Could Rosberg replace Alonso or Ralf? UPDATE #4 (GMM) Rumors that Nico Rosberg could be set to leave Williams at the end of the year gained new momentum in recent days.
It had been reported that the impressive German 22-year-old, who is believed to be under contract to his current Grove based employer also for next year, had been spotted at Toyota's formula one factory in Cologne.
But 'Motorsport Aktuell' insists that Rosberg's visit to Williams' engine supplier was innocent enough.
Rosberg had reportedly been invited to Cologne to give his opinion about the Japanese manufacturer's V8 engine.
Alex Wurz has gone to Cologne for a similar meeting, the Swiss publication added.
Rosberg, meanwhile, travelled to Tokyo this week -- but not for more Toyota meetings. He simply had a raft of sponsor commitments, and wanted to adjust to the Japanese time zone ahead of the grand prix at Fuji.
Teammate Wurz's trip to Japan this year will be stressful for another reason.
"My wife Julia is expecting our third son and he's scheduled to arrive in the days between Japan and China," the Austrian revealed.
"So naturally I'm leaving home with a bit of an uncomfortable feeling."
09/15/07 Nico Rosberg has ruled out the possibility of joining McLaren next season in the event that Fernando Alonso parts company with the team. Speaking to ITV Sport's James Allen, Rosberg insisted that he was committed to Williams for next season.
When asking directly if that meant he was ruling himself out of contention for a potential McLaren seat, Rosberg replied: "I am".
He added that he is extremely pleased with how his season with Williams has gone, and feels that the team is still gaining ground.
"As a team we have made a step forward," Rosberg said.
"The last few races have been a lot better.
"This has been a very positive year for me." 08/25/07 Frank Williams insists that Nico Rosberg has a “fixed contract” to continue driving for his team next season.
Rosberg has shown impressive speed throughout his second season of Formula 1, prompting suggestions that he could interest some of the sport’s top teams with Ferrari and Toyota among those linked to the young German.
Such speculation has intensified in recent weeks after doubts were cast over Fernando Alonso’s future at McLaren beyond the end of 2007, although the Spaniard did play down comments he made in Hungary on Friday by saying he was contracted long-term to the team.
But in the event that the world champion does leave McLaren at the end of the year, Rosberg would be high on the list of possible replacements.
Williams has yet to confirm its driver line-up for 2008, but when asked in Turkey on Friday if he was confident that Rosberg would stay put for a third year, Frank Williams said the team's contract with the young star covers next season.
“Well, I think he knows the value of a fixed contract, most racing drivers do,” Williams said.
“We have a fixed contract with Nico, that is beyond question.” ITV-F1/TV08/23/07 (GMM) Nico Rosberg on Thursday said he is as confident as he can be that he will still be a Williams driver in 2008.
The latest rumors are linking the impressive German with a switch to Toyota; the Japanese manufacturer that supplies Sir Frank Williams' Grove based team with customer engines.
Asked in Istanbul if he was certain he would stay with Williams next year, he told Sport-Informations-Dienst: "That is as certain as things can ever be in F1."
Rosberg insisted that he would readily put himself into a situation where he can begin to win races.
He added: "For the moment I am very content in the team. For a driver nothing can be better, however, than if other teams show interest in you as well."08/13/07 (GMM) The vague future plans of both Fernando Alonso and Nico Rosberg look set to spice up the 'silly season' as formula one rests in the summer break.
Media reports at the weekend said both drivers could be on the move at the end of the season, with Williams' impressive Rosberg, who is 22 and the son of 1982 world champion Keke, possibly filling the McLaren seat of disgruntled reigning world champion Alonso.
The German newspaper Bild am Sonntag said Rosberg to McLaren, a transfer that would be worth millions of dollars to the German's current employer Sir Frank Williams, is currently a "hot rumor" in formula one circles.
Alonso and BMW-Sauber, meanwhile, are tipped to be interested in each other for 2008; sparking the frenzied attention of the 26-year-old's former manager and Renault boss, Flavio Briatore.
The Spanish newspaper Marca confidently reports that the Italian, who is currently holidaying off the coast of Sardinia, plans to personally meet with Alonso at the upcoming Turkish grand prix.
'Marca' said Briatore was planning to pair Nelson Piquet Jr with Heikki Kovalainen for 2008 "until in his motorhome in Hungary he had the unexpected visit of Luis Garcia Abad", who the current McLaren driver's manager, and also Alonso's father Jose.
The trio subsequently met for a second time at the Hungaroring a little over a week ago, the newspaper added.