What’s in a drive?
A lot, especially if the car you’d be driving is done in chrome and boasts of a power plant provided by a company, which has a three-pointed star as its emblem, and goes by the name of McLaren (MP4-XX).
The recent events in the F1 paddock have been centered around two teams, mainly, Renault and McLaren. And apart from the fact that these two teams were instrumental in giving us a splendid 05 F1 season, they have also been in the news for what can be best described as driver baiting. McLaren turned the driver market on its head when they announced that Alonso would be joining them in 07 and have plans to do the same again this year, if rumors are to be believed, with their newly found interest in Nico Rosberg. It seems that Ron Dennis had a “word” with Sir Frank Williams during the Malaysian GP about the new kid on the block, and though it might be just to congratulate Williams on a great find, it could also indicate McLaren’s interest in “hiring” Nico if Kimi chooses to leave and join some other team. Of course the team denied all this, as is the case often, but it should be noted that Nico holds a German passport (information courtesy Mahesh :-)) and that should be a hugh attraction for Mercedes. Not to mention that fans, especially those from the fairer sex, hound him for his looks, is an added advantage, and such a brand ambassador always attracts sponsors, which in turn is translated into $$$$.
There’s little doubt that Ron has a soft corner for Kimi, but one must keep in mind that he is running a business now, and should his star driver leave, he would need a replacement which is as good if not better than Kimi. Of course he has Alonso, but Bernie once quoted that Alonso is not a peoples champion, and I guess he was referring to the popularity of Kimi and Schumacher VS Alonso. I am not taking anything away from Alonso, but when it comes to attraction off field, he kind of lacks the spark. Kimi though icy, has something about him that the fans like and the only chap I can see who would have a fan following is Nico. He is talented, cool and has that extra element which can land him in the so-called top drives in F1.
So where does that leave JPM, well apparently he is waiting for Kimi to decide, and I am afraid he will be found waiting, unless his blasts the day lights out of Kimi on track, which is a bleak possibility, but could very well happen…. Remember Brazil 04?