Alonso holds the key of the whole driver market

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The whole driver market seems to be waiting for the decision of Fernando Alonso to leave the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Team or not. Only five teams have announced their 2008 driver line-up so far, which leaves a lot of drivers unsure about their future.


The Scuderia Ferrari is one of the teams that will race with the same driver pair as this season. 2008 will be the third year for Felipe Massa with the red team. The Brazilian had the chance to get to know the team and the car in 2006 when he was racing side-by-side with seven times World Champion, Michael Schumacher, and benefited from this in the early stages of the 2007 season.

Kimi Raikkonen, the new kid on the block at Ferrari, has been given the difficult job to let the Tifosi forget about Schumacher. In the beginning of the season, Raikkonen had some problems adjusting to his new team and new car, but this was soon forgotten as he won the opening race at Australia. The reliability problems he suffered at Spain and Germany may have cost him the title, but we're convinced that, with Ferrari, the 'Iceman' can win his first Championship title.


McLaren has fallen from heaven into hell this season. As if personal problems between Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso were not enough, the McLaren spy case came on hand. It has overshadowed the good results of the team on track. As a result of the troubled relations within the team, Fernando Alonso's lawyers are at the moment looking at the Spaniard's options to break his contract with McLaren. The double World Champion has been linked with his former outfit, Renault. Still, with all the drama going on, Alonso has a good chance to win his third consecutive title. As the title race heats up with only three races to go, Fernando's experience could pay dividends.

Even if Lewis Hamilton fails to win the title, there is no question that he's the star of the season. The rookie driver finished his first nine Grands Prix on the podium and already won 3 races. The big test for Hamilton is yet still to come as the battle for the 2007 championship crown is reaching its climax. As protégé of Ron Dennis, Hamilton has his contract for 2008 in the pocket, but who'll be his team mate remains a big mystery.

BMW Sauber

The BMW Sauber F1 Team has already had a great 2007 season. In only its second year in F1, the team is third in the standings and moved up to second after the exclusion of McLaren. Both Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica have been given a new contract for the 2008 season.

It's Nick Heidfeld's second year with BMW Sauber and he has done a great job so far bringing home points. The highlight of 'Quick Nick's season so far has been his second place in Canada. Heidfeld can play the card of the experienced driver, but his youthful team mate Robert Kubica is putting down strong performances as well. The two BMW drivers are currently fighting for place 5 in the Championship.


After winning the Constructor Championship twice with Fernando Alonso, the team had a bad start of the season. The switch from Michelin to Bridgestone tyres were a real handicap for the French Team, who recovered during the first half of the season. Especially Heikki Kovalainen showed his good form as he outpaced team mate Giancarlo Fisichella during the last races. After his shaky start of the season, the Finn proved he can perform under pressure and has made huge progress. If you put him in the right car, this youngster will definitely be a title contender. For this reason, it is to believe that Kovalainen will be offered a contract for 2008.

Team mate Giancarlo Fisichella expected that he would be the number 1 driver of Renault this season after the departure of Alonso. In the first races of the season, Fisico was noticeable faster than his young team mate, but after his fourth place at Monaco, the Roman came under increasing pressure from Kovalainen. Giancarlo's position at Renault has become less and less certain as Fernando Alonso might return after a year at McLaren and Nelson Piquet Jr. is in the waiting-room for a race seat.


The most wanted race seat in Formula One is the seat of Ralf Schumacher at Toyota. After coming out of his brother's shadow, Ralf still can't make it happen at the Japanese team. His position has been called into question for a while now as he is outpaced by his team mate, Jarno Trulli, too often. Ralf searched for a seat with Toro Rosso, but the Scuderia decided to sign Sebastian Bourdais instead. This might be the final year of the youngest of the Schumacher brothers in F1. Ralf is only a shadow of the driver who won races for Williams a few years ago.

Although Toyota is struggling, Jarno Trulli showed his loyalty to the team by signing a new contract for 2008. Trulli is still considered as one of the most experienced drivers in the field and if he would be given a quick and reliable car, he would be capable of getting on the podium several times a year. Hopefully for the sympathetic Italian, Toyota will provide him with a more competitive car next season.


After finishing the 2006 season in fourth place, the Honda Racing F1 Team has a season to soon forget this year. The environmental livery can not disguise that the RA107 isn't a good car. The hiring of new technical staff should improve the performance of the Japanese team that will still count on Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello to collect the points.


The AT&T Williams F1 Team is fighting with Red Bull for the 4th place in the championship and seems to be winning, but if Frank Williams can hold on to his star driver Nico Rosberg remains a question mark. The son of former Champion, Keke Rosberg, has generally outperformed his team mate, Alexander Wurz, and this didn't stay unnoticed by the big teams. The young german has been linked with McLaren several times, although Frank Williams keeps declaring that he's not for sale.

Alexander Wurz isn't likely to keep his job with Williams as Kazuki Nakajima is in the waiting room for an F1 seat. Also Nelson Piquet Jr.'s name has been dropped. Still, Wurz hasn't done a bad job this year as he finished 3rd in Canada and the engineers are satisfied with the feedback and data he provides them.

Red Bull Racing

The Adrian Newey designed car was expected to be a huge evolution for Red Bull Racing. While the car is a good midfield runner amongst Renault and Toyota, its big problem is the lack of reliability of the seamless shift gearbox. In the light of the two-race gearbox rule of next year this may provide the team with an additional problem. Still the team had his highlights: in Germany, Mark Webber secured a third place while team mate David Coulthard finished in fifth position.

David Coulthard may be the oldest man on the grid, but he remains as ambitious ever. Coulthard became a key part of the Red Bull Racing Team and this was rewarded with a new contract for 2008.

Team mate Mark Webber had a rather frustrating first year at Red Bull because of the reliability problems. Just like Coulthard he got a contract for 2008 and we can expect nice things from the Aussie if Red Bull is able to resolve their problems.

Toro Rosso

In the section of performance there isn't much to say about Toro Rosso. The STR2 is definitely a major step forward for the team, but just like with big brother Red Bull, the reliability is the biggest problem. In the driver department there is more to discuss: after announcing Liuzzi and Speed as 2007 race drivers very late, the team decided to fire the American just before the Hungarian Grand Prix.

At Hungaroring, Speed was replaced by Sebastian Vettel. The youngster was leading the World Series by Renault when he got the opportunity to race for Toro Rosso. Soon after his first race for the Faenza based team, he signed a contract for 2008. He'll be joined by Champ Car Champion Sebastian Bourdais.

Vitantonio Liuzzi's season has been marked by crashes caused by problems with the car and retirements with again reliability problems. The Italian will have to look for a new team if he still wants to race in F1 in 2008, but the seats available are limited.

Super Aguri

After being caught in the customer car row, Super Aguri was able to collect 4 Championship points. Takuma Sato has a contract for 2008, but team mate Anthony Davidson is still not sure about his future. The team would love to keep the talented Briton but it is possible that they have to opt for a paying driver as they are in money problems after SS United failed to pay there contributions.

Spyker F1

After a slow start of the season, the coming of the new B-spec car has proved to be a major step ahead for the team. Adrian Sutil, the rookie driver of the team, has had his share of bad luck this season, but his performance at Spa-Francorchamps showed the true potential of the young driver. Although the German has a long-term contract with the team, he has been in talks with Williams and Toyota.

At Hungary, Sutil was joined by Sakon Yamamoto. It appears that the Japanese driver will be replaced by Roldan Rodriguez in 2008. Rodriguez was announced as test driver during the winter testing period, but with many sponsor millions at his disposal, it is likely that the current GP2 driver will move up to the pinnacle of motorsport.