JULY 31, 2006
Red Bull drivers in 2007
Our spies at Red Bull tell us that the Austrian drinks company has signed deals with all four of its current drivers for the 2007 season. There is still some work to be done with the test drivers. The key point of interest therefore is which driver will be in which car and while the rumours in recent months have been that Tonio Liuzzi will be joining David Coulthard at Red Bull Racing, the decision to keep Austria's Christian Klien - if confirmed - will be a surprise as Klien has not done a startling job this year. The fact that Klien went so well in Germany may be linked to the fact that he has recovered a little of his confidence, knowing that he has a job next year.
The decision over the drivers is now based more than anything on the engine deals under discussion and the signs are that Scuderia Toro Rosso will use Ferrari engines in 2007 and Red Bull Racing will have Renaults. This is yet to be confirmed but the teams are under pressure to make quick decisions as time is now running short, particularly if the design team at Milton Keynes is going to get Renault engines for the Red Bull RB3.
The rumours about Red Bull drivers are interesting as this would seem to suggest that the Austrians do not want outside drivers coming into the team because of their links with engine manufacturers. This might create a problem for Heikki Kovalainen as he is going to struggle to find a seat in F1 if he does not get the empty seat at Renault. This is actually more of a problem for Renault as Kovalainen is believed to have a deal that means that Renault has to give him an F1 drive in 2007.
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