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The off-season in Formula 1 is not without its typical game of musical chairs: this driver moves there, that one is axed in favor of another, and some are left without a seat when the music starts again. But typically once the cars are launched, the contracts are signed and that's that. So when Caterham beat its rivals to the punch by unveiling its new car, we figured we'd heard the last of the driver shuffles for the season. But that wasn't to be the case.

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When the music stops, there are always a few Formula One drivers left without seats. That's not because the field is getting smaller, it's because there are always more drivers looking for rides than there are rides to go around. And that's certainly the case this season. With only one race seat still yet to be confirmed at the perennial backmarker Hispania Racing Team (HRT), several drivers were dumped by the teams they drove for last season.

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Consistency is paramount in racing, but sometimes a thorough shake-up is called for. And that's what's taking place at the Lotus Renault GP team next season.

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Jerome d'Ambrosio (above left) and Vitaly Petrov (above right) the latest drivers to be confirmed for 2011

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Imagine you're running an F1 team. You're spending millions to shave precious pounds off the car's weight. And then you hire a driver who's carrying an extra few pounds around the middle, and the advantage is lost.

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Renault R30 F1 car – click above for high-res image gallery

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