2008 F1 Drivers Market – Alonso, Ralf Schumacher, Rosberg and Others

While the “big” announcement on Fernando Alonso is now after the Renault ruling expected anytime soon, there were some other interesting developments elsewhere over the past few days.

Fernando Alonso

The Jerez tests were kind of a shoot out for the Force India seat. There are no clear winners yet, but there is one obvious looser – Ralf Schumacher. Even he himself now admits, the Jerez outing might have been his last appearance in Formula 1 car

Unlike Ralf, the other serious candidates – Fisichella, Liuzzi and Klien – did not do themselves too much harm.


With Renault now likely to take Alonso back Fisichella openly expressed ineterst in Force India drive. Not sure what exactly is on Vijay Mallya’s mind, but I would not be surprised to see Fisichella / Sutil line up in Force India in 2008, with Liuzzi as their 3rd driver. No matter what people say about Fisichella’s driving, his experience would bring some valuable development input to the team. Liuzzi on the other hand said few weeks ago that the 3rd driver contract with Force India is now his target. Going for these 2 Mallya would get the experience for a year or 2 with Fisichella, and at the same time he should be able to offer Liuzzi a race drive in 2009. Klien probably would not like this outcome though …

Nico Rosberg just weeks after being confirmed in the 2008 Williams line up has effectively put an end to the McLaren speculations – for now. He extended his contract with Williams till the end of 2009 season.

“I’m now the number one driver in a very good team. Of course I could have imagined myself at McLaren just as I could have imagined being at Ferrari. Every young driver wants to be a in a winning car and to win races. I’m no different. I race for success. But I feel I have to be patient, like most people. There are only a few exceptions, like Lewis, who can have immediate success. Mika Hakkinen had to wait six years for a first win.”

Now I am not sure if this is Nico or his father Keke talking, but these are very sensible words. It still does not mean that he will stay with Williams till the end of 2009 no matter what …

It is getting interestig in McLaren too. Some rumours surfaced over the weekend that the 2nd race seat alongside Lewis Hamilton will go to Pedro de la Rosa. This appointment would make sense. Pedro would not really get in the way of Hamilton and therefor increase Hamilton’s chacnes for the title (if the car performs). It would also help to silence the Spanish sponsors… There is no kidding here, Alonso’r arrival in McLaren had a lot to do with sponsors like Santander and Mutua Madrilena coming on board… Now the guy who was flying Santander colous may end up in colour of ING :-).

The other possibility for McLaren that has been aired during the weekend is signing of a German driver to satisfy Mercedes. But whom ? They do not want Ralf Schumacher, Michael Schumacher keeps insisting he will not return to racing, Vettel and Glock have been signed up by Toro Rosso and Toyota. That would leave only Adrian Sutil or one of the up and coming but inexperienced drivers. Sutil made it clear he is staying with Force India for 2008… Well he can always change his mind, there are many interested in his seat…

As of now, there are only McLaren, Renault, Force India and Super Aguri left without confirmed 2008 line up. If Pedro de la Rosa (or a German driver) gets the McLaren drive and Alonso returns to Renault where would Heikki Kovalainen go ? He will not like racing alongside Alonso (if he indeed goes to Renault). He made it clear he does not want go into the season knowing he is no.2 driver… This makes him 100% uncompatible with Alonso :-).

We may be much smarter once this week is over.

4 Comments Post a Comment
  1. ShaunNo Gravatar says:

    I’d like to see Kovalainen in the McLaren but not sure what chances there are of that happening?

  2. F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

    Kovalainen to McLaren is what was widely expected in case he has to go from Renault… But the situation seems to be a bit tricky now with all the de la Rosa rumours…

  3. Black ZeddNo Gravatar says:

    The best situation for all Mclaren fan would be pedro taking the second seat. I’m too tired with the teammates racing each other last season.

    It could repeat itself should Heiki moves to the team (he won’t accept no.2, right?). Let him stay and fight Alonso at Renault. At least the drama will shift to Renault..So Flavio can have his spotlight back..

  4. F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

    Renault did not let Heikki stay :-) They confirmed Alonso and Piquet today

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