Busy morning as teams launch, drivers fill seats

Fri, 1 February 2013, 01:35

Feb.1 (GMM) It was a busy morning in the F1 world, with two teams launching new cars and two drivers edging closer to 2013 race seats.

At Silverstone, Force India’s VJM06 was revealed, but not the identity of the lone Paul di Resta’s teammate.

“Our main objective today is to launch the car, and Paul is the key person for doing that,” deputy boss Bob Fernley is quoted by Sky.

He said the second driver will be revealed not at Jerez next week, but in time for the second test in Barcelona.

The big rumour on Friday is that 2012 reserve driver and Frenchman Jules Bianchi, who was not at Silverstone but instead at Maranello for Ferrari’s launch, will be picked by Force India.

At Maranello, Ferrari revealed its F138, which – like the new Force India – hides its unseemly ‘step nose’ beneath an FIA-sanctioned vanity cover.

The “evolutionary” new scarlet car also has a tweaked livery, with more black.

And residents of the internet world saw it even before those at Maranello, who – due to a technical glitch – were staring at a white sheet while viewers of the team’s official website were transfixed by photos of the F138.

Ferrari, meanwhile, was seen to tackle the rumours about Stefano Domenicali’s future by giving centre stage to the team boss at the Friday launch — speaking even before the revered president Luca di Montezemolo.

Elsewhere, Dutchman Giedo van der Garde looks certain to secure the second Caterham seat alongside Charles Pic for 2013, thus dashing the hopes of Heikki Kovalainen and Vitaly Petrov.

Van der Garde has scheduled a press conference, and announced on Twitter: “This afternoon I will announce my future plans.”

F1 commentator Martin Brundle wrote on Twitter: “If Bianchi, Van der Garde and Razia are confirmed at Force India, Caterham and Marussia as anticipated it will continue a GP2 coup of the F1 paddock.”

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