F1 News: Young Drivers Signed, Rossi Goes Faster in a Ferrari, Raikkonen Still WRC Undecided


What Happens When the News is More About the Future Than Now

12:02am EST — While there are, numerically, more headlines than recently, most still remain off-season filler.  However, the news about the future of Formula1 appears promising.

Young Drivers Signed to McLaren and Robertson Management:
McLaren (and Hamilton Management Group) signed Dutch 14-year-old karter Nyck de Vries to the young driver program, as it did with an equally-young Lewis Hamilton.  While the boy looks more like he is seven years old in his official picture, it is an excellent move for his future.
Similarly, Robertson Management announced that they signed Felipe Nasr, Formula BMW Europe champion, as a client.  Robertson Management (founded and run by Dave and Steve Robertson) also serves Kimi Raikkonen and Robertson managed Jenson Button’s early career, according to Autosport.  Nasr will race for the Raikkonen Roberston Racing team in the British Formula 3 Championship in 2010.  The 17-year-old Brazilian won the Formula BMW Europe championship in 2009 by 104 points over his teammate, Daniel Juncadella.  While his career trajectory does not put him in F1 for a few years, being signed by the Robertson Management agency is certainly a good indication of a solid future in open-wheel racing.

Rossi Dramatically Improves His F1 Times:
After the conditions remained wet for Valentino Rossi’s second and final F1 Clienti testing day at the Circuit de Catalunya, they cleared and Rossi posted considerably better times at the very end of the day.  Wednesday’s best time of 1.25.200 became Thursday’s best time of 1:21.900.  This much faster time was only .23 slower than Kimi Raikkonen’s lap record (1:21.670), also set in the ’08 Ferrari.  According to Reuters, “that compared with this year’s fastest race lap of 1:22.762 set by Brazilian Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button’s pole position time of 1:20.527.”

Kimi Raikkonen May Return to F1:
According to Autosport, Kimi Raikkonen will make a decision about his future (WRC? F1?) halfway through the 2010 season.  In Italian magazine Autosprint, he was quoted as saying, “The doors to F1 are still open. I’ve dedicated nine years of my life to this series, and I have some truly excellent memories. I will take a decision midway through the year. Then I’ll decide whether to stay in rallying, or to come back to the grands prix.”  This comes after he has hinted that he might not ever return to F1.  Whether or not the notoriously prickly Finn will return to F1 or remain in WRC will likely be hinted at for some time to come, and he will be most unlikely to actually announce his decision without continuing to publicly indicate neither for some time to come.

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