 2013.
The current 2.4l V8 engines, already disliked by fans, are being dropped in favour of 1.6l 4 cylinder engines with turbochargers. Reduced fuel flow, a rev limit of 12,000rpms and compulsory energy recovery systems are being placed into the engines from the start of that season. Formula One bosses have decided that being green and environmentally friendly is the most important thing, despite this being the one thing F1 fans said they did not care about in the most resent F1 fan survey. Clearly those surveys are a total waste of time.
Allegedly the new engines are said to be able to reach high power outputs but some fans have already begun voicing their concerns over the move. The cars will have a big boost pressure on the turbos to spool enough power, but the many are concerned that the engines will sound rubbish.
They are also limiting drivers to 5 engines per season, and gearboxes must last 5 races. The pitlane is being shrunk in width, it can be shut by the race director at any time too.
From next season the team orders ban is being dropped following the Hockenheimring incident of last season.
Lotus, the car company have unveiled their plans to team up with the former Renault Formula One team for 2011, under the name of Lotus Renault GP.
Group Lotus had already expressed a desire to return to Formula One, and following the Renault car company selling its stake in the F1 team back to Genii Capital, it allowed Genii to sell it on to Lotus.
Now at this point, you are probably very confused as Lotus are already in F1. Well, sort of. The Lotus team we have seen racing this season have been running under a name that they bought, they are not in any way affiliated with the Lotus Group who run the car company. This has led Dany Bahar, CEO of Group Lotus to begin court proceedings on Tony Fernandes who runs Team Lotus. Fernandes, the boss of Air Asia maintains that he will run his team in 2011 as Team Lotus, who will also be supplied with Renault engines. And just to make it more confusing, both teams are planning to run with classic black and gold John Player liveries. Excellent.
We aren’t going to get involved with who we think is right in this situation here on TheF1Fanatics Blog but we hope they sort it out as it is going to be mightly confusing next season for fans, commentators and drivers alike.
Dany Bahar told Autosport: “I can think of no better platform for automotive brand communications than motorsport and F1 is the very pinnacle of open-wheel racing.
“We’re well aware that there has been a lot of controversy around the usage of our brand in F1 and I’m delighted to be able to formally clarify our position once and for all: we are Lotus and we are back.”
Meanwhile, Gerard Lopez, chairman of Renault F1 Team and head of Genii Capital added: “We are delighted that we can now go public with the news that we will be racing as Lotus Renault GP in 2011.
“It is extremely exciting to begin a new era for the team in partnership with Group Lotus, and we will continue to enjoy a strong relationship with Renault over the coming seasons. It is a tribute to the excellent work this year by the team in Enstone that we have been able to attract both major sponsorship and new investment for a very bright future.”
Group Lotus have the rights to use their name with the Renault team until 2017.
Autosport have provided this mock-up of what the 2011 Lotus Renault GP car could look like.
Luca Badoer, the infamous Italian Ferrari test driver has resigned from his role with the team and will make a final appearance for the squad today.
Badoer became a household name in 2009, when he took over Ferrari race duties from Felipe Massa when the Brazilian recieved severe head injuries at the Hungarian Grand Prix. He underperformed in both races he competed in, indeed finishing last at Spa a race which was won by team mate Kimi Raikkonen. Following ridicule in the Italian press, he cancelled his come back and the role was given to Giancarlo Fisichella.
Badoer had been a tester alongside Fisichella and Marc Gene at the team, but will now leave after he shows off a 2009 Ferrari to the Bologna Motorshow.
Ferrari described the 13 year partnership with Badoer was “extraordinary”.
A new book being published by Mark Webber has revealed that the Australian drove the final four rounds of the 2010 season with a broken shoulder following another mountainbike incident.
Webber was one of 4 drivers in contention for the world championship last season, racing for Red Bull alongside eventual winner Sebastian Vettel.
An extract from the book, obtained by the BBC revealed:
“On the Sunday morning before (the Japanese Grand Prix weekend at) Suzuka, I got on a mountain bike for the first time since my accident in Tasmania at the end of 2008.
“I was riding with a great friend of mine. Suddenly, he crashed right in front of me and I had nowhere to go but straight through the ears of the horse! I suffered what they call a skier’s fracture to my right shoulder.
“Suzuka is a brutal track so it was a blessing that the Japanese weather gave me an enforced rest day on the Saturday (when qualifying was rained off), and a pre-race injection helped, too. In the end, we got through the weekend all right.”
The Sauber F1 team have announced that their 2011 car, the C30, will be launched on January 31st.
They are the first team to confirm their launch date. The Ferrari engined squad have already confirmed their two drivers for the 2011 season, in the form of fans favourite Kamui Kobayashi and new rookie Pastor Maldonado.
They have signed a sponsorship deal with Telmex, a major Mexican telecommunications company.
Red Bull Racing owner Dietrich Mateschitz has handed out all of the staff bonuses to his team following their double world championship victory this season, according to German newspaper Bild.
It has been estimated that the majority of the 500 staff in Milton Keynes were given £10,000 for their troubles over the season, while more senior staff earnt themselves a bonus of about £42,000 for their part in the victories.
World Champion Sebastian Vettel earnt himself around £2.6million for winning the world championship, on top of the extra sponsorship money and revenue he will now command following the championship victory. Proctor & Gamble have already signed a new sponsorship deal with the young German.
It is merely a drop in the ocean for owner Mateschitz, himself a millionaire, who is expected to receive about £62million in prize money for the championship wins. He has always maintained however that his wallet is not a bottomless pit when it comes to the budget for the team, they are estimated to have a middle ground budget of between €300million and €500million. Toyota were the top budget spenders in F1, but it is likely that Ferrari have regained the crown of the largest spenders in F1.
Fernando Alonso was the fastest man on the second and final day of the Pirelli tyre tests at Abu Dhabi.
The Spaniard, who came close to winning the 2010 World Championship, set a fastest time of 1.40.529. That was around a tenth quicker than second placed man Michael Schumacher who has clearly taken to the Pirelli tyres better than team mate Nico Rosberg.
World Champion Sebastian Vettel was third, while McLaren testers Gary Paffett and Oliver Turvey were 6th and 7th.
Pastor Maldonado, linked heavily with a 2011 Williams drive, was out for Hispania once again and finished in 14th place just ahead of Virgin’s Timo Glock.
Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m40.529s 105 2. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m40.685s 74 3. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1m40.825s 66 4. Rubens Barrichello Williams 1m41.294s 100 5. Robert Kubica Renault 1m41.614s 91 6. Gary Paffett McLaren 1m41.622s 46 7. Oliver Turvey McLaren 1m41.740s 30 8. Paul di Resta Force India 1m41.869s 35 9. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1m42.110s 43 10. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso 1m42.145s 97 11. Tonio Liuzzi Force India 1m42.416s 46 12. Sergio Perez Sauber 1m42.777s 46 13. Jarno Trulli Lotus 1m44.521s 83 14. Pastor Maldonado Hispania 1m44.768s 65 15. Timo Glock Virgin 1m44.783s 82
Various drivers had the opportunity to test the new Pirelli tyres today in the first test at Abu Dhabi. While only driving their 2010 machines, it will give them the chance to evaluate the new rubber from the Italian manufacturer.
Here’s what a variety of the drivers thought about the tyres following the test.
Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Racing):
“Given the short amount of time Pirelli had, I think they did a good job,” said world champion Sebastian Vettel, who set the second-fastest time of the day. “It’s a good start and it was good to be back in the car.
“You need to give the car a bit of time to adapt to the tyres. We need to work on the set-up, but I think it’s a common view that the tyres have behaved pretty well and probably better than a lot of people expected.”
Rubens Barrichello (Williams):
“I’ve been positively impressed,” said Barrichello. “The track is a little bit different because I think they polished the asphalt because of the Bridgestone rubber.
“I don’t think it’s time to make comparisons, but I thought it was positive. I did 42 laps in the morning and it was okay. They are different to Bridgestones and we need to keep learning. We could not expect a completely different tyre to work the same way. I quite like the challenge.”
Felipe Massa (Ferrari):
“The harder compound has a lot of degradation and it’s not as quick as I expected,” Massa said.
“As for the softer tyre, I was very happy with it. It’s quick, degradation is very good. I did long runs with both and the one I did with the softer tyre was very good, possibly better than what I had last Sunday in the race.
“Of course, again, they’ll have to work to improve the harder compound they brought here, but that’s what this test was all about. Pirelli saw what happened, listened to our suggestions and understood the situation.”
Robert Kubica (Renault):
“It’s difficult to compare because we had a race five days ago and the track has changed quite a lot due to the testing and the rubber that was laid down,” said Kubica. “I’m sure that the track grip is much better than it was in the race.
“This makes it difficult to compare them – there’s no point really in comparing them. There’s quite a big difference. It is always pretty interesting when you change tyres to feel the difference and make some set-up changes and stuff like this.
“It’s just to get an idea for next year’s car which characteristics will work best. We will never get track conditions with so much rubber on the race weekends, so actually I don’t think it’s so significant, this test. A lot of the young drivers had many sets of new tyres! Although the track was washed yesterday, I didn’t recognise it. It was like a different track.”
Nico Rosberg (Mercedes Benz):
“They’re at least similar [to Bridgestone's] or perhaps for worse for us at the moment”
“…In the big picture, they are pretty similar in the end to the Bridgestones, but if you are then looking for the fine tuning to extract the performance there is some way to go on adapting the set-up.
“At the moment, we have done the small things that you can do at the track but there are the bigger things that you need to take care of with the car development. That’s going to be one of the areas that are very important for success for next year.”
Felipe Massa was the fastest man on the first day of testing for the new Pirelli tyres.
The Brazilian driver was narrowly quicker than World Champion Sebastian Vettel.
Today wasn’t really about the times, it was about seeing how the new tyres coped on the cars, and seemingly they have worked rather well. No major problems for any driver, only a small puncture for Vettel at the end of the session which was due to track debris puncturing the tyre rather than a failure of the wheel itself.
Felipe Massa declared himself very happy following the test.
“It was a positive day to understand the way to go next year with a tyre that is quite different to the one we had in 2010,” said Massa. “We were able to see that direction quite quickly and we understood quite easily what the tyre required from the car and driver.
“But it’s also clear there are quite a lot of things to change for next year. Next year’s car will be quite different, of course, but today was positive and I’m pleased after working with Pirelli for the first time.”
Pos Driver Car Time Laps 1. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m40.170s 94 2. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1m40.500s 77 3. Gary Paffett McLaren 1m40.874s 94 4. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1m40.950s 83 5. Robert Kubica Renault 1m41.032s 39 6. Rubens Barrichello Williams 1m41.425s 91 7. Paul di Resta Force India 1m41.615s 20 8. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m41.778s 81 9. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso 1m42.019s 71 10. Adrian Sutil Force India 1m42.859s 20 11. Timo Glock Virgin 1m44.124s 78 12. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus 1m44.686s 88 13. Pastor Maldonado Hispania 1m45.728s 83
Pedro de la Rosa must secure sponsorship and financial backing of at least €10million to gain a race seat with the Hispania HRT team for 2011 it has been revealed.
The Spanish minnow team have been struggling financially throughout the last season, changing drivers repeatedly in order to maximise sponsorship potential. However, following a deal being cancelled with Toyota last week due to a lack of bill payment for technical information and assistance the future of the team looked bleak.
Owner Jose Ramon Carabante says that the team is safe and will continue with its partnership with Williams. However, he said that as much as he wants Spaniard De la Rosa to drive with the team, he must bring appropriate funding.
“Pedro wants to drive for the team, but he has to bring the sponsorship” Carabante told radio station Cadena Ser
“Without the money, sadly, we can’t find a place for him in the team. We cannot afford such a luxury. He must contribute at least €10million
“Someone like Pedro would be great for the team, because he could really develop the car and give us direction into 2012″ he added
The Renault F1 Team over on Twitter just posted up two pictures of a historic moment for modern Formula One. Photos of the final ever set of Bridgestone tyres being applied to a Formula One car. For now at least!
Bridgestone are leaving F1 to make way for Pirelli to become the sole tyre manufacturer in the premier racing series. The Japanese manufacturer have been working tirelessly since 1997 with the sport, through good times and bad times too. Their history was chronicled by this website a few days ago.
However these tweets have now come to light with the final tyres being applied to young test driver Jerome d’Ambrosio’s car as he took to the circuit for the final few laps of the Abu Dhabi “Young Driver” test series.
With thanks to the official Renault F1 Paddock Pass twitter feed for the images.
Mikhail Aleshin has told Autosport Magazine that he is certain and confident of securing a Formula One race seat for the 2011 season.
The Russian driver has been testing for Renault in the current two day young driver tests and was 6th yesterday, with a lot of his running being hampered with a hydraulic problem.
“We are aiming for a race seat next year,” he said
“I’m quite confident on this.
“We’re working on it for next year because it is very important for me. I had a good year in World Series, which is a very competitive series this year especially. Most people see it and understand how difficult it was to win this championship.”
Where he will drive is somewhat unknown. Speculation links him to a drive alongside Timo Glock at Virgin, with the Richard Branson backed outfit now securing significant funding (and a controlling stake) from Russian sports car manufacturer Marussia. Otherwise, who knows – there seem to be more drivers claiming race seats than there are available for 2011!