And also 58 days to go!
Today is the half-way point. We’re mid way between the 2010 season finale and the 2011 season kick off. Abu Dhabi and Bahrain are not far away from each other distance-wise either, and share similar climates. This year will see the debut for adjustable rear wings, the return of KERS, and the old track layout at Bahrain, as well as a new track in India and the second Korean GP (hopefully the weather will be better this year).
I can’t believe that with so little time left until the pre-season testing, we still haven’t got finalised lineups from Force India and Hispania. As for the rest of the teams, we have the drivers confirmed. And for everyone except Mercedes, we know whether or not their car will be launched before the test.
- Red Bull – as late as possible before Valencia but probably Feb 1st. Unusual for the team to have a car ready for pre-season testing, but they want to get it on the Pirellis.
- McLaren – 4th Feb in Berlin. They’ll be running an interim car in Valencia so that they have more time to work on it.
- Ferrari – 28th Jan in Maranello. Clearly Ferrari have got most of the work done on their car, as they’re giving themselves more of a gap before Valencia.
- Renault – 31st Jan in Valencia. The black and gold livery is being revealed by Vitaly Petrov in Birmingham tomorrow.
- Williams – before Valencia, possibly on Feb 1st but definitely before testing starts (source: ESPN).
- Force India – 10th Feb in Jerez. They’ll be running an interim car for the first test. Hope they have some drivers to go in it!
- Sauber – 31st Jan in Valencia. They were well prepared with their drivers, and have James Key on board for their new car so hopefully it will be good.
- Toro Rosso – 1st Feb in Valencia. Last year they lost out as other teams adopted the F-duct. Let’s hope their 2011 car has more proise.
- Lotus – 1st Feb in Valencia. They’re the only one of the so-called ‘new teams’ to get their car ready before the first test.
- Hispania – some time during testing. They’ll be running their 2010 car at the first test in Valencia, but hopefully will reveal their 2011 car before the Grand Prix in Bahrain.
- Virgin – again they’ll be running their 2010 car at the first test. But they should get up and running fairly quickly.
Once the cars are out and running, this will give us the first opportunity to see what the cars can do, and we can start making an informed decision on who could win next season. I’ll be comparing this year’s times in Valencia to the fastest race lap times from 2010 and the pre-season tests from 2010 as well.
Meanwhile at Lotus, Jarno Trulli has been making his voice heard. He really does not like what’s going on in the sport at the moment, with sponsor drivers getting attention over good drivers. He’s also frustrated about the two Lotus teams situation. I think fans can agree with Trulli about this. It looks like he won’t be staying in F1 for more than another season, so if Karun Chandhok does go over to Lotus as a test driver, he might be able to be a first choice driver in 2012. By that time, Lotus should be a reasonably competent team.