With Karun Chandhok confirmed at HRT last Thursday, the Formula 1 grid is complete for 2010 – and with all of a week to spare.
There has been talk of how international the sport is this year: HRT is the first Spanish team, Chandhok is only the second Indian driver.
But how international is it, really? I thought I’d find out. Using the mighty Google Maps, I’ve mapped drivers, teams and circuits. Look (bigger version here):
Little men indicate a driver’s place of birth. Teams are in yellow – spanners for factories, houses for nationality, where different. Grand Prix circuits are marked by the red symbols.
A few observations. Most obviously, there’s a huge US F1 shaped hole over the USA. South America is unfortunate too: the four drivers were all born in Sao Paulo, which is also the location of the Brazilian Grand Prix. There’s not a bad smattering of map activity across Asia, but Africa is distinctly unrepresented.
Moving into Europe, France is a pretty vacant area, with no race or drivers, and only the nationality of the Renault team representing it at all. Six drivers from Germany is pretty impressive; Timo Glock and Sebastian Vettel weren’t born far from each other, were they? Britain is still the home of motorsport though, with eight teams based in the UK.
Virgin Racing is one of them, but the exact location is debatable: the team is currently based at Wirth Research in Bicester, which is where I’ve put the team, but is due to move to Manor Motorsport in Sheffield. Spain’s HRT is equally uncertain: I’ve marked the Campos base in Alzira, but there are plans to build a base in Murcia.
So the map isn’t perfect, but it is indicative. For the moment, at least. If last season is anything to go by, we’re likely to see at least a driver change or two; and with the financial state of some teams, we could even see changes there.
But this is Formula 1 2010 as of now, with the Bahrain Grand Prix mere days away. Exciting, isn’t it?
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