Formula 1 – Driver Rumours 2008 – Part 3

Even we have no races until August 26, things are happening and driver rumours do not seem to stop. There is still the Alonso vs Hamilton vs McLaren situation. The 2008 grid very much depends on how McLaren will settle their internal unrest. It looked like the things might be calming down, based on Hamilton’s statements that Alonso is talking to him again. However the reports that Alonso declined offer by Ron Dennis to join him on board Mansour Ojjeh’s 72-metre super-yacht indicates otherwise. Dennis reportedly invited Alonso to smoothen the tension. Alonso though prefers to stick to his original plans. There go the peace talks…

Hamilton at the same time gets even closer to the McLaren family with his relationship with Ojjeh’s daughter Sandra. It seems that all the signs inevitably point to one of the drivers leaving McLaren and I doubt the one leaving would be Hamilton …

The speculations where Alonso might end up pretty much settled on move to BMW or return to Renault. The move would not be cheap for either team, as Alonso would have to be bough out of his McLaren contract. This would probably favour BMW, as Briatore is not known as a spender. However, in BMW Alonso might again end up next to an ambitious team mate. From this point of view Renault would be better for him and I think that if necessary, Flavio would be able to rake up some necessary cash to bring Fernando back.

Another ambitious driver Nico Rosberg, is showing some signs of frustration with the reliability of his Williams car. This combined with “Rosberg may be next big thing” and “If his driving is going to be noticed he really needs a winning car” statements from Frank Williams, may suggest, that move to a team higher up on the grid may be on the cards. McLaren would be an obvious target. Narain Karthikeyan may have heard something, otherwise where would the optimism about William’s race seat chance for him for next season come from.

Things are also simmering further down the grid and off the F1 grid too. First the reports of talks between Superi Aguri and Alejandro Agag from Campos Grand Prix about sale of the minority stake in Super Aguri. Now Campos owner Adrian Campos himself stated that he eyes move to F1 in 2008. He is in talks with Super Aguri now, but if the minor stake in Aguri’s team is not enough for his ambitions, he might turn to Spyker that is up for sale. As long as Super Aguri remains Japanese team, Sato is safe there if he wants to stay. But Davidson, Sutil and Yamamoto are far from having their 2008 rides secured. The reports of Prodrive entry still being on track open up racing possibilities to 2 extra drivers. The 2 obvious choices, de la Rosa and Paffet may not be the ones to get the ride, several of 2007 drivers will be eying those 2 seats, especially if their cars may end up being rebranded 2008 McLarens ….

Both guys that started for Toro Rosso this season have no seats for next year. Speed is out and does not even seem to be looking for F1 seat anymore. Liuzzi (misplaced by Bourdais) however is said to be in talks with some teams and even his current boss Berger gave him thumbs up for his F1 future. Realistically only midfield teams are available for him – Toyota, Honda, Williams, Super Aguri or backmarkers Spyker or theoretically Prodrive. I somehow can’t see any of them to have a race seat vacancy for Liuzzi next year. If he wants to stay in F1, he may have to settle for test drive for a while.

Related Posts:
Alonso Effect – More Driver Rumours
Driver Rumours Gather Speed

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2013 Teams and Drivers

Red Bull
1. Sebastian VETTEL
2 Mark WEBBER
Ferrari
3. Fernando ALONSO
4. Felipe MASSA
McLaren
5. Jenson BUTTON
6. Sergio PEREZ
Lotus
7. Kimi RAIKKONEN
8. Romain GROSJEAN
Mercedes
9. Nico ROSBERG
10. Lewis HAMILTON
Sauber
11. Nico HULKENBERG
12. Esteban GUTIEREZ
Force India
14. Paul di RESTA
15. Adrian SUTIL
Williams
16. Pastor MALDONADO
17. Valtteri BOTTAS
Toro Rosso
18. Daniel RICCIARDO
19. Jean Eric VERGNE
Caterham
20. Charles PIC
21. Giedo van der GARDE
Marussia
24. Jules BIANCHI
25. Max CHILTON

2013 F1 Calendar

15-17 March - Australia
22-24 March - Malaysia
12-14 April - China
19-21 April - Bahrain
10-12 May - Spain
23-26 May - Monaco
07-09 June - Canada
28-30 June - Great Britain
5-7 July - Germany
26-28 July - Hungary
23-25 August - Belgium
06-08 September - Italy
20-22 September - Singapore
04-06 October - Korea
11-13 October - Japan
25-27 October - India
01-03 November - Abu Dhabi
15-17 November - USA
22-24 November - Brazil

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