Saturday, 26 February 2011

Heidfeld Confirmed; Bahrain Cancelled; Williams Livery Revealed

Heidfeld Confirmed
After weeks of speculation, Nick Heidfeld was confirmed as Renault's super-sub in place of the injured Robert Kubica on 16th February. Personally, I feel it was probably the best decision to make for Eric Boullier - Renault team manager - as Heidfeld is recognised in the paddock as a steady but consistent and experienced hand. And with Petrov as a second driver, consistency is what Boullier needs...

Heidfeld has been welcomed at Renault
Of course, the length of Heidfeld's tenure all depends on how speedy Kubica's recovery is, and with him being moved out of intensive care recently, it looks like he may be in the car for a race or two at the latter end of the season if all goes to plan. However, if the Renault is really as fast as the testing stopwatch says it is, Heidfeld might have other things on his mind towards the end of the season, like winning races...

2011 Bahrain Grand Prix Cancelled
It came as no surprise the other day when the Crown Prince of Bahrain officially announced that the island state could no longer safely hold it's Grand Prix, the first of the season. It remains to be seen whether Bahrain will be able to slot back into the calendar at a later date, but with the second half of the year choc-a-bloc, it looks increasingly unlikely.

Bahrain may have to take a sabbatical from F1 in 2011
However, one thing is for sure: the 2011 Formula One World Championship will get underway in Melbourne on the 27th March, just like old times...

Williams unveil livery for FW33
With all the teams unveiling their 2011 challengers (although HRT's effort has only been seen in rendered form) the last big launch date took place on Thursday - the launch of the official livery in which drivers Rubens Barrichello and Pastor Maldonado will stake their claim to points and, if the team are to be believed, possibly even a race win or two.

A quiet revolution in F1 car design? 
Sam Michael, Williams' technical director, explained that the team had worked especially hard on their 'tight rear end' (even Michael himself sniggered at that one) which will contain their KERS , a package capable of providing a boost equal to about 80hp. The livery itself is a throwback to the Rothmans liveries of the 1990s, made famous by Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost, Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve's championships. So that's three retro liveries on the grid this season: Williams, Renault and Team Lotus' - if only McLaren went back to the Marlboro years...

You can find more pictures of the FW33 on F1Fanatic here.

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