Overheard at the European GP

In the same way that a sudden snap of warm weather at the end of winter can fool flowers into blooming early, so too it seems the unseasonably hot conditions at the Nurburgring fooled the F1 world into thinking it was already time for the “Silly Season." Rumors that usually start in the middle of the summer about who will drive for whom next year were already popping up all over the ‘Ring paddock.'

Nick Heidfeld’s renaissance at Williams has led to suggestions that he will partner Michael Schumacher at Ferrari in 2006, these stories prompted by current Scuderia driver Rubens Barrichello’s refusal to sweep his Monaco row with the world champion under the carpet.

Where would the Brazilian go? A straight swap with Heidfeld is one theory, closely followed by a switch to BAR, which will find itself without Jenson Button, who has a signed contract from Sir Frank Williams in his back pocket for 2006.

This leads us to the question of what engine will power the Williams team in the future. Whispers say that all is not well between the English team and BMW. The German company is reckoned to be buying the Swiss Sauber outfit as Peter Sauber’s supply of Ferrari engines runs out. Apparently BMW motorsport supremo, Mario Theissen wants a new job. “Super Mario," the man with the Groucho Marx moustache, has dreams of being a team boss and his generous employers might just make his dream come true by placing him at the helm of Sauber.

Sir Frank Williams could end up with Toyota engines and, so the paddock jungle drums would have us believe, Bridgestone tires. There is no doubt that the Japanese rubber company would love to have another top team to help with their test program, as currently Ferrari is their only front running team.

Late on Sunday night in Germany, another driver threw his hat into the ring of potential F1 stars of the future: Dan Wheldon became the first Englishman to win the prestigious Indy 500 race since Graham Hill, back in 1966. And while we are on the subject of US racing, well done to Danica Patrick. The 23 year old became the first woman to ever lead the race and eventually finished fourth.

Silliest story from the Nurburgring concerns our very own Tonio Liuzzi (no surprise there then!). Our Italian lothario is expecting a bed to be delivered to his new home in England and asked team boss Christian Horner for a day off testing duties on the grounds he needs to “test" the new bed! Red Bull Racing

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