The start of the 2010 F1 season is fast approaching – and TCF has decided to take a rather different approach to the news once a week. We’ll be looking at who is flying high (who knows, maybe literally?) and who is kicking themselves for a catalogue of errors (we’re looking at you new kids on the block).
King Of The Hill – Ferrari
They say testing times should not be taken seriously – but so far it looks like Ferrari have a fast car. Alonso may only have been 7th in testing yesterday – but it was a time set near the end of a 42 lap stint, compared to the low-fuel times of Kobayashi and Buemi. Massa has already shown no signs of his head injury affecting him in the long term at Valencia, so expect the good times to continue once Alonso hands the F10 over to him today.
Rising Up – Stefan GP
It been and up again and down again and up again and down again and up…you get the idea. The FIA didn’t seem able to recite its own rulebook properly – at first ending any hopes of making the grid – then making it look much more likely – and then putting them back to square one.
Nevertheless, they were the first team to ship their equipment out to the first 4 races of the season – one container is on its way to Bahrain and the other to Malaysia. They also have a decent car in the Toyota TF110/Stefan S-01 (take your pick of nomenclature) – it may not set the world alight but it’s looking better than any of the other new teams thus far (in the sense that having a car is better than possibly not, not having any money to buy your car from its producer or having a working one that explodes going round corners).
Average Joe – Virgin Racing
First of the new teams to make an F1 testing session – not that it’s done them any good so far though. Only 3 hot laps and some installation laps on Wednesday for Glock on a drenched Jerez track – and then on Thursday after 11 tours of the circut his front wing mounting gives up and ‘explodes’ into a million pieces. Now they’ve lost another half a day of precious testing time waiting for replacement front wings to arrive from Sheffield. Still though, a working car that blows up is better than nothing, right?
Midfield Mediocrity – Renault
Boullier’s comments about choosing drivers by going for ‘talent over money’ was basically cast aside as a load of hot air after Petrov defaulted on a payment and subsequently threatened with the sack. With the R30 driving like a boat so far in testing, unless they turn this shinking ship around it looks like they’ll be up the sh*t creek again.
Rock Bottom – Campos
Team Principal Adrian Campos admitted they’ve missed payments to Dallara and are short on cash. The Dallara-Campos partnership is dead in the water according to pretty much everybody except Campos himself – but from there the stories start to diversify. Some say USF1 has bought the car from Dallara to use as their own, others suggest Stefan will buy the designs to render them car-less and unable to race, or to just bin the car completely and employ Dallara to update their own car. When you see a Spaniard, Adrian Valles in this case, potentially taking his sponsorship money to an American team over a Spanish one, you know the Spaniards have had it.