This is the first 2009 drivers posts that does not have rumours only. One 2009 F1 seat was confirmed last week – Mark Webber’s contract with Red Bull was extended for another year. He will however have new team mate following David Coulthard’s retirement announcement. Sebastian Vettel is everybody’s candidate …
There are reports that Toyota will confirm their current drivers Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock for next season. It hasn’t happened yet though. This would mean that Kazuki Nakajima may stay with Williams for a while longer.
Same as last year a lot seems to depend on the next move by Fernando Alonso. He is not planning to make any announcements before Italian Grand Prix in September and some teams may wait for his situation to clear up before making any moves.
It is unlikely that Rubens Barrichello will be moving to another F1 team, but following his Silverstone performance he still is in a picture for new Honda contract. But whether he gets it or not may depend more on what Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso will be up to. Or will it be Jenson Button making room for Fernando Alonso for the second time ? Ross Brawn is not hiding his desire to have Alonso in Honda one day …
Robert Kubica’s future is becoming a topic. He is the hot property and BMW Sauber will need to decide what they do with the option they have on his services for 2009. Some media connect Kubica’s future with Ferrari but that is a team that does not have an empty seat at the moment .
Ross Brawn has cooled the speculation that Mike Conway may be on his way to Formula 1 with Honda. He went even further with his comments dashing hopes of many current GP2 drivers:
“His win at Monaco did impress a lot of teams but there are only one or two drivers who make it out of GP2 for next season. You almost need to decimate the championship to become part of a Formula One team. You really have got to be quite exceptional to get there, but I wouldn’t turn my back on Mike at Honda though. The difficulty is Formula One is such a high standard and very few drivers make it. I hope he can get there.”
There has been also some new talk of future Formula 1 teams.
According to Mario Theissen several car manufacturers are interested in current F1 direction, especially with introduction of road-relevant technologies like KERS. He however mentioned Audi, Volkswagen and Porsche with some Asian manufacturers likely to follow the suit in the near future. He must know something we don’t because VW and Audi are one company that Porsche is trying to take over, moreover VW are known not to be too keen on F1 entry … Being interested in direction may not mean the same as being interested in entering …
Then there is the Super Aguri auction. GP2 boss Adrian Campos may be looking to buy the assets of the defunct Formula 1 team. Campos and Alejandro Agag were linked with Super Aguri sale ahead of 2008 season and Campos is said to have had talks about the purchase of the assests before the July 31 auction had been announced. Will it be for his F1 memorabilia collection or is he planning to revive the team ?