If Frank won\'t pay a winning driver, what (long)
chance has Ralf. Of course I agree Williams are "destined to take the championship with the best engine" but thatís one of the problems! Frank believes that if he gives a driver the best car (best engine), then that driver should win the championship and if he does, he did so because he had the best equipment so there was little Ďdriving talentí involved. Look at the history...why have the championship winning drivers always moved on...because Frank wonít pay them the going rate. Iím sure his argument is that he pays them based on what he calculates their worth to be; believing that if he puts any driver, from say the top half of the grid, into his car, they would/could win the championship too.
Iím not saying the drivers are overpaid, those few that are paid by the team they drive for, but like every other sport where professional Ďathletesí are involved, the amount they are paid and the amount that should be paid are miles apartÖat least with motorspor, the guy is putting it on the line!
As for Ralf, I canít see a good way for this to end; best case, the carís on the pace right out of the box and he wins the championship... heíll wants even more money that heís looking for now and Frank isnít going to pay it. Worst case, the carís a dog and even if they develop it over the course of the season (like they did in 03) into something decent, Ralf is going to [Oops!] about it during the development and Williams are going to say heís not getting the most out of it...heíll still be looking for the kind of money that Frank is unwilling to pay him now with nothing 'new' to bring to the table.
Is Ralf putting to much fate into thinking that BMW wants a German driver...maybe he is, but I think Frank is looking at the drives market for 05 and saying to himself, why should I pay Ralf any more than Iím paying him now and maybe I can pay him less because, after all, whereís he going to go to get a drive half as good as the Williams? Ferrari are locked up as are McLaren, maybe Renault but only if they are looking to replace Jarno Trulli which is debatable at this point and will depend on how he performs this year.
The only thing working in Ralf favor is that Williams will not want to change both drivers at the same time, only time will tell...