2008 driver line-up almost set

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Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton, McLaren-Mercedes, Monte-Carlo, 2007, 2 | Daimler ChryslerThe driver market for 2008 is settling down – although everyone is still watching to see if Fernando Alonso will storm out of McLaren (and away from Lewis Hamilton), to join his old team Renault.

Several teams have now confirmed their 2008 line ups and are sticking with their current drivers – with the notable exception of Toro Rosso.

And new team Prodrive’s plans are still up in the air.


1. Fernando Alonso (2007 driver, expected 2008 driver) | biography | articles
2. Lewis Hamilton (2007 driver, expected 2008 driver) | biography | articles
T. Pedro de la Rosa (2007 driver) | biography | articles
T. Gary Paffett (2007 driver) | biography | articles

Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso are both contracted for 2008 – but after the fireworks at the Hungaroring can both continue to work in the same team?

Of the two Alonso is probably the most likely to leave and could go in the direction of Renault – but only if Ron Dennis allows it. It’s unlikely that Alonso would chose to leave a competitive team where he has to race on level terms with a team mate, to an un-competitive team where he does not have that advantage.

Renault F1 Team

3. Giancarlo Fisichella (contract expires 2007) | biography | articles
4. Heikki Kovalainen (expected 2008 driver) | biography | articles
T. Nelson Piquet Jnr, (2007 driver) | biography | articles
T. Ricardo Zonta (2007 driver) | biography | articles

Kovalainen has had the upper hand on Fisichella for much of the season and passed him in the points standings at the last round.

Alonso has been linked to a return to the team, backed by Telefonica. But even if this doesn’t happen Fisichella’s position could be under threat from Nelson Piquet Jnr.

Development driver and F3 Euroseries racer Romain Grosjean is tipped to join the team as a test driver next year – which would likely be to replace either Piquet or Ricardo Zonta.

Scuderia Ferrari

Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Istanbul, 2007 | Ferrari Media5. Felipe Massa (expected 2008 driver) | biography | articles
6. Kimi Raikkonen (expected 2008 driver) | biography | articles
T. Luca Badoer (2007 driver) | biography | articles
T. Marc Gen??? (2007 driver) | biography | articles

No changes expected at Ferrari although the team apparently chasing Hamilton.

Honda Racing F1 Team

7. Jenson Button (2007 driver, expected 2008 driver) | biography | articles
8. Rubens Barrichello (confirmed for 2008) | biography | articles
T. Christian Klien (2007 driver) | biography | articles
T. James Rossiter (2007 driver) | biography | articles

Both Honda’s drivers have been confirmed for next year, with Rubens Barrichello set to break the record for most Grands Prix contested early in 2008.

BMW Sauber F1 Team

9. Nick Heidfeld (2007 drivers) | biography | articles
10. Robert Kubica (expected 2008 driver) | biography | articles
T. Timo Glock (2007 driver) | articles

Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica will remain at BMW next year. Test driver Timo Glock is still leading the GP2 championship (with Lucas di Grassi close behind) but will surely have to wait to add to the handful of Grand Prix starts he made in 2004 with Jordan.

Toyota Racing

Jarno Trulli, Toyota, Bahrain, 2007 | Toyota11. Ralf Schumacher (2007 driver) | biography | articles
12. Jarno Trulli (confirmed for 2008) | biography | articles
T. Franck Montagny (2007 driver) | biography | articles
T. Kohei Hirate (2007 driver) | biography | articles
T. Kamui Kobayashi (2007 driver) | biography | articles

Jarno Trulli will race for the team next year but the team hasn’t confirmed its second driver. Ralf Schumacher who apparently contacted Toro Rosso about a drive next year before it confirmed its drivers.

Schumacher has had a poor year and it is believed factions within the team are divided over whether to keep him, drop him or farm him out o the likes of Williams – possibly in exchange for Nico Rosberg.

Toyota has links with several Japanese drivers but none of them seem ready to jump up to F1, except perhaps Kazuki Nakajima who is currently Williams’s test driver.

Red Bull Racing

14. David Coulthard (confirmed for 2008) | biography | articles
15. Mark Webber (expected for 2008) | biography | articles
T. Robert Doornbos (2007 driver) | biography | articles
T. Michael Ammermuller (2007 driver) | biography | articles

Another team sticking with the same pairing for 2008.


Nico Rosberg, Williams-Toyota, Istanbul, 2007 | Charles Coates / LAT16. Nico Rosberg (2007 driver) | biography | articles
17. Alexander Wurz (2007 driver) | biography | articles
T. Kazuki Nakajima (2007 driver) | biography | articles
T. Narain Karthikeyan (2007 driver) | biography | articles

Despite rumours that he is being courted by top teams, Nico Rosberg apparently wants to stay committed to Williams for next year, particularly after seeing early work on the 2008 car. His ringing endorsement of the team could be a snub to Toyota, who are rumoured to want him, but trail Williams in the constructors’ championship.

Alexander Wurz may struggle to hold his place as his qualifying performances have not been as good as Rosberg’s. He’s scored more points by finishing well in the two chaotic races at Montreal and the N??rburgring.

But Toyota might lean on them to promote test driver Kazuki Nakajima to the team.

Scuderia Toro Rosso

18. Sebastien Bourdais (confirmed for 2008) | biography | articles
19. Sebastian Vettel (confirmed for 2008) | biography | articles

An all-new line-up at Toro Rosso next year sees the long-awaited arrival of multiple Champ Car champion Bourdais. But the team need to make a big step forward in performance over this year.

Vitantonio Liuzzi wants to stay in F1 and has been looking at other teams including Williams.

Spyker F1 Team

Adrian Sutil, Sebastian Vettel, Istanbul, 2007 | Peter J Fox / Crash Media Group20. Sakon Yamamoto (2007 driver) | biography | articles
21. Adrian Sutil (on a multi-year deal) | biography | articles
T. Markus Winklehock (2007 driver) | biography | articles
T. Adrian Valles (2007 driver) | biography | articles
T. Giedo van der Garde (2007 driver) | biography | articles
T. Fairuz Fauzy (2007 driver) | biography | articles

Spyker are rumoured to be changing hands but as long as Colin Kolles remains at the helm he’ll want to keep a hold of Adrian Sutil, who has looked promising on several occasions this year.

The second seat is likely to go to a paying driver.

Super Aguri F1 Team

22. Takuma Sato (2007 driver) | biography | articles
23. Anthony Davidson (2007 driver) | biography | articles

Sato is expected to remain at Super Aguri but this is another team struggling for money. That could be bad news for Anthony Davidson who hadn’t done much to impress before his scintillating performance in qualifying at Istanbul.


24. TBC
25. TBC

Rumours insist that Prodrive will run McLaren chassis next year in which case they are considered likely to pick a McLaren test driver. Pedro de la Rosa is considered a likely target.

There have been rumours than Spanish businessman Alessandro Agag, who had been connected to Super Aguri, might instead invest in Prodrive, strengthening the de la Rosa connection.

Photo: Daimler Chrysler | Ferrari Media | Toyota | Charles Coates / LAT | Peter J Fox / Crash Media Group

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Tags: f1 / formula one / formula 1 / grand prix / motor sport

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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8 comments on “2008 driver line-up almost set”

  1. well, if only counting those that are officially confirmed for 2008, there are not that many, and so the 2008 list is from set up …
    this is the list I compiled so far:

    BMW Sauber
    1)Nick Heidfeld
    2)Robert Kubica

    1) Jarno Trulli

    Red Bull
    1) David Coulthard

    1) Rubens Barrichello

    Toro Rosso
    1) Sebastian Vettel
    2) Sebastien Bourdais

    Many others are expected to remain, but in F1 one can never tell until things are on paper. One move can spark many others …

    By the way, you have Kubica as expected for 2008 but he was officially confirmed already same as Heidfeld.

  2. With reference to RED BULL RACING official web site Mark Webber is also confirmed for 2008 as his original deal already covers 2008.

  3. does it really matter who is going to be in Torro Rosso next season? It’s more like a curiosity as to who will be finishing last every race next season.

  4. actually it does matter. while Toro Rosso was still Minardi and the cars were 4 secs off the pace, they had some guy called Alonso racing for them … even the best guys need some team to give them a F1 break. some take the chance and prove themselves F1 worthy even in a backmarker team, some do not (Ide (Aguri), Monteiro (Jordan, Midland), Albers (Midland, Spyker) and the list goes on…

  5. No-one can ever predict who Toro Rosso and Spyker are gonna run next year because it all depends on who is going to pay the most.

  6. ProDrive…..would do well with De La Rosa and Christian Klien.
    Everyone’s got their own favorites but this pair would give a new team EXPERIENCE and “trained” youth. De La Rosa is a match for Alonso or Hamilton on any given day, you can’t get much better than that and Klien would become another Kubica or Kovalanien if given their cars.
    This isn’t just wishful thinking ,,,,,, I suspect both these drivers could be had if Dave Richards ever decides to assemble a team.

  7. The latest on Super Aguri is that it is set to be bought by an Indian Industrialist , Vijay Mallya.

  8. Well, puzzle for next year FI team lineup are still incomplete. Rumors that Alonso will team up again with Renault are still rumors. But for sure Force India F1 team will become the last team to check-in for the seasons next year….

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