Alonso to join Piquet at Renault?
07 November 2007
According to British newspaper The Guardian Fernando Alonso is close to sign for his comeback at Renault. He was close to sign a deal with Renault on Tuesday evening to join the team for at least two seasons. His team-mate would be the team's current test and reserve driver Nelson Piquet jr.
Both the Spanish and British media are in heavy speculations where to see Fernando Alonso race in 2008. The Spaniard left McLaren at the end of the 2007 Formula 1 season and is now negotiating a new deal for next season with Renault according to The Guardian. According to this British newspaper he will be joined by Nelson Piquet jr. as Giancarlo Fisichella has been told there is no place for him next season. This could be the end of Fisichella's Formula 1 career.
The return of Fernando Alonso at Renault could be made possible with the help of Telefonica, the Spanish mobile phone network. But the company would insist to see Alonso race at Renault for at least two seasons, something Alonso wasn't interested in at first.
An official announcement is expected later this week.
Latest rumours are Alonso and Ross Brawn heading to Red Bull. Now they could send Webber to McLaren then, which would be cool.....but I had a better idea.
David Coulthard goes back to McLaren, it is most likely his last season. He can assist Hamilton in set-up and race-craft in an Alex Wurz kind of role. Gets along very very well with the McLaren team, and they can give him "equal treatment" because he won't be as fast as Hamilton. Hamilton continues his F1 education, Coulthard gets a competitive car for his last year and McLaren gets a stable team structure.
As for Red Bull, what a team. Ross Brawn running the show, Adrian Newey designed car and Alonso and Webber driving the cars!!!!
Liuzzi and Klien to test for Force India
Saturday, 10, November, 2007, 11:44
Former Red Bull prot?g?s Tonio Liuzzi and Christian Klien will test for the newly-renamed Force India team at Barcelona next week.
Both are searching for a race seat next season and will run on Wednesday and Thursday in the Silverstone-based squad?s 2007 F8-VII car alongside regular racer Adrian Sutil.
Sutil is the only driver confirmed in the team?s 2008 line-up so far, so the two-day test run will give both Liuzzi and Klien a chance to stake a claim to partner the young German.
Force India will begin its preparations for its first season with its contracted test drivers Roldan Rodriguez and Giedo van der Garde at the wheel of the two chassis on Tuesday.
The F8-VIIs, fitted with the new-for-2008 standard FIA electronic package, will run in new burgundy red and white interim livery, replacing previous owner Spyker?s distinctive orange colour scheme.
The test will reunite Liuzzi and Klien after the pair shared a seat at Red Bull Racing in 2005 after they had each been backed on the road to to Formula 1 by the energy drink firm.
Both remained in the Red Bull family into 2006, with Klien given the nod to keep the drive full-time at RBR while Liuzzi was farmed out to junior outfit Toro Rosso.
However Klien split with RBR three races before the end of that season after finding out that his old Jaguar team-mate Mark Webber would be replacing him for 2007 and then turning down the energy drink firm?s offer to drive for its Champ Car team.
He resurfaced as Honda?s third driver for 2007 and had hoped to land a race seat at the Brackley squad for 2008 ? but it opted to retain its current line-up.
The Austrian was also in the frame to replace Christijan Albers at Spyker mid-way through last season after completing a test for the team, but the then Dutch-owned outfit opted for Sakon Yamamoto.
Liuzzi meanwhile left Toro Rosso following last month?s Brazilian Grand Prix and was linked with the second drive at Williams until Kazuki Nakajima was handed the seat earlier this week.
Toyota exile Ralf Schumacher has also been linked with the second drive at the Vijay Mallya co-owned Force India team.
Sutil: I?d love to team up with Lewis
Wednesday, 14, November, 2007, 13:28
German hotshoe Adrian Sutil says he would relish the chance to race alongside Lewis Hamilton in the same team for the second time in his career ? but this time in a Formula 1 McLaren.
Sutil partnered Hamilton in the Mercedes-backed ASM Formula 3 Euroseries team in 2005, finishing runner-up to the Briton in the championship, and the pair are close friends.
The identity of the second McLaren driver for 2008 following Fernando Alonso?s departure remains unclear.
The Woking team?s prime targets are believed to be Nico Rosberg and Heikki Kovalainen, but Williams has just reconfirmed Rosberg while McLaren and Renault (Kovalainen?s team) are currently at the centre of F1?s latest spy scandal.
It?s therefore not inconceivable that McLaren could go for a left-field option like Sutil, paying Force India (formerly Spyker) to release him from his 2008 contract.
The 24-year-old showed impressive speed, if also a few rough edges, in his rookie season.
Sutil admits it is a long shot for next year, but says he would grab the opportunity to gauge himself against Hamilton again with both hands.
?I would love to be driving with Lewis again,? he told the Daily Telegraph.
?Maybe some time in the future. But next year would be good...?
Although he is targeting a move to a more competitive team in the near future, Sutil stressed that he is grateful to the opportunity Spyker/Force India has given him.
?I?ve had a very nice season working with this team, and I?m glad that I have a drive for next year, when a lot of drivers are still looking,? he said.
?We may not have so much money as some of the other teams, but everybody here is motivated.
?We have some really talented people and they work very, very hard. It has been a very good team to start my F1 career.?
Force India to decide driver line-up after Jerez test
14 November 2007
The Force India Formula 1 team will reveal its driver line-up after the team completes its three-day test session in Jerez next month GPUpdate.net can reveal exclusively. The team is currently testing in Barcelona with five different drivers and it is very likely two of them will be chosen to become the team's official race driver.
The Force India Formula 1 team is one of the few teams that has yet to confirm its full driver line-up for the upcoming 2008 Formula 1 season. At Circuit de Catalunya the team is testing Roldan Rodriguez, Giedo van der Garde, Adrian Sutil, Christian Klien and Vitantonio Liuzzi in the car.
Speaking about next year's driver line-up Force India team boss Colin Kolles told GPUpdate.net: "We are looking for the best option for next year. Everybody has equal chances and gets a fair test. The team has to make the right decision for the future, to make next season more successful. We will test in Jerez, but we can't make any announcements yet about the drivers that will be testing with us in Jerez. After Jerez though we will make a decision and confirm our driver line-up.
"We plan to make quick decisions, so we know in which direction we should move. It's better to have the driver line-up in an early stage and not in March for example. I don't know if it will be two or three weeks after Jerez, but it will be after the test and as soon as possible."
CRB frees Glock to race for Toyota
Friday, 16, November, 2007, 16:17
GP2 champion Timo Glock will imminently be confirmed as a Toyota race driver for 2008, according to Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport.
BMW Sauber and Toyota have been involved in a tug-of-love over Glock?s services, with Formula 1?s Contract Recognition Board having to arbitrate after BMW claimed that a deal he had signed with Toyota for next season conflicted with his existing contract as a test driver for the Hinwil-based team.
The CRB has now cleared Glock to race for Toyota and an announcement is expected at a motorsport event in Tokyo next week.
Jarno Trulli has already been confirmed as part of Toyota?s race line-up, although his contract is thought to be less than cast-iron as the Japanese manufacturer hasn't given up hope of luring Fernando Alonso, who is on the market following his departure from McLaren
Toyota signs Kobayashi as third driver
Friday, 16, November, 2007, 11:44
Toyota has announced that Kamui Kobayashi will replace Franck Montagny as its third driver in 2008.
The 21-year-old Japanese driver has been associated with Toyota since 2001 and is a product of its young driver development scheme (TDP).
Kobayashi has competed in the Formula 3 Euro Series for the past two seasons, finishing fourth in the championship in 2007 with one race win, and had his first F1 test with Toyota last December.
?The TDP scheme has been very supportive of me during my career and I am very grateful for all that support,? he said.
?This is a great challenge for me and I am very excited about becoming a Formula 1 driver.
?Since the start of my career I have dreamed of reaching Formula 1 and to have the chance to join Panasonic Toyota Racing as third driver is a fantastic opportunity for me.
?My first tests for the team last winter went well but I still have things to learn about Formula 1 and it will be a great experience for me to test more regularly for the team.
?The role of third driver is very important as I will be helping a lot with the development of the car throughout the year.
?I am sure I will learn a lot about Formula 1 cars and hopefully this will help me in my future career but for now I am focused on helping the team move forward.?
Toyota team boss Tadashi Yamashina added: ?I am very pleased to welcome Kamui to the team.
?He tested the car last winter and showed he had the potential to drive in Formula 1 in the future.
?Now, after another season gaining experience in Formula 3, we believe he is ready for the challenge of Formula 1.
?It is also very gratifying to see the TDP scheme delivering results and helping a promising young driver to reach Formula 1.?
Another TDP graduate, Kazuki Nakajima, recently secured a race seat with Williams-Toyota for next season.
16 November 2007 - 8:44AM
Loyal to the team Webber to stay with Red Bull
MARK Webber has quashed rumours of a departure from Red Bull, saying he will drive with the improving formula one team again in 2008.
Webber's position at the team has come under the spotlight after former World Champion Fernando Alonso resigned from McLaren, with some critics suggesting Alonso would go to Red Bull in a three-way swap with Heikki Kovalainen and Webber, which would see Webber go to Renault and Kovalainen to McLaren.
But Webber told The Queanbeyan Age he was going nowhere in 2008.
"I'll be driving at Red Bull next year.
"It will be nice to be in the hunt next year, and if we can start the season the way we finished it we will be doing well.
"We need to try and get some bullet-proof reliability in our car and just focus on some of the basics."
The Queanbeyan-born Webber declared his third place at Germany in July as "very special."
He said getting the result on the back of his own strong driving made it a lot easier to celebrate.
"You will always take the results, but when you get them through other people's failures it can put a little dampener on them.
"It was really good to get it on my terms and my driving."
In contrast, Webber said the crash at Fuji, Japan was his lowest point for the season.
Webber was in second place at the time and closing on leader Lewis Hamilton when he was shunted by rookie Sebastien Vettel.
"It's like getting coat-hangered walking off the pitch at half time of a football game.
"That cost us everything that day, and it was particularly tough for me."
Despite being forced to retire in seven of his 17 races this season, Webber was pleased with the progression Red Bull had made.
"Personally I was very happy with how I drove, and even though it didn't reflect on the scoreboard, I was pleased with the progress our team made this year.
"But no one likes to be involved in cars struggling with reliability - it's very frustrating."
Webber is back in Australia preparing for the annual Mark Webber Challenge, which this year has attracted some of the world's best athletes. Three Australian Olympians - Michael Klim, James Tomkins and Tatiana Grigorieva - are among 60 competitors in the seven-day challenge in Tasmania.
Webber said despite some blisters and a few aches and pains, he was looking forward to challenging his body across some of Tasmania's most difficult terrain.
why not. at least with McLaren even though he might not get emotional support, he will get equal equipment. With Renault he will get a strict #2 and occasionally an inferior car to Alonso.
Well that's still better than Renault because at Renault he will occasionally get a car worse than Alonso's on top of that #2 status plus he won't be allowed to race Alonso. Whatever you may say about McLaren they have always allowed team mates to race. At least with McLaren he will be given the same equipment as well. Staying at Renault with Alonso as Flavio's Golden Boy is suicide for Heikki's career.Not when the first driver is Macca's "golden boy"... he stated that he will be given no.1 status at McLaren in 2008 no matter what the other driver says.
Makes you feel sorry for Piquet Jr.Well that's still better than Renault because at Renault he will occasionally get a car worse than Alonso's on top of that #2 status plus he won't be allowed to race Alonso. Whatever you may say about McLaren they have always allowed team mates to race. At least with McLaren he will be given the same equipment as well. Staying at Renault with Alonso as Flavio's Golden Boy is suicide for Heikki's career.
Toyota confirm Timo Glock for 2008
19 November 2007
The Toyota Formula 1 team today confirmed that Timo Glock will race for the Cologne based team in 2008 alongside Jarno Trulli. Glock was still under contract with the BMW Sauber F1 team, but after the Contract Recognition Board reviewed both his Toyota and BMW contract his Toyota F1 contract was found valid.
Timo, the reigning GP2 Series champion, has signed a multi-year contract at Toyota. It is uncertain though if Glock is allowed to test with the team in Jerez in the first week of December as the German is still contracted with the BMW Sauber F1 team. Toyota admitted already in a press release that the team hopes an agreement can be reached with BMW Sauber to allow him to test at Jerez on December 4-6.
Glock commented on his signing: "It's a great feeling to be a Formula 1 race driver again and I am really looking forward to this new challenge. I have worked hard over the past few years to get this opportunity and I must say I am grateful to Panasonic Toyota Racing for having faith in me.
"From what I have seen of the team at the track I am confident we will be able to work well together to move forward. Even though I have not raced in Formula 1 since 2004, I have tested quite regularly so I expect it will take very little time for me to get back in the groove.
"I have been lucky enough to race and succeed in several different championships in my career but my goal has always been to become a full-time Formula 1 race driver. I believe this experience has made me stronger as a driver and as a person."
Glock further more said: "Of course, to return to Formula 1 racing as GP2 Series champion is a real honour and we've all seen how well Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton have performed as champions so that is very encouraging. I hope I can also make a strong impression next season. Now I have achieved my goal of returning to Formula 1, my next target is to work towards making 2008 a successful season for myself and Panasonic Toyota Racing."