My prediction for 2009 drivers line up does not expect many changes except some shuffle in Red Bull / Toro Rosso following Coulthard’s retirement and Vettel’s move to Red Bull proper and perhaps some refreshment over in Force India.
After McLaren confirmed Heikki Kovalainen last week Toyota guys also seem to agree with me . Following Timo Glock’s maiden podium the team has announced they intend to keep both their drivers for 2009 season. This does not come as a big surprise. This move by Toyota would very likely also mean that Kazuki Nakajima will continue at Williams.
It however looks like Honda and Renault may be out to spoil my 2009 drivers prediction. Honda are either desperate to get Alonso on board no matter what or confident that their 2009 package will be so good that Alonso will stop dreaming his 2010 Ferrari dream. Ross Brawn gave Honda’s intentions revealing answer to Autosport when asked about the Alonso situation:
“I think any team would want to have a longer term deal – any driver for one year is difficult. But if you have one year and do well, then it becomes two years and three years. It depends how well you do. I am sure the McLaren deal was more than a one-year deal and that didn’t last beyond a year.
Fernando is one of the top drivers in F1. And I think every team apart from one in the pitlane would welcome him. We are no different, but whether it happens, who knows?”
Not what Rubens Barrichello wants to hear unless of course Button’s future plans do not include Honda.
You can follow the 2009 drivers line up development at the 2009 Season page (click here). This page also includes the 2009 F1 race calendar (at this moment provisional).
Photos: Renault / LAT, Honda F1 Racing, Toyota Motor Corp.