One to take with a bucket of salt, folks.
Germany’s Bild Zeitung makes plenty of mistakes, and is as much of a tabloid as anyone could picture, but they do have a habit of landing all the German sporting scoops.
The paper claims that Rosberg is inches away from becoming Mercedes’ first German F1 driver since Karl Kling in 1955.
Now, the article is pretty poorly sourced, and makes a bunch of unattributed assumptions which I will list below, but they do quote Rosberg with some interesting short statements. (NB. My translations of the German)
It’s looking likely that I will end up where I want to be. (Bild takes that to mean Mclaren)
I want to have this issue sorted out within the next couple of weeks. My Williams is not capable of podium finishes.
Meanwhile Bild rehashes an old Norbert Haug quote, stating that McLaren Mercedes are checking all their options, as it is only professional to do so. Then the paper adds that its ‘sources have learned’ that Nico Rosberg is the desired candidate.
The paper also claims that Rosberg has another offer to consider from Brawn GP, and – of course – Williams.
Bild’s final (utterly unsubstantiated) claim is that Anthony Hamilton could be the biggest stumbling block in negotiations. The paper says that Kovalainen is a teammate more to Hamilton Snr.’s liking, as he is not the same threat to Lewis that Nico would be. Bild suggests that Hamilton’s influence in the purely McLaren camp could override the desires of Mercedes and Husky Norbert – the 40% minority shareholders (though you wouldn’t know it reading the German papers) in the Woking based outfit.
Should you head off and write this article on a rock? Hell no! However, many of the assumptions do seem credible, and as any German football fan knows, Bild has an unerring habit of being right in the end.
EDIT: Motorsport-total.com (a more serious F1 source here) has some more information from Nico and Norbert Haug that perhaps adds a little weight to all this… From Nico:
There have been lots of talks, but it’s nearly time to sign with someone. My plans are one-directional. I have a desired team.
I am confident that I will get the chance to win races next year. My first victory will come in 2010.
We’re always looking for a driver line-up with which we can win races and championships. And if this is possible with a German pilot, more’s the better.
We’ve been trying this for the past ten years with Michael Schumacher, with Nico Rosberg and with Sebastian Vettel.
And finally, Haug on Fisichella and Ferrari:
From Ferrari’s point of view, it’s great. Although I must admit the move has surprised me a little. For me, personally, it’s bad, because now I have another direct competitor to worry about.