Following last weekends German Grand Prix at Hockenheim, current championship leaders Tornado have confirmed the resigning of their young protégé Tomas Gonzalez for the 2016 season.
The young Argentine driver has had a fairly mixed season as a whole so far. The highlights being a pole position at Nurburgring and coming ever so close to winning his first FF1M race here only to be pipped to victory by his more experienced teammate, Fernando Alonso. Other highlights included another strong 2nd place finish at the Monaco GP.
However, there have also been some ‘off-moments’ that Tomas has encountered. Most notably, Road America where he lost as many as six places on the opening lap and then proceeding to drop as low as 15th before eventually crashing out of a lowly position. This gave him the unwanted nickname by team boss Tobias, ‘Grandad Gonzalez.’ The following race at Silverstone was looking more promising as Gonzalez looked set on claiming his third 2nd place finish of the year before crashing out carelessly under no pressure from any other driver around him. Costing himself and the team vital points in what is proving to be a hard fought battle between the faster but fragile Shake n’ Bake of Sebastian Vettel and the slower but more consistent Tornado Climax.
It is rumoured that initial talks between Tornado and Gonzalez were met with some friction regarding the driver’s salary demands. However, after some further negotiations, it is believed Gonzalez was prepared to lower his wage demands from his initial asking price and that was enough to convince Tobias to sign him for at least one more season.
In addition, the rumour mill continued to swirl around when current Tornado number one driver Alonso had allegedly refused to negotiate on a contract extension with the Somerset based team as he wanted to keep his ‘options open’ for next year. One paddock insider citing that this was apparently another reason why Tobias opted to stick with the Argentine and thus, wanted to maintain some form of stability heading into the new aerodynamic regulations of 2016.
Should Alonso be on the move, the key questions will be, who would be Gonzalez’ new teammate and depending on who that teammate is, will he be ready to potentially lead the team to glory next season? With the silly season just around the corner, we will find out in due course.