Formula 1 2010 takes shape

December 4, 2009

Time for Peter Sauber to light up another cigar

The announcement from the FIA that they have written to BMW Sauber confirming that they will replace the departing Toyota team and take the final, thirteenth, place on the grid is great news and evidence that we may be entering a new era of common sense – let’s hope so. The possibility of Peter Sauber’s team (as it was and will be again) not being on the grid would have been a travesty, and although BMW’s failure to sign the Concorde Agreement earlier in the year means that the team would not reap the benefits of their 2009 performance, it appears that some kind of deal has been formed to allow the team to operate on a financially sensible basis.

The announcement of the transition of Manor to Virgin Racing is not a surprise given the various leaks that occurred earlier in the year, but it is nonetheless welcome. I thought the use of Virgin Racing as the brand, rather than Virgin Grand Prix or Virgin F1 is a clever move as it provides more flexibility for where they could go with it in the future – perhaps boats, balloons, planes or even space craft?

The final piece in the jigsaw is Renault. All the signs are pointing to the likelihood of Renault selling the F1 operation with David Richards’ Prodrive the most likely buyer, with the team morphing into Aston Martin at some point. The engine position is less clear and so Renault may remain as an engine supplier, as I’ve suggested in earlier posts – or alternatively may sell the naming rights to Red Bull, or even McLaren. So F1 has lost Ford, Honda, BMW, Toyota, and possibly Renault, and we now have Ferrari, Mercedes and possibly Aston Martin – it’s not all bad is it?

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