Posted by Euan on December 11, 2011 | 2 Comments
A great deal of news has come out on the 2012 season in the last few weeks. Most importantly, the first official driver list has been published by the teams, although it is still somewhat incomplete.
However, I will start with news on Formula 1′s U.K. broadcasting arrangements for next season. Sky Sports are certainly pulling out all the stops on this one, with F1 even getting its own channel – ‘Sky Sports F1 HD’. Martin Brundle and Ted Kravitz have made the jump from the Beeb, and will be joined by Anthony Davidson from Radio 5 Live. That leaves the BBC still with David Coulthard, Eddie Jordan (great…) and thankfully the actually excellent Jake Humphreys. One problem is that the BBC are left without a commentator next season, which could mean the nightmare prospect of Jonathan Legard returning. Hopefully Sky and BBC will make good on their promise to share resources so we will still have someone who knows what they’re talking about doing the commentary. The BBC have also announced which ten races they will show live next season. The BBC’s coverage won’t begin until the third race of the season – the Chinese Grand Prix. The BBC will show a further nine live races: Spain, Monaco, Europe, Great Britain, Belgium, Singapore, Korea, Abu Dhabi, and the final race of the 2012 calendar in Brazil. They will show extended highlights of all the other races, giving it what I’m sure will be the full Match of the Day treatment – full of terrible ‘analysis’ which will send even the most caffeine-addled maniac to sleep.
Moving on, the usual winter musical chairs in F1 has got under way with earnest. Most teams are unchanged, including the ‘big’ three or four Red Bull, McLaren, Ferrari, and Mercedes. Renault, or should I say Lotus, have gone under the most change, replacing both their drivers. Sadly, Robert Kubica won’t make it back for next season, or at least the start of it anyway. Instead, Lotus have brought former world champion Kimi Raikkonen back into F1 after a very mediocre time in rally – this of course means there’ll be six world champions on the grid next season. Surprisingly, Lotus have also brought back Roman Grosjean who left former incarnation Renault after a very underwhelming half season in Formula 1. Nevertheless, Grosjean has impressed Lotus bosses in GP2, winning the feeder series’ drivers title in 2011. Therefore, Bruno Senna, Nick Heidfeld and Vitaly Petrov will be looking for pastures new for next season. Meanwhile, Force India have made what is, in my mind, a very surprising decision to let go of Adrian Sutil. Although not official yet, it seems Force India will field Paul Di Resta and Nico Hulkenburg next season with Adrian Sutil’s likely destination being Barrichello’s old seat at Williams. Toro Rosso are another team who are yet to name their drivers for the forthcoming season, and it’s anybodies guess who they’ll pick 0ut of Sebastien Buemi, Jaime Alguesuari, Daniel Ricciardo, and Jean-Eric Vergne. It looks as though Jarno Trulli will keep his seat at Caterham (previously Team Lotus) despite rumours that they were willing to take Daniel Ricciardo ‘on loan’ from Red Bull. Veteran driver Pedro De La Rosa has joined Hispania, with the team’s second seat remaining unfilled for the time being. The future of last season’s drivers Tonio Luizzi and Narain Karthikeyan remain unclear. Finally, Marussia (formerly Virgin – yes all these name changes are confusing me too) have replaced Jerome D’Ambrosio with Frenchman Charles Pic.