F1 Weekly Review (22nd-29th January)

Jaime Alguersuari will keep his contract with Toro Rosso for the 2010 season, he joined the former Minardi team mid way through 2009 when replacing sacked Sebastian Bourdais, who under achieved during 2008 and the first part of 2009.  He only managed to finish 3 of his 8 GP’s in 2009 but team boss Franz Tost said he deserved a second chance. (More at BBC Sport and Formula1.com http://ow.ly/11LDd – http://ow.ly/11LCK )

USF1 have finally signed their first driver for the 2010 season, and that driver is Jose Maria Lopez, and will be the 24th Argentine Formula One driver in the history of the world championship. The last Argentine driver was Gaston Mazzacane who drove Minardi and Prost in the 2000 and 2001 seasons. 

“This is a truly memorable day for me, my family and the people of Argentina,” said former Renault tester. “Some time ago it seemed a bit crazy to think an Argentine driver could race again in F1 but with the effort and help of many people we are in that position.”  (More at BBC Sport and Formula1.com http://ow.ly/11LZ5http://ow.ly/11LZq )

Jenson Button is to have a footbridge in his hometown of Frome named after him. “The bridge is going to be built anyway so we decided it would be a good idea to name it after him.” Said the Mayor, Damon Hooton. “We will put a plaque on the bridge with a suitable commemoration on it. We’re hoping the bridge will be built between now and the summer. (More at BBC News  http://ow.ly/11M5h )

Red Bull have confirmed that Brendon Hartley and Daniel Ricciardo will be their Reserves for the new season. Ricciardo recently won the British F3 championship which earned him a test in the 2009 Red Bull earlier in December. In 2007, Hartley won the Eurocup title with a round in hand, before he switched to British F3 in 2008. Last year he raced in the Formula Three Euroseries. (More At Formula1.com http://ow.ly/11NDt  )

Finland’s Valtteri Bottas has been confirmed as Nico Hulkenberg’s replacement as Williams Test and Reserve Driver for the 2010 season. In 2009 Bottas debuted in the F3 Euroseries for ART Grand Prix, in which he finished 3rd in the championship and was the highest placed rookie, and he will stay and race with the team in 2010 alongside the Test seat at Williams. (More At Formula1.com http://ow.ly/11O2w )

Bahrain, who will host the first race of the 2010 season, have announced that they have made an extension to the original track. The track will be normal up until just after turn 4, where the track the turns left to go on to 5 new turns. (Marked in red below)

Zayed R. Alzayani, Chairman of the Bahrain International Circuit, said: “The loop was completed in 2006 as part of the built-in evolution of the venue for competitors and fans. 

“We gave it its debut with the inaugural 24 Hour Race of Bahrain that same year where it proved extremely successful, and with the changes to the regulations, the teams and the driver line-ups in Formula 1 this year it is the perfect time to evolve the circuit with this new challenge and new overtaking opportunities.” (More at Auotsport.com http://ow.ly/11PHt )

Toro Rosso will Launch their 2010 contender on Monday 1st of February, the first day of Pre-Season testing. And Lotus reveal that location of their launch on the 12th of February will be in London. (Both at Formula1.com http://ow.ly/11Que – http://ow.ly/11Qtj )

Adam Carroll could be driving the second seat Campos to partner Bruno Senna, he is understood to be the choice of A1 GP Series boss Tony Teixeira, who is on the verge of buying into the cash-strapped team. Carroll won the A1 GP Title for Ireland last year, but the sport has gone bust since then. (More At BBC Sport http://ow.ly/11QIu )

Reports on Ferrari, Mercedes and McLaren’s launches later…

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