HRT sign Yamamoto as test driver
The HRT team have signed former Super Aguri and Spyker racer Sakon Yamamoto as the team?s official test driver and reserve race driver for the 2010 season. The Japanese will join race drivers Indian Karun Chandhok and Brazilian Bruno Senna.
"I am very pleased to be joining the HRT F1 Team,? said 27-year-old Yamamoto. ?It is fantastic to be part of a new team and I hope I will be able to gather useful data whenever possible on Friday for the race drivers.
?I have seen how committed everyone at the team is and I feel the same. I will be doing my very best to support Karun and Bruno this year. I'm proud to work with this Spanish team, because Spain is like my second home as I also live in Barcelona."
Yamamoto got his first taste of F1 racing in 2005, as the Friday test driver for Jordan at the Japanese Grand Prix. He continued racing in the Formula Nippon and Super GT series in 2006 but also earned a full-time F1 race drive with the Super Aguri F1 Team.
The following year he joined the GP2 Series while testing for Super Aguri and also racing for the Spyker F1 team from the Hungarian Grand Prix onwards. In 2008, he joined the Renault F1 team?s driver development programme while continuing to race in GP2 and the GP2 Asia series where he also continued competing in 2009.
"It's a great pleasure for us to have signed Sakon Yamamoto as our test driver and reserve race driver for the 2010 season,? said HRT team principal Colin Kolles. ?I am confident that his input into the development of our car will be useful and means another reinforcement of our team as the European season starts in Barcelona.
?We look forward to welcoming Sakon to the team and working closely with him. His addition makes HRT F1 Team one of the most international teams in the paddock."
So we're pretty sure that Epsilon-Euskadi has applied for a slot on the F1 grid next year, because there are news stories floating around in France that, if they get accepted, their car will be using a Renault engine.
That's good news. I hope they get it as they're a credible organisation led by Joan Villedelprat who has years of experience of F1. The Renault engine news is good too because it shows Renault's committment to the sport as a continuing engine supplier.
And the 'factory' team is doing all right at the moment with potential to go faster. I hope their team shirts this year look better than the ING lion which looks perpetually depressed.
On top of that, Renault has made some wise preperations to switch the factory team from a Renault factory outfit to a Lada/Dacia one. With a russian and a polish driver this could work great marketing-wise as eastern europe and russia is car-crazy and not infected by eco-nutjobs like western europe.
Imagine the net worth of the train that has to carry the cars and personnel of the teams back into Europe, eh? :lol:
McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said: "McLaren committed this morning to a charter plane for Wednesday to fly to Spain. We were the first to commit to that and have said that if it is a big enough plane then anyone else can come on board.
"We took the flyer and said that if it is half empty then we will bear the premium, so as long as we have got our team on it then we are happy for it to be full. I think some teams were hesitating this morning but they are now jumping on board pretty quick.
Crofty via twitter said:Second big news on drivers heading out of Spain. Kubica, Trulli & Fisichella, all joined Fernando in economy. Good on 'em
5LiveF1 F1's biggest names are all sat with us in Economy,
Liuzzi across the aisle from me and Kubica sat behind me!
5LiveF1 To be honest pretty much half the grid on the plane!
They'll probably find it pretty familiar. I think the driver space in the F1 cars have about the same space.