F1 News: Rubens Tops Jerez Day 2, Sato Signs IndyCar Contract, Merger Rumors Continue

What Happens When It’s Hard to Say What to Say

12:02am EST — The Williams goes to the top of the timesheets in a wet and breezy Jerez, former F1 driver Takuma Sato signs with KV Racing in IndyCar, and the rumors and innuendos continue to swirl about a sort of merger between USF1 and Campos, or at least USF1 driver Jose Maria Lopez (and possibly investor and YouTube founder Chad Hurley) and a reincarnation of Campos.

Jerez Test 2, Day 2: (shortened version of my analysis available at F1B; click the headline link to see the entire story)
In a surprising move, Rubens Barrichello set the fastest time of the Thursday session, 1:27.145, putting Williams on top.  Even more surprising was Vitaly Petrov’s second fastest time in the Renault, about .7 back.  Lewis Hamilton, however, dropped from fastest yesterday to tenth today.  Red flags continued to fly as drivers spun on the wet track, including one for Heikki Kovalainen’s crash into a tire barrier, for which he was apologetic, “Had a crash and damaged front wing, session over for us. S..t! My mistake, tomorrow we go again…”
1. Rubens Barrichello, Williams, 1:27.145, 70 Laps
2. Vitaly Petrov, Renault, 1:27.828, 57 Laps
3. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, 1:28.162, 92 Laps
4. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes GP, 1:28.515, 57 Laps
5. Felipe Massa, Ferrari, 1:28.879, 33 Laps
6. Pedro de la Rosa, Sauber, 1:29.691, 8 Laps
7. Paul di Resta, Force India,1:30.344, 56 Laps
8. Timo Glock, Virgin Racing, 1:30.476, 98 Laps
9. Tonio Liuzzi, Force India, 1:30.666, 71 Laps
10. Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, 1:31.633, 72 Laps
11. Sebastian Buemi, Toro Rosso, 1:32.678, 24 Laps
12. Heikki Kovalainen, LotusF1, 1:33.554, 30 Laps

Sato Signs IndyCar Racing Contract:
According to ITV, former F1 driver Takuma Sato will race in IndyCar in 2010 for KV Racing.  The team, run by former IndyCar champion Jimmy Vasser, “is a team with massive potential and great team spirit,” according to Sato, who lost a  possible F1 seat at Toro Rosso to Sebastian Bourdais, and who last drove in F1 for Super Aguri.  This is likely the best move, as there are a few recent F1 drivers who have no full-season racing contract for 2010, in any series.  Sato also noted that, “I am also really motivated by the chance to be fighting at the front of the field, something I have missed in recent seasons.”

Possible Move to a New Version of Campos for Lopez:
After yesterday’s dire news for USF1, and the note that their only driver, Jose Maria Lopez, was in England, meeting with Bernie Ecclestone and working with his management to secure a drive with another team this season, continued hints of the future swirl about.  Autosport, on Thursday, published an article detailing a possible restructure of Campos Meta to save it, with Jose Ramon Carbante taking over, and having “engaged ex-Force India team principal Colin Kolles and ex-Red Bull technical director Geoff Willis on a short-term basis.”
Interestingly enough, freelance F1 journalist Adam Cooper has pulled together information suggesting that Lopez, and possibly USF1 investor Chad Hurley, are also part of the deal, as helped along by Ecclestone.  In an article published on his personal website and by AutoWeek, Cooper wrote late Thursday (early Friday, GMT), “It’s a complex arrangement that will presumably see original Campos investor Jose Ramon Carabante taking charge, while former Midland/Spyker/Force India boss Colin Kolles is putting a team together to run the Dallara-Cosworths…Although he would not be divulge any details, Kolles told AutoWeek on Thursday that an announcement could come soon. Meanwhile, when we tried to track Lopez down on Thursday evening, he was in a London pub, and may well have been celebrating.”
USF1 remains, as it has been, silent on the future of the team, these suggestions that their only driver and main sponsor have left the team, and in general.  It seems an odd situation, but this is Formula1.  Apparently, the drama in the sport, not having been seen much in rain-soaked Jerez, will continue in boardrooms and the offices of the FOM.


1 Comment

  1. Indy racing has put up Sato announcement video on their youtube channel

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