F1 News: di Resta Begins Friday Running, Sauber to Change Name, Lotus (Possibly) Gains Major Sponsor

What Happens When Some News Still Exists

12:02am EST — While Formula1 news coverage has been dominated by discussions of improving the show after a season opening race considered by many to have been boring, there is some other news to be noted.

Force India Allows That Reserve Driver di Resta Will Run Fridays:
According to the team’s official Twitter account, “While we’re taking about Paul, he will be our driver on Friday in Melbourne.”  Before the season started, Force India had said that reserve driver di Resta would be driving for at least one Friday practice session each weekend for the team.  With in-season testing banned again this season, this will be the only running di Resta will have throughout the season.

Sauber to Change Name, Sometime:
According to Peter Sauber in an Autosport article, “We will submit an application for a chassis name change, but the timing has yet to be decided. It will happen some time this season.”  Many eyebrows have been raised and questions asked about the team’s official name of “BMW Sauber Ferrari” and it’s oxymoronic tendencies.  However, it makes sense, with the further information that the team has no title sponsor for this season and is searching for any sponsorship for 2010 and 2011.  While not a major undertaking to file the paperwork and request a name change from the FIA, waiting until there is a proper new name (hopefully with a title sponsor), makes sense, especially with the sometimes fickle nature of the FIA over team names.

Lotus Might Gain Petrobas Sponsorship:
According to James Allen, via his UK sources and Brazilian reports, Lotus may soon announce a $9 million Petrobas sponsorship for this season.  “It is said in Brazil that the cars will start running with the Petrobras branding from the Spanish Grand Prix onwards,” according to Allen’s article at his personal blog.  Reports from Brazil make sense, as Petrobas is a Brazilian oil company, which held the country’s oil monopoly until 1997, according to the company’s website.  Petrobas is also a former F1 sponsor, of Williams for ten years, and a potential sponsor of the Honda team for last season, until the Japanese company withdrew from competition.  This weekend, Lotus was the only one of the new teams to finish the season opener in Bahrain, but, as with many teams on the grid, the team decidedly needs such an infusion of sponsor cash.


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