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 Post subject: Re: 2010 Season Discussions: Driver Line-ups, News and Misc
PostPosted: 12 Dec 2009, 19:18  
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I seriously doubt it. If Kimi goes to Red Bull, Webber won't go to Merc.

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 Post subject: Re: 2010 Season Discussions: Driver Line-ups, News and Misc
PostPosted: 12 Dec 2009, 21:52  
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di Montezemolo: Massa is Ferrari's inspiration
By Matt Beer, autosport

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Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has urged his team personnel to use Felipe Massa's swift recovery from injury as their inspiration to bring the Scuderia back to the top next season.

Addressing the staff at Ferrari's traditional Christmas lunch at Fiorano today, di Montezemolo admitted that this year's F60 had been a poor car, but said the team should take heart from the determination with which Massa had battled back to full fitness after his serious head injury

"This has been a very bad year, not up to Ferrari's usual standard," said di Montezemolo. "There were several reasons, but we have a history and a culture of not looking for excuses.

"None of us is happy with the ways things went: we were hardly ever competitive enough to fight for the win and that is not our style. However, every one of us has the will and the ability to react and get back, not just to being very competitive, but also to winning.

"The symbol of our desire to fight back is really Felipe, who knew how to deal with a very difficult and dramatic situation and all of us can take that as our example next year."

Massa expressed his gratitude to the Ferrari team members for their support during his recovery.

"I want to thank each one of you for your support after the accident," he said during the event. "What happened to me this year was unbelievable and I took so much strength from you to recover as quickly as possible.

"The heartfelt warmth I felt from Ferrari is something I will never ever forget as long as I live. I assure you that my determination to get back on track and to win has never been this strong."

Di Montezemolo is confident that Ferrari's 2010 pairing of Massa and Fernando Alonso will be able to make up for the team's 2009 frustrations.

"We will have a great driver pairing," he said. "We know Felipe well and we know how much he wants to make up for this year. Fernando Alonso joins Ferrari at the best possible time for him and for the team.

"We will have a strong and determined team, which has proved it can react when the going gets tough, made up of skilled people who really want to win again. I thank you in advance for your efforts, while the congratulations will have to wait for next year."

The team president also paid tribute to former driver Kimi Raikkonen, who lost his seat to Alonso and is switching to the World Rally Championship.

"I'm sorry he's not here today," said Montezemolo. "All the same, I wish to thank him on behalf of all of us for what he achieved in his three years with Ferrari.

"He staked his place in our history by winning the title in his first season, which was partly thanks to help from Felipe, to whom he repaid the compliment the following year. And in this difficult season just gone, he managed to score our only win of the year. I wish him the very best for the future."

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 Post subject: Re: 2010 Season Discussions: Driver Line-ups, News and Misc
PostPosted: 12 Dec 2009, 23:45  
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phil1993 wrote:
I seriously doubt it. If Kimi goes to Red Bull, Webber won't go to Merc.
Will see...But Red Bull promote Kimi at Citroen and the contract of Mark end at 2010 (end of season). :)
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 Post subject: Re: 2010 Season Discussions: Driver Line-ups, News and Misc
PostPosted: 13 Dec 2009, 07:36  
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Trulli 'signs 3 year Lotus deal'

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Reports state that Jarno Trulli has confirmed a 3-year contract with the Lotus team, due to start in 2010. With the 1Malaysia-backed squad set to announce its plans for next season on Monday, the Italian's association has long since been predicted due to his previous working relationships with Technical Director Mike Gascoyne.

Having made his Formula 1 debut with Minardi in 1997, Pescara's Trulli has since driven for Prost, Jordan, Renault and Toyota, the latter of which he has spent the last five full seasons with.

With the Japanese manufacturer now out of the sport, however, The Associated Press reports that Trulli has confirmed a 3-year pact with Lotus, due to be announced on Monday.

Team Principal Tony Fernandes has already confirmed that both drivers are signed, with Autosport predicting that either Takuma Sato or former McLaren man Heikki Kovalainen are the most likely candidates for the second seat. Malaysian Fairuz Fauzy, World Series by Renault runner-up this year, is hotly tipped as reserve driver.


In depth with Nick Heidfeld

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Quote:
Everyone is waiting to see whether Michael Schumacher really will make his comeback with Mercedes, but perhaps nobody is quite as keen for an early answer as Nick Heidfeld.

Robert Kubica remains an outside bet for the second Merc seat, but only if a change of ownership at Renault triggers a contractual breach that allows him to walk away. The consensus is that Heidfeld is the man most likely to partner Nico Rosberg, should Schumacher not get the drive.

Heidfeld is a logical choice for the role, given his experience and his own long-standing Mercedes connections. It's easy to overlook the fact that more than a decade ago he was strongly supported by the Stuttgart marque, and as a McLaren test driver, he seemed certain to one day race a silver car. He may finally get that chance in 2010.

If it happens inevitably Heidfeld will be widely regarded as something of a poor substitute not just for Schumacher, but for Jenson Button and even Rubens Barrichello. There's no escaping the fact that he has yet to win a grand prix, and as such, it's all too easy to pigeonhole him as a journeyman or solid number two who will bring the car home.

That's probably a little unfair, given that he's never really had a genuine race winning car. On the odd occasion in 2008 the BMW Sauber could perhaps be described as such, and had they swapped strategies it might have been Heidfeld and not Kubica who won in Montreal.

Aside from that, he's always been in cars that were points contenders at best. And more often than not he's been alongside very strong team-mates, including Jean Alesi, Kimi Raikkonen, Felipe Massa, Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Mark Webber, Jacques Villeneuve and Kubica – all of whom have been race winners. Aside from 2008, when he struggled against the last named with the F1.08, he's held his own against them.

It's interesting to note that Heidfeld made his GP debut in Australia 2000, on the same weekend as Button. Before 2009, their careers followed similar trajectories, until JB finally got himself a winning car. There's a case for arguing that, allowing for team-mates and the relative performances of the cars they had over that time, Heidfeld did at least as good a job as Button up to 2008. He's now logged 12 podiums, often achieved against the odds in extremely difficult conditions. And don't forget, he won the German Formula 3 and FIA Formula 3000 titles. So could he yet develop into a regular race winner, given a quick car next year?

Of course the debate over Heidfeld's future would probably be academic had BMW not announced its withdrawal back in July. Mario Theissen couldn't get through to tell him the bad news, and thus Heidfeld found out from a BMW press officer just minutes before the official announcement.

"It was a shock, it really was, because it was unexpected," he says. "After Honda pulled out there were a lot of rumours about certain teams maybe pulling out, and I obviously tried to get some background information about my team. I always did get positive feedback, [and was told] we will continue. It shows you I was worried, and was checking.

"When I got the call it was very extreme, and it took quite a while to let it sink in. Not only for me but especially for all the team members the timing was very hard, because it was just before the summer break, when everybody was on holiday or at least not in the factory. So we had weeks and weeks without knowing exactly what was going on.

"I think it was a very short-term decision, it's not like it was decided weeks before. It just happened. For me as a racing driver, of course I say it was not the right decision, as they came into F1 with the clear intention to win or fight for the championship. Apart from the beginning of this year, I think there are not many teams who can say they came and moved up so steadily.

"But of course in the current situation worldwide, with the financial crisis and so on, and the other reasons behind like they want to make BMW greener, these are all reasons which make sense to them. Otherwise they wouldn't have decided to pull out."

Matters were not helped by the poor start the team made to 2009. After being on the fringes of the title fight the previous year, BMW was often struggling at the back of the field in the first half of the season.

"Honestly I expected more from this year. Our target was to fight for the world championship, and we were very outspoken about that after we had made good progress in the previous years. And in the winter time I also thought we had a good car. And I still believe that we had a reasonable car, although probably not as good as we thought.

"The big problem was that until the first race and especially during the first four races there were no new parts coming, and everybody stuck a lot of downforce on their cars. And that's when we fell back even more. After that we were playing catch up. It worked, but it took its time. We didn't have a double diffuser, and we were one of the last teams to introduce one. I think that was the biggest downside."

The other big story at BMW was KERS. Unlike McLaren and Ferrari, the team didn't get on top of the technology. The Munich system was eventually shelved in a desperate effort to salvage something from the season.

"KERS was also a downside, because at the beginning of the year when I used it it was rather a disadvantage than an advantage. That's why we took it off. I still believe that at the time when the decision was made it was right, but we didn't manage to develop it well enough. The fact that McLaren and Ferrari were using it frequently, and Renault from time to time, showed you that there was some potential there.

"There's one upside, if you have it working and restoring the energy properly. Even Mercedes had problems with that, to get the energy in, and you also have to get the energy out, and it's not as easy as it looks on paper. On top of that you have the packaging, the space that it takes away where you might lose some downforce.

"And we also had problems under braking in the way that it made the braking more inconsistent, more nervous. Then you have the higher centre of gravity, and you might face a problem of the weight distribution. So there are a lot of things that are negative for just one thing that might be positive. I was not always the most happy guy, having to use it..."

Even with a disappointing package, there were some positives. In the rain in Malaysia an opportunistic strategy saw Heidfeld finish second.

"In Australia I was hit in the first chicane, and the diffuser was finished. Malaysia was good, but it always can be better! It was great to be on the podium, but in hindsight you always think it could have been better if you'd done this or that decision. I think in this way only Timo [Glock] got it right, changing to inters. If I would have put inters on, I would have won it. It was a good choice that I stayed on wets, but on inters it would have been even better. But that's the way it was.

"Spain was a good one, because in Barcelona to overtake is very unlikely. Starting from P13 I had a great start, overtaking four cars at least, and then finishing in the points. Until then apart from Malaysia I think we had no points."

The middle of the season was a total disaster for both drivers, and there were many races where neither driver made Q3. Things began to get better later in the year – after the BMW announcement, ironically enough – but luck rarely went Heidfeld's way.

"There were races that were disappointing because you didn't get what you thought was possible. In the beginning of the year the car was not good enough anyway.

"Belgium was a good one, but not for the result. I had an easy chance to finish on the podium – if you look at the lap times I was one of the quickest, together with [Sebastian] Vettel, who was slightly quicker than me. But I started on the hard tyres, couldn't get them working, and just f***** up the first lap. [Jarno] Trulli hit me, Kimi [Raikkonen] went around the outside, which was apparently perfectly fine! Fifth was okay, but it could have been a podium.

"Monza was a bit disappointing because I had the engine failure there in qualifying. All weekend I was quite strong, in practice and the beginning of qualifying. In the end I finished in the points, but it could have been a lot better.

"In Singapore I would have started eighth with a good chance for points, and then I had to start last. In Japan I would have finished fourth. We had a problem in the pitstop where we lost two and half seconds, which is where Kimi got by. Otherwise I would have stayed ahead. Then Nico [Rosberg] went too quick under the safety car and got out in front of me, so I lost two positions for nothing."

The season finished with a respectable fifth in Abu Dhabi, behind only the Red Bulls and Brawns. Heidfeld finished ahead of Kubica in the championship, having beaten him seven times out of 17 in qualifying.

"You're never satisfied unless you destroy your team-mate, basically! I think it's better than last year, because last year I really struggled. It was for me the worst year that I can remember since starting with motorsport, to struggle that much. This year I've shown again that last year was a one-off.

"The other years in F1, and also this year, it looks good. Obviously when you're not on the podium frequently it's not recognised that much. But at some point if people start thinking about drivers, they start going into a bit more detail. Speaking to teams, I think they realise."

We talked before Mercedes became a serious option and Sauber's 2010 entry situation was resolved. But even a few weeks ago Heidfeld was bemused by the state of the driver market.

"It's amazing, it's an extreme situation. I doubt that it was like this before that so many seats are available. It's very late in the year, and normally by now there are maybe one or two seats free. I hope that I will get a very good drive for next year. The target is not only to be there, but to be in a proper team. I won't go into detail, but there are many teams I've been speaking to."

Sauber has to be a reasonable fall-back position, as he acknowledged: "I don't want to disrespect the other teams that will come into F1, but Sauber would be certain to have a good performance next year.

"I think the problems the team had at the beginning of the year did help in terms of learning from the mistakes, and hopefully they would not have happened again."

With a Ferrari engine and Peter Sauber once again at the helm of a 'leaner and meaner' outfit, it might not be such a bad place to be – but it's unlikely to field a winning car.

Thus Mercedes could be his last chance. The problem Heidfeld faces it that there are always new faces coming along, and after 10 years in the sport, he's running out of options.

"Well, the clock is ticking for everybody. I'm 32 now, and I guess Rubens is 37 or something. I'm not the old guy, I would say I'm somewhere in the middle and I still have a couple of years. But you're right, rather earlier than later.

"It's not a big drama. You want to win the title one day, but I'm long enough in F1 to know that just because you hope, and believe there's a good chance, that you can take it for granted. It's not like this in F1."

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 Post subject: Re: 2010 Season Discussions: Driver Line-ups, News and Misc
PostPosted: 13 Dec 2009, 12:05  
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Trulli & Kova to be Lotus drivers

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 Post subject: Re: 2010 Season Discussions: Driver Line-ups, News and Misc
PostPosted: 13 Dec 2009, 15:08  
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phil1993 wrote:
Trulli & Kova to be Lotus drivers

Correct

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 Post subject: Re: 2010 Season Discussions: Driver Line-ups, News and Misc
PostPosted: 13 Dec 2009, 18:10  
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PitPass has surpassed itself in terms of 'making sh!t up'

http://www.pitpass.com/fes_php/pitpass_ ... t_id=39673

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 Post subject: Re: 2010 Season Discussions: Driver Line-ups, News and Misc
PostPosted: 13 Dec 2009, 18:25  
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According to TS it is now certain that Trulli and Kovalainen will be announced at Lotus tomorrow.

Source: http://www.ts.fi/f1/uutiset/95760.html
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 Post subject: Re: 2010 Season Discussions: Driver Line-ups, News and Misc
PostPosted: 13 Dec 2009, 18:52  
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Eddie Jordan believes Michael Schumacher will return to the grid: "Michael needs Formula 1 more than Formula 1 needs Michael."

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 Post subject: Re: 2010 Season Discussions: Driver Line-ups, News and Misc
PostPosted: 13 Dec 2009, 20:39  
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According to F1 Virgin Racing to launch next week.

Source: http://www.formula1.com/news/headlines/ ... 10280.html
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 Post subject: Re: 2010 Season Discussions: Driver Line-ups, News and Misc
PostPosted: 14 Dec 2009, 08:33  
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Both Trulli and Kovalainen are been confirmed by Lotus now. Kobayashi still without a drive
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 Post subject: Re: 2010 Season Discussions: Driver Line-ups, News and Misc
PostPosted: 14 Dec 2009, 12:01  
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Lotus looks promising ;) Kobayashi deserves a drive for next year! He showed so much promise in the last two races he participated in. He does have some backing as well doesn't he? Gravity? Panasonic?
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 Post subject: Re: 2010 Season Discussions: Driver Line-ups, News and Misc
PostPosted: 14 Dec 2009, 12:16  
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phil1993 wrote:
PitPass has surpassed itself in terms of 'making sh!t up'

http://www.pitpass.com/fes_php/pitpass_ ... t_id=39673

:rofl:

I had to check the calendar for a moment. I thought it may have been April 1 already :lol:

But PitPass should really get into the fiction book writing business. It worked for J.K. Rowling.

I sincerely hope that Peter Windsor or Peter Sauber sign up Toshiba. He has to be one of the best rookies I've seen and if every F1 driver was like him F1 would be very exciting indeed!

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 Post subject: Re: 2010 Season Discussions: Driver Line-ups, News and Misc
PostPosted: 14 Dec 2009, 15:07  
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phil1993 wrote:
1. Jenson Button - McLaren
2. Lewis Hamilton - McLaren
3. Nico Rosberg - Mercedes
4. TBA - Mercedes
5. Sebastian Vettel - RB
6. Mark Webber - RB
7. Felipe Massa - Ferrari
8. Fernando Alonso - Ferrari
9. Rubens Barrichello - Williams
10. Nico Hulkennerg - Williams
11. Robert Kubica - TBA (Renault)
12. TBA - TBA (Renault)
14. Adrian Sutil - Force India
15. Vitantonio Liuzzi - Force India
16. Sebastien Buemi - STR
17. Jaime Alguersuari - STR
[18. Jarno Trulli - Lotus
19. Heikki Kovalainen - Lotus
20. TBA - Campos
21. Bruno Senna - Campos
22. Jose Maria Lopez - USF1
23. TBA - USF1
24. Timo Glock - Virgin
25. Lucas di Grassi - Virgin (TBC on Tuesday)
26. TBA - Sauber
27 TBA - Sauber

*Drivers to be announced on Monday
Sauber have many drivers in the running including Fisichella, Heidfeld, Klien, Kobayashi

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 Post subject: Re: 2010 Season Discussions: Driver Line-ups, News and Misc
PostPosted: 14 Dec 2009, 16:39  
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phil1993 wrote:
Trulli & Kova to be Lotus drivers

Ah thats good news :D

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