F1 Musical Chairs


No passing through my dirty air please
Ok with 8 races to go there are certain drivers in F1 and out of F1 who will be starting to think about making sure they have a seat for 2012. Its a very tight market at the moment and there are a lot of guys out there who are insisting they will be on the grid.

Currently In F1

Antonio Liuzzi

Seems to think he's at HRT for the long term but must be looking over his shoulder since the new owners came in and promised a more Spanish feel to the team.

Bruno Senna

Has been given the Renault seat for 8 races but with Kubica set to come back and Grosjean also in the wings can;t really expect to keep it unless he blows Petrov away. Probably put in by Boullier now in order to give him chance to impress someone enough to get a seat next year.

Jerome d'Ambrosio

Been doing a good job at Virgin but its been going pretty much unnoticed. Certainly performed better than Di Grassi did but hasn't set the world alight and must be wondering if he'll get a second year to change that.

Danial Ricciardo

The one guy I would put big money on to have seat next year. Initially taking over that HRT seat looked a pointless move but after only 3 races he's beating his team-mate and taking on the Virgin drivers and has shown he has a lot of potential. Odds are he'll be at Toro Rosso next year but must be quietly hoping Webber hangs up his driving boots at the end of the season so a spot becomes free in that Red Bull team

Pastor Maldonado

Has impressed in qualifying and even run high in some races but still has zero points on the board which is not good. The only advantage he has is his big financial backing but really needs to pull off some good results soon.

Rubens Barrichello

No new contract has imerged yet and Rubens is looking increasingly on his way out after being out paced by Maldonado in quali all year. Having said that you never should count him out as his race experience and developing skills should be very attractive to team trying to progress up the grid.

Test Drivers:

Nico Hulkenberg

The guy came into F1 very highly rated and does have a 1 in his pole positions column even if he doesn't have anything else to show for his season in F1. Must be hoping that Schumacher retires or Rosberg moves on so that he can either jump into the Merc or pick up the Force India seat vaccated by Di Resta or Sutil but that looks unlikely at the moment.

Karun Chandhok

Seemed to be the replacement for Trulli in waiting but since Trulli has shown no sign of quitting and Chandhok made a mess of the chance he got in Germany thats becoming increasingly unlikely. One advantage he does have for him is that he is India's top F1 driver and with the Indian Grand Prix opening up that market he might be seen as a way of bringing in dollar

GP2 Drivers:

Roman Grosjean

It looks likely that Grosjean will take the GP2 title this year which on reflection he might have taken back in 2009 if he hadn't taken the Renault seat on. The GP2 champion and runner-up have come into F1 the following year every season apart from 2008 so Grosjean must be expecting to return to F1. Most likely he expects to be with Renault again but with Kubica set to come back and Petrov already there is he really likely too?

Giedo van der Garde

Currently second in GP2 but with no wins. However has flirted with F1 before and nearly ended up with the Virgin drive this year. His links to Mclaren could lead to him finally landing that seat in 2012

Charles Pic

This 21 year old Frenchman has done a great job in GP2 this year and if he gets runner-up I'm sure along with Grosjean will be pushed as France's next great hope and used as leverage to get the French Grand Prix back. Can't help but feel that at 21 though he can afford to take another year in GP2 and go for the title and therefore have more of a firm standing when he does come to F1

Jules Bianchi

Yet another Frenchman in the mix. Already had his cards marked as a future great and sits in the Ferrari drivers acadamy. Ideal place in F1 to go would be Sauber with their Ferrari backing but as they've announced an unchanged line up thats not going to happen. Bianchi could take another year in GP2 but should imagine he'll be keen to get a drive in F1 so he can compete with Perez for that second seat at Ferrari when Massa's contract is up

Sam Bird

Sam is Britians next up and coming driver but currently only sits 5th in the GP2 rankings with no wins despite some great drives this year. Has a Merc link and whilst he'll be putting the feelers out for a drive in F1 next year I get the feeling he might do another year in GP2 and probably end up as Force India or Mercedes Test Driver

Davide Valsecchi

The Italian is only 6th currently in GP2 but did take a win at Monoco this year. Has links with Lotus and since Chandhok made a mess of things in Germany would have to be seen as the most likely to take that seat if Trulli retires at end of the year. Did drive the Lotus in practice at the Malaysian Grand Prix and tested for HRT the year before so is on the verge of coming to F1

Dani Clos

Despite being only 8th in the table for this season GP2 he does need to be mention as at 23 he's already tested for Williams on various occasions and if HRT were looking to adopt this 'Spanish Personality' as their owners have stated he must be in the running to get a drive with them

Other Formula

Javier Villa

Currently driving in Touring Car but had 4 season in GP2 and is still only 23. Had 3 wins in GP2 in 2007 but went backwards afterwards. Swiched to World Touring Car this year and has done OK with 1 podium and consistantly scoring points. Has been strongly linked to HRT as their first Spanish driver. Whether he deserves the seat or not is open to debate.

Did I miss anyone? Who do you think will be in and who do you think will be out? With Schumi, Trulli, Rubens and Webber all not looking like retiring at the end of this year the market looks increasingly busy.
Did I miss anyone?

I think we'll be hearing Robert Wickens' (Virgin test driver) name quite a bit in the next year or two. He's dominated Ricciardo in the Renault World Series this year, finished 2nd to Andy Soucek in the GP3 Series last year, and 2nd to Esteban Gutierrez in the Formula 2 Championship in 2009.

I guess it really depends on what d'Ambrosio can deliver in the future, as I highly doubt Glock will be replaced at Virgin.
Seeing as he races for Team Kolles in Le Mans (according to Wiki) shouldn't he be a guest at HRT even if Force India are the new iteration of his old team.
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