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.


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?

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.

64 comments on “Valsecchi and Razia tipped for Lotus test roles”

  1. you can watch Brundle and blundell race in the number 23 car in the Daytona 24 until 8.30pm (sunday, GMT) here

    1. I’m watching them now, and Blundell’s just gotten back in the car running 4th.

  2. i have a small feeling that Bernie replacement (whenever it may be) will be briatore. not sure why but it just seem like the strange ways of formula 1 could mean that happens.

    1. I hope it’s not Briatore. I’d never heard of Zak Brown until a couple hours ago when I read his name on the 24hrs of Daytona roster teaming up w/ Blundell/Brundle. Honestly I hope his involvement in F1 does increase in some way. Having an American in a high profile position in the sport in some way would be good for F1 in the US, which would in turn be good for the sport. Maybe Zak Brown could be behind a successful attempt at starting a US based team.

      1. fecklessmoron (@)
        30th January 2011, 16:00

        It would be great to have a US based team. Having our own grand prix on a purpose built track is certainly a step in the right direction.

        I think it would be great if a US manufacturer got involved (unlikely as that may be). I recently read that Chevrolet is getting involved in the retooled Indy car series by becoming an engine supplier and designing their own aero kit (see January Racecar Engineering). If more than one manufacturer becomes involved, innovation is certain to follow.

        I think the Indy split damaged US open wheeled racing and stopped international drivers thinking of the 500 as a pinnacle event. Perhaps we are looking at the that will change those oppinions.

  3. Is this failed Formula One driver the next Bernie Ecclestone?

    I’ve heard of this Zak Brown guy before. He’s little more than a glorified PR guy. I think he was involved with the United States Grand Prix somehow – or something of the ilk – but his involvement was seriously overstated. published a press release from his agency, and to hear them tell it, Brown was the sole reason why Bernie would even listen to the prospect of a revived USGP.

    1. I read the article. Running F1 is more than just trying to hook up some sweet sponsors. From the article, to me he seems like a guy who is good at selling advertising space on cars, doesn’t mean he has the skills to run one of the biggest sports in the world.

      1. He’s just a middle-man. If I’m a team and you’re a budding sponsor, Brown makes the connection and takes a cut for arranging it. The difference is that Bernie is not a middle-man. He represents the entire commercial side of the sport and deals directly with the promoters. No middle-man necessary.

  4. a TV producer telling me I was ‘only brought in because they [at ITV] want a pretty female presenter’

    Louise Goodman?! :P Actually, I assume the lady in question is Beverly Turner… remember her? As I recall her job was simply to cover the showbiz side of the sport, nothing to do with racing at all

    I also read somewhere that the way David Coulthard used to go, particularly with the aforementioned Louise, was a tad sexist. I won’t mention any specific incidents in case I fall foul of the language moderator, but google David Coulthard and Louise Goodman and you’ll see what they mean…

    1. I remember Coulthard saying something about Louise’s “Milk dispensers” (That’s all I could come up with!!!) Then the picture turned to Blundell who was nearly on the floor crying with laughter.

    2. I guessed it was Beverly Turner too, and having looked quickly it is.

      I bought her book a few years back, and it had some interesting insights into the mentality of competitors in a sport where 75% of them have no realistic chance of winning. It was particularly marked as she is married to James Cracknell (multiple gold medal winning rower), who of course competed in a sport where the equipment doesn’t matter and if you lose there is nothing to blame or excuse it other than you just weren’t as good as your opponents.

    3. Yea well when it comes to sport the female presence will always be a tricky situation.

      Im going to tread very diplomatically here but fact is, sex sells. Did anyone really give a damn at how successful any Kournikova did at the peak of her popularity? No.

      I take for example the new BBC radio 5 pit reporter. I know for a fact I could do a better job than her, and communicate it in a manner which is more beneficial to the fan. However I am a male, I’m flat chested and my face simply isn’t made for the high definition age. I bet at this point in time she is training up on this sport she has to report on and will probably do a decent job at it. I guarantee she would have a blank look on her face if you asked her who Gilles Villenueve is however.

      1. I bet at this point in time she is training up on this sport she has to report on and will probably do a decent job at it.

        I have zero problem with this, everyone has to learn a job, no one goes into anything an expert.

        1. But he’s right though: there will be countless better qualified people out there who just don’t happen to be a glamorous woman like Holly Samos, Lee McKenzie or this new 5 Live reporters whose name I’ve forgotten.

          Then again, perhaps it helps to have a good looking reporter. When reporters are jostling for interviews in the paddock no doubt drivers gravitate towards the better looking ones!

          1. And this raises the question of how does the next Murray Walker get into the sport? It seems a prerequisite to be a commentator these days to have been a past driver and to get a side gig with a TV company you have to be a good looking firl.

            Bearing in mind the path that is needed to break into this line of work there is one thing no university will teach you, and will not be evident on a CV – passion. The reason Walker was so good was every race he did, he did it with passion.

          2. get a journalism degree, be a journo for a few years specialising in motorsport, become renowned as an expert on F1, pick up as much experience in broadcast journalism as you can, and get into commentary that way.

          3. Just like Murray Walker did?

            Perhaps read my comment again. You missed my point.

          4. how does the next Murray Walker get into the sport? The same pathway I said.

            There’s plenty of people who have suitable background and experience who have a passion for F1. Having the background and a passion aren’t mutually exclusive.

            You won’t just walk into an F1 commentary position, you have to do the hard slog through the media and work your way up.

            If you have a passion for motorsport and want to work in the media, get experience in the media. Its not rocket science. If you can show you can write at a journalist level and do broadcasts at a high level then you can work your way up.

            Why do former drivers seem to pop up in the roles? Because they have received a butt-load of media training during their careers, have written articles, have done god knows how many press conferences and tv appearances, ie they have the experience.

            Murray Walker started in a completely different time when there wasn’t the number of people with experience in broadcast journalism, so it was easier for people with less background to get in. But he still started off doing minor events and then worked his way up to F1. And its still easy today to get experience in the media if you wanted.

            If you don’t know how to get experience in the media, its probably fair to say you don’t really want to work in the media.

          5. probably the same way legard got in..

          6. Look I see what you’re saying, and I do respect your point of view given the points you raised to justify your decision, but its a system which I just don’t believe in.

            I’m not saying one should have an open door to the lead commentary role in the world biggest motorsport series, thats just ridiculous. But at the same time I do not believe years of writing for a magazine or 20 second sound bytes is a good prerequisite. That is the route Jonathan Legard did and look how he ended up. David Coulthard was only considered due to his part time journalism after his driving days and I believe we will have complaints about him in no time, namely as one struggles to understand him. On the other hand we had Jackie Stewart – the man cannot even read or write, yet his ability to deliver what is occuring on the track in an accurate and appealing manner is what made him a very good commentator.

      2. fact is, sex sells

        Sure – but the real question to ponder is why this becomes an issue of discussion when the topic is female reporters, but not when it’s the male ones?

    4. It’s OK, you’re allowed to say ‘nipples’…

      1. Lol @ Keith, and as for the next Murray, pick me, I’m young just 24, I could do it forever! I have acting experience since age 12, I’ve hosted events, served as a commentator for track meets, Hell I’d almost do it for free :)

    5. Hang on, turns out the lasy who wrote the article itself was Beverly Turner! Serves me right for not clicking the link eh…

    6. I’ve worked in TV on and off for 16 years, and yes, it’s riddled with sexism, including any number of pretty but talentless girls who are ignorant of their subject, getting jobs and making money they don’t deserve when better candidates are passed over. And look, Beverley is still cashing in…

      1. Yeah, but don’t get me started on all the talentless guys working in television!

        1. Oh yeah, I lost count of them :)

  5. Nick isn’t a driver who should sit on the side line if not F1 then he must look at other motorsports.Mercedes may look at someone who will partner Roseberg with Schumacher leaves at the end of 2012.Hulkenberg won’t be a bad replacement for the future for the team.

    1. Hulkenberg won’t be a bad replacement for the future for the team.

      I imagine that’s probably the primary reason they won’t sign another reserve driver. Just like Red Bull has three drivers to choose from now at Torro Rosso, Mercedes essentially has three drivers to choose from at Force India if either Schumacher or Rosberg couldn’t race for some reason.

  6. For any South Australian F1 Fanatics, “Senna” will be screening in the Adelaide Film Festival at the Picadilly Cinema in North Adelaide on 27th Feb and 6th March.

    You can book tickets from this link:

    I’m so excited, I’m making my parents and my girlfriend come and see it too :)

    1. I think the UK must be the last country in the world to get this film….

      1. Well unless you went to Sundance, no one in the U.S. has seen it either, so I feel your pain Adrian. I am desperately hoping it gets a nation wide release.

  7. I’m a bit disappointed at the Lotus reserve driver news I have to say. I was hoping that Chandhok was going to get that seat and be able to race at the inaugural Indian GP. Not that I rate him particularly highly, but it would’ve been interesting to see him in Friday practices and a race or two to see how he fared in a more competitive car than the HRT. It’s starting to look like we won’t be seeing any of the HRT’s four different 2010 drivers in F1 in any capacity in 2011. Kind of makes driving for HRT the F1 kiss of death. “Here’s your chance to race in F1… oh we forgot to mention it’ll kill any chance you have of every making it into a real F1 seat and having a shot at some real racing.”

  8. Just found this on

    Winner of the World Cinema Audience Award for Documentary Film:

    Senna, directed by Asif Kapadia (U.K.)
    “I just got back from Salt Lake City, for a screening. I should have dressed in something nicer.” “This Festival’s restored my faith in festivals,” he continues. “It’s all about the films, the filmmakers and audiences, and every screening is sold out.”

    It didn’t win the Grand Jury Prize, but hopefully winning the Audience Award will bring it to wide theatrical distribution in North America. *fingers crossed*

  9. wow, its the USF1 Peter Windsor

    1. The better half of USF1

    2. wow, its the USF1 Peter Windsor

      If you’re referring to me, then no.

    1. If that’s the new Mercedes I’d be surprised. I hope it’s not, they seem to have had no imagination regarding their front wing since they were Brawn in 2009. Come on Ross, the Renault boys had two new wings at every race in 2010!! I know you guys can come up with one new one in two years. ;)

      1. Nice new livery though

        1. Seconded, I really hope that’s the new paint job.

      2. IF that’s the launch model you know the front wing at the first race will look nothing like this – like with all the launch cars.

        1. The rear wing looks like it is last years as well.

          But the colours look a lot better like this. Good job on that at least. I wonder what Ross will say when he sees the Lotus car where Gascoyne found a way of doing the split airbox this year. Will he be proud of being copied or stuffed up for not sticking with it this year.

    2. UneedAFinn2Win
      30th January 2011, 12:42

      Maybe it’s the new paintjob but to me that looks like a rendering, not a photo.

      1. Yeah definitely looks CGI. New livery also looks.. err.. a shiner silver? The green highlights from Petronas are also starting to grow on me!

    3. That’s definitely it. Mercedes tweeted it and have it up on their official site:!/OfficialMGP/status/31713641975779328

      1. This basically looks like last year’s car with nose raised a bit – and even that’s not sure because of the livery, angle and the fact that it’s cgi.

        1. Well, they’ve also gotten rid of the blade-style roll structure which got outlawed. Nothing radical this time around it seems.

          1. I meant that I don’t think we should read too much into this one tiny computer image that shows pretty much nothing…

  10. I can’t remember whether this got posted on here or whether it got discussed but;

    You know this mock-up Team Lotus did of the winning black and gold livery:

    Is this their 2011 car?

    1. No, it’s not. The article title, “What could have been”, says as much. They were originally going to go for a black and gold livery, but Lotus cars were planning on it, too. And before you jump in and say Bahar stole the idea from Fernandes, a French journalist broke news of Bahar’s plans before Fernandes announced his own. With the rivaly between both Lotuses (or should that be Lotii?), Fernandes elected to keep the green livery of 2010.

      1. Also, it was published weeks ago. There’s no way they’s let a full image of their 2011 car slip that early.

        1. Yeah I knew about the livery, I meant the chassis. Obviously they wouldn’t want anyone to see until the unveiling but I was just curious, as it’s not last year’s car, as to whether it’s just some generic F1 car or whether, unlikely as it is, they had accidentally shown their 2011 car.

  11. Regarding all the buttons on the steering wheel, are there anymore than there were in 2009?

    As far as I understand the new ones this year compared with last year are KERS and the moveable wing.

    But in 2009 some drivers also had KERS buttons on their steering wheel plus they had the moveable front wing back then.

    Also in 2010 because of the way some teams implemented the F-duct we saw drivers like Alonso driving one handed at times.

    I remember reading a story a few years ago, possibly before the 2009 season, that Hamilton had got a steering wheel from McLaren to take home and familiarise himself with so it would be second nature come the races where all the various switches and buttons were.

    1. I want that to be the new Mercedes livery, but thers no way thats the W02, straight away you can see something thats banned by the regulations.

      1. what have you seen?

        1. Looks a bit like the RB6.

          1. And the bottom of the front wing looks like the FW32.

        2. I thought the U-valley shape along the top of the car was outlawed. Seems not, although its odd then why Ferrari have dropped it from the F150.

  12. Lotus TL11 out at 5am tomorrow (in about 10 hours) :-)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments are moderated. See the Comment Policy and FAQ for more.
If the person you're replying to is a registered user you can notify them of your reply using '@username'.