DECEMBER 19, 2005
And so we wait for a Kimi announcement
The news that Fernando Alonso has signed to drive for McLaren in 2007 is probably just the first of a series of dominos which will fall in the weeks ahead. The implication is that McLaren has signed the World Champion because it needs to replace the man who was fighting him for the World Championship. It could be that the team will line up Raikkonen and Alonso but that would be a difficult deal to put together and the general feeling for some time is that Kimi was off to Ferrari. It seems that Raikkonen would prefer to race against Michael Schumacher - to prove a point - but once again we think it is rather unlikely that Michael and Kimi will line up alongside one another, if only because of the funding necessary to achieve such a driver line-up. There is also the question of Valentino Rossi, who is not running around the Ferrari test track at Fiorano without some purpose to the work. One or two tests might indicate that the motorcycle racer is interested in F1. This many tests indicate that Ferrari is interested in him.
The big loser in all of this is going to be Renault and it will be interesting to see what happens now as the team is not going to be able to sign a big name for 2007 without giving some hint about the longer-term future of the team. One man who may be in line for the Renault drive is Mark Webber, who will come to the end of his Williams contract at the end of the season. He is managed by Flavio Briatore and in the past the Italian has always liked to have one of his own drivers in the team. The other option is that the team will promote Heikki Kovalainen from his new role of test driver.
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