August 20, 2009

F1 News 'n' Notes Before Valencia

With the F1 Circus setting up its tents in Valencia, we've got some nuggets and tidbits of information being handed out like cotton candy and peanuts.

*Norbert Haug, president and overseer of all Mercedes-Benz motorsport activities, got a little dig in at the FIA today.  In the usual Thursday pre-race interviews, Haug was asked about the lifting of the one-race ban handed to Renault after the Hungarian Grand Prix.  His response was classic: "It's good to see that a harsh punishment is sometimes reversed. I would like to know what that's like."  Of course, the Death Penalty handed down to McLaren-Mercedes in 2007 had nothing to do with his comment.

*Campos F1, one of the new teams coming in for 2010, reportedly is going to name their driver lineup soon.  Expected to be in the Campos cars are Russian GP2 driver Vitaly Petrov and current McLaren third driver and F1 Update! long-time favorite Pedro de la Rosa, better known around these parts as "Pete Rose."  Petrov is an interesting choice.  He's currently third in the GP2 standings, and would be the first Russian F1 driver ever, which could be important considering that there's a push to place a Grand Prix in Russia.

*As expected, Renault did name Romain "Lettuce" Grosjean as the replacement for the fired Nelson Piquet Unemployed.  Lettuce immediately declared himself a French driver.  He actually was born in Switzerland, but his mother is French, and he has dual nationalities and passports.  "In motorsports, my nationality is clearly French, because all
all of the support in my career was coming from France, never Switzerland," said Grosjean.  Being French, of course, he will never win a F1 race, because one lap from the end he'll see a white flag and pull over.  (*badum-pssshhhhh!*)

*Ferrari's replacement for Felipe Massa, Luca Badoer, has managed to get some time in the F60 recently.  Earlier this week, he drove about 120 miles over two days on Bridgestone's ultra-hard demonstration tires as a TV commercial was filmed.  The runs were all in a straight line, and at least he got some practice with the gearbox.  In interviews, Badoer has said that Valencia "will basically be a test session" for him.

*Finally, as was earlier speculated, new team USF1 announced that YouTube CEO and co-founder Chad Hurley had signed on as the team's "primary investor."  No word if this means that the YouTube logo will be plastered on the car.  Considering Bernie Ecclestone's problems with the video website (which is why it's often hard to find current F1 clips there), one can only hope it WILL be, in a prominent spot.  The other interesting bit of news is that the car's livery will probably be blue.  See, back in the old days, a team's nationality determined their car's color.  Britain was green, Italy was red, Germany was silver... and America was blue.  It's a throwback, and I'm loving it.

See you tomorrow for Practice!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 09:29 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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Good recap of all the news!!  Wow, there sure was a lot of news, too, for a practice session.

Looking forward to qualifying.


Posted by: Mallory at August 21, 2009 03:40 PM (WJ2qy)

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