Welcome back, Formula 1

Similarly to last F1 off-season, I’ve collated tid-bits and news items from the F1 world during the break – one for every day since those cars were packed up in Brazil to when their new reincarnations roar to live in Australia on Friday (110 days). So to refresh your memory…

Cars

  1. Caterham (previously known as Team Lotus) launched their car in an innovative way by publishing a photo in F1 Racing magazine. It has a stepped down nose (nicknamed “platypus”) as their interpretation of lower nose-rule change
  2. McLaren launch the MP4-27 on 1st February online, and it has a smooth nose
  3. Ferrari’s launch (F2012) is on 3rd February. Heavy snow fall scuppered plans to drive around Maranello
  4. Force India also unveil the VJM05 on 3rd February
  5. Lotus F1 team revealed the E20 online on Sunday 5th Feb – same step-down nose as all others (apart from McLaren)
  6. Sauber release their C31 new car on Monday 6th February
  7. RedBull also launched the RB8 on Monday 6th February
  8. …. and so does Toro Rosso
  9. Tuesday 7th was Williams’ launch date
  10. Mercedes reveal another stepped nose car at the second test in Barcelona
  11. HRT is reported to have passed the FIA Crash test in the final week of February 2012
  12. Marussia failed the last of 18 tests and means it will not participate in the final test in Barcelona – therefore goes to AustralianGP untested…..
  13. …..They eventually passed on March 6th 2012
  14. Marussia unveil their car at Silverstone on Monday 5th March and its nose is similar to McLaren – with whom they have a technical partnership
  15. HRT have a filming day at Montmelo on Monday 5th March
  16. Pirelli’s test car is the 2010 Renault

 Team-Mates

  1. McLaren retains its driver line up of Lewis Hamilton (UK)  and Jenson Button (UK)
  2. RedBull also keeps their 2010 line up i.e. Mark Webber (Australia) and Sebastian Vettel (Germany)
  3. Michael Schmacher has another go to show that his comeback is not a mistake with Mercedes GP 2010 team mate Nico Rosberg
  4. Force India kick Adrian Sutil (Germany) out and replace him with German reserve driver, Nico Hulkenberg  whilst retaining Paul Di Resta (UK)
  5. Williams keep Pastor Maldonaldo (Venezuelan) and his partner is Bruno Senna (Brazil)
  6. Toro Rosso go for a completely new line-up with a promotion for last year’s reserve driver Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) and Jean-Eric Vergne (France)
  7. Lotus follow in Toro Rosso’s steps and announce all new line up….well, almost all new – both drivers are “second-chancers” Kimi Raikkonen (Finnish) after a 2-year-hiatus and Romain Grosjean (France) after his first stint in F1 in 2009.
  8. Sauber keep Kobayashi (Japan) and Sergio Pérez (Mexico)
  9. Marussia Virgin keeps Timo Glock (Germany), loses Jerome D’Ambrosio (Belgium) and newbie Charles Pic (French) joins the team
  10. HRT sign ex-McLaren reserve driver Pedro de la Rosa (Spain) and he is partnered by Narain Karthikeyan (India)- last driver to be announced, and it came after news of Sutil’s conviction.
  11. Lotus retain ‘veteran’ Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) and Jarno Trulli (Italy) until Feb 17th (see #43)
  12. Ferrari return with Felipe Massa (Brazil) and Fernando Alonso (Spain)

Test and Reserve Drivers

  1. Sebastian Buemi is reserve driver for RedBull and Toro Rosso
  2. Gary Paffett remains McLaren’s reserve driver and newbie Oliver Turvey replaces Pedro de la Rosa
  3. Former Virgin driver Jerome D’Ambrosio is named as Lotus F1 reserve driver on January 24th
  4. Jules Bianchi (Ferrari protege) is named as Force India reserve driver on January 27th
  5. Dani Clos is signed as HRT’s third driver on Monday 13th February
  6. Female driver Maria de Villota joins Marussia as an official test driver (announced on Wed 7th March)

Livery/Team Changes

  1. Marussia Virgin is now Marussia and has a new logo
  2. Lotus-Renault GP changes to Lotus F1: on Twitter and their website
  3. HRT re-design their logo and the car is no longer dark grey; adopting an odd combination of white, burgundy and gold for 2012
  4. Ferrari poaches aerodynamists from McLaren

Sightings

  1. Lewis and close friends having dinner on NYEve
  2. Jenson Button attended his physio’s wedding (Mikey Collier) on same day as Lewis Hamilton’s birthday
  3. Paul di Resta attends Autosport International Racing show
  4. Fernando and Massa at WROOOM Press Ski meet where Massa won the Fiat 500 ice race
  5. Former Lotus-Renault driver Vitaly Petrov was spotted at a Pirelli-media event on Wed 25th Jan – prompting rumours that he’ll be their test driver next season. He was later confirmed as Jarno Trulli’s replacement at Caterham.
  6. Pedro de la Rosa and Pastor Maldonado to appear at the FOTA Fans forum in Barcelona on 29th Feb
  7. Mark Webber on Something for the Weekend show in UK
  8. Jenson Button as part of Sport Relief advert
  9. Lewis and Nicole walking hand-in-hand to dinner  in LA
  10. Jenson Button presents an award at the Brit Awards

F1 Drivers “in other roles”

  1. Hamilton GQ fashion shot causes a stir in F1
  2. Lewis recording a R&B album for personal entertainment
  3. Ferrari reserve driver Fisichella due to participate in i1Superseries might have to wait 2 months to start the calender due to election concerns. The series was eventually cancelled or “postponed till 2013”
  4. Damon Hill becomes a SkyF1 Commentator
  5. Damon Hill to steer the first FT Run to Monaco
  6. Mark Blundell to drive a MP4-12C GT3 in Blancpain Endurance series
  7. Hamilton was meant to give evidence at Sutil’s case involving an alleged stabbing of Lux while out celebrating Hamilton’s win in China, but due to work commitments, he couldnt make it
  8. Toyota Hybrid announced that Anthony Davidson and Sebastian Buemi will race in the 2nd LMP1 car, so Anthony “kinda remains” Alex Wurz’s team mate in LeMans
  9. Adrian Newey and Colin McRae inducted into Motorsport Hall of Fame on Feb 16th
  10. Rubens Barichello confirmed to be racing for KV Racing in IndyCar series
  11. Alex Wurz returns to Wlliams as a driver mentor for Maldonado and Senna
  12. Pedro De La Rosa retakes chairman position on GDPA – a role vacated by Rubens Barichello
  13. Vettel honoured by German nation with Silver Bay Leaf
  14. Karun Chandhok delivers a talk at Coventry University on 21st Feb
  15. Alguersuari was in London, Tuesday 6th March to annonuce that he will be commentationg with James Allen for Radio 5 Live F1
  16. Ferrari and Ducati WROOOM Ski meeting ran between 8 – 17th January 2012, where Massa won an ice-karting event from Valentino Rossi.

Pre-Season Testing

  1. Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus topped the time sheets on first day of testing at Jerez
  2. Lotus suffers massive blow as a fault on chassis force them to pack up after limited running on 2nd 2012 F1 Test
  3. RedBull asked by FIA to revert to 1st – 4th March test after initially opting for 2nd – 5th with Ferrari (28th Feb), Ref Article 22.4
  4. Kobayashi and Kovalainen develop stomach bugs on 1st day of final test (1st March)
  5. RBR used a combination of umbrellas and a rear-cover to shield the car from preying eyes and camera lenses at final Barcelona Testing

Replacements

  1. HRT team principal is now Luiz Perez-Sala
  2. Patrick Head leaves F1
  3. James Key leaves Sauber days before the launch
  4. Jacky Eeckelaert’s contract is not renewed by HRT
  5. Mark Hutcheson leaves Marussia to join HRT via @f1enigma on Thur 16th Feb
  6. Mike Gascoyne is promoted to Chief Technical Officer of Caterham – mignt enable him to stay in Norfolk while factory relocates
  7. Trulli is replaced by Petrov – after most thought that the grid line-up was completed (Feb 17th)
  8. Frank Williams steps down as chairman of Williams F1 (Fri 2nd March)

Miscellaneous

  1. Daniel Ricciardo joins Twitter as @danielricciardo (this was announced by @gregoryHainesf1)
  2. Redbull team up with Fitocracy
  3. Redbull to sponsor highest ever skydive
  4. A movie about the life and death of Bruno Senna’s uncle, the greatly talented F1 driver Aryton Senna won 2 BAFTAs on Sunday 12th Feb
  5. Tata Communications becomes F1 Communications partner on 23rd Feb
  6. Hakkinen’s former manager Didier Coton joins Lewis Hamilton’s XIX management team
  7. Webber comments on Hamilton’s tumultuous 2011 season on BBC Radio 5 live with James Allen
  8. Nicolas Hamilton, Lewis’s brother is featured in a documentary on Tuesday 6th March on disability in sport.
  9. COTA is sued by ex-promoter/manager “Tavo Hellmund has begun court action against his US GP partners over an “improper and unlawful takeover” of the project”
  10. David Campbell – part of FOM  and likely successor of Bernie Ecclestone has quit his role after just 1 year. http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/dec/07/david-campbell-aeg-formula-one ,
  11. Next FOTA Fans “Experts” forum is in Melbourne – on Thursday 15th March, organised by @ausGrandPrix
  12. Sebastian Vettel names his car “Abbey” – a departure from typical names such as “Kate’s dirty little sister” and “Kinky Kylie”
  13. Ferrari “reacts” to twitter rumours that Massa had been sacked by dropping the BS-bomb
  14. Christian Horner and Adrian Newey ran in the adidas half-marathon for the RedBull supported charity, @wingsForLifeUK, Both finished within 2 minutes of each other, Horner first with 2hrs 32mins.
  15. Red Bull launches internships
  16. Fernando Alonso divorces his wife Rafaela and announces this on his website
  17. Kamui Kobayashi joins Twitter @kamui_Kobayashi
  18. Fernando Alonso joins Twitter as @alo_oficial and gains 64,000 followers in 16hours
  19. Lewis appears on the new version of popular TV show Jim will Fix it
  20. Diageo and Lewis Hamilton promoted  free travel on tube on New Year’s Eve
  21. Adrian Newey and Nigel Mansell to receive OBE & CBE (New Year’s Honours list)
  22. Sutil gets an 18-month suspended jail sentence for stabbing Lux in the neck while celebrating Hamilton’s win in China during the 2011 season. He has vowed to appeal
  23. Lewis Hamilton sets fastest lap on a go-kart in Melbourne in preparation for 2012 Australian GP

Training

  1. Hamilton trained in the hills of Colorado – skiing
  2. Heikki Kovalainen also trained in the ski areas of Finland
  3. Vettel signs Finnish trainer, also called Heikki – which is already causing problems in Melbourne

Rule Changes

  1. Most evident rule-change dividing teams is the nose-height rule

Accidents/Injuries

  1. Kimi Raikkonen slipped on a snow mobile and injured his wrist
  2. Raineiro G (Toro Rosso physio) suffered a heart-attack while training
  3. Robert Kubica injures his leg while recuperating from his hand injury from Rallying in Italy*

Gossip

  1. Christian Horner thinks Button is Vettel’s biggest threat outside RedBull
  2. MercedesGP want Lewis as a replacement for Michael Schumacher
  3. Anthony Hamilton to launch X-Factor style search for next F1 star


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