Mike Stevens | Jun 18, 2010

Formula one team bosses have backed the apparent stability in the 2011 driver market.

Usually at about the mid-point of each season, rumours about driver switches within the top five teams are becoming rampant.

But Red Bull and Ferrari have already locked in their current drivers for next year, while McLaren, Mercedes and Williams will almost certainly also field unchanged lineups.

And Renault's Robert Kubica looks set to stay put.

"I think it is a perfect situation," Mercedes' Norbert Haug said.

"I think the first five teams probably will have the same driver lineup next year and that's good for formula one and I think we will see some very good races."

McLaren's Martin Whitmarsh added: "Clearly the driver market is more stable than it normally is."

And Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said: "I think most of the seats are fairly fixed going forwards, so I don't think there is going to be too much movement in the front half of the grid."

(GMM)

 

2010 Title Fight "A Duel" - Webber

Recent championship leaders Mark Webber and Lewis Hamilton disagree about the likely direction of the 2010 season.

After winning the Turkish and Canadian grands prix in the wake of Red Bull's earlier dominance, McLaren driver Hamilton said the fight for the title is "tight".

The statistics so far appear to support his argument, given the five different race winners and the fact they are all separated by just 19 points.

"So it's the ultimate challenge I've experienced in formula one, perhaps in formula one history," the Briton added.

Australian Webber, however, predicts that the current five-driver championship fight will ultimately become a more regular head-to-head as the season winds down.

"Last year," the Red Bull driver told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport, "Jenson won many races at the beginning. But that's not usually what happens.

"It is more often the case that until mid-season there are three to five drivers all together.

"70 per cent in there will probably be only three or so in it, and with a few races to go it becomes a duel," Webber predicted.

"Perhaps the champion will even be known before the last race."

The 33-year-old also played down suggestions that, given the outcome of the Montreal race, McLaren is now the pacesetter.

Red Bull had predicted after Turkey that the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve would not suit the RB6.

"Valencia is another track on which we might not be so good," Webber said. "But we surprised ourselves in Canada when we were more competitive than we thought we would be."

(GMM)

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