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The 2010 F1 grid is starting to take shape. Only Ferrari and Red Bull are sorted with their two drivers though. We evaluate the rest of the grid, including the four new teams.

An announcement regarding Williams’ line-up is expected on Monday, with Rubens Barrichello and Nico Hulkenberg expected to be announced. Nico Rosberg will then take Ruben’s seat at Brawn.

Kimi Raikkonen said in Thursday’s press-conference that McLaren was his only option, along with rallying (where joining Petter Solberg’s team has been speculated) and a sabbatical. He does not consider Toyota to be an option.

Toyota does not appear to be keen on holding onto Timo Glock and Jarno Trulli. German media reports say that Glock has signed for Renault, while Trulli appears to be looking elsewhere. This leaves Heikki Kovalainen and Kamui Kobayashi for Toyota. Adrian Sutil, Nick Heidfeld and Kazuki Nakajima are also possibilities.

Force India will likely hold on to Sutil and Tonio Liuzzi. Indian Karun Chandhok could race for the team, although boss Vijay Mallya has said that none of his countrymen are good enough for F1. Toro Rosso will probably hang on to Red Bull hotshots Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari. No other Red Bull drivers are really good enough.

Campos look likely to sign McLaren tester Pedro de la Rosa, while Brazilian media says that Bruno Senna has signed for the team. Other candidates include former Campos GP2 drivers Vitaly Petrov, Romain Grosjean and Giorgio Pantano.

Lotus are believed to be interested in Trulli, while Malaysian Fairuz Fauzy could be his teammate. He finished second in World Series Formula Renault 3.5, while Alguersuari finished sixth.

USF1 are struggling to find American drivers with enough experience. Jonathan Summerton is widely rumoured with the team, but I would sign Graham Rahal, who nearly finished fifth in IndyCar this year.

 Manor appear to be keeping quiet about their lineup, although Renault tester Lucas di Grassi has said he is close to a deal but waiting for Renault to decide their lineup. Anthony Davidson and Nick Heidfeld are good candidates for the other seat. 

Have we missed something? Know of any other drivers close to deals? Leave a comment below.
 
 
The 2009-10 GP2 Asis Series season gets underway on Saturday at the stunning new Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, in support of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. We look ahead to the new season.

Calendar

This season's calendar has a strange look about it. After getting underway this weekend at Yas Marina, there is a break in the schedule until next February, when the teams return to the new circuit. Shortly after that there will be two weekends in Bahrain. There are no visits to China or Malaysia this season.

October 31/November 1 - Yas Marina (UAE)
February 5/6 - Yas Marinia (UAE)
February 26/27 - Bahrain
March 13/14 - Bahrain

Teams and drivers

Durango are missing from the Asia series after their absence from the final rounds of the main 2009 season.

DAMS

1. Christian Vietoris -
The 20 year-old German arrives in the Middle East off the back of two seasons in F3 Euroseries with Mucke Motorsport, finishing runner-up this year. He will hope to follow in the footsteps of fellow German Nico Hulkenberg who won the main series in 2009.

2. Edoardo Piscopo - Italian driver Piscopo needs a good campaign in GP2 Asia. He will miss the final round of the Formula 2 season this weekend, where he currently stands 11th. He finished as runner-up in the Italian F3 Championship in 2008.

Piquet GP

3. Vladimir Arabadzhiev - The Bulgarian has shown promise in Formula Master over the last two years and impressed the Chevrolet WTCC team with a test earlier in the month. At 25, one of the older drivers in the field.

4. Daniel Zampieri - The new Italian F3 champion, 19, is unlikely to be at the front this season but will be looking to gain experience ahead of a European campaign in 2010.

Barwa Addax Team

5. Max Chilton - After making his F3 debut at 15 with no prior single-seater experience, it took Chilton until the end of his third season to finally get a win after 6 pole positions. Another one looking for experience.

6. Luiz Razia - Took a main series GP2 win for Coloni at Monza, and won a race for Arden in Asia last year. The Brazilian should fight for wins with a race-winning car, and could fight for the title, as one of only ten with GP2 experience.

ART Grand Prix

7. Marcus Ericsson
- Japanese F3 champion will share car with Euroseries champion Jules Bianchi. Looking to impress the other teams for a main series drive in 2010.

8. Sam Bird - The Brit gets his chance after three years at Formula 3 level, and gets it with a top team in ART. Really needs to impress after dissapointing Euroseries campaign.

Arden International

11. Charles Pic
-Finished third in World Series by Renault and still just 19 years of age. Could fight for race wins straight away, but will just be looking for preparation ahead of 2010.

12. Rodolfo Gonzalez - After a poor F3 Euroseries campaign with Carlin, having shown promise in British F3, he raced in Euroseries 3000 in 2009, although finished down in fifth, well off the less experienced lead pack.

Super Nova Racing

14. James Jakes
 - Did not race at all during the main 2009 season, but returns to Super Nova after their partnership in 2008-09. Could fight for regular podiums this year after scoring one in Malaysia last term, but lacking match practice.

15. Josef Kral - 19 year-old Czech finished third in second season of Formula Master in 2009. He will be looking to repeat the promise he showed in Formula BMW UK in 2007.

iSport International

16. Oliver Turvey
- Beat teammate and F1 driver Jaime Alguersuari in World Series by Renault standings, so will be looking to fight for victories in Asia. He will remain with the team for 2010.

17. Davide Valsecchi - The Italian's third GP2 Asia season, he only scored points in three races in the main series in 2009. He has only been confirmed by the team for Abu Dhabi.

Trident Racing

18. Johnny Cecotto Jr - Has GP2 experience after 3 races for DPR at the end of 2009. Failed to score points in F3 Euroseries in 2009, despite coming third in the German series in 2008.

19. Plamen Kralev - 36 year-old Bulgarian only has experience in GT racing.

MalaysiaQi-Meritus.com

20. Luca Filippi - Appears to have struggled in four years of GP2, except his 2007 and 2009 seasons with Super Nova. Raced for Meritus in Asia 2008. He was fastest in both of last weeks tests at Yas Marina.

21. Diego Nunes - Finished eighth in Asia for Piquet last season, with two victories. Should fight for wins again if Meritus can provide him with the car to do so.

Ocean Racing Technology

22. Alexander Rossi - Young American arrives from Formula Master after finishing as top rookie in his first season in Europe. Another just be looking for experience in high powered cars. A possible USF1 driver for the future?

23. Fabio Leimer - Destroyed Formula Master opposition in 2009. It will be interesting to see how well the Suiss can make the transition to GP2. Fomer Formula Master champion Jerome d'Ambrosio was runner-up last year.

Scuderia Coloni

24. Roldan Rodriguez - Spainiard finished third for Piquet in Asia last season, so should fight for the title this year. He is yet to win in the main series after three years of average performances.

25. Will Bratt - Oxford graduate Bratt won his drive with the team for winning the Euroseries 3000 organised by Coloni. An impressive performance could land him a main series drive with the team.

DPR

26. Michael Herck - Father Andre is now the team owner. The Belgian-Romainian is yet to score a point in 2 full seasons of GP2 main and Asia series racing. Finished fifth in a WSR race earlier in 2009.

27. Giacomo Ricci - 2006 Euroseries 3000 champion returns to DPR. He started the 2008 main season with the team, and then joined them during the 2008-09 Asia season, and started  the 2009 main season with them before being dropped again. Also yet to score a point, but should beat Kralev.
 
 
Kamui Kobayashi will follow in the footsteps of a previous Japanese Toyota Development/Test Driver driving for the DAMS team in GP2, Kazuki Nakajima, in making his F1 debut at the Brazilian Grand Prix. Two years ago, Nakajima impressed Williams with his speed, despite making a hash of his first pit-stop and running down his pit crew. Kobayashi will be looking to make a similarly positive impact this weekend as he fills in for the injured Timo Glock, but you may be asking who he is. Here is the lowdown.

Having been signed by Toyota back in 2004, Kobayashi, currently 23, spent two years in Formula Renault in Europe, winning the Italian and Eurocup titles in 2005. After this he spent two years in the Formula Three Euroseries with leading team ASM, finishing 8th and 4th in the standings.

He replaced Williams-bound Nakajima at GP2 squad DAMS for 2008 and also took Nakajima's Toyota test driver role. Despite finishing 6th in the 2008 GP2 Asia Series, he only managed 16th in the main series. He won the Asia series last winter, but has struggled again in the main series in 2009, finishing 16th again.

When Timo Glock missed Friday practice at the Japanese Grand Prix, Kobayashi was given the chance to prove his skills in front of his home crowd at Suzuka, outpacing veteran teammate Jarno Trulli in the wet sessions. Kobayashi was the automatic choice to replace Glock for the Brazilian Grand Prix following his heavy qualifying accident at Suzuka.

A good performance will give him a good chance of racing for the team in 2010. Toyota are aiming for leading names in their cars, but have already missed out on Robert Kubica and look set to miss out on Kimi Raikkonen to McLaren. Heikki Kovalainen and Nick Heidfeld are candidates but the Japanese board would like to have a Japanese driver to stir interest back home for the Cologne-based team. That would give Kobayashi the chance, along with Nakajima, who looks set to leave Williams following their cancellation of the Toyota engine contract.
 
 
Jules Bianchi has made the move up to the GP2 Series with the team with whom he won the F3 Euroseries title, ART Grand Prix. The Frenchman follows in the footsteps of the most recent ART F3 champions Romain Grosjean and Nico Hulkenberg. Grosjean is already in F1, while Hulkenberg looks set after winning GP2 this season.

He will probably start next season as the favourite as a result of his domination in F3 this year. Unlike Grosjean and Hulkenberg before him, he has no formal ties with any current F1 teams. His ART squad is run by Nicolas Todt, son of former Ferrari team principal and FIA presidential candidiate Jean Todt. Nicolas is also the manager of injured Ferrari driver Felipe Massa, and Todt Jr and Bianchi were spotted in the Ferrari garage at the Belgian Grand Prix. He is yet to test an F1 car, although the oppurtunity may come in the upcoming end-of-season rookie tests.
 
 
Chevrolet are working on running five cars in the 2010 World Touring Car Championship. The team have fielded three cars for Rob Huff, Alain Menu and Nicola Larini each year since 2005, but are looking to expand next year to improve their chances in the manufacturers' championship.

Whether RML, who run the cars, would be able to run all five cars alongside a possible BTCC programme (as we revealed last week) is a major doubt. Rival team SEAT currently get ORECA to run two of their five cars, although recently announced they will split at the end of the season, sparking speculation that SEAT will drop to three cars for 2010. BMW could also drop to three cars, likely to be run by Schnitzer and driven by Andy Priaulx (whose car is currently run by RBM), Jorg Muller and Augusto Farfus.

If RML do not run all five cars, then there are several options Chevrolet could use for running the extra two cars. Perfection Racing, who successfully run Chevrolet's in Denmark under the Chevrolet Motorsport Denmark banner, are the favourites. They will leave the Danish series at the end of the year due to a lack of harmony with the rules, and are evaluating a move to the WTCC, which would be ironic given the fact that SEAT and BMW are unhappy with the regulations in the WTCC.
Perfection would bring with them double European and Danish champion Michel Nykjaer. Huff and Menu are likely to stay on, while Yvan Muller could leave SEAT to join Chevrolet, while Fabrizio Giovanardi is without a drive following the BTCC withdrawl of Chevrolet's fellow GM-marque Vauxhall, and could be brought in, in favour of fellow Italian Nicola Larini.

Another possibility for the supprt deal could be Indie squad Wiechers-Sport, who have just announced a partnership with Chevrolet and ADAC to build cars for a German one-make series based on the Cruze model.

It is predicted that SEAT will hold onto the services of Tarquini, Gene and Monteiro, but a Chevrolet move for Rydell would be unlikely after he stole a victory from his teammates on a special guest appearance for the team at Anderstorp in 2007.

LADA are showing speed in the hands of James Thompson, and while Kirill Ladygin will be kept on to appeal to the Russian market, a quicker driver than Jaap van Lagen could well be found.

What do you think will happen in the WTCC for 2010? Leave your comments belw
 
 
Robert Kubica has been announced as a Renault driver for 2010, replacing Ferrari-bound Fernando Alonso.

Kubica, who made his F1 testing debut for the team after winning the World Series by Renault in 2005, will join from BMW Sauber, whose future is in doubt despite a buy-out by the Qadbak group, as they are currently without a confirmed entry for  next season.

Romain Grosjean, currently Alonso's teammate at Renault, has yet to be confirmed for 2010, and could yet be replaced. Potential replacements include Heikki Kovalainen, likely to be replaced at McLaren by Kimi Raikkonen, and Timo Glock, who may not be retained by Toyota. Glock's current teammate, Jarno Trulli, is even less likely to remain with the team as they chase bigger names.

Trulli will therefore probably end up at one of the new teams, most likely with US F1, who have just admitted that they may end up running no American drivers due to a lack of talent Stateside.

Nico Rosberg and Rubens Barrichello look set for a swap, while Nico Hulkenberg, GP2 champion, is expected to replace Kazuki Nakajima at Williams. Force India and Toro Rosso are unlikely to make any changes to their line-ups, although Force India are thought to be evaluating Karun Chandhok for the seat alongside Adrian Sutil. Nick Heidfeld may well end up with one of the new teams because of an abundance of German drivers amongst the current teams.

We will keep you posted over the coming weeks with more information, including who we think will drive for the four new teams.
 
 
Ours fears that the RML team may not enter in the BTCC next season have been ended for now after the RML Group posted on its Twitter page that it is already working on plans for a 2010 campaign.

The squad, which runs the Racing Silverline BTCC team alongside the works Chevrolet project in the WTCC, set up a last minute deal for Jason Plato before the season-opener at Brands Hatch back in April. It secured title sponsorship from tools supplier Silverline which allowed them to complete the season with two Chevrolet Lacettis for Plato and Mat Jackson, in addition to running an extra car for touring car newcomer James Nash. Plato finished second in the standings, with Jackson finishing fifth, despite missing the opening round. Nash missed the season finale to concentrate on securing extra funds for 2010.

They could well replace the Lacetti with the stunning-looking Chevrolet Cruze in 2010, particularly if they secure extra backing from Chevrolet, which will help to ensure there is some manufacturer presence after Vauxhall's departure. As we reported yesterday, Honda could also give extra backing to Team Dynamics.
 
 
After Colin Turkington wrapped up the 2009 BTCC title at Brands Hatch yesterday, all eyes began to turn to next season.

What do we know so far? Vauxhall will not return, and Triple Eight have put their Vectras up for sale. Bamboo will return with two Lacettis, with Harry Vaulkhard staying on as a driver. Elsewhere, very little is known so far.

Vauxhall's exit makes it very likely that Matt Neal will return to the family-run Team Dynamics. Father and team boss Steve Neal said yesterday that Matt will test for them at Snetterton on Wednesday. He also added that he is hoping to secure more backing from Honda to allow the team to expand. A decision by Honda is expected in the next ten days. Johnny Herbert and Dave Pinkney will both be looking to stay on with the team.

We can expect Team RAC and Airwaves BMW to return, although RML look less certain to want to run full-time programmes in both the BTCC and WTCC unless a big sponsor is found. That could leave Jason Plato and Mat Jackson joining Andrew Jordan in looking for drives. Hopefully RAC and Airwaves can find the backing to run three drivers each.

Team Aon will also look likely to return with Tom Chilton and Tom Onslow-Cole, and there was talk of them having three cars before this season, so hopefully they could also find the money for a third car.

Triple Eight could of course find another project in the BTCC, although don't expect Neal or Fabrizio Giovanardi to stay without a paid-drive. Tech-Speed has shown promise with the ageing Honda Integra's this season, and have had a good partnership with Triple Eight before, so we could see them running the Vectra's with a stronger driver lineup.

What do you think? Who will go where in 2010? Please share your view by leaving a comment below.
 
 
Colin Turkington has won the 2009 British Touring Car Championship after finishing in second place in the final race of the season at Brands Hatch.

Jason Plato won the race, becoming only the second driver to win all three races on one day, after Dan Eaves at Thruxton in 2005. It meant that Plato beat Fabrizio Giovanardi to the runner-up spot in the standings.

Polesitter Matt Neal lost the lead to Jonathan Adam on the opening lap, only for the two to make contact that resulted in Adam spinning off the track. Just behind, contact between Chilton and Adam's teammate Rob Collard resulted in Collard spinning into the barriers.

Turkington soon found himself in-between leader Neal and third-placed Giovanardi. With Neal backing the field up to assist Giovanardi, Turkington made a move on Neal at Druids to take the lead, with Giovanardi and Plato soon following through. Turkington had suffered minor damage passing Neal, and he found himself under immense pressure from Giovanardi, with the two clashing out of clearways, allowing Plato to take the lead. Turkington and Giovanardi clashed again on the following lap, allowing Chilton to pass the Italian and seperate them until the finish.

Turkington's title is the first overall BTCC title for experienced squad West Surrey Racing. The Northern Irishman also won the Independent Drivers' title for the third year in a row. The race also marked the last in the series for Vauxhall, the sole remaining manufacturer. However, for as long as the action remains this exciting, the BTCC will always have a strong future.

Full Results
 
 
Jason Plato won the second race of the day to lead home fellow title contenders Fabrizio Giovanardi and Colin Turkington, setting up a fantastic championship showdown for race three.

Plato, who had earlier won the first race of the day, lost out to Team Aon's Tom Chilton off the start, and had to wait until the closing stages to make his move at Druids. Giovanardi then also got past Chilton, while series leader Turkington made his way through from eighth on the grid to complete the podium.

The two Airwaves BMWs passed the other Vauxhalls of Matt Neal and Andrew Jordan early on, and Turkington was also able to get past Neal. Neal continued to pressure Turkington, until Paul O'Neill was able to force Neal wide at Druids, releasing Turkington to attack Jordan. He was able to pass Jordan, Chilton and the Airwaves BMWs of Jonny Adam and Rob Collard to finish third.

The result means that Turkington will go into the final race of the season with a four point advantage over Giovanardi, with Plato a further eight points back. They will start in 6th, 7th and 8th respectively, with Matt Neal on pole position. You can catch the race at around 17:10 live on ITV4.

Full Results