The F1 grid for 2010: the story so far

November 8, 2009

CIMG7354

So who will be in the Paddock in 2010?

The following table summarizes where we are now in terms of cars and engines for 2010 compared to my post on the subject in June this year.

June (FIA List) November Prediction
Ferrari/Ferrari
McLaren Mercedes/Mercedes
BMW Sauber/BMW
Renault/Renault
Toyota/Toyota
Toro Rosso/TBA
Red Bull Racing/Renault
Williams/Toyota
Force India/Mercedes
Brawn/TBA
Campos/Cosworth
Manor/Cosworth
Team US F1/Cosworth
Ferrari/Ferrari
McLaren Mercedes/Mercedes
Sauber/Ferrari
Renault/Renault ToroRosso/Ferrari
Red Bull Racing/Renault
Williams/Cosworth
Force India/Mercedes
Brawn/Mercedes
Campos/Cosworth
Manor/Cosworth
Team US F1/Cosworth
Lotus/Cosworth

This current prediction assumes that Toyota will not have a Brawn type rescue package – the reasons for this are primarily that the F1 operation is more integrated into Toyota’s motorsport and corporate operations in Cologne (it is located in ‘Toyota-Allee’) than was the case with Brawn and Honda, and therefore while Toyota may decide to sell various assets (including the 2010 design?) they would be unlikely to sell the operation off as a going concern. The indications from the team also suggest that there will be a reorientation into other motorsport activity and so some of the assets and workforce will be needed going forward.

I am also optimistic that Sauber will find a place on the grid – although this cannot be taken for granted at this point, it seems likely that Toyota will fully withdraw and Sauber will take their place to make thirteen teams. I am also hopeful that Renault will compete in 2010, this is in part as they have a budget and have made commitments to drivers (which Toyota had not). I suspect that they will be looking to sell all or part of the chassis operation during 2010.

So this just leaves the newcomers. The one which seems to be in most doubt (on the basis of rumours and press speculation) is USF1. The idea of designing and building a car in North Carolina is a brave one, and is not helped by the lack of a Grand Prix in North America and the apparent lack of a high profile US driver. The absence of news regarding driver contracts is also of concern, although, with the exception of Campos, who recently announced that Bruno Senna would drive for them in 2010, all of the newcomers have yet to confirm their driver line-up.

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