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Driver Changes

In hot pursuit of my post, Webber Waits, comes the news that his services will not be required at Williams next year. The team have opted for a line up of Nico Rosberg and Alex Wurz, leaving Mark Webber out in the cold.

Alex Wurz

Alex Wurz

Mark is too good a driver to be ignored, however, and it seems he has a good chance to be with Renault, McLaren or Red Bull in 2007. Everything still depends upon where Kimi Raikkonen decides to go and now Michael Schumacher enters the equation too. Rumor suggests that Ross Brawn will be leaving Ferrari at the end of the year, either permanently or on sabbatical. And, if Ross is going, the chances of Michael retiring increase.

All of which leaves Mark Webber waiting to see what happens before deciding between whatever offers he has. Such is the competition for seats in F1 these days that it is possible he might be left with nothing. Perhaps that is the price for being forthright in your views on your team’s prospects.

Another who may be wondering about that today is Jacques Villeneuve. Following the news that he cannot drive in Hungary because he is not fully recovered from an injury sustained in the German race, comes a rumor that he will not be returning to the Sauber BMW team at all. Certainly, Robert Kubica will take his seat in the Hungarian race and, such is the enthusiasm for the Pole’s driving skills, this must hurt Jacques’ chances for next year.

Of course, this may well be groundless speculation emanating from the Polish press but it has to be admitted that the way Jacques withdrew was a little unusual. The team announced that he had advised them that he was not ready to race yet; this was the first indication we’d received that Jacques was injured at all.

Whatever the truth, it does look as though Villeneuve will not be in a Sauber BMW next year. It seems likely that America will gain another F1 refugee instead.

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