F1 News: The Stefan Intrigue Keeps Coming, New Rules Submitted, di Resta Official


What Happens When a Little Spy Work is in the Works

12:44am EST — The story that generated the most interest at the end of Tuesday did not seem to be Valencia’s testing times, but the news from Stefan GP in Serbia.  Also confirmed was Paul di Resta’s position as Force India’s reserve driver, and the F1 Commission submitted various known rules changes to the FIA.

Stefan GP Makes Interesting Announcements:
In continued intriguing news from Serbia, Stefan GP announced on its website Tuesday that, “First tests for StefanGP will be in Portugal at Portimao test track, on 25-28 February 2010.  StefanGP first Formula 1 car Stefan S-01 will be presented before tests.”  The plucky team, with no FIA entry for 2010 and an offer of testing a fully developed 2010 car to any driver or team who would like to skirt the in-season testing ban added, “SGP Team will be testing with two drivers over three days.  Identity of drivers will be announced in due course.  First driver has already two years in F1.”  Most believe that this driver will be Kazuki Nakajima, who likely came with the sale of Toyota’s 2010 car design.
Secondly, the team also announced that “SGP becomes the first team in F1 history who did send a 40 foot container full of equipment to the race in Bahrain without having entry for 2010 season!  On Friday 29-th January we showed our spirit, and how serious our management and our employees are when they say that we are pushing to get the entry, and that they want to race in 2010 season.”  This sort of action suggests wither complete foolhardiness or some sort of inside knowledge that there will be room for the team on the 2010 grid.  No one seems to know, as the team appears generally slipshod and kooky (and additional note on the second release, “P.S. Phil, pick up your jacket,” is either brilliant code or just silly).  Also, former McLaren chief designer and spygate conspirator Mike Coughlan is apparently “working late in StefanGP Cologne offices.”  This makes the already publicly shaky message from a new team or two even more disheartening, suggesting that Stefan GP is lining up to take someone’s spot on the grid.

Paul di Resta Named as Reserve Driver, Friday Tester:
As was previously published at On Any Sunday, These Days, Scottish driver di Resta (coincidentally the cousin to IndyCar and sportscar drivers Dario and Marino Franchitti) has been confirmed as the reserve driver for Force India.  In an interesting move, he will take to the track for the Friday practice on most GP weekends, as is allowed by FIA rules.  di Resta drove for the team during the young driver’s test in Jerez a few months ago and will continue to contest the DTM championship he finished third in in 2009.

F1 Commission Passes Along Rules Changes:
In the newly appropriate manner, the F1 Commission has submitted various proposed rules changes for 2010 to the FIA World Motor Sport Council.  They include a points system change to the following: 1st, 25 points; 2nd, 18 points; 3rd, 15 points; 4th, 12 points; 5th, 10 points; 6th, 8 points; 7th, 6 points; 8th, 4 points; 9th, 2 points; and 10th, 1 point.  A reduction in allowed tires is also suggested, from 14 per race weekend to 11, and “to encourage teams to run during the Friday practice sessions, one set has to be returned before the start of the second practice session, and two sets before the start of the third practice session.”  Also, those cars qualifying during Q3 must start with their qualifying tires.  For 2011, the height of diffusers will be “from 175mm to 125mm and measures to exclude ‘double’ diffusers were agreed.”

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