Singapore Build-up (Part 2)

25 09 2009

BMW-Sauber

The past few weeks have been difficult for the Hinwall based team, following BMW’s decision to withdraw from F1, and their difficulty to find a buyer. Well the good news is they found one, the bad news is that it was a few hours after the FIA gave their place on the grid to the new Malaysian/Lotus Team. The FIA have however positioned them as first reserve, and are pushing for extra grid spots to increase the field to 28 cars. If the team is successful they have announced they will be running Ferrari engines next year. I expect they will be looking to put in a good performance to reassure their new owners this weekend.

Robert Kubica

Whilst much of the paddock has been speculating where the Pole will be driving next year, with Williams, Renault And his current team the likely options, Robert has been filling the press with some bizarre musings about Nelson Piquet, calling for him to be punished. He must have a short memory however as he seemed to escape punishment for dangerously continuing around the circuit with a heavily damaged car in Australia. He will be hoping to impress potential team bosses, as well as doing better than his DNF at Monza; so far so good with top ten places in both practice sessions.

Nick Heidfeld

Nick seems to have been quiet this weekend, but he has praised the team being saved, which would suggest he is keen to stay. He is hopeful for the teams upgrades this race, and they look to be making an impact, he took his 14th place in FP1 and made it a 4th in FP3. He will be keen to finish again this week as his record of 41 races without a retirement continues.

Williams

Much uncertainty surrounds Williams driver line up for next year, with the possibility of both drivers being replaced. This is in part is connected to which engine they will run; It seems unlikely they will stay with Toyota, which would likely spell the end for Kazuki Nakajima, who is likely to be replaced by GP2 champion Nico Hulkenberg. The team’s other Nico (Rosberg) could stay although he seems keen to move his career along with a move to McLaren or Brawn. The team have also been stating their determination to run their unique KERS system next year, despite their rejoining of FOTA, who have a voluntary agreement to not run it.

Nico Rosberg

Nico has been putting in some great performances all year but has yet to be rewarded with a podium finish. He will be keen to put that right this weekend at a circuit he finished second at last year, despite a penalty for pitting under the safety car. He has ruled out calling himself the unofficial winner of the controversial race, however this year he will be keen to show off his skill to potential new teams. 11th and 7th in free practice show thee is still work to be done, but he will be aiming for Q3, then a charge deep into the points during the race.

Kazuki Nakajima

Kazuki will be keen to impress this weekend as his future in the sport looks to be in some doubt. Williams will almost certainly move to a new engine supplier Next season and the clauses which keep him in a Williams drive will be gone. He may have an opportunity with the Toyota works team, but he will need to prove himself capable of scoring points, something which he has failed to do so fat this year, despite his teammate having more than 30. He got off to a good start by beating Nico by 3 tenths in FP1 before being 7 tenths down on him in FP2.

Toyota

Many people have questioned Toyota’s willingness to stay in the sport beyond the end of this year. However having signed the Concorde agreement the team appear to be committed to stay, however savings may have to be made. The teams cause was done no favours at Monza when the four cars running their engines appeared to be visibly down on the power of the rest of the field. They will not have been reassured by the FIA’s proposal to allow teams to reduce their power levels to reach parity instead of allowing the lower powered teams to catch up. This will be far less attractive to the likes of Ferrari and Mercedes and Toyota may continue to struggle next year.

Jarno Trulli

Jarno has had a difficult season, the year started with a lot of promise as the team looked to capitalise on its double diffuser advantage, however he was unable to capitalise on that, and seems to be a little down going into this weekend. The Toyota struggled at Monaco, and with Singapore being an even higher down force track it is likely to struggle there too. There are question marks over his age too, he has failed to deliver a win, it seems likely he would be moved on rather than his younger teammate if Nakajima was to be brought into the works team.

Timo Glock

Timo has also had a difficult couple of races, finishing 11th at Monza. Although he has been out performed so far this season in the quest for points, his age and nationality should ensure he remains high in Toyotas plans for the future of its F1 programme. He has out performed his teammate in Both practice sessions this weekend, but the team still don’t look to be scoring points.

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