Although the official word from Ferrari and McLaren is that Massa and Hamilton are under contract 2012 and that Webber is very close to signing an extension at Red Bull. None of these team statements are going to stop what could turn out to be one of the most interesting games of driver musical chairs for a number of years.
Just like twelve months ago, Mark Webber is playing down his lack of a contract with Red Bull. Coupled with the new deal penned by his team mate these rumours have gained momentum over the past weeks. With talk of possible contract talks with Renault, Webber now in his sixth year with Red Bull has been comprehensively beaten by Vettel this year. With ongoing doubts about the fitness of Robert Kubica, we could see both Webber and Renault moving quickly to sign a deal.
Who would like to see Vettel and Hamilton together at Red Bull? Yes? Me too! Again these rumours won’t subside after Lewis was seen spending time in the Bed Bull motor home last month. This would be a tremendous coup for the Milton Keynes based team and cementing their place in the elite band of Formula 1 teams.
If this was to happen then who would be up for filling Hamilton’s shoes at McLaren? Today McLaren played host to the FOTA fans forum, the two drivers in attendance was Lewis and Kamui Kobayashi. During the Q and A Kamui said he’d love to drive for Mclaren, given the fact that he’s one of the hottest young talents in Formula 1, maybe he had a sneaky seat fitting while he was there?
The annual driver rumour mill wouldn’t be complete without someone replacing Felipe Massa at Ferrari. It must be like water off of a ducks back now for the 2008 runner up. The official word from Ferrari is that he has one more year on his contract and is going nowhere! So that’s that then, right? Kimi Raikkonen had a year left to run on his contract when the prancing horse team dumped him at the end of the 2009 season so it would be no surprise to me if the same fate awaited Massa come November.
Ferrari has a raft of junior drivers, first in line is Frenchman Jules Bianchi. He is dovetailing his Ferrari duties with a drive in the GP2 feeder series for the Lotus ART team. Worryingly for Ferrari, this year to date he has only produced two points finishes and lies 15th in the standings. They may have to look else where for a replacement, Sergio Perez’s name has been touted around the paddock in recent week, He is impressing many in his first year in F1 showing once again Peter Sauber’s eye for a talented driver.