F1 links: Lotus gets 2010 slot, Symonds gets immunity

Two big developments in the F1 news already today:

Symonds offered race-fix immunity

"The development comes on the back of interviews between Symonds, FIA representatives and members from the Quest agency at the Belgian Grand Prix where it was deemed his evidence was 'central' to finding answers to what happened in Singapore." FIA going after Briatore?

FIA backs Renault into a corner over ‘Crashgate’

“The stewards who carried out investigations during the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps at the end of last month came to the conclusion that, having noted Symonds?s refusal to answer most of the questions that were put to him and having considered highly unusual telemetry data from Piquet?s car immediately before the crash, it was ??reasonable, on balance?? to accept that Piquet?s claims have substance.”

2010 FIA Formula One World Championship – New Entries

"Following an intensive selection and due diligence process, the FIA has awarded the 13th entry in the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship to the Lotus F1 Team. [...] Nevertheless, the FIA considers that BMW Sauber’s application is of high quality and would constitute a competitive participant in the Championship. As such, it has awarded BMW Sauber the '14th place' in the Championship meaning that it will be entitled to fill any vacancy that arises on the 2010 grid." The FIA could be leaving the door open for Sauber in case Renault either chooses to leave or gets kicked out next week.

Evergreen Stirling Moss remains symbol of everything great and good

"Moss, who celebrates his 80th birthday the day after tomorrow, has often claimed that he is perfectly happy to claim the special distinction of being known as the man who never won the world championship, but I've never quite believed him. I find it hard to imagine that he would not have preferred to see his name where it belonged on the roll of honour, following those of Farina, Ascari and Fangio. But its absence certainly does nothing to diminish his stature in the eyes of those to whom he represented everything that is enthralling and worthwhile about motor racing."

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59 comments on F1 links: Lotus gets 2010 slot, Symonds gets immunity

  1. Bigbadderboom said on 15th September 2009, 10:26

    Well done to Lotus, and i don’t doubt we will see Sauber on the grid in some form or another.

    The Flavio witch hunt is now well under way and it makes me feel that the sport is being damaged more by potentail guilty parties who may have damaged the sport in the worst way, can get off as long as the stick the finger on the FIA presidents sworn enemy. It stinks really, there must be other evidence and other investigative methods to use before the FIA deep to such shallow depths as this.

  2. BMW get “14th spot”

    Looks like I’m not the only one who thinks the FIA expect to have one!

    • Can the FIA ban Renuault for a long period of time multi years.

      If so i am begining to think things are being engineered for this?

    • Even if a new 13th spot doesn’t open up due to Renault’s departure, it seems that the FIA wants a 28 car grid next year anyway…

      The governing body added the it will look into expanding the grid to 14 teams, “consulting urgently with the existing teams regarding the introduction of an appropriate rule change to expand the grid to 28 cars in time for the first Grand Prix in 2010.”

      from Autosport

  3. I commented on the Lotus entry on James Allen’s blog, but I don’t really see the need to relocate to Malaysia when all the technical knowhow is in Europe. Plus the fact that most of the races are still in Europe.

    Also what about Petronas? Think they’ll jump ship to Lotus now that there is a Malaysian F1 team?

  4. i thought, that the malaysian link of Sauber would be enough for a fusion with “Lotus”, and they could save the team. instead, we have two separate teams, but i would really miss the swiss team :(

  5. Maksutov said on 15th September 2009, 11:10

    Ok, what da!!!???

    Firstly, what is this Malaysia Lotus team? never heard of the Malaysian one, that is like saying Ferrari team from Afganistan.

    Secondly, didn’t lotus threaten to sue the use of its name in Formula 1 not long ago?

    Also, the new concord agreement does not allow the use of 14 teams in F1. Given the high probability that Sauber will get the buyout deal sorted and have a team that is pretty much ready to go, why opt for another unknown team to enter F1? To me this is all Mosley’s music over again, doing whatever he wants, picking any team at random that he feels like. When is that person going to disappear once and for all!

    Another matter – Giving Symonds immunity is also Mosley trying to be the judge jury and the executioner for matters that are outside of his jurisdiction. And yet, he has got everyone wrapped around his finger and he can get away with it. He has given immunity to two personnel (Piquet and Symmonds) who have so far shown hints to evidence that they have indeed possibly conspired to make the deliberate crash. Clearly this whole Piquet revived saga was orchestrated by Mosley to destroy Flavio.

    Briatore may indeed be guilty, however that is not Mosleys concern, he wants to make sure he can win one last war before departing.

    • Lotus Cars (i.e. the people that make the road cars) are owned by Proton of Malaysia. I didn’t think they were linked with the putative racing team though, I was under the impression that the team had just bought the brand name…

    • Lotus (the car manufacturer of delightful pocket rockets like the Elise/Exige) are owned by Proton (makers of cars cheap and not so cheerful), which is owned by the Malaysian Government.

      Litespeed submitted an entry under the Lotus name, which was why Lotus Cars raised a stink about it. Given the latest development it seems that they’ve decided to join forces instead.

      As for the 14th team, I’d expect FOTA to make a statement about this soon…

      • Still not related to Lotus cars unless Proton or Lotus themselves are directly involved and if the team is UK based.

  6. Alex Bkk said on 15th September 2009, 11:38

    If Renault is banned, will that affect their customer engines as well…

  7. iceshiel said on 15th September 2009, 11:42

    I am slightly disappointed that epsilon euskadi didnt win the bid. Why lotus? Malaysian government = more money?

    • Prisoner Monkeys said on 15th September 2009, 12:49

      Maybe it’s because Epsilon are said to be a bunch of no-hopers who can’t sit still long enough to see a project through. They abandoned the ee1 prototype after its poor showing at Le Mans, and their WSR efforts have been in freefall since Kubica won the title for them in their (and his) debut season.

      Plus, USF1 were said to be looking to use their facilities in Spain. If Euskadi got in, USF1 wouldn’t be able to use them …

  8. Wow… a 28 car grid. I’d love to see that.

  9. Prisoner Monkeys said on 15th September 2009, 12:45

    Meanwhile, BMW have revealed their buyer: Swiss-German group Qadbak Investments, which is said to have ties to the Middle East (thoughthe team would be run by Swiss national Lionel Fischer) and which I believe to be the consortium that purchased Notts County FC a while ago.

    However, whether you say it as “Sauber Qadbak” or “Qadbak Sauber”, it doesn’t quite roll off the tongue …

    • Maksutov said on 15th September 2009, 16:41

      BMW have revealed their buyer: Swiss-German group Qadbak Investments

      well if that is the case, they are a little late now are they… there is high chance that 14th team could be rejected.. and if that happens then the buyer could get screwed

  10. Prisoner Monkeys said on 15th September 2009, 12:53

    Pardon the double-post, but I forgot to add this bit:

    The FIA may not be going after Briatore. They may no longer trust Piquet; his story changes with each re-telling. Firstly it was that they were going to stage an accident. Then they were going to stage an accident and even picked out a corner. Now Piquet Snr. has said Alonso had to have known about it.

    Piquet is trying to bring Briatore down, to ruin him, and he’s trying to get the FIA to do that. If both Piquet and Symonds testify and their stories conflict, one of them is clearly lying. And Piquet has more reason to do so.

    • Maksutov said on 15th September 2009, 16:46

      yes but giving Piquet and Symonds immunity does not make sense. Clearly indicates that Briatore will be singled out, and when you say FIA – you really mean Mosley. I hope you are correct about that though, however everything so far indicates that Mosley is working on screwing Flavio..

    • Alonso had to have known otherwise he would not have agreed to a 12 lap first stint starting from 15th (you can’t pass in f1–especially on a street circuit!–so that’s why cars towards the back of the field are filled heavier to go longer to pass when competitors in front hit the pits). A light car starting from 15th is therefore compromised by heavier cars in front. How does a team convince a double world champ to take this strategy?

  11. I’m all up for a Malaysian team, although i expect it got preference over other teams which would perform better due to it being goverment backed. However, using the Lotus name when it has nothing to do with Lotus is irritating and ridiculous.

    • Matt – I believe Proton is involved and as they own the Lotus name as well as Lotus itself, it’s quite legitimate. I assume “Lotus” was picked because 1) uncertainties remained about Sauber and 2) with Air Asia, Proton, and the Malaysian gov involved, they’re not going to have the money woes that are affecting some of the other “Oh, I thought you said this would only cost $40m! teams.

      • Fair enough, but unless it’s UK based I still don’t believe the Lotus name should be used.

        • True, but I’ll believe they’re seriously going to base the full operations in Malaysia when I see it. Toyota, Toro Rosso, and BMW Sauber have had a hard enough time attracting English talent, and they’ll an easy daily commute from the UK compared with Malaysia.

        • Maksutov said on 15th September 2009, 16:47

          Fair enough, but unless it’s UK based I still don’t believe the Lotus name should be used.

          agree 100%

          • maybe until they manufacture the elise and exige in the UK they should stop using the brand completely?

            oh noes…

            they’re building great sports cars and doing good for the lotus brand from malaysia, why they can’t enter as lotus if they f1 hq isn’t in the uk is a pointless argument.

            if their f1 hq is in malaysia, they should be allowed to play the malaysian anthem etc.

          • It’s not where the manufacturing happens that’s important, it’s where the headquarters with design, R&d etc. is based which is significant. (However, in F1 the design and build makes more sense to be in one place anyway i guess.) And as far as I know, Lotus cars hq is still UK based, as should be a team which bears their name. At the very least it should have some form of Lotus input, which I doubt it would.

  12. 28 car grid would be great.

    Then just have 26 cars qualify for the race. Too many cars on the grid would do more damage than good perhaps (more chance of safety cars, …etc)

    As Meander says, we’d be back to the DNQ days. Not sure if we’d need some portacabin garages!

  13. On second thoughts, if each team runs 3 cars can we have a 42 car grid please!

  14. So all it takes to get immunity is to refuse to answer questions? If the police operated like the FIA you’d have thousands of admitted criminals and none of them in prison.

    • Maksutov said on 15th September 2009, 16:52

      couldn’t agree more

      • mp4-19b said on 15th September 2009, 17:30

        Does the FIA offer “Immunity” against Swine Flu?

        Symonds is as guilty as Flavio or Piquet or for that matter, Alonso(if he knew of this plot). This is all Max’s doing. I really hope all this ends once and for all. Flavio’s “Head” is what Max wants, let him take it. I dunno what max is going to do with Flavio’s head. Always though of him to be a dimwit, especially after Singapore 2008 . Let this be Max’s final act of madness. I’m sick of this revengeful attitude of max Mosley.

    • beneboy said on 16th September 2009, 0:18

      Symonds: I have no intention of lying to you. I have not lied to you but I have reserved my position just a little.

      FIA adviser: And you’re aware that the stewards may draw conclusions from your unwillingness to assist them in relation to what went on in that meeting?

      Symonds: I would expect them to. I would absolutely expect that.

      So in other words I’m not going to lie to you but I’m also not telling you the truth and I have information that I could give to you, if I wanted too.

      I was almost hoping this would all turn out to be bitterness from Piquet but it’s starting to look a bit more suspicious now.

      The immunity offers are also a bit strange.

  15. The fact that Piquet is getting immunity and that they are now also offering immunity to Symonds makes it look like the FIA are defiantly after Briatore.

    Hopefully the grid will be able to expand to 28 cars and none of the teams drop out, so we get 14 teams next year. I don’t think BMW could have sold Sauber unless they were guaranteed a grid slot, of course the other possibility is that another team drops out, which is probably more likely.

    Although the new Lotus team has more links to the original Lotus team than the other prospective new teams who tried to gain credibility by using names from classic teams, I still would’ve preferred the name not to be used.

    Does anyone know how far along their F1 project is in terms of designing a car, hiring staff etc. From what I have read they will be initially based in Norfolk, Mike Gascoyne is the Technical Director and they have a Cosworth engine deal.

    • Maksutov said on 15th September 2009, 16:59

      I don’t think BMW could have sold Sauber unless they were guaranteed a grid slot

      but they are not guaranteed one which makes it even more weird

      of course the other possibility is that another team drops out, which is probably more likely.

      which brings out a good point and question. One of those teams could easily be Renault – due to Piquet saga

      Does anyone know how far along their F1 project is in terms of designing a car, hiring staff etc. From what I have read they will be initially based in Norfolk, Mike Gascoyne is the Technical Director and they have a Cosworth engine deal.

      omg they have a Cosworth engine deal? Why didnt I guess that. Another Mosley political package, not it all makes sense. This new team is totally ridiculous.

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