Photo: Mathieu Bitton
TESTING: The first round of testing for the 2012 season will take place in Jerez, Spain, Feb. 7-10.
EX-LOTUS: Caterham , last year’s Team Lotus, has targeted scoring points as its goal for 2012. The team’s best performance in 2012 was 13th, which it hit three times, but the addition of KERS on the new Renault-powered CT01 vehicle has sparked optimism. Even at 13th, Lotus showed the most development of the three teams that debuted in 2010, easily besting HRT and Virgin.
THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING: Rumors suggest Vitaly Petrov might bump Jarno Trulli to join Heikki Kovalainen at Caterham. Time will tell.
BACK IN THE SADDLE: Kimi Raikkonen spent some time in the cockpit of a 2010 Renault F1 car, getting reacquainted as he leaves rallying to the side for now. Siimilar to Caterham, Lotus (last year’s Renault) has mid-field goals.
THE RUSSIAN CAR COMING: Marussia will skip the first testing round in Jerez and run their old car at the next round in Barcelona, before debuting the new machine in the second Barcelona round Mar. 1-4. Timo Glock and rookie Charles Pic will be driving for the former Virgin team.
SCHUMI'S SUNSET?: Rumors suggest 2012 might be Michael Schumacher’s last season. The German champion has been competitive in his two-years back from retirement, but not to the point of threatening the front of the pack and usually less so than teammate Nico Rosberg.
FUNNY BUSINESS: Reports indicate the second seat on the HRT team, joining Pedro de la Rosa, is available for EUR 6-million. Felipe Massa’s response in the press, amid rumors he could lose his Ferrari seat: "Whatever happens, at least I know I've never had to pay to drive."
DESERT ON ICE?: Security concerns are threatening the 2012 Bahrain Grand Prix, the US State Department having advised travel advisories for the country.
WE'RE FRANCH: The French are looking to return to the Grand Prix game in 2013, alternating each year with Spa. It better be a hell of a course! Belgian and Ecclestonian approval still pending.
SPANISH TWO-FER: Spain is, similarly, looking to consolidate its two events – Valencia and Barcelona – into one, alternating the location each year.
BUEMI du MANS?: Toyota is rumored to be eyeing Sebastian Buemi as the lead driver of its second car in the 24 Hours of LeMans this summer. Alex Wurz and Kaz Nakajima are piloting Toyota’s first vehicle.
ROCK: Lenny Kravitz will headline the two F1 Rocks shows scheduled for Melbourne’s Sidney Myer Music Bowl in conjunction with the season-opening Australian Grand Prix. Kravitz is touring Australia for the first time in 18 years, with support coming from the Cranberries and Wolfmother.