Things ... Welcome to the Future (2018 - 2019 Silly Season)


Podium Finisher
The 2018 - 2019 silly season has already begun. The contracts of Bottas, Hamilton, Kvyat, Ocon, Perez, Ricciardo, Sainz, Vandoorne and Verstappen are all due to expire at the end of 2018. Additionally, McLaren, Sauber and Williams have yet to sign their second driver for 2018, thus depending on their next drivers contract length other drivers may join the aforementioned. This means there may be up to 16 seats available.


Sebastian Vettel

Red Bull

Force India

Lance Stroll

Toro Rosso

Nico Hülkenberg



Marcus Ericsson

Let's get this rolling, let's be silly, let's speculate!
Well, let's blow one of the "confirmed" drivers out. Hamilton to retire after his 5th title in 2018 and Vettel to jump to Mercedes.
And when that kind of move occurs you can then add....

Mercedes to struggle for performance from 2019. Ferrari to win next 3 titles. Vettel to retire.
Verstappen has been confirmed for Red Bull until 2020 and pretty much makes him future No 1 much to the chagrin of Daniel Ricciardo who might be marginalised in the same way that Mark Webber was

Max Verstappen's Red Bull deal: Why has he re-signed and what does it tell us about F1's future?

When Hamilton secures his 4th title he will sign on for a 3 year contract same with Vettel. We just will never see Vettel/ Hamilton , Vettle/ Verstappen or Hamilton/Verstappen in the same team simply because all 3 will drain the team resources too much one way

Daniel Ricciardo has opened his mouth saying he would not mind being Hamilton's teammate for 2019 interestingly

Red Bull basically dependent on their relative performance will see either Sainz or Ricciardo in the 2nd car

Mclaren will re-sign Vandoorne simply because he has got enough class to be in the future , Alonso will stay for one more year or simply retire if he can;t get himself in the Merc which means possibly Lando Norris gets the other seat

Williams will stick with the same drivers unless Kubica/ Di Resta underperforms badly to be dropped

Force India - will probably see Ocon and Wehrlein with Perez shown the door seeing there are no top team drives

Renault - Hulkenberg/ Sainz/ Rowland - take your pick

Ferrari - Vettel/ Ricciardo given we will see an even slower Kimi or more likely his preference for Le Clerc or Giovinazzi

Haas - no change unless Grosjean is dropped for Rossi or for one of the juniors above
teabagyokel Red Bull have come out with statements that Verstappen needs the team to be built around him so if that is not marginalising him then what is ?

Only it won't happen is if Ricciardo is on a hot winning streak and Verstappen was not such that only one can win the title and the other one can't. Not that Max is renowned for obeying team orders and helping his teammates

It looks like Ferrari will have a new team principal seeing the rumours EJ has quoted is that Arrivabene is made the scapegoat
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When Hamilton secures his 4th title he will sign on for a 3 year contract same with Vettel. We just will never see Vettel/ Hamilton , Vettle/ Verstappen or Hamilton/Verstappen in the same team simply because all 3 will drain the team resources too much one way

Agree with this. I suspect though that Ferrari and Mercedes will both court Ricciardo. Ferrari may try to sign him early to cut Mercedes out of the equation since mercedes will want to give Bottas a chance before making a decision on Daniel.
I think Bottas will have to make way for either Ricciardo or Ocon on current form unless Hamilton retires or leaves Mercedes and goes back to Mclaren or something which then opens up opportunities for Vettel at Mercedes.

Vettel said Raikkonen is his best teammate because he does not do politics which is great for Seb because Kimi is always slower than him and aint going to kick up a fuss like Verstappen. Ricciardo - Ferrari will consider him because of the Italian connection which will annoy Vettel who made it clear if it aint Raikkonen he prefers Giovinazzi or LeClerc as an obedient No 2.

Should the Ferrari hierarchy lose patience with Vettel and get political and hire Ricciardo then you can be sure Vettel is probably not going to hang around in the same team
I don't see why Mercedes need to get rid of Bottas. Why bother putting a potentially quicker driver in the 2nd car which may get Hamilton's back up?

Mercedes won the constructors title with 3 races to go. Bottas played a role in scoring points without causing any problems with his team mate. So much so in fact that Hamilton actually conceded a position in a race for him.

Seems like a decent match up at the moment.
Then where would you put Ocon and Wehrlein seeing they are the young drivers Mercedes want to develop and represent the team (brand) in the future?

Plus Ricciardo and Hamilton is definitely a stronger pairing than Bottas and Hamilton
F1's history is littered with strong pairings that have rapidly become toxic.

Mercedes future pairings depend on two things. Hamilton's future and Mercedes Motorsport's willingness to remain in F1.

You only have to look at the relationship between Hamilton and Rosberg, two childhood friends from their karting days, to see what happens when team mates push each other hard.
cider_and_toast Yes but it was never as intense as Senna vs Prost . I mean Rosberg even let Hamilton through to enable to win Monaco.

I think Mercedes will stay in seeing they've cut back elsewhere and the board would love to see one of its young drivers win in their cars to show that their investment in youth pays off

Mercedes ' future does not depend on Hamilton -- they have Werhlein or Ocon both want to be F1 world champions and Mercedes (Toto) have spent a lot of time and investment for them they want to place if not Vettel if he is still around would be an option
Werhlein will be gone from F1 for good after the end of this year so count him out. Ocon is being groomed for when Hammy leaves.

Merc have NEVER run any of their drivers academy in their F1 team so I Don't think we really know their policy on it.
RasputinLives Aint Mercedes cutting back on other programmes and considering entering Formula E which probably could be a breeding ground for their young drivers

Mercedes/ Toto seems to have one last throw of the dice for Wehrlein by trying to offer Williams cheaper Merc engines so trump Martini's card in wanting a driver over 25 years old
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