Franklin to switch teams?
On the eve of the new season, we will soon see which drivers will race in which cars. With reigning Champion, Shane Butler not being able to compete from the off, along with Moussa Awada and John Brookfield, it is likely that we will see a new Champion crowned by the end of the year. Winter Series Champion, Jamie Franklin drove for the Lotus team last season, when he re-joined halfway through, replacing Oli Peacock, alongside Bradley Downton. Despite a couple of wins in that season, and a couple more in the Winter Championship, not to mention the Championship as well, rumours are circulating that the British driver could be getting ready to leave the Enstone outfit.
Having lost their two star drivers, it seems that McLaren have approached the Winter Champion with a possible contract. However, there is also speculation that Jamie might be heading to Williams. After their rather unsuccessful winter, having scored no points, it would be a brave move for Franklin to switch to Williams.
Obviously, amidst the rumours of switching teams, there is also speculation as to whether the dynamic duo of Bradley Downton and Jamie Franklin will stick together. The numerous collisions between the two at Abu Dhabi in the final race of the season last year, and Canada during the Winter Championship is said to have strained their relationship, which if that is the case, could well prove to be the deciding factor in the partnership splitting up. Not only this, but if Jamie Franklin was to drive for McLaren next season, it would be unlikely that McLaren would re-hire one of the drivers that they carelessly dropped at the end of the 2010 season.
To top it all off, Jamie gave us a statement that would certainly point towards a team move…
“Lotus have been great to me. At the end of the 2012 season, I was able to pick up a couple of wins, in Canada and America, and then that form carried on through the winter, with another two wins, and seven podiums in seven races. Obviously, I’ll never forget that they were able to deliver me a Championship, but does that mean I’ll be switching to another team? Who knows. I have been in talks with other people, as all drivers will be, and to drive for a great team like McLaren would be fantastic. I think at the end of the day, it’s all about the challenge. If I feel a lack of motivation, or that a new challenge would benefit my driving, then that would probably be the best thing I could do. I know that Lotus will be strong this year, but we’ll have to see what happens,”