With less than four weeks until the first race of the 2012 F1 season, Lotus have announced that they will be missing the whole of the test at Barcelona as they try to fix their chassis issues.
New driver Eric Vergne compained about the car’s handling after just 7 laps at the latest test at Barcelona and so the team stopped all running until a replacement has been flow out.
Latest rumours circulating on Twitter seem to indicate that the team will in fact have to miss all four days of testing.
Jarno Trulli, winner of the 2005 Monaco Grand Prix has effectively retired from F1 as Caterham announce they are bringing in Vitaly Petrov to replace him for 2012.
At the grand old age of 37 years old, this marks another “ageing” driver moving over to be replaced by a younger man, after Barrichello’s forced retirement last month it seems that in the world of F1 you are deemed to be past it once you get much beyond the mid-thirties.
This leaves Schumacher as something of a sore thumb sticking out at Mercedes as the seven-time world champion hit 43 years old last month.
I’ve already updated the site so that Trulli is no longer available as a driver and so if you have him in your team you may want to replace him, Petrov is available for £1M reflecting the likelihood he has of scoring any points!
While the Italian hadn’t exactly shown any great form during 2011 it must be said that Petrov had only shown glimpses of talent that peaked at the very first race of the season when he got a podium in Australia for the then Renault team.
It remains to be seen if this is the right move for Caterham, who from early testing seem to have made a move in the right direction towards the front of the grid. It will be interesting to see how Petrov does against the more experienced Heikki Kovalainen.
With just 40 days to go until the first race of the 2012 season, most of the teams have now unveiled their cars for the campaign.
There’s a definite rush towards the “stepped nose” idea with most teams having something of a ridge just behind the front suspension. The new rules mean the noses have to be lower than last season and to gain down force a lot of the aerodynamicists have made the middle of the car higher that gives the cars what looks like a small step on the monocoque.
The Ferrari looks uglier than most as it has the stepped nose and a general look of something that was designed using an etch-a-sketch and then built out of Lego.
All the cars seem to have very tidy back ends conversely.
The Red Bull looks very innovative with what looks like an air-inlet where the stepped nose is – not sure if this is another aerodynamic device or maybe to help cooling (driver, KERS?) but I imagine the FIA will want a close look at it! No doubt there’ll be some complaints about it or the other teams will copy if the RB8 is as successful as last years car.
The McLaren looks the neatest car, if only because it looks quite similar to last year’s effort without stepped nose.
You can see all the new cars here: