Wow. I really did not expected this. McLaren announced that Fernando will be driving for them since 2007. Coupled with the earlier announcement that Vodafone has switched from Ferrari to McLaren, it is clear that Ron Dennis is sick of finishing below the 1st place.
I believe that this was long time in preparation and I sense that this bit of development was known to Vodafone people when they decided to switch sides. Vodafone and Ferrari was a natural alliance, since both share strong red branding. That’s why I think that something extra was needed to convince them to move away from the prancing horse.
McLaren on the other hand, with almost a decade of black/gray/white branding, sits on the opposite end of Vodafone branding. I really like those colours and I’m half-fearful to see what will come out of this. Not that colours will have anything to do with my allegiance to the team, but if they change them it will be strange. They had different colours in the past, especially the red/white of Senna’s Marlboro McLaren. Somehow, the fact that McLaren was strong black and Ferrari the strong red was the trade mark of the battles they had.
On the driver side of things… McLaren always maintained the position that they don’t have the 1st and 2nd driver and actually proved that many times in the past, always opting for two strong drivers instead of star & backup line-up that Ferrari had. The fact that Kimi and Juan Pablo will be racing each other next season as much as other teams is…well, something to look forward to and something to fear a bit.
However, I’m inclined to think rumours of Ferrari strongly chasing Kimi Raikkonen will see the fruitition: I now fully expect that Kimi goes to Ferrari and Schumacher to retire after next season.
The dream of Kimi and Fernando in the same team is too much to hope for…although we did have Senna and Prost once…