2008 Driver Rumours – Part 11 – More Speculations

The 2007 season is over, at least the on track action, and after some short relatively quiet period, the rumour mill is picking up the speed again.

As it has been the case since pretty much the Hungarian GP, Fernando Alonso is in center of everything. The Ferrari connection is pretty much over for a time being at least. If he plans to race next year there seem to be only 3 options left for him – remain at McLaren, return to Renault or grab a seat at Toyota. The McLaren option seems to be out of a question but who knows. Pedro de la Rosa has been giving some hints that this is exactly what may happen in the end. But still there are not too many people that would bet on Alonso to stay put. (But there were not too many people whou would a week ago bet on Kimi to win the title.) The widely expected return to Renault has been downplayed by Alonso himself. When asked by Spanish radio station Cadena Ser whether Renault would be his first choice if he were to leave McLaren, he replied – “Right now I’d say no”. This may be also be the reason for some weird words from Flavio Briatore. Looking around the paddock the only decent (not a top) team with seats and money is Toyota. Why would he want to go to a team where everyone else failed ? Challenge to be the first one to succeed ? Why not, Michael Schumacher also went to Ferrari at the time the team was nowhere near the top…


Pedro de la Rosa has been also mentioned in relation to Prodrive. He said he is not interested and would prefer to stay in McLaren as a test driver. I think he is only saying this knowing that Prodrive is very unlikely to feature on the 2008 F1 grid…

Few names not widely mentioned surfaced in past few days. Christian Klien has his eyes set on F1 drive next year with no desire to continue testing for Honda. He has tested for Spyker already but if Adrian Sutil stays (as he very likely will), the competions for the second seat even at Spyker, sorry, Force India team will be fierce. Two Indian drivers Chandhok and Karthikeyan have their eyes set on the race seat here, Roldan Rodriguez also has been mentioned and he himself says he sees his chances for F1 drive at 80% (not specifically mentioning Force India but this is the only team he has been conencted with and tested for). And there also is the ever confident Ralf Schumacher…

Vitaliy Petrov on the other hand claims, he is not interested in teams like Super Aguri, Spyker or Toro Rosso. He confirmed he received offers from these teams but he does not want to race for an outsider – “I don’t want to hurry and don’t think it’s a good idea to sign a contract with one of the outsiders. If the team doesn’t show results, there will be no interest towards the team nor to its driver.” Well, he may be right but then, look at Fernando Alonso – he started with Minardi and where did he get from there …

Heikki Kovalainen would enjoy racing for McLaren if the swap with Alonso works out, but he made it clear that at the moment these are so far only speculations. At the same time he did say – “But honestly, we have been talking to many teams and all I can say is I have a contract with Renault until the end of the year. We have to wait and see what the other guys do.” Many teams he said …

Nico Rosberg is the other guy still connected with a move to McLaren. Williams on the other hand may be the direction Vitantonio Liuzzi may be taking, but who know. Honestly – I hope he goes there and gets the chance to showcase his talent. I believe he is much better driver than he is getting credit for.

There is a question mark over future of few drivers that already have contracts for 2008. Rubens Barrichello future with Honda has been questioned. I hope he stays and gets a chance to drive a good Honda car next year. But if he goes, that would very likely mark the end of his F1 career. I do not see a seat for him. Jarno Trulli has been another surprise addition to the drivers in doubt for 2008. Glock and Nakajima are on Toyota’s radar, not to mention Alonso…

No news on Giancarlo Fisichella. He is the one that should hope for the quick resolution of Alonso’s future. The longer he stays in limbo, the less time and chance for him to secure F1 driver for 2008. I see the only option for him to be Williams if both their 2007 drivers leave. But there is Liuzzi and also Nakajima if he does not get the drive with Toyota. After the impressive Brazilian race he sure would fancy his chances.

According to the deadline declared by Ron Dennis, we have about a week or so to lear about the future of Fernando Alonso. Until then, all that is sure about the 2008 season is the calendar …

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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

Archives

2010 Mercedes GP F1 Merchandise