Guest Author - Christine Blachford
Thereís been plenty of speculation surrounding the future of current BMW driver Nick Heidfeld. Heís shown very impressive form this season, and a mature head during some tough battles. Heís also managed to amass 42 points and two podiums, and although he is well out of the championship battle, thereís no denying that heís been a constant presence at the front of the grid.
BMW were bound to want to keep hold of him, but given his successful start to the season, and the possibility of a drive at a more successful team, there were questions being asked about Heidfeldís desire to sign for the team again.
Especially with the recent unpleasantness observed within the McLaren team, it seemed likely that opportunities might arise within the top two teams. Kimi Raikkonen is struggling to fit in at Ferrari, Alonso is definitely not finding his feet at McLaren, so it was possible that there could be a total switch around at the head of the grid. It looks like this will not be the case, and any questions we might have had, have now all been answered. Heidfeld will definitely drive for BMW in 2008.
Of course, Alonsoís future is still rather shaky!
Alongside Heidfeld, for another year, will be Robert Kubica. He has been outperformed by Heidfeld throughout race weekends, but that doesnít mean heís not doing well. Itís his first full year in Formula 1, and so he is still learning and gaining experience wherever he can and as each race goes by. Itís not fair to solely compare him to his teammate though, he has been consistently faster than many of the other, much more experienced, drivers on the grid, and seems to have a great understanding of how to get the best out of his car. And who can forget how well he handled the enormous accident at Canada?
So BMW look pretty set with their drivers for the season ahead, although they have still to confirm who will be their third and test driver. It was Sebastian Vettel but they released him from his contract early, so he could replace Scott Speed in the Toro Rosso team.
Mario Thiessen, motorsport director of BMW is very happy with the announcement, praising the drivers as having a huge part in making the relatively new BMW team the third best of the championship. Itís very helpful for a team that are trying to establish themselves, to find some stability with the drivers, if only for a couple of years. I will definitely be keeping my eye on BMW for the championship in 2008.