F1

McLaren keeping quiet about driver line up

McLaren keeping quiet about driver line up

Despite the continuing speculation concerning whom will partner Juan Pablo Montoya, McLaren won't be drawn into revealing its 2005 driver line up. Since Montoya's signing was announced by the team in November, most think it's a foregone...

Despite the continuing speculation concerning whom will partner Juan Pablo Montoya, McLaren won't be drawn into revealing its 2005 driver line up. Since Montoya's signing was announced by the team in November, most think it's a foregone conclusion that David Coulthard will be out of a job with the Woking squad after next season.

Juan Pablo Montoya and David Coulthard.
Photo by IMS LLC.
This week the BBC claimed that McLaren will definitely drop Coulthard at the end of 2004 and the intention was always to have Kimi Raikkonen and Montoya as teammates. McLaren, however, is in no hurry to end the speculation one way or another.

"At the moment we do not want to confirm our complete 2005 driver line-up," a team spokesperson told Reuters. "We have an option on a number of drivers and as always want to make sure we are in the best possible position to win races and World Championships."

It does seem a much more likely scenario that McLaren will drop Coulthard rather than Raikkonen, as the Finn's star shone a lot brighter than Coulthard's in 2003. The Scot's manager, Martin Brundle, said recently that Coulthard was going to have to work very hard to secure any competitive drive for 2005.

McLaren has an option on Raikkonen for 2005 and while Kimi has also refused to confirm whether he will stay with the team, the BBC quoted a source as saying Raikkonen would not be leaving as the option will be picked up. As usual for F1, the speculation will no doubt continue until McLaren makes its future line up official.

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