2009 Formula 1 Drivers Rumours – Fourth Edition

It has been a bit quiet on the rumour front since the third edition but but still not a total radio silence. And surprise surprise, Sato has been talked about again.

This time not in connection with the “future Honda North America Team” but an existing one – Force India. The rumour has it, as Swiss publication Motorsport Aktuell reports, Force India F1 may be thinking about changing their engine supplier. Some meetings are reported to have taken place in Montreal between Force India and Honda. While Force India have a contract with Ferrari at the moment, the sweetener that allegedly makes Honda deal more attractive is inclusion of Honda’s KERS system in the package. After collapse of Super Aguri Honda currently do not not supply customer engines to another F1 team. The Honda engine / KERS package would come at a discount (the rumoured sum is EUR10 mil a year less than what Force India pays to Ferrari) under condition that Force India would also take care of Honda’s headache and give a race seat to ex-Jordan/Honda, ex-BAR/Honda and ex-Super Aguri/Honda driver Takuma Sato. Sounds to me like pay driver deal on offer … I do not know why but this does not feel like a deal Mallya would do …

The other rumour connects Bruno Senna (currently 2nd in GP2) with BMW Sauber.

German media report that BMW Sauber are in “intensive talks” with Bruno Senna about his involvement in F1 next year. Both test or race driver seats are allegedly being discussed. Sport Bild reported that talks between Gerhard Berger (a friend of Bruno’s late uncle Ayrton Senna) and BMW-Sauber boss Mario Theissen already took place last week in Magny Cours. Theissen and Berger also used to work together as BMW Motorsports directors …

The reports go on further saying that “Senna is determined to get a test and then BMW will decide.” The same magazine also said that Red Bull, Toro Rosso and Williams may be interested in Senna. But if that is the case, why would Berger, the current Toro Rosso boss, go to BMW to look for a seat for Senna … The Senna F1 connection however does not end there. The Spanish bank Santander, Senna’s personal backer, is one of McLaren sponsors.

Staying with current GP2 drivers –  Former (2007) Spyker F1 test driver, Adrian Valles is said to be looking for a way to return to F1 action. The Spanish driver is reportedly in talks with “a British based F1 team”. There are 6 F1 teams based in Britain, but according to El Mundo (link in Spanish, but Google can translate) Williams and Red Bull are those considered (or considering ?). Valles is from Valencia and it looks like he would like be on his hometown F1 race grid in 2009 …

Photos: Super Aguri F1, iSport

5 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Black ZeddNo Gravatar says:

    Not exactky the end of pay drivers though..

    Thee clock definitely is ticking against Heidfield..I think he’s definitely out next season..

    Black Zedds last blog post..What’s Up With Today’s Employee Titles?

  2. Racer XNo Gravatar says:

    did anyone mention Karan Chandok ???

  3. nikhilNo Gravatar says:

    karan chandok has shown hyat he is more compitative.At some points he has driven more better than b senna in gp2. he always puts a preassure on the driver who is in front of him. dont u think he should be given the same amount of chances as offered to b senna or there is any sort of influence going on during the selection process by any of the f1 car team….

    • F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

      well, what I think is rather irrelevant, important is what the people with vacancies in their F1 teams think. breaking into F1 is not only about skills but also about connections, backgroung and backing. I think Vijay Mallya did not do Chandhok any favor by publicly stating last winter that he can’t see any Indian driver ready for F1 … And his opinion on Chandhok hasn’t changed yet, althoug over the weekend Mallya stated he would like to take Chandhok on as a test driver for Force India:

      “I would love to give Karun a go as a test driver first. The race seat I think he is a year away from. I need to see him winning GP2 consistently, not an odd one here and there.

      “He has it in him to do it and when he does it, sure I would love to have an Indian driver in the car if I could. But at the end of the day, on the one hand I cannot be encouraging the team’s performance and then doing something that might compromise the result.

      “I don’t believe that Karun is there yet. I’m not saying he won’t get there. I am hoping he will.”

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