F1 News: Heidfeld at Mercedes, Brawn Supports New Points System, Former F1 Drivers Turn to Le Mans


What Happens When the News Slows, a Bit

12:10am EST — After the excitement of actual times and on-track action from the test session at Valencia, a day with a reserve driver announcement, support for rules changes, and a the mention of a few ex-F1 drivers racing in the Le Mans series, the amount of news seems slow.

Nick Heidfeld (Finally) Announced as Mercedes GP Reserve Driver:
After quite a bit of speculation and wondering where else he could go, Mercedes GP announced Thursday that they have hired an all-German driver line up, with Nick Heidfeld as their reserve driver for 2010.  While team principal Ross Brawn said in the official press release, “It’s a great pleasure for us to have signed a driver of the calibre and experience of Nick Heidfeld as our Reserve Race Driver and Test Driver for the 2010 season,” one has to wonder what good Heidfeld’s experience will do with no in-season testing.  Still, it was likely the best option for the German for this season, barring a contract with a likely under-performing new team.

Ross Brawn In Favor of Increased Points Totals for 2010:
According to an article published by the BBC, Ross Brawn, Mercedes GP team principal and member of the FIA F1 Commission, is fully in favor of the proposed changes to the points system.  “There is a much stronger incentive for the person in second place to try to beat the guy in front.  The argument is if there’s only two points, it’s not such an incentive. If it’s seven it’s much more attractive,” he noted.  Apparently, this change to the proposed points system was made to encourage drivers to race for the lead.  With recent concerns over parade-races and a suggested lack of entertainment and close racing, these off-track changes have been made, to use an over-used phrase, to improve the show.  The F1 Commission has suggested this points change (with points to be awarded from first to tenth place, 25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1 for each postition) and only approval by the WMSC stands in the way of its implementation.

Le Mans Series Releases 2010 Entry List with Plenty of F1 Talent:
Well, really, it’s mainly just Giancarlo Fisichella and Nigel Mansell as the newsworthy entrants, but the entire list can be found on the series website.  The percentage of former F1 drivers will likely increase for the 24 Heures du le Mans event (Sebastian Bourdais has already confirmed a contract with Peugot), but for now Fisichella’s position with the Ferrari GT2 class team and Mansell’s entry with his sons in the LMP1 class, driving a Zytek 09S are the biggest stories.  Other former drivers have entered, such as Alan McNish, though they are drivers who have regularly contested the series.

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