While he is being tipped by many to replace Fernando Alonso at McLaren, Nico Rosberg's hopes of switching to the team could be blocked by Williams after they revealed he is contracted to them in 2008.

Rosberg's impressive sophomore season in Formula 1 with Williams, one that yielded 11 top ten starting positions and a best result of fourth at the season ending Brazilian Grand Prix, has improved his stock as a star of the future.

So much so that Rosberg is the name on most people's lips, including potential team-mate Lewis Hamilton, to replace Alonso after his decision to leave the team last week.

However, Patrick Head has warned McLaren not to try and poach the German from them after he confirmed that Rosberg is contracted to Williams for 2008, while the team have an option on him for 2009 too.

"Nico is contracted to our team for 2008 and we have an option for his services for 2009," he told BBC Sport. "We plan to go into next season with Nico as our lead driver and we would not entertain a approach from McLaren."

With confusion surrounding Alonso's whereabouts over several months, it is likely that Rosberg, who finished ninth in the overall standings, was unable to wait for a decision and therefore pledged his future to Williams for the time being.

Whether or not he could - or indeed would be willing - to reverse the deal remains to be seen...

 

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