Guess the 2018 Grid

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  • #244527

    Here’s an out-there suggestion.

    No grid for 2018. After the financial situation in F1 came to a head in late 2015 when Williams folded and had to withdraw halfway through the season, teams got together and lobbied for massive reform of the commercial situation in F1. The commercial rights holder tries to hold out for a better deal, and calls the bluff of the teams when they threaten to form a breakaway championship. This actually happens – under the ACO, a premiere open-wheeled championship is formed as a partner series to the World Endurance Championship, known as the World GP Championship. The WEC/WGPC calendar is bolstered to 20 races, with the new additions hosting 4 hour WEC ‘sprints’ and two hour WGPC races, but with the option of creating longer events for WEC in the future. Most teams join this new championship – McLaren (de-facto Honda factory team), RBR, Lotus (bought out by Rebellion Racing), Sauber (partnering the Audi LMP1 team) – along with the creation of stock chassis components which can be bought by privateer teams forming a second tier. Technical regs are broadly similar to previous open-wheeled formula, but with a closed polycarbonate canopy around the driver, and an equalisation of engine regulations with LMP1. This allows for greater technical freedom, attracting additional auto manufacturers to launch their own teams to showcase their technology. Powertrains must generate 65% of their power from hybrid electrical systems.

    The remaining F1 teams stay with the FIA, in a newly created GP1 championship. This is a more historical formula, with a design continuity from the nearly 00’s. Engines are turbocharged small displacement V6s with no hybrid systems. Calendar remains more or less the same as the old F1 calendar. With little major competition, Ferrari win the inaugural GP1 championship, though Force India chase them hard through the early part of the season. The much-called for stability from F1 is finally achieved, with a technical agreement which assures teams that only certain small changes to aero and drivetrain regulations can be made each year, to keep costs largely under control.

    Debate rages over which cars are faster – the WGPC or GP1 cars – with fans of each formula bitterly defending their favourite and deriding the other.


    I have a feeling I would be such a big WGPC-fanboy…

    Rick Lopez

    Red Bull –


    Ferrari –


    Mercedes –


    McLaren –


    Sauber –


    Force India –


    Williams –


    Toro Rosso –

    Random red bull young drivers

    Caterham –


    Marussia –



    @MazdaChris Thats a very interesting situation, and I like it.

    Ben Needham

    I do enjoy a good meaningless and imaginary prediction!

    Let’s have a go!

    1. Nico Hulkenberg – after a successful two seasons at Lotus in 2014/2015, Nico replaces the retiring Kimi Raikkonen for 2016, narrowly beaten to the championship by Alonso in his final year. Becomes the team leader for 2017 and thrashes the field to take his first WDC. Leads the team again for 2018.
    2. Jules Bianchi – having raced for Sauber since 2015, Jules finally signed for Ferrari in 2017 to replace Alonso, supporting Hulkenberg and winning a few races, making his retention a simple decision.

    1. Lewis Hamilton – Lewis wins the title in 2014, and goes off the boil with a poorer car in 2015. The team brings in 2015 WDC Vettel from Red Bull to push up Hamilton’s game. While Ferrari dominate 2016/17, Hamilton just has the measure of Vettel and is retained for 2018.
    2. Sebastian Vettel – Vettel, now a 5-time WDC moves to Mercedes in 2016 for a new challenge, with the Ferrari seats taken. Replacing Nico Rosberg who has become frustrated with his increasing number two status, Vettel is surprised by Hamilton’s pace after a poor 2015. He shows his quality by winning several races in 2016 and 2017 and is ready to launch an attack on Hamilton’s team leader spot in 2018.

    Red Bull
    1. Daniel Ricciardo – after a couple of indifferent years at Red Bull, seasoned podium-visitor Ricciardo is saved from the chop in 2016, only by Vettel making way, creating space for the impressive da Costa who would otherwise have taken Ricciardo’s seat. The Aussie seems to respond well to Vettel not being at the team and steps up his game, just beating da Costa on points in both 2016 and 2017.
    2. Antonio Felix da Costa – after Kvyat’s poor 2014, Toro Rosso take on da Costa for 2015. He is a revelation and is promoted to the senior team for 2016. Wins a few races over the two years but is just beaten by Ricciardo.

    1. Kevin Magnussen – Jenson Button retires for 2016, making way for Magnussen, who had been plying his trade at Marrusia for two years. The McLaren team isn’t quite what it used to be, but Magnussen thrashes Perez in 2016.
    2. Stoffel Vandoorne – Magnussen thrashing Perez in 2016 leads to Whitmarsh promoting Vandoorne after a few well-spent years in GP2, in which he won the 2016 title. Magnussen easily has the beating of Vandoorne in 2017, but his retention is secured for 2018 with a storming second half of the season, winning the last two races.

    1. Valterri Bottas – Bottas is consistently unspectacular for Williams but regulalry scores high-rating points when the car allows for it. He narrowly beats his ever-changing team-mates each season and the team has no option but to retain the reliable Finn.
    2. Nico Rosberg – Rosberg returns to the team after losing touch with his Mercedes team. He is shocked at how poor the car is compared to the Mercedes and despite dragging a few podium’s out of the car is easily beaten by the consistent Bottas.

    1. Romain Grosjean – Grosjean finally leads the team following Hulkenberg’s departure to Ferrari and the team are impressed. The car may not be as good as it once was, but Boullier is satisfied that the now-consistent Grosjean is pulling everything possible from his machinery.
    2. Davide Valsecchi – Valsecchi finally gets his chance in the Lotus in 2017 and is retained for 2018.

    Force India
    1. Pastor Maldonado – a journeyman, driving for several teams between 2014-17. Pastor ends up at Force India in 2017 with his money and considerable speed and replaces Di Resta, who the team have finally given up on. He is retained for 2018.
    2. Robin Frijns – After a couple of seasons in other series, winning everything put before him. Force India finally pluck the promising Dutchman out of the wilderness and place him alongside Maldonado for 2017 in a complete refresh of a slightly dull line-up. He struggles to adapt to F1 machinery and despite a good end to the season is well beaten by Maldonado.

    1. Sergio Perez – having been ousted at McLaren, Perez returns to Sauber where he is welcomed following their previous success together. His first season back is tricky though as he is given a very poor car which gets worse over the season. Toying with a move to another series, he gives the team another chance and stays for 2018.
    2. Charles Pic – Charles enjoys a good few seasons with Caterham, scoring the first ever points for the team and is picked up by Sauber. He is easily beaten by Perez though. Retained for 2018.

    Toro Rosso take on whichever drivers are promising at the time, with Vergne having left some years ago.

    Caterham and Marussia are now both capable of scoring points, but still favour pay drivers over experience.


    McLaren: Magnussen and Vandoorne
    Ferrari: Hulkenberg and Bottas
    Red Bull: Vettel and Kvyat
    Mercedes: Hamilton and Bianchi
    Enstone: Evans and Ocon
    Williams: Gasly and Bianchi

    Iestyn Davies

    That’s a great thought from left field @mazdachris! To be honest, it’s a very pertinent question as well – surely Bernie still can’t be in-charge in 2018! I reckon most people just assume he still will be – it doesn’t look like he’ll be going away any time soon, unless I’m mistaken….

    I imagine he has a successor in mind, JS reported rumours of a few top executives that it could be. Surely when he hands over control to someone else, is the time for the teams to strike and gain a larger share of the F1 revenues. Even Ferrari should be on side for that, unless they think being on an even keel makes them more vulnerable, even if there’s a lot more money flowing to them then. But, it also depends on who owns F1, as CVC are looking to divest (as they’ve made their profit, and now just hold some shares still).. call me crazy, but I could imagine Bernie buying back a lot of the F1 stake, just so his family are all well taken care of after he has gone (unless he thinks the value of F1 might decrease if he is not around to run it).

    Even after only a fortnight, I want to change Juncadella to Nasr at Williams, following the lead indicated by @infinitygc! And Hulk will surely be in a top team, by hook or by crook! Someone will be moved aside to make way for him surely…. (what about Hamilton vs. Hulkenberg.. yikes!)


    @fastiesty What did I do!?!?


    The new Honda engines bring McLaren back to the top in 2015, dominates in 2017 winning all but five races
    1. Kevin Magnussen, after decent debut season in 2014 he has made good progress and becomes one of the top runners in F1, loses the title to his teammate by two points in 2017
    2. Nico Hulkenberg, sings a deal with McLaren for 2015 after driving another year with Sauber, wins the title in 2017

    Became a top team once again in 2015 after a succesfull year in 2014, the only team other than McLaren to win races in 2017
    1. Valtteri Bottas, after having an amazing second year in 2014, he becomes a top contender in 2015 losing the title by just a few points but grabs it the folowing year
    2. Daniel Juncadella, after Massa retires after 2015, Williams promotes him to the race seat where he has mixed success, gets his first win in 2016 as well as best result in championship with 4th

    Ferrari becomes a serious competitor again after James Allison takes the lead of the designing with Räikkönen winning the title in 2014
    1. Jules Bianchi, after Räikkönen retires, his seat is taken by Bianchi, who quickly starts to challenge Alonso, best result 3rd in 2016
    2. Sebastian Vettel, takes Alonso’s place as he retires a year after Räikkönen, best result 3rd in 2017

    Mercedes are keeping close to the top runners but never really seems to be able to challenge for the title even with a strong driver line-up
    1. Nico Rosberg, continues to race for Mercedes with success and many race wins, best result is second in 2015
    1. Lewis Hamilton, the Mercedes drivers continue very evenly matched with one beating the other year after year, best result second in 2016

    Red Bull
    After Adrian Newey retires after 2016, the team starts to drop back but still continues relatively close to the top and remains a race winning team, Vettel wins yet another title in 2015
    1. Daniel Ricciardo, cannot match Vettel at the start but by the end of 2014 he is very close to his teammate, best result third in 2015
    2. Daniil Kvyat, Gets promoted to Red Bull after Vettel leaves at the end of 2016, quickly starts to challenge Ricciardo but unfortunately the team is no longer as good, best result 5th in 2017

    Toro Rosso
    Toro Rosso continues as a midfield team and beats Sauber for 6th in the championship in 2017
    1. Antonio Felix Da Costa, replaces Vernge after 2016 season, gets three podiums in his second year which puts him closer to Red Bull seat, best result 11th in 2017
    2. Carlos Saiz jr, gets the Toro Rosso seat after Kvyat is promoted to Red Bull for 2017, best result 13th in 2017

    Sauber remain at the top of the midfield, 2015 was very strong for Sauber with 3rd on the constuctors championship
    1. Stoffel Vandoorne, after he fails to get the second McLaren seat, he is forced to go to a midfield team with Sauber since Sirotkin is laid off due to poor results, best result 4th in 2015
    2. Sergio Perez, after failing to get back to a top team, he is has to settle to a midfield team, best result 5th in 2015

    After 2014 Lotus starts to fade back to the midfield slowly
    1. Romain Grosjean, continues with the team with success in 2014 wining three races, best result 3rd in 2014
    2. Pastor Maldonado, after securing the seat at Lotus for 2014, he continues to race for the team without major success apart from one race win, best result 5th in 2014

    Force India
    Stays in the midfield with occaslional podiums, poor 2017 season
    1. Pierre Gasly, Force Indian signs 2013 fr 2.0 Eurocup winner and 2016 GP2 Runner-up and 2017 champion for 2018
    2. Robin Frijins, gets the Force India seat in 2015 after failing to get one in 2014, gets one podium in his impressive debut season, best result 8th in 2016

    Gets closer to the midfiled in 2014 due to the new regulations and scores their first points
    1. Alexander Rossi, gets the seat after Heikki Kovalainen retires at the end of 2015, best result 19th in 2016
    2. Charles Pic, continues at Caterham, gets the teams first points in 2014 with a ninth place, best result 19th 2014

    Also scores their first points but still remain the bottom team of F1
    1. Max Chilton, with mediocre results, never gets a drive at a midfield team and is forced to continue at Marussia, best result 20th in 2015
    2. Esteban Gutierrez with never having major success in midfield, he drops to a backmarker team with his Mexican money, gets strong performances and scores a point in 2015, best result 18th in 2015

    2018 is expected to be a fight with McLaren and Williams with Ferrari and Mercedes close behind.

    Theo Parkinson


    Magnussen (Stormed to the title in 2015. Button beat him in 2014 and left f1 the next year after granting Kevin his successor)
    Alonso (Wants to get into a winning team with only a few more years left in the sport, still a 2 time champion)


    Hamilton (Narrowly beat Rosberg to the title in 2014 )
    Rosberg (Impressed many people in 2014 and was unlucky to lose the title at the last race because of reliability, people’s champion that year. 2015 was a disappointment)


    Vettel ( After a frustrating 2 years suffering poor reliability heads to Ferrari)
    Kimi (Had a titanic battle with Alonso in 2014 but a coming together with his teammate in Canada meant both were out of the title race. 2015 was disappointing and Kimi lost interest)

    Red Bull

    Hulkenberg ( Beat Vettel last year in what many consider to be Vettel’s worst/most unlucky season)
    Da Costa (After a strong season in Toro Rosso joins the big team)


    Grosjean ( Lotus has been awful last 2 years but Grosjean performed well getting an amazing first victory in Hungary 2015)
    Bianchi (Joins in 2015 and performs extremely well getting first podium)

    Bottas ( Leads team through difficult years but things look good with Brawn joining)
    Massa (In his final year of F1. Claimed an amazing home win last year)

    Force India
    Perez ( performs well in 2014 and 2015. Was rumoured to have a Mclaren drive until Alonso snatched it)
    Maldonado (After missing a year in 2015 after a disaster season in Lotus makes a return for F1)

    Frijins (Moves up from Caterham)
    Petrov (Makes a surprising return to F1)

    (Scored a point in 2015, using all rookies)
    (No points, using all rookies)

    Iestyn Davies

    @infinitygc You said to place Nasr at Williams… then it arises that Massa signs for Williams, with Brazilian sponsors (Banco do Brasil, who have a yellow and blue colour scheme..), and that Nasr was brought along to be put in the test driver role! But, he wanted to look for a 2014 race seat… and then his main sponsor (OGX) went bankrupt. Oops!


    Qatar Team
    1. Magnussen
    2. Rosberg
    3. Sainz Jr

    4. Vettel
    5. Bottas
    6. Calado

    7. Bianchi
    8. Regalia (GP3 runner up 2013)
    9. Jenson Button!

    10. Ricciardo
    11. Grosjean
    12. Kvyat

    13. Hamilton
    14. Leimer
    15. Jack Harvey (2013 GP3)

    16. Perez
    17. Alonso
    18. Chilton

    -The teams now run 3 car teams.
    -Lotus F1 are now bankrolled by the State of Qatar and are suitably renamed.
    -RedBull & Toro Rosso merge.
    -Williams and Sauber merge but team up with BMW again.
    -Force India, Caterham, Marussia all drop out.


    Red Bull
    1. Da Costa (somehow)
    2. Lynn

    1. Vettel
    2. Bianchi

    1. Hamilton
    2. Magnussen

    1. Hulkenberg
    2. Vandoorne

    I think I will leave it there :)

    Loup Garou

    I don’t think predicting 2014 and the subsequent years will be as straightforward as some assume. For instance, no one could predict that McLaren would fail to get even a podium in 2013 and yet that’s exactly what happened. Likewise, Mercedes’ competitiveness surprised a lot of people, including me.

    But at the same time, it is no certainty that Mercedes will run away with the titles in 2014. Sure, their engine appears head and shoulders above the other two, but then the opponents have not said much thus far. Furthermore, while the engine power is going to be more important from now on and aerodynamics less so, they are not the only issues. For instance, we do not know how the new cars are going to behave with the new tyres and by now we know full well that an otherwise perfect car can lose out if it does not handle tyre wear better than the competition.

    We just have to wait and see.


    Red Bull-Renault (merged with Toro Rosso)
    1. Some new young talented driver picked by Marko
    2. Daniil Kvyat

    2. Mercedes
    3. Nico Rosberg
    4. Valterri Bottas

    3. Ferrari
    5. J. Bianchi
    6. Nico Hulkenberg

    4. McLaren-Honda
    7. Fernando Alonso (!)
    8. Sebastein Vettel (!)

    5and 6 China-govt-aided-racing-teams – by the way other sports are getting dominated, who knows?

    1. Romain “Lotus” Grosjean (returning to the team after a spell at Williams
    2. IDK
    The team will be searching for a funding from a certain Mansoor Ijaz
    8-Russian Time (ex-Sauber)-
    1. Lewis Hamilton
    2. Sergey Sirotkin

    9. Force India
    1. Young, super talented youngster
    2. Paul Di Resta

    10. Williams
    1. JB
    2. Van Der Garde

    11. HRT
    1. Cucumber
    2. They probably won’t have any more money.

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