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Holiday roundup December 2010 #F1 #NASCAR #Indycar

#F1 – Good to hear that Vitaly Petrov has retained his seat at what will be Lotus-Renault and on a 2 year deal. Whether or not there may have been some finacial inducement he deserves to have a long term chance. The lad has the potential as shown the year before in GP2 and from a couple of drives in the second half of 2010, so it is refreshing to see a team making the committment. This is why I was so dissapointed to see Williams let The Hulk go when he is clearly a driver with some class and potential, but there you go.

Talking of Lotus, it will seem odd to have two varieties of Loti in the races next year, but that might be a marketing coup when all is said and done.

Will the team orders issue make any difference? I doubt it, but there are just 80 days to the new season, so we’ll soon know.

#NASCAR – I’m pleased to read that Richard Petty will have a team up and running next season, and will be looking out for the Digger and the Dinger week by week. At the moment I’m looking at options to be over in Florida in February, so might get another trip to the Daytona 500 in. It seems incredible that it will be 15 years since I last saw the race live, but time flies.

Is Junior something of a Jonah? His results have been way below expectations since the switch to Hendrick and the efforts to pair him with Mark Martin this year saw the latter have a much less stellar year than in 2009. Giving Junior another fresh start by, effectively, swapping him with Jeff Gordon may actully be doing the Martin/Gordon garage a favour at the expense of the #48. Jimmy Johnson and Chad Knaus are a mean double act, and their professional approach has seen an unprecedented 5 year championship run. Jeff Gordon is a pretty resiliant bloke and also knows what it takes to win titles, but even he seems to have been ground down by the relentless march of the #48 crew. The switch of the #24 and #88 puts Junior in something of a make or break position, but the #5 and #24 operations may well benefit from sharing an garage more. I hope that Junior does well; we know he can do it as we’ve seen him do it in the past. The question is, will putting him in with the #48 operation pull him up or them down?

We kick off in 60 days. If I’m not there to see it for real, I’ll be following the Daytona 500, and the rest of the series, on the ‘net.

#Indycar – I’ve been re-reading a few on my many books on the Indy 500 and am getting tempted to try and fit in a trip to Indiana on one of my Stateside trips this year. It was a pretty good season this year and hopefully we’ll get another one in 2011. Tony Kanaan will be back for another year, but with a new team and he’s always good value. Sarah Fisher looks to be stepping back into an owner’s role rather than owner/driver, but my hat is off to her for having done so much over the years. Andretti, Ganassi and Penske will be strong again no doubt and there is a good mix of circuits to test different styles and skills. Bring it on.

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