Sidepodcast - All for F1 and F1 for all

Round and round in endless nonsensical circles endlessly - HRT continue to rotate their driver lineup

Published by Leigh O'Gorman

I slip off the radar for one week and look what happens…

One of my favoured junior drivers, Daniel Ricciardo, stops being a junior driver tomorrow (and not today) and will start driving for Hispania tomorrow (and not the day after) in place of the not-so-junior driver, Narain Karthikeyan.

Karthikeyan gets to look on in bemusement from the back of the Hispania garage, while Ricciardo who was once looking on in anticipation from the back of the Toro Rosso garage, discovers why the F1-11 is such a screaming turd.

Meanwhile at Hispania, Red Bull don’t have sponsor logo’s for Ricciardo on a car that isn't theirs in the first place, yet Karthikeyan’s sponsors, TATA, remain on the car (having not said "tata") even though Ricciardo is driving and Karthikeyan is not.

Although this may not be permanent as Karthikeyan may replace either Ricciardo or lead Hispania driver Vitantonio Liuzzi for the Indian Grand Prix, which is definitely débuting in October and not December, which may have been the case had the Bahrain Grand Prix gone ahead in October instead of March, November or December – the former of which was supposed to happen, but ultimately didn’t, in much the same way the second and third possibilities definitely won’t happen, even though for a time it looked like they would.

It means of course that TATA will have at least one driver in their country’s inaugural Grand Prix, unless they have two should Karun Chandhok replace an “ill” Jarno Trulli in Delhi around the same time he replaces an “ill” Heikki Kovalainen in Korea, even though they may not be ill at all, but “resting” in the Lotus motorhome, which is of course Team Lotus and not Renault with Group Lotus badge.

One element of Formula 1 that is definitely resting right now is Wirth Research Technologies. Having been given the boot by Virgin Racing recently, Virgin have since purchased WRT (edit - the F1 wing of WRT), while also being absorbed, Borg-like, by McLaren in a technical partnership that may see Virgin’s press releases lengthen by several paragraphs, whilst using a dose (or two) of unnecessary lingo-age (not necessarily a word) in order to describe the simple things in life, such as “Timo is quicker than Lucas Jérôme…”

Speaking (or not speaking) of Lucas, di Grassi has found himself at the wheel of an ageing, if slightly updated 2010 Toyota as he does some tyre testing for Pirelli.

Di Grassi (not to be confused with di Resta, who is definitely driving at the Indian Grand Prix for Force India, which might not actually be an Indian team, but has an Indian boss who owns a former Irish, Dutch and Russian team based in middle England, with two German and one Scottish driver) is one of several pilots to have sat in the role in the past year.

Included in that list is Nick Heidfeld (who used to be at Sauber, which used to be BMW, but was Sauber beforehand and now at Renault, which isn't really Renault, but Group Lotus and not Team Lotus) and Pedro de la Rosa (formerly a Sauber driver who is now back to being a McLaren reserve, unless he’s driving a Sauber, or double unless he’s sitting in a McLaren garage wondering how Sergio Pérez is feeling right now after he replaced him at Sauber at five minutes notice).

In fact everyone is driving the Pirelli-shod Pirelli-Toyota car powered by Toyota, except Ken Block. The American is too tall to fit in the machine, which may explain why he always looks like he’s hitting his head off the roof of his WRC car -something that doesn't happen if you’re Vanina Ickx, who missed the first round of this year’s GT1 World Championship because her teammate, Antoine Leclerc (both of whom are Belgian and not American), was so tall, her Belgian Racing Ford team couldn’t safely find a way to switch between the drivers at the designated changeover.

Block, meanwhile, also drives for Ford, who are not Toyota.

Before their exit from Formula 1, Toyota supplied Williams and Toyota (naturally) with engines for the price of a Nakajima (who was simply "wurz" than Wurz), until Williams had to settle for Cosworth motors, until a couple of days ago when Cosworth were booted for the 2012 season (onward) for a Renault model, which will no doubt bring back memories of days gone by, much in the same way Lotus-Renault (both of them) are attempting to do so at the moment, unlike Red Bull Renault who are busy creating their own history. Right here. Right now.

And what do you get if check out Red Bull’s future? Yep, that’s right – Daniel Ricciardo.


**Edited at 11.30pm to include corrections