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Monday, January 4, 2010

US F1 closing in on drivers?

Reports are saying the new US F1 team is moving closer to filling out its driver lineup.

Jose Maria Lopez, a one-time Renault F1 tester, is still being touted by sources in Argentina. The driver claimed last year he had a deal in place with the team. Lopez has not raced in single-seaters since 2006, but is reported to bring with him an $8m sponsor deal to promote Argentina tourism.

Grand Prix of Turkey Practice

The name mentioned as a possible for the other seat is British driver James Rossiter, who raced in ALMS for Andretti Green in 2008 and came up through the Honda F1 Young Driver Program and tested for Super Aguri.

While US F1’s goal is to field American drivers, there seems little chance of anyone being able to gain a superlicense in time for the start of the season.

Meanwhile, US F1 sporting director Peter Windsor has come out against the mandatory summer shutdown started last year.

Using the team’s Web site blog, Windsor compared the differences between working in the States and Europe.

“We're all complaining a little about everything closing down for the New Year but – believe me – America is currently much more industrious than the UK. Here, at our home base, we were quiet on Christmas Day (naturally) and then again today. The UK – and most of Europe – basically shut down on December 18 and will not stagger back to life until January 4. That's 16 valuable days lost in the too-short life of the F1 European winter.

And that's not all: remember the August F1 shutdown that was introduced for the first time in 2009? Well, it's happening again in 2010. Understand that most of Europe closes for August and you kind of understand the decision. Unless you're American, that is. As in Australia, August for Americans is just another working month in which some people maybe take a week or two away. There's no nationwide shutdown, as such – not of the type that regularly afflicts massive F1 teams like Ferrari. For years all of their suppliers have been shutting their doors for the month of August – and for years the European teams have been complaining that the situation has been growing worse, not better.”

BMW moniker to remain in F1

BMW may have sole the F1 team back to founder Peters Sauber, but it looks likely the BMW name will remain with the team for 2010, as the team’s entry was lodged with the FIA before the sale.

While the team can apply to have the name changed, AUTOSPORT reports there is no plan in place to do so for the moment, a process that would require the approval of rivals, the FIA and Bernie Ecclestone.

The FIA recently allowed Brawn to change its name to Mercedes “on a one-off exceptional basis due to Mercedes-Benz's long-term involvement and commitment to Formula 1.”

Button makes debut in McLaren colors

Jenson Button has officially appeared in the colors of his new team since moving over from Brawn, with a picture and posted of the World Champion on the McLaren Web site.

Plus, Jenson and Lewis share their thoughts on 2010. Don't miss the top stories of the day, subscribe to the SpeedRead Web newspaper now! -- Email SpeedRead -- Learn more about author C.D. Six


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