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F1 2010 - The Official Thread


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A deal taking 2007 F1 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen into the World Rally Championship has been confirmed this morning after large speculation the Finn had signed on the dotted line last night.

Raikkonen vacated his race seat at Ferrari at the end of last season to allow Fernando Alonso a shot with the Scuderia for 2010 onwards.

He has joined the Citroen Junior World Rally team, with Red Bull backing alongside Sebastian Ogier.

However rumours that it will lead to an F1 drive with Red Bull Racing for 2011 for Raikkonen have been quashed somewhat in an interview with a Red Bull spokesperson.


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Silverstone announcement on Monday

A deal to stage a British Grand Prix at Silverstone next year appears finally to have been reached.

In the wake of the collapse of the planned Donington event, Silverstone chiefs and Bernie Ecclestone have been locked in long-winded talks, with the 9 December deadline of next Wednesday's F1 Commission meeting looming.

But amid new rumours that a deal has finally been reached, or is at least very close, the Northamptonshire venue announced that "the future of Silverstone and the British Grand Prix" will be discussed in a press conference at London's Grosvenor House Hotel on Monday

With more talks reportedly scheduled to precede Monday's official announcement, present at the press conference will be the president of the track-owning British Racing Drivers' Club, Damon Hill, and Silverstone managing director Richard Phillips.


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Silverstone has agreed a 17-year deal to host the British Grand Prix from 2010, ensuring the prestigious race is not axed from the Formula 1 calendar.

The Northamptonshire circuit stepped in to stage the event after Donington Park was stripped of the rights after being unable to generate the necessary funds.

And the news ensures the oldest race on the F1 calendar retains its place.

Under the new agreement, Silverstone will be redeveloped, with work focusing on rebuilding the pits and paddock.


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Four bidders for Renault, says Ecclestone

British reports are portraying the takeover of the Renault team as a straight fight between two groups led by David Richards and Gerard Lopez.

Indeed, the French sports newspaper L'Equipe believes F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone favours Lopez's Mangrove/Gravity/Genii bid, and links BAR founder Craig Pollock with the role of team boss.

It is whispered that the deal could even see the Renault name remain above the team's pit garage in 2010.

Ecclestone, however, insists there are more bidders than just Richards' Prodrive and Lopez's Luxembourg-based group.

"Richards is up against more than somebody," he told the Times newspaper.


"There is the Gerard Lopez group, there is David Richards and then there are another two people."

Ecclestone said he hopes a deal can be reached before Christmas.

"I don't think there is any big rush to get something done. (But) I hope it can be done within the next ten days and before everybody breaks up for Christmas."


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Drivers vote Senna the greatest ever

Three-time world champion Ayrton Senna has been voted the greatest Formula 1 driver of all time by a unique poll of 217 of his fellow world championship drivers conducted by AUTOSPORT magazine.

Senna beat Michael Schumacher and Juan Manuel Fangio to top spot in the unique poll, which is the most comprehensive survey of F1 drivers ever conducted.

The voters had a combined total of 9194 starts and 270 wins, and included starters from all but 10 world championship grands prix (the 11 world championship Indianapolis 500s were excluded from the poll).

Among the voters were Michael Schumacher, statistically the most successful F1 driver in history, Jose Froilan Gonzalez, the earliest surviving grand prix winner, Paul Pietsch, at 98 the oldest living driver, reigning world champion Jenson Button and much of the current F1 grid.

AUTOSPORT asked each voter to submit their top 10 'greatest' F1 drivers, and left the definition of 'greatest' open to interpretation.


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F1 set to adopt new points system

Formula 1 is set for a radical alteration to its points system in 2010 if the World Motor Sport Council approves an F1 Commission proposal to give points to the top 10 finishers in each race.

In today's Commission meeting, chaired by Bernie Ecclestone and attended by FIA president Jean Todt, a new scoring system was put forward which will award 25 points to each race winner, 20 for second place, 15 for third and 10 for fourth, before descending 8-6-5-3-2-1 for fifth through 10th positions.

The change has been proposed to take into account the increased field for 2010, when the addition of the new entrants will take the grid up to 26 cars, its highest figure since 1995.

Assuming it is approved by the WMSC, the change would be the first revision to the points system since the number of scoring drivers per race was increased from six to eight in 2003.

The F1 Commission also agreed that its Sporting Working Group sub-committee should develop "detailed proposals to improve the show" that would take effect next year, and that "the FIA and FOM will further collaborate to enhance the communication and promotion of the championship to the media and its worldwide fanbase."


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New points system approved, ex-drivers to assist stewards

The top ten finishers in a Grand Prix will score points next season under a new system ratified by the FIA World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) on Friday.

The race winner will take 25 points, with 20 and 15 being awarded for second and third places respectively. The next seven finishers will score 10, 8, 6, 5, 3, 2 and 1 point respectively. It replaces the current structure of the top eight drivers scoring 10, 8, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 point respectively and takes into account the expansion of the grid to 13 teams for 2010.

Friday’s WMSC meeting agreed a number of other changes for 2010, including the use of experienced former F1 drivers to assist stewards in decision making relating to race incidents. A permanent panel of three FIA stewards will now attend every Grand Prix, joined by an additional local steward at each race.


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the 2010 Calendar: Abu Dhabi will host the final race of the season

2010 FIA Formula One World Championship

14/3 BHR Bahrain

28/3 AUS Australia

4/4 MYS Malaysia

18/4 CHN China

9/5 ESP Spain

16/5 MCO Monaco

30/5 TUR Turkey

13/6 CAN Canada

27/6 ESP Europe (Valencia)

11/7 GBR Great Britain

25/7 DEU Germany

1/8 HUN Hungary

29/8 BEL Belgium

12/9 ITA Italy

26/9 SGP Singapore

10/10 JPN Japan

24/10 KOR Korea*

7/11 BRA Brazil

14/11 ARE Abu Dhabi

*Subject to the homologation of the circuit.

Note: The races in Australia and Abu Dhabi will start at 1700 local time, in Malaysia at 1600 local time, in Canada at 1200 local time, in Singapore at 2000 local time, and in Japan at 1500 local time.


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German press say Schumacher agrees Mercedes deal


With the exception of an actual signature on the dotted line, Michael Schumacher has reportedly agreed to return to F1 with Mercedes in 2010.

The news magazine Focus as well as the major German daily Bild revealed on Saturday that the 40-year-old, who retired as a Ferrari race driver in 2006, will be Nico Rosberg's teammate.

Bild said a one-year deal has been agreed verbally, and talks about withdrawing from his new consulting contract with Ferrari have been positive.

Focus, whose report was made available ahead of publication on Monday, said whether Schumacher actually signs the contract also depends on the go-ahead of doctors.

A source told Bild: "The signature is just a formality. Schumacher feels fit and healthy. The latest (medical) tests were entirely positive.

"He can't wait for the return and working with Ross Brawn again."

An announcement could be made as early as next week, and Focus said the deal is for 3.5m euros -- about a tenth of Schumacher's retainer when he hung up his helmet with Ferrari.

A longer-term objective is for the German to be an ambassador for the Mercedes brand, the magazine added.

The seven time world champion's spokeswoman Sabine Kehm told DPA news agency she did not want to comment, and his manager Willi Weber told SID that he was "as in the dark as the press".

"I don't know anything about it," Weber added. "I have not spoken with Mercedes, nor do I have any meetings with them."


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I think he is a decent designer, but for Brawn to let him go without much ceremony suggests he wasn't wholly responsible for their success. His stints at Williams and Toyota were also not spectacular either.


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seem its a logo launch season...

Lotus reveals new team logo

Lotus F1 Racing revealed its new team logo today, retaining the famous green/yellow colours of the legendary Lotus marque - but at the same time providing the F1 team a completely new identity.


In a press conference held in Malaysia today, where Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen were confirmed as the team's 2010 drivers, team principal Tony Fernandes explained the choices made with the new logo.

"We have thought long and hard about our team brand and logo, and I am very pleased with the end result," Fernandes stated.

"F1 aficionados will immediately recognise the classic green and yellow colour of Lotus, but we have given it a modern twist which is essentially what this team is about.

"We are not pretending to be the Lotus of the past, but we are honoured to be able to bring the name back into Formula 1 at the start of a new decade of racing. We will draw on its heritage and use it to inspire and motivate our team, Lotus F1 Racing.

"I hope everybody likes the logo and enjoys a small glimpse into the livery of our race cars for our first season."

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Renault has confirmed it remains committed to Formula 1, after announcing on Wednesday that it has sold a large stake in the team to Luxembourg company Genii Capital

Following weeks of uncertainty about the future of the team, Renault issued a statement revealing its tie-up with Genii Capital, a company led by businessman Gerard Lopez.

The French car manufacturer also confirmed that it will continue to supply engines to Red Bull Racing in 2010.

Renault and Genii will operate the team in partnership, and a letter of intent that was signed by the two parties earlier this week should be concluded at the start of 2010.

Renault will retain its team name and corporate identity - as it looks to a more greener F1 future.


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FIA rule adjustments for 2010

Formula 1 teams will be allowed to give mid-season substitute drivers a day of testing from 2010 as part of rules tweaks announced by the FIA.

Under the testing ban this year teams were only allowed strictly limited aerodynamic tests outside grand prix weekend running - which meant that newcomer Jaime Alguersuari made his debut with Toro Rosso at the Hungarian Grand Prix having never driven an F1 car beyond straightline testing. The rule also led to Michael Schumacher using a 2007 Ferrari when assessing his fitness prior to his planned comeback in place of the injured Felipe Massa.

Next year any replacement driver without recent mileage will be able to have a day of running at a circuit not on the current F1 calendar.

Garage space will be evenly distributed at each race - ending the previous situation where teams that had finished lower down the previous year's constructors' championship had to work in more cramped conditions during grands prix weekends as the larger garages were given to the most successful teams.

The penalty for exceeding the limit of eight engines per car per season has also been amended to ensure that any car that goes over the limit twice in a single grand prix weekend receives a ten-place grid penalty both for that race and the following event.

The revised sporting regulations also confirm that the expanded 26-car field will mean that eight cars are eliminated in Q1 and Q2 next year rather than the previous five per segment.


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The crazy man is back....

Sauber have signed Japan's Kamui Kobayashi as one of their two race drivers for the 2010 Formula 1 season.

Kobayashi, 23, impressed for Toyota while standing in for the injured Timo Glock in the final two races of 2009.

A test driver for the team in 2008 and 2009, he seized his chance by finishing sixth in the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

"I am very happy that my two races in 2009 have earned me a cockpit place," said Kobayashi.

"I will do my very best for Peter Sauber's team and I am proud to be able to carry on flying the Japanese flag in Formula 1."

I tell you what, with the driver line up as it is (British McLaren with last two WDCs, German Merc poss with Schumacher, Alonso at Ferrari) and the expanded grid (26 cars), next season is shaping up to very memorable.

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Mercedes to confirm Schumacher return

Michael Schumacher's return to Formula 1 is set to be confirmed later today in a press conference hosted by Mercedes-Benz.

Speculation has been mounting for days that Schumacher has agreed a deal to join Mercedes GP, with reports suggesting that he flew to Britain earlier this week to sign a contract.

Mercedes GP has now confirmed that the identity of its second driver will be announced later this morning - with the team having confirmed several weeks ago that Nico Rosberg will be racing for it in 2010.


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