Silly season: 2014 F1 driver market

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    Iestyn Davies

    http://f1-facts.com/statistics/age Looking at the stats on here, for youngest competitors, Sirotkin should definitely wait a year, if not two – take a punt at a FR 3.5 title and then a year in GP2, but that’ll cost another £2 million quid at least. So, I can see why they would jump at the offer now (tbh, who wouldn’t).


    How I want the grid for 2014 to look like, not very realistic:

    Red Bull – Vettel, Alonso
    Mercedes – Hamilton, Raikkonen
    Lotus – Ricciardo, Bottas
    Ferrari – Hulkenberg, Bianchi
    McLaren – di Resta, Magnussen
    Force India – Calado, Nasr
    Toro Rosso – Vergne, da Costa
    Sauber – Sirotkin, Frijns
    Williams – Vandoorne, Evans
    Caterham – Perez, Stevens
    Marussia – Wickens, Sainz Jr.

    Ben Needham

    @enigma … i’d say it’s a little more than “not very realistic”!

    It’d be an interesting winter if Rosberg, Button, Grosjean, Massa and Sutil leave completely and only three drivers to remain with their current teams!!


    If everything in the rumor mill came true (it won’t, obviously), this would be next year’s (top) line-up:
    Ferrari: Vettel, Raikkonen
    Red Bull: Alonso, Ricciardo


    I’m predicting that Ferrari will drop Felipe Massa and hire Felipe Nasr. Because that would be hilarious.


    Having a second shot at this in light of new developments…

    Red Bull-Infiniti
    1. Sebastian Vettel
    2. Daniel Ricciardo

    Impressed by Ricciardo during the YDT, Red Bull decide that he is the man for the team, and bump him up into the vacated second seat.

    3. Lewis Hamilton
    4. Nico Rosberg

    No change.

    5. Romain Grosjean
    6. Nico Hulkenberg

    With Raikkonen gone, Lotus decide to keep Grosjean. But they also take on Hulkenberg, whom has shown both speed AND consistency.

    7. Fernando Alonso
    8. Kimi Raikkonen

    Felipe Massa, despite having a good start to the year, finally has to leave the team, and replace him with someone whom had professed never to drive for the team again. It is money, the promise of a good car, or James Allison? Who knows.

    9. Jenson Button
    10. Sergio Perez

    No change.

    Force India-Mercedes
    11. Paul di Resta
    12. Adrian Sutil

    No change.

    Toro Rosso-Ferrari
    14. Antonio Felix da Costa
    15. Jean-Eric Vergne

    Just the one new junior this year, but with Carlos Sainz Jr waiting in the wings, Vergne needs to seriously up his game against the promising Felix da Costa.

    16. Pastor Maldonado
    17. Robin Frijns

    With the team’s financial state, they go for Maldonado, hoping that he can bring some decent funds and the promise he showed in 2012. Gutierrez hasn’t done enough to justify him staying and Sirotkin is just too young, so the team opt for the promising Frijns.

    18. Valterri Bottas
    19. Sam Bird

    Bottas stays thanks to a good year in 2013, despite an awful car. Bird gets the second seat, with discounted engines from Mercedes.

    20. Max Chilton
    21. Jules Bianchi

    No change.

    22. Charles Pic
    23. Alexander Rossi

    Van der Garde is dropped at the end of the year, and replaced with Rossi to try and bring in more sponsorship from the US.


    My Grid (Half Realistic/Half Wishful Thinking)
    Red Bull- Vettel, Ricciardo
    Mercedes- Hamilton, Rosberg
    Ferrari- Alonso, Kobayashi
    Lotus- Hulkenberg, Raikkonen
    Force India- Grosjean, Magnussen
    McLaren- Button, Perez
    Sauber- Bianchi, Gutierrez
    Williams- Maldonado, Bottas
    Toro Rosso- Vergne, da Costa
    Caterham- Pic, Nasr
    Marussia- Wickens, Frijns


    Won’t let me edit the post, but I’ll switch and put Bianchi into the Sauber seat instead of Frijns and Magnussen into the Marussia seat instead.


    My guess:

    Red Bull
    1. Sebastian Vettel
    2. Daniel Ricciardo

    3. Lewis Hamilton
    4. Nico Rosberg

    5. Fernando Alonso
    6. Felipe Massa

    7. Kimi Raikkonen
    8. Romain Grosjean

    9. Jenson Button
    10. Sergio Perez

    Force India
    11. Paul di Resta
    12. Adrian Sutil

    Toro Rosso
    14. Jean Eric Vergne
    15. Antonio Felix da Costa

    16. Jules Bianchi
    17. Sergey Sirotkin

    18. Pastor Maldonado
    19. Valtteri Bottas

    20. Max Chilton
    21. Felipe Nasr

    22. Charles Pic
    23. Alexander Rossi


    Almost everyone has Antonio Felix da Costa as future F1 driver, He is talented, but in the light of his current 3.5 season?

    Iestyn Davies

    RB are gonna put him in at some point, if not straight away then likely after half a season or so. If they don’t.. then DR and JEV have a while yet in Toro Rosso – Sainz Jr and Kvyat, next in line, are in F3/GP3 level, so require at least another full season at a higher level before stepping up to F1 (you could say two really). Marko likes to boot people out after 3 years tops (Buemi), so JEV has another year, Ricciardo perhaps a little longer if not taken by RB. However, peculiarly there are two drivers – Frijns and Coletti, that rejected RB funding or were previously on the program – so they could be brought in instead. Especially if Coletti wins the GP2 title. But, Marko doesn’t like to lose face and hire someone that rejected his advances/he already fired, so this leave da Costa in the plum seat to try and rediscover that blazing mid-12 form in the F1 car.

    Iestyn Davies

    Technically, that would also rule out Alguersuari, who is still testing Pirelli tyres and is still only what, 22/23? He could easily come in as a benchmark for da Costa to measure up against in 2015.


    Some of these are completely rumour-based, and some are gut feelings.
    Infiniti Red Bull Racing-Renault
    1. Vettel, 2. Ricciardo
    As suspected, Red Bull go with the young Aussie as he suits Red Bull’s requirement of a driver who will support Vettel.

    Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team
    3. Hamilton, 4. Rosberg

    Coca-Cola Lotus F1 Team-Renault
    5. Grosjean, 6. Hulkenberg
    With an upturn in form, Grosjean is kept along with his Total money. They draft in Hulkenberg, after Raikkonen’s departure, and is now the de facto number 1 Lotus driver, despite being given the lower number. Nasr is placed as third driver. Lotus’ strong late-season form results in The Coca-Cola Company expanding their sponsorship to title sponsor.

    Scuderia Ferrari
    7. Alonso, 8. Raikkonen
    In a remarkable twist to the ridiculously silly season, Raikkonen shocks F1 with a return to the Scuderia 5 years after being dropped in favour of his now team-mate, replacing Massa who doesn’t regain enough form to stay. Ferrari make this move as they are now more desperate than ever to regain a championship.

    Emirates McLaren Mercedes
    9. Button, 10. Perez
    Despite many thinking the new title sponsor will be from Mexico, Emirates are named as such, after previously sponsoring McLaren in 2006. McLaren lazily don’t change their livery until 2015.

    Sahara Force India F1 Team-Mercedes
    11. Sutil, 12. Calado
    Force India’s dip in form results in di Resta heavily criticising the team and talking about leaving. Mallya isn’t happy with his attitude, despite some good results, and drops him, promoting Calado to the race-seat.

    Scuderia Toro Rosso-Renault
    14. Vergne, 15. da Costa
    Vergne is retained and used to gauge da Costa’s performances. Sainz is lurking in the background as third driver, putting pressure on Vergne, and to a lesser extent da Costa, to perform.

    Sauber F1 Team-Ferrari
    16. Bianchi, 17. Sirotkin
    Bianchi is drafted in thanks to the Ferrari link. Sauber reluctantly place 18-year-old Sirotkin in the race-seat after being promised money from Russia. Gutierrez is dropped as he doesn’t improve and Slim’s money goes McLaren’s direction. But there remains a risk that Sauber could run into financial difficulties again as the Russian investors are slow in parting with their money.

    Williams F1 Team-Mercedes
    18. Maldonado, 19. Bottas
    Juncadella gets the third driver role and participates in a number of FP1s.

    Marussia F1 Team-Ferrari
    20. Chilton, 21. Magnussen
    Due to the McLaren link, Magnussen is placed in one of the seats in the same way Bianchi was by Ferrari.

    GE Caterham F1 Team-Renault
    22. Pic, 23. Rossi
    Rossi’s GE backing and decent GP2 season means he replaces van der Garde who is remains as test driver. This results in GE becoming title sponsors.


    This would be my grid


    Christian Horner confirmed talks in Hungary were about Alonso.
    RBR really is playing this one really well… let’s see how it ends!

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