F1: What will the 2006 grid look like?
The 2006 F1 grid is set to look completely different. Not only will there be or reformed teams, (Williams Cosworth, BMW, Midland Toyota) several drivers will also be at different places. Some of the teams are still feverishly looking for the right man on the right spot. Here are the driver speculations for the 2006 season.
At Renault, the driver line-up is expected to remain the same with World Champion Fernando Alonso to partner up with Italian Giancarlo Fisichella. There was a lot to do about Fisico. Rumours were spread that Flavio Briatore wasn’t happy with Fisico’s results and was looking for a new driver.
The Italian Ferrari Team has announced its drivers for next year very early. Michael Schumacher will have a new Brazilian at his side, Felipe Massa. Massa replaces Rubens Barrichello who will driver for the BAR Honda team.
McLaren Mercedes keeps Kimi Raikkonen and Juan Pablo Montoya in the race seats. But what’s for certain is that Raikkonen will have to keep his personal life quiescent because Ron Dennis is fed up with the behaviour of the Finn who has already recieved official warnings.
The Panasonic Toyota Racing Team knows no major chances. Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumacher remain in the two race seats next season. The only big chance is the tyre supplier. Toyota will use Bridgestone tyres next season.
The Williams Team will have to do it without BMW next season. Williams will be named Williams Cosworth next year. Mark Webber will remain in the team but what about the second race seat?
Nick Heidfeld has signed a contract with BMW and so his race seat at Williams is still empty. Antonio Pizzonia, who replaced Heidfeld, and Nico Rosberg are expected to take the second race seat, but who will it be?
BAR Honda has known a real saga round it’s drivers line-up for next season. Rubens Barrichello was signed its contract a while ago but then there was Jenson Button and Buttongate II. After a long period of uncertainty Jenson Button was released from his Williams contract and so he will partner up with the Brazilian.
Red Bull Racing has made a lot of changes. The team has bought the Minardi team and changed from the Cosworth engines to Ferrari engines. David Coulthard remains with the Red Bull Ferrari while Christian Klien will probably team up with the Scot.
The second Red Bull team, the junior team, doesn’t have a name yet. The team is expected to keep the Cosworth engine and Michelin tyres. Scott Speed and Vitatonio Liuzzi are expected to get the race seats in the new team. But nothing is certain for now.
BMW does it without Williams in 2006. Nick Heidfeld is the first driver who has signed a BMW contract. Jacques Villeneuve will probably race on Heidfelds side, but this is still very blurry. Alexander Wurz has also been linked to the team.
The last team for next season is the Midland Toyota Team. The former Jordan team has a number of drivers who are linked to the two races seats. Names as Anthony Davidson, Franck Montagny, Takuma Sato and Tiago Monteiro are linked with the team.
A lot of teams still have a hard job to pick the rigth drivers and suppliers for the 2006 Formula One season. We’ll see who will be on the grid at the first Grand Prix of the season.