The great story of this year is not even to the final chapter, and we’re already seeing massive upheaval in the driver ranks for next year. This is a normal occurrence, but there are even more big names on the move than usual. The extraordinary Joe Saward has a good rundown:
The suggestion in Japan was that Renault has now done a deal with Robert Kubica; that Nico Rosberg will move to Brawn GP with Mercedes-Benz behind him. Rubens Barrichello is expected to move to Williams and if he wins the World Championship would take the champion’s number 1 with him. The team is expected to name Nico Hulkenberg as its second driver, leaving Kazuki Nakajima out of work. He will probably get a ride with Toyota, if the team survives. Toyota has released Jarno Trulli and the word is that the Italian veteran will probably end up at the new Team Lotus, as he enjoys a good relationship with the new team’s chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne. Toyota has not taken up Timo Glock’s option. . .
Plus, it’s starting to look like Kimi will go back to McLaren. Got that? And today, Renault has confirmed my man Kubica for next year. I like to see him as a confirmed ‘number one’, which will help his development and chances for more success and race victories. I do, however, worry about Renault bringing itself out of the scandal and dishonor of the Singapore ’08 fiasco. I also hop they do not make Robert drive around in that Ronald McDonald atrocity of an automobile.
So, the F1 drama will continue. We will see if Brawn can maintain the dominance it asserted in its maiden campaign. We will see if Red Bull can continue to come forward with the advent of the next great German driver. Vettel is truly amazing and still so young, but he will forever be compared to another German who dominated this sport unlike any other athlete in the modern era of competition.
And we will see if Kubica can get into a fast car and if Lewis and Kimi can play nice at a resurgent McLaren. But first we will race the last two races and crown a new champion.
Well, we thought we’d be seeing Michael Schumacher, but with his decision not to race, the temperature has lowered considerably on this, the first race back after Summer holiday. It’ll be interesting to see who has benefitted from the long break. McLaren showed some signs of life last month, even though the team is out of the running for this year’s championship. I’m still liking the push from Red Bull and young Sebastian Vettel (pictured above).
The future of the sport continues to be a bit of a question mark. What will the cars look like next year? Will there be a uniform budget cap? Also, we’re starting to wonder who will be racing where. We known that Massa is out for this race, at least, but will he be back this season, or even next year? BMW has left, but the Sauber team may yet be bailed out, and there’s already talk of Ferrari power. Yet, it is doubtful that a proven Kubica, a proven race winner and up-and-coming young driver, will stay with the team. Where will he be next year? And is Kimi bound for rally racing, leaving F1 altogether?
So, with all these murmurs and rumblings quietly roiling in the background, i think it will be nice to have an actual race to distract us form the mysteries of the future. by this time tomorrow, we’ll know who is on pole for the street course in Valencia.
After seven years in the sport and over 132 races, Australian Mark Webber has won his first ever Formula 1 race at the German Grand Prix. He qualified fastest yesterday for his first ever pole position and today he brought home the bacon. When I started following the sport in depth a few years ago, Webber was thought to be the unluckiest man on the grid, victimized mostly by a substandard ride – but not with today’s Red Bull.
I have not yet seen the race, but from the reports, Webber really dropped the hammer in the last laps before his second pit stop. He would have been light on fuel and sensing his firs victotry was within grasp. Just need to stay cool and drive really fast. In the end, he outpaced his young teammate Sebastian Vettel (driving identical hardware) by nearly ten seconds, and Vettel finished in second place! That’s a strong statement from the 33 year-old Aussie.