Pastor Maldonado insists he is ready for step up to Formula 1
The Sport Review’s round-up of all of the latest news from the world of Formula 1 as the 2010 season draws to a close.
GP2 title winner Pastor Maldonado has declared he is ready to step up to F1 after taking part in both days of this week’s Young Driver Test in Abu Dhabi. The Venezuelan spent the first day testing for Hispania Racing before switching to Williams – the team he is tipped to join following the departure of Nico HÃƒÂ¼lkenberg. Maldonado will again test for Hispania during the Pirelli test this week.
New Sauber driver Sergio Perez is more motivated than ever about joining F1 after making his debut with the Swiss team in the YDT at Abu Dhabi, coming sixth quickest on the second day of testing. While other drivers are preparing extended holidays ahead of winter testing, Perez will be working on his fitness, and moving closer to the team’s Hinwil factory to prepare for his debut season in the sport.
JerÃƒÂ´me d’Ambrosio hopes to have done enough to prove to potential 2011 employer Virgin Racing that he is worthy of a race seat next year after running in Friday practices in Singapore, Japan, Korea and Brazil, as well as taking part in the YDT this week. The DAMS driver is in the running with 2010 Virgin driver Lucas di Grassi, and GP2 rival Giedo van der Garde.
Sacked Sauber driver Pedro de la Rosa could have a 2011 drive with Hispania Racing Team if he can raise €8-10m (£6.8-8.5m). De la Rosa was expected to walk into the team following the arrival of new investor Joan Villalonga, but a deal with Toyota to supply the team with a chassis for 2011 has fallen through due to “unpaid bills”, leaving them again scrambling to bring a viable programme to the table for the new season as they look to raise €120m (£102m).
Newly-crowned F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel will be the sole Red Bull driver behind the wheel for the Pirelli tyre test this week, with team-mate Mark Webber in Australia for a show run. Neither McLaren drivers will be present with the Woking-based team opting for YDT drivers Oliver Turvey and Gary Paffett.
Ferrari will give Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso a day each, as will Mercedes with Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher. However, Renault will field just Robert Kubica, with Vitaly Petrov on holiday, and Williams will field Rubens Barrichello on both days following the release of Nico HÃƒÂ¼lkenberg after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Force India will go with current drivers Adrian Sutil, Vitantonio Liuzzi, as well as reserve driver Paul di Resta across the two days, with Sauber opting to give Kamui Kobayashi Friday and Saturday morning. Newcomer Sergio Perez will take Saturday afternoon, while retained Toro Rosso drivers Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastien Buemi will take a day each.
Hispania will field Pastor Maldonado for both days following his run out in the YDT earlier this week, with Lotus Racing and Virgin Racing yet to announce their line-up.