Official 2010 F1 Pre-Season Thread

Dr_Grip

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You are shitting me. This is the last thing we need. Now there is one car manufacturer left (Ferrari doesn't count).
We did quite well through all the eighties and nineties with no factory teams beside Fiat and the car manufacturers just providing engines to privateers. Back to the roots it is!

Regarding the new teams: With the malaysian government, a partly-government owned airline and a major car manufacturer (Proton, a crap one, but still the owners of Lotus cars) as backers i think Lotus will have more than enough money to be competitive. On top of that, they aquired more than enough experienced engineering personell by now to have a top-notch operation running once the season starts. Most likely they won't be in for wins for the first years, but they'll stir up the midfield well enough.

Campos, as has been said, are dead serious and with Toyota's withdrawl official it should be no problem for Sauber and his Sheiks to get everything on the way for the next season.

We haven't seen much from USF1, but with google (with their youtube brand) onboard as a main sponsor, we can expect quite a rich playboy plaything pissing contest against Branson's Virgin Manor F1. Both of these teams i think will be backbenchers but fun to watch.

I think the future looks brilliant.
 
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fochkoph

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Honestly the biggest tragedy from Toyota leaving is the potential loss of Kobayashi's exposure. Hopefully one of the new teams sign him for 2010 though I don't see why Toyota doesn't just stick through one more season after finding a driver from Japan that finally satisfies their designated roles. Shame to see Japan have realistic and potential success in Formula 1 with new talent and not take it. Oh well.

Here's to hoping Martin Brundle follows through on a feature covering Button's overtaking in 2009 to ease the winter pains. :mrgreen:
 

Susurrate

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I think Toyota suffered from not being able to see past their mistakes or problems; they would find something which worked on paper, but in the real world it was a dud and they would spend too much time trying to figure out why it didn't work and not enough time finding what will work. Sometimes you just have to say fuck it and start fresh which I don't believe they were ever able to do in their heads, paralysis by analysis. As for Kobayashi he'll be racing for one of the new teams next season, he showed too much talent and passion for one of the new or even established teams to just let him go.
 

Hazardous

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We haven't seen much from USF1, but with google (with their youtube brand) onboard as a main sponsor, we can expect quite a rich playboy plaything pissing contest against Branson's Virgin Manor F1. Both of these teams i think will be backbenchers but fun to watch.
USF1 is not backed by Youtube. One of the backers is a founding member of Youtube but Youtube itself is not affiliated with the team.

As for Kobayashi he'll be racing for one of the new teams next season, he showed too much talent and passion for one of the new or even established teams to just let him go.
I have my doubts. He has talent and passion but he has no backing nor experience and the new teams are propably looking for one or the other. I hope I'm wrong on that, though, I'd love to see him secure a ride for 2010.
 

Dr_Grip

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USF1 is not backed by Youtube. One of the backers is a founding member of Youtube but Youtube itself is not affiliated with the team.
The official stance on the subject of YouTube sponsoring is "undecided".
 

MPowered

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Damn it, have to make a new sig now........
You and me both...

I was thrilled that F1 was being taken over by the manufacturers because it made me think these mega-corporations had a little bit of soul and wanted to go motor racing. I understand they're running a business and that racing is funded by their marketing budgets, but part of me wanted to believe other wise. Stupid. Let F1 return to the privateer teams that actually care about winning and not selling cars. I'm not surprised that Toyota is exiting as I saw they're entry as nothing more than to sell more Camrys, but BMW and Honda both have storied motor racing histories so it's sad to see them go.
 

ALXBWSCREW

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F1's future is looking dull for me. But I have the solution: get Bernie and Todt out and bring out the Clarkson! :D
 

Sir Stiggington

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I'm just worried Renault will now go "Well if everyone's leaving, we can't say we;re btter than Toyota/BMW/Honda anymore, so we'll just leave too" :(
 

MadCow809

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Nico Hulkenberg Q&A - the next Michael Schumacher?


When the news broke that Williams had signed reigning GP2 champion Nico Hulkenberg to partner Rubens Barrichello in 2010, it didn?t surprise many paddock insiders. After the departure of his namesake Rosberg, it?s not simply a case of the team favouring drivers called Nico. Hulkenberg tested for them last winter and has been busy in various roles in their UK factory since March. More importantly perhaps, the 22 year-old German is the latest protege of Michael Schumacher?s manager Willi Weber. Has the legendary talent spotter hit gold again?

Q: Nico, how long have you known you?d be driving for Williams in 2010? There have been rumours ever since you tested last winter, despite the limited running available to the team?
Nico Hulkenberg: Actually I?ve known it for quite a while. For several weeks I would say.

Q: How difficult was it to keep it a secret? Was your first impulse to shout it from the rooftops?
NH: On the one side yes, sure. But then it was paramount for me to know that the contract was signed and that I?ve arrived in Formula One, which meant that my immediate future was secured. Everything else was rather secondary.

Q: But it?s kind of Sir Frank Williams to let you know in advance? there have been drivers who didn?t know that they had a drive until ten minutes before the announcement?
NH: That is a question Frank would have to answer.

Q: Can you describe your relationship with Sir Frank? He always seems a pretty tough taskmaster?
NH: I think that many people when they see him have the completely wrong impression about Frank. You might think that he?s tough, but when I visit him in his office it is always laidback, we joke together and the situation is very relaxed. He?s always in a good mood - not a bit grim at all. He is full of vitality with a very positive attitude.

Q: Has he outlined his expectations to you?
NH: Nothing has been said about any expectations, but I am sure they have their reasons for choosing me.

Q: Frank Williams is known as a passionate racer, while Michael Schumacher was the ultimate racer. Is Frank banking on your manager Willi Weber?s good nose for another good driver? Weber, of course, famously managed Schumacher?
NH: I don?t know, but I hope so. And should I be as good a racer as Michael was then that would make me really proud. But that is something that we?ll see next year and hopefully in the years to come.

Q: Why do you think Williams picked you?
NH: At Williams they?ve followed my career for a while, especially (technical director) Sam Michael. There are quite a few championship wins over the years on my side, aside from this year?s GP2 title. I guess that did it. And why did I sign with Williams? Well, because for two years I?ve been working with the team and I feel very much at home there. It is a good atmosphere, I like the people and I see a great opportunity there. Aside from that I had a pre-contract with them.

Q: If Williams hadn?t taken up their option on you, would you have looked elsewhere?
NH: I am sure that I would have secured a seat had Williams not taken the option.

Q: You just mentioned your GP2 title. What makes you a winner?
NH: I cannot pinpoint one thing. It?s a combination of many things. Obviously you must have the racing gene, but then you must also surround yourself with the right kind of people and be at the right place at the right time. And so far that?s worked out pretty well for me.

Q: Williams is definitely a good school for a young driver. How do you expect to improve?
NH: It?s difficult to say at the beginning of a Formula One career where it will take you. The rookie season is always very unpredictable, but I am determined to soak up as much as I can, and also learn from my experienced team mate.

Q: Speaking of your new team mate Rubens Barrichello. The two of you will have the biggest age gap of any driver line-up. How do you think it will work?
NH: Well, I hope. I don?t know him yet but I do not expect any problems and I also don?t see the age gap as something to worry about.

Q: You have been an almost constant visitor to Williams? Grove factory, and have even volunteered in some departments. Was that your idea or did the team ask you to do it?
NH: That was my idea. Some time ago I asked Sam if I could get a better insight into the work at the factory, and if it would be possible for me to look over the shoulders of the engineers. And Sam said yes, no problem. So in March I moved to the UK and have spent as much time at the factory as possible. It works very well and I have gained a lot of insight into the technical side of a Formula One car and its complexities.

Q: Was it to do with improving your technical understanding or more about getting to know your future team mates?
NH: It was a gain on both sides - technical and human. All that will definitely not make me faster, but it is good to start the season equipped with as much technical knowhow as possible, to understand when I?m sitting in the car what the engineers are talking about. Plus to build up a sound human relationship with the individuals in your new team is never a bad approach.

Q: But taking such steps implies that you expect to stay with Williams for quite some time?
NH: You could say that, yes. But when I moved there in March I had no idea that I would definitely get a race seat at Williams for 2010. Probably the key motivator was a healthy thirst for knowledge.

Q: What?s going to happen over the next couple of months? Will you be busy working on your fitness and gaining even more insight into the factory?
NH: Sure, my fitness will be enhanced and worked on more specifically and I will spend more time at the factory. Unfortunately testing is not possible, so I will do anything outside the car to prepare me as much as possible.

Q: How are you coping with the thought that you?ll have to wait for four months to pass until you?ll be racing in your first Grand Prix?
NH: That?s really hard to swallow. The season has just finished and everybody is longing for a vacation, and I am burning to start racing. So patience is what I need at the moment!
 

SchumacherM

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Kobayashi needs to get a ride...he's too good to be forgotten..

Toyota gone...I couldn't give a shit about it..the most soulless team ever..lousy also..it seemed that they only did well right at the begginning of the season and at the end..just crap..
 

Joc?

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Well, Renault's extraordinary meeting is quite worrying... I'd miss them much more than Toyota.
There's speculation that they'll sell the ex-Benetton part of the team (so the factory in Enstone) but stay as an engine supplier.
 

ViperVX

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More bad news. I was watching a Russian F1 program jut minutes ago, they were talking about the new Russian driver who signed a contract with an existing team, not one of the new ones. It was said, that he intented to sign with Dallara (Campos), but after visiting HQ and the Factory there was an impression that the team will not be ready for the new Season, so they went with one of the existing teams (I assume it's either Renault or STR).

So, worst case - Toyota is gone, Renault has every reason to follow them, Sauber Quabak is yet to be granted participation, plus there's a problem of unnamed questionable investors, Campos isn't ready, there are no constructive news from USF1 at all, Manor are accused of stealing India's design and so on. All in all we're left with 7 teams, which would mean they need 3 cars each.
 

vikiradTG2007

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If this carries on, I'm going to have to start praying that someone broadcasts MotoGP live here next year. :| Because, otherwise, I will have no proper motorsports to watch on live TV.
 
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HM1988

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so toyota is gone, quite expected... but a shame for F1 loosing a big team, and I feel sorry for kobayashi to...
but yes... if renault decide to do the same, things will get uglier.. it will be sad if in bahrein we have less than 10 teams instead of the 13 planned...

quite old news right now, but I'm happy with Barrichello at Williams.
 

Xeon SX

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I'll be ok as long as McLaren, Ferrari and Red Bull are taking part. Williams and Brawn are the second best. The rest can piss off.
 

Dan9-1

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It's Bernie I tells ya, he's whipping a storm in tea cup tbh and it'll sort itself out pretty much, it always does with Bernie
 
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