F1 Drivers’ Seat Speculations

At this point, since not every driver’s seat has been decided upon it’s fun to speculate and make guesses on which drivers will be driving for which teams. Last year, almost all the drivers were shoe-ins to continue (though a few, mysteriously didn’t), but this year there’s a lot of open spots, unfortunately mainly in the bottom-to-upper middle tier teams, but still, enough for some interesting speculations. Here’s my dream driver set ups for next season.

And just to remind everyone, the teams which already have chosen their drivers are McLaren, Ferrari, Red Bull, Mercedes GP, Sauber, Caterham (former Lotus) and Marussia (former Virgin).

Lotus (former Renault)

  • Kimi Räikkönen (already signed)
  • Robert Kubica

This year, the Lotus Team had its ups and downs. They started the season with some fantastic results but definitely slumped towards the end. However, with Kimi “nerves of ice” Räikkönen behind the wheel, I’m sure Renault is going to have some fantastic races next year, granted they don’t fuck up the car during Winter Testing.  My absolute number-1 pick for Kimi’s team-mate is the Lone Pole himself, Mr. Robert Kubica, who was sadly unavailable this season due to his rally accident earlier this year. This of course is assuming he recovers fast enough to take part in testing. Otherwise, it would look to me that Vitaly Petrov is likely to continue. Petrov has it good at Renault and he has two fairly solid seasons under his belt. He definitely should not trade for a lesser car at this point and should just wait for now, for a good spot to step behind the wheel again.

Force India

  • Nico “The Hülk” Hülkenberg
  • Paul Di Resta

or

  • Nico “The Hülk” Hülkenberg
  • Adrian Sutil

I’m being a tad more realistic here. Even though I’d love to see Adrian Sutil race for Force India next year, the rumours have been very ugly about him and it seems likely that he’s leaving the team. In this case, I think the team is going to stick with Paul Di Resta. However, definitely Force India should give, The Hülk the second chance he deserves. Though I was very critical towards Hülkenberg at the start of last season, he actually showed signs of improvements towards the end of his Williams tenure and it would have been nice to see his talent develop. Either way, the Hülkster should be driving next year.

Williams

  • Adrian Sutil
  • Pastor Maldonado

or

  • Rubens Barrichello
  • Valtteri Bottas

It’s no surprise that I’d dream of having three Finnish F1 drivers in the sport next year, but I have to admit that hoping to see Bottas behind the wheel of the Williams is a tad optimistic of me, that’s why I’m lumping him with the driver that’s less likely to continue with the Williams outfit. Even though Barrichello has reversed some of his words from earlier this year, I still find it likely that he’ll be leaving the team next year. In which case, I don’t think Williams should kick Pastor Maldonado out even if the Venezuelan new-comer has pulled some stupid shit this year, he seems like a driver with some promise. And even if the Williams car was a hunk of shit this year, I’m sure Sutil will work some miracles with it next year, as long as it’s a solid vehicle.

Toro Rosso

  • Jaime Alguersuari
  • Bruno Senna

or

  • Sebastian Buemi
  • Daniel Ricciardo

The situation at TR hasn’t really been clear. They had a pretty pathetic season and at one point it seemed both the drivers were on their way out the door. However, team principals have kept quiet on the TR front and so it seems either Jaime or Buemi could go or stay. If one does leave I would bet one of two scenarios will happen. Either TR sticks with one experienced driver (Buemi) and will follow Red Bull rules of hierarchy by bringing Daniel Ricciardo, a new upstart, to the team from Hispania. The other way to go is give two experienced rookies a try, meaning Alguersuari and Senna who seems to be unlikely to return behind the wheel at Renault. TR is a nice catch if they can put out a competitive car.

Hispania Racing Team

  • Rubens Barrichello
  • Pedro De La Rosa

or

  • Jerome D’Ambrosio
  • Vitantonio Liuzzi

or

  • Jerome D’Ambrosio
  • Daniel Ricciardo

At this point, I don’t really even see why anyone would want to race for HRT anymore. Even though they’ve beaten Virgin (now Marussia) twice in a row, they are still only the 11th ranked team of the series. However, since HRT is known for trying out both new guns and a long list F1 has-beens any number of possibilities are available. Here are three that I see as likely:

  1. A has-been team up: Rubens Barrichello (due to be booted from Williams) and Pedro De La Rosa, who drove one mediocre season for Sauber last year and one really mediocre stand-in race for them this year. This scenario however depends on Barrichello not getting a seat from any decent team and that De La Rosa would be desperate enough to want to get back behind the wheel.
  2. Something old, something new: Despite his utter joke of an F1 career, Vitantonio Liuzzi has endured and keeps on sticking around for one beating after the next. Therefore, out of HRT’s current has-been line-up, he seems the most likely to retain his spot. Jerome D’Ambrosio, the young Belgian who got the boot from Virgin (Marussia), will no doubt want to stay within the sport, so trading up to HRT seems entirely possible (as long as he’s got the money).
  3. A new rookie line-up: After his less than stellar performance at HRT at the end of the season, Red Bull has expressed hesitations about bumping Daniel Ricciardo into the Toro Rosso team. However, Danny boy has the support of Red Bull behind him so it’s entirely possible that HRT will stick with him. In which case, the young gun with the biggest passion to drive at this time would again be D’Ambrosio who would no doubt want to join him for the up-coming season.
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