Formula One 2010: A Winter Full of Change and Intrigue

Daniel ZylberkanCorrespondent IFebruary 4, 2010

VALENCIA, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 03:  Fernando Alonso of Spain and Ferrari drives the new F10 for the first time during winter testing at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit on February 3, 2010 in Valencia, Spain.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Driver Changes

Brawn GP (Mercedes GP, more on that later)

Both Barrichello and Button leave, Barrichello to Williams, Button to McLaren. Replaced by Schumacher, returning after a three year hiatus from Formula One and by Rosberg, after his most consistent Formula One season yet.

Red Bull

Retain both Vettel and Webber


Retain Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button moves to McLaren after winning the championship in 2009, Kovaleinen to Lotus.


Alonso moves to Ferrari, after two disappointing years back at Renault. Raikkonen leaves to race for Citroen in WRC. Massa is healthy and returns to Formula One, while Fisichella moves to race an F430 in the European Le Mans Series.


Toyota exits Formula One: Trulli, Glock, Kobayashi all find new race seats at Lotus, Virigin Racing and Sauber respectively.

BMW Sauber

Kubica goes to Renault and Heidfeld exits Formula One, replaced by McLaren test driver Pedro De La Rosa and bright Japanese rookie Kamui Kobayashi.


Nico Rosberg moves to Mercedes GP, Kazuki Nakajima exits Formula One, though he is rumored to have a seat with Stefan GP.  He will be replaced by the veteran Barrichello and rookie German, GP2 champion Hulkenberg.


Alonso moves to Ferrari. Piquet Jnr is fired mid-season, replaced by Grosjean who isn't retained. Kubica moves to Renault and Petrov, the GP2 star, replaces Grosjean.

Force India

Retain Sutil and Liuzzi, who replaced Fisichella mid-season.

Scuderia Toro Rosso

Retain both Buemi and Alguersuari, who replaced Bourdais midseason.

Virgin Racing

Sign Glock and GP2 rookie Lucas di Grassi for their debut season.


Sign Kovaleinen and Trulli for their debut season.

Campos GP

Have only Bruno Senna at this time.


Have only Acquired Jose Maria Lopez so far.

Team Changes

Brawn GP

Mercedes-Benz buys stake in the Brawn GP team and renames it Mercedes GP.


Resulting from the Brawn acquisition Mclaren is no longer the Mercedes works team. Mercedes will continue supplying engines to McLaren until 2015.


Exit Formula One after one decade and no wins. Tokyo cites the global economic crisis as the main motivator for the move. They sold their TF110, contender to Stefan GP.

BMW Sauber

BMW exits Formula One, Munich cites "relevancy and sustainability" as the main reasons for the move, and will spend Formula One money on alternative power and product placement.

Qadbak Investment, a consortium of unknown Middle Eastern and European families, attempt to buy the team, but it turns out to be a major issue. Peter Sauber the founder of the team is able to buy the team back from BMW.

New Teams

Virgin Racing originally Manor GP

A well established Formula Three team, receives a shot at Formula One.

Lotus F1 Racing

Replaced BMW Sauber on the entry list after it announced it was leaving Formula One. Not related to the Litespeed/Lotus entry. The team, sponsored by the Malaysian government and Proton a Malaysian manufacturer are using Lotus' traditional Norwich location as a base of European Operations. 

Campos GP

Former Spanish Formula One driver and a PR company Meta successfully lodged a bid to enter Formula One.


Led by Peter Windsor, a long time presence in and around Formula One and Ken Anderson a well respected engineer in North American motorsports. 

Other Major Changes


Returned to Formula One after a three year absence. Williams, Campos, USF1, Lotus and Virgin Racing will be using Cosworth engines in 2010.


Will use Ferrari engines after BMW left the sport. Sauber also lost its Petronas sponsorship.

Mercedes GP

Have signed Malaysian oil company Petronas as its lead sponsor. Virgin has moved its sponsorship to Virgin Racing


Santander will Sponsor Ferrari in 2010 and beyond.

Virgin Racing

Lead sponsor is Virgin along with the Russian automobile manufacturer Marussia.

Lotus F1

Will have Air Asia sponsorship on it, a company owned by Malaysian millionaire Tony Fernandes.


Chad Hurley of Google and YouTube have connected as major sponsors for USF1.


Have announced they are leaving Formula One after 2010.

Rule Changes

Mid-race refuelling will be banned from 2010 and on.

KERS will be banned from 2010 and on.

New points scoring system, with points given down to the 10th place finisher and with the winning driver earning 25 points.

Top 10 qualifiers will have to start the race on qualifying tires.

Double diffusers will banned starting in the 2011 season.

Teams have also agreed to "resource restriction," which has many provisions including homologation of aerodynamic parts.

New Grand Prix and moved Grand Prix

There will be a Korean Grand Prix in 2010.

The Bahrain Grand Prix will now start the season instead of the Australian Grand Prix, the Abu Dabhi Grand Prix will now end the season instead of the Brazilian Grand Priix.

The Monaco Grand Prix will not be held on the same weekend as the Indianapolis 500 and the Nurburgring 24 Hours for the first time in a long time.


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