According to Swiss paper Blick, Peter Sauber will be announced as the pivotal 13th team for the 2010 grid. According to Blick this announcement will happen on Monday but perhaps sometime this week might seem more open-ended in a sport that is rife with 2010 entry issues from closing teams to law suits against the FIA. Not to mention the lack of a signature on the Concorde Agreement.
It seems that BMW’s reversal on their original Qadbak deal has pleased the FIA and Toyota’s departure has left an empty grid spot. Toyota was signatory to the Concorde Agreement committing the team until 2012 but BMW/Sauber was not. It will be interesting to see what the FIA say about this as technically Sauber is a brand new team to F1 with no signatory position. The paper suggests that the formality of signing the Concorde Agreement could be completed as early as Monday, hence the Monday announcement furor, and that it will most likely be sometime this week. Will they be asked to use Cosworth engines? The Blick article has Sauber using Ferrari’s engine supply for 2010 as was the rumor.
The Blick paper has a couple stories that speak of Monday being the date this announcement will be made but it also discusses the driver search that is currently on for Sauber. The drivers must surely be lined up for a ride and there is current driver Nick Heidfeld to consider as well. Christian Klien has been rumored as well as Russian Vitaly Petrov. One can only presume that Jacques Villenueve still has Sauber mobile number and perhaps Ferrari could offer a driver for their development program. But the names making the rumor mill this evening are: Nick Heidfeld, Jarno Trulli, Pedro de la Rosa, Kamui Kobayashi and Vitaly Petrov.
If the FIA announces Sauber’s inclusion in the 2010 season, I do hope they explain their logic a little as BMW failed to sign the Concorde Agreement or 2010 application. Toyota did not. Also, Lola and N. Technology are very vocal about their exclusion from the series and frustration with being placed in reserve. If Sauber gets a slot, could it be argued they jumped in front of Lola and N. Technology? We’ll keep and eye on that but let’s just wait and see if the FIA indeed does announce Sauber’s inclusion for the 2010 season first.