Formula 1 Insight

Silly Season Speculation
The latest rumor to be debunked is that Raikkonen and Rosberg will swap seats for 2008. Sam Michael of Williams has dismissed the idea as stupid and made much of the fact that Rosberg is tied by contract to the team for next year.

Nico Rosberg
Nico Rosberg

I find that interesting, since I have half-jokingly suggested that Kimi would leave Ferrari for Williams at the end of this season, and the matter of Rosberg's contract seems somewhat irrelevant to me. Of course Williams will hang on to Nico - they would be silly to let such an outstanding prospect go. But what of the other seat? Why is that not mentioned?

Poor Alex Wurz is struggling to keep up with his team mate this year, especially in qualifying, and he may well be reaching the end of his F1 racing career. It would make perfect sense to replace him with someone like Raikkonen, who will either spur Rosberg on to greater efforts or show him how it's done. That pairing couldn't lose.

Admittedly, the Frank Williams of the past would be reluctant to pay the kind of money that Raikkonen might ask. But he is unlikely to be paying Rosberg a tremendous amount and the team has good sponsorship now. Add to that the possibility that Toyota might become more involved when they give up on their own team, and the Raikkonen/Rosberg partnership looks much more feasible.

I would love to see it happen, anyway. Apart from proving a wild suggestion of mine to be correct, Kimi seems hopelessly out of place at Ferrari and would be much happier at a team like Williams.

Moving on from Williams, I see that champion rumor merchant, Der Bild, reckons that Ross Brawn will definitely return to Ferrari as team boss in 2008. Pardon my skepticism, but that looks increasingly unlikely to me. Even before the Stepney row, it was clear that Brawn would only consider the team manager's role at Ferrari and that may not be possible, now that Ferrari are beginning to implode into internal politics and interference from on high.

At some stage this year, Jean Todt will be moved up and out of the team, that much has been stated. If I am correct in my assessment that Montezemolo is in the process of "Italianizing" the team, his place will be taken by an Italian, probably Stefano Domenicali. How likely is it that the newly-promoted team boss will happily move over for Brawn a few months later?

No, I think that, when Ross sits down with Ferrari for their little discussion in July, he will find things have become a good deal more complicated than they were when he left the team. There may be a lot of smiling and attempts at a solution but, in the end, Ross will probably be looking for employment elsewhere. And that brings up the question of which team that might be.

My bet is on McLaren.


Alianora La Canta
Both Kimi Raikkonen and Alex Wurz are contracted for 2008, as far as I can tell, so it is difficult enough for me to see how Kimi would leave Ferrari, let alone how he would replace Wurz.

And yes, Der Bild has given the Brawn-to-Ferrari move the kiss of death.
Date Added: 27/06/2007

No harm in dreaming, Alianora. ;)

But it is rumored that Kimi has a performance clause in his contract that may well be the way out for either him or Ferrari. So it's not entirely impossible.

As for Alex, it depends on how much Williams want to keep him, I think. It has been demonstrated too often in the past that contracts tend to be binding more on the drivers than the team bosses...
Date Added: 27/06/2007

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