Hamilton? Sainz? Ricciardo? Who will replace Vettel at Ferrari in 2021?

2021 F1 season

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Sebastian Vettel has decided he doesn’t want to be a Ferrari driver any more.

That puts him in the minority as far as most of his rivals are concerned, as almost every other driver on the grid will now be eyeing the vacant slot alongside Charles Leclerc for the 2021 F1 season.

Ferrari is understood to have an option on at least one driver in the 2020 field already. But they could easily take their interest elsewhere.

Daniel Ricciardo

If Ferrari want a proven race-winner without incurring the cost which comes from hiring a world champion, Daniel Ricciardo is their only option on the current F1 grid. Max Verstappen is already tied to a long-term deal at Red Bull, and infuriated the Ferrari hierarchy with his remarks about their power unit last year.

Daniel Ricciardo, Charles Leclerc, Circuit de Catalunya, 2020
Ricciardo is in year two of his Renault deal
Ricciardo is likely to come at a knock-down price. He earned a big pay day by switching from Red Bull to Renault last year, but the black-and-yellow cars failed to deliver last year, and Ricciardo is known to be looking for an exit.

We believe he’s earning $20 million a year at Renault, others value the deal even higher than that, and Ferrari would surely be able to get him at a knock-down price by offering him a chance to drive for a race-winning team again. Ricciardo turned 30 last year and now is not the time in his career when he wants to contemplate staying in the midfield.

RaceFans understands Ferrari signed an option on Ricciardo’s services last winter. That doesn’t put a lock on Ricciardo joining the team, or even exclude the possibility other drivers have similar arrangements, but he has to be a realistic candidate. His Italian heritage isn’t likely to swing the deal either way, but it can’t hurt.

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Carlos Sainz Jnr

Carlos Sainz Jnr, McLaren, Interlagos, 2019
Sainz had a superb 2019 at McLaren
Carlos Sainz Jnr showed how big a mistake Red Bull made by letting him slip through their fingers by finishing top among the midfield drivers last year. Though he seemed an unusual choice for McLaren at first, the partnership has gelled superbly.

Earlier this year the mood music around McLaren was that contract extensions for both drivers were imminent. While the fact that hasn’t happened could be put down to the disruption caused by the pandemic, those same recent developments have also cast doubt on whether the team will be able to sustain the much improved form it showed last year. Although they will switch to Mercedes power next year, making the new engine compatible with their current chassis will inevitably force compromises upon the team.

Sainz therefore has reason to reconsider his loyalties to a team which he has heaped praise on in public. His current deal with McLaren is understood to expire at the end of the year, and while options on his services exist for 2021, his management team will surely have left dispensations for an opportunity such as this.

Lewis Hamilton

There merest hint of a glance in Ferrari’s direction from the six-times world champion is guaranteed to provoke breathless headlines from some. But while Lewis Hamilton has been consistently loyal to Mercedes, Ferrari remains the only team which might lure him away.

Hamilton may prefer to use the possibility he might join Ferrari as a means of extracting more favourable financial terms or other concerns from the silver squad. But if he gets a hint Mercedes aren’t going to stick around – and, again, the pandemic has changed many things – a Ferrari move would make a lot of sense, and cement his giga-star status.

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Sergio Perez

Daniil Kvyat, Ferrari, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2018
Kvyat had a stint at Ferrari in 2018
A Ferrari Driver Academy member before his ill-fated move to McLaren in 2013, Perez has bags of experience, has proven himself a safe pair of hands and has been a consistent star in the midfield, much like Sainz.

The snag is, he signed a long-term deal with Racing Point – nee Aston Martin – last year. Unless there are exit clauses he can activate, this could be an opportunity missed.

Daniil Kvyat

The second driver to put Toro Rosso on the podium after Vettel, Kvyat is well-known to Ferrari having served as their simulator driver in 2018. He speaks Italian, having based his junior career in the country, all of which makes him a credible outsider candidate for the seat.

He is managed by Nicolas Todt, who also handles Leclerc, and it’s questionable whether Ferrari would want two drivers from the same manager in their stable. His spell at Red Bull also left doubts over whether he has the speed and temperament for the very top flight of F1.

Nico Hulkenberg

Nico Hulkenberg spent his F1 career being overlooked by top teams and not quite managing to get the consistent midfield results which would have made an irresistible case for his promotion. He’s ready and waiting on the sidelines, but with the other options available it’s hard to see Ferrari making a swoop for him at this point.

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Kimi Raikkonen

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal, 2014
Could Alonso end up back at Ferrari?
While Kimi Raikkonen may not have the raw edge of performance he enjoyed at the peak of his powers, his vast reserves of expertise would make him a useful companion to the still somewhat inexperienced Leclerc. He is also as low-maintenance as they come, could easily re-adapt to the team after two seasons away while using the same power unit, and is still Ferrari’s most recent world champion.

Fernando Alonso

It would be an ultimate irony if Vettel was replaced by the driver whose place he took at Ferrari five years ago.

Alonso’s reputation suggests he and Leclerc would be an even more combustible partnership than Vettel and Leclerc were. But if Ferrari want is a proven winner with massive experience and a ravenous appetite for success, look no further.

Over to you

Does Ferrari want an experienced world champion, a star of the future or a callow number two to slot in alongside Leclerc? Who do you think they will – or should – hire for 2021?

Have your say in the comments.

Video: What next for Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel as they announce split?

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Author information

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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175 comments on “Hamilton? Sainz? Ricciardo? Who will replace Vettel at Ferrari in 2021?”

  1. It is pretty clear it will be Sainz. Journalists are reporting that from Spain, UK, Germany and Italy. Nobody is reporting that Hamilton or Ricciardo are even close. Sainz is super young, has a lot of experience, is a key team player and in 2019 he proved to be as fast as anyone. He speaks Italian. How can you even doubt?

    1. Actually there has been a lot of rumors in news than Hamilton already signed. Jordan even said that.

      Though Ferrari could make up that rumors to pressure over Vettel, this still could be truth.

      Kvyat and Ricciardo also have higher probability over Sainz.

      1. One person who is not a journalist (Jordan) said he would LIKE to see Hamilton in red, that is not a formal report. Kvyat and Ricciardo have higher probability over Sainz? What are you even talking about. Sasha Roos, Florian Koning, Lawrence Barreto, Roberto Chinchero, Franco Nugnes, and Leo Turrini. Those are the names of insiders who reported that it will be Sainz. Show me one journalist who said otherwise.

        1. Jordan said – “That’s why he’s moving to Ferrari for the place of Vettel.”

        2. @heming49 unfortunately, some of the journalists you are citing have actually suggested Ricciardo is a potential candidate – Leo Turrini, for example, has written a blog post this very morning (https://www.quotidiano.net/blog/turrini/vettel-e-i-segreti-di-un-addio-e-occhio-a-bottas-5.6346) where he lists Ricciardo, Giovinazzi and Bottas as potential rivals to Sainz.

          You are wrong to claim that Turrini has said “it will be Sainz” – you seem to have projected your own personal interpretation onto what he has said. What Turrini has actually said is “I think that Sainz is a more likely candidate, but Ricciardo, Giovinazzi and Bottas are also in contention”.

          Meanwhile, it’s also notable that, until fairly recently, Roberto Chinchero had written articles for Marca suggesting that he thought that any mention of Sainz’s name at Ferrari was an attempt by Ferrari to force Vettel into signing a deal on their terms.

          Other Italian sources, such as the Corriere dello Sport, have also stated that, whilst Sainz might seem like a more likely candidate, they have also explicitly stated that Ricciardo is being actively considered.

          I get it – and, judging by some of the barbed comments by others, I think that they are perhaps getting a little fed up with you spamming the board with pro-Sainz comments – that you want to see Sainz at Ferrari. However, it seems that perhaps you have gotten a little carried away and have turned “possible” into “definite” when it seems a little premature to do so.

      2. Hamilton will not go for 2021 now that the rules changes have been deferred a year. If Hamilton is ever to go to Ferrari it will be in 2022 for the new cars, meaning someone will be a one year stop gap signing.

        A one year stop gap could actually be good for Ferrari as they would be signed as a definite no 2 to Leclerc with the possibility of still being kept on in some capacity if they turn out to do well.

        1. You seem to pretty sure that there will be a 2022 season.

          I’d cast a doubt even on there being one the previous year.

    2. ColdFly (@)
      12th May 2020, 12:04

      Sainz is super young

      Compared to Norris, Stroll, Russell, Verstappen, Leclerc, Albon, Gassly who are all astronomically young.
      In F1 terms Sainz is more a middle-aged man ;)

      1. He is 25 years old, man.

        1. @heming49 The average age of all the drivers is 26, so yes he is middle-aged. If Raikkonen and/or Vettel leave next season, Sainz will be above the average.

        2. @heming49
          He’ll turn 26 in September

    3. @heming49 one would think Ferrari don’t want a downgrade. Certainly better than kvyat.

    4. pastaman (@)
      12th May 2020, 12:27

      Yeah, there’s this guy named Mark Russell who’s been posting all over about Sainz. It must be true then

      1. Joss (@racerjoss)
        12th May 2020, 13:07

        I’d go with *totally uninformed opinion*
        First choice: Hamilton
        Second Choice: Ricciardo
        Third Choice: Sainz

        Ferrari value experience and branding and we all know money is not an issue for them. Of course it could be someone else, but at this early stage, these are the front runners.

    5. @heming49
      They were also reporting that Kimi Raikkonen will continue to drive for Ferrari in 2019 since it was the choice of Maurizio Arrivabene and Louis Camilieri until John Elkann met Raikkonen before Monza and informed him of his decision.
      In 2013, Hulkenberg has his contract signed from by his side and was just waiting for Ferrari to announce him as their driver and then Domenicali went for Raikkonen.

      1. Very good point. There is no way to know what will happen until lights out at the next race. It’s Ferrari we’re talking about.

    6. I would tend to agree with Mark Russell….Sainz could be a safe, manageable and reasonably good option for Ferrari… and for Sainz, this is an opportunity which does not come very often and might not be available for him again, so probably worth of the risk for him playing a “number 2” and take the seat to challenge Leclerc and to make more money in the process.
      This could also open the door for Vettel to switch the seats, even though, he might retire…. the long wait for a new car till 2022 might seem like ages for him.

    7. Ferrari already have a young talented driver, why would they need two?

      Hamilton will, on the other hand, give them an experienced multiple world champion PLUS it removes him from the Mercedes threat equation, which is likely to give Ferrari more chance to beat Mercedes.
      Mercedes has built everything around Hamilton, so a major change of approach will provide opportunities for the rest.

      Hamilton is getting towards the end of his career. Any GP driver & especially champion having not driven for Ferrari in F1 will feel like they missed an opportunity & left a box unticked.

      Ferrari also have lots of extra budget now that the reduced cap has been forced on them.

      Hamilton will be in the Ferrari in 2021. No doubts.

      1. I agree with Dale here. Somehow one tends to hope for a surprise, some underdog, but the past has shown that that’s usually not how Ferrari rolls. It’s obvious. Mercedes still have Russell and Ocon, two massive talents. And Stoffel, of course, hahaha.

    8. No way why would they pick sainz, and have two young drivers makes no sense

  2. Perhaps only Lewis Hamilton is not in the running for that seat. But even that simply based on his Mercedes seat being so successful.

  3. Why no polling option here.

    I think it should be Ricciardo. If Ferrari already have an option on him, even more so it should be him.

    1. I agree, I think Ricciardo will get the nod for the seat. I think they’d prefer to have Hamilton, but I’m not sure they can afford him, especially as there’s going to be lesser amounts of F1 TV rights payouts next year.

  4. I hope Ferrari would catch Albon but yes, Merc looking likely to withdraw by the day, so Lewis it is.

    1. Jockey Ewing
      12th May 2020, 13:38

      Yes, thet would be a nice brave effort of Ferrari, but considering RB academy has almost no rookie to get into F1 in one year, while Ferrari academy has several guys with 1-2 years of experience, and atleast decent results at F2 or F3, releasing Albon would be a silly step from RB.
      Imo if there is someone who can prove that he is better than Sainz in the next 1-2years, then that person is Albon. It looks like Sainz has a nice positive personality that adds to his value, but I don’t think he would be more than a second driver at a top team. Although he sill can get lucky in terms of results as a second driver :)
      I won’t exclude Pérez, because Papa Stroll is maybe money driven enough to sell him quite easily. Then Hulk or Vettel could get his seat.
      Kimi would be a funny idea to return to Ferrari, I like him. Imo Ferrari academy has nice candidates, but only for
      a trial season at Alfa, because they are not proven at a high level yet. Droppping Giovinazzi, if he not performs this year and trying 2 of their many candidates, while Kimi having a last season at Ferrari is not impossible at all.
      But mostly I would like to see Ricciardo at Ferrari.

      But these assumptions are not taking Mercedes’ withdrawal into account.

      1. Jockey Ewing
        12th May 2020, 13:57

        Although if Mercedes pulls out, Ferrari can buy some WDC, and constructor titles by buying Hamilton alongside Leclerc. Although that would be a hard to manage pairing, because they would be comaprable to the strongest pairings ever, and those not lasted too long in the previous decades. But in sort term having some titles should be enough for Ferrari to restore their reputation.

        1. Dan (@canon1753)
          12th May 2020, 16:22

          Danny Ric. Hungry, maybe inexpensive comparably, and proven winner.

      2. True about RB having no potential second/third layer right now. Perez would be a great points getter tho.

  5. ColdFly (@)
    12th May 2020, 12:05

    Great overview and I even think the listing is correct as showing declining probability.

    1. ColdFly (@)
      12th May 2020, 12:09

      although the bookies have Sainz a bit higher, but that can change over time.

  6. Bottas?
    By far the most obedient driver on the grid who has spelled #2 in capitals on the back of his suit, and it would disrupt the harmony at Mercedes.

  7. I reckon Perez will get a one year contract and be allowed to
    Leave racing point then Schumacher will replace him in 2 years time once Charles has been there for a while

  8. I think the most logical option is probably Giovinazzi, then Hulkenberg, then maybe Kvyat even ahead of Sainz and Ricciardo. Given the move is probably going to be a seat for a few years until one of their star youngsters comes of age, I don’t think Sainz/Ricciardo will be happy to essentially be a seat warmer.

    1. Hahahahahahaha

    2. Lol Giovinazzi is bad why would they replace a bad driver with an even worse driver

  9. Alonso.

  10. Lets wait and see, after all, we are not party to any of the ongoing discussions that may or may not be taking place.

    1. That is sooo boring, @gruppeb86! Come on, have a guess!! :O)

  11. We’ll all be shocked and disappointed when it turns out to be Giovinazzi. ;P

    1. As Nr. 2 driver he is perfect but for the team constructionship very bad.

  12. I really want one more year of Alonso v Hamilton, but that isn’t realistic.

    If Ferrari are serious about having two competitive drivers to battle Merc, they have to go for Ricciarcdo.

  13. Got to be Ricciardo in the car. Would love to see it as a Ferrari fan. But even more so as an F1 fan. Realistically his only chance of running near the front any time soon.

  14. Best choice would be
    Kimi Raikkonen or Nico Rosberg or Jenson Button
    If they cannot bring any of them, then
    Alonso or Massa would be good choice
    And last reserve Mick Schumacher

    1. …..if the year was like 2013.

  15. I see only two realistic options, Sainz and Giovinazzi. And I highly doubt they would go after a driver who didn’t show anything in his only full season, with all due respect to Giovinazzi, I really like him as a person. He might be a good driver, but a seat at Ferrari after a single season in lower midfield without any remarkable result is a complete sci-fi.

    1. And I add the third option which might be more realistic, surprisingly, than the other two. Didn’t Leclerc speak few weeks ago about how he would like to have Gasly as his teammate? I would all make sense – good dynamics and understanding between the drivers, clear hierarchy…I think this would surpise a lot of people but it’s probably the only scenario based in reality at the moment. If Leclerc’s gonna have his say, it might be Gasly.

      1. Chris (@chrisgalaz)
        12th May 2020, 13:12

        I think Gasly can become a better driver than Sainz. Also the red bull saga means he probably wont cause many problems to ferrari so it would make a lot of sense for ferrari to choose him

      2. @pironitheprovocateur I haven’t read or heard him say that about Gasly, but I’ve also thought of him as a potential outside shot along with Kvyat, Perez, and Hulkenberg.

      3. @pironitheprovocateur If Ferrari is to consider 2nd tier candidates, Gasly is a nice prospect. I can see him faring well alongside his friend.

  16. If it’s Ricciardo and that would be my guess. Then Renault will fire Abitiboul.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if Renault is looking very hard at continuing its F1 project beyond this set of rules.

  17. I would seriously love to see Ricciardo get the drive. He is head and shoulders the best out of all the contenders. He’s mature, has great racecraft and is a proven 7 times winner. He still has the speed and more, He outdrove Vettel and he is a potential WDC…no doubt about that. he’s had pole positions, fastest laps and thirty podiums!!! His win at Monaco in a wounded car was nothing short of magnificent. Give him the right car and he’ll do the business. He’s now 30 years old and a three year contract would encompass his strongest years. Sainz is good but lacks the experience and consistency of Ricciardo. None of the others have the credentials necessary for Ferrari. Ricciardo would be a great fit at Maranello. Fingers crossed.

      1. +1 … more.
        Have always been a Hulk fan, but the bad news is he doesn’t have “The Knack”.
        Ricciardo does. He is a decent team player and knows how to win. 30 podiums … wow.
        In spite of what we may pine for, I fully expect the result to be controversial and from out in Left-Field.
        Which is an admission, we know nothing.

  18. Urvaksh (@thedoctor03)
    12th May 2020, 12:21

    I am surprised Bottas isn’t on the list. Very likely that George Russell will move to the Merc A team in 2021 leaving Bottas without a seat and he is a really safe pair of hands who could be a perfect foil for Leclerc.

    1. If Mercedes does leave F1, I could see it happening.

    2. I too think Bottas would be a very sane choice for Ferrari, but when did they do things that way last time?
      However, if Mercedes decides to quit AND Hamilton wants to stay in the sport… then I can’t see Hamilton going to any other team than Ferrari.

      1. The other possibility, should Merc quit F1, is that they pay Lewis a king’s ransom to race in Formula E. He has said previously that he likes the idea of a more eco-friendly formula, it could net him a huge payday, and it would raise the profile of the category considerably.

  19. As driver salaries are part of the equation under a budget cap it helps to have a driver who brings money.
    Therefore, Perez would be the best option for Ferrari, fast enough, and frees up tens of millions to spend on development.

    Ferrari never had to do that, but never had a budget cap like this either.
    I’m afraid the age of the pay drivers has begun.

    1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
      12th May 2020, 13:27

      The budget cap doesn’t include driver salaries, or the salaries of the top 3 team personnel

    2. I believe you completely misunderstood how budget cap is going to work.

    3. ColdFly (@)
      12th May 2020, 13:51

      Ferrari never had to do that, but never had a budget cap like this either.

      Neither will F1 have ‘a budget cap like that’.
      You might want to read up on the budget cap workings Bart.

  20. I hope it’s Alonso. That’d be fireworks, and that’s awesome.

    I’d like Ricc to have a go, tho. It’s a shame seeing him in the midfield.

    As for Kimi, he left Ferrari to be closer to his family. I’d not even include him as a candidate

    1. @fer-no65 That might’ve had some impact, but definitely wasn’t the primary reason for him leaving Ferrari. It was rather a case of him being forced to leave to make room for a certain someone rather than ‘his’ choice to leave.

  21. Any bets on Mick Schumacher?

  22. Sainz, Ricciardo, Hamilton and Hulkneberg are realistic. Anything else is improbable.

    1. Hamilton is way beyond improbable

      1. Not if Mercedes decides to quit.

  23. I think Sainz could be a really good fit for the Scuderia. For my money, other than Hamilton, he’s the best driver on the list above. Ricciardo is on the same sort of level but I can’t see his personality potentially causing friction.

    For some reason I really struggle to imagine Hamilton ever going to Ferrari. He has been so instrumental in the performance of both McLaren and Mercedes where they’ve made the Scuderia look so ordinary by comparison. Could he really ever integrate into a team which works so differently and has such a different culture to the one which he’s effectively known throughout his entire racing career? Could Ferrari come to see Hamilton as anything other than their nemesis?

    On some level I’m sure every driver feels the alure of the red cars, but Hamilton has made his reputation by being in the right car at the right time, and it’s very hard to see how the right car is going to be the Ferrari. Unless of course Hamilton knows something we don’t.

    1. I had a good laugh at this though:

      Carlos Sainz Jnr showed how big a mistake Red Bull made by letting him slip through their fingers by finishing top among the midfield drivers last year.

      It’s not like they made a mistake backing Verstappen instead of a driver who was beaten by Hulkenberg.

      1. I just think it goes to show how you have to put each driver into the right environment for them to thrive. There are so many factors which impact a driver’s capacity to perform at their top level, what works well for one may fail completely for another. I don’t agree with those who say that Vettel has always been a second rate driver who was just flattered by a good car through his successful years; I think instead he found himself in circumstances which suited his own unique requirements and he managed to capitalise on what was available to him. I feel like most drivers have the capacity to drive at the absolute top level, it’s just that some drivers can naturally access those performance levels in a broader range of circumstances. A driver’s ability is not a fixed point.

        1. Well said, Chris :-)

  24. Valteri Bottas would be my choice all the way. He’s the perfect number 2 who will keep harmony in the team and support LEC all the way. I don’t think they have any reasons to look anywhere else.

  25. Whatever happens Vettel’s legacy stock has gone up imo.
    Credit to him for leaving and hopefully retiring.
    I’ve seen far too many seasons of past their prime drivers hanging on to seats they don’t deserve. F1 used to be all about that years ago.
    Seb was a fantastic wdc. People should remember how awesome he was.

  26. From the comments above, it could be anyone. It depends on what Ferrari want to do, let Leclerc be lead driver and recruit a #2, or have two contenders and accept the on track power struggle. Historically, having a number 2 driver has been better for them so I’m guessing one of the Alfa Romeo drivers to support Leclerc.

  27. It’s very interesting isn’t it. All depends on what Ferrari’s strategy is. To me, it would seem like they have failed with having two “roosters” in the team. Their management of Leclerc and Vettel last year was shambolic at times. If they are smart (long odds) they will not go with another driver who is looking to make a mark.

    Leclerc is their man, he is the anointed one, any driver going there should know that some people may be more equal than others. It has to be a “number 2” driver.

    For this reason, I’d be surprise if Sainz or Ric gets signed. Both would want to win the championship, so would Leclerc, which could lead to a lot of pain. I’d say Hulk or Bottas, potentially even Kimi would be a good shout, perhaps Kvyat, has to be a number 2 though.

    1. Ultimately, it might turn out to depend on what Mercedes’ strategy is @jaymenon10. If Hamilton is seriously on the market, they should take him in.
      If Bottas is out there he might be an option as well, although I think then Ricciardo would be both a better match as well as the better candidate.

      I agree with you though, that if Ferrari is looking for a safe pair of hands in a no.2 they might go for a Hulk, maybe a Bottas – although I wouldn’t underestimate his will to be a winner and champion too. I think Sainz might be in for such a role at the start too though, although his year with Verstappen pointed against that.
      I guess a Kvyat, or even a Gasly could be an option in thatcase too, but I would pick Hulk for that role to take on an experienced driver who can help boost development, or why not Grosjean? He knows the Ferrari engines and is good at development, and Ferrari are certain to have a lot of data available from his driving with their engines too.

    2. @jaymenon10,@bascb, Leclerc is certainly a very good talent, but being able to unsettle and beat Vettel does not make him an absolute sure thing championship winner. Getting Leclerc a reargunner rather than a competitor could leave Ferrari battling for 3rd rather than 1st . If I were making the choice, I would want the best driver I could get alongside Leclerc to be sure he didn’t look better than he really is just because Vettel was underperforming, I’d go for Ricciardo, but I may be b1assed.

  28. They will go to a safe #2 to calm things down, and Giovinazzi will be just that. But I would prefer Kvyat.

    1. I don’t think Giovanazzi has done enough for that yet @gpfacts. In that case it would probably be better to take Hulk for now and plan on promoting Giovanazzi in 2022

      1. @bascb there are better drivers than Hulk for a short-term role – I’d take Grosjean in that case, at least he’s shown in the past he can be extremely quick and doesn’t always bottle it when great results are on offer, unlike Hulk.

        1. If he’s available, I agree that Grosjean might be a more attractive option @tflb. With a good car, he’s shown great speed and a penchant to get it done, he knows the Ferrari engine, and he’s repeatedly been lauded for his skills in developing the car, something Ferrari certainly needs badly.

  29. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    12th May 2020, 12:39

    If Vettel is leaving because he didn’t want to play second fiddle to Leclerc – which is absolutley fair – why would Ricciardo, or Sainz, consider going? Similar to joining Red Bull alongside Verstappen, anyone knows that team will favour Leclerc over any other. That rules out egos like Hamilton and Alonso.

    Raikkonen’s a good bet because I don’t think he cares too much, and Hulkenberg would be a great choice as he’s got no other option. But the others, I think it’s better for them to stay where they are.

    1. It depends a lot on where a driver is in his carer. Raikkonen is only sticking around because he loves to race, he knows he is past his best days and I don’t think he would want to go back to the big media conundrum of being a Ferrari face again. Hamiltons ego rules hin out of leaving Mercedes, yes, but if Mercedes quits than Ferrari would be his only option if he wants to stay. He would never go to a non-race-winning team. Any driver that has not won a race yet would love to get their hands on a Ferrari wheel, even if it means being a number two in the team. If nothing else they all know that a race win would raise their stock on the driver market for the future.

  30. Anyone saying Alonso, Ricciardo and Hulkenberg needs to wake up into reality. All these drivers past 30 full of unfulfilled ambitions make absolutely no sense in the team that needs to be built into the future and has a clear lead driver in a 22 year old driver.

    1. @pironitheprovocateur Ricciardo is 30, not 75… They have Leclerc who is 22 and on his 3rd year in F1 (2nd with Ferrari). It’s not like they already have the most experienced driver out there that can set up the car to perfection, while having tons of racecraft experience. They need safe pair of hands that will help win the WCC more than Vettel did and will not cause drama, not a 18 year old rookie…

    2. @pironitheprovocateur Ferrari’s tradition is to go for experience and likely would have waited with Lerclerc if it wasn’t for Marchionne. Ricciardo’s experience and stable temperament, as well as his Italian heritage makes him a perfect fit.

    3. @pironitheprovocateur never say never… Ferrari re-hired Raikkonen and he was weeeeeeeeeeell past his prime. Hulkenberg I highly doubt it since he’s not won anything but Ricciardo and Alonso could well make it.

    4. ColdFly (@)
      12th May 2020, 14:03

      @pironitheprovocateur, when you wake up you might want to check how old the guy was they hired in 2014 to support Alonso.
      Ferrari is putting its support behind Leclerc and needs a proven points scorer in the second car. Ricciardo might fit that bill better than Sainz.

    5. Your comments are pretty far from reality … like a world away.

  31. Where is Vettel going? Is he retiring? I can see him moving to McLaren and partnering Norris, powered by Mercedes engines. Other than that I can’t see many good options for him. Other than Mercedes? I wonder if Bottas is feeling nervous right now. A Hamilton/Vettel pairing would be great to watch.

  32. Finally, some exciting news!

    I would take Ricciardo. Youngish, experienced, hungry, yet won’t beat Leclerc over a season – and won’t rock the boat because of it. They would amass many points together as a driver pairing, with a good chance at securing the Constructors’ Championship, and Leclerc could take the Drivers’ trophy as a bonus.

    Ricciardo could easily spend 5 or 10 years at Ferrari as a very solid #2 before retiring, helping build the team with the inexperienced but very fast Leclerc.

    1. You know… I don’t see Daniel as the number 2 Type.

      1. +1, DonSmee

  33. Only Facts!
    12th May 2020, 13:09

    Ferrari has been a reputation grinder for almost all of his champion drivers.

    The only two that managed to avoid that fate were drivers who actually had a voice inside Maranello. Of course I’m talking about Lauda and Schumacher/Todt.

    Easy to put a short WDC list together, some quit, some were “quit”.

    1. Only Facts!
      12th May 2020, 13:17

      Ah, and my bet is that Ricciardo would drive for free, but Ferrari is reluctant because he’s a fighter, eager to be champion, not comfortable in the passenger seat.

      Sainz is younger, so he can tolerate a couple of years being wing man.

      Hulk, Alonso, Button, Raikkonen? Seriously?

      1. If Sainz went there to be a wingman, he would only be doing so to raise his stock with other teams, or in the hope that Leclerc might leave (unlikely, as Ferrari seem happy to build a team around him) or suffer a major loss of ability. Leclerc is younger and faster than Sainz, so Sainz wouldn’t be the heir apparent.

  34. Bearing in mind that McLaren will have Mercedes engines next year, it may be better for Sainz to remain at McLaren as the #1 driver. He seems to be in a very nice position there. If its down to just money now, the lure of the Lira may swing things but his prospects at Woking look very attractive.

    1. ColdFly (@)
      12th May 2020, 14:09

      Sainz to remain at McLaren as the #1 driver. He seems to be in a very nice position there.

      I still think Norris will start to outscore Sainz at McLaren based on pure talent and growth potential; maybe it will happen this year, @mrfill.
      But even so, Sainz’ position as #1 at McLaren will certainly be longer than such a position at Ferrari.

  35. Not sure Ferrari can be considered as title contender for 2021 given their engine situation and will that change in 2022?
    Many of the above won’t have any other go at a top running car, but I don’t see Hamilton trading his drive at Mercedes for a Ferrari in the next 2 years… (as long as Mercedes is still in).

    I am surprised that Giovinazzi is not in the list, surely Ferrari should be interested into having an Italian driver in the car. They have their number one with Leclerc and I am not sure he needs a more experienced number 2 alongside. Giovinazzi would make for a perfect number 2 (maybe lacking a bit of performance but shouldn’t worry Leclerc or trouble Ferrari which might not want 2 drivers fighting for the top spot).

    Otherwise Sainz is certainly first in line.

  36. Clearly Ricciardo

  37. Maybe Ferrari should check out some of the lunatic wannabe F1 drivers speeding around our nearly empty roads her in the UK at the moment!!!
    Would love to see Alonso come back though – even of it’s to fill the seat of one of the other possible candidates if they move to Ferrari (Alonso v Ocon might be interesting)

  38. Carlos Sainz Jnr showed how big a mistake Red Bull made by letting him slip through their fingers by finishing top among the midfield drivers last year.

    Really? I was more under the impression that Team Sainz made themselves as impossible as Alonso in the past, by playing political games together with the Spanish press.

    Thereby sowing discontent within the team.

    And after Verstappen got promoted to Red Bull, they became rancorous, making it an even more impossible working relationship.

  39. I think the driver market for2021 as much deeper implications than who will fill the Ferrari seat. How many teams will commit to 2021? Renault are serious contender to leave releasing Riccardo and Ocon. Mercedes could well pull the plug on it’s racing team and supply power units only. Wolff and Stroll take over Brackley under the Aston Martin banner and keep Racing Point as a satellite team? Would Hamilton stay loyal to Wollf? would Ocon slot into replace Bottas? Lots of questions and no clear answers yet.

  40. János Henkelmann
    12th May 2020, 13:41

    Ricciardo is surely the only option they have if they want a “Barrichello” who is always ready to pick up the pieces whenever Leclerc should be struggling.

    Ricciardo has proven his worth.
    Ricciardo is hungry.
    Ricciardo is the obvious choice for me.

    1. I don’t think he wants to sit beside a new Verstappen. He would obviously be the second fiddle. One way of comparing could be the length of their contracts. Leclerc has 5 years. He is the no. 1 driver in that team no matter who the other driver will be.

  41. Alonso return for Ferrari’s first title since 2007!

  42. The only three things I would bet on are that neither Alonso nor Hamiton are going to Ferrari and Vettel already has his own future mapped out and tied down.

    If Ferrari have decided that Leclerc is the future they will need a support driver good enough to win races when Leclerc fumbles it and good enough to win points to assure a constructors title. Who fits that bill? Not Sainz or Riccardo who both would find a number two position irksome. Perhaps Bottas who is out of contract next year. He has proven his speed and that he can win and he is a team player. No-one else fits the bill as well.

  43. Lots of different thoughts on this, but with Ricciardo probably having an option I would think he would be Ferraris preferred choice. Hamilton why would he leave the no1 team? McLaren getting the no1 power unit giving them a real chance of challenging for wins why would Sainze leave? But we will see.

  44. I’m going against convention – they’ll sign Mick Schumacher

  45. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    12th May 2020, 13:55

    Real shame! I’ve been Vettel’s critic for a while especially his wheel to wheel racing but F1 would not have been the same without him the past decade. After Rosberg left, Vettel was the one to fill the void left in terms of entertainment.

    Obviously, the single-year contract should have kept private and it’s not a real offer as they gave Leclerc a multi-year contract. It seems that someone at Ferrari may have trouble processing low-level thoughts.

    I love Albon, Sainz, Leclerc and the rest but watching them race would be akin to eating a bowl of overcooked, unseasoned pasta. Can you imagine a F1 grid made up of 20 Daniels? Everyone has a role to play and Vettel has played his role to perfection.

    The perfect end to this would be when F1 restarts, Vettel has no issues with the new car and is quicker than Leclerc and the Ferrari staff do a meme of banging their heads against the wall in unison. Binotto is seen holding a multi-year contract and we discover that Vettel flushes it down the toilet in Season 3 of Netflix’s Drive to survive! Then, Daniel recovers it to check the terms and negotiate …

    1. That’ll be ‘the’ perfect end. But the wording of separation letters was a bit rough. Vettel could very well be not racing this year.

  46. Hamilton has to be top of the shopping list, but that will be completely down to Hamilton’s decision, not Ferrari’s. Verstappen is locked in at Red Bull. After that they are going for the third best option – Ricciardo, Sainz, Bottas. You can’t really look outside these names unless they really just want a number two for Leclerc. I hope Vettel stays in the sport and swaps with whoever takes his seat (Seb vs Lewis at Mercedes would be amazing).

  47. I’d like to see Sainz get it – I guess Ricciardo will be the most popular choice on here, but for me he’s had his time in a top team and has proven himself very good but not quite at the top level. Otherwise, Perez would be a good choice – depending on Stroll’s level of investment, could there be a chance of Vettel ending up at Racing Point/Aston Martin? Probably not but worth a thought. I suspect Ferrari will delay their choice for a while, they’re not going to be short of options really. Maybe if Giovinazzi has a good start when the season gets underway then even he could have a shot. Hulkenberg and Kvyat though – no thanks.

  48. Gavin Campbell
    12th May 2020, 14:15

    I’m perplexed why they would look anywhere else than Danny Ric.
    He can win, older calmer head and been at multiple teams over the years (HRT,Toro Rosso, Red Bull, Renault). It would make them a force especially for the Constructors.

    It also doesn’t upset the Apple cart as he is out of contract – I feel other than the grumbling over the budget caps there generally is a feeling of all togetherness at the moment. Also inside the team if a multiple race winner and vastly experienced driver in Danny beats Leclerc early on it can calmly be explained away. Sainz or another midfield runner would be under huge pressure to prove themselves from the off in the red car.

    1. I don’t think Ricciardo is a calm head at all… he was involved in several incidents last year where his over-aggressive moves caused trouble.

      1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        12th May 2020, 14:33


        This is something that shows drivers seem to be up and down. When Ricciardo was at Red Bull, he wasn’t having these sorts of incidents. Those who rate Sainz may say he had an excellent year last year (which is the case), but just a year or two before, he had rather a lot of clumsy/careless accidents similar to Ricciardo last year. How they are in 1 random season year doesn’t reflect their future. One reason why I think Sainz just having one solid year isn’t enough for Ferrari to decide he will replace Vettel this soon.

        Ricciardo has been against Verstappen and beaten him or at least been reasonably close for several years, and over that time, I have considered Verstappen to be one of the best drivers. Sainz has had 1 great looking year in a new team, against a rookie that matched him in qualifying.

        If they are wanting a quick driver, I think Ricciardo is the best option. If Bottas is out of mercedes at the end of this year (I think that is unlikely), I think he will be a solid option.

        1. @thegianthogweed hmm… I’m unconvinced by the arguments regarding the relative merits of Sainz vs Ricciardo. Sainz was more or less neck-and-neck with Verstappen pace-wise, Verstappen then stepped into Red Bull and immediately matched or beat Ricciardo for pace. I’m not really a Max fan but to say Ricciardo was better than him in 2016/17 is like saying Kvyat was better than Ricciardo in 2015… yes, more points, but a lot of that was down to unreliability and bad luck. Personally I think Sainz’ bad year at Renault was an off-year and he would be the better option – he’s been very impressive in all other seasons with TR and McLaren.

          1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
            12th May 2020, 21:50


            I’m no fan of verstappen, but Ricciardo did look better at first, then as I think Verstappen got to be quite a lot better towards the end of 2017/ 2018 (but not at the start of 2018) by then I think it was clear Verstappen was better than Ricciardo.

            Using Sainz vs Verstappen in 2015 is pretty irrelevant now. Verstappen has proved himself against very good drivers, but he wasn’t right with Ricciardo instantly. Sainz has been with a rookie Verstappen, while being good for a rookie, still wasn’t exactly great in his first year and Sainz wasn’t as good as Verstappen either IMO.

            Since then, Sainz has been against kvyat mostly who really was not good most of this time which I think flatters Sainz’s performances.

            And I’ve got to disagree that he’s been impressive at Torro Rosso in all his seasons. His rookie season was decent, but 2017 was pretty bad IMO. He caused more retirements than any other drivers that year. One with a very optimistic lunge on Stroll in Bahrain taking them both out. Forcing Grosjean onto the grass in Canada then when Grosjean came back on track to avoid losing control, Sainz still didn’t seem to think he was there and turned into him again, losing control of his car, crashing into Massa and nearly causing him and Grosjean to take a load of others out. This in my opinion was the closest a driver has come to repeating what Grosjean did on Hamilton in Belgium 2012. He did however still get 2 penalty points and a 3 place grid drop for the next race which I think was possibly not enough of a penalty (and i was not the only one on this site thinking this at the time). He actually got the exact same penalty in Bahrain. Then in japan (his final race for Toro Rosso), he ran wide in the early stages of the first lap with nobody else involved and hit the barrier and retired.

            None of this reflects on his last season at Mclaren, but I strongly disagree that he was good in “all other seasons” I personally think that since his first season, he’s been rather inconsistent until this single year with McLaren (although still, being matched by a rookie in qualifying in your 5th season may not be a great sign for him being in a top team). He was clearly better in the races though. If he continues to show to be as strong as last year, then I think it would be more realistic for a top team to have him if they haven’t gone for anyone else. But I still think Ricciardo is somewhat better than him.

        2. I hope Ricciardo get the seat too, but I worry he might be too good for them. If Ferrari wants a #2 for Leclerc than Ricciardo’s tensions with Verstappen go against him. Sainz is probably not a match for Charles, but is safe and reliable points scorer.

  49. Ferrari have fared badly in handling 2 drivers equal, historically. They need a #2 driver for sure, but who can develop and push Leclerc into showing all he’s got, without causing too much problems? How about Ocon? And who will be able to make the switch to the all new format cars next year, without crashing down the pecking order? I suspect more of the above average aged drivers will fail the cut next year.

    1. Not next year, the year after. They’re even countenancing moving the change in regulations to 2023, because the teams won’t have the budget for development of a new car alongside the current vehicles in 2021.

  50. I think we are all missing a point here, about Hamilton. Ferrari might want to have him for one reason, which is not having him in their roster, as much as not having him in a Mercedes. That looks like the only way to really defeat their “enemy”, or if you want their only opposition -until now- at winning: just take him out of that car. If that means having him in red, fine, whatever solution will do. This might be worth a phone call to Lewis from Maranello. He will say no 99 times out of 100, but it’s worth a shot.

  51. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
    12th May 2020, 14:25

    I do wonder why Bottas isn’t on this list. It is making it look like he’s very likely to still be at Mercedes next year somehow. Given what he’s been like with Hamilton, he will likely be an ideal number 2 at Ferrari.

    As for Sainz, he did look to have a great year last year, but the car also was dramatically better than the year before due to the new engine and maybe other stuff too. It also clearly had an all new line up. Plus he was against a rookie who matched him in qualifying. I think how good the car was compared to last year and being against a rookie made his performances look far better than he actually is. I wouldn’t argue with anyone rating him 5th – 3rd best last year, but if he was in a car that was more mixed with the rest, or a top team, I think he would be more like he was in 2017 – 2018, which wasn’t very good.

    But he’s done a great job at this team so far and him and Norris get on so well and they make a pretty strong line up. McLaren are on the way up, so staying there would make sense to me.

    Despite Ricciardo not having a great season last year, I think he’s the most sensible choice for Ferrari.

  52. Alonso or Kimi. Play it safe.

  53. If Ferrari want to have two more or less equal drivers I think and hope they go for Ricciardo. I think a Sainz/Leclerc relationship could become quite volatile and I think the maturity of Daniel would help in this respect. Sainz is the other clear option though.

    If they want to go for a no.1/no.2 relationship then it gets a bit more tricky to tell. Hulkenberg or Giovinazzi would be the obvious choices. Outsiders would be Gasly or Kvyat.

  54. As good as Leclerc is, it will probably still be too soon in his career for him to lead a top team, which makes it surprising that Ferrari couldn’t keep hold of Vettel when they probably need someone like him more than ever. Hamilton and Alonso are the only drivers who would be suitable replacements for him, but Hamilton might not be available and it would be strange if they decided to rehire Alonso. I know Ricciardo and Sainz have been mentioned but I don’t see either of them really inspiring Ferrari to succeed. It will be interesting to see who gets the drive because right now I have no clear idea who it will be.

    1. Youth does not preclude someone from leading. Leclerc would have more experience than Hamilton did when he lead McLaren in only his second year there.

  55. The thing with Hamilton is, if he did take the inexplicable decision to part company with Mercedes, I really do think there’d be more inclination towards Milton Keynes than Maranello. If you had to pick a team who’d be successful in the future, I’d put more money on Red Bull being the one, and now really would be the ideal time to join the team. So long as there are assurances about their long term commitment.

  56. RIC please! If not, maybe Hulk…..


    Don’t waste your time anymore. Bad luck, the chosen one is Sainz. That what they say in Italy, check it out: https://it.motorsport.com/f1/news/f1-ferrari-per-la-firma-di-sainz-mancano-solo-dettagli/4791380/.

    Here, a paddock insider just published today that Sainz is going to be announced in the next 48 hours. Try not to cry a lot to this post, please. This includes the author of this pathetic try to make Sainz look bad for his “loyalty” to McLaren. I will enjoy it when Sainz dresses in red from 2021 on. I hope you do as well!

    1. I hope this is not true but I rather think it might be. Does anyone know how reliable this source is?

      1. @phil-f1-21 Right now it’s nothing more than gossip.

        1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
          12th May 2020, 21:52


          That is exactly what I think. There are a lot of places around that you can’t trust. Basically, wait until the places that have only ever had correct news stories published before you trust them. Given no other sites mention this oficially, even including the official F1 page. Plus the fact it has been hours since this article was published, I think it confirms nothing.

  58. I’d go for Alonso. He is probably not that expensive right now, as he is desparately waiting for an opportunity like that. Also many leading figures of his Ferrari days are gone now. Time for retribution.

  59. It’ll be Hamilton for list of reasons.

  60. A young American please, isn’t that where Ferrari sell the most cars?

  61. Being a Ferrari driver is something different than being an ordinary F1 driver..
    The pressure jumping into the red seat is that high so I wouldn’t pick another young guy like Sainz, Kvyat (not seriously!) or someone else..
    Ricciardo is a good choice. He behaved well next to Max and he’s always got a smile on his face…

    Alonso would be the top story of the century!

  62. Hamilton will never switch to a slower car. He likes his dominating wins and the statistics such unbeatable car gives him. Only way he would switch to ferrari is if he knew merc was pulling out. As for alonso I don’t think he has any interest coming back to f1 just to finish second. For both drivers there is only 2 seats worth their time in F1 and one of them has it.

    For ricciardo this is his do or die moment. Renault is not going anywhere and every year ricciardo’s star dims slightly. After one or two more seasons he will be forgotten, his wins will be forgotten and he will be rated yet another mid field driver. The top 6 spots in f1 are locked out before the race even starts and unless you are in those top 6 seats you are not in the headlines. Ricciardo needs that seat. His name still carries some weight. If he doesn’t destroy ocon his f1 chances in top team are gone forever.

    And the way I see he is the only option that makes sense. Kvyat is too slow and unreliable, kimi is not up to it anymore and others are either too slow or just unavailable. Giovanazzi is too slow and being a alfa driver is a candidate too. And I think it is telling his name is not mentioned. Sainz needs more than one good year against a pure rookie to prove his earlier defeats to verstappen and hulkenberg were just him being a rookie. He did well at mclaren but why didnt he do well at toro rosso and renault? To change seats during mid season puts a big question mark on him.

    1. F1oSaurus (@)
      12th May 2020, 19:58

      @socksolid Pretty sure Hamilton sees plenty potential at Ferrari for him to win there.

      For instance, Hamilton knows he would have won with Ferrari in 2017 and 2018 if Vettel and himself were swapped. To be honest, Hamilton would probably even be fighting Bottas still for the title.

      Mercedes might be the more stable team, but Ferrari at least had the better car for two seasons and Vettel kept throwing it away. Ferrari looked to have the better car for 2019 too, but then the drivers were unable to extract the maximum yet again. And then they were outed for cheating with their engine and the whole thing crumbled down even more.

      Still, that doesn’t mean Ferrari could come back out on top with a good lead driver able to show the team the way forward.

      Look how fast Mercedes perked up after Hamilton joined them. They were barely a “head of the midfield” team before Hamilton joined them. From P5 in 2012 to P2 in 2013 and then onwards. Or see how quickly McLaren collapsed after he left them.

      1. @f1osaurus
        The difference is that while ferrari could be a competitor for the championship it is a certainty that the team they need to beat is mercedes. While ferrari could do it in theory, mercedes can and will do it. If lewis leaves from merc to ferrari who gets the second merc seat? Verstappen? Can lewis in a ferrari beat verstappen in faster merc? No. Can he beat bottas? Sure, but bottas is not number 1 merc driver now and won’t likely be if lewis leaves.

        1. Or maybe Mercedes hire Vettel in that case @socksolid, if they remain solid, maybe Vettel will regain his best qualities too.

  63. I feel like this is going to come down to Ricciardo and Sainz. Sainz had one good year at McLaren, Ricciardo is a proven top line driver as we saw him take the fight to Verstappen. His easy going personality will probably not be as volatile as Vettel and he has more experience to help develop the car.

    1. BabyCREGODriver
      12th May 2020, 17:09

      Why has nobody picked the most obvious choice – KUBICA!!

      1. You’ve stolen my comment… :)

      2. Your ten years too late.

    2. One good year at McLaren and several at Toro Rosso… and compared much better to Verstappen than Ricciardo did.

      1. Ricciardo finished ahead of Max for two seasons while they were teammates. Sainz had some bad luck at Torro Rosso, but his best finish was 7th while Max twice finished 4th for Torro Rosso. I like Sainz, but I think he’ll end up being like Bottas for Ferrari.

        1. Dane: And Kvyat and Vergne both finished ahead of Ricciardo while they were teammates… final scores do not necessarily tell the whole story.

  64. Ignoring all those rumours that Sainz might be close getting a contract, I think the most sensible option would be Daniel Ricciardo. He’s a proven race winner, has superior overtaking skills, is non-political and on top he is one of Leclerc’s best buddies. All the ingredients needed for a successful relationship with Charles and the team.

    I know it’s tempting for Sainz to move to Maranello, but I’m not sure he should give up what he has at McLaren. The team is clearly on the rise with Seidl and Key, their move back to Mercedes engines is exciting and there’s similar harmony between him and Norris as with Leclerc and Ricciardo. He has the chance to build a successful team around him.

    Last comment on Vettel: I heard he wants to continue but unless Merc comes around the corner with an irresistible offer, I’d retire. McLaren and Renault are a clear step back and I doubt it’s the right thing for him to do.

    1. Regarding Hamilton: I agree with most here and think he will only go to Ferrari if he knows Merc pulls the plug. Other than that I can’t see him leave the team.

      Alonso is pretty much out of the question for me. I think he burned too many bridges in the past.

      I think Hulkenberg has an outside chance here for an F1 return, if not at Ferrari then maybe at the team that loses a driver to the Scuderia.

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        12th May 2020, 19:19

        If it is Sainz, I can’t see why it wouldn’t just be a straight swap with Vettel heading to McLaren.

  65. Ferrari letting VET go is the strongest sign LEC is their priority. Hence, there is no logic whatsoever at bringing in the likes of HAM, ALO, and even RIC.

    That leaves GIO as an option. Problem is, he’s not ready for a top seat. That’s where Sainz enters. His past season showed he is ready. At the first time that he has had good prospect and environment he has delivered. I think the moment is his, though I do not think Ferrari is the right prospect. But that’s how things are: if you have a top spot avaiable, you have to go.

  66. Don’t forget people that there are two things that need considering,

    1. Sadly there has not been any racing so far this year, all though a return to racing could happen June / July time and that Ferrari might want to do some window shopping first and follow any drivers short listed progress carefully.
    2. Ferrari normally announce driver line-ups in September around the time of the Italian Grand-Prix.

    However I am aware too that Carlos Sainz JR move to Ferrari could be announced on Thursday / Friday according to reports I’ve seen online, if I was Ferrari I wouldn’t rush into making that decision anytime soon.

  67. F1oSaurus (@)
    12th May 2020, 19:49

    Really hope they give Ricciardo the chance they should have given him already.

  68. All reasonable options mentioned so far… but all miss the big politico picture.

    It’s Lance at Ferrari for 2021 or 2022 or 2023… whenever the bankrupted FWONK is taken over by another Stroll consortium. Stroll Sr. is an avid Ferrari collector. He’d be the #1 Ferrari collector in the world if collected the entire team as well as the cars.

  69. Hamilton is well aware that Senna wanted to end his career at Ferrari. IF they offered him the seat, I’m sure he would take it.

  70. George Russell ?

  71. Riccardo + Sainz + Alonso + Perez + Armstrong + Giovinazzi + Hulk + (….full in the blank). All together as the budget Cap, Ferrari next yr will run F1 + Indy + Wec + Imsa championships

  72. Hamilton. He will be 8 times a champion, and so the greatest of all time, with nothing left to gain at Mercedes. Just the mere fact of having driven for Ferrari in his carreer becomes more than reason enough for him to do it at that point. I think he has become quite pragmatic of late, an attitude that will serve him well to support this great guy Leclerc and have a bit less pressure on his shoulders while still occasionally winning in his ‘twilight years’. Hamilton, for sure. Obvious.

    1. And, oh, alomst forgot the possibly most important part: Hamilton / Ferrari is a PR dream for all parties involved. Now what was it that makes the world go round again?

      1. I meant 7.

    2. Craig Simons
      13th May 2020, 6:13

      Lewis Hamilton will NEVER join Ferrari. People need to get this pipe dream out of their heads. The media and many fans would love to see it – hence why they keep touting the idea of Hamilton to Ferrari as if it were gospel. They genuinely believe if they say it enough, it will become reality…

      Well sorry to burst that bubble, but Hamilton has been loyal to Mercedes for his entire career. And he knows that he’ll be rewarded handsomely by them, if he continues to do so. Don’t forget that Hamilton is 36 years old in January; he’ll almost certainly be retiring within the next five years (the vast majority of F1 drivers retire between 35-40 years old).

      He’s already an ambassador for the Mercedes brand, and he’ll continue to be an ambassador for them, providing he stays loyal. Hamilton knows what a lucrative prospect this is – much more lucrative than a last gasp dash to Ferrari.

  73. Hamilton isn’t leaving merc, and Ricciardo is the obvious best choice. Ricciardo gets along with Leclerc and speaks italian and is one of if not the best driver on the grid

    1. @carlosmedrano yes it’s so obvious that Ferrari will surely not go for that..

  74. Imagine Lewis going to Ferrari. That would be huge! But really hoping its Ricciardo, He will really push Leclerc, may even beat him…
    And Speaking Italian is not the be all end all as mostly everyone mentions.

  75. Ideal: Hamilton.
    Possible: Ricciardo.

  76. I think it will be between Ric and Sainz to replace Seb. Lewis seems to have chosen to stay with Mercedes.
    But considering it is a Ferrari seat there could be a bombshell announcement.

  77. I can’t remember when Ferrari last didn’t have a WDC in their driver lineup, so I’d imagine they’ll throw everything at securing Hamilton if they stay true to form.

    I can’t see them going back to either Alonso or Kimi.

    If not Hamilton, I’m thinking realistically they’ll chase Ricciardo and I can’t see him turning it down given that Renault failed to deliver. Renault would need to put up a very strong argument to convince him to stay.

    Others….. low percentage calls unless they want to buy someone like Verstappen out of his contract. They need to have at least a Ricciardo if they want to secure the WCC.

  78. Sainz’s claim to fame is beating Lando Norris.

    The Ferrari line up will be too inexperienced.

    RBR has an inexperienced line up but Verstappen is the best driver on the grid and the team itself is stable whereas Ferrari have no continuity.

    Ricciardo is too much of a joker. It feels like he doesn’t take things seriously enough. Ferrari doesn’t like people who think they are bigger than the brand. He ran from a fight with Verstappen too. Shows a brittle mentality.

    1. @ Anon…what a load of old garbanzo’s. Verstappen is one of the best on the grid…not the best. Ricciardo is every bit as good as him and past races would prove that point. Your claim that he’s a joker are simply so wide of the mark as to be ludicrous. When the visor goes down he’s every bit as serious as any other driver. You need to read comments from the drivers who are best placed to make that judgement. As for him running from Red Bull/Verstappen ? The reason he left was the fact that Marko/Horner stated publically that their F1 ‘raison d’etre’ was to make Verstappen the youngest WDC!! How do you think that plays out with Ricciardo? Baku was the final nail. Read Ricciardo’s commnts re that dirty little episode and then you may just get a measure of the man who stated, ‘ I will never apologise’. Horner’s ‘running ‘statement was made out of spite in being unable to con Ricciardo into staying.

      1. Ricciardo was destroyed by Verstappen in 2018.

        Ran from a fight.

        Verstappen was immediately on Ricciardo’s pace as soon as he stepped up to RBR.

        1. @ anon…obviously you still don’t get it. Re read my post and inwardly digest before posting drivel.

  79. The way I see it –
    1) Ricciardo – Probably the fastest driver out of a contract. He’s a proven race winner and would be a genuine championship contender if Ferrari has competitive machinery. He also plays well with others.. and might be a good teammate to Leclerc if Ferrari want to field two competitive drivers for a championship challenge.
    2) Sainz – Would be a solid addition to the team. Consistent yet fast enough to push Leclerc. If Ferrari stick to their one rooster philosophy, Sainz or Bottas are probably the best #2 drivers they can possibly get.
    3) Hamilton – He would never leave a far superior team like Mercedes for Ferrari. So why even discuss it.
    4) Perez – He isn’t good enough to beat Leclerc and be a championship contender. His sour attitude makes him a bad #2 driver… the guy just isn’t a team player. I don’t see why Ferrari would want to sign him.
    5) Kvyat – Nope. Just isn’t fast or consistent enough to race for a top team.
    5) Hulkenberg – I think he would make a solid addition to the team. He did beat Sainz when they were at Renault, so it shows that he does have the pace. He’s as solid a contender as Sainz or Bottas if Ferrari choose a 1 rooster philosophy for their racing team. He plays well with others too
    6) Raikonnen – He would be a solid #2 option as well. But I just don’t think he’s motivated enough to back to Ferrari and join the circus that surrounds it.
    7) Alonso – Honestly, if Ferrari want to mount a championship challenge with two competitive drivers. Alonso is as attractive an option as Ricciardo. The major issue is that Alonso won’t play well with others either… so… unless Ricciardo turns down an offer from Ferrari, I don’t see Ferrari contacting Alonso. I would love to see a Leclerc – Alonso pairing, but it seems highly unlikely.

    I’m surprised Bottas isn’t on the list.. he should be as strong a contender as Sainz.

  80. Ricciardo won many more races than Leclerc (and in a worse car), plus he’s a better demographic to sell Ferraris (or Maclarens but obviously not Red Bull softdrink). Ferrari just showed they don’t mind swapping their lead driver…. but the reality is both drivers failed in that car. If Ferrari had a brain Ricciardo would be a dream for them.. but their lack of success suggests they don’t – so I hope Ricciardo goes Maclaren with a Merc engine.

  81. The more I think about it the more i like the fact that Ricciardo has gone to McLaren. Renault sold him a pup…in many ways. I’m sure that if Renault were on the cusp of becoming part of the top four that he would’ve stayed but sadly that was not about to happen. He now has the weight of McLaren on his shoulders and i’m equally sure that he’ll do a great job. The fact that he pulled a top salary [ ? ] from people who know which way is up more or less confirms that. Mercedes engines and a chassis built under guidance of Andreas Seidl who was a mastermind, among others, that took Porsche to the very top of WEC says that he’s in good shape for a crack at the WDC/WCC within the next 2/3 years. At Ferrari, despite the glamor, he’d be competing against a driver who has been annointed as unmistakenly No.! and Daniel is no No.2. Can now rest easy and can’t wait to see it all come to fruition. Damn virus!!!!

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