SILLY SEASON 2009/2010

MacGuffin

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Well, let's see how the Ferrari fans on the stands react, when Schumacher first goes out in the new Silver Arrow.

I will wait for that to happen, before I make my final judgement in this issue.
 

MadCow809

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Schumacher pays tribute to Ferrari fans
By Steven English and Michele Lostia Friday, December 25th 2009, 20:30 GMT



Michael Schumacher says that Ferrari will always have a place in his heart, following his 14 years with the marque before joining Mercedes GP.

In an open letter to Ferrari fans distributed through the Italian media, Schumacher pays tribute to the prancing horse and its followers and says he hopes they will carry on supporting him in future.

"For 14 years I was a part of Ferrari and for 14 years Ferrari was a part of me," he said. "A sizeable chunk of Ferrari will always stay in my heart. I will always think of the warmth, the strength and the dedication I received for so many years from Italian Ferrari fans.

"I have felt welcomed by you, and I have tried to give you joy and passion when I fought on the tracks and rejoiced with you after victories."

Schumacher says he has learned from Ferrari and expects the team to have a strong season in 2010.

"I have found many friends and learned a lot in the years I spent at Ferrari," wrote Schumacher. "I carefully observed the way to face things and have often underlined this attitude in Germany: no moaning but rather trying to see the beauty and the goodness in what's unavoidable, and rejoicing.

"Now a new chapter begins for me. I will race on the track against Ferrari with the utmost respect. I'm convinced these will be hard battles. Indeed, I'm certain Ferrari will be able to show its historical strength because I know what these guys are able to do.

"I'd like to thank everyone who has supported me. I'd be happy if, besides the two Ferrari drivers, you'd carry on giving me a bit of your unlimited liking."


10 Things that didn't happen in 2009
By Mark Glendenning Friday, December 25th 2009, 10:49 GMT



Whether it be an economic downturn, a design mis-step, an unexpected injury, a technicality, or plain old politics, there are myriad reasons why the even the best-laid plans in Formula 1 sometimes collapse before reaching fruition.

The 2009 season was riddled with plans being changed on the fly due to unexpected circumstances, and AUTOSPORT takes a look back at 10 of the most significant.

BMW Sauber will be a force in 2009

This was one of the big subplots during the winter of 2008-9. BMW Sauber could never be accused of disguising its ambitions, and when it mightily irritated Robert Kubica by sacrificing his chance to win the 2008 title in order to divert all of its resources to the F1.09, it was clearly declaring itself an early contender for the 2009 championship.

A big part of its confidence lay in its commitment to KERS, ironic that this part of the car would trigger its downfall - the system it developed didn't work particularly well, and the accompanying aerodynamic compromises proved insurmountable.

Donington will be redeveloped for the British Grand Prix

There were promises. There were traffic plans. There were simulators, talk of debentures, and arrows slung at the doubters. There were holes dug. And denials - there were a lot of denials. And finally, there was a collapse, and unfinished building site with an uncertain future.

Toyota maintains F1 commitment

"We will continue F1 and other motorsport activities while cutting costs," Toyota Motor Corporation president Katsuaki Watanabe said in January.

Ten months later, one of the most expensive F1 teams in history raised a tearful white flag and farewelled the sport, having spent hundreds of millions of dollars on 139 starts, 278.5 points, and crucially, zero wins.

Loeb to make F1 debut

When you've dominated a championship in the manner that Sebastien Loeb has the WRC this decade, it's natural to consider finding another world to rule. There was no question over Loeb's desire to try his hand at F1, but the enthusiasm within the walls of Toro Rosso ? with which he was expected to race at Abu Dhabi ? was more difficult to judge. His failure to qualify for the necessary superlicence eventually sunk his hopes.

Schumacher's 2009 comeback

Talk about making the best of a bad situation. Once it became clear that Felipe Massa would make a full recovery from his freak accident in Hungary, Ferrari's mission was to find a suitable understudy. The prospect of that person being Michael Schumacher seemed scarcely believable, although it later transpired that talks reached an extremely advanced stage. In the end it was continuing problems from an earlier neck injury that extinguished the comeback and gave Luca Badoer a second chance at the age of 38. Schumacher got his wish in the end though, signing a race deal with Mercedes earlier this week.

Williams and Renault reunited

Williams and Renault enjoyed some good times together in seasons past, and the prospect of them teaming up together in 2010 was a very real one. But the uncertainty over Renault's future, caused by the crash scandal created an opening for Cosworth to make a pitch, and Williams was sufficiently impressed with its technical prowess that it decided to reunite with its engine partner from 2006.

Fans to have more access to drivers

Nothing wrong with the sentiment ? F1 has become too inaccessible for its supporters, so let's close the gap a little ? but the action plan needs a little more work. The introduction of extra autograph signing sessions was admirable, but anecdotal evidence suggests that the reality sometimes fell short. Locating an autograph session in an area restricted from most fans, as reportedly happed at one circuit, was a particular howler.

Red Bull to get Mercedes engines

The prospect of Red Bull racing with Mercedes power in 2010 was a very real one, with both parties signing an agreement in principle relatively early in the season. But the McLaren Mercedes break-up complicated matters, and by November Red Bull was forced to concede that it would have to look elsewhere for engines.

Prodrive to enter F1 under Aston Martin banner

Well-resourced and with an experienced former F1 team principal David Richards at the helm, Prodrive was one of the favourites for selection as one of the three new teams in F1 for 2010. And tantalisingly, it was potentially going to race under the Aston Martin flag. No-one was more surprised than Prodrive when it was overlooked, but the team remains committed to finding a way onto the grid.

Rosberg to BMW

As early as Monaco, Nico Rosberg was publicly floating the idea of a future away from Williams. The German's desire for a race-winning car had some rumours placing him at McLaren, but it was BMW Sauber that emerged as the leading contender for his signature. But when Mercedes' plans to go it alone gathered steam, Rosberg became its first signing.
 
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chitownjeff

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They have already said they will be announcing their drivers in mid-January once all parties are signed, similar to Virgin and Lotus. Jose Maria Lopez has taken one of the seats pending him getting sponsorship money, which the Argentinian press reporting the last few days he has secured enough money. The second seat is still unknown, as are any potential test drivers.

Thanks - I thought Lopez had already been made official...
 

MadCow809

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Well, let's see how the Ferrari fans on the stands react, when Schumacher first goes out in the new Silver Arrow.

I will wait for that to happen, before I make my final judgement in this issue.

Piero Ferrari: Schumacher not disloyal
By Michele Lostia and Matt Beer Wednesday, December 30th 2009, 11:03 GMT



Piero Ferrari has dismissed suggestions that Michael Schumacher is betraying Ferrari by making a Formula 1 comeback with Mercedes.

The son of company founder Enzo Ferrari believes the Mercedes move was a pragmatic one as Ferrari had no spare seats, rather than a snub to the team Schumacher had been with since 1996.

"It's true that we were a bit disappointed, because Michael had become our symbol," Ferrari told Gazzetta dello Sport.

"I wouldn't use that expression [betrayal], even though obviously we would have preferred him to stay with us. But he wanted to race and the conditions weren't there for him to do it once again with Ferrari."

Ferrari is sure that Schumacher is still quick enough to make a successful comeback even though he is now in his forties.

"His competitiveness will depend on the car," said Ferrari. "Another great driver, Mario Andretti, had carried on racing until he was over 50. Schumi was and remains a phenomenon. Drivers like him come only once every ten years."

He insisted that Ferrari had no reason to consider moving either of its 2010 signings Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa aside to accommodate Schumacher.

"No, because I never believe in comebacks in sport, and I mean coaches and footballers who go back to a team where they had coached or played before. Time goes on," he said.

"And besides, we have hired Alonso who didn't become world champion by chance, and in fact he has already challenged and beaten Michael before. And then we have Massa, who has matured next to Michael himself.

"I'm convinced that, if we are able to build a good car - the 2009 one wasn't very good - we'll get some satisfaction. In other words, we won't lose races and the title because of the drivers."

Ferrari believes his legendary father would also have accepted Schumacher's decision.

"I'll take a step back in time: I was very close to Lorenzo Bandini and I suffered greatly when he died in Monte Carlo in 1967," said Ferrari.

"Right then, my father gave me some advice that was in line with his policy: 'You must never get too affectionate with racing drivers, because it either ends this way or they go race somewhere else. They are employees, even if very important ones.'"
 

piercey

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There is an Argentinian (Spanish) youtube video in which Lopez let the cat out of the bag: USF1 is announcing their drivers (or at least Lopez) on January 25th. So, if Lopez is signed (the sponsorship list is out there with Visa being the biggest name), who is driver number 2? The first half of the video is Lopez testing an F3 car.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ChwP-zCKQjU

Also, Campos is on rumor kill mode, as several news sources are still claiming Piquet -> Campos. From this article: http://www.worldcarfans.com/109123123767/no-campos-seat-for-piquet-in-2010--audetto

"In fact," said Campos' Daniele Audetto, "we received an offer from Piquet.

"We have nothing again Nelsinho, even though he was involved in the accident scandal. He is a good driver, fast and experienced.

"But, having signed Bruno Senna, we cannot have two Brazilians. And the supposed 15 per cent investment would be less than what other drivers could bring; Italian, Russian, Chinese, German, to name a few nationalities.

"There are ongoing negotiations that will go on until all the details are defined," Audetto added.

Interesting bit in bold. So they can't have a 2nd Brazilian due to Senna. As far as other drivers, we all know who the Russian is (Vitaly Petrov), but the others are who? Luca Filippi? Tung? Ralf?
 

ViperVX

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It's been reported a month or so back that Petrov will be joining an existing team, probably Renault (cause of Russian mobile operator being one of their major sponsors), 2nd option - Sauber, less likely.
 

pfrocker

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piercey

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^^^ Fake twitter account. Sauber is denying it.

Also, more USF1 news: http://www.microsofttranslator.com/...nero-agitado-para-%E2%80%9Cpechito%E2%80%9D-0

Nothing interesting until about the 4th paragraph from the bottom, in which Lopez names 2 drivers have been approached for the second seat. Pedro de la Rosa is not really a surprise, but how about someone who hasn't raced in a major series for over a year?

That trip to London? It sounds like it was a meeting with James Rossiter.
 
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Sir Stiggington

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Struggle to return for cash-strapped Davidson
http://f1.gpupdate.net/en/formula-1-news/225543/struggle-to-return-for-cash-strapped-davidson/
Anthony Davidson is confident that he has the driving abilities to compete in Formula 1 but is one of many unfortunate drivers to be in a financial position which prohibits him from taking part in the sport. The Englishman is yet to return to the track since last racing with the now defunct Super Aguri team in 2008.

Having made his premier F1 appearance as temporary replacement for Alex Yoong at Minardi in 2002, Davidson has since competed with B.A.R plus a full-time contract with Super Aguri for the 2007 and 2008 seasons, with the latter having seen the outfit placed into administration after just four races of the year.

"The money is an issue today, as it always has been," the Hemel Hempstead man explained to Crash.net. "It's always been a rich man's sport but it's more so now than ever before. I've been told by a few teams already that if I had 5 million euros I'd be in, so I checked and I couldn't find it; I looked down the back of the sofa, looked in my wallet, a few moths flew out but that was it - and on a serious note that's the position I'm in.

"With a lot of the bigger teams pulling out and only two main manufacturers left, it's difficult times and they're all looking for money, unfortunately. There's no other way you can look at it, apart from looking at different sports, and it's the equivalent of Manchester United having a paying football player to play on their side - it just wouldn't happen. That's what's happening in F1 at the moment."

Despite struggling to find sufficient funding to re-enter Formula 1, BBC Radio 5 live commentator Davidson does not doubt his abilities. "I know I've got the skill to be there, I deserve to be there but so do loads of other people; loads of other drivers have the talent but it's finding your way into Formula 1 and maintaining that momentum. Unfortunately, since Super Aguri folded it's been a struggle to get back in."

This really sucks. This guy deserves a seat...
 

vikiradTG2007

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^ In all likelihood, 5Live will need a substitute commentator for the Canadian GP. I'm pretty sure Dave Richards is going to recruit him again if AMR attempts another assault on Le Mans, Ant definitely impressed last year there.
 

chitownjeff

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^ I had hoped to see Sato and Ant at US F1 - what can say? LOL!

The Jacques Villeneuve rumors seem to have died down.
 

Kiskaloo

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Davidson was absolutely epic as a Friday test driver for Honda, and yet when he joined Super Aguri - which were effectively using the same cars - his performance dropped like a rock. I mean sure, Friday Practice is not Sunday Racing, but he used to perform Friday runs equal to an actual race stint between refueling stops and he'd still record top times.
 

piercey

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One more thing, the internet has gone crazy with Pedro de la Rosa -> Sauber reports. Take it with a grain of salt, though, Blick is the quoted source. However, Nick Heidfeld will not be returning to Sauber according to Peter himself. http://en.espnf1.com/sauber/motorsport/story/5936.html

I'm sorry, but unless de la Rosa is bringing money with him (and if he was, Campos would have already signed him), then this is a very stupid move by Sauber. Honestly, de la Rosa? Good test driver, not so good race driver.
 

devil500

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My guess is that Nick ends up at Reno with his good buddy Kubica. :) Although, I do see Nick being a #2 this time unlike at BMW.
 

piercey

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save me the time of searching all these post please, any (new) rumors about USF1 drivers?

Jose Maria Lopez is all but signed, and has been testing F3 cars in the past few weeks.

James Rossiter and Pedro de la Rosa have been linked to the second seat by Lopez himself.
 
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