Honda website
Honda website

JULY 11, 2004

Webber, Williams, Fisichella and the rest of them

The driver market was on the move again at Silverstone with much ducking and weaving going on in the paddock as the Formula 1 teams try to work out who is going where next year. The latest moves have been triggered by Jarno Trulli's excessive financial demands at Renault and the fact that the Italian made such a mess on the last lap at the French Grand Prix. This seems to have convinced important people within the team that Jarno needs to move on and so he is being pushed towards Toyota, which has offered him a deal to join Ralf Schumacher.

Renault has been pushing to try to convince Mark Webber to give up his desire to join Williams and pair up with Fernando Alonso, but that appears to have failed because Webber's only apparent question about Williams is when rather than if he will move.

Williams is also showing interest in Giancarlo Fisichella and Nick Heidfeld but because Renault needs a replacement for Trulli the team is in hot pursuit of Fisichella. The problem for Flavio Briatore is that Giancarlo has a very peculiar contract with Sauber which allows him to leave next year if he wants to go the Ferrari, Williams or McLaren but does not let him of the deal if he wants to go to Renault. Sauber would therefore need to be paid off by Renault if it wants to get Fisichella. This would be quite helpful for Sauber as it wants a driver of significant talent to replace Fisichella and we hear that one of the targets is likely to be David Coulthard. Another option is Anthony Davidson.

Williams would love to have Webber and Fisichella but this would leave Renault with a problem unless the team wants to go for Heidfeld.