2008 Line-Up (Rumour Mill)

Red_Bull

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Vettel confirmed at STR for '08


Scuderia Toro Rosso's new driver Sebastian Vettel will race for the team throughout 2008, it was confirmed in Hungary on Thursday.

The 20-year-old has been brought in for the rest of this season to replace American Scott Speed who was sacked by the team last week.

Vettel made his debut earlier this season when he stood in for BMW's injured Robert Kubica at the US Grand Prix.

The German, who scored a point for BMW on his debut, has been released from his contract as third driver for the team.

News on his 2008 team-mate, rumoured to be triple Champ Car title-holder Sebastien Bourdais, is expected soon.
Source

Not exactly 'stop the press' material, but finally been confirmed.
 

Devon

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Renault to confirm driver duo next month
04 August 2007

Renault is planning on revealing its 2008 driver line-up around the time of the Italian Grand Prix in mid-September. Team boss Flavio Briatore says he still needs another three to four races to evaluate the performances of Giancarlo Fischella and Heikki Kovalainen before deciding their respective fates.

Neither driver's future at the team is safe with Fischella's one-year extension deal coming to an end at the close of the year and rookie Kovalainen failing to properly cement his place in the team despite a mid-season upturn in form.

One of the pair could possibly be shown the door to make way for Briatore's prot?g? Nelson Piquet Jnr., who has been testing for the team this year and will be eager to gain promotion to racing status in 2008. It has happened twice before in the past five years that Renault has promoted its test driver of one season to race driver - Fernando Alonso in 2003 and Kovalainen in 2008 - suggesting that this might be a favoured policy of the Enstone-based oufit.

When asked about whether Fisichella will be retained for next season, Briatore remained tight-lipped: "I have never bet on anything in my life, so I'm not betting about Fisichella. I don't know. I have three or four races to see what is going on."

After a disastrous debut in Australia, Briatore openly criticised rookie Kovalainen for his poor performance but the Finn has since turned things around with some solid displays.

"We started in a difficult way with a difficult car," Briatore conceded. "But I wanted to see the performance of Heikki as well and then I try to choose the best for my team in the future."

However, Briatore has left it to the drivers to decide for him and says that only the results over the next few races will influence his decision.

He added: "At this moment I am thinking I will decide in September around Monza time, I don't want to decide before. It is only the result that makes me decide yes or no in the future."
Source

I reckon Fisi probably won't be there next year, Kovalainen will probably survive.

Also, Prodrive join F1 next year, anyone have any predictions on who might be in their drivier line up?

Ralf Schumacher? Fisichella? Scott Speed? Albers?

None of the above?
 

HondaF1

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Renault will be Kovi and Piquet Jr. Prodrive will be Paffet and de la Rosa as part of a McLaren deal. Prodrive will also be called Aston Martin F1 and bring back British Racing Green to the sport, and do it proud, unlike Jaguar.
 

Red_Bull

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Prodrive will be Paffet and de la Rosa as part of a McLaren deal. Prodrive will also be called Aston Martin F1 and bring back British Racing Green to the sport, and do it proud, unlike Jaguar.
It isn't really Aston Martin if they run a McLaren chassis - Hang on, weren't we supposed to get an announcement on this after the British Grand Prix?

Paffet might be a good choice, but I feel de la Rosa's talents would be better used by McLaren if they retained him as test driver. He was never really very quick in the Mp4-21.

I may be a bit wide of the mark here, but think we'll see both Fisichella and Kovalainen retained by Renault for next season. Kovalainen hasn't proven himself sufficiently to retain his seat just yet, but neither has he proven that he is a waste of time. Fisichella provides the measuring stick for Renault by contributing a wealth of experience, and the occasional inspired performance. If I was Flav, I'd be trying to get Piquet Jr in at Toro Rosso next to Vettel next season.
 

Necx0

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Apparently Piquet Jnr confirmed for Renault in 2008. My money is on Fisi to go, although I hope he stays in the field. Good consistent driver.

I reckon Paffet and someone from GP2 for Prodrive.
 

HondaF1

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^ It just helps us sort out fact from fiction so then we can give opinions on things that are actually going to happen.
 

HondaF1

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Alonso back to Renault maybe?

Alonso's McLaren future uncertain


Fernando Alonso?s long-term future at McLaren has been thrown into question after speculation grew over the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend that he may look to leave the team at the end of the season.

The double world champion is contracted to the Mercedes-powered squad until the end of the 2008 season but the future length of that partnership now seems uncertain after the Spaniard?s relationship with team-mate Lewis Hamilton reached new levels of tension at the weekend.

Alonso was asked about his future with the team in an interview with the Spanish media following his fourth-place finish in Hungary.

And when asked if it was possible to continue with the current situation at McLaren for the duration of his contract he replied: ?I don?t know?.

The speculation about the 26-year-old led McLaren boss Ron Dennis to answer questions about the Spaniard?s future in his own post-race press briefing.

However the Briton said such speculation is always inevitable and that his team would respect its contracts with both Alonso and Hamilton ? adding that he hoped both drivers would do the same.

"There is an inevitability that these things are rumoured and discussed in other teams," he said.

"We have two drivers who are contracted for several years into the future.

"We will respect our part of that bargain and that part of the situation.

?We hope that the drivers respect theirs because that's what a contract is about."

The rumours surrounding Alonso?s McLaren come after his former team Renault?s engineering director Pat Symonds recently admitted that the world champion squad hoped he would one day return to them.

The Spaniard spent five seasons as a test and then race driver with the Anglo-French squad, winning both of his world titles there and establishing himself as the successor to Michael Schumacher as Formula 1?s pre-eminent driver.

Symonds was asked in an interview in the August issue of F1 Racing magazine if Renault could or would take its former prot?g? back.

"Would we? Yes. Could we? I hope so," Symonds responded.

"He is a damn good driver though and we?d happily have him back.

"I?d love to think that one day he might come back."

Source
 

Devon

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Alonso should join Spyker...

Seriously though, if he leaves McLaren then he is a little cry baby, can't handle stiff competition from his own team mate. You have to work for the championship, don't expect Hamilton/McLaren to hand it to you.
 

Necx0

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Who would replace him is the interesting one?? If Dennis stayed he would probably want another high profile driver. Button could be a good fit being British and reasonably a-political (did I just make up a word??). Hamilton and Massa get along well and Felipe may tire of getting smashed by Kimi.

However if Dennis goes it wouldn't surprise me to see Whitmarsh abandon the "love for all" approach and hire a competent number 2 for Hamilton. Maybe Kovailenen considering Alonso would be at Renault?? Mika mk.2 ??

Discuss!!!
 

Red_Bull

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Seriously though, if he leaves McLaren then he is a little cry baby, can't handle stiff competition from his own team mate. You have to work for the championship, don't expect Hamilton/McLaren to hand it to you.
Exactly right. Where does he think he's going to go?

Still, poses an interesting question in just who would McLaren replace him with? They've said recently that they're unimpressed with most of the current F1 drivers so it could be unlikely they'll recruit from another team.

Dennis does like his Finnish drivers, so Kovalainen may be an option :p

Still, Dennis claims he's going nowhere and I sincerely hope that's the case.
 

Bundesautobahn

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So, who would go where?

McLaren:

Fernando Alonso (Future uncertain, Renault wants him back)
Lewis Hamilton (Doing well, contract for next year as well. Ron D isn't going to let him go that easily.)

Ferrari:

Kimi Raikkonen (Isn't going anywhere)
Felipe Massa (Same story)

Renault:

Giancarlo Fisichella (Future uncertain)
Heikki Kovalainen (Future uncertain)

Hmmmm Kovalainen to McLaren and Alonso back to Renault. Fisichella getting his retirement and ...Webber going to Renault? :p
 

HondaF1

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What about Alonso to Aston Martin/Prodrive next year with McLaren chassis and Mercedes engine?
 

fbc

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Seriously though, if he leaves McLaren then he is a little cry baby, can't handle stiff competition from his own team mate. You have to work for the championship, don't expect Hamilton/McLaren to hand it to you.
Bingo. The tension in the McLaren camp has been created by the drivers - if Alonso now wants to walk that's a pretty bad reflection on his character.
 

HondaF1

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^ If I were Alonso, I'd stay at McLaren. Not allow Hamilton to look at any of his data and blow him away in the championship this year and next year.
 

Red_Bull

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There is no other team capable of satisfying his demands for a championship winning car. Ferrari are full, and BMW and Renault are currently nowhere near looking like contenders in the near future.

He might as well just stay at McLaren, learn how to become a team player and instead of trying to fight the team, he might just find the perfect environment in which to maximise his abilities. McLaren never promised he'd have full un-equalled status and they've given him every opportunity to establish himself. If he leaves at the end of the year, it would be a terrific waste of what could have been an unbeatable combination.
 

Red_Bull

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Or I leave, or Hamilton leaves - Alonso

According to the Spanish newspaper 'Marca', Fernando Alonso is furious with team mate Lewis Hamilton. Alonso was penalised after the Hungarian qualifying session and was stripped off his pole position. According to the team and Alonso, this was the fault of Hamilton, who refused to obey team orders. The double World Champion was penalised and Hamilton started from pole position. It now appears that Alonso has set an ultimatum...

Alonso declared to 'Marca': "The team has to decide: Or I leave McLaren, or Hamilton leaves".

Yesterday in the Hungarian paddock Alonso declared that he wasn't sure if he would respect his three-year contract with McLaren. When he was asked the question he answered: "I don't know".

According to 'Marca',
 
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