F1 Fanatic round-up: 20/1/2010

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

I was looking forward to seeing how Robert Kubica fared in the Monte-Carlo rally but sadly it looks like it’s all over for him before it even started. Maurice Hamilton reports on Twitter that his engine failed after just 4km and he can’t join in the rest of the event.

Today we should see Valentino Rossi back behind the wheel of a Ferrari. Here’s some pictures of Rossi’s last Ferrari test and here’s the rest of the round-up for today:


Campos car passes final crash test (Autosport)

Adrian Campos: “The car is now homologated and we are still working very, very hard. We are very confident about our position, and we are close to a deal with an investor that will help us even more.”

F1 cockpit negotiations ongoing (Christian Klien)

“I was well aware that my main rival for the [BMW Sauber] seat was Pedro de la Rosa. In my view, the fact that the decision was taken so late shows that it was not an easy one for Peter Sauber.”

Q&A – Nelson Piquet Jr. (Speed TV)

Nelson Piquet Jnr: “I could?ve been there (Formula One) if I wanted to. A team offered me to be there. I just thought I was sick and tired of all of the stuff over there.” I feel much the same about the Crashgate fall-out, not to mention the driver at the centre of it.

In Detail: Building a Nose (US F1 YouTube)

We’ve seen quite a few videos from US F1 so far but this is the most interesting and impressive so far.

Comment of the day

Prisoner Monkeys isn’t sure Nick Heidfeld will find a seat for 2010:

He has had his chance. He played his hand and decided to see if Mercedes would take him. They didn?t. And now there are just five seats left and it?s becoming plain that there is not much room left for him. Renault is likely to take a pay driver. Toro Rosso have said they?ll have Alguersuari. Campos are talking with Petrov and Maldonado. And USF1 are expected to take Jose Maria Lopez, and have admitted their second seat will probably be a pay driver as well.

It seems Heidfeld?s reach has exceeded his grasp. If he wants to stay in Formula 1, he?s got some choices to make. He?s probably going to have to swallow his pride, too. And we all know how hard that can be??

From the forum

Georg29 wonders – as I do – what’s the point of Sauber keepng the ‘BMW’ bit in their name?

Site updates

Nothing much apart from a small update to the biography of Pedro de la Rosa for obvious reasons.

Happy birthday!

Birthday wishes to two F1 Fanatics today – Qazuhb and Cathal. Happy birthday guys!

On this day in F1

BMW launched their F1.09 on this day last year. The team had high hopes for the car after three years of gradual improvements – but it proved a flop and the manufacturer announced it was withdrawing from Formula 1 halfway through the season.

23 comments on “F1 Fanatic round-up: 20/1/2010”

  1. If I remember correctly, a team can not change its name very often. If they changed to Sauber Racing they would then not be able to change to Toblerone Sauber until a certain amount of time had passed.
    I think Peter Sauber waits until he has a new title sponsor sewn up.

    1. Toblerone Sauber would be awesome.

      1. Agreed, I’d prefer to see them in the black and red livery. Rather than the beige and red.

        Although the car could be half beige/red & half brown. Like the wrapper is being town off the Toblerone. With some flicks of silver at the join for the tinfoil…

        As much as I’d like to see this and it would make me buy more chocolate.. I think Kraft probably have shareholders to appease after splashing out on Cadburys.

        1. Exactly – they probably want to tie a sponsor into the team name, so why go through all the hassle of taking the BMW out now if they’re going to need to do it all over again once the sponsorship deal is finalised.

  2. That is a VERY cool video from USF1. They’re making a great attempt at being fan friendly and showing stuff no one else shows.

  3. Prisoner Monkeys
    20th January 2010, 0:50

    Yay, my first comment of the day!

    My goal for 2010 is to be the person with the most comments of the day at the end of the year.

    1. At the end of the year? I have just enough patience to finish a sent…….

  4. You know over a few articles, I’m starting to detect a veiled contempt for Mr NP Jr. I dunno, it’s like a vibe I’m picking up. Maybe I’m psychic?? ;) :)

    1. same. but i’m not surprised. nelson p**sed me off a bit too!

    2. Prisoner Monkeys
      20th January 2010, 2:25

      I’m calling BS on Piquet’s claims. When he left Formula One for NASCAR, the wording of the statement made it look like he was going of his own decision. Now he says he’s been offered a drive, but he doesn’t say from whom. Given the way he was really trying to get a 2010 seat, it’s a total backflip for him. Call me a cynic, but I do believe Piquet is trying to convince himself that he wasn’t universally hated in the paddock and that there was still a place for him. Either that or he was arrogant enough to expect an offer from a top team and turned down the offer because it came from an uncompetitive outfit.

      1. He can get daddy to pay for a drive. I don’t think he’s lying about it – perhaps USF1 offered him one. And as for this policy of Campos not to have 2 brazilian drivers, it would surely have been tested once Piquet snr started to get the readies out.

        As much as we all hate Piquet for what he did, he’s made the right decision (for once) not to come back into the fire so good for him.

        1. “or he was arrogant enough to expect an offer from a top team and turned down the offer because it came from an uncompetitive outfit.”

          so basically that one of the two!

        2. Prisoner Monkeys
          20th January 2010, 8:08

          And as for this policy of Campos not to have 2 brazilian drivers, it would surely have been tested once Piquet snr started to get the readies out.

          Piquet Snr. only had a limited amount in his pockets. It was said to be about ten million. Both Petrov and Maldonado are offereing twice as much.

          so basically that one of the two!
          I don’t think so. Piquet was arrogant enough to always blame someone else for his mistakes, and he was arrogant enough to assume he would always be on the grid … but I do think he knew his place. I do think he realised he wasn’t as quick as he thought he would be (though it was probably a case of “I want to be 10/10 for speed, but right now I’m 9/10”), so I doubt he could have expected a top drive. He never would have one near McLaren because of their relationship with Hamilton, both Red Bull seats and both Ferrari seats were filled very quickly, and while Piquet would have liked the idea o driving for a championship-winning team, I think he would have been quite wary of Ross Brawn. Not because Brawn is another Britore, but because his reputation precedes him. I actually think of Brawn as being quite an intimidating person when you look at what he has achieved. I think Piquet would have been cowed by that, and the fact that they were talking to Button to stay with the team woud have scared him away. Even Williams, probably the fifth-best team, filled very quickly. Piquet might have been arrogant enough to assume he was worthy of a top drive, but I don’t think he was arrogant enough to expect one. And if he was, he was probably cowed by the way the five best teams in the sport moved to fill the seats.

      2. I reckon it could have been Stefan GP…

  5. HAPPY BIRTHDAY Qazuhb and Cathal.

  6. With the comments Windsor made after Nelson’s crash I find it impossible to believe that USF1 offered to do anything other than to pack his bags.

    1. Agreed. I don’t think he was ever under consideration at USF1. But while he’s slumming around Mooresville, I wonder if he’ll drop in on Peter and Ken, if only to see what he’s missing? Personally, I regard NPJr as awfully young to be so sadly stranded by circumstances.

  7. I will never hear of piquet again, while senior will have his name in the history books for his championships, junior has beggered off to NASCAR. It will be the same as when jpm left to NASCAR – never heard from them again. Mind you nelsinho is hardlw a loss to formula 1!

  8. I’ve held the same view as most about Piquet – that he should stop talking and move on from playing the victim. But today I stopped and thought about Singapore ’08 from his perspective for the first time.

    Given that most people found the idea of crashgate unbelievable until the telemetry and the investigation showed otherwise, I doubt they would have believed NP if he refused to crash and then came out and say he was told to crash. Of course, there are those who view Flavio as a slimy creature, but that doesn’t mean they would believe every one of Nelisnho’s words without any concrete evidence – and there wouldn’t be any concrete evidence if Nelson had actually refused to crash! So really, Nelson’s F1 career was certain to end if he did the right thing and stood up to Flavio: he’d have been fired from Renault and everyone would have believed he was fired because he was slow. If he tried to tell the world he was fired for refusing to crash, he’d have been ridiculed by most for his ludicrously implausible tale, sued for slander or libel by Flavio, and Nelson would have ended up becoming the pathetic figure he has become anyway.

    He saw that agreeing to Flavio was his way to stay in F1. And if he were fired later (as he was), there would at least be evidence of crashgate. If the whole world could see that he was ordered to crash, maybe they would also believe that he was unfairly treated at Renault, and that he was therefore not as bad a driver as he appeared, and thus that he deserved another chance in F1?

    It seems to me that Nelson valued his F1 drive above his dignity and the (admittedly very small but nonetheless significant) danger he caused the marshalls and spectators that day. But how many fanatics here – particularly twentysomething fanatics – would value an F1 drive above their dignity? It is easy to treat the trio of Flavio, Pat Symonds and Nelson as equal adults in this, as legally they are of course. But in reality, Nelson (23) was a mere child compared to Pat (55) and Flavio (58)

    By no means do I agree with what Nelson did: I’d have preferred it if he kept his dignity even if it meant losing his F1 drive forever, through little fault of his own. Given that he made the mistake, however, I think the FIA have done him no favours by granting him immunity – this has caused a lot of resentment towards him. If he’d been banned for a year, I think people would be a bit more willing to give him a second chance after he’d served his punishment. I for one would like to see what he could do in a team which treated him well. He might still be rubbish; fair enough. But given what we know about Singapore ’08, I find it unreasonable to make many judgements on Piquet during his time at Renault. UNLESS it was his idea to deliberately crash, Nelson is the least guilty of the trio involved so should, I believe, receive the least vitriol of the trio involved.

    1. While I think you raise a good argument, it is important to realize that it wasnt just Piquet’s dignity in question on that day in singapore, but the already-fragile integrity of the sport of F1. By obeying the nefarious instructions of FB and PS (and keeping it secret as long as it suited him), Piquet created negative media frenzy, besmirched the inaugural Singapore GP, and essentially raised a giant middle finger to F1 fans the world over. His actions were deplorable, and to say that he is the “least guilty of the trio involved” simply isnt reasonable.

  9. Thank goodness for USF1 using YouTube to bring us great insights without charge. I hope it continues and I hope it inspires all the other teams, F1.com, the FIA, and FOTA etc to do the same as it’s long overdue…

  10. USF1 produced a good video there – and introduced two engineers that look like they’ve spent time… working as engineers, which is a large bonus. Things are on the up over there!

    Begs the question if their design is going to be off the wall, why they’re showing the nose cone (a vital aero component) when Windsor surely knows how quickly other teams can copy and fab. He must assume other teams assume his aero work is of no interest.

  11. Maybe Peter Sauber is repaying BMW with some free advertising, given that they kept his name on the car when they didn’t have to. Interesting that it seems to be okay with Sauber’s new (old) engine supplier, though.

    As for wee Nelson, the only thing I noticed about his interview was nearly every answer he gave was an excuse or a thinly-veiled dig at F1/Renault. Put up or shut up, Piquet.

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