For my team name, I want something interesting, but representative. Something that conveys both power and agility. For that reason, I’m dubbing my team Precision Grand Prix Engineering.
In my first year, I would target one of three drivers: Adrian Sutil, Sebastien Buemi and Felipe Massa, in that order. I would aim for Sutil because he’s really matured and although he is a regular points-scorer, Force India have lost their momentum. If he was unavailable, I’d go for Buemi. With Red Bull becoming a championship-worthy team and thus able to take any driver they please, Buemi (and Alguersuari) will no doubt get frustrated with their inability to move to Red Bull. And my third choice would be Massa. I’ve listed him third because I think it would be difficult to woo him from Ferrari. And also because he’s a nice guy and to get him as a driver, I’d no doubt have to resort to dirty tricks. So Adrian Sutil gets the seat.
Because I’m running a new team, I’d need a source of income. That means taking on a pay driver, but the tiered structure of feeder series mean that even the meanest pay driver has to have some degree of talent. For this reason, I’d look to GP2. Sergio Perez and Pastor Maldonado seem to be the strongest from the class of 2010, but Maldonado is perhaps a little too fast and loose, and thus error-prone. Dani Clos would also be worth looking into, but I think he’d need a little longer in the series to prove his worth. Therefore, my second driver is going to be Sergio Perez, with Telmex as my title sponsor.
For my young driver programme, I’d ignore GP2 and GP3 for the most part and start looking at the Formula 2 grid. Although they’ve got some utterly useless/bonkers drivers in there (like Kralev and Kumar), there’s a few diamonds in the rough. For that reason, Kazim Vasiliauskas would be my designated reserve driver, and Mihai Marinescu would take on a secondary role. They may not be winning the series, but they’re both pretty consistent points-scorers. In the event that Sutil, Buemi and Massa all turned down my offer, Vasiliauskas would get the second seat, Marinescu would become reserve driver, and I’d take Giacomo Ricci as my secondary test and reserve driver, since he did so well in GP2 Asia in a DPR.
By the time the second year comes around, we will hopefully be in a position to score points ona regular basis and attract some talent if we don’t already have Sutil/Buemi/Massa. They would once again be my first choices for the role. If Perez was under-performing in the second seat (or signed to another team), Vasiliauskas would step up to fill the role. At this point, we would hopefully be able to attract some serious talent on the engineer side. I would try to get Andrew Shovlin – Jenson Button’s engineer at BAR/Honda/Brawn – for my lead driver (unless that driver was Massa, in which case it would be Rob Smedley), and Mark Slade for Perez/Vasiliauskas. Slade might be an odd choice, as he is currently Vitaly Petrov’s race engineer, but he takes on a school teacher-like approach, which I think would be appropriate for a rookie. As for my team principal, it would be very difficult to get any one of the established principals into my team. So I would look to another racing series instead. For that reason, I would contract the running of the team out to Ray Mallock Ltd., with Mallock himself as team principal.
When it comes to lead designer, Adrian Newey is the first, last and only choice. However, he is the proverbial golden goose, and golden geese are rarely for sale. Unless he has a falling-out with them, Red Bull will win any bidding war with any team for his services. As such, McLaren’s Paddy Lowe or Lotus’ Mike Gascoyne would be the ideal choice, because Lowe might enjoy the challenge of leading a new team and Gascoyne has done good work with Lotus. But Lotus would no doubt do everything in their power to keep Gascoyne and Gascoyne himself tends to pique a little too soon, so Paddy Lowe would be the man for the job. When it comes to setting up a base, we would naturally go somewhere in motorsport’s Silicon Valley, somewhere in England. However, our home race would most likely be Austin because of the Telmex connection.
I’ve already got Telmex as my title sponsor thanks to Perez, but for secondary sponsors, I’d start plumbing the two markers Bernie Ecclestone is trying to break into: Russia and South Africa. Since it seems the big sponsor companies are telecom, oil and financial outfits (and because I already have telecom covered with Telmex), I’d go in for Gazprom for oils and ABSA Group for banking. Other major sponsors would include De Beers, the dimaond consortium and online gambling site bwin.com. I would also seek to ally myself with a car manufacturer not currently involved in the sport and allow them naming rights to the team and/or engine. Top of my list is a revival of the Maserati name. as for the engine, it would most likely be a Cosworth to begin with, but once McLaren get their engine program underway, I’d be their first customer.
As far as the livery is concerned, it would consist of one primary, one secondary and one tertiary colour. The primary would be sky blue, because of the obvious Telmex influence. I would also work in white as my secondary and palatinate (a kind of purple) as my tertiray. There would also be some red in sponsor logos. Telmex would appear on the sidepods, with a smaller version of the logo on the rear wing end plates. De Beers would appear on the nose cone and the rear wing. bwin.com would get the engine cowling, whilst Gazprom would appeat between the sidepods and the front suspension (think where Lada is on the Renault R30). ABSA would appear on the front wing.
So, to summarise:
Telmex Precision Maserati
#26 – Adrian SUTIL
#27 – Sergio PEREZ
#43 – Kazim VASILIAUSKAS, Mihai MARINESCU, Giacomo RICCI
Team Principal: Ray MALLOCK
Technical Director: Paddy LOWE
Race Engineers: Andrew SHOVLIN (Sutil), Mark SLADE (Perez)
Base of Operations: ENGLAND
Home Race: AUSTIN
Sponsors: Telmex, De Beers, Gazprom, bwin.com, ABSA
Livery: Sky blue with white streaks and palantine around the lower edge of the car.