Luiz Razia, Virgin, Abu Dhabi, 2010

Valsecchi and Razia tipped for Lotus test roles

F1 Fanatic round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

In today’s round-up: Lotus test drivers, Webber’s shoulder and sexism in F1.

Links

Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Valsecchi, Razia set for Lotus test drives (Adam Cooper)

“Davide Valsecchi and Luiz Razia look set to be announced as test drivers for Team Lotus, with both men expected to have a chance to drive on some Friday mornings – as Fairuz Fauzy did last year.”

Heidfeld unlikely to return to Mercedes (ESPN F1)

“Nick Heidfeld could be on his way out of Formula One after Mercedes revealed they were talking to potential candidates about their reserve driver role.

“Head of marketing Joachim Schmidt admitted they were not looking to appoint a German test driver – with Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher already confirmed as their line-up for the new season.”

Demands on drivers ‘unacceptable’ (Autosport)

“Formula 1 technical chiefs are to keep a close check on whether drivers are struggling with being asked to operate too many buttons on their steering wheels this year – with Ferrari suggesting the situation could have reached an ‘unacceptable’ level.”

Massa Confident Pirelli Will Suit His Style (Speed)

“Felipe Massa says he’s confident that the change to Pirelli will work in his favour, after he struggled last season.”

Is this failed Formula One driver the next Bernie Ecclestone? (The Guardian)

Zak Brown: “I think it will be impossible to replace Bernie. You’d certainly have to approach it with a bit of a team. You’d need a chief executive, but Bernie’s got such a unique skill set that I look around the world and I don’t know if you could pop in and be Bernie overnight. I think that is a concern for the sport because he is 80 so he’s not going to go on forever. He’s still got a bit of a run in him. I don’t think he’s going to retire, he’s going to go until the lights go off, so he could have another 10 years in him.”

H_Kovalainen (Heikki Kovalainen via Twitter)

“Cycling session done this morning now some power work, last tough day before testing starts next week.”

Todt says FIA willing to help Malta on road safety (Times of Malta)

“Jean Todt, president of the International Automobile Federation, the world regulator of motorsport, said today that the FIA was willing to help Malta in road safety initiatives.”

Mark Webber Explains His Now Infamous Shoulder Injury (The Race Driver)

Andy Gray and Richard Keys: Sexism is not sport’s darkest sin (The Daily Telegraph)

“Then this week, sexist comments from the football pundits, Andy Gray and Richard Keys, exploded into a scandal, and it all came flooding back: the aggressive tone used by a TV producer telling me I was ‘only brought in because they [at ITV] want a pretty female presenter’; the Mercedes executive who confessed that there were plenty of women good enough to drive in F1 but ‘they are just not feminine’. Or the time former F1 boss Flavio Briatore took me by the arm as I dashed through the paddock and insisted: ‘You have lunch with me today,’ fully expecting me to drop my job and join him at that very moment.”

Brundle and Blundell qualify ninth at Daytona (ESPN F1)

“The four-man team which includes former Formula One team-mates Martin Brundle and Mark Blundell qualified ninth on the 49-car grid for the Daytona 24-hour event.”

First round of the Ferrari F150 (YouTube)

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

Comment of the day

Spacko is going to the Turkish Grand Prix and has a few questions – can you help?

We are looking to get tickets for the race this year and sit in the Silver 8. Does anyone know what Block is the SouthEast side of the seating?
Spacko

Are you going to the 2011 Turkish Grand Prix? Chat with other F1 fans who are going to the race here: 2011 Turkish Grand Prix discussion

From the forum

Will Hamilton ever have another superstar teammate?

Happy birthday!

No F1 Fanatic birthdays today. If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

With testing for the new season starting in two days’ time, here’s a timely reminder from ten years ago not to take the lap times entirely at face value.

Jean Alesi lowered the Circuit de Catalunya lap record on this day in 2001 at the wheel of his Prost, almsot a second faster than anyone else on the day.

While the team could hope for an improved season having swapped their Peugeot engines for Ferraris, once the season proper began it became clear that the Prost-Acer AP04 was not a front running car. It amassed a mere four points and Alesi jumped ship before the season ended.