The arrival of the official FIA entry list and the announcement from Hispania Racing Team (née Campos) that it has a deal with India’s Karun Chandhok means that we finally have a full list of the Formula 1 drivers for 2010. No doubt there will be some changes along the way, probably as money will be an issue in some case, but at least we have a starting point.
There are five new boys: Nico Hulkenberg, Vitaly Petrov, Karun Chandhok, Bruno Senna and Lucas di Grassi. Of these the two important additions – from a demographic point of view – are Petrov and Chandhok, who represent major nations which do not, as yet, have a fully developed F1 following. India and Russia are both big players. Senna brings a famous name back to F1, but he must prove that he has what it takes to be a Grand Prix driver. It is the same story with Lotus F1. It is a great brand but its value must be built with solid performances.
Although eight teams are based in Britain, only three are listed as British: Mercedes GP (née Brawn) is now German. Red Bull Racing is Austrian, Renault French, Force India Indian and Lotus Malaysian. Only McLaren, Williams and Virgin are now officially British. Italy has Ferrari and Toro Rosso, Switzerland has Sauber and Spain claims its first team with Hispania.
On the driver front there are six Germans, four Brazilians, three Spaniards, two drivers each from Britain and Italy and individuals from Australia, Finland, India, Japan, Poland, Russia and Switzerland.
There are only four engine suppliers. Cosworth boasts four teams; Ferrari and Mercedes three each and Renault two.