Thursday, 3 November 2011

Rosberg To Ferrari Rumours

Rumours of Nico Rosberg taking Felipe Massa's seat at Ferrari as early as next season are gathering pace in the German media. "Nico was a week before India even in Maranello. Ferrari wants him" the German newspaper Express quotes a confidant of Rosberg.

The obvious sticking point is they are both contracted to their teams for one more year. In Rosberg's situation it is understood his Mercedes contract was a three year with opt-out clauses built into the third year which is next year. The Express talking about Rosberg's Mercedes contract "He is reportedly said to have signed before the 2010 season, a three-year contract - but with clauses that could theoretically allow him to change after two years"

When Rosberg joined Mercedes they were under the "Brawn" name the driver and constructor champions. If "opt-out performance clauses" where on the contract you can be sure they were not met on Mercedes side as they have only been the fourth best team this past two years.

Interesting in a recent interview in Bild Norbert Haug and Ross Brawn are asked about not having officially confirmed Rosberg for next year. Both respond that Nico wants to continue with them and Mercedes with him but the intriguing bit is Haug adds about the importance of a driver not being in the wrong team at the wrong time and that every driver should avoid that mistake. Perhaps a warning to Nico thinking about jumping to Ferrari at the wrong time.

As for Massa's Ferrari contract for next year, just ask Kimi Raikkonen how much that is worth with Ferrari paying the 2007 world champion several million to step aside for Alonso. Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo is understood to be furious with Massa's performance at the Indian grand prix were Felipe managed to hit the kerb twice over the weekend and both times wrecking his car's suspension.

David Coulthard being questioned on ServusTV talks about the likelihood of Rosberg at Ferrari next year. Coulthard answers "In Formula 1, anything's possible, I've learned that in my 17 years."

Coulthard talks about how he, as many others feel Massa hasn't been the same since his life threatening accident in Hungary 2009. "He's a very nice, likeable guy who drives with his heart, but he no longer shows the sort of performance he did before his accident in Hungary. Ferrari probably have no choice but to look for another driver" says DC.

Another twist to the tale is Force India signing their two drivers for next year earlier than expected. The line up is highly likely to be Paul Di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg. Some expect so Vijay Mallya could command a big transfer fee from Mercedes as Paul Di Resta is their preferred driver to replace Rosberg.

UPDATE 4/11/2011:  Nico Rosberg talking to news agency "DAPD" on Friday has denied visiting Maranello. Rosberg says "This is all nonsense. I was not at Maranello, My dream is to win in the Silver Arrow."Adrian Sutil denied visiting the Williams headquarters but we know almost certainly he did because of the very reliable sources. I am inclined to believe Rosberg here because the rumours originated from the German tabloids which aren't the most reliable for such information.

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