IndyCar driver changes for Oz

Here is the entry list for Surfers Paradise this weekend, the non-championship status of the event means some teams are plugging in their ’09 drivers a little early. I’ve marked the changes in italic.

Ganassi……Dixon & Franchitti
Penske…….Castroneves & Briscoe
Andretti Green…Kanaan, Andretti, Patrick, Mutoh
KVRT………Power & Servia
Panther……Wheldon
Foyt……..Meira
Newman/Haas/Lanigan…Wilson & Rahal
Dreyer & Reinbold…Rice & Bell
Coyne……..Junqueira & Moraes
Vision…….Foyt IV & Carpenter
Conquest…..Tagliani & Camara
HVM……….Viso
Rahal-Letterman…Hunter-Reay

Was it just the three? I thought there were more.

Still no love for Danger Mouse Darren Manning – good grief!

Best. Cartoon. Ever.

F1 driver market as at 6 Oct ’08

The driver market is falling into place, certainly in F1 anyway, while IndyCar is getting there and obviously GP2 as usual won’t sort itself out until the weekend of the first race (and we’ve got GP2 Asia to sort out first!).

This is how I see things in F1 right now:

Ferrari – Kimi & Massa (both confirmed to 2010)

McLaren – Lewis & Heikki (is Heikki confirmed?)

BMW – Heidfeld & Kubica (both confirmed today)

Renault – unconfirmed, I think Alonso will stick around now that the other options are dried up. I would tip either Romain Grosjean or Lucas di Grassi to replace Piquet Jr, they’d probably go for Grosjean although I do like di Grassi.

Toyota – Trulli & Glock (not sure if these are confirmed)

Honda – Barrichello & Button (not sure if these are confirmed)

Williams – Rosberg & Nakajima (confirmed last week)

Red Bull – Webber & Vettel (confirmed last month)

Toro Rosso – not confirmed, I’m going to say Bourdais and Buemi.

Force India – not confirmed, I’m going to say Fisichella and the other seat could contain frankly anybody. I like Sutil but I’m not sure he’s matching or beating Fisi enough times.

So there are still some seats to fill. Something I miss about the 1990s is the speculation about which team will have which engines, I always enjoyed that even if the teams didn’t! I miss wondering whether Jordan will have Honda or Cosworth engines.

I’m not going to broach the subject of ‘test and reserve’ drivers, or ‘third’ drivers, at least not until early next year. I’m sure there will some hype about that when winter testing kicks in later in the year when the junior series winners get their ‘reward’ tests and others are evaluated.

Other series:
I’d like to do an IndyCar post like this soon, it is too early now especially with the goings on with Helio Castroneves which could unlock a few moves, but I’m ahead of myself there – I hope Helio stays. Obviously we know about Dixon/Franchitti at TCGR and I’m sure the 4 at AGR will stay the same. Wheldon at Panther. Meira at Foyt. I make that 9 confirmed, or 10 counting Helio. Luczo Dragon are due to make an announcement tomorrow. Actually that’s better than I thought and maybe better than this time a year ago?

GP2: I think half the grid is signed up for the Asia Series, the tail enders won’t get there until race week as is the tradition of GP2 and F3000 before it. Many drivers will have dual-deals, in that they will be signed up for the 08/09 Asia Series as well as the 2009 Main Series. As things stand I have no idea who has done what and I’ll try to get some answers before the first round of GP2 Asia in China alongside the Formula 1 race next week.

I haven’t forgotten about the mini-notes / summaries of the 2008 season, I just haven’t had time to watch the races yet. I may yet can the idea because the races were weeks ago and any blog posts about them will be well out of date, so you might have to wait for a season review post in a couple of months.

A1GP and Superleague operate a revolving door policy so we won’t touch those.

I don’t do NASCAR. I enjoy sportscars but that driver market is way too complicated for the likes of this blog. I’ll catch up again in a few days and let you know what I’ve been watching while we wait for the Japanese F1 race.