Team, driver line-ups for new Formula One season

Written by Cheryl Tay on . Posted in Cheryl Tay Blog | Blog Post of Cheryl Tay

Six world champions, 20 races, 12 teams and 24 drivers – here’s a guide for the 2012 Formula One paddock:

 

Red-Bull-Racing

Red Bull Racing is the team to beat (Photo courtesy of Red Bull Racing)

 

RED BULL RACING (RED BULL)

Country: Austria

Headquarters: Milton Keynes, UK

Team Principal: Christian Horner

Technical Chief: Adrian Newey

Debut: Australia 2005

Wins: 27

Poles: 38

Fastest Laps: 22

Constructors’ Titles: 2

Chassis: RB8

Engine: Renault RS27-2012

2011 Position: 1

 

1 Sebastian Vettel

Age: 24

DOB: 3 Jul 1987

Nationality: German

Birthplace: Heppenheim, Germany

Height: 1.74m

Weight: 64kg

Debut: USA 2007

Wins: 21

Poles: 30

Podiums: 36

Points: 773

Grands Prix Entered: 81

Fastest Laps: 9

Drivers’ Titles: 2

 

2 Mark Webber

Age: 35

DOB: 27 Aug 1976

Nationality: Australian

Birthplace: Queanbeyan, New South Wales

Height: 1.85m

Weight: 76kg

Debut: Australia 2002

Wins: 7

Poles: 9

Podiums: 30

Points: 669.5

Grands Prix Entered: 178

Fastest Laps: 13

Drivers’ Titles: 0

 

Thoughts for 2012

The youngest-ever double world champion, Vettel, remains a favourite for 2012, especially with Adrian Newey still at the drawing board of Red Bull. Last year, Vettel was imperious — 11 wins and 15 pole positions in one season, with only one race where he did not make it to the podium (unfortunately, it was his home race!). Webber, on the other hand, has a different type of pressure to face — with only one year left on his contract, it will be crucial for him to perform and prove himself.

 

McLaren2012

Hamilton (L) and Button will look to wrestle back the championship from Red Bull (Photo courtesy of McLaren)

 

VODAFONE MCLAREN MERCEDES (MCLAREN)

Country: Great Britain

Headquarters: Woking, UK

Team Principal: Martin Whitmarsh

Technical Chief: Paddy Lowe

Debut: Monaco 1966

Wins: 175

Poles: 147

Fastest Laps: 148

Constructors’ Titles: 8

Chassis: MP4-27

Engine: Mercedes-Benz FO 108Z

2011 Position: 2

 

3 Jenson Button

Age: 32

DOB: 19 Jan 1980

Nationality: British

Birthplace: Frome, Somerset, UK

Height: 1.82m

Weight: 71kg

Debut: Australia 2000

Wins: 12

Poles: 7

Podiums: 43

Points: 811

Grands Prix Entered: 210

Fastest Laps: 6

Drivers’ Titles: 1

 

4 Lewis Hamilton

Age: 27

DOB: 7 Jan 1985

Nationality: British

Birthplace: Stevenage, UK

Height: 1.74m

Weight: 68kg

Debut: Australia 2007

Wins: 17

Poles: 19

Podiums: 42

Points: 723

Grands Prix Entered: 90

Fastest Laps: 11

Drivers’ Titles: 1

 

Thoughts for 2012

Button had quite a satisfying season last year, finishing second to Vettel in the drivers’ championship. Totally overshadowing his fellow world champion team-mate Hamilton, Button has proven his cool-headedness except for one boo-boo when he drove into Red Bull’s pit box instead of his own at China. Conversely, it was a rough year for Hamilton who kept running into troubles both on and off the track. This guy has real talent — the first thing that will help him is to keep his emotions in check.

 

Ferrari2012

Ferrari will try to build on their sole victory last season (Photo courtesy of Ferrari)

 

SCUDERIA FERRARI (FERRARI)

Country: Italy

Headquarters: Maranello, Italy

Team Principal: Stefano Domenicali

Technical Chief: Pat Fry

Debut: Monaco 1950

Wins: 216

Poles: 205

Fastest Laps: 227

Constructors’ Titles: 16

Chassis: F2012

Engine: Ferrari 056

2011 Position: 3

 

5 Fernando Alonso

Age: 30

DOB: 29 Jul 1981

Nationality: Spanish

Birthplace: Oviedo, Spain

Height: 1.71m

Weight: 64kg

Debut: Australia 2001

Wins: 27

Poles: 20

Podiums: 73

Points: 1086

Grands Prix Entered: 178

Fastest Laps: 19

Drivers’ Titles: 2

 

6 Felipe Massa

Age: 30

DOB: 25 Apr 1981

Nationality: Brazilian

Birthplace: Sao Paulo, Brazil

Height: 1.66m

Weight: 59kg

Debut: Australia 2002

Wins: 11

Poles: 15

Podiums: 33

Points: 582

Grands Prix Entered: 153

Fastest Laps: 14

Drivers’ Titles: 0

 

Thoughts for 2012

When Kimi Raikkonen moved out of Ferrari for Alonso to come onboard, the team was hoping for their 17th constructors’ title. This season marks the third year Alonso is with the team and they have not achieved their desired target yet, but Alonso has clearly been putting in his best effort, clinching 10 podium finishes last year despite an obviously not-too-quick car. Ferrari has been working hard on the car and hopefully it will push them closer to their target. Ever since Massa had his near-fatal incident at Hungary in 2009, he has not been the same driver as he was before, when he was fighting for the title with Hamilton. Like Webber, 2012 will be a crucial year for Massa.

 

Mercedes-GP2012

Can Michael Schumacher lead Mercedes to glory? (Photo courtesy of Mercedes)

 

MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS F1 TEAM (MERCEDES)

Country: Germany

Headquarters: Brackley, UK

Team Principal: Ross Brawn

Technical Chief: Bob Bell

Debut: Bahrain 2010

Wins: 0

Poles: 0

Fastest Laps: 0

Constructors’ Titles: 0

Chassis: F1 W03

Engine: Mercedes-Benz FO108Z

2011 Position: 4

 

7 Michael Schumacher

Age: 43

DOB: 3 Jan 1969

Nationality: German

Birthplace: Hürth-Hermülheim, Germany

Height: 1.74m

Weight: 68kg

Debut: Belgium 1991

Wins: 91

Poles: 68

Podiums: 154

Points: 1517

Grands Prix Entered: 288

Fastest Laps: 76

Drivers’ Titles: 7

 

8 Nico Rosberg

Age: 26

DOB: 27 June 1985

Nationality: German

Birthplace: Wiesbaden, Germany

Height: 1.78m

Weight: 67kg

Debut: Bahrain 2006

Wins: 0

Poles: 0

Podiums: 5

Points: 306.5

Grands Prix Entered: 108

Fastest Laps: 2

Drivers’ Titles: 0

 

Thoughts for 2012

This is the same outfit that wrote its own fairytale when it won the drivers’ and constructors’ titles on its debut, but all that brilliance seemed to have been lost in its transition to becoming Mercedes. Schumacher is still a legend in his own right but the modern era of Formula One has not been very successful for his comeback. Still, Brawn is not giving up on him and hinted that Schumacher might extend his comeback campaign if things pick up for the team this year. Rosberg, son of the 1982 world champion Keke Rosberg, outqualified his team-mate 17-2 last season and has shown the potential to be an outstanding driver. With high-profile drivers and a highly reliable Mercedes-Benz engine supplier, everyone is waiting to see the team deliver.

 

LOTUS F1 TEAM (LOTUS)

Country: Great Britain

Headquarters: Enstone, UK

Team Principal: Eric Boullier

Technical Chief: James Allison

Debut: Australia 2011

Wins: 0

Poles: 0

Fastest Laps: 0

Constructors’ Titles: 0

Chassis: E20

Engine: Renault RS27- 2012

2011 Position: 5

 

9 Kimi Raikkonen

Age: 32

DOB: 17 Oct 1979

Nationality: Finnish

Birthplace: Espoo, Finland

Height: 1.75m

Weight: 62kg

Debut: Australia 2001

Wins: 18

Poles: 16

Podiums: 62

Points: 579

Grands Prix Entered: 157

Fastest Laps: 35

Drivers’ Titles: 1

 

10 Romain Grosjean

Age: 25

DOB: 17 Apr 1986

Nationality: French

Birthplace: Geneva, Switzerland

Height: 1.80m

Weight: 71kg

Debut: Europe 2009

Wins: 0

Poles: 0

Podiums: 0

Points: 0

Grands Prix Entered: 7

Fastest Laps: 0

Drivers’ Titles: 0

 

Thoughts for 2012

The return of Kimi ‘Iceman’ Raikkonen has generated the most buzz off-season. Still laid-back, cool and totally chill, Raikkonen spent the last two years in the World Rally Championship in which he didn’t fare too well. He even tried his hand in the Camping World Truck Series, the lower tier of NASCAR. Now back in Formula One, let’s see if Raikkonen’s return will be as mundane as Schumacher’s, or otherwise. Meanwhile, Grosjean is fresh from winning GP2 last year and is back for a second stint in Formula One after messing up his chances in 2009 when he replaced the infamous Nelson Piquet Jr.

 

SAHARA FORCE INDIA F1 TEAM (FORCE INDIA)

Country: India

Headquarters: Silverstone, UK

Team Principal: Vijay Mallya

Debut: Australia 2008

Wins: 0

Poles: 1

Fastest Laps: 1

Constructors’ Titles: 0

Chassis: VJM05

Engine: Mercedes-Benz

2011 Position: 6

 

11 Paul Di Resta

Age: 25

DOB: 16 Apr 1986

Nationality: British

Birthplace: Uphall, Scotland

Height: 1.85m

Weight: 74kg

Debut: Australia 2011

Wins: 0

Poles: 0

Podiums: 0

Points: 27

Grands Prix Entered: 19

Fastest Laps: 0

Drivers’ Titles: 0

 

12 Nico Hulkenberg

Age: 24

DOB: 19 Aug 1987

Nationality: German

Birthplace: Emmerich

Height: 1.78m

Weight: 74kg

Debut: Bahrain 2010

Wins: 0

Poles: 1

Podiums: 0

Points: 22

Grands Prix Entered: 19

Fastest Laps: 0

Drivers’ Titles: 0

 

Thoughts for 2012

The team seems to think Di Resta has a better long-term future than Adrian Sutil, hence dropping the latter and bringing on Hulkenberg. Di Resta has Anthony Hamilton (yes, Lewis’ father) as his manager and is remembered for scoring points in his first two Grands Prix during his debut Formula One season last year. Paired up with Di Resta is Hulkenberg, who gave the Williams team their first pole position in five years on his debut Formula One season in 2010, but was forced to give up his seat to Pastor Maldonado who had better financial backing. Nonetheless, Hulkenberg is back in the main seat and ready to race.

 

SAUBER F1 TEAM (SAUBER)

Country: Switzerland

Headquarters: Hinwil, Switzerland

Team Principal: Peter Sauber

Debut: South Africa 1993

Wins: 1

Poles: 1

Fastest Laps: 2

Constructors’ Titles: 0

Chassis: Sauber C31

Engine: Ferrari 056

2011 Position: 7

 

14 Kamui Kobayashi

Age: 25

DOB: 13 Sep 1986

Nationality: Japanese

Birthplace: Hyogo, Japan

Height: 1.68m

Weight: 58kg

Debut: Brazil 2009

Wins: 0

Poles: 0

Podiums: 0

Points: 65

Grands Prix Entered: 40

Fastest Laps: 0

Drivers’ Titles: 0

 

15 Sergio Perez

Age: 22

DOB: 26 Jan 1990

Nationality: Mexican

Birthplace: Guadalajara, Mexico

Height: 1.72m

Weight: 63kg

Debut: Australia 2011

Wins: 0

Poles: 0

Podiums: 0

Points: 14

Grands Prix Entered: 18

Fastest Laps: 0

Drivers’ Titles: 0

 

Thoughts for 2012

The Sauber team was actually doing quite decently last season, with Kobayashi achieving a string of consistent point-scoring finishes in the first half, until the team ran into financial woes mid-season and lost pace. It would be good to see Kobayashi attain that same momentum again and this time keep it to the end of the season. Perez has links to Ferrari and if he performs, there is a possibility of a future drive for Ferrari.

 

SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO (TORO ROSSO)

Country: Italy

Headquarters: Faenza, Italy

Team Principal: Franz Tost

Technical Chief: Giorgio Ascanelli

Debut: Bahrain 2006

Wins: 1

Poles: 1

Fastest Laps: 0

Constructors’ Titles: 0

Chassis: STR7

Engine: Ferrari 056

2011 Position: 8

 

16 Daniel Ricciardo

Age: 22

DOB: 1 Jul 1989

Nationality: Australian

Birthplace: Perth, Australia

Height: 1.75m

Weight: 64kg

Debut: Great Britain 2011

Wins: 0

Poles: 0

Podiums: 0

Points: 0

Grands Prix Entered: 11

Fastest Laps: 0

Drivers’ Titles: 0

 

17 Jean-Eric Vergne

Age: 21

DOB: 25 Apr 1990

Nationality: French

Birthplace: Pontoise, France

Height: 1.77m

Weight: 73kg

Debut: Australia 2012

Wins: 0

Poles: 0

Podiums: 0

Points: 0

Grands Prix Entered: 0

Fastest Laps: 0

Drivers’ Titles: 0

 

Thoughts for 2012

It is a great pity to see Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari dropped from the Toro Rosso line-up. As the junior sister team to Red Bull Racing, the next step forward is to be promoted to Red Bull, but there is currently no place at the top and new blood needs to be developed as part of the objective behind Toro Rosso as a training ground for future world champions (Vettel is the perfect testimonial). The recent past seasons have not been impressive for Toro Rosso and a total driver revamp might just be the boost they need. Who knows — if Webber underperforms and one of these Toro Rosso newbies show great potential, Vettel might just get a new team-mate.

 

WILLIAMS F1 TEAM (WILLIAMS)

Country: Great Britain

Headquarters: Grove, UK

Team Principal: Sir Frank Williams

Debut: Argentina 1978

Wins: 113

Poles: 126

Fastest Laps: 130

Constructors’ Titles: 9

Chassis: FW34

Engine: Renault RS27- 2012

2011 Position: 9

 

18 Pastor Maldonado

Age: 27

DOB: 9 Mar 1985

Nationality: Venezuelan

Birthplace: Maracay, Venezuela

Height: 1.73m

Weight: 66kg

Debut: Australia 2011

Wins: 0

Poles: 0

Podiums: 0

Points: 1

Grands Prix Entered: 19

Fastest Laps: 0

Drivers’ Titles: 0

 

19 Bruno Senna

Age: 28

DOB: 15 Oct 1983

Nationality: Brazilian

Birthplace: Sao Paulo, Brazil

Height: 1.80m

Weight: 69kg

Debut: Bahrain 2010

Wins: 0

Poles: 0

Podiums: 0

Points: 2

Grands Prix Entered: 26

Fastest Laps: 0

Drivers’ Titles: 0

 

Thoughts for 2012

With Wlliams’ history and past achievements, there is pressure on the team to deliver again. 2011 was a horrible year with huge staff changes on the technical side and the team has also switched engine supplier for 2012. Rubens Barrichello, who holds a record for starting the most Grands Prix (322 to be exact) has been replaced by Senna, the nephew of the late Ayrton Senna the great. With the internal mess sorted, the team should be able to get on track again, but with two inexperienced young guns behind the wheels, fingers are crossed whether they will be able to give valuable feedback for the car development and setup.

 

CATERHAM F1 TEAM (CATERHAM)

Country: Malaysia

Headquarters: Hingham, UK

Team Principal: Tony Fernandes

Debut: Bahrain 2010

Wins: 0

Poles: 0

Fastest Laps: 0

Constructors’ Titles: 0

Chassis: CT01

Engine: Renault RS27-2012

2011 Position: 10

 

20 Heikki Kovalainen

Age: 30

DOB: 19 Oct 1981

Nationality: Finnish

Birthplace: Suomussalmi, Finland

Height: 1.72m

Weight: 66kg

Debut: Australia 2007

Wins: 1

Poles: 1

Podiums: 4

Points: 105

Grands Prix Entered: 90

Fastest Laps: 2

Drivers’ Titles: 0

 

21 Vitaly Petrov

Age: 27

DOB: 8 Sep 1984

Nationality: Russian

Birthplace: Vyborg, Russia

Height: 1.85m

Weight: 75kg

Debut: Bahrain 2010

Wins: 0

Poles: 0

Podiums: 1

Points: 64

Grands Prix Entered: 38

Fastest Laps: 1

Drivers’ Titles: 0

 

Thoughts for 2012

Just a month before the season starts, Caterham takes on Petrov in favour of Jarno Trulli and in that process, removed the last Italian driver on the grid. 2012 is the second season that the team is running the Red Bull hydraulics and gearbox, and they will be running KERS for the first time — these tools might just help to improve their performance and be more than just ‘the best of the “new” teams’.

 

HRT F1 TEAM (HRT)

Country: Spain

Headquarters: Madrid, Spain

Team Principal: Luis Perez-Sala

Debut: Bahrain 2010

Wins: 0

Poles: 0

Fastest Laps: 0

Constructors’ Titles: 0

Chassis: F112

Engine: Cosworth CA2012

2011 Position: 11

 

22 Pedro de la Rosa

Age: 41

DOB: 24 Feb 1971

Nationality: Spanish

Birthplace: Barcelona, Spain

Height: 1.77m

Weight: 74kg

Debut: Australia 1999

Wins: 0

Poles: 0

Podiums: 1

Points: 35

Grands Prix Entered: 87

Fastest Laps: 1

Drivers’ Titles: 0

 

23 Narain Karthikeyan

Age: 35

DOB: 14 Jan 1977

Nationality: Indian

Birthplace: Chennai, India

Height: 1.68m

Weight: 64kg

Debut: Australia 2005

Wins: 0

Poles: 0

Podiums: 0

Points: 5

Grands Prix Entered: 28

Fastest Laps: 0

Drivers’ Titles: 0

 

Thoughts for 2012

With new management, new headquarters and new owners, the running of the team might go for the better — or not. We hope they will at least be more ready than they were last year — this team failed to make it to the grid in Australia last year.

 

MARUSSIA F1 TEAM (MARUSSIA)

Country: Russia

Headquarters: Banbury, UK

Team Principal: John Booth

Technical Chief: Pat Symonds

Debut: Bahrain 2010

Wins: 0

Poles: 0

Fastest Laps: 0

Constructors’ Titles: 0

Chassis: MR01

Engine: Cosworth CA2012

2011 Position: 12

 

24 Timo Glock

Age: 30

DOB: 18 Mar 1982

Nationality: German

Birthplace: Lindenfels, Germany

Height: 1.69m

Weight: 64kg

Debut: Canada 2004

Wins: 0

Poles: 0

Podiums: 3

Points: 51

Grands Prix Entered: 74

Fastest Laps: 1

Drivers’ Titles: 0

 

25 Charles Pic

Age: 22

DOB: 15 Feb 1990

Nationality: French

Birthplace: Montelimar, France

Height: 1.78m

Weight: 58kg

Debut: Australia 2012

Wins: 0

Poles: 0

Podiums: 0

Points: 0

Grands Prix Entered: 0

Fastest Laps: 0

Drivers’ Titles: 0

 

Thoughts for 2012

With solid Russian funding, the newly-renamed Marussia team got off to an inauspicious start when their new car failed the crash test. No further testing was allowed as a result of the car not passing all the tests by FIA. Hence the team is going into the first race with absolutely no clue about the capabilities of their car.

 

*This was first published on Yahoo!

Cheryl Tay

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Singapore’s only female full-time motoring and motorsports photojournalist. Independent automotive consultant and prominent local motorsports personality Cheryl Tay is uniquely passionate about all things cars and motorsports. She also has a strong passion to share her interest and knowledge, hence having a dream to become the ‘Oprah Winfrey of cars and motorsports’ and create a multimedia platform for her sharing. - A female in a male-dominated world, Cheryl Tay is Singapore’s only female full-time motoring journalist and motorsports blogger and she regularly writes for prominent titles in Singapore, Asia and internationally. (See full list of titles that Cheryl Tay writes for here.)

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