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The Official 2010 F1 Megathread

13 September 2000
Tulsa, OK
Welcome to the Official 2010 F1 Megathread!

Well gents, the dust has settled upon the 2009 Formula One Season. Jenson Button and Brawn GP are the Formula One World Champions. Twelve months ago, if someone told you that either would be true, you would have laughed them off and told them to seek a psychiatrist.

Before I get into talking about 2010, I want to go back and talk about our new world champions and how they managed to do the impossible. So sit back, grab a cup of coffee, and enjoy the read :beer:

The story of the 2009 season began in October 2007 when the FIA published the technical regulations for the 2009 Formula One season. These regulations called for a complete aerodynamic overhaul of the cars. The new regulations included:

-Low, wide front wings
-Tall, narrow rear wings
-No aerodynamic appendages on the cars
-Optional kinetic energy recovery systems (KERS)
-Slick tyres


The 2009 regulations drastically changed the look of the cars

Wanting to get an edge on competitors for 2009, Honda tasked the aerodynamic team at Super Aguri with looking into the technical regulations to come up with some clever solutions. The Super Aguri aerodynamicists, led by Ben Wood, had already made a name for themselves by turning the four year old Arrows A23 into the Super Aguri SA06, which became a solid midfield competitor by the end of the 2006 Formula One season.


Sakon Yamamoto set the 7th fastest lap at the 2006 Brazilian Grand Prix in a 4 year old Arrows

It would be during this period that Ben Wood and his team developed the double diffuser, which ended up being the trump card for Brawn GP and their 2009 challenger.

The next ingredient for their 2009 championship success, and arguably the most important one, was the signing of Ross Brawn. On November 12, 2007 Honda confirmed that Ross Brawn was to take on full responsibility for designing, manufacturing, and engineering Honda's grand prix cars. Brawn was the technical genius behind all seven of Michael Schumacher’s titles, although the press was unsure if the same successes could be repeated without the talent of a star driver like Schumacher.

Brawn stated that his intention was to take the existing staff and organize them in a way so that they would work more efficiently.

grandprix.com said:
"What I have done is get an assessment of the people who own the team and I was convinced that they have the commitment and the resources. I am very impressed with what I have seen so far. The facilities are not the reason we should not succeed. Honda is much closer to success than Ferrari was when I joined 10 years ago."


Ross Brawn wanted a new challenge, and found it at Honda

In the first few months of 2008, the existing technical department at Honda had attempted to eradicate the problems that plagued the RA107, and the RA108 hit the track. Brawn and the team were adamant that the RA108 was a baseline effort, and that a series of massive upgrades would be released as the season progressed.

However, it was soon apparent that the RA108 was only marginally quicker than its predecessor. It was at this time (perhaps as early as March) that Brawn directed all of Honda’s resources towards the 2009 car, as the regulations were set to change and any further work done on the RA108 would be for nothing come 2009. According to Auto Motor und Sport, the team had a working budget of roughly 500m euros ($740m usd) and five wind tunnels to channel into what would become the most expensive, but one of the most successful F1 cars of all time.


Honda had a terrible start to 2008, and Brawn quickly shifted the focus to 2009

In May 2008, the Super Aguri team folded due to lack of funding. Ben Wood and the aerodynamics team that had developed the double diffuser were then moved to Honda’s base in Brackley to continue their work. I read that Ben Wood tried out 100 different front wings and nosecones. Alexander Wurz, Honda’s test driver at the time, said that the team had three different conceptual approaches to the 2009 rules in the wind tunnels at once, and they were able to determine the fastest iteration via process of elimination.

Brawn was happy with the progress, and knew that his drivers were talented enough that they could win races if the car was good enough.

grandprix.com said:
"If we produce a good car then they can produce from their side,” Brawn told Formula1.com. "We are not looking at anything major on the driver side - our main priority is the car."


Honda was one of the first teams to test 2009 aero parts

All looked well and good for 2009.

Then, the recession hit. All of the sudden, Honda’s $750m investment in a car that hadn’t ran yet looked pretty stupid, considering the company’s vehicle sales had dropped by a third from the previous year. On December 5, 2008, Honda made the decision to pull out of Formula One. Honda corporate gave the team three months to find a buyer, otherwise it would be dissolved.

Norbert Haug of Mercedes Benz was the first to jump in to help support the team, telling Ross Brawn & co that Mercedes Benz would supply engines for them in the event that a buyer could be found. Over the next few months, potential buyers started popping up on the different F1 news websites. They included Carlos Slim, Citroen, Richard Branson, and even Michael Schumacher.

In the end though, Honda decided on a management buyout and sold the team to Ross Brawn and Nick Fry, and provided them with operating costs for 2009, as it was cheaper than dissolving the team and laying off the entire workforce. On March 6, 2009, Brawn-Mercedes was born.


The Brawn GP BGP001 hits the track, a second clear of the rest of the field

Their first test was in Barcelona on March 9, the car ending up an amazing 4th on the timesheets. The next two days of the test it topped the timesheets. The rest of the field was in awe.

nytimes.com said:
“Many people were running on a low fuel load, not just them,” said Felipe Massa, driver for Ferrari and runner-up in the championship last year, after the final test session on Thursday. “I think their lap time is just much quicker than everybody else can do.”

Robert Kubica, driver for BMW, was also impressed. “They are performing really well,” he said. “There is speculation that they are running very light, but I don’t think that it is a fuel issue. They simply look very competitive.”

Over the course of a single week, Brawn GP went from possible extinction to favorites to win the Australian Grand Prix. In addition, the teams had recently voted on a ban on in-season testing in an effort to reduce costs. If Brawn’s advantage was real, they had a legitimate shot at the world championship as well, because with the testing ban in-season development was now much more difficult.

Dumbfounded by the pace of the Brawn GP car, the other teams were quick to single out the team’s double diffuser as the main source of their speed, and before the Australian Grand Prix weekend began, “diffusergate” was the talk of the paddock. Brawn GP, Toyota, and Williams had exploited a loophole in the technical regulations. The other teams did not exploit the same rule, even though Brawn himself had brought it up to the teams and the FIA in 2008.


Brawn’s controversial double diffuser

Brawn GP, Toyota, and Williams all arrived in Melbourne with double diffusers. Toyota had the diffuser because one of the members of Ben Wood’s aerodynamics team had defected to Toyota during the 2008 season, while Williams figured it out on their own. The non-diffuser teams lodged an official protest against the “diffuser three” after the Australian stewards declared them legal. Unfortunately, the teams had to wait until after the Malaysian Grand Prix to hear the verdict.

That meant that Brawn’s domination of the Australian Grand Prix was all but assured. The rest of the field was forced to watch as the Brawns qualified over half a second faster than everyone else, and Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello went on to finish 1-2 in the race. To add insult to injury, the “diffuser three” occupied 5 out of the top 6 finishing positions.


Their horrible 2008 season behind them, Brawn GP conquered all in Melbourne

Brawn GP was the first constructor since Mercedes in 1954 to finish 1-2 on their grand prix debut. Jenson Button followed up the Melbourne victory with an impressive display in the rain-shortened Malaysian Grand Prix. The fate of the 2009 season then hinged on the diffuser hearing. If the diffusers were declared legal, the championship was Brawn’s for the taking. If they we declared illegal, Brawn’s opening victories would be annulled and they would be forced to start over.

On April 15th, the final part of Brawn’s 2009 championship victory fell into place. The FIA International Court of Appeal declared the double diffusers legal. Both victories stood. Jenson Button and Brawn had commanding leads in the driver’s and constructor’s championships.

The other teams spent the rest of their seasons playing catch up, some eventually overtaking Brawn in terms of outright speed (Red Bull & McLaren), but there was very little chance that any of them would be able to overcome Brawn’s early advantage and the points they were able to score in the first half of the season. Button went on to win five more races and the world driver’s title, while Barrichello picked up two wins late in the season.


Brawn wrapped up both titles in Brazil

Brawn’s victorious 2009 season boiled down to money, planning ahead, clever exploitation of a technical rule, and just plain luck. Ross Brawn may not have been hired, Ben Wood may have not developed the double diffuser, in-season testing could have remained legal, Ferrari and McLaren could have started developing their cars earlier…there are a lot of things that could have prevented Brawn from winning both titles, but they did it.

Honda were the real losers in all of this unfortunately. They set the team up, and provided all of the ingredients for success, only to exit when imminent victory was upon them. This will hopefully be a lesson for manufacturers in the future to not cut and run when things get bad. Patience, planning, and smart management can go a long way, as Brawn GP proved in 2009.

What baffles me is that teams like Ferrari, McLaren, and Red Bull didn’t develop a double diffuser before the season started…that they were so sure that they would be deemed illegal. Perhaps Ferrari and co. figured that the FIA would ban it as they did Renault's mass damper in 2006? You can be sure that they won’t make the same mistake again.

I know that championships are won and lost on the track, and that I’m probably making a bigger deal out of the double diffuser than most people would, but I feel that “diffusergate” shaped the outcome of the 2009 world championship. Jenson Button and Brawn dominated the first seven races while everyone else had to rework their cars. By Silverstone all of the teams had double diffusers fitted. In the second half of the season, five different drivers won races, compared to two in the first half. Button amassed 61 points in the first seven races, while the most points accumulated in the final seven races was Vettel’s 37.

It seems these days that titles are won before the season even starts. McLaren won both 1998 championships because of the early season superiority of their MP4/13 chassis with the Bridgestone tires. More recently, Fernando Alonso and Renault won both titles in 2006 because of their early season pace and their clever use of the mass damper. In fact, in the last 20 years, only 4 times has the driver who won the first race not gone on to win the world championship. Today, it’s even more likely due to the ban on in-season testing. For 2010, my money is on the guy on the top step of the podium in Bahrain becoming world champion.

And now, a preview of the 2010 Formula One Season

Proposed 2010 Calendar
March 12-14th – Bahrain Grand Prix
March 26-28th – Australian Grand Prix
April 2nd-4th – Malaysian Grand Prix
April 16-18th – Chinese Grand Prix
May 7-9th – Spanish Grand Prix
May 13-16th – Monaco Grand Prix
May 28-30th – Turkish Grand Prix
June 11-13th – Canadian Grand Prix (contract pending)*
June 25-27th – European Grand Prix (Valencia)
July 9-11th – British Grand Prix
July 23-25th – German Grand Prix (Nurburgring)
July 30th – August 1st – Hungarian Grand Prix
August 27-29th – Belgian Grand Prix
September 10-12th – Italian Grand Prix
September 24-26th – Singapore Grand Prix
October 1-3rd – Japanese Grand Prix
October 15-17th – Korean Grand Prix**
October 29-31st – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
November 12-14th – Brazilian Grand Prix

*Returns after being absent in 2009
**New circuit for 2010

Rules Changes for 2010
-13 teams (26 cars) will be permitted to take part in a grand prix
-As a result, Q1 and Q2 will drop 8 cars each, with the final 10 advancing to Q3
-Q3 will be run on low fuel
-Ban on mid-race refueling
-Ban on KERS (agreed upon by FOTA teams, technically it is still legal)
-Ban on aerodynamic wheel covers

Team by Team

Mercedes GP Petronas

Engine: Mercedes
Title Sponsor: Petronas
Driver 1: Michael Schumacher
Driver 2: Nico Rosberg

2009 Season:
Brawn GP took the Formula One world by storm in 2009. Honda spent all of 2008 developing the 2009 car, only to pull out before the start of the season. A management buyout saved the team, and they hit the ground running. The early season superiority of the BGP001 combined with Jenson Button’s smooth driving style earned Button 6 wins in the first 7 races. Barrichello struggled with brakes early on and allowed Button to build up a comfortable lead. By mid season, Red Bull and McLaren were both faster, but Button was able to score enough points in the latter half to claim the world title. Barrichello picked up wins in Valencia and Monza to earn Brawn the constructor’s title.

2010 Preview:
The world champions head into 2010 looking strong, but no one is expecting them to repeat their 2009 feats. The money that Honda left them is now gone, and their workforce has been significantly reduced. Still, they were 3rd fastest at the end of 2009 and some strong showings in 2010 shouldn’t be out of the question. The team has yet to confirm either driver, but it is likely they will retain Jenson Button and sign Nico Rosberg. Mercedes has purchased a stake in the team, with a full takeover expected within a few years. The team has also secured funding for the next three seasons via an unnamed title sponsor.

Red Bull Racing

Engine: Renault?
Title Sponsor: Red Bull
Driver 1: Sebastian Vettel
Driver 2: Mark Webber

2009 Season:
Red Bull Racing had a breakthrough year in 2009, Adrian Newey finally delivering after two lackluster seasons with the team. Sebastian Vettel was on target for 2nd in the season opener, without the help of a double diffuser. Everyone was blown away by Red Bull’s speed early in the season, and predicted that they would be the team to beat once they got it on and sorted out. Vettel delivered Red Bull their first victory in the wet Chinese grand prix. The team had the diffuser in Monaco, took pole the next race at Istanbul, and by Silverstone they were the class of the field. Vettel and Webber picked up 5 wins in the last 10 races, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough to catch Button and Brawn. David Hobbs said after the 2008 season, “If Sebastian Vettel doesn’t win the world championship within a few years it’ll be a miracle.” Eerily, he was right. Had the diffusers been declared illegal, Vettel would most likely be world champion.

2010 Preview:
Red Bull proved in 2009 that they are a top team in grand prix racing. After 6 wins and runner up positions in the driver’s and constructor’s championships, anything but both titles will be a disappointment. They have retained both of their race winning drivers, and are hoping that their speed will continue into 2010. Vettel is an obvious favorite for the world championship. They have yet to decide on an engine, although it is expected they will continue using Renaults (assuming Renault is still in Formula One next year).


Engine: Mercedes
Title Sponsor: Vodafone
Driver 1: Jenson Button
Driver 2: Lewis Hamilton?

2009 Season:
After channeling all of their resources into taking the 2008 championship, McLaren started off 2009 looking completely lost. The car was slow, the drivers weren’t happy, and things weren’t looking good at all. Lewis Hamilton lying to the stewards in Australia didn’t help matters either. However, they kept on track, and behind the scenes rose back up to the front. Hamilton’s front row start in Germany, and subsequent victory at Hungary marked the completion of their turnaround. Hamilton was a contender for race victories from then on, his drives in Singapore and Interlagos a reminder of his immense talent.

2010 Preview:
McLaren looked like the team of old at the end of 2009, and they are tipped to be championship contenders again in 2010. Kimi Raikkonen is the favorite to take the second seat; the thought of him and Hamilton on the same team has the mouths of reporters around the world salivating. Mercedes’ future involvement with McLaren remains a question, as rumors circulate about a complete takeover of the Brawn GP team. The fact that McLaren chose to use a Cosworth-designed engine instead of a Mercedes in their MP4-12C supercar is even more ominous.


Engine: Ferrari
Title Sponsor: Santander
Driver 1: Felipe Massa
Driver 2: Fernando Alonso

2009 Season:
After taking both titles in 2007, and finishing one point shy of the driver’s title in 2008, 2009 was a disaster for the Scuderia. Teething troubles with KERS and the lack of a double diffuser were the main factors in their dismal first half, and of course there was Massa’s accident in Hungary. Thereafter though, Raikkonen looked reasonably competitive and took an impressive win at Spa. However, as Honda did in 2008, Ferrari ended development on the F60 early on and prepared themselves for an all out attack in 2010. Raikkonen was booted out in favor of Caterpillars, who Domenicali thought would give them a better shot at the world title.

2010 Preview:
The pairing of Caterpillars and Massa should create fireworks both on and off the track. Alonso is expected to be the faster of the two, and so the pressure on Massa will be immense. If the early development on this year’s Ferrari pays off then Felipe could be sitting pretty in Bahrain, as he won back to back races there in 2007 and 2008. Nonetheless, I expect Ferrari to bounce back and record multiple victories in 2010 and challenge for both titles.


Engine: Toyota
Title Sponsor: Panasonic

2009 Season:
Toyota was the second of the three teams to show up in Melbourne with a double diffuser. Three podiums in the first three races signaled a return to form, and they had the pace to win in Bahrain. Subpar performances throughout the middle of the season followed by successive second places in Singapore and Suzuka left the drivers and team managers pointing their fingers at each other over the team’s inconsistency. Kamui Kobayashi stormed onto the scene replacing the injured Timo Glock with superb drives in Interlagos and Abu Dhabi, and was tipped to remain at the team for 2010. However, due to the lingering effects of the worldwide economic crisis Toyota had no choice but to end their multi billion-dollar project. On November 4 2009, Toyota announced they were withdrawing from Formula One with immediate effect, leaving Kobayashi without a drive for 2010. The legal ramifications of their departure have yet to be seen.

Qadbak Sauber

Engine: Ferrari?
Title Sponsor: Petronas?
Driver 1: Nick Heidfeld?
Driver 2: ??????

2009 Season:
BMW Sauber were the first team to have a 2009-spec car hit the track, and many in the paddock tipped them for title glory after an impressive 2008 season. Kubica was a major favorite for the title after winning the Canadian Grand Prix the year before and finishing 3rd in the driver’s championship. BMW started the season off fairly well, considering they didn’t have a double diffuser. Kubica was on course for a podium in Melbourne before tangling with Sebastian Vettel. After Australia however, the team’s fortunes took a nosedive and the team only recorded 3 points finishes in the first eleven races. The team’s massive preseason investment had not turned into results, and BMW announced that they were withdrawing at the end of the year.

2010 Preview:
Interestingly enough, the team fared far better in the final races of the season, scoring points in the each of the final seven races. Perhaps an indication of another premature manufacturer withdrawal? The team was rescued late in the year by a consortium of investors known as Qadbak, and were on the outside looking in until Toyota pulled out. They are now very hopeful of making the grid in 2010 using Ferrari engines. Without the big money from BMW, results will be hard to come by. If they are on the grid in Bahrain, that alone will be a major victory for the team from Hinwil. I see them fading back into the midfield, where the team formerly known Sauber spent most of its years.


Engine: Cosworth
Title Sponsor: AT&T?
Driver 1: Rubens Barrichello
Driver 2: Nico Hulkenberg

2009 Season:
Williams were the third of the “diffuser three” to show up in Melbourne with the controversial device. Nico Rosberg made a habit of finishing atop the timesheets in practice throughout the first part of the season, but was never able to translate his practice speed into race pace. He scored points in 10 of the first 12 races, seven of those finishes were 6th or better. Williams had hoped to become regulars on the podium, but a top three finish eluded them when they wholeheartedly deserved one. They ended up finishing a dismal 7th in the constructor’s championship, which could have been 5th had they had a capable driver in the second seat.

2010 Preview:
Nico Rosberg announced he was leaving for greener pastures (presumably Brawn GP) late in the 2009 season. Nakajima was dumped as were the free Toyota engines he brought with him. Williams has confirmed a switch to Cosworth engines, and signed Brawn refugee Rubens Barrichello and GP2 champ Nico Hulkenberg. Expect Williams to finish where they have been the past three seasons, 7th in the constructor’s championship with ~30 points. Barrichello is the perfect mentor for Hulkenberg, who is supposed to be the next Vettel/Hamilton/Schumacher/Senna/Fangio.


Engine: Renault
Title Sponsor: ??????
Driver 1: Robert Kubica
Driver 2: Timo Glock?

2009 Season:
After taking two (well, one) late season victory in 2008, and leaping to 4th in the constructor’s championship, Renault had high hopes going into 2009. They had signed their double world champion through the end of 2010, and they were able to bring their engine up to par with everyone else. Instead of challenging for the title, Renault experienced their worst season since 2001, when the team was known as Benetton. Alonso miraculously got a pole and a podium finish out of the R29, while his GP2 star teammates couldn’t score a single point. The sacking of Piquet mid-season led to “crashgate,” and the team lost their title sponsor, their double world champion driver, their team principal, and their technical director.

2010 Preview:
As of November 6th, Renault’s participation in Formula One next year is in doubt. I personally think they will stay on as an engine supplier at least, as they have a long history with the sport. Since their entry in 1977, they’ve participated in all but 6 seasons, either as a manufacturer or engine supplier. They’ve signed Robert Kubica for 2010, and Timo Glock is the favorite for the second seat.

Force India

Engine: Mercedes
Title Sponsor: Kingfisher
Driver 1: Adrian Sutil?
Driver 2: Vitantonio Liuzzi?

2009 Season:
Force India were another feel-good story of the 2009 season. After going pointless in 2008, Force India partnered with Mercedes for 2009 and produced a pretty decent car given their resources. The car ran at the back of the pack for most of the year, but came alive on the low downforce circuits of Spa and Monza. Fisichella electrified the paddock with pole position at Spa, and then a spectacular second in the race. Like Jean Alesi before him, Fisichella thought with his heart instead of his head and went to Ferrari, where sadly he would go pointless for the rest of the year. Sutil continued FI’s Spa form with an excellent 4th at Monza, but after that the team returned to the bottom of the pecking order. For two races though, Force India were truly a “force” to be reckoned with.

2010 Preview:
Force India will head into 2010 with things relatively unchanged. They are likely to remain with Mercedes power, and both Sutil and Liuzzi are expected to be retained. As one of the smaller teams, they aren’t expected to fight for points on a regular basis. If they can find some magic like they found at Spa and Monza this year, they may be able to produce another miracle result in 2010.

Toro Rosso

Engine: Ferrari
Title Sponsor: Red Bull
Driver 1: Sebastien Buemi?
Driver 2: Jaime Alguersuari?

2009 Season:
After losing Vettel to Red Bull at the end of 2008, Toro Rosso knew that their spectacular 2008 season was going be hard to duplicate. Toro Rosso began 2009 strongly with both cars finishing in the points in Melbourne; Buemi additionally scoring an impressive point in China. Bourdais found himself at odds with team manager Franz Tost early in the year, and was sacked in favor of Jaime Alguersuari mid-season. Toro Rosso spent most of their time at the back, but managed to impress in the final races of the year. Buemi and Alguersuari showed improved pace in Suzuka, and Buemi finished in the points in the final two races.

2010 Preview:
Starting in 2010, Toro Rosso will have to design and build their own chassis, as opposed to getting Adrian Newey’s designs. Being that Newey’s RB4 chassis was the class of the field in 2009, look for Toro Rosso to take a further step backwards next year. Alguersuari and Buemi are expected to be their 2010 drivers.

Campos Meta

Engine: Cosworth
Title Sponsor: Petrobras?
Driver 1: Bruno Senna
Driver 2: Pedro De La Rosa?

2010 Preview:
The first of the new teams for 2010 is Campos Meta. Set up by ex-F1 driver Adrian Campos, the team will be run out of Madrid, with Dallara building the chassis. Dallara currently builds all of the chassis for the GP2 and IndyCar series’. Dallara was last involved in F1 back in 1993, when they built the chassis for Scuderia Italia. Campos has confirmed that Bruno Senna will drive for the team in 2010, with the second driver likely to be McLaren tester Pedro De La Rosa. Nelson Piquet Jr is another possible candidate.

Lotus F1

Engine: Cosworth
Title Sponsor: ??????
Driver 1: Jarno Trulli?
Driver 2: Fairuz Fauzy?

2010 Preview:
The Lotus name returns to F1 after a 16 year absence. The effort was made possible by ex Benetton and Toyota technical director Mike Gascoyne, who planned to enter F1 in 2010 with the Litespeed F3 team. After his initial entry was rejected, Gascoyne obtained funding from the Malaysian government, and took the 13th and final slot after BMW announced it was pulling out of F1. Gascoyne rates Jarno Trulli very highly, and so Trulli is a favorite to join the team. Fairuz Fauzy is a Malaysian driver who has impressed in GP2 and A1GP, and the new backers would prefer to have at least one Malaysian in the team. Gascoyne clearly has a longer and more impressive CV than anyone at the four new teams, so look for Lotus to impress in its debut season.

Manor Grand Prix

Engine: Cosworth
Title Sponsor: Virgin?
Driver 1: Lucas di Grassi?
Driver 2: Christian Klien?

2010 Preview:
Manor Grand Prix is the third of the new teams, a Formula Three team looking to make the jump to F1. Both Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen drove for Manor in F3. Technical Director Nick Wirth was the man behind the infamous Simtek team, which existed for a brief period in the early 1990’s. He was then the technical director at Benetton for several years after that. Richard Branson is rumored to be buying out the team, and renaming it Virgin F1. Renault test driver Lucas di Grassi and former BMW test driver Christian Klien are the two likely candidates for race seats.


Engine: Cosworth
Title Sponsor: YouTube?
Driver 1: ??????
Driver 2: ??????

2010 Preview:
Of the four new teams, the least is known about US F1. The team was set up by SpeedTV commentator Peter Windsor and former Ligier technical director Ken Anderson. The team is based in Charlotte, with its European base reported to be at MotorLand Aragon in Spain. During the SpeedTV Abu Dhabi pre-race show, Peter Windsor gave SpeedTV a tour of the Charlotte facility, and even showed CAD drawings of the new car. Little has been done in terms of building the actual car, and both Bernie Ecclestone and Ross Brawn have expressed doubt over the team’s participation next year. Other rumors are circulating that the team plan to sell their 2010 entry to another interested party. Chad Hurley, the inventor of YouTube, was named as an early investor, but no other word about sponsorship has been mentioned in the media. The team have not named any potential drivers either.

Bring on 2010!

2010 has the ingredients of yet another classic Formula One season. Ferrari and McLaren will both be fielding their strongest driver lineups in twenty years, and will be looking to put aside the disappointments of 2009. Brawn GP will be out to prove that 2009 was no fluke, and that they have the ability to repeat as champions. Red Bull racing, and especially Sebastian Vettel, will look to do one better in 2010 and take their first championships. There will be new teams, new circuits, and new scandals. Our everlasting love for this expensive, dramatic, and amazing sport will continue on…

*special thanks to D. Bauley from HT for the excellent content.
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you beat me to it this year! ;)

You kept bringing up the diffuser thing. C'mon, we all know it wasn't the diffuser that gave Brawn/Williams/Toyota their advantage at the beginning of the season. Let's not beat this dead horse again.
Nice writeup. Kobayashi mentioned wanting to drive for Lotus, but one has to assume he is at least in the mix for one of the new teams, no?
you beat me to it this year! ;)

You kept bringing up the diffuser thing. C'mon, we all know it wasn't the diffuser that gave Brawn/Williams/Toyota their advantage at the beginning of the season. Let's not beat this dead horse again.

Whaaaaat?! The diffuser didn't give any aero advantage over other teams? :eek:
And if there was no advantage, why did all the team migrate to the double diffuser despite their cars not being originally designed for it?
So should we close and lock the 09 thread:confused: Nice opening post for the 2010 season btw.
Whaaaaat?! The diffuser didn't give any aero advantage over other teams? :eek:

well you make it sound like it was some super diffuser that was the sole reason they had an advantage. Remember Rubens' diffuser being destroyed when he was rear ended, was it by Nico?, and he banged up that car several times, and still managed to get on podium.
I thought Toyota wasn't going to compete in 2010? :confused:
well you make it sound like it was some super diffuser that was the sole reason they had an advantage. Remember Rubens' diffuser being destroyed when he was rear ended, was it by Nico?, and he banged up that car several times, and still managed to get on podium.

More credit to him. And some guys are quicker or as quick w/o barge boards. That does not mean the aero piece is ineffective. Nevertheless, almost every team in the '09 season used a derviation of the double diffusor - for good reason: it worked.

I thought Toyota wasn't going to compete in 2010? :confused:

It's covered, I think?

...However, due to the lingering effects of the worldwide economic crisis Toyota had no choice but to end their multi billion-dollar project. On November 4 2009, Toyota announced they were withdrawing from Formula One with immediate effect, leaving Kobayashi without a drive for 2010. The legal ramifications of their departure have yet to be seen.
Nice synopsis Ponyboy! Please keep us aprised of new developments, esp. w/ USF1!
Re: USF1

Brian K. has everything I need to know. Day 5 is up


I'm trying to be serious, but it's damn tough. A guy just posted on Apex that his friend's son is being considered for USF1 and there was no :biggrin::biggrin::biggrin::rolleyes:. Jim, you heard of or raced Mike Ramies? Apparently the kid is the Skip Barber Western champion. Maybe the 38 "young driver development program" is no joke? But even so..............Skip Barber?:rolleyes:
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Just so it's emphasized, I didn't have much to do with the content. It's almost verbatim, and credited, from D. Bauley of Honda-Tech. The only thing I did was to pick him to start the F1 thread there and this is what he came up with - which is the best intro to an F1 thread I've seen.

The guy is a huge F1 fan and the amount of time he took to invest in the content is considerable.

So all props go to that dude. :)
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Re: Awww, c'mon Shawn,

modesty has no place here. :tongue:

I didn't have much to do with the content. It's almost verbatim, and credited, from D. Bauley of Honda-Tech
I thought that was you talkin' the whole time. :wink:
Just ventured over to the BBC F1 page and I see that Button was in Woking visiting the big boys. Jensen, please don't think you can compete with Hamilton and sign with them. Take what Ross has to offer and be thankful you won a championship. If you partner Hamilton, he WILL make you look bad, really BAD. Stay at Brawn, do your best there, and credit your 2010 ass whoopin' to the "underpowered" car you were given. :rolleyes:
Re: Yep, JB's not among the great

or pehaps even the "near-great"
Jensen, please don't think you can compete with Hamilton and sign with them. Take what Ross has to offer and be thankful you won a championship. If you partner Hamilton, he WILL make you look bad,
Jens is good, pretty dang good. But so are many other drivers thru the years. To reinforce your point, I don't know any credible pundits who think JB has Schumi/Alonzo/Hamo/Senna/Fangio hall of fame level skills. Those guys could make a bad car look 1/2 way decent and a good car look great. And that's only part of what made them great.

JB could easily get caught in the same disaster that Fishy did; having his real talent exposed; the stars aligned for him in one race and he gets the dream call from Ferrari, only to be exposed as a so so driver who couldn't handle a bad car. (and worse yet, compared to Baddy!!! :eek:)

So JB has a real dilemma; 1) being comfortable and broke at Brawn or 2) being uncomfortable and wealthy at McLaren where he will rather quickly fade from the F-1 spotlight. I'm still betting he will settle with Brawn. :wink:
Re: Yep, JB's not among the great

So JB has a real dilemma; 1) being comfortable and broke at Brawn or 2) being uncomfortable and wealthy at McLaren where he will rather quickly fade from the F-1 spotlight. I'm still betting he will settle with Brawn. :wink:

Very well put!
Mercedes takes over Brawn F1 team


German car giant Mercedes has bought the Brawn Formula 1 team in a move that is likely to see Jenson Button join McLaren as Lewis Hamilton's team-mate.
Mercedes will buy 75% of Brawn in partnership with an Abu Dhabi investment company but will continue as McLaren's engine partner until 2015.
Brawn, who won both world titles in their debut season in 2009, will be rebranded as Mercedes Grand Prix.
Nico Rosberg will be their lead driver, with Nick Heidfeld his likely partner.
<!-- E SF -->Fellow German Timo Glock, who drove for Toyota last season, is also a possibility.
The team has not yet confirmed Rosberg, who drove for Williams in 2009, but he is widely known throughout F1 to have already signed for the Mercedes team.
As part of a deal that will see the McLaren Group buy back Mercedes's 40% shareholding by 2011, the German company will continue to supply free engines and sponsorship to the team for at least the next six years.

The team's official name will remain Vodafone McLaren Mercedes.
McLaren chairman Ron Dennis described the deal as "a win-win situation, both for McLaren and Daimler".
Button, who won the drivers' title this year, has been trying to secure a pay-rise from his £3.5m salary but it seems Mercedes is not interested in keeping him on.
He and his manager Richard Goddard visited McLaren on Friday and Button is now expected to join the Woking-based team for a salary around double what Brawn were offering.
Button's decision is understood not to be solely about money - sources say he considers McLaren might have a more competitive car than Brawn in 2010.
Finn Kimi Raikkonen, who has been forced to leave Ferrari to make way for Fernando Alonso, remains an outside possibility for the seat alongside Hamilton.
Mercedes Sports boss Norbert Haug said on Sunday that he was trying to secure a drive for Heidfeld, a former Mercedes protege who has driven for BMW since 2006.
"We are speaking with Nick Heidfeld as well," Haug told the German news agency DPA.

"Mercedes-Benz supports the idea of signing an experienced and capable German driver. There is however no reason to finalise the driver situation too hastily."
Ross Brawn will stay on as team principal.
He and chief executive Nick Fry will retain a 24.9% shareholding in the team. The remaining 75.1% will be split between Mercedes, which will own 45.1% and Abu Dhabi company Aabar Investments, which will own 30%.
Brawn said: "Brawn GP has been through an incredible journey over the last 12 months. From fighting for our survival to forging a strong relationship with Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines, winning both the constructors' and drivers' world championships, and now accepting Daimler and Aabar's offer to buy our team, which will secure its future."
McLaren and Mercedes said one of the reasons for them to split was because of McLaren's road-car building ambitions.
McLaren is launching a high-performance sports car called the MP4-12C in 2011.

Dennis said: "I've often stated that it's my belief that, in order to survive and thrive in 21st Century Formula 1, a team must become much more than merely a team.
"That being the case, in order to develop and sustain the revenue streams required to compete and win grands prix and world championships, companies that run Formula 1 teams must broaden the scope of their commercial activities.
"In the MP4-12C, which will be introduced to market in 2011, we have a car that has inherited the genes of the iconic McLaren F1 of 1994 and has already been the subject of much global media acclaim."

Didn't see this coming at all (Jenson going to McLaren). Good luck, I hope you know what you are doing.
On the positive side for Button: at least the McLaren livery will be better. That's got to count for something. ;)

And now he's got plenty of motivation: sticking it to his old team. Though I'm sure Brawn's hands were a little tied by the impending Mercedes takeover.
Re: It may not be over

I'm as skeptical as anyone when Mercedes says, "we are an international team and want the best drivers, German or otherwise." But that may actually ring true this time. Who knows? :rolleyes:

Well apparently Phil Huff thinks it very well could be:

I've not been repeating media speculation, instead choosing to talk to people that actually have some input and/or knowledge in the situation. I may be wrong, as that happens, but I still believe Button will be at Brawn in 2010.

Anyway, bottom line for me is that Ross is not completely in the driver's seat anymore and apparently got caught out a bit from some late breaking pressure from MB to hold the line with JB's salary.
The only Fezza driver worse than Badoer is the Monte.

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The only Fezza driver worse than Badoer is the Monte.

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I wouldn't have believed it if you hadn't posted up the link...
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