Mercedes, BMW eye Rosberg, Ferrari Vettel? UPDATE #7 See related news item.
08/27/09 (GMM) Williams has recognized the likelihood of losing Nico Rosberg to a rival formula one team at the end of the season.
The 24-year-old began his grand prix career with the British outfit in 2006 but is tipped to switch to McLaren-Mercedes for next year.
"We would gladly keep Nico, but he will probably take another option," Williams co-owner and engineering chief Patrick Head is quoted as saying by Germany's Auto Bild Motorsport.
German-born Rosberg, the son of 1982 world champion Keke Rosberg of Finland, has scored all of the Grove based team's 29.5 points so far this season.07/21/09 (GMM) The signs are growing that Nico Rosberg is set to move from Williams to the Mercedes-powered McLaren team at the end of 2009.
Mercedes competition boss Norbert Haug speaks in ever more flattering tones about the 24-year-old, who is openly assessing his options at the end of his current contract.
He admits he is keen to see a compatriot at the wheel of the so-called 'silver arrows', and McLaren figures have so far been non-committal when asked about Finn Heikki Kovalainen's chances of remaining at the team beyond this season.
"We must set ourselves up to win races and championships, and if this can be done with a German driver, all the better," Haug said in an interview with the SID news agency.
He admits that recent efforts have been made to unite the three-pointed Mercedes star with a German.
"In the past ten years we tried with Michael Schumacher, Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel," said Haug, who has said in the past that only contractual hurdles thwarted deals being done with the latter two.
Rosberg, however, is a free agent for 2010, and Haug said in the interview that since debuting in 2006 the driver has "earned a formula one ritterschlag (knighthood)".
Haug said the team is currently contemplating its next driver lineup but would prefer not to speak about those musings in the media.
"Perhaps our drivers will remain the same, perhaps they will change," he admitted. "At the moment I don't think there is large time pressure. It can be decided in the next couple of months."06/18/09 (GMM) Nico Rosberg on Thursday would not comment on speculation he has had talks with BMW-Sauber about joining the German squad in 2010.
After four years at Williams, the 23-year-old has also been linked with a switch to McLaren-Mercedes, but for now has delayed his decision about next season amid the sport's political uncertainty.
Asked by reporters at Silverstone what he had to say about the BMW rumors, the German replied: "Nothing at all. All I will say is that it is an interesting team."
He declined to say if talks with the Mario Theissen-led outfit have been held.
The political situation aside, selecting a team for 2010 based on likely performance is problematic. If budgets plummet with an annual cap, Rosberg admits he might be best placed to stay with his current Grove based team.
He pointed out that he genuinely outpaced Ferrari in Turkey two weeks ago, snapped at the heels of Toyota, and has been in the 'Q3' session at every race so far in 2009.
Rosberg also thinks Williams is well placed to prosper if all the teams need to drastically cut costs.
"If the budget cap comes in it will help Williams a lot -- because they're used to a low budget, not that low but somewhere much closer to that level than other teams," said Rosberg.
"So it will be a bit more of a mess for other teams to reduce their budgets by such a large amount, I think," he added.06/06/09 (GMM) For two young Germans on the formula one grid, the future looms large.
Off the back of constant speculation linking him with McLaren next year, current Williams driver Nico Rosberg has finally admitted he may soon steer a Mercedes-powered car.
The 23-year-old was asked by the Independent newspaper if Lewis Hamilton could be his next teammate. "McLaren are a great team and Lewis and I have known each other for a long time, so I guess, yeah," Rosberg answered.
"I know how I compared to him and it's good to see what he is able to do. I'm not worried about going up against Lewis."
Rosberg's contract at Williams, for whom he debuted in 2006, runs out this year, and he is openly considering his options for 2010.
"It's one of the things in my head, but right now it's such a big mess out there, where the hell are we going? Unbelievable!" he remarked, referring to the sport's political crisis.
"Williams are also a big option for me and we are in discussions," Rosberg added.
Another young star, tipped by many as a favorite for pole and victory in Turkey this weekend, is also the constant subject of speculation: Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel.
So highly rated is the 21-year-old that, even with the lack of real rumors about his next move, observers believe Vettel must be a candidate for Ferrari or another top team.
He told the Abendzeitung newspaper: "My goal is to sit in the best car possible and win races. At the moment I am happy where I am." 06/04/09 (GMM) Nico Rosberg on Thursday admitted he is actively contemplating his alternatives to simply staying at Williams in 2010.
Sixty races ago, the 23-year-old German commenced his formula one career with the famous British team, but his current contract expires at the end of the season.
"I'm looking around because my contract ends at the end of this year," he told reporters in Istanbul.
Days ago, Mercedes' F1 boss Norbert Haug played down reports he is openly hinting at a McLaren seat for Rosberg in 2010.06/02/09 (GMM) Norbert Haug, Mercedes-Benz's F1 boss, has played down reports he is openly hinting at a McLaren seat for German driver Nico Rosberg in 2010.
Rosberg, 23, is out of contract at Williams at the end of the season, as is Lewis Hamilton's current Mercedes-powered teammate Heikki Kovalainen.
Haug was reported in Monaco to have said only a binding contract prevented McLaren from signing Rosberg at the end of 2007, and that he is still "on many teams' lists" for next year.
But on Tuesday the Mercedes motor sport vice-president insisted: "At the beginning of June I am not ready to discuss drivers for the following year.
"Perhaps nothing at all will change, but we are not under time pressure and that's all I am going to say publicly," the 56-year-old added. 05/25/09 (GMM) Norbert Haug, Mercedes-Benz's F1 boss, has admitted interest in seeing his German countryman Nico Rosberg at the wheel of a McLaren.
Rosberg, 23, is out of contract at Williams at the end of the season, and - while happy with the Grove team's progress this year - is openly assessing his options for 2010.
With Lewis Hamilton the darling of the works team and under long-term contract, the seat in question is the one currently occupied by Finn Heikki Kovalainen, who joined McLaren last year to replace Fernando Alonso.
At the same time at the end of 2007, McLaren pushed to hire Rosberg but found the German securely under contract.
"We had to respect it," Haug told spox.com in Monaco. "How things develop, we cannot discuss in public, but we have known Nico long enough and he is a man on the list.
"It is clear that he is on many teams' lists," the German added.