OllieF1
In other news…

In other news…

It has been a while since I have posted, and for that I apologise – work pressures etc…

But, just because it has been a little quiet around here doesn’t mean nothing has been happening in the world of F1. In the time since the Malaysian Grand Prix, there has been a ‘semi-scandal’ over flexible elements in the front and rear wings of some cars, Mercedes are trying to acquire the services of Nico Rosberg for 2007, Minardi may make a come-back, a breakaway series is looking unlikely as the ‘rebel’ teams sign up for 2008 and Juan Pablo Montoya is confident of his options for next year.

So, where to begin? Well, several teams decided that the rules regarding the front and rear wings were not clear enough and planned a protest on Ferrari should they get a good result in Malaysia. The controversy surrounds moving elements within the structure of the wing that move when subject to high speeds. This can produce a significant advantage as it can reduce drag on the wing when the car is moving very fast. Alas, Ferrari didn’t get a good result in Sepang, and various ‘important’ people intervened promising clarification before this weekends Australian Grand Prix. Ferrari have been asked to make modifications to the front wing (although the Scuderia insists the mods are only for performance reasons), and McLaren and BMW Sauber have also been asked to ammend parts of their rear wings.

I’m sure this argument is going to continue for a little while longer, but at the end of the day, the teams are going to attempt what they think they can get away with whilst circumnavigating the rule book.

Mercedes and McLaren like the look of a certain young German (although Finnish by descent) Formula One driver who goes by the name of Nico. And interested they might well be. In his first two races, Nico Rosberg has stunned most of the F1 paddock by displaying maturity beyond his years and incredible outright pace. While his experience is a little on the thin side, watching Nico race reminds me of a young Kimi at the helm of Sauber. Except Nico appears to be even faster! McLaren currently have one driver signed for the 2007 season – Fernando Alonso – and will need a competant driver to accompany him. However, I am sure Fernando doesn’t come cheap, and should Montoya and Raikkonen look elsewhere for drives, I imagine the team would want a competant but unproven driver, thus saving themselves a few bucks in the process. Step in Nico! Frank Williams (Rosberg’s current employer) is often said to have an excellent eye for talent, and Rosberg’s signing to the Britons team goes someway to proving that. But the knighted team owner doesn’t always manage to keep them or lets them go at the wrong time. There was the Buttongate scandal, Damon Hill, Alain Prost etc…

Good luck Frank, I think you are going to need some!

One time owner of the Minardi team Paul Stoddart (who sold out to Red Bull late last year who in turn renamed the team Scuderia Toro Rosso) has signed up for the 2008 season, using the Minardi name again. Paul – a self-confessed F1-nut – says he misses the sport greatly and wants to return. In 2008, there will be 12 slots available, and teams have until this Friday (March 31st) to enter, although apparently teams can enter at a later, but I would imagine there would be some kind of caviate on this. There are currently 11 teams already competing, and therefore one remaining slot up for grabs.

Paul is competing against the likes of Dave Richards’ Prodrive team, Eddie Irvine and the Russians and maybe a McLaren B-Team headed up by ex-F1 driver Jean Alesi. All of this is unconfirmed, but I think the competition is going to heat up over the next year as to who gets in. Of course, in the mean time, teams may fold and more spaces may become available. I personally cannot see Midland being around in 2008, and Honda may pack up Super Aguri if the costs get too much. This is going to be a wait and see story, but mark my words, it is going to get very interesting…

The threat of some teams breaking away from F1 and starting up their own series looks likely to die a quiet death as the rebelious squads sign up for the 2008 season. There has been a long despute over the running of the sport and commercial revenue distribution which led to some F1 teams to make threats to leave the sport and start a rival formula. I think it is good that the teams have signed up, and hopefully all can work together to improve the sport. Max Mosley (FIA chief and general nuisance) won’t be around forever, and I’m sure F1 will develop in the next ten years or so and get rid of the sillyness that has embroiled the sport for a few years now. Five year engine development freeze – Max, what are they putting in your tea?

And Juan Pablo Montoya doesn’t seem too concerned that he may may be out of a McLaren drive next year. The Colombian says he has spoken “to everyone” and “all you hear about is Kimi.” Getting a bit jealous Juan? Want some headlines? How about you make a decision rather than wait around for others to strike first? Go on, sign that Toyota contract…

Oliver White

10 comments

  • nice summary. the only point i’d challenge you on is: i don’t think nico moving to mclaren would be cheap. frank did very well out of his deal with button last year (which bought him a years supply of engines), if he could do the same with nico he’d be well set for next year too.

  • Good point, although if memory serves correct (which it very often doesn’t), JPM left on not-so-good terms. But still, Frank with his stiff-upper lip may take him back.

    Does anybody expect the Stoddy to be returning to F1 in ’08 with a revamped Minardi squad? Personally speaking, I do hope Minardi can return, but only with a decent budget and mid-field contending car at minimum. The dream still lives on…

  • i’m gonna plump for wurz, because he has some deal that gives him a race option with the team in ’07. failing that, with enough financial backing narain could also get a look in.

  • re: ps. dave richards is well and trully in max’s pocket – what with running the wrc n’all – so he has the best chance at picking up the 12th seat.

    however, maybe some other teams won’t make the cut. can anyone even see the point of mf1?

  • Ankit, I appreciate English is probably not your first language (so Bravo for being pretty darn good at it!), and please don’t be offended by my question: Do you think that Juan will quit F1 if he doesn’t get to stay with McLaren?

    If that is the thought, it is quite interesting. Do you think JPM would return to America? I personally feel he would stay in F1 with a mid-field team, like RBR or BMW.

  • Nice summary ad great site.

    I don’t think Frank needs much luck with Nico. He has him locked up tight and if Mclaren want him (shoudl Kimi go Red ot Blue) Frank will be able to name his price

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