Posted on December 23, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 237

Tonight Bild newspaper in Germany is reporting that Michael Schumacher has cleared the final hurdle in his quest to return to Formula 1 after three seasons of retirement and has signed a one year deal with Mercedes. Bild is a favourite place for both Schumacher’s manager Willi Weber and for Mercedes to leak stories. Although the Mercedes GP team is run by Ross Brawn, the pairing of Schumacher and Nico Rosberg in their Silver Arrows will make it Team Deutschland, as Mercedes boss Dieter Zetsche alluded to the other day. Schumacher’s doctor gave the all clear for him to race More…

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Posted on December 21, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 237

The Mercedes GP team has won the hotly contested battle to secure the sponsorship of Malaysian oil company Petronas, in what it describes as a “long term deal”. The deal is a significant one, worth €30 million per season. Combined with the prize money the team won this season as Brawn GP, which is of the order of €50 million, this gives Mercedes an €80 million budget for 2010 before they themselves have injected anything, or any other sponsors have contributed. Alongside Ferrari and McLaren, this team is starting to look like a new powerhouse team for Formula 1, something More…

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Posted on December 20, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 237

Over the Christmas and New Year period here on JA on F1, as well as monitoring the ongoing news sagas, like Michael Schumacher’s comeback, we will have plenty of easy-going festive content; we’ll be looking back at the 2009 season, running a short season of forward-looking pieces and a couple of public votes. So keep checking in, especially if you are snowed-in and bored! The first vote is for the top five moments of the year. We had some great racing in 2009, some stunning passing moves and some dramatic moments both on and off the circuit. I want you More…

Posted on December 18, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 237

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has again put the spotlight on Fernando Alonso and Ferrari’s expectation of him that he will work for the team and not for himself. The driver of whom Ron Dennis once said, “Competitive animals know no limits” and Martin Whitmarsh said, “As long as they can keep him winning I’m sure he will be happy,” comes to Maranello with a bit of baggage and Montezemolo has chosen to confront this head on. He said today that he had spoken with Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali “1,000s of times” about this subject while assessing the risks More…

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Posted on December 18, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 237

Dr Dieter Zetsche, the CEO of Daimler AG, which owns Mercedes has said that the team will not know who will partner Nico Rosberg until the New Year. With speculation raging about Michael Schumacher making a comeback at the wheel of a Silver Arrow and suggestions that he may do an extended test in a GP2 car at either Abu Dhabi or Bahrain shortly to evaluate his recovery from neck injury, Zetsche said that, “We are struggling to announce a second driver. Who the second driver is, we will probably not know until next year.” Zetsche was speaking to German More…

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Posted on December 17, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 237

Peter Sauber has always been a big supporter of talented young drivers. And in his latest guise as a reluctant team owner – having taken back his team from BMW – he is backing his instincts and giving Kamui Kobayashi a drive for 2010. It was announced today that Kobayashi will drive for BMW Sauber, as the team has not yet had its name changed. Kobayashi made a big impression in his two Grands Prix at the end of the season, not having driven an F1 car for seven months when he got the call up from Toyota to replace More…

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Posted on December 16, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 237

The FIA has made another quiet but sensible decision, putting right something which was clearly wrong this season by allowing young drivers to test a car should they be called upon to move up to a race seat. This season Jaime Alguersuari and Romain Grosjean were obliged to jump into a race car with no testing when they were called up to replace race drivers who had been sacked. Luca Badoer also had a torrid time in the Ferrari with no opportunity to familiarise himself with the car. The testing ban was introduced as a cost saving measure, allowing teams More…

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Posted on December 16, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 237

Renault announced today, as expected, that it is to stay in F1 for the moment, but having sold an interest in its Enstone chassis operation to Genii Capital, run by tech investor Gerard Lopez. Lopez was not present at the announcement in Paris and Renault’s long term strategy in F1 is not clear from today’s announcement. Of primary importance as far as Bernie Ecclestone is concerned is that the name Renault remains in the sport and that they continue as a supplier of engines, to maintain the balance with Mercedes and Cosworth and it was also confirmed today that Red More…

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Posted on December 15, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 237

Renault has called a press conference in Paris tomorrow to announce its decision on Formula 1. It seems that they may announce that the company has decided to sell a 75% shareholding in its Enstone operation to Gerard Lopez, the 37 year old internet entrepreneur who was the first investor in Skype. The deal entails Lopez and his company Gravity, getting the factory for nothing and a guaranteed free supply of engines for two years. The sponsorship of the French Total oil company is also included. In return the team remains under the Renault name for at least the 2010 More…

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Posted on December 15, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 237

Virgin Racing launched today in West London with Sir Richard Branson promising “to be a winner in the end” in Formula 1. It was a confident launch; the business package around the team seems strong and the team structure is interesting. To succeed it will require the various components to work together despite cultural and geographical differences. The design side is under Nick Wirth in Oxford and the race team management under Manor’s John Booth in Sheffield. The chairman is the vastly experienced Etienne de Villiers, formerly of Disney and ITV. He has been put in place by the venture More…

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