Lewis Hamilton’s contract is up, and McLaren’s
Ron Dennis laid the groundwork for talks by
warning that the world economy will limit what
he can offer to keep him. “Ron’s a very tough
negotiator,” Hamilton noted drily.
The F1 field is more competitive than ever,
but disagreements over budget limits
could threaten that enviable state.
CATERHAM’S RED ZONE
Heikki Kovalainen and his Caterham team are
one of the season’s quiet success stories
Caterham endured a
painful launch as “Team
Lotus,” but this season
has seen steady gains in
performance for the
powered squad. With further
developments – including
new rear bodywork, a revised
exhaust layout and other
aerodynamic details –
expected to help bring more
performance, Kovalainen is
hopeful of climbing higher in
the second half of the year.
uptick in form has also made
Kovalainen a hot prospect
elsewhere. The Finn says he’s
content to wait on deciding
his future beyond this year.
“I’ve been able to find my
swing again, which is good,”
said the ex-McLaren racer.
“We’ll wait a few more races
and see what happens.”
“In the past we’ve maybe
talked too much and not
been able to deliver,” he
conceded. “At the same
time, we are tidying the
let alone be competitive, without cost cuts.
However, he remains in favor of the turbo
engine plan, which he considers necessary
to keep F1 technology relevant, and thinks
delaying it would be counter-productive.
“We need to see that we will have a
new engine, an engine that you can
market in a very good way, if it comes to
sustainable levels and so on,” he
explained. “I hear some voices saying,
‘Delay the [turbo] engine.’ One thing is for
sure – if you delay, you run two programs
in parallel one year longer, and your
customers will pay for that.”
JUST-IN-TIME DELIVERY POSTCARD Fernando Alonso’s brilliant win in front of his adoring home fans was especially timely. Valencia’s place on the F1 schedule looks shaky, given that Spain’s economic woes make hosting two grands prix increasingly hard to justify.