A seat in next year’s BMW F1 car is likely to be a very strongly-coveted proposition. And one is still open, albeit in a testing role.
But, as we all know, these seats can be among the most hotly-contested of all, because of the opportunities they provide. Could a British driver possibly be on the verge of snagging this opportunity?
Mario Theissen, head honcho at the team that was unexpectedly third-placed this year behind McLaren and Ferrari, has made a few remarks about his upcoming test driver selection.
He told Crash.net radio: “We are certainly looking beyond Germany. We have always done that.
“The fact we had two German guys this year is not so much about their nationality, but more about their having been part of Formula BMW. It is quite easy for us to rate someone who we have worked with for one or two years in Formula BMW, so they have an advantage, but it’s not down to nationality.
“We are looking worldwide, and certainly also to guys who have not been in Formula BMW before.”
So, if there’s a testing opportunity opening up, and Theissen is prepared to cast his net wide, who might be in a position to benefit?
Some of the up-and-coming British drivers already have links to top teams, with Gary Paffett well-established at McLaren and James Rossiter working at Honda, either for that team or on its Super Aguri customer car.
GP2 driver Mike Conway has also recently been making some headway with Honda as one of three drivers from that series invited to test in F1.
However, BMW’s outstanding performance in 2007 might make BMW a far better bet given the time it will take Ross Brawn to make his presence felt at the Brackley outfit.
His Northern Irish colleague Adam Carroll, who has just come back from a pretty good GP2 season, also drives for Team Ireland in A1GP and we’d be amazed if he wasn’t on Theissen’s radar.
Another name in the frame is said to be British F3 Champion Marko Asmer. And, if we’re talking about F3, hasn’t Oliver Jarvis just made a bit of a name for himself in Macau?