Looking ahead to 2013 - the Drivers line-up?

HammydiRestarules

Di Resta fan :).
Contributor
De La Rosa I'm pretty much certain will be at HRT next season and I do believe that Dani Clos could partner him. HRT are targetting a big step for next season and now they've got a permanent based they shouldn't be any reason why their not on the pace with Caterham or the back of the midfield teams.
 

jez101

Bookies drive nice cars because of people like me
Contributor
I don't buy the theory that Alonso could (or would even try to) stop Ferrari signing a top team mate. I think Alonso is a competitor and he must surely feel that his legacy has been tarnished by what happened against Lewis at McLaren. Santander loved having the pair together (a Spanish bank trying to be big in the UK) and it would save them a lot of money to have them both on one team as they could drop McLaren.

It might even be Lewis who has more to lose by going up against Fernando again. As it stands, he could argue he beat him ('cos he was a rookie). Yes, he could beat him again but does that prove anything? Maybe not, and the risk of losing to Fernando, especially after the struggles with Button last year must weigh heavily on Lewis.

Anyway, Andrew Benson's article on Lewis is very interesting http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/andrewbenson/2012/05/will_hamilton_stay_at_mclaren.html. He is suggesting that Vettel may be bound for Ferrari as soon as 2014 which might mean Red Bull have to try and fill that vacancy, perhaps a year early by grabbing Lewis now for 2013 but that could be really complicated (much more I think than with Alonso).

I don't think he will drop to Lotus.

I don't think he will stay at McLaren - I think there is too much water under the bridge.

I guess it is possible that he could take a year out, spend some time in Monaco with Nicole enjoying his money? I can think of worse ways to spend a year ;) although I think she might want to get married :dizzy:

Otherwise, Mercedes? Maybe that depends on Schumacher and whether Brawn is ruthless enough and whether the Mercedes Benz board is committed enough to the sport. Assuming they are, this is what my cloudy crystal ball predicts.

Red Bull: Vettel,
Ferrari: Alonso, Webber
McLaren: Button, di Resta
Mercedes: Rosberg, Hamilton
Lotus: Raikkonen, Grosjean
Sauber: Perez, Kobayashi
Toro Rosso: Vergne, Ricciardo
Force India: Hulkenburg, Kartikeyan (if they are still in business)
Williams: Maldonado, Bottas
Caterham: Petrov, Razia

On the sidelines: Massa, Buemi, Alguersuari, Sutil, Kovaleinen & Schumacher

Hamilton is of course pivotal, but I think so too is Webber. If Ferrari do have their sights set on Alonso & Vettel for 2014/15 they might try and bring Perez in the mean time but he might not be in the right phase of his career to go up against Alonso. From what I can tell, he is quite wary of the prospect and if it looks like an interim drive, I can't see why he would. Webber looks to be the best bet for both parties for 1 or 2 years. Which would leave Red Bull really quite exposed as their young drivers are not really an improvement on the last batch... Maybe Perez?

I hope it shakes up anyway. We are into the third year with this combo in the top 8 cars aren't we?
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
To be honest if I were Ferrari looking for a second driver to fill a year gap before Vettel comes in (something I'm doubtful about if I'm honest) then I wouldn't look any further than Heiki Kovaleninen the Gerhard Berger of the current era. Not quite good enough to be a front runner but consistant and always on hand to pick up results - plus he must be chomping at the bti to get back at the fornt again. I think he would be the perfect pairing for Alonso.

Having said that I don't buy the Vettel Ferrari thing. I don't think Vettel would see it as a challenge. Now becoming the man who took the Silver Arrows back to the top I can see him being very interested in - especially as it failed for Schumi - so i could see a Merc move for him but probably not until he's own at least one more title for Red Bull. I believe Ferrari might try and tempt Webber over to them but if I'm honest I can't see Mark going anywhere and if he carries on with this form I can see him being offered at least another year at Red Bull. I mean what isn't he doing that someone they could bring in would? I think he'll be at Red Bull for 2013 and then retire and be replaced by Vergne for 2014. I think Perez will take the Ferrari seat.

As for Mr Hamilton well he's in a bit of a bind really in that while he was binding himself to Mclaren others were filling up the spots. I'd say Ferrari was a no. I think unless Vettel leaves so is Red Bull and whilst Merc might be an option I still think the moment Vettel decides to join team Germany Lewis will be out of favour. As for Lotus, it being Eric Boullier's team, I'm fully expecting it to be lead by Grosjean for the next few years probably with Caledo as back up so a no go there. I honestly think if Lewis wants to leave Mclaren he should take the Williams option. British driver leading a former British team bakc to glory? thats going to bring the sponsors pouring in and as Williams are proving give them the cash and they'll come up with the goods. Sounds silly but If he seriously wants out of Mclaren then I think thats his best option.
 

Kewee

Race Winner
When Vettel says he has no intention of leaving Red Bull I tend to believe him. Why would a German driver who is employed by the team that was built around him, a team that has taken him to back to back world titles, want to move to an Italian team where Alonso is so firmly established. As Andrew Benson said, the best way during the last 20 years to win titles is to drive for the team that employs Adrian Newey as their designer and Newey has made it clear has every intention of staying at Red Bull. Mind you I'm one of those people who believe when someone says something I can find no reason to believe he means something else.
Regarding Hamilton, I can't imagine him leaving McLaren. Although they're having a few problems they certainly aren't major issues that can't be solved fairly easily and the money they're offering along with the fact the team is home to Lewis, why would he leave. Williams wouldn't come close to the money on offer at McLaren and will Mercedes be consistently better in the long term? I don't think so.
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
Mind you I'm one of those people who believe when someone says something I can find no reason to believe he means something else.

You are? In that case I have the oppotunity of a lifetime for you. I have millions of pounds caught up in Nigerian diamond mining and all I need is a lump sum of cash from you to buy it out the policy and I'll happily split it with you. Please send me a cheque for $6000, your credit card number, pin number and your little sisters phone number.

;)
 

Kewee

Race Winner
RasputinLives.......Hahahaha!!!!!!! The same Nigerians know I'm in the industry and are always chasing me. ROFL
Sorry Ras, I've got much better sources for my diamonds and I'm not sharing with anyone. LOL And I'm not giving you my sisters phone number. :o
 

jez101

Bookies drive nice cars because of people like me
Contributor
I agree with you on Kovaleinen RasputinLives no question he deserves another run in a top car. What more can he do at Caterham to show his talent? Maybe the Sauber seat if Perez moves would be the best he might realistically achieve though.

Do you have any more details of Perez's Ferrari "contract"? Is it simply a two way option where they agree that they might agree to get together or a one way option where Ferrari can call him in if they decide to (like an on loan reserve driver)? He didn't sound all that keen earlier in the season when the talk of replacing Massa came up and I wonder if he might feel the same about keeping Vettel's seat warm.

I think Vettel will go to Ferrari and I think he will take on Alonso. We might have to wait until 2015 but unless injury intervenes I think it is going to happen. In fact, Seb might relish warming up for that duel by taking on Lewis in a Red Bull for a year or two first.

Maybe it's just wishful thinking :D. I love the matchups - Senna vs Prost at McLaren defined them both so did Mansell vs Piquet and more recently Alonso vs Hamilton. It's what was missing from Schuey's record for me.
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
I beg your puddin jez101? Look at the list of great driver Schume took on and beat, there's Rube... no. Eddi Ir... perhaps not. Felipe... No. Martin... definitely not! Got it, he gave Riccardo Patrese a pasting in 1993. Oh, maybe not. I shall gloss over 1994 completely and offer you Jonny Herbert. Bit of a shit list all in all isn't it?
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
You forgot to mention he got pasted by Nelson Piquet 4.5 points to 4! Michael's only world champion team-mate

Oh and technically he was beat by Andre De Cesaris as well!
 

sushifiesta

Champion Elect
Contributor
If I was Hamilton I'd be very wary of leaving the team I grew up with, and also of leaving one of the biggest and most successful teams on the grid just before the dramatic rule changes in 2014. I tend to think he'll stick with McLaren, they're the only team that have won multiple races every year since 2006, although he may not want to commit to a long term contract until after the 2014 season. Likewise, McLaren should be bending over backwards to try and keep him.

Offers from Red Bull and Ferrari (possibly Mercedes) would be tempting for him though I'm sure.
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
Yet with only 3 drivers championships in the last 20 years They rank 4th of the current teams which considering their budget is a pretty poor showing:

Ferrari: 8 Championships
Williams: 4 Championships
Lotus/Enstone based team: 4 Championships
Mclaren: 3 Championships
Red Bull: 2 Championships
Merc: 1 Championship

I don't think Lewis will ever have a doubt that Mclaren will give him a car that can challenge for race wins. What he'll be asking is who's more likely to give him a car to win the title with.
 

Bill Boddy

Professional layabout
Contributor
If you cut it down to the past 15 years then the stats are very different, showing McLaren in second place. Brawn will still have more than Merc though.
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
Merc = Brawn for that table Bill.

You are right of course Bill and of course if you made it stretch to 30 years they would go second as well but if you stretched sushifiesta stat to 10 years you find Mclaren didn't win a race in 2004 and didn't win multiple races in 2002 so that one falls down too where as Ferrari have won 'multiple' races every year bar 2009 since 1996 - you can prove anything with stats.

I think Hamilton is better off with Mclaren like I said but if you're looking at up's and down's something tells me Williams are back on the way up and if he wanted to leave Mclaren I should say it was his best option.
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
It would be a huge pay cut to go to Williams, and maybe an even bigger gamble. He doesn't want to end up like Jacques.
 

sushifiesta

Champion Elect
Contributor
Frankly, I can't see Williams even being on the cards. Ferrari and Red Bull are the best alternatives to McLaren, though Ferrari have struggled (relatively speaking) since the introduction of the new rules and who knows what would happen to Red Bull if Newey left, or if they decide they've had enough fun. Mercedes I think would be the last resort, Lotus possibly, but apart from that I suspect Lewis would go and find something else to do instead rather than go to a midfield team.

Also, a big factor in the decision, for Lewis and any drivers thinking of moving, has to be who they think will create the best V6 engine.
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
Like I said his best option is to stay at Mclaren.

I wouldn't rule out Williams so quickly as a midfield team though - they have always been good at adapting to new rules (lets remember they went with the double diffuser too in 09) and I think with a better driver line-up that Williams would be much further up this season.

The only thing they lack is funding hence the current driver line-up
 
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