Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Interlagos, 2010

Hamilton first to drive new McLaren

F1 Fanatic round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

I’m interviewing Mika Hakkinen first thing this morning but you’ve got a couple of hours to make any suggestions for questions you might have. Post them in yesterday’s round-up here.

Here’s today’s round-up:


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Alan Baldwin on Twitter

“McLaren say Lewis Hamilton will be first to drive the new MP4-26 in Jerez on February 10th, Jenson Button gets behind the wheel on the 11th. However they add that the programme could change… Gary Paffett will kick off the Valencia test on Feb 1st in the old car.”

New trainer for Lewis (McLaren)

Tom Cary points out this is Hamilton’s third different trainer in three years.

Q & A: Di Grassi on his F1 future (Autosport)

“The sponsorship that I had last year didn’t work out as I expected, so I was looking for a new one to continue with the team. Even by halfway through last season I knew that it would be very difficult. I was not in a position to fight commercially with the other guys who had a budget to close the deal there as it became very clear by the end of the season that they needed someone to pay for the seat.”

McLaren on Twitter

“View from the boulevard at MTC – sunset today.”

Via the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app

Chinese GP circuit faces March inspection (Reuters)

“The Shanghai International Circuit has confirmed that all work as requested by the FIA will be carried out and should be completed by the end of February.”

Virgin on Twitter

“Interesting that people think there’s 50 odd days to the start of the season, when we’ve sent sea freight to Bahrain and Malaysia already.”

Via the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app

Vijay Mallya says F1 and IPL teams are not a hobby (BBC)

“He says Force India is poised to name its driving team for 2011 “in the next few days. There are some legal loose ends to be tied up.”

Martin Brundle on Twitter

“Jonathan Legard is a lovely bloke, we never had a ‘personality clash’ or a cross word. There’s so much nonsense gets cut and pasted as fact.”

Via the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app

Two-seater ride under the hammer for Australian flood victims (F1.com)

“The organisers of this year’s Australian Grand Prix are to auction off a ride in a two-seater Grand Prix car to raise funds to support the victims of the recent floods in Queensland.”

Thanks to Matt for the tip

2011 Ferrari team SF1 (Flickr)

Pictures of the Ferrari drivers’ 2011 helmets.

Manish Pandey on Twitter

“Asif Kapadia is flying out to the Sundance Festival today for the US Senna film premiere. I am in New York and will join tomorrow. Nerves jangling just a little!”

Via the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app

Welcome Quantel! (Virgin)

“Marussia Virgin Racing has agreed a new partnership with Quantel, a world leading developer of content creation systems, for the coming 2011 season.”

Behind the scenes at Lotus Renault GP (Renault)

Follow F1 news as it breaks using the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app.

Comment of the day

Here’s what Joey-Poey had to say about whether Renault should be allowed to run a retro tobacco livery in 2011:

If Marlboro got away with the barcode for so long and it was obviously meant as a signifier for the company, then why would an old livery not meant at all to advertise the brand it did before not be allowed?

And for that matter, what does it matter if it has the same colours as the cigarette package? I?m sure there are other tobacco products with the same colours as other teams.

It?s honestly very silly and over the top. I saw years of tobacco and alcohol products being advertised in racing when I grew up and never had the urge to go out and buy either, even once I was old enough to.

Happy birthday!

Three F1 Fanatic birthdays today so best wishes to Qazuhb, Cathal and Explosiva!

On this day in F1

It’s also Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost’s birthday. Tost is 55 today, so happy birthday to him!