2010 F1 drivers – who goes where?

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Robert Kubica looks likely to leave BMW and could replace Luca Badoer
Robert Kubica looks likely to leave BMW and could replace Luca Badoer

The F1 driver market for 2010 is a much more unpredictable one than we’ve had recently – or maybe it just seems that way because so many drivers stayed in the same teams this year as last.

There are big names looking for new berths – Robert Kubica and Kimi Raikkonen – and top teams with vacancies to fill. Let’s take a look at who could end up where.

Ferrari

When Ferrari is on the hunt for a driver, the other F1 teams wait for Maranello to make their move.

Kimi Raikkonen fans must be rather sick of the long-running rumours that Ferrari, unhappy with his performace, are seeking to replace him with Fernando Alonso. However Raikkonen’s recent upswing in form, culminating in his Spa victory last weekend, could give Ferrari a reason to keep him.

Felipe Massa will not return to the F1 grid before 2010. In the meantime, Ferrari’s thoughts are occupied by finding a third substitute for him.

Michael Schumacher’s neck injury rules him out of competition for the rest of the year if not longer. Giancarlo Fisichella would surely jump at the opportunity, if Force India are happy to release him.

Robert Kubica could be another option. While Fernando Alonso cannot get out of his Renault contract to drive for Ferrari this year, with BMW set to quit F1 Kubica could be able to make the move.

If not, then who? Marc Gene? Sebastien Bourdais? Vitantonio Liuzzi? Christian Klien? They’re not short of options, but the problem for Ferrari is finding someone who has recent experience and won’t be off to another team next year with a hatful of the Scuderia’s secrets.

McLaren

Ron Dennis-era McLaren were always pretty easy to read when it came to the driver market: they would grab the two best drivers available to them, even if they already had a ‘superstar’ on their books.

This is, after all, the team that paired Alain Prost with Niki Lauda, Ayrton Senna with Alain Prost, Juan Pablo Montoya with Kimi Raikkonen, and Lewis Hamilton with Fernando Alonso.

Heikki Kovalainen received a very public hurry-up from Martin Whitmarsh earlier this month, suggesting Whitmarsh’s policy of hiring drivers is likely to be little different to his predecessor’s.

One driver who has been consistently linked to McLaren is Nico Rosberg. They are believed to have approached him to replace Fernando Alonso at the end of 2007, but Williams blocked the move.

Williams

Test driver Nico H???lkenberg is poised to wrap up the GP2 title in his rookie season. The last driver to match that feat was Lewis Hamilton.

With Schumacher’s career guru Wili Weber arranging his affairs, and several of Schumacher’s former personal sponsors adorning his overalls, it seems highly likely H???klenberg will be in F1 next year. Williams looks like an ideal berth, particularly if Rosberg does move to McLaren.

With Williams likely to drop Toyota engines, it’s hard to see Kazuki Nakajima remaining at the team, or ending up anywhere else.

Williams, then, could end up with an all-new driver line-up in 2010, and would surely want an experienced driver to pair with rookie H???lkenberg. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of them either on the market or likely to be, including Kovalainen, Trulli, Kubica, and former Williams pilot Nick Heidfeld.

Toyota

The future of Toyota’s F1 team is the subject of much debate. Its parent company have suffered huge losses in the economic crisis and will not decide on the F1 budget until November.

What the team needs is wins, and the failure to translate their strong qualifying at Melbourne (before their penalty), Bahrain and Spa into a breakthrough victory will be weighing heavily on their minds.

The team has already hinted it will not keep Jarno Trulli on for a sixth full season. But with no word on their future for another three months, their chances of attracting a top-line driver are remote.

BMW / Sauber

The decision by the board of BMW to quit F1 in 2010 is not likely to be swayed by the team’s improved performance at Spa.

Robert Kubica has already been tipped to join Renault next year – he tested for them after winning the 2005 World Series by Nissan (now Renault) but was picked up by BMW.

The team’s hopes of getting a top driver on board for next year hinge on it getting its entry confirmed by the FIA as soon as possible.

Renault

Robert Kubica, Renault, 2005
Robert Kubica tested for Renault before joining BMW

Like Toyota, Renault are another team whose immediate future in F1 has been called into question – and that was before the FIA began its investigation into alleged cheating by Renault at Singapore last year.

Its top driver is believed to be heading out the door, title sponsor ING is also departing and the parent company is suffering from the decline in car sales.

If they do remain it should guarantee a berth for Romain Grosjean, potentially alongside Kubica.

Red Bull

One of the few teams who changed their driver line-up this year, Red Bull are keeping the same pairing for 2010.

Sebastian Vettel has recently signed a contract extension until the end of 2011, with an option for 2012.

Following his maiden Grand Prix win at the Nurburgring, Mark Webber also gained a contract extension for 2010.

Toro Rosso

Having dumped Sebastien Bourdais for Jaime Alguersuari, Toro Rosso now have one of the most junior line-ups ever seen in F1. Expect them to stick with their young charges in 2010.

Force India

If this dramatic leap forward by Force India lasts until the end of the year, they are in an excellent position to lure one of the drivers being cast aside by the big teams.

This depends on whether they choose to and succeed in keeping Fisichella. They have Vitantonio Liuzzi waiting in the wings to take his place.

Brawn

Ross Brawn has said he’s happy with his current drivers and indicated he wants to keep them on board for 2010.

Campos, USF1 and Manor

Of the new teams, USF1 have dropped the clearest hints about their ambitions which we looked at last month.

Their hope of finding a suitable young American driver to place alongside a European veteran may be stymied by the shortage of suitably experienced US talent. The likes of Jonathan Summerton and Alexander Rossi need more time in GP2 or similar before making the jump to F1. Sticking with a non-American pairing to start with and investing in a young driver scheme might be their best choice.

Similarly, Campos are believed to want a Spanish driver, and the experienced Pedro de la Rosa would fit the bill perfectly.

There may be three new teams, but there’s no shortage of drivers looking for seats. Former F1 drivers Alexander Wurz, Anthony Davidson, Sebastien Bourdais, Nelson Piquet Jnr and Takuma Sato could all be added to the list above, and past and present GP2 drivers Bruno Senna, Giorgio Pantano, Lucas di Grassi and Vitaly Petrov could all figure.

Who goes where?

Where do you think the drivers will end up next year? Have your say in the comments.

2010 F1 drivers

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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141 comments on “2010 F1 drivers – who goes where?”

  1. Max should resign now!!!
    2nd September 2009, 7:19

    No Trulli Train next year? I thought he would be the one in charge of keeping the whole pack close.

    1. Who needs the safety car to come out when you have Jarno Trulli!

  2. Heidfeld this year has been the better BMW driver but still he gets no credit, and its the highly rated Kubica that gets a mention for McLaren. Why?

    1. It is weird indeed. Heidfeld seems to be invisible sometimes. When he was a Sauber driver, he was up to be hired by Mclaren. And who got the gig? Raikkonen, his teamate, who he had comprehesily beaten that year…And now the same thing happens again – It must make him truly sick.

      1. possibly to do with nationality? most drivers on grid are german, so he dissapears that way,but kubica being a pole gets highlighted ? – dunno?

    2. Agreed, I think Kubica is a bit of a myth, he cannot get results when things are not perfect, and whinges constantly. Don’t get me wrong, when he is quick he does a good job, but it seems to be getting rarer.

      1. I would be very surprised if Heidfeld did not have a seat next year, as he is a good experienced driver who has shown with his run of finishes he brings the car home. I would say the most likely place for 2010 would be Williams or staying at whatever becomes of BMW Sauber.

        Heidfeld’s problem last year was qualifying, if it hadn’t been for that I think he would have been a lot closer to Kubica in the Championship.
        Regarding McLaren choosing Raikkonen over Heidfeld, I remember Ron Dennis saying later that driver decisions such as that were based more on how good the team thought the driver would be in the future rather than last seasons results.

    3. Heidfeld is not the better driver.
      Kubica outqualified him last year, and this year he’s leading Heidfeld 7-5.
      In the WDC, Nick has 10 points and Kubica 8, but it is Robert who has suffered more misfortune and bad luck than Nick.

      Kubica is a better investement because he’s improving constantly, whereas Heidfeld hasn’t been going anywhere for the last 10 years now. Robert has that winner’s quality that Heidfeld seems to not posses.

      1. No doubts on the fact that Kubica is stronger than Heidfeld. To be honest I have never been a supporter of Nick. I also think he is really overextimated in F1 and my opinion is that nxt year he will struggle to find a place on the grid.

    4. No, BMW drivers are evenly matched this year

      In qualy
      7:5 to Kubica

      In races they both finished /Robert didn’t finished 3 times, not his fault/
      5:4 to Kubica

      Overall
      10:8 to Heidfeld
      Both scored points in 3 races.
      Nick grabbed 4 points in the pretty much lottery gp in Malaysia.

      Neither of them has the edge this year, I think…

      1. “Neither of them has the edge this year, I think…”
        That’s not the point. The thing is that Robert is a better prospect for the future, and has a bigger potential as a driver than Nick.

        1. I was referring to slr post not yours..
          I agree with you.

  3. When Ferrari is on the hunt for a driver, the other F1 teams wait for Maranello to make their move.

    What a quote!!! WHAT-A-QUOTE!!!

    1. if i was fisi, i would tell ferrari to go stick it if they offered him a seat for monza.

      he should have the if i was not good enough for you then then im not good enough for you nowe attitude, expecially because he is an older driver, and the force india is faster (never thought id say that).

  4. Yesterday I made a list about it on my blog. This is my prediction. I didn’t count with “BMW-alternate” and Manor – there’s no news about them, and not sure that they will be on the grid in 2010 – in my opinion.
    If you want, make your predictions here, and at the start of next season I will reckon how many right answers we have.

    Brawn: Button, Barrichello
    Red Bull: Vettel,Webber
    Ferrari: Alonso, Raikkonen
    McLaren: Hamilton, Rosberg
    Toyota: Trulli, Glock
    Williams: Heidfeld, Hülkenberg
    Renault: Kubica, Grosjean
    Force India: Liuzzi, Sutil
    Toro Rosso: Buemi, Alguersuari
    USF1: Wurz, Summerton
    Campos: de la Rosa, Senna

    1. Do you assume no seat for Massa, anywhere?

      1. I think he can not rejoin to the field. Just imagine: his skull was broken a few weeks ago. Realistically I don’t expect him back amongst the G-forces… Unfortunately.

        1. They say bone gets stronger after it is broken, they call him a warrior

          1. nope, bones get weaker, having a metal plate inserted might make it stronger by virtue of Titanium but its no where near as light as bone.

    2. I believe Massa will be back at Ferrari, they will not drop him now. Being the competitor he is, he will be back no problem.

      Kimi will go to Brawn, thats my hunch. Alonso will replace him at Ferrari, no doubt. We have to keep in mind, sponsors have a lot of say in this matter. Santander will be Ferrari’s principal sponsor next year, and I’m pretty sure they have a clause somewhere in the contract with Alonso’s name on it.

      Kovi will get the boot from Maclaren and it could be Rosberg or Kubica, the former is my bet. As for Kubica himself, cant say really. If Sauber remains, then he might stay, or he might be at Williams, with Nick Heidfeld (?), that would be fun. But looks like Nico Hulkenberg may have his name on the seat alredy, one seat up for grabs. I dont expect Renault to be around next season, so Romain Grosjean will be out of a seat.

      No room for Fisi? If he doesn’t move to Ferrari next week, he will remain in Force India. If Sutil can’t put in a number of good performances before the season wraps, VJM may just as well replace him with Luizzi. Toyota will be gone, so Trulli and Glock will on the market as well. So, based on my prediction, the following drivers will be unattached:

      Trulli
      Glock
      Kubica
      Heidfeld
      Grosjean
      Kovalainen
      Barrichello

      One question though..who will race for Manor?

    3. Manor? and what about the team to replace BMW because the FIA is set to have a 13 team grid next year

  5. i would some how like to see Kimi in Mclaren again. Obviously he wouldn’t cry like some people where doing a couple of years ago.

    1. Kimi wouldn’t mind the least bit if Hamilton beats him…..just as long there’s enough vodka and ice cream.

      1. Lol! Well said that man. I love F1’s most apathetic competitor!

  6. I read somewhere that there are some outstanding dues unsettled between Ferrari and Force India at the end of the last season, due to which, Force India might be forced to let go of Fisichella.

    But then, I also read that Ferrari are generally not keen on Italian drivers, citing enormous pressure from the Italian press.

    But then, Badoer was picked. I am confused :D :D

    1. Easy to get confused if you believe everything you read ;-)

  7. Ferrari should really keep Kimi onboard.
    He and Massa make the strongest driver duo the sport has seen in years.

    Alonso can wait another year at Renault with Kubica keeping him company.

    Heidfeld deserves a good, top seat and if he doesn’t get it, it will be a shame.

    Rosberg at McLaren will really upset the Hamilton applecart. He has scored more points in a Williams this season than Hamilton has in a McLaren, despite Hamilton’s win.

    1. If Kimi stays at ferrari, alonso will look at ways to get him murdered!! I mean he’s so desperate to go to ferrari, he’ll do anything for it. Controversy & alonso are synonyms. look what he did at mclaren & now at renault. i’ll be extremely pleased if kimi comes back to mclaren, its where he truly belongs.

      1. EfF1ington Post
        6th September 2009, 4:47

        The antipathy Kimi had towards all things McLaren in the latter part of his tenure with the team leads me to believe that he will not consider attaching his name to a Woking contract again. Don’t be surprised if he walks away from F1 and contests the 2010 WRC instead.

    2. Indranil Dudhane
      2nd September 2009, 10:56

      I want Kimi to race either alongside Fernando at Ferrari or Lewis at McLaren. A lot of my friends think very high of Kimi and think he would convincingly beat his team mate. I disagree. He was supposed to thrash an “average driver” like Massa in ’07 and ’08 and couldn’t. Getting the better out of Fernando/Lewis would be like climbing a mountain with no beer!

      1. Even Alonso got slaughtered by Trulli in Renault in 03 & 04. He was again beaten by Hamilton in his rookie year.

        The only driver on this grid to have raced tougher team mates is raikkonen.

        Nick,DC,JPM,Massa weren’t push overs & he beat them all convincingly. Maybe with the exception of nick, but he had some eye-catching performances in 2001.

        I’m a mclaren fan & i believe kimi is better than hamilton.

        1. Nick,DC,JPM,Massa weren’t push overs & he beat them all convincingly. Maybe with the exception of nick,….

          Beat them all, other than Nick? What happened in 2008? I suppose he beat Massa “convincingly”?

          1. kimi had a lot of back luck in 2008, hamilton hitting him in pitlane, france the exhaust problem, fuji hamilton nose bombing him in turn 1, china having to pull over for massa, spa hamilton cheating, and generally the car suited to massa since he would spin out the first few races, so they needed to change it. Kimi ended up taking parts off and was faster than Massa.

          2. i’m with nick here, i’m a massa fan, massa had some bad luck a few times but he kept it consistent and drove it home. the engine blow didn’t help.

            however, kimi seemed to draw more bad luck his way than usual. his few non point finishes killed his championship.

            you have to agree though, he didn’t thrash massa in 2007 either, if massa didn’t pull over in 07 in brazil he wouldn’t have won the championship, kimi only had it by 1 point and massa 16 points behind.

            massa seems hungrier, more driven to become a better driver and win races, he’s improved leaps and bounds over the last few years.

        2. Nick,DC,JPM,Massa weren’t push overs & he beat them all convincingly. Maybe with the exception of nick,

          Wasn’t JPM out for couple of races due to injury and after his return his role was reduced to support Kimi’s quest for WDC in 2005? and 2006 McLaren didn’t really produce car worth mentioning and even Kimi was anonymously circulating around circuits waiting for Ferrari to make announcement of his contract

        3. Even Alonso got slaughtered by Trulli in Renault in 03 & 04. He was again beaten by Hamilton in his rookie year.

          http://www.f1-facts.com/statistics/team-mates/FAlonso

  8. I think more than one team are going to run 3 cars next year. Kimi Massa and Alonso at Ferrari has been talked about, but for sure at least McLaren would join them with 3 cars on grid

    1. The 3 car idea is the must ridiculous idea ever to have been tabled. Ferrari are pushing for the third car just to accommodate schumacher. Its high time ferrari forget about schumacher & start looking for some younger drivers. Giving schumacher a 3rd seat in one of their cars will not help ferrari in the long term. They should have groomed a young driver just like what mclaren did with lewis. Look whats happened now! They are at risk of losing 3rd spot in WCC. Schumacher is not the way forward. I hope ferrari get my point.

      1. I tend to agree. Although I suspect that any 3rd car may have to do more with the Massa-Räikkönen-Alonso trinity, than with Schumacher.

        However, 3-car teams are totally unnecessary, even if a Sauber-led buy-out of BMW won’t come to fruition, since there should be 3 new teams, and 1 more (Epsilon Euskadi?) waiting for confirmation.

      2. Aren’t three car teams outlawed?

  9. Brawn-Mercedes
    1. Jenson Button
    2. Rubens Barrichello
    Red Bull-Mercedes
    3. Mark Webber
    4. Sebastian Vettel
    Ferrari
    5. Felipe Massa
    6. Fernando Alonso
    McLaren-Mercedes
    7. Lewis Hamilton
    8. Nico Rosberg
    Toyota
    9. Timo Glock
    10. Kamui Kobayashi
    Williams-Renault
    11. Heikki Kovalainen
    12. Nico Hülkenberg
    Renault
    14. Robert Kubica
    15. Romain Grosjean
    Force India-Mercedes
    16. Adrian Sutil
    17. Vitantonio Liuzzi
    Toro Rosso-Ferrari
    18. Sébastien Buemi
    19. Jaime Alguersuari
    Campos-Cosworth
    20. Pedro de la Rosa
    21. Vitaly Petrov
    Manor-Cosworth
    22. Anthony Davidson
    23. Lucas Di Grassi
    US F1-Cosworth
    24. Alex Wurz
    25. Ryan Hunter-Reay
    Sauber-Petronas (Ferrari)
    26. Nick Heidfeld
    27. Christian Klien

      1. I had thought he would take Barrichello’s seat at Brawn, but with Rubens’ recent performance, I find it hard to believe that Brawn will drop him for 2010.

        Other options might be Manor or Sauber. And if the latter doesn’t make it onto the grid, perhaps Epsilon Euskadi will (with Renault engines). Then they’ll likely take De la Rosa, and perhaps they’d fancy Senna, too.

    1. No Fisi? I didn’t really rate him as a fired-up competitor until this season, and Spa of course was the icing on the cake. Given his performance this year, I’d definitely choose him over Wurz or Klien.

    2. very well thought.

      but it all fall apart if the alonso/ferrari deal doesn’t como true.

    3. No Kimi, No Fisi….doubtful

    4. On the new teams I would not be so sure. But your prediction seems to be quite reliable to me. Just a thing: Toyota will stick with Trulli I think.

    5. EfF1ington Post
      6th September 2009, 4:57

      I think you are right about the Williams line-up. Kovy will be a good fit at Grove. I hope you are wrong about Kobayashi driving for Toyota. Do you think there is a team mad enough to give Villeneuve a cockpit?
      Wurz is certainly a top test driver, but I hope Peter Windsor does not go out and hire him to race for USF1. Depending on his contractual obligations, I think Graham Rahal will be a good fit for their team. It is a shame America does not seem capable of producing F1 calibre racers.

  10. Really hoping for Raikkonen to return back to mclaren.

    1. Lewis and Kimi in the same team – that would be interesting. Who do you think would come up on top?

      1. Kimi of course. He’s the most talented driver since mansell.

        1. Mansell? There have been many new drivers more talented than Mansell.

        2. I can think of another that has 7 wdc’s since mansell

          1. but mp4 is British, so WDC’s aren’t as important as that….

  11. I’m really getting fed up with this Alonso and Ferrari story..just because Alonso has been crying for a seat there ever since he joined F1 doesn’t mean he’ll end up there..Kimi is ten times the driver and the man Alonso would ever dream of being

    1. .Kimi is ten times the driver and the man Alonso would ever dream of being

      Yeah, he is pretty snazzy in a pair of shorts.

      1. @Sush Meerkat

        I thought my Dad was the only person who used the word “snazzy” lol

    2. I absolutely agree with you sicali!! Alonso is a driver with no moral code of conduct. he’ll stoop to any level. Ferrari will land up in deep trouble if they hire this fella. I’m not criticizing his driving skill, i still believe he’s better than Nelson Piquet jr ;) But no where comparable to kimi. 2005 should have been the crowing moment for kimi, but for his reliability problems. people here must realize the fact that Alonso remains the only “WORLD CHAMPION” in history to get beaten fair & square by a rookie. :) :)

      now lewis bashers don’t get started on favoritism & stuff.

      kimi is way more talented than alonso.

      1. Alonso is a driver with no moral code of conduct. he’ll stoop to any level.

        *COUGH* Schumacher! *COUGH*

        Need I say more?

      2. Alonso is a driver with no moral code of conduct.

        That’s exactly the kind of driver that Ferrari like. Gels well with their team philosophy.

    3. It’s definitely becoming tiresome. But you can’t blame Alonso for being keen on a Ferrari drive — look at his last two seasons with Renault, and particularly the last few races. I bet he’s fuming and can’t wait to get out of there.

  12. Some points.
    I can’t see Rubens at Brawn next season, he is a handful and makes too many unpredictable comments (Blah,Blah,Blah).
    The best move Kubica could hope for is to Renault.
    I think Kovy and Rosberg will swap seats.
    Alonso will end up sharing with Kimi, I really hope Felipe “Baby” recovers but I can’t see him in an F1 car again.
    Hulkenberg will take Nakajimas seat. Hulkenberg does look quick, I look forward to seeing his F1 effort.

    As for the new teams, I think De La Rosa will get his well deserved drive. But as for Piquet and Bourdais, I think both of their F1 careers have passed them by, Piquets troublesome and interferring father is too much baggage for most teams and Bourdais simply is not good enough. I would like to see Davidson given another chance though. And I like Petrov as well, he seems to carry good speed in GP2, and he could to a job for a new team.

    1. As Eddie said, that was completely unlike him to attack the team, I cannot think of another time he’s done something like that. He’s helped bring in the points that should hopefully take Brawn to the constructors championship (and perhaps the double) so why not keep him? He obviously works well in the team, and even his outburst provided lots of column inches for a team looking to attract sponsors (no such thing as bad publicity etc. etc.)

  13. What if, Ferrari, due to his present form, decide to keep Kimi, but make no announcement because they are waiting for later medical reports on Felipe Massa. And are dubious about Alonso due to the latest inquiry.

    Renault assume they are losing Alonso to Ferrari so take on Robert Kubica to partner Romain Grosjean.

    The other changes and appointments take place as predicted.

    Then right at the end of the season Ferrari decide to keep present line up and sign up a couple of GP2, or equivalent, drivers as the backup/test driver.

    And Alonso is left out in the cold with nowhere to go.

    1. Highly, highly unlikely. I’m sure most other teams would drop a 2nd rate driver (and let’s be honest, all but 5 or 6 in F1 at any one time fall into that category) for Alonso in a heartbeat.

  14. And Alonso is left out in the cold with nowhere to go.

    The greedy fella would deserve it!

  15. GO!GO!GO! Chinga Car racers :)
    2nd September 2009, 9:40

    If, Ferrari, because his current form, decided to Kimi, but does not make any statements because they are waiting for medical reports later Massa. And expressed doubt that Alonso as the latest survey. A certain point. I do not see Rubens at Brown next season, he is a minority, and make too many unpredictable Comments (blah, blah, blah).
    The best way Kubica Renault hope it is.
    I think Kovy and Nico Rosberg will exchange seats.
    Alonso will eventually be shared with Kimi, I really hope that Felipe “treasure” of recovery, but I do not see him in F1 racing car.
    Hulkenberg will Nakajimas seats. Hulkenberg does look very quickly, and I look forward to seeing his team’s efforts. Renault assume that they are losing Fernando Alonso and Ferrari Robert Kubica to take a partner to. And other changes and appointments to forecast. Then right at the end of the season Ferrari decided to retain the current line, and signed a couple of GP2 races, or equivalent, the driver as a backup / test driver. While Alonso was ruled out in the cold with nowhere to go. White Alonso make me a excitement!

  16. I don’t think Kubica filling in at Ferrari would be a good move for him. If he performs poorly, it would severely limit his options for next year (Ferrari will not want to keep him, they already have 3 drivers for 2 seats).

    And the Massa – Raikkonen pairing isn’t as strong as some people think. Although they are both very good drivers, they seem to have such different driving styles that whenever one has a car that suits them it doesn’t suit the other (Favoured Kimi in 2007, Massa in 2008). They don’t complement each other – whenever one is doing well, the other isn’t. I suspect Alonso’s driving style would match Massa’s more – the understeery-solid rearend driving they both prefer.

  17. If the rumours are to be believed then Ferrari have three drivers signed for 2010 and that they had planned to pay off Raikkonen and keep Alonso and Massa. However Massa’s injury has complicated this as they don’t really know when or if he will come back.

    Once Ferrari decide on their 2010 line up I think everything else will fall into place

    In some recent interviews Frank Williams has been saying he does not think that Hulkenberg might be ready for a race seat in 2010, but then this could just be a negotiating tactic or not wanting to reveal too much to the press. If Hulkenburg wins the GP2 Championship this year where else could he go next year if he didn’t get a F1 race seat, with the testing ban a test driver role will not help with his development.

    1. If Raikkonen’s brain is as sharp as his driving, he’ll be looking towards only one destination. That is Woking. This season reminds me of 92-93 when Mansell was driving for williams, Prost had vetoed both mansell & senna for 93. Senna infamously called prost a coward for vetoing him at estoril. I see stark similarities between both the seasons. Alonso is desperate to get to ferrari, he’ll not rest until he damages their reputation also. I dunno how massa will receive him, especially after what happened at the 07 german gp. Mclaren are also very keen to dump kovi & the fact is that raikkonen is very familiar with the proceedings at mclaren, so it would not be a major problem for him to acclimatize. Raikkonen should come back, Its his only choice, if at all he wants to be in a competitive car.

      We’ll se what nando does at ferrari, moaning man.

      1. Senna calling prost a coward, even mansell agrees!

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pp7hJrJySnE

        1. aswome m4p, does sound alot like eyebrow man though

          1. ….mp4 (not m4p, my bad)

      2. Why not make a note of this, MP4… and lets analyse it on September 2, 2010? ;)
        I am sure we will have enough!

  18. May be thats why Ferrari are pushing for the 3-car rule.

    If we go by speculation, they have 4+ drivers signed for 2010: Kimi, Massa, Alonso, Schumacher, possibly Fisichella, possibly Kubika…

    They need to fit as many of these drivers in their cars after all :D

  19. Gazzetta dello Sport: Kubica rumored to replace Badoer at Monza – for those of you who read Italian…

    1. …. and I am biased, but I still don’t see where people get this Heidfeld deserves better stuff – Kubica has been hot/cold this season, but I don’t remember Heidfeld much outperforming him during their time at BMW…

  20. Something that may be taken into consideration when choosing drivers is their style of driving.

    Personally I don’t know much about how each driver likes their car setup, but I have read comments in the past that Raikkonen’s and Monotya’s driving styles were at different ends of the spectrum so it wasn’t ideal when developing the McLaren when they were teammates.

    Also others have said that the reason Raikkonen has not lived up to peoples expectations at Ferrari by convincingly beating Massa all the time is that the Ferrari has never suited Raikkonen’s driving style.

    Could someone who knows more about this comment, and suggest which drivers would be suited to be paired together if a team wanted two drivers with similar styles so they could develop the car in one direction. Or is this not that important?

    1. Could someone who knows more about this comment, and suggest which drivers would be suited to be paired together if a team wanted two drivers with similar styles so they could develop the car in one direction. Or is this not that important?

      I second this, it would indeed be fascinating. I think it’ll be very difficult to come up with each driver’s style though, it’s not exactly public knowledge and styles can change with time and tyre types.

    2. yes, Kimi was used to Michelin tires when switching and prefers oversteer whereas Massa is all understeer because he will spin out with oversteer as he has no driving skill.

  21. I believe Raikkonen’s plans are to go to Mclaren next year. Kovalinen will probably join one of the new teams. Rosberg ahhhhhhhhhhhh…

  22. According to La Stampa, “the voice of FIAT”, Alonso to Ferrari in 2010 is a deal done. But definietely there’s something going on behind the scene around Kubica and Ferrari at the moment.

  23. Romain from Grenoble
    2nd September 2009, 12:28

    What about Toro Rosso? If they are to become an independant team next year, totally separated from the Red Bull brand and financing, then surely the would dump the RedBull chosen drivers they have this year?

    1. Well they might want to change their name if that happens because what does Toro Rosso mean in Italian? You guessed it: Red Bull.

      1. I think everyone already knew that Grace

  24. RBR, Brawn, Force India & STR – they will all stay the same. Alonso will go to Ferrari, Kimi will go back to McLaren alongside Lewis, Nakajima will get the boot from Williams and Kubica will get the seat alongside Nico, and who knows who’ll be driving the Toyotas – if the’re even there next year. Renault won’t be.

    Wurz will probably be at USF1, De La Rosa at Campos, and no idea who will be in the frame at Manor. Should Sauber be rescued (unlikely) Hulkenberg could be in the frame there.

  25. Kubica will go to Ferrari
    Why not Reanult?
    Because Flavio Briatore dump Robert before he got his first F1 contract in BMW
    Kubica is a proud & intelligent man and he knows that Flavio Briatore is a stupid lame – Robert will not do the same mistake like Nelson Piquet Jr.
    PS Kubica & Alonso are the best friends & if they will be partners in Ferrari they will be the best “dynamic duo” in F1 from partnership between Senna & Prost

    1. Never knew alonso had any friends. Expert backstabber ;)

      1. Alonso’s friends with Fisi and Trulli aswell.

        1. …and with Webber and de la Rosa.

    2. Why is it assumed that drivers who are friends in personal life will make good team-mates?? You go as far as saying Kubika and Alonso are “best friends”, I doubt any of the drivers are friends out there. They respect each other, a lot, but I dont see any “friendship” brewing there.

      In fact, Sutil and Lewis Hamilton have been friends for pretty long, you don’t see Sutil getting the Mclaren seat, do you?

      Kimi and Massa are hardly friends, but they get along beautifully in Ferrari, don’t they?

      Stop citing “friendship” as a criterion for choosing team-mates.

  26. 2010 F1 drivers – who goes where?

    I do not know about the drivers, but i know for sure that Bernie & Max are going to hell.

    1. lol

      Max will like that though, red hot pokers and spankings… I’ll “look after” Bernie’s hot daughter for him though :)

    2. Max for sure, Bernie will stay :-)

  27. Manor-
    Anthony Davidson
    Takuma Sato

  28. I had a copy of someone prediction’s list, and customized it with my opinion. Here it goes

    Brawn-Mercedes
    1. Jenson Button
    2. Rubens Barrichello

    Red Bull-Mercedes
    3. Mark Webber
    4. Sebastian Vettel

    Ferrari
    5. Felipe Massa
    6. Fernando Alonso

    McLaren-Mercedes
    7. Lewis Hamilton
    8. Nico Rosberg

    Williams-Renault
    9. Nelson Piquet Jr.
    10. Nico Hülkenberg

    Force India-Mercedes
    11. Adrian Sutil
    12. G. Fisichella

    Toro Rosso-Ferrari
    13. Sébastien Buemi
    14. Jaime Alguersuari

    Campos-Cosworth
    15. Pedro de la Rosa
    16. Bruno Senna

    Manor-Cosworth
    17. Nick Heidfeld
    18. Lucas Di Grassi

    US F1-Cosworth
    19. Robert Kubica
    20. Ryan Hunter-Reay

    I don’t think that Toyota, Renault, and BMW (Sauber) will be lining up in 2010. All this Briatore history may end up pretty bad, so i’ll discard Renault for that, and Toyota would quit because of their lack of good results. As for the BMW-Sauber, they don’t have much time to organize a new team. And i don’t believe in another Fairy Tale like it happened to Honda / BrawnGP.

    Raikkonen would go to the Rallys, Kovalainen wouldn’t find a place (maybe as a test driver), and Piquet would be at Williams because he tested for them already on his first test in F1, and since his father already raced for them, i’m betting on him. Grosjean would stay off for 2010 since Renault could be out next year.

  29. Oh, i forgot. Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock will be on the grid if Toyota stays, only. That’s what i believe.

    1. Yes, is what I think too. If Toyota stay, they would have no reason to change.

  30. Kimi to silver next year. Has that been said already?

    Ron’s gone. McLaren is likely to be a real contender again, after spending this season developing their 2010 car, and Kimi wants another WDC before he leaves.

    But he will have to get a very hot girlfriend to jump and clap in the garage and soak up camera time because his teammate has this area covered. He will also have to be ready to absorb the abuse of the British press, but he is not a crybaby like Alonso and will deal.

    1. Kimi’s wife’s pretty hot – whether she’s the jumping, clapping type is another matter however…

      1. The notion of Kimi marrying the jumping clapping type is mildly ammusing.

  31. Prisoner Monkeys
    2nd September 2009, 15:47

    Brawn-Mercedes
    1. Jenson Button
    2. Rubens Barrichello

    Red Bull-Mercedes
    3. Sebastian Vettel
    4. Mark Webber

    Scuderia Ferrari
    5. Kimi Raikkonen
    6. Felipe Massa

    McLaren-Mercedes
    7. Lewis Hamilton
    8. Nico Rosberg

    Toyota Racing
    9. Fernando Alonso
    10. Timo Glock

    Williams-Renault
    11. Robert Kubica
    12. Nico Hulkenberg

    Renault F1
    14. Giancarlo Fisichella
    15. Romain Grosjean

    Force India-Mercedes
    16. Adrian Sutil
    17. Vitantonio Liuzzi

    Toro Rosso-Renault
    18. Sebastian Buemi
    19. Jaime Alguersuari

    USF1-Cosworth
    20. Alexander Wurz
    21. Johnathon Summerton

    Campos-Cosworth
    22. Vitaly Petrov
    23. Pedro de la Rosa

    Manor-Cosworth
    24. Nick Heidfeld
    25. Pastor Maldonado

    “BMW Sauber” (Epsilon Euskadi?)
    26. Giorgio Pantano
    27. Lucas di Grassi

    Okay, there’s some odd moves there. I’m not expecting Alonso to move to Ferrari; while I think there’s a possibility of it happening, I think it’s been blown out of proportion by the Spanish media. I can see him wanting to move away from Renault, even if the Singapore Affair exonerates them. Toyota would be a good choice; they can build a decent car, and in Alonso’s hands it could get them the wins they’re lusting after.

    Renault, I think, will have trouble roping in drivers because of Singapore. Even if Briatore and those responsible are gone, there’s going to be trouble on the horizon. Grosjean will probably stay, and I added Fisichella because he knows the team and is one of the few they coul convince.

    1. Renault and Toyota probably won’t even be racing next year.

      1. Prisoner Monkeys
        3rd September 2009, 6:52

        I’m assuming they will be. That’s kind of what speculation is all about.

  32. I disagree with the notion that Jonathan Summerton needs more developmental time before moving to F1- he’s already had way more time than Alguersuari and some other new drivers.

    Kubica to Ferrari would be a great move, but what would they do with him with Alonso already on the books, Massa set to return next year, and Kimi not willing to leave?

    1. Make a “b” team called fiat lol

      1. Fiat!? Nah, you got go with Lanica!

        lol, Alfa Romeo would probably be the most logical, plus I wouldn’t mind seeing the tridents on the nose of two cars…

  33. and now Montagny to USF1?

    I’ve writed on my blog about “2010 silly season”

    1. Here’s one to throw in to the mixture pot.

  34. Robert Kubica looks like Leisure Suits Larry in that picture

  35. A member of the board of USF1 was on a pre-race show on croatian television and he said that the plan is for them to hire an experienced driver saying that the closest to the drive are Alexander Wurz and Pedro de la Rosa and a young American driver saying that Jonathana Summerton and Alexa Rossi are favourites for second seat there. He also wrote it on his blog (in croatian though)

  36. Can’t beat a little silly season fantasy F1. There’s a competition in here somewhere you know Keith ;)

    Anyways, my tuppence worth.

    Brawn-Mercedes
    1. Jenson Button
    2. Bruno Senna

    Red Bull-Mercedes
    3. Mark Webber
    4. Sebastian Vettel

    Scuderia Ferrari
    5. Felipe Massa
    6. Fernando Alonso

    McLaren-Mercedes
    7. Lewis Hamilton
    8. Kimi Raikkonen

    Toyota
    9. Timo Glock
    10. Adrian Sutil

    Williams-Renault
    11. Nico Rosberg
    12. Nico Hülkenberg

    Renault
    14. Robert Kubica
    15. Romain Grosjean

    Force India-Mercedes
    16. Karun Chandhok
    17. Giancarlo Fisichella

    Toro Rosso-Ferrari
    18. Heikki Kovalainen
    19. Jaime Alguersuari

    Campos-Cosworth
    20. Giorgio Pantano
    21. Vitaly Petrov

    Manor-Cosworth
    22. Anthony Davidson
    23. Lucas Di Grassi

    US F1-Cosworth
    24. Dan Wheldon
    25. Jarno Trulli

    Sauber (Ferrari)
    26. Nick Heidfeld
    27. Rubens Barrichello

    Blimey, that was starting to make my head hurt. Anyway, some faces new, some old…

    I’m being hugely optimistic by giving a role call of 13 teams. Fair dues to Max for drafting in 3 new teams, else 3 car racing may have been a reality for 2010, with the distinct possibility of BMW (rebranded Sauber here), Renault (enquirey pending) and Toyota (budget, if any, TBC) not making it to the party.

    Guessing that if Massa is racing in 2010, which if the results of the Miami checks are anything to go by, seems likely, then either Kimi or Fernando are arm-wrestling for the other Ferrari seat. If Alonso gets the drive, Kimi will leave F1 unless he can nick what looks like a shoe-in for Nico at McLaren. If Nico DOES end up staying at Williams for the Nico and Nico show, then could see Heikki in a Sauber or Toro Rosso.

    But then where does that leave Senna. Potentially the biggest brand name in F1 and poor Ross scrambling for sponsors. Rubens has been looking good these last few races, but he ain’t no spring-chick and is prone to randomness when things arn’t going his way. Surely not – defo if Jenson doesn’t finish the job!!!

    US-F1 is the most fun to driver pick for. They want to ensure they get experience with a US recognition factor to boot. Dan Wheldon is sorta kicking his heels right now and has a big if slightly stroppy US profile. Jarno Trulli brings about as much F1 experience as they could want, short of bring someone like Luca Badoer or Michael Schumacher back into F1, but who would be dumb enough to even think about doing that…

    Now you see why my head’s hurting.

    1. I actually almost completely agree with your driver line up here! Except i think kimi is off to WRC so Rosberg will go to McLaren in a swap for Kovvy. And STR will remain unchanged. Thats what my crystal ball says. Kimi is only talking up his seat because he wants a decent payoff!

  37. If Kimi does well, then Alonso will have to stay at Renault.

    If Sauber make it onto the grid next year, then they will take cheaper drivers rather than spend masses on Kubica and Heidfeld.

    The same goes for the new F1 teams.

    Manor is probably going to be caled Virgin-Cosworth next year, and again, will go for cheaper drivers, again, experience and youth will probably be the norm.

    For the experienced even past masters will be considered, Anthony Davidson, Giancarlo Fisichella (if Force India don’t keep him – or Ferrari for that matter) and even Jacques Villeneuve! A former World Champion would be a bonus for any of the new starting teams.

    1. Jacques has said today he feels fit enough to do it still.

      http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/78260

  38. If Button doesn’t win the title for Brawn, do you think they would look elsewhere for a “real” Number 1? I don’t necessarily mean that as a slight against Button, but he’s not very convincing without a dominant car — and there are a lot of big drivers available.

    Kubica/Grosjean at Renault sounds like a complete disaster; I’m still not convinced about Kubica. And I was hoping Hulkenberg would end up some place better than Williams.

    1. Some place better than Williams – just think how ridiculous that would have sounded 15 years ago :)

  39. The sri lankan
    3rd September 2009, 0:05

    i want Alonso at Toyota

  40. Here’s one to throw into the mixture pot.

    1. That went wrong, no link, so, Eurosport say Kimi to Renault.

  41. I think Ferrari will keep KIMI & Massa.
    But Alonso may move to some other team.May be Campos

  42. i think the alonso ferrari rumor is a bit weak, if there is going to be an anouncment it will be next weekend at the italian gp,

    do you realy expect raikkonen to leave f1, i dont think so, this years silly season is really messed up

  43. I have a feeling that Massa will be Ferrari test driver next year. With a possible race seat for 2011.

    1. What! Have you lost your mind!

      1. Not that I know of :)

        I just have a feeling that Massa will not get back up to speed straight away. After a massive crash there’s always the trust-issue – just a little bit more fear than there was in a driver beforehand.

        In this case, also, remember that Massa is going through a huge rehabilitation process, and will not be done for a long time still. I would not at all be surprised if he and Ferrari are both very careful and cautious about sticking hem straight back in the car.

        At the same time, I don’t think they want to let go of each other either. So, wouldn’t it be a good idea to sideline him for a year? It would give him a chance to test and train with no pressure to perform or to push his limits.

        Ferrari could hire a driver on a one year contract (which is what I think they will do anyway if the Alonso rumor turns out to be false) and have Massa ready to hit the ground running in 2011.

  44. Hey Keith, serious work with the blog.

    It’s nice to see how the results of the picture selection process (I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t bring to display a picture like that with the name of Button or Hamilton) reflects the low bias a site like this should aim at keeping if the number and diversity of followers even represents a matter.

    Also, in the instructions for writing comments I can read the following: “No swearing, insults, advertising or racial, sexual, or similar discrimination allowed.”

    Good job!

  45. Its official… Fisi is going to Ferrari and according to Mallya the deal “the agreement will secure Giancarlo’s long-term future with Ferrari”. I don’t think this is going to prevent Alonso from coming over next year, it probably just means Luca’s testing days are over.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/motorsport/formulaone/ferrari/6132725/Giancarlo-Fisichella-joins-Ferrari-for-rest-of-2009-F1-season-confirm-Force-India.html

  46. Brawn-Mercedes
    1. Jenson Button
    2. Rubens Barrichello

    Red Bull-Mercedes
    3. Mark Webber
    4. Sebastian Vettel

    Scuderia Ferrari
    5. Felipe Massa
    6. Fernando Alonso

    McLaren-Mercedes
    7. Lewis Hamilton
    8. Kimi Raikkonen

    Toyota
    9. Timo Glock
    10. Adrian Sutil
    (If Toyota stays)

    Williams-Renault
    11. Nico Rosberg
    12. Nico Hülkenberg

    Renault
    14. Robert Kubica
    15. Romain Grosjean

    Force India-Mercedes
    16. Karun Chandhok
    17. Vitantonio Liuzzi

    Toro Rosso-Ferrari
    18. Sebastian Buemi
    19. Jaime Alguesari

    Campos-Cosworth
    20. Pedro De La Rosa
    21. Vitaly Petrov

    Manor-Cosworth
    22. Anthony Davidson
    23. Lucas Di Grassi

    US F1-Cosworth
    24. Alex Wurz
    25. JR Hildebrand

    Sauber (Ferrari)
    26. Nick Heidfeld
    27. Rubens Barrichello

    Jonathan Summerton has been the very front runner.
    However, I would place the Indy Lights champ in
    a seat.

    1. For 1 of the seat at the former Sauber
      team, I place Heikki Kovalainen.

  47. http://twitter.com/jsummerton

    John Summerton has “allegedly” met with USF1 in Charlotte, NC today. Nothing concrete, but could be a hint.

  48. I think Ferrari should forget Alonso and have my wife, she,s a fantastic driver, because she always drives me up the wall

  49. i think force india should call kimi…. and make him run sister mercedes first…

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