The 2009 Formula 1 season ended at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and it was Jenson Button who managed to clinch the Driver’s Championship two weeks earlier at the Brazilian Grand Prix. His team Brawn GP also made headlines as it also went home with the Constructor’s title.
The entire Formula 1 fraternity is now focusing on the 2010 season. Some familiar faces won’t be around next year like BMW and Toyota and possibly Renault, but there will be new faces. These include teams like USGPE, Manor, Campos as well as Malaysia’s Lotus F1. We have more interesting news to share with you regarding the new team. The term “spygate” may just stick around but instead of McLaren and Ferrari, the term is being associated with Lotus F1 and Force India.
According to Force India, its former wind tunnel operator Aerolab which is owned by Fondtech (an aerodynamics specialist) has leaked vital aerodynamic data that belongs to the team to the newly established Lotus F1. Force India revealed that the front wing assembly on Lotus F1’s wind tunnel model looks similar to the one featured on Force India’s Formula 1 car.
The team also claims that the wind-tunnel tires on Lotus F1’s wind tunnel car have hand-writing that belongs to Force India’s staff. Lotus F1’s technical chief Mike Gascoyne who also served for Force India in the past denied the allegations. At the same time, Aerolab is taking legal actions against Force India but its not regarding the matter above. Instead, its because Force India did not fulfill its “obligations” over a previous three-year deal with Aerolab.
In another development, Kamui Kobayashi, who stunned the motoring fraternity with his excellent drives in Brazil and in Abu Dhabi for Toyota is rumored to join Lotus F1. He recently revealed to the press that if there are still options for a race seat and that he had to choose a team, he would choose Lotus F1. Kobayashi was the third driver for Toyota’s Formula 1 outfit and replaced injured Timo Glock for the final two races of the season.
He showed some ballsy driving moves in both races and even made a sensational pass on World Champion Jenson Button in Abu Dhabi. With Toyota’s withdrawal from the sport, the Japanese driver is now looking for a 2010 race seat. Talking about drivers, Fairuz Fauzy who has been linked with Lotus F1 ever since it was given the green light to join Formula 1 is very likely to become the team’s third or reserve driver. “Fairuz will be in the team probably as a reserve driver or a test driver. He has the talent but we don’t want him to ‘crash and burn’ in the race because of his inexperience,” revealed Mike Gascoyne.
Gascoyne told The Star, “Take (Fernando) Alonso for example. He was signed as a test driver and didn’t get a race seat until after three years with Renault and he went on to win trophies. This is exactly what we want with Fairuz, for him to have enough experience because racing in the Formula One is at a much higher level than he used to.”
Taking that into account, Kobayashi’s move to Lotus F1 as the team’s second driver makes more sense. It is also also a good move to retain Fauzy as a reserve driver until he has more experience under his belt. Lets learn from what happened to Alex Yoong’s drive for Minardi when he raced for the team in 2002. There is no indication who will take the remaining seat but fingers are pointing towards Jarno Trulli, who drove for Toyota along side Kobayashi.