Driver Swaps?

It seems everyone is looking to swap teams at the moment with rumours flying around the paddock.

First up is Robert Kubica, currently taking time out to recover from his big Montreal accident. Rumours in the German press suggest that Dietrich Mateschitz from Red Bull is keeping an eye on the Polish driver with some suggesting that Mateschitz and Theissen are already in talks about Kubica’s future. BMW team boss Mario Theissen is said to have been impressed with Sebastien Vettel’s performance in the last Grand Prix when he stood in for Kubica at Indianapolis and is keen to find a full time race seat for the young driver.

One interesting point to note about this rumour is that Vettel is actually jointly contracted between Red Bull and BMW anyway and he wears Red Bull’s colours on his helmet. Kubica has already signed a deal with BMW for 2008 so a straight swap between the two drivers is a credible possibility.

Meanwhile, Frank Williams has denied that he is looking to trade drivers with Flavio Briatore at Renault. In recent weeks, rumours have been circulating that Briatore is trying to offload his rookie, Heikki Kovalainen, to another team. It was claimed that Williams were looking for a multi-million dollar pay-out to Wurz’s contract with Nelson Piquet Jr the favourite to take Kovalainen’s race seat.

Speaking to Austrian newspaper Die Press, Frank Williams has quashed these rumours. “This rumour annoy me particularly,” Williams explained. “It arose from the simple fact that Flavio Briatore very kindly gave me a lift on his private plane and, like so often, a conspiracy theory was born. The whole thing then snowballs and I find myself having to explain whether or not I am going to kick Alex out.

“Alex is safe. He is rock-solid and an unbelievably positive stimulus for every member of the team. He is very strong in the head and charming as well – not to mention fast.”

 In the meantime, Michael Schumacher’s manager and spokesperson have both denied he is on the verge of making a comeback by rejoining Ferrari as a driver. Schumacher is already signed up to the ‘Race of Champions’ at Wembley in December but is apparently not looking to help Ferrari out of their current crisis by hopping back into the cockpit.

“That is absolute rubbish!” manager Willi Weber exclaimed. “There’s absolutely nothing in it,” Schumacher’s spokesperson said. “Michael has absolutely no intention of returning to the cockpit. Michael has definitely not driven this car. He is completely contented with his life at present. He has never regretted his decision and nothing has changed in that.”