Silly season is afoot and its main target this year seems to be Ferrari. Drivers that have definitely definitely signed for Ferrari for 2017 are Max Verstappen, Carlos Sainz, Sergio Perez and Daniel Ricciardo. Sebastian Vettel has also been offered a contract and Antonio Giovanazzi and Charles LeClerc are hopeful of a drive. Unless the FIA suddenly break the news that we’re having 6 car teams next year then some of the above has to be wrong. I’m sure its made people click to go on a lot of websites though. Lets look at the actual facts here. Vettel has been offered a contract and there is really no reason why he wouldn’t take it. Whilst the rumours of signing for Mercedes persist there really is no reason for that move anymore. Ferrari and Merc are now on a level and Ferrari is very much Vettel’s team. Why move over to Mercedes and have to integrate into Hamilton’s team? I know some people will talk about the German driver driving for a German team but I think that’s overstated a lot now days. Most drivers are international and have lived all over the world and I’m not sure there is that much sense of national pride anymore. Especially given that most of the teams are not based where they say they come from anyways. So if Vettel is staying at Ferrari I think we can rule out Verstappen and Ricciardo. I don’t think Ferrari would want to unsettle the boat by bringing in either of those two if they still had Seb. Ferrari have only had 7 full time drivers in the last 20 years (its 8 if you count Mika Salo, 9 if you count Badoer and 10 if you count Fisi but they were subs). There has always been a defined number 1 and number 2 driver (The only time that went slightly array was with Massa and Kimi in 08) and I don’t expect them to break that mould. So who then? Carlos Sainz? Doesn’t seem a great fit for me whilst Vettel is there. I don’t think he’d be happy with a number 2 role so I don’t think Ferrari would take the risk. Plus his mentor doesn’t do him any favours. Speaking of which one person who definitely won’t be driving for Ferrari is Fernando Alonso. Ferrari have stated they are not interested implying why would they want someone they sacked anyway. Fernando jumped up and down saying he wasn’t sacked but left of his own accord, before Ferrari rolled their eyes and said yes of course you did Fernando. So Sergio Perez? Proven track record but left the Ferrari junior programme to join Mclaren. Also is known to not play well with others which defeats the purpose of a number 2 driver. So Antonio Giovanazzi gets promoted from the junior programme then? Done two races and looked pretty good. Hold on though if Ferrari are going to promote a rookie from the youth ranks then the better option is Charles Leclerc who is conquering F2 and being extremely impressive about it. It would make perfect sense to promote him and have him do a few years apprentice work with Vettel before taking over as lead driver. Problem solved? Well no. Ferrari don’t do rookies. In fact I can’t even think of an occasion in the last 40 years when they ran one. They’ll probably put Leclerc and Giovanazzi with Haas and Sauber respectively and promote them when needed. So who does that leave? Kimi Raikkonen of course. Another year being Seb’s number 2 until he is eventually ready to be put to pasture. So no change at Ferrari then. Nice one silly season.