McLaren is not in a hurry to find a team mate for Hamilton
McLaren is considering its options for the second driver. Everyone is curious about who will be the 2008 second driver at McLaren, including Hamilton that declared at Mercedes-Benz’s ’Stars and Cars’ event in Stuttgart: “I am interested to see who it is going to be, I am as excited as you guys are. I have no idea, I can only guess.”
Hamilton hopes that his future team mate will be a “team player”, and he’s thinking about Nick Heidfeld, Nico Rosberg, Adrian Sutil and Heikki Kovalainen. He also said: “They are all fantastic drivers; I know them all well, but I have heard that they are all under contract, so it is difficult to know.”
Meanwhile McLaren CEO Martin Whitmarsh declared that his team is determined not to peruse any driver who is not free to negotiate with McLaren and insisted that “Until the second McLaren drive is sorted out I don’t think you’ll see much movement, so we’re not really hurried. Obviously there are some drivers who’ve approached us who are contracted elsewhere and we’ve had to say we can’t talk to them unless they can prove they are free to negotiate.”
According to The Guardian former Toyota driver Ralf Schumacher was among those expressing interest in driving for McLaren but the German was reportedly informed he is not on the squad’s shortlist.
Another option for McLaren is the experienced Spanish test driver Pedro de la Rosa, who last raced for the team in 2006 as a replacement for Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya and finished second in that year’s Hungarian Grand Prix.
But all this names are just speculations; for now the name of the second McLaren driver remains unknown, I wonder for how long.