After the departure of former two-time world champion Fernando Alonso from the Woking-based McLaren team, various names have been linked with his vacated seat. Experts believe that McLaren will be looking for a young driver. But there have been reports that McLaren should look to seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher as the German might be looking to resume his Formula One career after retiring at the end of the 2005 season.
Recently, a Schumacher declared his desire to drive for McLaren. But it was not Michael who is wooing McLaren but his younger brother Ralf. The younger Schumacher who is said to be the highest paid driver in his time has left Toyota at the end of the last season and is now looking for a seat in a competitive team as Toyota failed to give Ralf a competitive car.
Ralf said that he is not the only driver wanting the vacant seat in McLaren. "It's no secret that the seat at McLaren-Mercedes is by far the most coveted there is," said the younger Schumacher. "Every driver out there in the market would love to sit in their super car," the German added.
Other drivers who have been linked with the McLaren seat are Heikki Kovalainen, Nico Rosberg, and Adrian Sutil. Kovalainen of Renault is one of the younger drivers who have upstaged their much seasoned teammates. Last season, Kovalainen outperformed Giancarlo Fisichella in almost every race. Renault though is expected not to let Kovalainen go as they would try to team him up with Alonso next season.
Nico Rosberg, the son of former world champion Keke Rosberg, is making his tour of duty for Williams. He is seen to be a great complement to Lewis Hamilton as they are both young and talented drivers. Williams though has issued a warning to McLaren saying that Rosberg is not for sales as he is the future of the team. Adrian Sutil, on the other hand, has a contract with Spyker which has been bought by Indian billionaire Vijay Mallya. Sutil has been Hamilton's teammate in the GP2 Series and will be a good teammate for Hamilton. But Spyker's new owner has expressed his desire to retain Sutil for next season.
As to Schumacher's declaration, McLaren is yet to comment. Even McLaren's engine partner has yet to make a statement regarding the vacant seat in the Woking-based team.