F1 News: Force India Launch, Petrov on Shaky Ground with Renault, Testing Begins Again Wednesday

What Happens When All the Excitement Is Stored Up for Mid-Week

12:15am EST — News has come from Russia that all might not be will with the sponsorship and contractual deals between Vitaly Petrov and Renault, Force India will launch its new car on Tuesday, and testing begins again on Wednesday.

Petrov Could Lose Renault Contract as Early as March:
In an interview with a Russian paper, Vitaly Petrov’s father Alexander mentions a few very important nuggets of information: 1. Petrov does not come with the required-by-Renault 15 million euro sponsorship, but 7.5 from the mortgage of his parent’s property, 2. the first 7.5 million euros from the mortgage are still not forthcoming from the bank (and if they’re not paid to Renault by March, Petrov can be dropped), 3. there is no huge Russian sponsorship backing Petrov as has been assumed, and 4. Petrov still lacks the money for the second installment of 7.5 million euros to Renault.  To see the entire analysis, click the above link to the full article at F1B.  The entire article is quite informative about Petrov’s youth and love of racing, but it is not until nearly the end where Petrov’s father begins discussing the current money troubles with Renault (here in the original Russian).

Force India Launches 2010 Car Tuesday, Begins Testing Wednesday:
As a quick reminder, new car news begins again Tuesday, with Force India launching their 2010 car before attending their first group test session of the year, having skipped the first session in Valencia, in Jerez on Wednesday.  According to Autosport, the team’s design director Mark Smith is optimistic, “I don’t think we’ve missed a great deal in that respect. We always took the view that we’d rather keep going for another week with aero development.”

Testing Returns to a Rainy Spain on Wednesday:
After a glorious amount of unexpected coverage from the first test session in Valencia (none of it by F1 itself, of course), three additional teams will add to the laps set at the second test session, this time in Jerez.  Red Bull, Force India, and first new team out of the gates Virgin Racing will join those teams who have already tested.  This leaves only new teams LotusF1, USF1, and Campos without having tested, though LotusF1 team owner Tony Fernandes has tweeted that the engine has been fired.  Wondering what might happen in jerez? check out my weekly F1B column from Sunday on that subject.


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