Posted by Carrot on March 16, 2012 | No Comments
Been following the off-season news religiously? Don’t worry, we have your very own cheat sheet for 2012.
Four teams have morphed themselves this year:
- Mercedes GP -> Mercedes AMG
- Renault -> Lotus
- Team Lotus -> Caterham
- Virgin Racing -> Marussia
Williams have also switched engine suppliers from Cosworth to Renault. Yes, that’s right, Williams Renault are back in the sport, with a Senna in the cockpit. Let’s hope that’s all a coincidence and not an omen.
- Rubens Barrichello
- Sebastien Buemi
- Jaime Alguersuari
- Jerome d’Ambrosio
- Adrian Sutil
- Vitantonio Liuzzi
- Jarno Trulli
- Kimi Raikkonen – Lotus Renault
- Romain Grosjean – Lotus Renault
- Nico Hulkenberg – Force India Mercedes
- Jean-Eric Vergne – Toro Rosso Ferrari
- Narain Karthikeyan – HRT Cosworth
- Pedro de la Rosa – HRT Cosworth
- Charles Pic – Marussia Cosworth
It’s all static at the top four teams, something we’ve known for a while. However it seems at the close of the season everyone else decided to have a game of musical cockpits. The returning Raikkonen makes six former champions on the grid. The departing Trulli means there are no Italians on the grid for the first time since the 1970s. And after having no presence on the racing grid last year, France now has three drivers at the pinnacle of motor sport. Two new Lotus drivers underlines the fact that Robert Kubica won’t be coming back any time soon, especially with news reports that he broke his leg at the beginning of the year.
- Testing is back – Well, one test at least. It will be held in May and the pre-season test schedule has been shortened to accommodate it.
- Off-throttle blown diffusers are gone – Exhausts are required to exit through the top of the bodywork, ending all uses of this trick.
- Races now have a 4 hour time limit – Anyone would think that the FIA staff didn’t like missing their flights from the 2011 Canadian Grand Prix.
- Lapped cars will now be released from behind the safety car before the race resumes – A welcome return of this wonderful piece of law, that means we won’t have exciting restarts ruined by some mobile chicane.
- Reactive ride height – Don’t remember this one? That’s because this got banned before it ever saw the race track.
- Nose height has been lowered – What does this mean you ask? Wait until you see the coverage. It means F1 cars (with the exception of the McLaren and Marussia) look uglier than a very ugly thing. Some people have been calling them ‘platypus’ noses, I think this does a disservice to platypi, who are much better looking. I’d call them Prost noses myself, to reference the four time champion’s famous boxer’s nose. The Ferrari in particular looks like someone’s revved it up near The Incredible Hulk, who has then punched it in the face.
That’s it. The shuffled drivers and altered liveries will be something that will come to you over the season. Twenty races this year, providing nothing unexpected happens. See you there.