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Raikkonen to McLaren for 2010? (other "driver moves" news included)


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#1 D.M.N.

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 19:44

BBC's Andrew Benson is trying to suggest that McLaren could get Kimi for 2010, and they do actually have a few reasons for suggesting it: http://www.bbc.co.uk...make_a_sho.html

With the political rows that have dominated this Formula 1 season more or less over apart from a few late skirmishes, attention in Valencia has turned to the driver market.

The key move this season is Fernando Alonso's prospective switch to Ferrari. This has not been officially confirmed yet, but it is considered a given. And it will trigger a series of swaps that will significantly change the look of the F1 grid next season.

Among the top teams, only Red Bull are not changing their line-up and there are attractive seats available at Ferrari, McLaren and Brawn.

In the wake of Alonso's move, the key men in the market place are Kimi Raikkonen and Robert Kubica.

Assuming Jenson Button stays at Brawn - which is not 100% certain, but looks very likely - they are the A-listers who will be top of most teams' shopping list.

The driver market is always complicated - but the injury suffered by Felipe Massa has made it more Byzantine than usual this summer.

Ferrari have actually got themselves into a bit of a pickle. Alonso's arrival means they have three of the top drivers in F1 for next season and only two cars to put them in, as both Felipe Massa and Raikkonen are under contract until the end of 2010.

They intended to partner Alonso with Massa, but the Brazilian has a fractured skull following his accident in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Although he is expected to make a full recovery, in terms of living a normal life, it is impossible to know right now whether he will be able to race in F1 again, even if Brawn driver Rubens Barrichello and Massa's race engineer Rob Smedley, probably the two people closest to him in the paddock, are optimistic.

Massa is talking about an emotional return for the Brazilian Grand Prix in October, but many feel that may well be over-optimistic, even allowing for the traditionally astonishing powers of recovery of F1 drivers.

And if Massa cannot drive until after the end of the season - which means he might not be able to do so until January, because of the testing restrictions in December - that makes getting rid of Raikkonen less immediately appealing.

Despite that, it does appear that the Finn will be the one to leave Ferrari, for whom one solution would be to gamble on Massa being fit and, if he isn't, take one of the experienced drivers who may be left standing after the game of musical chairs finishes.

Jarno Trulli looks certain to leave Toyota - whose entire future in F1 may be in doubt - and the futures of Rubens Barrichello, Giancarlo Fisichella and Nick Heidfeld are all up in the air. All would make a more than decent one-year stand-in.

In that eventuality, the question is where Raikkonen will end up.

There are a number of interesting possibilities. His advisors are known to have had talks with Brawn, which interests him, and Toyota, which does not. And another obvious possibility is Renault, who need a top-liner to replace Alonso.

But there is one intriguing possibility that I have not heard discussed on the paddock rumour mill, but could Raikkonen make a shock return to McLaren?

It comes a bit out of left-field and might seem outlandish, but bear with me on it for a moment.

Lewis Hamilton is locked in there until 2012, but the second seat is open. Hamilton's team-mate Heikki Kovalainen is under pressure because of his unconvincing performances in races and there has been talk of Nico Rosberg moving over from Williams.

But, if you were McLaren, why replace one guy who is not as quick as Hamilton with, in Rosberg, another who isn't either but might be more disruptive?

Raikkonen, on the other hand, is well known by McLaren having driven for them from 2002-6, and he is low maintenance - he just gets in the car and drives and couldn't care less who his team-mate is.

Rosberg is known to be wary of facing Hamilton in the same car - he was his team-mate in karting and knows how quick he is - and Kubica has a reputation as hard work and demanding.

Raikkonen is the total opposite. He would not be bothered about the team's focus on Hamilton. He would just do his job and go home - just like he always has.

Not only that, but he left McLaren largely because he fell out with Ron Dennis, but the former boss has no involvement in the F1 team any more.

So a fresh link with Raikkonen could be an appealing idea for McLaren - and vice versa.

And read this quote from team boss Martin Whitmarsh after Sunday's European Grand Prix: "Kimi's really raised his game and all weekend has done a great job and Heikki has always been a fantastic team player and a good asset in our team but his race pace hasn't been good enough."


Of course, all of that might be hugely wide of the mark, in which case Raikkonen will probably end up at Brawn or Renault - at both of which Kubica must be considered a contender.

The Pole has been strongly linked with a move to Williams following BMW's decision to quit F1. But this weekend he has opened negotiations with Brawn, which would surely be a more appealing option considering the two teams' respective performance this season.

It is a difficult decision for Brawn. Given that Raikkonen has been a little off the boil in the last couple of seasons, Kubica is arguably the best driver on the market this season.

But he has a reputation for being disruptive inside a team and Ross Brawn might prefer not to disturb the equanimity of Button, the man who still looks likely to be world champion this year.

On top of that, Kubica is understood to want a one-year contract so he has the ability to move on for 2011 if a better drive becomes available, while Brawn would almost certainly want him to sign for two seasons.

Traditionally, early September is the time the big pieces in the driver market puzzle begin to fall into place. But given the inherent complications, this season it could be a good deal later than that.


Interesting logic. Not sure I'd imagine Lewis and Kimi partnering each other though...

Edited by D.M.N., 23 August 2009 - 19:45.


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#2 potmotr

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 19:45

Never. Going. To. Happen.



#3 Coral

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 19:47

Oh wow, I would so love this to happen. My two favourite drivers in the same team. The very thought of Lewis and Kimi both at McLaren makes my head spin! I don't think it will happen...it would be too good to be true!

#4 craftverk

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 19:48

Andrew Benson :rotfl:

#5 ConsiderAndGo

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 19:49

Andrew Benson :rotfl:


What a joker lol

#6 Born To Perform

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 19:52

Kimi has absolutely no interest in driving for McLaren again. :down:

#7 Anomnader

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 19:55

Kubica, needs to get his head out of the clouds and stop thinking he is bigger then he is, with the way he is playing it he could be out of a drive in 2010 and it would deserved.

#8 Anomnader

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 19:56

Kimi has absolutely no interest in driving for McLaren again. :down:


Oh, when did you last speak to him?

#9 teewoods

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 19:56

Andrew Benson :rotfl:



He should use his own observations "But there is one intriguing possibility that I have not heard discussed on the paddock rumour mill, but could Raikkonen make a shock return to McLaren?"


Andrew there is a reason why you have not heard this because people with common sense know it wont happen. Not if Haug has anything to do with it!

#10 mkay

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 19:58

I'd love it... very much, but it's doubtful.

But he does have a point. His beef WAS with Ron Dennis, not with McLaren itself. He does not mind Lewis, and Whitmarsh (I guess).

Oh, when did you last speak to him?


Come on, we all know Born to Perform is Kimi's agent. :cool: :rotfl:

Edited by mkay, 23 August 2009 - 19:59.


#11 Born To Perform

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 19:59

Oh, when did you last speak to him?

I can't give you an exact date, sorry.

#12 mursuka80

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 19:59

He should use his own observations "But there is one intriguing possibility that I have not heard discussed on the paddock rumour mill, but could Raikkonen make a shock return to McLaren?"


Andrew there is a reason why you have not heard this because people with common sense know it wont happen. Not if Haug has anything to do with it!


Is there some bad blood between Kimi and Haug? This will never happen,but never say never in F1.

#13 hulmerist

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 20:00

i'd love kimi back in a mclaren, i could start cheering for him again

Edited by hulmerist, 23 August 2009 - 20:00.


#14 Anomnader

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 20:01

Is there some bad blood between Kimi and Haug? This will never happen,but never say never in F1.


I didn't know kimi had bad blood between anyone, even ron dennis, they might not have seen eye to eye with kimi leaving but I don't think theres hate there.

#15 primer

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 20:06

If Kimi agreed to drive for free, yes, perhaps Mclaren would give him the second car. But I cannot see Mclaren-Mercedes offering large bags of money to lure Kimi, and Kimi already has a contract with Ferrari. Guranteed income, and if Ferrari break the contract then he still gets paid plus is free to drive for another team.



#16 Menace

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 20:06

I didn't know kimi had bad blood between anyone, even ron dennis, they might not have seen eye to eye with kimi leaving but I don't think theres hate there.



I believe you are correct. I can understand Ron being a little hurt by Kimi's move to Ferrari, but I don't believe there ever was any real "bad blood".

I would love to see Hamilton vs. Kimi in the Mclaren. But I would also love to see Kimi vs. Alonso in the Ferrari! :D

#17 Just waiting

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 20:06

I didn't know kimi had bad blood between anyone, even ron dennis, they might not have seen eye to eye with kimi leaving but I don't think theres hate there.

No, i think it has to do with the desire to see a german, psuedo or otherwise in the second mac.
Sutil probably has a better chance than Kimi......for that one reason and no other reason, even though it might be as a "gerwoman"....

surprized vettel was not more heavily recruited by haug....

#18 Menace

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 20:07

If Kimi agreed to drive for free, yes, perhaps Mclaren would give him the second car.


:rotfl:

You really are one funny guy...

#19 MaxFan1

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 20:07

But he does have a point. His beef WAS with Ron Dennis, not with McLaren itself. He does not mind Lewis, and Whitmarsh (I guess).


Why would he have beef with Dennis when he favoured Kimi against DC and JPM?

I personally wouldn't want Kimi back. Why should we let someone who left the team back when there are plenty of other talent out there.

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#20 airwise

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 20:09

surprized vettel was not more heavily recruited by haug....


I think the inference (by Vettel himself) that he was courted by both Ferrari and Mclaren (as a team mate to either Alonso or Hamilton), yet chose to stay at Red Bull, says a lot about the young German.

I can't see for the life of me why Raikkonen would want to revisit old ground - he doesn't seem to be that kind of guy.

Edited by airwise, 23 August 2009 - 20:12.


#21 MaxFan1

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 20:11

I think the inference (by Vettel himself) that he was courted by both Ferrari and Mclaren (as a team mate to either Alonso or Hamilton), yet chose to stay at Red Bull, says a lot about the young German.

And he may well regret it.

#22 potmotr

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 20:12

Anyone else getting tired by the zillion driver move threads which have sprung up this weekend?

Shouldn't they all go in "2010 Silly Season"?

#23 mkay

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 20:14

And he may well regret it.


Exactly.

To be honest, I think he will regret it.

Newey's curse is hitting him at full intensity this season and this is only a start. He will follow the same path as Raikkonen, from 2003 to 2005. Fast, but the car will fail him. Furthermore, there is no guarantee Red Bull will be a top car next season (but the odds are better than for Brawn GP).

#24 teewoods

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 20:17

I think the inference (by Vettel himself) that he was courted by both Ferrari and Mclaren (as a team mate to either Alonso or Hamilton), yet chose to stay at Red Bull, says a lot about the young German.



b.s! The only driver Ferrari have courted is Alonso. Anything about Vettel and Ferrari are just standard e-rumours. Bernie wants his new schumi in Ferrari and Vettel openly expressed his dream to drive for Ferrari but never the other way round.

#25 Juan Kerr

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 20:19

Raikkonen is retiring probably and going to the Fiat rally program but he must be intrigued at the thought of racing with full fuel.

#26 mstar

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 20:29

well according to gazzetta della sport my friend reads Kimi has told his management he has no interest being in a midfield team, if there is no top teams he will not do F1 to make numbers. His preference is to stay at ferrari, he is not 100% convinced with brawn/renault being condenders in 2010. So if anything its probbaly kimis management pushing for the next best team -Mclaren so maybe benson is right.

#27 Clatter

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 20:48

Anyone else getting tired by the zillion driver move threads which have sprung up this weekend?

Shouldn't they all go in "2010 Silly Season"?


I agree. It's getting ridiculous.

#28 engel

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 20:53

The most "credible" rumor I 've heard regarding Kimi's 010 drive should the Alonso thing happen is the Toyota one ... McLaren imo is pretty impossible. As is rallying yada yada yada. But yeah, silly season discussion should be limited to the silly season thread, board is bloated enough as it is

#29 PNSD

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 20:59

Most of us here may agree that Kimi has not really be the same since Mclaren.

At Mclaren we witnessed stunning race drives with stunning qualifying laps (Silverstone 04) and twice coming close to a championship, only to be let down by reliability. Reliability has cleared up and the Mercedes unit is probably the best engine on the grid. With Ron gone, a quick reliable car I reckon Kimi if offered the drive will consider it very carefully!

#30 Raziel

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 21:00

Most of us here may agree that Kimi has not really be the same since Mclaren.

At Mclaren we witnessed stunning race drives with stunning qualifying laps (Silverstone 04) and twice coming close to a championship, only to be let down by reliability. Reliability has cleared up and the Mercedes unit is probably the best engine on the grid. With Ron gone, a quick reliable car I reckon Kimi if offered the drive will consider it very carefully!


I agree :)


#31 race

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 21:06

I'd really like him to go back there because somehow McLaren (the car or the team) suited him better than Ferrari, even though he says it's more fun at Ferrari. Unfortunately I don't see that happening unless Ferrari breaks the contract, which given Massa's condition is not likely at this point.

#32 Lazy Prodigy

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 21:06

Kimi has absolutely no interest in driving for McLaren again. :down:

You never know. I think that now Ron Dennis is gone things might change. Kimi and Ron never got along. Id love to see Kimi back.

#33 mkay

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 21:07

You never know. I think that now Ron Dennis is gone things might change. Kimi and Ron never got along. Id love to see Kimi back.


Proof?

#34 robefc

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 21:11

Proof?


I would have thought that kimi would jump at the chance unless

a) he thought another team was likely to be more competitive than mclaren next year
b) he just can't stand the corporate demands of mclaren.

Assuming of course that he doesn't stay at ferrari

#35 MaxFan1

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 21:13

You never know. I think that now Ron Dennis is gone things might change. Kimi and Ron never got along. Id love to see Kimi back.


Kimi was Rons favourite. He gave Kimi all the support against JPM and DC. I would hate to see Kimi back. He took everything from McLaren and just left like that.



#36 Atreiu

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 21:14

[i wish]
All is forgiven, welcome home Raikkonen!
:)
[/i wish]

#37 MaxFan1

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 21:15

[i wish]
All is forgiven, welcome home Raikkonen!
:)
[/i wish]

Would hate to have Kimi fans back at McLaren. They're so obnoxious.

#38 Lazy Prodigy

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 21:15

Proof?

http://kimi-raikkone...ly-ferrari.html

Kimi was Rons favourite. He gave Kimi all the support against JPM and DC. I would hate to see Kimi back. He took everything from McLaren and just left like that.

One could argue that McLaren took from him in 03 and 05.

#39 Born To Perform

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 21:16

You never know.

I do though. :p

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#40 undersquare

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 21:17

I think the inference (by Vettel himself) that he was courted by both Ferrari and Mclaren (as a team mate to either Alonso or Hamilton), yet chose to stay at Red Bull, says a lot about the young German.

I can't see for the life of me why Raikkonen would want to revisit old ground - he doesn't seem to be that kind of guy.


Vettel is under contract to RBR, I read, and they exercised their option for 2011/12, he just put a brave face on it. Not that it's a bad place to be.

Kimi could well be fed up with the Ferrari PR stuff and having his car designed for Massa, with MS lurking around. At McLaren he'd have his old RE and a car that suits Lewis, which would be perfect for him too. If he still wants to do F1, that's the best seat for him. For me he's the only driver who can live with Lewis for pace. But we see him smiling a lot more in rallies.

#41 MaxFan1

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 21:18

http://kimi-raikkone...ly-ferrari.html


One could argue that McLaren took from him in 03 and 05.


Had he not flat spotted that tire maybe things would have been different.

#42 BRK

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 21:18

I don't get this 'three top drivers with two cars to put them in thing' that's been doing the rounds-so Alonso's just going to pack his bags and leave for Ferrari and they'd have three drivers on their hand,not knowing what to do next? Surely they're not that dumb. Massa's accident may have thrown them into bit of a fix,but I'm sure the decision would have been made ages ago. (and they'll stick with it)

Raikkonen to McLaren is bizarre and the logic is flawed.He's not the sort that joins a team to play second fiddle,never has,never will.McLaren would know better,so this piece is amusing,at best.

#43 Wouter

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 21:19

Well, Whitmarsh did say, more or less, that McLarens move depended on Alonso's move and the ripples from that, spreading throughout the field. There are 2 major things changing once Alonso's move is official: a free seat at Renault and quite probably a free Raikkonen.

Maybe Rosberg or Kubica are pondering a move to Renault, but it does not seem impossible McLaren would be interested in Raikkonen if he comes fairly cheap, or on a performance-based contract a la Piquet/Benetton.

Edited by Wouter, 23 August 2009 - 21:25.


#44 Mauseri

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 21:22

First I must say the article sounds quite sensible. I still believe Kimi will stay in Ferrari. But if he did leave, I would be least surprised by a return to McLaren.

Rally or Toyota... bla bla bla BS...

Edited by micra_k10, 23 August 2009 - 21:22.


#45 MaxFan1

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 21:25

I doubt McLaren will have him back anyway after all the things he said about them after moving to Ferrari

#46 Lazy Prodigy

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 21:25

Had he not flat spotted that tire maybe things would have been different.

No. Winning at Nurburgring wouldnt have done anything the end result would have still been the same...

Raikkonen to McLaren is bizarre and the logic is flawed.He's not the sort that joins a team to play second fiddle,never has,never will.McLaren would know better,so this piece is amusing,at best.

Well Im pretty sure there is equal treatment at McLaren.


#47 BMW_F1

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 21:30


Didn't kimi badmouth maclaren when he joined ferrari during spygate by saying they used to listen to other team's radio communications?
But I agree, if kimi is indeed leaving ferrari he should consider mclaren now that Ron is no longer there.

#48 BRK

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 21:31

Well Im pretty sure there is equal treatment at McLaren.


But the article appears to be based on the premise that McLaren need a driver that can be as quick as Hamilton and yet not be 'disruptive' and let the team 'focus' on Hamilton.

#49 Wouter

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 21:35

But the article appears to be based on the premise that McLaren need a driver that can be as quick as Hamilton and yet not be 'disruptive' and let the team 'focus' on Hamilton.

Seems a reasonable premise. The thing about KR is, you can expect him to accept that, work with his own engineers (as much as he does that anyway, regardless of teammate and status) and drive the car to a good result anyway. Not getting fazed by having to carry a couple of laps more fuel in qual, that kind of thing, but getting on with it and driving fast in the race (not that fuel will play a role in next years qual, but...). Minimal fuss for maximum result would be very good for McLaren.

Edited by Wouter, 23 August 2009 - 21:35.


#50 Norm

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 21:37

Exactly.

To be honest, I think he will regret it.

Newey's curse is hitting him at full intensity this season and this is only a start. He will follow the same path as Raikkonen, from 2003 to 2005. Fast, but the car will fail him. Furthermore, there is no guarantee Red Bull will be a top car next season (but the odds are better than for Brawn GP).


The Newey Curse? Is this the same one that has seen him win 6 of 10 constructor titles in the 90's. I think Newey cars have also produced 6 driver's titles if I am correct. All totalled I would think Newey cars have won somewhere in the area of maybe 70-75 GP wins... Terrible luck.

As far as Raikkonen's failures go they tended to be more engine related... Are you blaming Newey for those? See Newey is a Designer. Most recently with RB his title has become Technical Director. He oversees the technical develpoment of the car. Not the engine.. never has with any team. This weekends issues for Vettle were once again with the engine. Something Newey has nothing to do with. If you can knock anything Newey does you could say that his suspension and wing designs are not very strong. This is because weight is everything in F1 and to be fast you need to be light. To be reliable you need to sometimes add weight. Adding weight/material to components increases strenght and reliability but slows you down. Newey has always designed with minimal weight and because of this components sometimes break on his cars. The thing is you can be reliable all you want, but if you are too slow who cares? Newey tries to build title winning cars. It may take a bit of time but it's worth it in the end. I'm sure Mansell, Prost, Hill, Villeneuve and Hakkinen are happy about driving Newey's cars.

Newey designed winning cars at Williams for a decade. He designed the cars that allowed Mika to win two titles in a row, after only being with Macca for a year. In 2006 he went to RedBull. He took a chassis that was designed by another designer and was pretty much a pig of a car and managed to develop it into a podium finishing car. (*Coulthard Monaco '06) The 2007 season again showed how talented Newey is. His car was fast but suffered from crash happy drivers and mechanical failures. The first half of the '08 season was a great success, the second half... not so good for Newey...but Neweys other car the Torro Rosso won a race. in 2009 the pieces are starting to fit together. You have to remebr that RedBull is a small team when compared to Fiat or Maccedes...but they have a large budget. It may take Newey and his team a bit longer to get there but once they do they will be dominate, as Newey's title cars generally are. Titles always find Newey and Vettle would have know this. He's a smart guy and I have no doubt that he will one day drive a WCC/WDC Newey design.