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tune
Now I know the 2010 season has literally just finished, however there is some news about new drivers/driver moves already circulating, so I thought I would begin the thread for next year.

For starters, Hulkenburg confirms he won't be at Williams next year: F1Fanatic

2011 Entry List

Bold is confirmed.

Red Bull Racing
1. Sebastian Vettel
2. Mark Webber

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
3. Jenson Button
4. Lewis Hamilton

Scuderia Ferrari Marboloro
5. Fernando Alonso
6. Felipe Massa

Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team
7. Michael Schumacher
8. Nico Rosberg

Renault F1 Team
9. Robert Kubica
10. Vitaly Petrov

AT&T Williams
11. Rubens Barrichello
12. Pastor Maldonado

Force India F1 Team
14. Adrian Sutil
15. Paul Di Resta

Sauber F1 Team
16. Kamui Kobayashi
17. Sergio Perez

Scuderia Toro Rosso
18. Jaime Alguesuari
19. Sebastien Buemi

Team Lotus
20. Jarno Trulli
21. Heikki Kovalainen

HRT F1 Team
22. Narain Karthikeyan
23. Bruno Senna? Karun Chandhok? Sakon Yamamoto? Christian Klien?

Marussia Virgin Racing
24. Timo Glock
25. Jerome D'Ambrosio
moe
Yeah Williams offered him a shitty deal where he'd have to drive for HRT next season.

Lets get this thread started:

RBR - Vettel & Webber? - I've heard lots of rumors on Twitter today that Webber may be exiting F1, contract or not.

McLaren - Hamilton & Button - pretty solid line-up there.

Ferrari - Alonso & Massa? - Lots of rumors that Massa may be out, and in fact, Kubica may be in. Not sure about that one though. Ferrari's second driver is usually willing to be, or can be made to play bitch for their top driver. Kubica wouldn't be a good idea on that note.

Mercedes - Rosberg & Schumi? - Still a few rumors that Schumi may call it quits after a lackluster comeback. I doubt it, I think he'll give it another go to prove he's still got it.

Williams - Barichello & Maldonado? - Recently crowned GP2 champion has been linked with replacing Hulkenberg, now that the Hulk is out, I think this is the guy we'll see in his place. He's got lots of sponsorship cash as well.

Renault - Kubica? & Petrov? - I don't think Kubica will move unless he gets a drive from a top team (RBR or Ferrari), but Petrov is a question mark. Given the amount of cash he's bringing, and a great performance holding off Alonso at Yas, I think he'll stick around.

Force India - Sutil? & Liuzzi? - Even though Liuzzi has a contract, I think he's not secure right now. Sutil hasn't confirmed to my knowledge, and Di Resti's waiting in the wings. Never mind that Chandok has been closely linked to a drive there as well. If Sutil confirms he wants to stay, I think they'll keep him.

Torro Rosso - Alguesari & Buemi - Don't think anything will change here.

Sauber - Kobayashi & Perez

Virgin - Glock & ? - D'Ambrosio's been linked to getting Di Grassi's seat, there still Di Grassi of course. Also with Marussia buying a huge interest in the team, Petrov may be in the running if Petrov leaves Renault.

Lotus - Trulli & Kovalinen - I don't think there'll be any changes here, though I've heard some reportedly false rumors of Trulli jumping ship. Also, Malaysian driver, Fauzy, is waiting in the wings.

HRT - ? - I've heard Senna's had trouble delivering the finances he promised to the team, and Chandok (who I thought was impressive in a crap car) has basically been all but given the boot. Still, he's in talks with HRT, and there's still Yamamoto and Klein.

Other drivers: Heidfeld - Probably the best driver without a drive. Deserves to get a drive more than anyone else.
Hulkenberg - A promising driver, given the shaft...sort of. He's in talks with teams, and looking for a drive.
Chandok - Apparently in talks with Force India, HRT, and two other teams.
De La Rosa - I think this is the end of his F1 career. Really nowhere to go for him with all the younger, promising talent out there.
Di Grassi - Thought he was pretty good as well, but think he'll be replaced at Virgin regardless.
Raikkonen - Kind of a wild card, but you never know.
D'Ambrosion - GP2 runner-up, and very well funded from what I've heard.
moe
Interesting, my boss, who's a HARDCORE F1 fan. Thinks Webber may leave Red Bull and replace Massa at Ferrari...not sure what to make of that...
skr
I'd love to see Chandhok at Force India. It would be a global marketing bonanza for India, given that their country will be hosting a GP for 2011.
clarkma5
Heidfeld's been in talks with Renault to replace Petrov, but it's hard to know where that might go since Petrov is heavily tipped to stay at Renault. Maybe Petrov will end up as their reserve driver?

D'Ambrosio sounds like a sure bet to replace Di Grassi to me.

A few races ago Force India confirmed that Di Resta would have a race seat next year but it seems like everyone (including Force India, oddly) has forgotten about that.

Considering Hulkenburg's out, Maldonado seems pretty certain for Williams but there are a lot of good drivers on the market, you never know if they might pick up someone like Heidfeld or Petrov or De La Rosa or something.

Raikkonen is definitely not in F1 next year, that's definitely settled.
bobo27
So what is happening with Renault F1?


QUOTE
PARIS - Renault is set to sell its remaining 25% stake in the Renault F1 Team to Proton, according to French newspaper Le Figaro.

Both parties are due to sign a contract formalising the deal on Wednesday, it said in a report on Friday.

Quoting unnamed sources, the newspaper claimed that Proton's Group Lotus brand will then become the title sponsor, in a 30 million euros (S$53 million) per season deal over five years.

Asked to comment, Renault president and CEO Carlos Ghosn would only say that "we'll be there next year and in future seasons."

Le Figaro said Renault's role in F1 will be reduced to that of an engine supplier to the renamed Lotus-Renault, Red Bull and Lotus Racing next year.

Renault had sold 75% of the F1 team to investment firm Genii Capital Partners late last year.


So Renault F1 becomes Lotus-Renault F1, and then Lotus will stick around? I am confused on this as there are no solid reports just these blurbs.
moe
Tony Fernandes is none to happy with Lotus right now (he was pretty vocal on Twitter). But the Lotus licensing agreement was only supposed to last a year, and they would see whether they wanted to renew it past that. Thing is, with Lotus's aggressive assault on Ferrari/Porsche/Lambo in the world of road cars, having a backmarker team (regardless of how good their progress was), is bad for marketing. Especially when they have such high aspirations. So Lotus elected not to renew the licensing agreement, and decided to get their own team. Hence, Lotus-Renault. I doubt the current Lotus team will have the same name next year, despite their announcement to use the famous black & gold colors.
clarkma5
I think Proton/Group Lotus are being complete dicks, to be honest. They're basically developing leverage with Renault to cut Lotus Racing (aka Team Lotus in 2011, until this malarky has put that into question...) off at the pass, despite the fact that Lotus Racing has done the Lotus name proud and developed a strong new team with what appears to be a bright future, while Proton embarks on a spiteful exercise in branding...
bobo27
Ok I did some more digging around and found this article, which paints a clearer picture on some of these issues.
Its still interesting what will happen with the 2010 Lotus team. Doesn't Renault have a sponsorship deal with Lada for a few more years, so it will be Lotus-Renault-Lada.
QUOTE
Formula 1: Virgin, Renault, HRT Teams Changing Owners

Marussia Motors, a Russian sports-car maker, is now a major shareholder in Virgin Racing.
Malaysian carmaker Proton is reportedly set to announce a buyout of Renault's ownership of the Renault F1 team.
First-year team HRT reportedly will announce a deal linking it to the former Toyota F1 team.

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates News and rumors were rampant at the season finale Abu Dhabi Grand Prix regarding changes in ownership of three teams.
One of the items is a done deal. Russian sports car manufacturer Marussia Motors has taken a major shareholding in the Virgin Racing Formula 1 team, it was announced during activities leading up to the Abu Dhabi race.

Virgin team principal John Booth described the deal as "a four-year sponsorship" and said, "It is a significant investment, not a takeover." The team will be known as Marussia Virgin Racing.

Marussia has been a partner since the inception of Virgin Racing. The car company, founded in 2007 by racing driver Nikolay Fomenko, introduced its first product at the 2009 Frankfurt Auto Show. The B1 premium sports model is powered by a Cosworth engine.

Cosworth is also the engine supplier for Virgin F1.
The Paris daily Le Figaro reported Saturday that Proton, the Malaysian carmaker, will announce on Wednesday a takeover of the 25 percent stake Renault owns in the F1 team bearing the name of the French auto marque. The report was unconfirmed.

According to the newspaper, Proton's Lotus car brand will become title sponsor of the team, to be called Lotus-Renault. The report stated that the F1 team now known as Lotus Racing and Red Bull would continue to receive engines from Renault as well.

Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn was quoted as saying, "We'll be there next year and in future seasons."

The Spanish sports newspaper Marca reports that HRT, the new F1 team based in Murcia, Spain, will announce an agreement Monday that will provide technical support and hardware from the former Toyota F1 team based in Cologne, Germany.

HRT recently announced an agreement with Williams to supply gearboxes.

According to the report, HRT will have access to the TF110 chassis, which was designed and built for this season before Toyota decided during the 2009 campaign to discontinue its participation in F1 at the end of last season.

Inside Line says: A most interesting competitive season wraps up with an equally intriguing "silly season" regarding ownerships, partnerships and alignments. David Green, Correspondent



misnblu
Subscribed.
Any car changes that should be noted? It seems every year there's some different ruling with aero, engine, or safety changes.
clarkma5
Double diffusers are banned, F-ducts are banned, Pirelli is the new tire supplier, KERS is back (on a voluntary-to-implement basis), and they will have moveable rear wings to aid overtaking. Moveable front wings, as far as I know, are also gone for 2011. It's a pretty significant rule change...not quite 2009-big, but big.
clarkma5
Well the HRT/Toyota tie-up died as quickly as it started, it seems: http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/88313

QUOTE
"Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG) confirms that all cooperation with Hispania Racing F1 Team (HRT) has been terminated and will not resume," said the statement.

"TMG retains all intellectual property rights to its current F1 car and is completely free to pursue other projects and support new customers for its high-performance engineering services.

"TMG regrets that HRT has not met its contractual payment obligations and will pursue all available options to reach a satisfactory conclusion to this matter."
moe
Hulkenberg to Force India?
tune
Are blown diffusers banned also?
Razor
I hear engines and steering wheels are banned this year.
clarkma5
QUOTE(tune @ Nov 18 2010, 05:25 AM) *
Are blown diffusers banned also?


No, blown diffusers are still in. Expect them to show up across the grid.
tune
Seems like the Pirelli test went quite well.

Massa quickest and Maldonado just over 5 seconds off his time in the HRT is pretty impressive in my view.

F1Fanatic
pervert
If a driver like Petrov can get a seat and Heidfeld can't, purely based on money, then there is something very wrong with the whole she-bang.

F1 is turning to shit, it's not about sport or competition or pride any more, just money.
clarkma5
I think Petrov's earned his place quite well in F1, actually. He's had a few more crashes and mistakes than Renault would like to see, but I don't see it as being unreasonable to expect from a rookie year. He's pulled out some impressive performances. If he keeps making mistakes like that into his second or third years then, yeah, he'll probably get ditched, but if he learns and improves I expect he'll be an entirely competent F1 driver.

As for Heidfeld, he is good but he's always struck me as a little overrated. Maybe I just haven't seen his best performances.
moe
Yeah, as much as I like Heidfeld, he'll never win a championship. Just didn't see that in him. He'd be great for a new team to develop a car, and give the front-runners some trouble.

I welcome all the fresh blood in F1. I think think it makes things interesting.
tune
I like Heidfeld and think he's a great No.2 driver. That might sound a bit degrading, but like has been said above, he doesn't appear to have the killer instinct to go out there and win races, but he is incredibly consistent.

He actually holds the record for the most consecutive points finishes in Formula 1 - ala, would make a great No. 2 driver in a half decent team for a good effort in the Manufacturers Championship.
moe
Heh, Heidfeld would be a great Massa replacement.
moe
De La Rosa is pretty much out, he simply doesn't have the sponsor backing for a seat. I think his F1 days are over.

Both Sutil and Liuzzi are expected to be confirmed for Force India.

I'm hearing Buemi may be out at STR, and Ricciardo may be in.

Trulli is going for a seat fitting at Lotus, so expect him to be confirmed. Though Lotus has been playing it safe in terms of drivers, so I doubt there'll be much change. They have two experienced guys (one young, one old) to help them develop the car. I doubt they'll be replacing them until they become more competitive.

Hulkenberg was looking for a seat at at Renault and Force India, neither of which are still options for him. I'm guessing that means Petrov will be retained as well. Now, Hulk's manager says he'll be looking for a reserve role, but Haug thinks that's a mistake. Says he'd be better off with a real drive at ANY team. I think that makes sense, after all, Webber used to be at Minardi. Sounds like Hulk made a mistake by turning down the seat Williams offered him at HRT. I think getting stuck in a test role, or having to leave F1 would be a bit of a tragedy. The guy has serious potential.

Also, doesn't look like Webber is going anywhere, neither is Schumi. And Sauber is looking to get rid of the BMW in their name.
tune
I've heard Hulkenberg could be set for the reserve role at Mercedes.

Also, Tost has been bigging up Alguesuari's season, so I don't expect him to be going anyway.

Didn't realise that Barrichello has been confirmed for next year at Williams.
moe
RBR - Vettel & Webber

McLaren - Hamilton & Button

Ferrari - Alonso & Massa

Mercedes - Rosberg & Schumi

Williams - Barichello & Maldonado

Renault - Kubica & Petrov

Force India - Sutil & Liuzzi

Torro Rosso - Alguesari & Ricciardo, Buemi?

Sauber - Kobayashi & Perez

Virgin - Glock & D'Ambrosio

Lotus - Trulli & Kovalinen

HRT - Senna, Chandok, Klein, Yamamoto, De La Rosa, Heidfeld?

Bold indicated confirmed, or fairly certain.
moe
Alguesari is backing Buemi to stay in his seat. Says he's better than Ricciardo...
tune
Moved entry list to OP.
tune
Pastor Maldonado has been officially confirmed for Williams.
moe
Don't forget Hulkenberg may still be in the running for the seat at Force India.
clarkma5
http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/88616
http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/88619

Genii Capital has sold part of its stake in Renault to Group Lotus and Renault is now Lotus-Renault and will run the classic black and gold Lotus livery, and it's all Proton-backed.

Personally, I think Dany Bahar is a bitch.
moe
He's a complete ass-clown. Though I have to admit, seeing Kubica racing for Lotus-Renualt, does sound really cool.
skr
Yeah, this silly Lotus Racing/Group Lotus/Team Lotus debacle is most likely going to court over the rights to the name. As much as Proton's pretty much giving the middle finger to Tony Fernandes' team, The old Renault team seems to be more worthy of the name by historic results. Unfortunately, I believe Tony Fernandes will lose out on this one, or there will be two seperate Lotus teams ala RBR/STR(minus the financial relationship).
moe
Team Lotus has reversed their decision to use the black & gold livery. As historic as it is, I'm kind of glad, I love the current green & yellow scheme.

Also Hulkenberg says his best shot is with Force India. Honestly, they haven't confirmed a single driver, and if I were them I'd be doing my best to make sure he was on the team...
Lancer007
Team orders return in 2011. Discuss.

http://m.espnf1.com/s/3394/118;jsessionid=...p;storyNo=36209
moe
^ Alonso & Ferrari win the championship because Button/Hamilton and Vettel/Webber didn't get team orders, and decide to duke it out with each other like real men.
bobo27
QUOTE(moe @ Dec 12 2010, 12:50 AM) *
^ Alonso & Ferrari win the championship because Button/Hamilton and Vettel/Webber didn't get team orders, and decide to duke it out with each other like real men.


Hope you are wrong, and the season runs much like 2010 and it comes to bite them back in the fading moments...

Ferrari, FIA, Jean Todt. You can connect the dots...
tune
To be fair I think Jean Todt has done a pretty good job so far and I haven't seen any particular favouritism. I hope this remains.

I would prefer team orders to be banned, so that you have to get the job done on your team mate if you want to win - much more interesting for us.
moe
QUOTE(bobo27 @ Dec 13 2010, 01:01 AM) *
Hope you are wrong, and the season runs much like 2010 and it comes to bite them back in the fading moments...


I hope I am too.
tune
Glock and d'Ambrosio are confirmed for Virgin next year.

Also Virgin, together with HRT will not be running KERS next year.
tune
Petrov confirmed until 2012 with Renault.
tune
Narain Karthikeyan has confirmed himself as one of Hispania's drivers for next season. Pretty surprising given his absence from top level competition for a while and that I never thought he was particularly impressive when he was in F1.

That leaves 3 seats as far as I can see (excluding Toro Rosso, who seemingly will retain their drivers despite confirming it yet), and Sutil will probably be filling one of those.

Not much room left for prospective drivers!
clarkma5
His F1 career was short and unimpressive but his career in motorsport seems to be pretty impressive, otherwise. A win in Superleague formula, time in A1GP, endurance racing for Audi, time in NASCAR...it's a pretty solid CV. He's more experienced than any of HRT's other drivers it would appear.
tune
True, true. Experience is key in F1, but as we know, F1 can destroy a reputation rapidly. Possibly what happened previously for Narain.
moe
HRT really needs someone that can help in developing a car. Two young guns like Chandok and Senna (as we've seen throughout the season) just don't cut it. Karthikeyan will bring a wealth of experience. That being said, I hope Chandok manages to find a seat, he seemed very promising.
clarkma5
Sounds more and more like Chandhok will be Lotus's reserve driver. I wonder who else HRT will pick up, and where Nico Hulkenburg will end up...I think Liuzzi is being tipped to move to HRT with Di Resta and Sutil at Force India. But who knows?
skr
BREAKING: Two very experienced drivers have teamed up together on a british team to become a formidable force in F1..

QUOTE
Martin Brundle will become BBC's new lead Formula 1 commentator this year, it has been announced, following a shake-up of the coverage plans for 2011.

Just hours after former commentator Jonathan Legard announced he would no longer be a part of the BBC team for this year, the corporation confirmed that Brundle would be stepping up to the lead role - with David Coulthard joining him as a co-commentator.

Brundle, who retired from F1 at the start of 1997, has forged a successful career as a broadcaster but this will be his first time as the main commentator.

Speaking about his new role, Brundle said: "I'm absolutely delighted and very motivated that BBC Sport has asked me to become the lead Formula 1 commentator alongside David Coulthard.

"We have been friends, rivals and colleagues for 18 years and combined we have driven in more than 400 F1 Grands Prix and attended over 700. I've never felt more passionate about Formula 1 and I can't wait to get started."

Coulthard is embarking on his third season with the BBC, having retired from F1 at the end of 2008. Although he is stepping up to the commentary box, he will continue to provide his expert analysis for both pre-race build-up and post-race shows.

"I'm very excited to be joining forces with Martin in this new role of co-commentator," said Coulthard. "F1 is all about challenging yourself and this will be a big challenge for me, but one that I am looking forward to. There is a great team on the BBC F1 show and we're looking forward to the year ahead and to bringing something new to our loyal viewers."

The BBC's decision to put two former racing drivers into the commentary box is viewed in some quarters as controversial - as it breaks away from the traditional set-up of using drivers only for expert analysis.

However, Ben Gallop, the BBC's Head of F1, thinks that Brundle's vast experience and his strong relationship with Coulthard, will prove to be a winner for fans.

"We're always looking for ways to take our Formula 1 coverage to another level - and for 2011 we have an exciting new combination in the commentary box," he said. "We're keen to make the most of Martin Brundle's wealth of broadcasting experience and his popularity with the audience by giving him the role of lead commentator and putting him alongside David Coulthard, one of the biggest names in British motorsport and a skilled race analyst.

"We want to tap into their combined on-track expertise - together they will provide our viewers with more immediate discussion, analysis and debate as the action happens. The results of screen tests have been very impressive and we are convinced this combination will deliver a fantastic commentary for our audience for what promises to be a thrilling 2011 season."

Gallop also paid tribute to former commentator Legard, who earned tremendous respect in the F1 paddock but whose commentary divided the opinion of fans.

"The change of direction we are taking unfortunately means there is no place for Jonathan Legard in our commentary set-up," added Gallop.

"We'd like to take this opportunity to thank Jonathan for his great work over the last two seasons. He is a first-rate journalist and broadcaster who has been a core member of our team, helping to re-establish BBC Sport as the nation's F1 broadcaster. We wish him all the very best for the future."


Taken from Autosport.
clarkma5
I'm mostly glad that Legard's leaving, though he wasn't that bad...I'm not so sure if Brundle and Coulthard will be that great of a combo, though I do like them both individually. Will this break up the EJ/Jake Humphries/Coulthard team? They had a fun dynamic...

EDIT: I see that Coulthard will be doing both his old role and his new one simultaneously. Well, I hope everyone likes David Coulthard because there's gonna be a lot of him now!

In other news, Sky Germany will be broadcasting F1 in native HD: http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/88865

This suggests that all of F1's coverage is migrating to native HD, and that means that other broadcasters (hopefully the BBC will be included in that) can get on board with it as well. I would love to see F1 in HD.
clarkma5
yeap, it's official. FOM is going native HD for 2011 and the BBC will be following them. Broadcasts will be in 1080i.

http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/88873
http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/88883
Lancer007
sweet!
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