While it has been widely assumed that Nico Rosberg already has a new McLaren contract in his coveralls pocket, according to Rosberg nothing has been finalized.
Rosberg recently indicated to the press that he’s still in negotiations with an unnamed team (presumably McLaren) for next year. Rosberg also said that he has several alternate options should the preferred deal not pan out.
Frank Williams has made no secret of the fact that he would love to renew his option on young German, but Rosberg obviously has his eyes set on greener pastures. While Williams has made a leap up the grid this year, they’re still facing a performance ceiling compared to some of the larger teams.
Every driver has a limited window in which to make his mark, and presumably Rosberg, having served out an impressive apprenticeship at Williams, will now be anxious to move to a team that will give him the opportunity to fight for podiums and wins on a regular basis.
Should Rosberg end up at McLaren, he would probably want some assurance that he wouldn’t end up being Lewis Hamilton’s de facto number two. McLaren have always paid lip service to giving their drivers equal status, but in the event it hasn’t always worked out that way. Former team boss Ron Dennis had a habit of letting his favoritism show.
Rosberg claims he’s not intimidated at the prospect of partnering current world champion Hamilton, pointing out that they’ve been team mates once before. The previous Hamilton-Rosberg lineup, however, occurred during their karting days nearly a decade ago.
It has also been reported that Brawn is interested in Rosberg’s services, and team head Ross Brawn has been coy about his 2010 lineup. Earlier in the year, it was assumed that Reubens Barrichello had been hired for a limited one year deal, and would likely be replaced next year. However, with team mate Button’s recent slump in form, and Barrichello’s resurgence, the logic of that scenario is less convincing. If Barrichello stays put at Brawn, that would take Brawn out of the hunt. With BMW out of the picture entirely for 2010, Rosberg’s best options would seem to be either McLaren or Williams.