Who will be the next three new world champions?

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    Craig Woollard

    I have seen lately that there have been some not-so-nice posts about various things, so I thought we could have a bit of fun. There are 17 drivers on the grid who have not won the driver’s title, and many more in junior categories who certainly have the potential to reach the very top. I was wondering, who will be the next 3 new World Champions, in order? Had, 5 years ago, anybody had said Hamilton, Button and Vettel, they probably would have been laughed at, so let’s go!

    I think it will be: Nico Hulkenberg, Valtteri Bottas, and James Calado. Hulkenberg is the most experienced of these 3 and showed some impressive front-running form towards the end of last season, and is sure to be in a top car sooner rather than later. Bottas, though we cannot see exactly what he can do yet, has a lot of expectation on his shoulders, and I’m sure he will deliver eventually, but perhaps not for a few seasons. James Calado impressed massively in his rookie GP2 season, and is backed by Lotus, so surely he could end up there at some point, and with a good car, I’m sure he’s capable of becoming champion eventually.


    Interesting topic, but when would you see these guys winning the title? Vettel and Hamilton could easily be around another 7 or 8 seasons each. And Alonso and Raikkonen still are putting in excellent performances. They haven’t had a top car to show what they can do but certainly I find it hard to imagine Hulkenberg or Perez or Grosjean or anyone else for that matter beating any of the big three drivers over the course of a season with the level of performance they are showing at the minute. I suppose when Alonso’s contract runs out is the big chance for one of those guys to get a top seat without an undisputed number one driver. Although if Vettel goes to Ferrari then Red Bull could potentially be an attractive proposition.

    Anyway I would agree Hulkenberg has the best shot of the new drivers on the grid, but on the other hand I could quite easily foresee a situation where there are no new champions for another 4 or 5 years at least. And who knows what sort of outstanding new drivers will come into the sport in the meantime, a new Vettel or Hamilton?


    Hulkenberg, da Costa, Vandoorne.

    Craig Woollard

    @debaser91 I’m not entirely certain. I think it will depend on when the likes of Button, Alonso, Raikkonen and Webber retire. They will only have 8 years left in them max, less in Webber’s case, and who will come in and replace them. If we have a situation like we got with McLaren where they picked Perez over Kobayashi (which I still believe is not the best driver they could have gone for) then it may take longer for a driver like Hulkenberg or the next Vettel/Hamilton to emerge to the front. Speaking of which, whilst those two are about and have many years left in them it might take 10 years before we get another new champion!

    Craig Woollard

    @Enigma Ah I completely forgot da Costa! He may well certainly be champion also! I’m not familiar with Vandoorne though!


    @craig-o He’s a Belgian that won the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup title last year and is one of the favourites for the 3.5 title this year (alongside da Costa, of course).


    Perez, Bianchi, Vergne


    Grosjean, Hulkenberg, Perez. I would really like to see Grosjean win a WDC


    Hulkenberg.. Bottas.. Da Costa

    Craig Woollard

    @Enigma Ah! Well hopefully he can take the fight to da Costa then this season, rather than FR3.5 being an all da Costa show!


    @craig-o Da Costa did look unstoppable towards the end of 2012, but I think he’ll face a tough challenge from the likes of Vandoorne, Magnussen and Sorensen…could be a great season.

    Anyway, back to the topic, it does look likely that the already-champions will win a few titles before someone else wins their first.


    Nico Rosberg, Nico Hulkenberg, Sergio Perez, Valtteri Bottas, Robin Frijns, Antonio Felix da Costa, and Stoffel Vandoorne all have good chances of being WDC sometime in the future.

    However, IMO Rosberg and even Hulkenberg are already too old. Therefore, my three picks, as I have to narrow it down, are Sergio Perez, Robin Frijns, and Antonio Felix da Costa.

    Oh BTW, I’m unpleasantly surprised that no one has mentioned Frijns yet!

    Aish Heydrich

    Well since we are naming guys who don’t even race now, and the fact there maybe rookie world champions?!? I’m gonna have a go at it..

    Bianchi, Bottas, Chilton.

    Aled Davies

    I think that with the strength of the field right now it’s very hard to say.

    Vettel and Hmailton only have a few years between them, Alonso and Button are now into their thirties as is Raikkonen.

    So there’s certainly scope for Hamilton and Vettel being around still in 8- years! Vettel seems almost certain to join Ferrari once Alonso leaves/retires and there’s no doubt that Mercedes have brought Hamilton in to be their man to bring them the success that they are investing in with all the top technical talent now there/due to join.

    I’d certainly think that Hulkenberg will eventually be up there…other than that Bottas is very highly rated so will be good to the likes of him and Perez develop over the next few seasons.

    Main thing to notice though is how lucky we are..I first started watching F1 in th mid 90s and then you Had Schumacher/Hill/Villenueve/Hakkinen. Other than that there were not a lot of great drivers about! In the early 2000’s Schumacher was way on his own while Raikkonen & Alonso came in and learnt their trade.

    At the moment we have world champions:


    Multi winners:


    One time winners:


    so plenty of drivers who have achieved success of some kind plus young drivers who look to have lots of potential: Perez/Hulkenberg/Bottas/Maldonado etc


    While Hülkenberg is clearly very talented, he’ll have trouble finding an opportunity to win the WDC. He’ll need a driver at Ferrari or another top team soon if he wants to pull it off.

    Otherwise, I really want to say Bottas, but it’ll take more time to see if he’s the real deal. Bianchi looks promising, as do Frijns and especially Da Costa.

    Pérez could have a shot if McLaren have a really good year at some point, though Button would be an obstacle in pulling that off. Also, I just can’t help but feel that he’ll pull a Kovalainen. We’ll have to wait and see.

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