2010: Who’s Adopting Who?
You’d never think the world of Formula One could get more unexpected than it has been, when voila, Ferrari comes first and last in the last Belgium Grand Prix. Things will get more topsy-turvy next year and with five more races to go on the calendar, the bargaining has begun. Drivers and teams are all planning for the closer-than-you-think horizon of 2010.
Williams seems keen to keep their German driver Nico Rosburg, a man who has clearly been a major asset to the team, sitting in 6th place in driver’s championship points. As Frank Williams said, “He is very much on our list, I would have thought he must be on the McLaren list if they do drop Kovalainen.” After Heikki Kovalainen’s Valencia performance, it doesn’t look likely that McLaren will drop kick the Finn, who missed a podium finish by five seconds.
A major change in the programme will undoubtedly be BMW’s decision to withdraw from F1. This leaves Nick Heidfeld homeless and Robert Kubica getting lucky with a Renault contract.
You may think the only changes Brawn GP would make is hopefully getting cooler driving suits so that they don’t look like track officials, when actually there’s going to be one huge revamp. They’ve managed to secure sponsorship backing for next season, a huge weight off their backs seeing as their Virgin sponsorship ends at the end of the season. “We’ve signed some nice contracts, and those will come out into the open when we launch the car next year, but we will see what happens. There is zero worry on our side,” said Brawn GP CEO, Nick Fry.
A definite “no I promise I’m serious, he’s actually managed to fit into his old driving suite” statement would definitely involve the return of Canadian driver, Jacques Villeneuve. “To get that final few per cent will take a few weeks in the car, but I’m sure I’ve got a good few years left in me at that level. It’s more about being mentally fresh than anything, and after a few years away that has definitely come back.” Once the 1997 Formula One world champion, Villeneuve hasn’t raced F1 since the 2006 season which he ended in a spectacular crash at the German Grand Prix.
Sad news comes from the Ferrari paddock though, as a recent team statement announced that Felipe Massa would definitely not be returning to the track in 2009. This is understandable as Massa is about to undergo surgery that will see a metal plate inserted into his damaged skull. Maybe he’ll pay them to put a carbon fibre one in. I’m sorry, excuse me for that appalling comment. However, we are guaranteed to see the Brazilian’s return next season, now we just have to wait and see who his teammate will be.
Photo credit: Ferrari