Heidfeld and Senna to test at Jerez

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Renault have announced their revised driver line-up for Jerez, with Vitaly Petrov, Bruno Senna and Nick Heidfeld all getting behind the wheel of the R31 before a decision is made on a replacement for Robert Kubica.

Keith is in Jerez and will be reporting on the test session as things unfold over the next couple of days.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Nick Heidfeld on Twitter

"I’m going to test the Lotus Renault R31 next weekend in Jerez."

Jerez Test Driver Line-Up (Lotus Renault GP)

"Lotus Renault GP has revised its driver line-up for this week’s test session in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain.

"Vitaly will drive the R31 on Thursday and Friday, as originally scheduled. For Saturday and Sunday, the team will give mileage to Bruno Senna and will also evaluate Nick Heidfeld, who is a potential replacement for Robert Kubica as a race driver. The exact running order for the weekend will be confirmed on Friday evening."

Citroen Says Raikkonen Free To Make F1 Return (Speed)

"Kimi Raikkonen can pull out of the 2011 World Rally Championship to return to F1 if he wants to. That is the claim of Citroen’s rally chief Olivier Quesnel, amid reports the 2007 World Champion is now contractually committed to rallying for this season."

Ecclestone backs Williams’s flotation (Autosport)

"Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has backed Williams’s plans for a flotation on the stock market, as the Grove-based team revealed that its shares will be priced at 24-29 Euros."

Sponsor issues overshadow Williams flotation (ESPN F1)

"Williams’ planned Frankfurt flotation is apparently timely, with reports claiming the famous British team has lost 43% of its sponsors."

Kamui Kobayashi Q&A: The plan is points at every race (Formula1.com)

"In his first full season of Formula One racing last year, Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi outshone two of F1’s most experienced drivers, Pedro de la Rosa and Nick Heidfeld, who both paled in comparison to the Japanese upstart."

@TheFifthDriver on Twitter (McLaren)

"Back in Spain! Lots of new bits. Lots of boxes. Lots of work. Very excited about first run of MP4-26 tomorrow! http://twitpic.com/3y042o"

Jenson Button on Twitter

"41hours and 18minutes before I head out of the pits in the new car! ;-)"

Ford sues Ferrari! (Joe Saward)

"The Ford Motor Company has sued Ferrari in a US Federal court accusing the Italian firm of cybersquatting and trademark infringement for allegedly misappropriating the famous F-150 name.

"Ford claims that it has suffered irreparable harm to its F-150 trademark and wants the judge to block Ferrari from using the trademark in the US, which would include importing, manufacturing or selling any producing that uses the F-150 name."

Follow F1 news as it breaks using the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app.

Comment of the day

Icthyes is going to the British Grand Prix and has a few questions – can anyone help?

A couple of us are thinking of going to the British Grand Prix but we’re finding it hard to get information on how to get there in the first place by bus or train?

Read more: 2011 British Grand Prix discussion

From the forum

How and when did you get into F1?

Happy birthday!

A big happy birthday to Aqeel – hope you have a great day!

On this day in F1

McLaren introduced their current chrome livery on this day five years ago.

142 comments on “Heidfeld and Senna to test at Jerez”

  1. This is good for Heidfeld.
    He deserves a proper chance finally.

    1. Yes but I do feel there is now a tendancy to overhype the Renault. We don’t actually know how good it’s going to end up being.

      That said, it does just look right huh? Tightly packaged, highly developed, you can’t really tell by looks but you get an idea.

      Still, I reckon Heidfelds had his chance.

      1. I would think Renault is now making serious pleas to Robertson and Kimi to come to the rescue.
        Why else would Citroen confirm releasing him in such a case?
        But even if he is interested, this weekend he has his current day job to mind, while Nick was free so they can “evaluate” him, i.e. show what he gets, show they have other options than Kimi and their serious about making it work.

        1. As much as it seems unlikelty – it sure would fun! I have nothing against Heidfeld as such, but he’s certainly a safe bet and no more than that. Given the testing they were already able to get, I,m betting that they have a pretty good idea of the lap times they were targeting with Kubica and Petrov. Now it’s going to come down to whether Heidfeld is in within reach of that or not. I’d rather see Senna in the car, but he’ll likely be the second choice. Besides all of which, I’m thinking that if Petrov delivers his best much more regularly, he’s capable of pretty good results.

        2. Why would Citroen confirm they’d release Raikkonen? Because the press have asked them whether or not they would.

        3. Citroen were asked if they would let Raikkonen go.

          I believe there response was along the lines of: he’s free to go when he pleases. He just hires the car from us and he races for his own sponsors.

          1. Correct, Kimi is not a Citroen driver, so he’s free to do whatever he wants. That’s what they meant

      2. I didn’t mean to say the Renault looks like winner already, even though it has a few nice details.
        But a race seat for Heidfeld ‘would’ be a way of getting back into Formula 1 as more than just a backup solution, which he is now.

    2. I doubt that the 2011 Renault will be any better than the BMW’s he drove back in 2007 and 2008.

      What Heidfeld hasn’t had in his career so far is a winning car (OK, so his teammate won at Canada 2008 but that was a bit of a fluke result). It’s early days yet but I doubt that the Renault would be a Red Bull beater.

      And, lest we forget, Nick Heidfeld has not been appointed race driver- he’s been given a test. I’d list off a load of drivers who have been given a test drive which came to nothing… but it’s a 2am and I’m sleepy. Night night

      1. Well, as is often pointed out, it’s not just the car, it’s the car/driver package that counts. Given that many people (myself included) would rate Kubica easily in the top 5 drivers in F1, the Renault certainly would’ve had a better shot at winning races with him behind the wheel. The only drivers that are on his level are already with top teams, the possible exception being Räikkönen who probably isn’t going to have much interest in an F1 return.

        1. possible exception being Räikkönen

          Got beaten by Massa two years in a row, That makes Massa a top driver as well right?

          1. UneedAFinn2Win
            10th February 2011, 6:33

            No, being give two years in a top team as a #1 driver with Raikkonen as his backup and STILL not delivering just makes him the luckiest man alive to have his job.

            And with Kimi winning the WDC in his first year with Ferrari by doing it HIS way (no emotions, just business, get it done) didn’t exactly light a fire in the Ferrari camp for the Iceman for the rest of his Ferrari career, so they wanted Massa to win.

            When Massa got injured in 2009 and Kimi started receiving the upgraded parts first in the disaster that was F60, he drove it to the limit. Montezemolo put Badoer in the car to prove the point that it was all about the car, but that backfired famously so he bought the only driver who was capable of fighting Kimi in Spa. And Fisico had to bow too. And through all this, Kimi hardly flinched. He just did his job.

          2. And Kubica got beaten by Heidfeld twice too. Does that make Heidfeld a better driver than Kubica?

    3. How many more proper chances should Heidfeld have? He had his fair share, IMO. Senna, on the other hand, didn’t have a proper chance…

  2. “Williams’ planned Frankfurt flotation is apparently timely, with reports claiming the famous British team has lost 43% of its sponsors.”

    Only 43%? They lost Philips, AirAsia, RBS and McGregor all in one hit. The only sponsors sticking around are AT&T, Thompson Reuters and Oris.

    1. 43% of their sponsors does not mean they’ve lost 43% of their revenue.

      I think we can see though, why they dropped the Hulk like a hot potata.

      1. Well, given that Philip, AirAsia and RBS were three of their biggest sponsors, they’re probably lose more then 43% of their revenue.

        And the reason why they dropped Hulkenberg has been obvious for some time now.

      2. Well, there car doesn’t look like it’s suffured yet. Can’t help feel they’ve picked a poor option long term if returning to the front is really there plan. Hulkenburg might have been truly world class, although realistically, I don’t think Hulk would have stuc around long enough.

        An interesting idea though, if the Renault is as good as it’s hype, it’ll look ten times better in Kubica’s hands then in Heidfelds, roughly agree’d? Do the drivers make more differance than is suggested? Probably not tbh.

        1. To clarify on the driver front. Obviously PDVSA’s money is more important than Hulkenburgs potential.

          Rendering my point moot.

          1. I’ve heard that PDVSA has a five-year contract with Williams, but it doesn’t depend on Maldonado’s continued presence with the team. If he doesn’t perform, they can drop him without losing PDVSA. Or so I’ve heard.

          2. Intresting, I’d like to know what portion of lost sponsership PDVSA brings back to Williams.

            See what they get from accociated companies and possibly other Venezulans? Who they might be I don’t know.

          3. Yes I have heard that also. The 5 year agreement surpasses $100 million. Canmnot remember the exact figure

          4. Isn’t the deal dependent on them running a Venezuelan driver though? I recall reading that they are free to drop Maldonado as long as they replace him with the next up and coming Venezuelan (although I’m not aware of any)

          5. Rodolfo Gonzalez an Johnny Cecotto Jnr. are the only Venezuelan drivers who are currently in any postition to be able to acquire a Superlicence in the next 12 months. But I don’t think Williams are obligated to replace Maldonado with a Venezuelan driver in order to keep the PDVSA branding; I haven’t heard anything like it until now. Besides, with the public stock floatation of the team, it’s likely Williams will pick up a few new sponsors, particularly from those private investment groups outside of Europe who will manage other stock portfolios.

        2. I dunno, that cars backside has lost some weight.. Clear sign of poverty and hard times.. ;)

          1. True. I’d go so far as to call it gaunt looking.

    2. I wondered a bit about that as well. However it doesn’t say 43% of sponsorship, does it? How much of that is being balanced by Chaves throwing in about $ 16 million a year.

  3. I wander if Ford are reacting to this picture? I would love it if was on some execs morning email digest and he went nuts and started the whole ball rolling :)


    1. nice little pic this :p.

      not entirely sure why Ford wouldn’t want to be associated with a rather nice Italian sports car to be honest!

      1. Yeah, I’d be delighted if people thought my van did 0-200 in 5 seconds :)

        1. Maybe because they are catching on fire on hot days?

          1. “Maybe because they are catching on fire on hot days?”

            I was about to say it looks just right with all that smoke at the back! :D

          2. Yeah! Must be a Ferrari, its on fire :) ive heard of hot hatches but….

      2. We’re not thinking about this from Fords point of veiw. They want, Eff One Fifty to mean one thing and one thing only. An it’s there brand so they have the right.

        Currently ya type F150 into google images and ya just get the trucks, but not the general search and I bet the F1 cars are creeping in.

        Ford don’t want one of their flagship products to be associated with anything but Ford, an whatever their PR department claim it’s qualities are.

        1. You’re quite right of course, but for this little escapade I’m firmly in the spectators seats.. Watching, waiting… Laughing.. Generally finding as much enjoyment as I can out of the whole fiasco.

          For me at least, squabbling over names is a waste of my time. So im gonna sit at the side and giggle at it all.

          I totally get the seriousness of it all, the money at stake, the image, the legality the .. blah blah…

          There’s just too much of it going on for me to care any more :)

          So I’ll sit.. And wait for the Panto Horse to do his tricks..

          ( tomorrow however, I may be in a different mood )

        2. I should also mention I’m currently filling in visa application forms for my new job here… So that might explain some of my attitude ;)

          1. Ferrari – owned by Fiat – who now own Chrysler who live next door to Mr. Ford. Fun times for lawyers.

          2. I thought of that aspect as well. Certainly it will not help this just quitly going away.

            To me it shows how ignorant Ferrari sometimes are, didn’t they notice the truck they were racing past the last 36 years?

            I wonder why Ferrari did not choose a different name something like I150 or something, if they wanted to give Monti the political goodwill of thinking about Italy.

          3. I would like to hear the Horse Whisperer’s view on this…

            But really this is of no consequence to anyone – the action is to prevent Ferrari making any money out of the name F150 in the US; they won’t anyway! They won’t be manufacturing F150 parts in the US, selling them anywhere, and how much Ferrari branded merchandise has an F1 car’s model number on it?

            Surely Ford are just waving their manhood around to get free publicity and see if FIAT care enough about the fuss to pay them something to shut up.

            Plus the cybersquatting thing wouldn’t stand up in most rational courts seeing as the web address starts with ‘ferrari’!

        3. Do I sense a little Raikkonen factor here. “you have no intention of doing as you say but are using my name to boost your own publicity.” This story is now all over the sports news on many websites, and who can honestly say they knew about the Ford being called the f150. Because no-one cares. I have already fallen victim to this clever ploy looking at it every time I search f150 in google.

          Very Clever Ford. :)

        4. But this action won’t have any impact on google searches and the like – all Ford can do is stop Ferrari making money out of F150 in America. They can’t force them to rename the car and it will still be known as that by anyone thinking about formula one.

      3. Because the kind of customer who’s going to buy an F150 pickup truck is probably more interested in NASCAR than F1 and so the association does nothing for them…

        …besides, F1 cars are hardly built to withstand years of abuse “back home on the range” are they!!

        1. But BasCB has a good point.

          Ferrari in general and Montesemolo in particular often seem to display an arrogant ignorance of what the rest of the world is doing and thinking.

          Sort of..’this is Ferrari, we don’t play by the rules everybody else has to obey. Why ? because we are Ferrari !’

    2. they are suing simply because they saw an opportunity to squeeze some money..look around (or scroll up and down, more likely), no one actually cares about the name confusion and everybody humorously thinks of it as an exaggeration..and that it is, but the justice system would be obliged to take Ford’s benevolence-seeking frustrations into consideration as being genuine

      1. Said it in the Forum, and I’ll say it here…

        Can’t they just settle this the old fashioned way? First one to complete 350-odd laps of the Circuit de la Sarthe get the right to use the name!

      2. I wonder if Ford have hired this lawyer:

  4. If I was Nick, I would be doing back flips about getting in to that car… It looks like a monster :)

    1. Considering that a week ago his F1 career looked to be well and truly dead, I’m sure he probably is doing back flips even just for the opportunity. It’ll be interesting to see how they both fare against each other and Petrov, and to see if they run them both again in Barcelona or test other drivers, or pick one of them before then… The article about Räikkönen is interesting too. I was under the mistaken impression that he’d be locked into a contract.

      1. I am of the opinion that Nick is going to be faster than all of them. Senna was soundly beaten by Klein in the HRT, even though he was driving it for the first time and Senna had been in it all season. Heidi is going to make it a very difficult decision.

        1. Senna was faster than Klien in Abu Dhabi though.

    2. He must use this opportunity to prove faster, although I still hope for Liuzzi.

  5. Only a team with the phenomenal arrogance of Ferrari could use the name of the biggest selling car in the world for their new car.


    1. I wonder what there reaction to Ford’s email was. They can’t be serious? This whole thing is going to be hilarious. If only to see Ferrari come up against a company that truly belittles them.

      1. My thoughts exactly… I thunk you and I should get tickets for the pound seats. It’s gonna be fun! :)

      2. I think the Ford lawyers should all arrive at the courthouse in shiny red GT40’s….just to remind Ferrari of certain events some years ago….!

    2. Agreed… I think they should have called it the Fabia… :) much more modest.

      I saw a Nissan ‘Cedric’ the other day… I immediately wanted to give it a glass of warm milk, wrap it in a blanket and fetch it’s slippers.

    3. Incredible that you think this, and anyway it’s a pick up truck, not a car, and surely being associated with the pinnacle of motorsport is a good thing? Besides, Ford F-150 and Ferrari F150 look very different, so I personally think this is dead in the water.

      What about Mazda 5, Cirtoen C5, Audi A5 and BMW 5 series? Take off the company name (like Ford and Ferrari) and the names are all very similar, so why don’t they all try and sue eachother over it? Because they have common sense, that’s why

      1. Think that’s a little disingenuous. No one would name their chassis a 911 would they? F-150 is an icon and a highly distinctive brand, no one with F1 knowledge in the US is suprised it’s happening according to Adam Cooper.

        Besides, Ford are there own company, with their own racing heritage (including a rivalry with Ferrari, an Ford come out on top), history, brand value etc. No way would they want there brand to ring Ferrari rather than Ford. The only association they want F-150 to have is their most successfull veichal. Not the chassis of some sports car no one in America really care’s about.

        1. Leyton House CG911?

    4. Only a team with the phenomenal arrogance of Ferrari could use the name of the biggest selling car in the world for their new car.

      They called it “F150” because of the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy. It wasn’t intentional as you’re making out.

      1. Intent means nothing, Ferrari are using the name of one of Fords flagship brands. Ford have every right to sue.

        1. Legally, intent means nothing.

          But Michael said Ferrari used F150 because they are arrogant (i.e. were fully aware of Ford’s truck and did it to hack them off).

          So I pointed out that there is an abundantly clear reason why Ferrari gave the car its name, without ever claiming that Ferrari were legally in the right. By pointing out that Ford “have every right to sue”, you’ve missed the point of my post completely.

          1. And I agree with you, in that Ferrari meant nothing by it, and to call them arrogant (for this at least!) is grossly unfair.

            I didn’t miss your point, I’m just commenting that legally they are (possibly) in hot water, and it (possibly) will cause them problems.

            At this point I’d point out I’m on Ferrari’s side in this. And I would think any court would see sense in how they named their car. But, as I intended to say, the modern legal system, especially with copyrights and such, is a fickle thing, and it wouldn’t exactly be unusual for Ford to win the argument.

            Which brings me to the thought…. If Ferrari can’t call its car the F150, what would they call it?

      2. They could have named it I-150 if they wanted to show Monti’s a patriot. Their cars do not have to have the F in their name (Remember the AG when he died).

        1. Presumably Ferrari can counter sue for Ford using the ‘F’ in F150 as that has always been their designation for F1 cars.

    5. Only a company (and country) that arrogant would assume that Ferrari must have been thinking about their car when designing the F150!

      But of course, Ferrari want to piggy back on the name of a truck that sells a lot of units to sell their own formula one car to the public. Hang on…

      It must be that the first name that everyone thinks of when someone mentions quality sports cars is Ford, and Ferrari wish they could have that reputation. No, that can’t be it..

  6. Heidfield gets yet another shot. Lucky fella.

    It’s tough. Heidfield has massive amounts of racing experience, tested with Pirelli and I would assume has a bit of money too? Whereas Senna is a younger driver, and deserves his chance. Nick is bloody quick, but Senna needs a chance to show what he’s worth as well, in race trim (rather than testing).

    Plus think of the money and hype that would surround the Senna name in a black and gold (Lotus) Renault…!

    On balance, I hope Senna can prove himself, but in terms of car developement… Heidfield is the only choice…

    1. You’ve got to feel for Heidfeld. Hes quick, not blistering quick, but he always seems to float under the radar.

      Hes reliable, hes not going to set the world on fire, but if you want someone who stays out of trouble and is a good bet to score points hes a sound investment.

      A lot of drivers have some form of perceived aura about them. Heideld is, well, just Nick Heidfeld.

    2. If it was a long term deal then Senna would be a good choice I suppose, but given that the seat may only be available for a season (or less, depending on how quickly Kubica recovers) then Renault only need to worry about the short term fix rather than blooding a youngster

      1. It’s just ocurred to me how disgusting the phrase “blooding a youngster” actually sounds…

        1. I had never before seen the term, and yes, it looks a bit ugly ;)

    3. Senna would have to put in a pretty amazing performance for me to pick him over Heidfeld. Seeing as you have Petrov in the other car I would want somebody that was a reliable known quantity. I would put my money on Nick for this one.

  7. I understand why the people at Ford are upset! Their best selling vehicle is now associated with one that is fast, expensive, technologically advanced and craved by the best drivers in the planet…

    1. What a downer… Much better to look like blinkered pedantic penny pinching suits with no passion for the exotic or understanding of f1.

      1. It’s might be funny though so, frankly I’m cool with it.

        Please let there be a horse whisperer collum.

        1. Ah Horse Whisperer! ( not Pony Fiddler, keep imagining a plumb foal with a violin )

          Yeah I can imagine him getting to a snort about it all. Ford’ll probably threaten to sue him because of it, which will make him more upset, which will give Ford more fodder.. Which will annoy both of them.

          1. Column, lol <—- dyspraxia.

            I'd give a fair amount of the money I don't have to see Monty's face when he heard the news, or the various suits cowering inside and outside of his office.

        2. That’s what I’m hoping for, too. The Horse Whisperer is comedy gold!

        3. Not sure that in a corporate spat with a company as large as Ford that would be advisable, but of course, the Horse Whisperer is all about forgetting common sense and making a rant of it.

          Thus, I too expect to see a flaming wind of whisper scorching the truck-builders that aim to tarnish the prancing horse by feeling associated to its sleek F1 competitor merely because of a patriotic celebration of the horse’s mother country’s anniversary. How dare they make money out of this noble cause and historic competition while being too cowardly to fight in it instead of sending lawyers to do the job. Hypocrites!

          Yes, I did have a good night rest and breakfast, why? – sorry, felt inspired.

          1. LOL, nice whisper there! COTD if Monti really gets whispering soon.

      2. Hey, of course Ford had an understanding of F1! How else would they have managed to achieve those two podiums with Jaguar?!

        I hear that after Eddie Irvine finished 3rd for Jaguar at Monza 2000 they were dancing on the streets in Detroit…

        1. I hear that after Eddie Irvine finished 3rd for Jaguar at Monza 2000 they were dancing on the streets in Detroit…

          If that’s true, the people of Detroit appear not to know the difference between Eddie Irvine in a green car and Ralf Schumacher in a black and white Williams ;)

          1. Arghhhhhhh Monza 2002!! Monza 2000 was of course a very tragic race, no dancing in the streets of any city after that…

      3. Breaking news! General Dynamics to sue HRT over F111 name! :D (jk)


        1. I would suspect General Dynamic would rather forget that plane than remember the public of it.
          It was a bigger money drench than the current JSF project and never really lived up to expectations. And they are not in service any more.
          But you never know, HRT might like the attention!

  8. I guess Ford doesn’t like team orders either. Anyway this is incredibly silly of Ford to sue over this considering the only evidence that they would have in court are a bunch of joking comments from the Interweb.

    1. How is the that there only evidence? Ferrari have publicly called it the F-150, and they would probably have merchandise for it as well, that is evidence to…

  9. It will be interesting to see which driver (Senna or Heidfeld) sets the best times over the weekend, presumably with similar fuel loads for the comparison. While I’d like to see Senna get the nod to keep Kubica’s seat warm, Heidfeld is probably the safer bet it terms of car development, consistent finishes, and a regular haul of points.

  10. so I guess the sensible alternative for Ferrari would be to continue naming their cars after their year, like F2008, F10, then F11 or F2011…

    1. Or the FIt’s-Been-150-years-since-italian-reunification-and-our-boss-is-in-no-way-labouring-this-point-to-use-this-company-for-his-own-political-advantage.

      Just rolls off the tounge don’t it. ;)

      1. yep. Maybe Ferrari F-150I(taly) would be enough?

    2. Make it F-IT150 then!
      Sounds nice and being FIT is just what Monti wants to show.

      It would not be the first time the car did not have the F directly in its type name. Was it 2005 when they renamed it to honour Agnelli’s death?

      1. 2003, I think

  11. Commercially available pick up truck vs a bespoke open wheel Formula One Grand Prix racer for private Ferrari uses only.

    Yeah, I see how Ford are gonaa think that people are gonna get confused and go to Ferrari to inquire about a pick up truck.

    How often is the chassis name actually ever come up once the season starts? Its always “the Red Bull, the Williams, the McLaren”. Who the hell goes ‘look at Button in his MP4-25 sail past Rosberg in the W01 to take the lead of the race’?

    1. Often enough for Ford to be concerned clearly. You might think it petty but they have the money. Brand identity is vital to these people in all areas.

      Anyway, when has an American Corporation ever needed an excuse to sue?

      1. “Anyway, when has an American Corporation ever needed an excuse to sue?”

        Well said. I honestly think it is a very petty issue, unless Ferrari were to make a road car called the F150 and start selling it in America.

        1. But this could equally well be about stopping Ferrari F-150/Fiat caps and shirts being sold in the US to confuse the brand, I guess – from a branding point of view it probably makes a lot of sense to sue – esp. as they anyway will have lawyers on retainer, might as well use them.

        2. How about a Ferrari pick em up truck that joins the Craftsman series…then all those mullet cropped good ole boys can really go out and 2 step in style to Achy Breaky Heart.


    2. So why then did Ferrari already put up a website with the F-150 connection in it?

  12. Bernie may back the Williams float, but if trusted German sources are anything to go by a Williams float should be the last thing on his mind.

    1. No. Im speaking of Bernie, not Williams.

    2. I think it’s interesting to hear him say he cannot buy in. Might CVC have a clause somewhere forbidding him to have any stakes in any of the competitors?

      1. I hope so, it seems logical. Not that it would definitely stop Bernie finding a way to get some team extra money if he wanted, but at least he’d have to hide it a bit better from them.

      2. Well I can’t see where the issue is. If Vijay can sit on the WMSC and all and own a team why can’t the guy who controls the broadcasting rights own shares in a team. F1 as a sport after all is about as transparent as the IOC, or maybe Bernie has decided to take the ethical approach to business since the number 50 million was mentioned a few weeks ago.

  13. Fair enough from Renault point of view they have time to decide so why not give both the driver equal time & then see who is the more capable.

    Why is Ford crying?

    1. Hows it any different from a restaurant in Italy deciding to market a burger called a Big Mac?

      1. Let’s be honest.. That’s never gonna happen! :)

        1. Its the exact same principle. What would be the reaction if it was called the Ferrari Camaro?

          1. I think that was a very well made point.

          2. The difference is that Ferrari are not selling their F1 car in the US, and as far as I know, are not naming any road car the F150.

            I think Ford are really exaggerating the issue.

          3. The difference is that Ferrari are not selling their F1 car in the US, and as far as I know, are not naming any road car the F150.

            If the F150 wins the championship that name is going to dominate news articles, brand recognition will shift from F150 being a Ford product to being a Ferrari Champion named in honour of Italian unification.

            Ferrari might not be selling cars called the F150, but they can earn a hell of a lot of money with it.

          4. Bearing in mind there is a US Grand Prix next year.

          5. Sush you definitely have a point there. But the car chassis number does not get the same amount of publicity that the team does. For example; We always say Ferrari won the championship, and not the F150. And whatever money Ferrari makes out of a championship winning, car is all based on their hard work and engineering, its not like the are leveraging the brand identity of a Ford truck to boost their sales.

            Technically, Ford is in the right. They do own the F150 brand extension, but will Ferrari naming their F1 car the F150 confuse their consumers, or dilute their brand equity?? No.. not at all.

            Which is why I think its quite a petty issue

  14. I believe that in the USA, at least, you cannot trade mark a number.

    That is the reason Intel stopped using, 286, 386, 486 to describe their processors.

    1. What about a combination of numbers and letters? After all, it’s the Ferrari F150 and the Ford F-150 …

      1. No idea, as Intel now call their cpu’s as core i3/5/7

  15. Video of the Lotus filming day at Valencia.

    1. hahaha, I just spat my coffee out.

  16. Not really surprised Ford is looking to protect their interests. If I made something and called it a 911, Ferrari would have me in court so fast my head would spin.

    Great for Nick. Renault really need someone that can reliably bring points home and I think he can do it. Plus, here’s a chance for him to show his stuff in what we think will be a solid car.

    1. If I made something and called it a 911, Ferrari would have me in court so fast my head would spin.

      No they wouldn’t.

      1. Yea, I realized that in the shower this morning. I shouldn’t be doing things when I’m really tired. It often leads to terrible technical reports and other such follies.

    2. Well, maybe Porsche would ;)
      Although I don’t think even Porsche could take issue unless your 911 product was a car.

      I’m on Ford’s side of this issue. The precedent has been set that trademarks need to be protected, no matter how petty it may seem.

      1. Because they liked being associated with a fast car (certainly not a rival product/producer)?

        1. They maybe could have asked for a logo on the car, in exchange for some camera’s for the team :)

      2. Perhaps because that camera was sold between 1998 and 2001?

        Also, camera’s and cars don’t have much in common.

  17. Will Renault swap Heidfeld for Kubica once Nick proves himself? After crash his form will be unknown so I’m afraid his career could be finished unless somebody will take a risk.

    1. I love this guy!

  18. Here’s hoping Senna blows Heidfeld away.

    By the way, I think a lot of you are underestimating Petrov. I’ve got a very strange feeling in my tummy that tells me he is going to be magnificent this season.


    1. Would be great to see him set the world alight, really hunting Kimi down for the first race win in a Renault this year.
      The podium will be monosylabic and aterwards they go for a good bottle of vodka together. Then jump on the Iceman motorcycles to drive to Kubica in Poland and celebrate the win with a nice Rally spree together in a WRC car.

      Would love it. Get well soon Robert. Here is a nice tribute to Kubica (picked that up from chandhoks Tweet) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmCsVcG4Ulg

    2. LMAO. Nice 1

  19. I think that’s my most random COTD ever. makes a change from a rant though, cheers ;)

    Couldn’t Ferrari just call it the F1-150? Problem solved. Ford have surprised me with their decision, but on the flip side, does the Ferrari have to be called the F150? If it’s for patriotic reasons, maybe the F-Italia 150 (the F could stand for Ferrari or Forza)

    1. Wasn’t Forza Italia Berlusconi’s old political party?

      1. Yes, you’re right.

  20. I think Ford are only suing over the commercial use of the name F150 – ie on merchandise etc that goes on sale in the US.

    I highly doubt Ferrari will actually have to rename their car (perhaps a good thing there’s no US GP this year though!!).

  21. The thing is, there’s a hyphen, and that to me makes all the difference. As I said on page 1, a hyphen is a single character, and there is a single character between the Audi A5 and the Citroen C5, and they aren’t suing eachother, so to me Ford have not got a leg to stand on.

  22. Mr. Keith, any chance for a detailed article/ breakdown with stats and fastest laps for what seems like an upcoming shootout between Senna and Heidfeld? Seems like Renault is putting them both on the car on a “fastest and most consistent wins the seat” scenario. Very exciting! It’s like The championship race for these two!

  23. Did they run out of punctuation marks in “kazakistan”?

  24. Well that’s Ford gone down in my estimations. Pathetic.

    1. Let’s not forget Ferrari did something similar with the not-for-profit BATracer internet game.

  25. I love “push rod is best” – i might get a t-shirt made up with that on it.

  26. ”Ford claims that it has suffered irreparable harm to its F-150 trademark”

    So their truck brand is destroyed because it was associated to one of the best F1 teams new race cars…. wow some lawyers are bored!

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