F1 drivers tipped for i1 Supercar Series

F1 Fanatic round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

In the round-up: A new series featuring former F1 drivers is planned in India.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

F1 aces linked to $2m i1 Supercar Series (Khaleej Times)

“Vitantonio Liuzzi, Giancarlo Fisichella, the legendary Jean Alesi and Heinz-Harald Frentzen have been linked to the series.”

Romain Grosjean: ??I?m already training hard?? (Renault)

“Each driver will only get six days of running before the start of the season, so every kilometre in testing will have to be useful. I can?t wait to get started!”

F1 Fanatic via Twitter

“Dieter Gass, former deputy technical director at Lotus and previously at Toyota, has joined Audi to work on their DTM and WEC teams.”

Alonso ends the year with the Magi (Ferrari)

“We want to reacquaint ourselves with the taste of winning that has eluded us for a while. Last spring, we made important changes to the structure of the technical part of the team and now we have adopted a new approach, a less conservative one, in the design of the new car. The philosophy behind the 2012 car is very different to that of 2011, especially in some key areas like suspension and aerodynamics.”

Johnnie Walker Step Inside: Witness the World’s Most Powerful Signature

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

Comment of the day

TimG on Mercedes’ prospects for 2012:

It would be silly to write them off for 2012, but signing a host of ??star name?? designers is not an automatic guarantee of success either.

Bob Bell has been at Mercedes for a few months but Costa and Willis have only just joined and probably won?t be able to make a significant impact on the W03. There?s also the potential problem of how to get that many senior people working closely enough together and all pulling in the same direction. Too many cooks, etc.

That said, I?d agree that Mercedes should be able to get closer to the top three teams in 2012. If anyone can overcome the problems of coordinating lots of senior engineers then it?s Ross Brawn.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

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

On this day in F1

Ten years ago today Silverstone dropped its earlier plans for a pit complex at the straight following Club corner.

A new pit building was eventually completed in that location and used for the first time this year.

36 comments on “F1 drivers tipped for i1 Supercar Series”

  1. Very strange idea for a series. Seems almost as random as Superleague.

  2. Superleague is mental… Whoever came up with that idea must have been a strange bloke!

    This seems to make sense to me though – it’s only 5 races and sounds like it will involve some decent drivers.

    Fingers crossed!

    1. Picking Indian towns/cities as teams seems almost as weird as Superleague though. And the choice of car seems strange. Radicals are obviously good, but not using custom-built cars, or even attracting a proper supercar for a new one-make series seems strange to me. Calling it a supercar series then racing in highly specialised (although still road legal) track cars seems counter-intuitive. I imagined either one-make or just run to GT3 or GT4 rules. Still, I suppose anything is a good step.

      1. Picking Indian towns/cities as teams seems almost as weird as Superleague though.

        It’s modelled on the Indian Premier League, where franchises – like the Chennai Super Kings and the Royal Challengers Bangalore – establish themselves in a city. The organisers of the i1 Supercar Series have evidently taken this format quite literally.

        1. In that case, if it’s that closely based on IPL, then it is completely as crazy as Superleague. It is rather more justifiable though, seeing as if India wants to promote motorsport as a new thing it would help to have a familiar format and ties to something popular. Superleague really didn’t seem to have a reason in my eyes though.

          1. The core idea to Superleague wasn’t actually that bad. They wanted to create a series where fans would support teams rather than individual drivers. Once the shock factor of motorsports and football wore off, it started to grow quite nicely. The problem was that the organisers overhauled the franchise just as the series really started to take off – going in the direction of A1GP – and the changes they made were totally unnecessary. So I think that i1 has potential, trying to generate local interest in each city holding a franchise (Mumbai, New Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Chandigarh and Pune), and no doubt get some competition between cities going (kind of like the Ford vs. Holden battles in V8 Supercars), which could be very original. It’s just a question of how everything is managed and the race format.

          2. What will be important is how they manage the overall costs of maintaining the league. The driver lineup and rules state that one international driver with one Indian driver per team. This may help build the motorsport industry in India. I agree with PrisonerMonkeys on that count that all it will be is a question of management and format. Another important aspect would also be how the races are telecast and advertised.

          3. I was turned off from superleague initially because the idea seemed daft, and I couldn’t care less about football teams, and initially I didn’t know who was who etc.

            But then I did see some parts of the races, as they were shown, together with GP2, around the F1 races (and in off-weekends, at that time, I think). The team colours give pretty good liveries (good!), and I found that the races were pretty fun to watch.

            Reading your posts, @MahavirShah and @prisoner-monkeys I agree that it will be important that they manage the format, and coverage well. I also see that in a big country like India, where motorsport is still in its infancy, they could do a lot worse than this to get the fans of those clubs looking, get more Indian drivers in the picture, and give people an idea of racing and some experienced racing drivers to learn from.

        2. The success of the i1 series will depend only on television coverage in India. Otherwise I don’t see how this will gain popularity among Indians since there will only be 1 or 2 races in India. Maybe this is one of the reasons Mumbai is getting an F1-spec track too.

          But India does have another F3-spec track near Chennai, at Sriperumbadur. Don’t know why the organizers aren’t thinking about that. Including street circuits would be great too as it brings the action closer to the common man.

  3. I would be surprised if Frentzen returned to that series, as he retired from all racing last year.


  4. Bernie Ecclestone has confirmed that he has been approached by a firm looking to purchase the rights to Formula 1 from CVC – and it’s not the Murdochs:

    A US-based private equity company has expressed interest in Formula One, the sport’s chief executive Bernie Ecclestone has revealed. A report by F1 business expert Christian Sylt in the Express on Sunday newspaper said Hellman and Friedman, owners of Getty Images, have carried out research into the sport’s finances. Ecclestone confirmed the fund, which owned 37.5 per cent of F1’s holding company SLEC for a short time more than a decade ago, is currently “scratching around talking to people”. F1 is currently majority-owned by CVC, who paid $1.7 billion for the commercial rights in 2006. Binding the owners with governing body the FIA and the 12 competing teams is the Concorde Agreement, which expires at the end of next year. “Next year we will start looking at making offers to the teams,” said Ecclestone. “We are not doing anything at the moment because we are not free to do the things we want to do until next year.”

    Although the they quote “F1 business expert Christian Sylt”, which is never a good sign. He’s not exactly a paragon of journalistic integrity.

    1. With CVC looking like it has blown several billion dollars on Channel Nine Australia, if 9 does go to the banks (which it will)CVC will have to sell something big if the executives want to keep paying themselves millions, so I would not be surprised if they do sell F1 next year. CVC is expected to lose equity in Channel Nine to the banks, maybe as soon as Febuary.

    2. Interesting nonetheless @prisoner-monkeys Thanks

    1. Thanks for the link. In my eyes I thought mosley had gained quite a but of respect recently, but this illustrates how much of a control freak he really is. Reminds me of his dictator like approach.

      1. If they can make it work in India, and it’s a big if. It will be fantastic for motorsport.

        I think basing teams out of cities is a great idea, it will make it easy for people to get behind teams, and getting some big names to partner the local heroes is just great.

        Getting Tendulkar to promote the series is yet another masterstroke.

        Having said that…. It’s a weird little car isn’t it?

        1. That was meant to be a new post! Argh turnips!

  5. I would like to go to Sepang if it comes round here. Cant pass up a chance to watch Jean Alesi now can you?

  6. Interesting that Jean Alesi gets the epithet of ‘legendary’. Bet the others are miffed!

    1. @sw6569 Now there’s a word that’s been stultified by overuse.

  7. This is confirmation that Liuzzi has no drive then. No Italians in F1 anymore?

    1. For one, Liuzzi isn’t actually confirmed as a driver for the i1 series – not yet.

      And secondly, even if he is confirmed, the final round of the i1 series is on February 26, three weeks before the Australian Grand Prix. HRT is probably the only team he could sign with, and since they have de la Rosa, Liuzzi would only need to do a minimal amount of testing.

      Finally, Jarno Trulli is still in Formula 1.

      1. All good points!

        I’m presuming Trulli will might gone, I know he has a contract but I’m pretty sure there are rumours he might be going. I can’t remember anymore.

        I can’t believe if Liuzzi has a drive he’d be messing around before the start of the season, even if it is with HRT. I presume he’d be concentrating on F1 by that time. I guess my question mark is meant to suggest that there is a possibility, however my choice of word ‘confirmation’ was admittedly a poor one.

        1. I can’t believe if Liuzzi has a drive he’d be messing around before the start of the season, even if it is with HRT. I presume he’d be concentrating on F1 by that time.

          With any other team, I’d probably agree, but with HRT you only ever sort of have a drive, maybe, depending on which way the wind blows, if you’re lucky that week. Just ask Karun Chandhok, Bruno Senna, Sakon Yamamoto, Narain Karthikeyan, and Tonio Liuzzi himself!

  8. That Khaleej Times article is appallingly-written.

    1. Every article in every newspaper here in the UAE is badly written.

  9. A more complete lineup was posted today, and it includes Pippa Mann (as soon as she’s cleared to drive after her injury): [i1 Press Release].

      1. Wait! @Prisoner-Monkeys gave me hope again! Thanks!
        (But I doubt he(Liuzzi)’ll be in F1 next year)

        1. Yeah, the final i1 race is March 9/10, so still possible to squeeze it all in before the Australian Grand Prix…

  10. Vitantonio Liuzzi […] [has] been linked to the series.


  11. Looking forward to see Fisi racing once again! : )

  12. Liuzzi and Trulli both deserve to retain their F1 seats for 2012. After all they both beat their team mates in the Drivers Championship. Two drivers who a very lucky to be retaining their seats for 2012 are Webber and Massa.

    Webber was gifted a victory at the final race of the season while his team mate walked to the title and Massa never finished a race higher than fifth place while his team mate won a race and visited the podium on a further nine occasions.

    Liuzzi will probably race in this series in India as he is now managed by Enrico Zanarini who has been hired to recruit drivers for this series.

  13. All the following are involved:

    Jacques Villeneuve
    Giancarlo Fisichella
    Vitantonio Liuzzi
    Karun Chandhok
    Jean Alesi
    Heinz-Harald Frentzen
    Alex Yoong
    Sakon Yamamoto
    Mika Salo
    Pippa Mann

    Should be good! That’s not a bad lineup to be fair and it’ll be interesting to see if any good young indian drivers shine through or not.

  14. This is really great option for veterans who still has the hunger to race something like old days. Read that the cars planned are fast enough and can provide pilots with enough speed to put on some good show.
    Looking forward of this one and definetley watching the first race if it’s avalable on TV or Online.

  15. Good COTD @TimG Pretty much my thoughts too.

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'.