Rosberg to BMW or McLaren, Kubica to Ferrari, Heikki to Renault UPDATE #5 See this Hot News item where Nico Rosberg has clarified that he will stay with the Williams team in 2009.
07/17/08 (GMM) Heikki Kovalainen on Thursday played down reports that his McLaren tenure could end at the conclusion of the 2008 season.
This year is only the 26-year-old's first season with the Mercedes-powered team.
But speculation this week, spurred on by comments made by Williams test driver Nico Hulkenberg's manager Willi Weber, suggested he may be part of a seat reshuffle for 2009, involving Nico Rosberg moving up to McLaren.
Weber suggested Kovalainen would in 2009 return to Renault, with whom he made his grand prix debut last year.
"Willi Weber has nothing to do with my management," Kovalainen made clear on Thursday, on the eve of the German grand prix.
"I don't think he knows anything about my contract situation. All I can say is I am happy with my situation and would like to remain (at McLaren) for a long time," he added.07/16/08 (GMM) Willi Weber, most famous for being Michael Schumacher's long time formula one manager, has made a bold prediction about the next move for another highly rated German driver.
The 66-year-old, who currently handles the career of Williams test driver Nico Hulkenberg, reckons Nico Rosberg - who races for the Oxfordshire based British team - will be bound for McLaren at the end of 2008.
Rosberg, 23, is under contract to Williams for 2009, but currently he is refusing to say he will definitely still be driving for the Toyota-powered outfit this time next year.
Weber told Sport Bild: "He has a clause in his contract that Williams can surely not fulfill."
Weber claims that Rosberg will be free to leave Williams if the team fails to finish fourth or better in the 2008 constructors' championship. The team currently lies sixth, nine points behind fourth placed Toyota.
Willi Weber continued: "Rosberg will replace Heikki Kovalainen, who will change back to Renault."07/16/08 (GMM) Nico Rosberg says he wants to win a world championship with Williams, but also does not rule out switching to another team to achieve his ultimate F1 goal.
The German driver, who turned 23 recently, is set to remain at the British team in 2009, but interestingly points out that contracts are no guarantee about the future.
Asked by Germany's Sport Bild if he is 100 per cent sure he will be driving the FW31 next year, Rosberg replied: "I have a contract."
Pressed further, he explained: "It's like in football; take (German player Lukas) Podolski.
"He signed a contract for next season at FC Bayern -- but will he be there?"
Rosberg was strongly linked with Fernando Alonso's vacated McLaren seat for 2008, but ultimately signed a lucrative extension to remain at Williams through to the end of 2009.
Sport Bild asked the driver about the possibility that other teams will again enquire about buying out his contract.
"The first thing would be Frank Williams," Rosberg explained. "I would only begin to think about it if Frank agreed to release me."
He said his "100 per cent" objective is to become world champion.
"If I can't do it with Williams, I just have to go to a team where it is possible."
Rosberg admits he has been disappointed by Grove based Williams' trajectory in the opening half of this season.
"At the start we were looking really good, but we were not able to have the development progress of the top teams," he said.
"I know that next year I will not win the title with Williams, but I do hope for a big step forward.
"With the new regulations, particularly the cutting back of the aerodynamics, it means everyone starts from scratch basically. Without that, I would have my doubts," he said.
Sport Bild said it sounded as if Rosberg sees 2009 as a final chance for Williams to turn around its form.
"You could say that," the German admitted.07/07/08 (GMM) Robert Kubica is still giving nothing away about the identity of the team he will race for in the future.
The 23-year-old Pole, who has been among 2008's outstanding performers and is just two points shy of the championship lead, currently drives for BMW-Sauber.
It is believed the Swiss based German team has a contract option on Kubica for 2009, but boss Mario Theissen does not intend to talk about next year's lineup until an announcement in August.
When asked about the situation by GPWeek, Kubica said: "We will see. I don't know what the future will bring, I don't know where I will be racing, I don't know who will be strong. There are many question marks."
Kubica spent much of his formative career racing and living in Italy, and he does not rule out driving one day for Ferrari.
"I don't know ... maybe. Maybe one day I will have the opportunity to discover it. We will see," he said.06/16/08 (GMM) Seven races into the 2008 championship, F1's annual 'silly season' has found a higher gear.
The latest gossip from Italy is that Nico Rosberg, Williams' German driver who was courted by McLaren at the end of last year, has now triggered the interest of BMW-Sauber.
BMW's existing driver, the young world championship leader Robert Kubica, was asked by the newspaper La Stampa if he endorses the idea of farewelling Nick Heidfeld at the end of 2008.
"For me it wouldn't change anything," the Pole said. "It doesn't matter if it's Nick or it's Nico.
"My teammate is only one of the 19 drivers I have to beat.
"With regards to contracts, this is not my job so I leave it to others."
It has also been suggested recently that Kubica's quick and consistent form this year may even have stirred the interest of Ferrari.
Fascinatingly, the 23-year-old does not deny that it is most drivers' "dream" to move to the Italian squad.
"And if I am not mistaken, in Italy you have the saying, 'things come to those who wait'."