Former F1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve along with former Force India drivers Vitantonio Liuzzi and Giancarlo Fisichella are among those confirmed for the nine franchise one-make i1 super series (more details here)
The two Italians will be joined by compatriot Jean Alesi and his contemporaries Heinz-HaraldFrentzen and Mika Salowhilethe Asian contingent will be represented by Alex Yoong and Sakon Yamamoto.An all-woman driver lineup consisting of Indycar driver Pippa Mann and Swiss endurance racer CyndieAllemannhas also been confirmed. Indian F1 driver Karun Chandhok has also been confirmed while there is no word on Narain Karthikeyan’s participation.
The organisers have split the drivers into three categories – International, Indian International and Indians. The line-up mentioned above makes the International class while the Indian International class includes Neel Jani, ArmaanEbrahim, ParthivaSureswaren, ZaaminJaffer, Mathias Lauda, Aditya Patel, AkhilKhushlani and PhirozeBillmoria.
The Indian classification includes Gaurav Dalal, AshwinSundar, Vishnu Prasad, ChiragMalhotra, Abdul Ahmed, Raj Bharath, Ameya Walavalkar, SahilShealr, AmritajitGhosh and Sailesh Bolisetti.
However, not much has been given to understand as far the status of drivers goes – especially since each team has two main and one reserve driver each. Goes without saying that international drivers and top-seeded Indian drivers will be offered a race seat for the whole season but some extras will definitely have to bite the bullet. The identity of the nine franchise owners is set to be revealed in a couple of hours so watch this space for more info.
In another development, the season that was earlier slated to kick off on 8th January, 2012 has been pushed back by a fortnight and the series will now commence of 22nd January, 2012 at the Sepang International Circuit.
i1 series calendar
January 21/22 – Sepang Circuit, Malaysia
February 3/4 – Sakhir, Bahrain
February 10/11 – Losail International, Qatar
February 25/26 – Buddh International, India
March 9/10 – Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi