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Sauber and Renault join the fray, Petrov the trailblazer for Russia
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Sauber and Renault join the fray, Petrov the trailblazer for Russia
Posted By: James Allen  |  31 Jan 2010   |  6:12 pm GMT  |  115 comments

Today in Valencia, the BMW Sauber and Renault teams revealed their new cars ahead of the first day of testing tomorrow.

BMW Sauber went first in the morning, Peter Sauber showing off the first car since acquiring the team back from BMW and showing off his two new drivers, Kamui Kobayashi and Pedro de la Rosa. The team has yet to be apply for a name change and is staying “BMW Sauber” for the moment, according to Sauber. It is noticeable that the BMW colours are still to be seen around the nose of the car and to the casual observer it will look as though BMW is still in F1. The car is powered however by a Ferrari engine.

Picture 48
Renault followed in the afternoon, with Russian Vitaly Petrov, as expected, joining Pole Robert Kubica as a race driver. It is a sign of the changing times that a leading team has two drivers from the former Eastern Bloc.

“We are very aware of the nationality of our drivers and as a result of that very aware of where the marketing and sponsoring effort should go to,” said Renault owner Gerard Lopez.

Petrov is a graduate of GP2, the F1 feeder series which is backed by Renault and uses Renault engines and technology. Petrov follows Heikki Kovalainen, Nelson Piquet and Romain Grosjean as GP2 drivers given a race seat.

Picture 49
The team is now majority owned by Lopez’s Genii Capital company, but the engines are still 100% Renault. For the moment it is a question of aligning the objectives of both Renault and Genii. The team was looking for a paying driver and Petrov brings a healthy budget, but it’s not the only reason he is there. He was runner up in GP2 last season and as the first Russian driver in F1, he offers Renault, Genii and Bernie Ecclestone a great lever into the Russian market.

Renault has returned to its corporate colours, similar to the colours the cars ran in back in the late 1970s when they first entered the sport with the famous turbo engined cars. The main sponsor looks to be Total oil company, but judging from the amount of space they have on the car, it is not much bigger a deal than last season.

For Sauber, this is a moment he hadn’t planned for, but after BMW’s decision last summer to withdraw from F1, Sauber had to step in to save the team. Ironically, not long before that, Lopez and Genii had tabled a serious offer for the BMW Sauber team, but it was rejected by the BMW board. So he went for Renault instead.

“The last few months have been very intense for us,” said Peter Sauber. “First we had to battle to secure the survival of the team and then we focused on putting a strong set-up in place for the future.

“The technical preparation of the 2010 car has continued uninterrupted and according to plan since the spring of 2009, despite all the turmoil. We have a long tradition of bringing together an up-and-coming youngster and an experienced campaigner as a driver combination – and it’s an approach that has brought us a lot of success.

“Pedro has been working at the highest level technically for many years and for a top team, and we can benefit as a team from this experience. Young Kamui also has a lot to offer us, and last year he impressed me particularly in Abu Dhabi.”

Sauber does have a tradition of mixing older drivers with younger ones, but he’s also made his fair share of mistakes with hires over the years, the last one being Jacques Villeneuve who struggled and was replaced by Robert Kubica.

Picture 47
The BMW Sauber C29 was unveiled without prominent sponsors. The team’s long relationship with Malaysian oil giant Petronas ended recently when Mercedes won a competitive pitch for the €30 million a year sponsorship against Sauber and other teams.

There is only a relatively small deal with Certina watches to be seen. De la Rosa brings a small amount, less than €1 million, from Universia, a Santander-run foundation which sends kids to universities around the world. It is part of Santander’s corporate social responsibility programme.

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115 Comments
  1. Does anyone agree that the cars livery are looking realy good, I do love the retro renault!

    This is where Im starting to think that Manufacturers leaving the sport is actually a good thing.

    One of the cars I hated the most in terms of looks was the Toyota, the whole team, while really great guys, it was an example of Manufactured F1… now Im seeing the real F1 that I LOVED way back in the early 90′s

    The Sauber looks a tad bland, but Im liking the privateer look and Im sure once we see a few more sponser on it, it will look great

    One more thing, the wheels on the Sauber, even they look like a set from the 80′s!?!?!???

    C

    1. LMW says:

      Yes, I’m loving the new Renault and Ferrari liveries.

  2. Phillip Horton says:

    Any information whether the livery shown on the C29 is the final one or might it change to a different colour of sponsors arrive? I heard that Nespresso might be their title sponsor.

  3. Peter says:

    For me the sauber is the best looking car so far. It`s really a mighty car. However I am most interested in the Red Bulls, they can be a step ahead of the others.

    1. Med says:

      Really? I think with a car like that they should’ve kept Heidfeld, they’re as bland as each other

  4. CptZorg says:

    James, it seems to me that other teams beside McLaren have come up with the long bit on top. The notable exception, of the cars we’ve seen so far, is Ferrari. Could it be that they’ve genuinely not figured this one out as happened last year with the diffusors, or is the elongated shark fin a mere cosmetic gimmick?

    I read somewhere about Ferrari’s technical director grumbling about the legality of the device, could they really have missed the boat again?

    1. Brace says:

      Hey there, if you’re watching F1 for at least 2 years now, you will know that 2008 Ferrari had a shark fin, so I don’t think they “forgot” about it.
      Please…

      1. CptZorg says:

        A tad negative but thanks anyway. You kinda missed the point though, the question is not about the shark fin per se, more about Ferrari making a different interpretation the tech specs, to their detriment, than the other teams.
        The shark fin of years past may still be in a cupboard somewhere in Maranello but you probably realise it’s not a matter of just slapping one on the 2010 car.

    2. Med says:

      Depends on which way they’ve gone with the package as a whole – while the fin helps smooth the airflow over the rear wing, it also makes the car more susceptible to sidewinds

  5. Nick says:

    I wonder if ferrari have this shark fin engine cover planned as part of the upgrades during testing or even if on the fabled “b spec” car that is rumoured being built, I think the Renault looks fantastic in that yellow, reminds me off the old jordans, also I believe it was a good move signing kobayashi to Sauber, never to have driven a formula one car and to perform and even overtake in two races shows immense promise for this young driver

  6. Shane says:

    Welcome back Jordan…..oh….it’s a Renault

      1. JB says:

        That was my first impression.

        The late 70′s Renaults had a lot of white on them

    1. Michael says:

      I like it better than the ING colours of last year.

    2. Chris Chaffers says:

      That was my first thought. Total sponsorship like the Jordan had too. They should have kept the blue even after Mild Seven left. Their cars keep getting uglier.

      The Sauber nose still echoes Brabham/BMW. Strange choice if they are running Ferrari engines this year. The team never has a nice livery though.

      Will be interesting to see if any of the new teams can do better.

  7. Guy C says:

    Renault?? Looks like a Jordan to me….

    1. Fausta says:

      Looks like Renault to me. I neat looking car.

      1. Emjay says:

        Does everyone forget that Renault did this 30 years ago? Its their original scheme. Jordan did this yellow scheme to go with their cigarette sponsorship in the late 90′s. Its good to see Renault bringing it back as well, looks smart.

  8. Carlm21 says:

    At least the Renault looks good this time. We will have to wait and see how the car performs. Kubica driving that Renault will give the photographer some terrific photos.

    As for the Sauber the front looks good, but the rest of the body work doesn’t compare to the Mclaren.

    Can’t wait to see the Mercedes car. I have a feeling that they will spring a surprise, big style front wing with eye catching bodywork.

  9. Spritkopf says:

    What I found interesting about Petrov was his quote in reference to Kubica (on autosport.com): “I know that Robert was keen for me to join the team so I’d like to thank him for his support.” Which means Kubica was not keen to have Heidfeld as his teammate. Make of that what you want.

  10. Richard Dreyer says:

    All the Renault needs is Benson and Hedges sponsorship and the wasp or shark’s face and it’s an old Jordan. The Sauber couldn’t look more dull, but I expect they’ll both be scrapping around for points (due to the new points system) most races.

    1. Noelinho says:

      Well, anyone not scrapping for points this year will be pretty disappointed.

  11. Fausto Cunha says:

    I like the colours of the Renault, the Sauber looks very naked.

    Everybody except Ferrari for the moment seems to be going with the shark-fin concept.

    1. Med says:

      Looks like Williams haven’t either.

      Make of that what you will though

  12. Lucas says:

    Is that the R30 or the R29 posing as one? There doesn’t seem to be much difference, even the wheelbase hasn’t changed.

    1. irish conor says:

      r u blind.looks nothing like last years ugliest car on the grid

      1. Indy says:

        actually irish conor your the one whos blind. that is last years car posing as a r30.they’ve followed the Mercedes team. we will actually see the r30 tomorrow for the first time

      2. Lucas says:

        Try looking beyond the yellow and black paintwork, there is not a huge lot of development from an aerodynamic point of view.

      3. Dave in NZL says:

        I agree – the ’09 and ’10 Renault cars look very similar. I wonder if they have just put some new panels on the old chassis to bide time?

  13. jam says:

    the cars this year at least dont seem to look like toy cars. but proper racing look.

    ferraris looking the poorest so far.

  14. Olivier says:

    the battle of the midfield has opened … with very aggressive & ugly graphics :( This will hurt our eyes very badly. The Renault team makes me think of bees. Unlike the turbo Renault from the eighties.

    The Sauber team hasn’t got their website up and running. How are they ever going to entice new sponsors? Why not going back to an all black livery like in the early days? At least Force India know how to make a car look good on track and on screen.

    I really love the McLaren. It is a classic allready :)

  15. James says:

    It is a sign of the changing times that a leading team has to drivers from the former Eastern Bloc.

  16. Chris says:

    Unless I’m missing something, the Sauber and Renault look fundamentally unchanged from the cars we saw in Abu Dhabi.

  17. Laurence H says:

    This ‘BMW in the name’ thing is getting embarrassing! Surely this could have been fixed by now. In any other sport…

    1. James Allen says:

      Unless it’s part of the severance package. The colour scheme I find intriguing. Like Renault, there is some manufacturer money in there to help get them through the year

      1. F1ART says:

        Surely it would be rather embarrassing for BMW to still be perceived as being in F1 via BMW Sauber and at the same time being powered by a Ferrari engine. Maybe Peter is going to use it as a bargaining tool to get more from the severance package in return dropping BMW in the name?

    2. jocker12 says:

      ferrari engines and gearboxes too…..

  18. Philip W says:

    Hi James

    I have a question. Do you find the fact that teams are struggling to get sponsors? i can see how Renault due to crash gate, but Brawn GP struggled and there doesn’t seem to be a single sponsor on the Sauber (I have read on Autosprt that they have 2-3 mini sponsors tho).

    I just wonder what views on this are?

    1. Philip W says:

      Do you find the fact that teams are struggling to get sponsors #worrying#?

      sorry about the typo

      1. James Allen says:

        Well it doesn’t look great does it?

    2. James Allen says:

      Renault were struggling to replace ING before the Crashgate scandal and that didn’t make it any easier. Sauber has the problem that because BMW didn’t sign the Concorde Agreement last August, they forfeit their prize and TV money. So they don’t have the $40 million odd they would have been due. They are effectively a new team

      1. Luigismen says:

        I’m sorry, but I read somewhere that they kept the BMW name just for the TV money, so I think after all they do have that money

      2. James Allen says:

        Well Sauber was lamenting last summer the fact that BMW had not signed Concorde and would thus be treated like a new team if the operation was saved..I’ll get to the bottom of this.

      3. M__E says:

        that really has to sting, ouch!

      4. Philip W says:

        yeah its not good at all. that must be hitting Sauber hard come later in the season.

        It doesn’t look great as if these are established teams in Formula One struggling to get sponsors then how on earth are the new teams going to attract people.

        also do you think Brawn’s ‘weekend’ sponsorship deals they did last year will catch on more?

  19. Ali Unal says:

    James,

    I’ve got quite surprised to see you pointing out that a leading team has two drivers from the former Eastern Bloc.

    What has it anything to do with racing in the first place? It’s as unnecessary as Mosley underlining the fact that Hamilton was the first “colored” person ever to become a WDC. He was wrong in bringing that up as this is the discrimination but otherway around. So what you did James is also quite awkard to be mentioned at all. These remarks reproduce the infamous “exclusion” mentality, even if the intention is good, nothing more.

    The world has not east or west. It’s circle.

    I just wanted to speak about my disappointment.

    1. James Allen says:

      What are you on about? It’s a great thing, it shows progress. Where’s the negative?

      1. Ben Dz says:

        in support of James, I believe his comments were made to highlight a changing of the times, above all else, with the driver pairing likely to attract an entirely new geographic region of fans and sponsors to formula one, just as alonso has remarked spanish interest.

        this years renault then is a mixture of the past and the future of F1, its livery echoing the late 1970s and its driver lineup possibly pointing to the future.

      2. George says:

        Yes I think James was referring to the fact that motorsport is becoming more popular in the east, giving new opportunities to aspiring drivers; nothing to do with race.

      3. Josh says:

        Ali, you really gripe me.

        We all know that in 2010 Britain, you’re not allowed to congratulate someone for being the first black (not coloured), female, disabled, homosexual or even east block driver/technician/boss. We’re all thinking it but because anyone feels the right to be offended by just about anything and the press ready to swoop and kill, we’re not allowed to say it.

        So disappointed Ali “The world has not east or west. It’s circle.” Unal, please stop encouraging this political correctness crap, it’s very tiring.

      4. Ali Unal says:

        This is not about races or geography or euphemism, this is about discrimination on something which people cannot change, like being black or born in Russia/Polland, even if the intention/outcome is good. Saying “Black people is bad” and “black people is good” is both discrimination in that both of them presupposes that people being black is worth to mention. No, it’s not actually. Underlining these facts or just mentioning them is nothing but to reproduce the dicrimination -if any- in the past by just stressing out these man-made differences.

        Thus, speaking about any qualification which is by nature but not nurtured is a discriminating in essence. In the same manner, the term “women rights” is an ill-defined term, as there is no such thing. It’s human rights, encapsulating both men and women rights without separating them. So Trent, when you say “F1 drivers have traditionally come from a certain group of countries and ethnic backgrounds”, ethnicity becomes a point of talk, which in fact shouldn’t be. We all agree that this is not issue, but your wording means subtextually of course as if there is an issue. Do we care the ethnic backgrounds?

        Drivers from Eastern Block or Hindu or Chinese. So what? Really so what? Why bother to mention it?

      5. James Allen says:

        Ok, you’ve made your point. I think we can end this discussion here.

      6. Freespeech says:

        I suppose using your logic if F1 gets a woman driver nobody is to mention the fact she was female :?:

        I think you need to get over yourself matey and just enjoy this blog.

        Freespeech is a good thing (though I’m bound to say this aren’t I)

      7. James Allen says:

        And that really is the final point on this subject! Thank you

    2. JB says:

      It’s a statement of fact, no more

    3. Trent says:

      Of course it’s a relevant comment. F1 drivers have traditionally come from a certain group of countries and ethnic backgrounds. You might think that the world has ‘not east or west’ but the F1 world certainly has in the past. If things are changing, and they’re changing for the better, it’s inspiring and it’s worth pointing out.

    4. Alexx says:

      This guy is being a bit sensitive!

      i think you should switch the A and the U in your name!

  20. Owen.C says:

    That’s a Renault R29 according to the Renault website. Hopefully we will see the R30 tomorrow.

    1. Owen.C says:

      On second thoughts that site wasn’t official. However the car did have 2009 spec wings. Maybe a bad sign?

      Also it does look small, I know the Renualt is a bit more fuel efficient but not that much!!

  21. jw1980 says:

    James,

    what can you tell us about the lack of sponsors for both Renault and Sauber? Is this a concern or is t.v. money, prize money, etc sufficient? Everyone comments on how far behind the new cars are going to behind the rest of the pack but surely the gap is going to widen between the front and the midfield as well?

    1. Fausta says:

      Why is that? The Brawn cars did fine without tons of money last year. I think we may see a few surprises from the perceived midfield this year. There’s no reason why the Renault cars couldn’t be taking an occasional podium or better. It is too early to tell.

      1. Med says:

        That’s a bit misleading though; the Brawn cars were the most expensively developed cars in F1 history – Honda practically threw money at the development, then when they pulled out, they gave Brawn more money to tide them over – as the season progressed and the money dried up, we all saw the effect; they developed the car just enough to scrape it through then focussed on this year’s design.

      2. Rob M says:

        Argh, the Brawn was a Honda which had been developed for an extra year over the other teams. They were NOT a new team starting from scratch.

      3. dren says:

        Honda bank rolled Brawn last year.

      4. Dave in NZL says:

        The Brawn cars did fine last year without tons of sponsors – quite different from money. They had bucket loads of that from Honda.

      5. M__E says:

        because they started off with about a 1sec advantage, the rest of the season and development was like plugging a leak in a ship to keep it afloat. They hung on or rather the season was short enough for them to get to the end with damage limitation and scraped a championship. harsh but elements of truth.

      6. jw1980 says:

        Fausta,

        correct me if I am wrong but did Brawn not have a significant amount of money given to them by Honda to cover 2009?
        Seeing the Brawn last year with no sponsors was an unusual sight but to see two teams this year (so far) with a lack of sponsors is something I cannot recall in my thirty years of watching F1.

    2. rpaco says:

      There’s a recession on, you may not have noticed. The 0.1% UK GDP growth posted the other day is well within the error range of the calculation. Some of us expect the recession to deepen much further this year, many companies who study economic trends/conditions would agree that we are in short corrective wave (B wave for Elliott fans) at present, merely a false dawn.
      Shareholder pressure may be beginning to be felt in boardrooms; why give $1M to an F1 team when it detracts from dividends, whilst at the same time asking for bonuses to be cut and pay to be frozen?
      It is difficult to justify chucking huge amounts of cash at racing cars. If you must, then by far the best value is to sponsor an event, not a team or driver.
      So it is a difficult time even for the highly skilled professional folks who specialise in obtaining sponsorship, more so if the team is effectively new and has little prospect of being in the camera’s eye during the race; then the best a sponsor can hope for (in terms of OTS) is a crash.

      1. jw1980 says:

        I think I am aware that there is a recession. The point I was trying to get across was how are teams funding their efforts this year? If teams like McLaren/Ferrari/etc can still attract big sponsors then surely the gap between them and the midfield is going to widen? This does not even consider the backmarkers?
        Have Sauber got some money from BMW for 2010? This I would imagine will not continue until 2011 so they will surely need sponsors at some point.

  22. Chris Hill says:

    ~Is it just me or is the Renaults front wing so simple in design compared to all of the other cars shown so far. Look at the front shot of the Souber and see how intricate the endplates are. I also note how all of the cars to date are covering up their trick diffusers (which makes me think that all of the posts above about the car unveilled being a R29 are wrong). The photos from tomorrows testing will be interesting

    Cant wait

    1. Med says:

      I agree, the nosecone’s also the fattest – I wouldn’t be surprised to see a different front end in testing, or rather, I’d be surprised if that *is* the actual one

  23. Rudy Pyatt says:

    Some neat looking cars so far! I have to say that the shark fins make me think 1950s, the D-Type Jags especially. The connected wing on the McLaren really makes it look like a sportsracer that they cut the bodywork from.

    The Sauber and the Ferrari look the most like “normal” open wheelers to me.

    1. rpaco says:

      The fin going back to join the rear wing seems to be a natural development to me,as would the diffuser side plates coming up to the wing as wing supports. Though the side wind effect must be very much greater with the extended fin.

  24. Silverstoned says:

    Sauber’s on to a winner with Kobayashi imo.
    Can Merc deliver a title, or even a race win before the German GP, to keep Petronas happy?
    some may have their doubts but we shall see…

  25. Jon Wilde says:

    James, maybe you can shed some light on this?? if you check out F1Fanatic.co.uk, you can see aerial photos of the R29 against the R30, the R30 looks no longer or wider, does this mean Renault have a smaller fuel tank than the other 2010 cars to be launched? Can you confirm anything on car lengths or fuel tank size?

    The fuel efficient Renault engine in the Red Bull and Genii Renault could be tough to beat…

    1. Jon Wilde says:

      sorry, just read the other posts! it’s still the R29!

      oh well

    2. James Allen says:

      Are you sure the scale is the same?

      1. Luigismen says:

        I think so… In other comparisons like with the mclarens and the ferraris the new cars look clearly longer putting them side by side, while the renault looks the same size.
        We will check that tomorrow

      2. jocker12 says:

        same scale… different cars…

      3. piotr says:

        According to polish website Pit Stop (http://f1.sport.pl/) Renault R30 is going to put on some new clothes within next few days. People at Pit Stop were suspicious about how similar the new R30 is to last year’s R29. James Allison, asked about any new parts in near future, confirmed that almost everything what we saw today on that car will be upgraded within next few days. New floor, new front and rear wing, new break’s cooling ducts, new chassis’ elements and even the multi-level diffuser! So we might see completely and truly new R30 tomorrow yet.
        By the way James. On that mentioned above Polish website you can find a few-minutes-long video interviews with two Polish Formula 1 journalists, which are being issued throughout the year to comment on latest news from F1 world. I would love to see similar video edits with you James interviewing some great names on your website. How does it sound?

      4. James Allen says:

        We have all kinds of plans..

      5. Tim Horton says:

        Yes, in the article were the two cars are compared side by side, they scaled the image based off the rear tire size, which is the same this year as it was last year. There is almost no apparent difference between the cars despite Renault saying this years car is 25cm longer. Is this a 2009 car dressed up in 2010 colours ala Mercedes, or is it really clever packaging by Renault?

    3. Lucas says:

      They’ve moved the cockpit forward though.
      You can see it on here: http://www.vivaf1.com/blog/?p=2342

    4. Trent says:

      It’s not the R29 – the nose and sidepods are clearly different. I’m wondering if an increased fuel tank necessarily means a longer car? There’s a number of places to located additional fuel volume, could something creative be going on here?

  26. Brace says:

    I might try apply for a job at Renault.
    I’m a graphic designer and I recon they badly need one.

  27. Jason C says:

    Love the Renault livery, hope they’ll race with it. Don’t love the Sauber livery – but it’s a blqank canvas so hopefully they’ll be able to colour it in before the season starts.

    It strikes me with some of the figures I’ve seen bandied about that there are some fantastic bargins to be had if you’ve got a brand that you want boosted.

  28. TheGreatCornholio says:

    James, were Renault allowed to carry out any work over the winter to improve on the apparent reliability issues they experienced last season? Also, i know you stated that the Cosworth will be powerful but i wondered how you think they’ll fare for reliability? Can’t wait til tomorrow.

    1. James Allen says:

      I did a post on engines recently. Teams are able to do work on reliability, of course. As for Cosworth, clearly they have been able to test on the dyno, but they haven’t got as proven a product as their competitors at this stage. I see no reason why it shouldn’t be a decent engine

  29. I can’t wait to hear what Eddie Jordan has to say in Bahrain… im 99.9% certain he will make a crack about the Renault being a rebadged Jordan…

    1. TheGreatCornholio says:

      You just know it! Lol.

    2. Noelinho says:

      I suspect that will be after he’s milked Schumacher to Mercedes! He’ll be dining on that for the rest of his life if he can get away with it!

    3. George says:

      Speaking of the TV coverage, has the team been confirmed yet? I’m still hoping we’ll get a new commentator alongside Martin.

  30. TheGreatCornholio says:

    This season has all the ingredients to be one of the best ever, certainly one of the most hyped ever! Just wondered if anyone else out there is worried it could turn out, somehow, to be a damp squib? Lol

  31. Chris Bird says:

    The sight of the sponsorless Sauber just reminds me of how badly BMW handled their exit from F1. The Honda team sold for a pound then bankrolled Brawn for 2009. Renault have done a similar deal wherby the team is left in decent shape for 2010. Yet BMW just pulled the plug, refused to sign the Concorde deal which would have netted Sauber some TV money for 2010 and then tried to get as much as possible for the assets. Hats off to Peter Sauber for coming to the rescue and good luck finding the sponsors and budget to continue. Shame on you BMW!

  32. Paige says:

    Is it just me, or does it look like Renault have made very little change whatsoever to the design of their car, aside from the obvious (elongating it to accompany the larger fuel tank)? Although they did put some “nobs” on the nose to simulate the valleys on the Red Bulls. This doesn’t speak well of the state of the team.

    Sauber actually look like they’ve done a decent amount of development on this car in the latter stages of BMW’s ownership. Although it looks like they’ve done something of a shameless ripoff of the front wing of the BGP001.

    With regard to the seemingly popular move to shark fins (3 of 4 so far have them; given Red Bull’s history, I think we can count on them having one), perhaps they’ve made the calculation that the increased weight at the rear with added fuel could cause some issues in crosswinds?

  33. Andy C says:

    I was just thinking late Jordan for the colour scheme. Like many others.

    Nice to see the yellow and black back. I liked the original renault works colours format that inspired this one (rather than the Jordan one here). Didn’t the original scheme have White as well?

  34. Andy C says:

    The sauber looks very plain but let’s hope it’s more of a mclaren orange pre season colour scheme than the final one.

    What about an all red colour scheme or maybe silver lol (joking). I think the paint manufacturers are cutting down on colours due to the downturn.

  35. Richard says:

    Why do people make jokes about the Jordan. Renault’s colours are yellow and black, just with added red from Total.

  36. Ian Blackwell says:

    I am curious as to why you think Red Bull are missing the first test and delaying the launch of their car. Is this because they are simply not ready yet or is this because they have something fairly radical and do not want to give anybody time to copy their ideas?

  37. Trent says:

    I see Kubica has changed his helmet design to match the Renault colour scheme. Would love to know if this is imposed on the drivers or if it’s their choice. To me, it should be their signature that never changes. Senna would never have altered his colours, nor Mansell or Piquet.

    Button’s helmet last year – horrendous.

  38. Brace says:

    I think R29 was average car because it’s actually more suitable for 2010. :)
    This photo: http://s001.radikal.ru/i195/1001/16/60115aedf45f.jpg shows comparation and it might be that Renault R30 actually ends up being the best package if it really proves that they just needed to evolve last years car unlike other teams who had to design pretty different cars.

  39. Charan says:

    I think its great that both drivers are from the former eastern bloc. With the emergence of these drivers its hard not to note the absence of a US race. At some, point F1 needs to swallow some of its pride to participate the biggest market. If only LH was an american – somebody tell him that he can immigrate and double his income overnight.

  40. KNF says:

    Love that the Sauber cars went back to the C## numbering system…

    And what’s with the tiger stripes on the back of the retro colour scheme Renault? I know it’s the year of the Tiger and all that, but aren’t tigers more appropriate for an Exxon Mobil sponsored team (McLaren)?

  41. CptZorg says:

    A tad negative but thanks anyway. You kinda missed the point though, the question is not about the shark fin per se, more about Ferrari making a different interpretation the tech specs, to their detriment, than the other teams.

    The shark fin of years past may still be in a cupboard somewhere in Maranello but you probably realise it’s not a matter of just slapping one on the 2010 car.

    1. Brace says:

      Some teams ran fins last year so there was no question about it’s legality. They just opted not to use it. Maybe they will try it out on tests.

  42. Gareth says:

    Here here, it’s irritating as hell that people always make out they are being singled out.

    Here we are, with one of the most diverse sports in the world, which you’ll find that James was embracing, and you still complain??

  43. Mr G says:

    After only a couple of launches but we can already see a trend emerging.
    All the big guns in F1 have lanched a car that probably will not compete at the first race !!!
    It seems to be very strange when they decided to reduce the cost of F1 but, on the other hand, I think the biggest teams have a very powerfull manufacturer capability that nobody is taking any chances to see others copying some components to make their car more competitive.
    If you think about last year double diffuser saga… McLaren, Ferrari and Red Bull, while trying to make the double diffuser illegal, they were testing their version of the double diffuser but they were only capable to integrate this element if the chassis only at Monaco or later.
    This year some teams believe that they have something specisl and they are testing with a different spec car than the one will race in Bahrain.

    Fantastic !!!!!!

    Once again engeneering at his best, good luck to all F1 teams, this season will be even better than last year.

    James as usual fantastic blog, I would love to know how many F1 mechanincs, engeneeirs, team managers, and so on are bloggin on here ro reading, any clue ????

  44. Freespeech says:

    I see a weak link in McLaren’s 2010 efforts, this being their test driver Gary Paffett, I mean what’s he ever done and if one checks his past testing times he was always slower than McLaren’s other drivers.

    Pedro was a top block and a great test driver as was Panis before him and I think McLaren will soon realise that this is an area that needs looking at.

  45. Nick says:

    I second georges comment is it me or does Jonathan legend (if that’s how it’s spelt) not read his data sheets, as I found myself on a quite a few occasions corrected his commentary, where the BBC has bought alot to the viewing in f1 he really does let the side down

  46. Sławomir Górka says:

    Poland is a country in Eastern Europe to determine irrelevant if we are closer to the Atlantic than the Urals.

  47. Sławomir Górka says:

    And finally, Robert is being run in f1 and advise, is a Pole, is not tolerated by the East or West

  48. Nicollers says:

    Any idea if Sauber is going to keep the BMW name for the 2010 season? We’re 2 weeks away from the start of the season and the Ferrari powered Sauber still bears reference to a manufacturer that turned its back on F1!

    Are the BMW colours still on the nose in Jerez?

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