After the quiet Christmas and New Years festivities, Formula One gets back into full swing soon with the continuation of the Winter Testing later this month. News has been slow recently, but hopefully this will all change as teams start to finalise their 2007 cars in preparation for the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 18th.
The past two weeks have been more about test drivers than racing drivers, and many teams have filled their vacant spots with up and coming youngsters. Toro Rosso though are still to announce their line-up.
After Spyker announced the running of Adrian Sutil next year, speculation is growing over Tiago Monteiro’s future. Although Monteiro stated that he will make announcement himself in the near future, there is still no word as of yet from the Portuguese driver. The third spot at Spyker – the test and reserve driver – is still yet to be filled, and Germany’s Markus Winkelhock has his eye on it.
I believe I can remain involved with the team next year but I just don’t know what my role could become within the team unfortunately. I will have to talk with Spyker team boss Colin Kolles about that. There is still an opportunity to become the team’s test driver. Markus Winkelhock.
Although Winkelhock does have competition for the seat in the guise of Dutch driver (Chinese born) Ho-Pin Tung. Tung has been making a name for himself, testing a Williams in 2003 and competing in the A1GP series for China. Tung’s Dutch connections could bode well for the 24 year old as Spyker are currently owned and backed by the Dutch car company.
In other test driver news, BMW announced Timo Glock as their third driver alongside Sebastian Vettel, who drove well last season in the Man-Friday sessions. The 24 year old German has driven in partnership with BMW for the past six years, winning two Formula BMW titles.
I got to know the team during my two test sessions in Barcelona and Jerez and I’m really looking forward to getting behind the wheel of the BMW Sauber F1.07 in 2007. Timo Glock.
Continuing with the test drivers, Sakon Yamamoto will stay on at Super Aguri as their test driver, after competing with the team last year in seven Grands Prix, finishing in just three. Yamamoto will share testing duties with Dutch driver Giedo van der Garde as they develop last years Honda for main drivers Takuma Sato and Anthony Davidson.
More news will follow as the teams take to the track again with the final Winter Testing program, and also as they launch their cars to the world. Toyota are due to go first with January 12th pencilled in as their big day. McLaren are aiming for the following Sunday or Monday on the 14th or 15th, and BMW aim to go on Tuesday 16th. Renault are leaving it ’til later in the month to launch, pencilling in January 24th for their traditional glitzy affair.