October 10, 2013

Nine seats in search of a driver

Nine out of the twenty two available Formula One seats are still "up for grabs" after the two big market moves earlier in the season, Raikkonen moving to Ferrari and Ricciardo taking over Webber's spot at Red Bull.

Of the eleven teams only Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull have confirmed their full lineup for 2014, the others are still looking for one, or in one case, two drivers.

In bold, those confirmed so far:

Ferrari:                     Alonso, Raikkonen
Mercedes:                  Hamilton, Rosberg
Red Bull:                   Vettel, Ricciardo
Lotus:                        Grosjean, Hulkenberg, Massa, Perez
Toro Rosso:              Vergne,  da Costa,  Massa
Sauber:                      Sirotkin, Gutierrez, Massa
Mclaren:                    Button, Perez, Hulkenberg, Magnussen
Williams:                   Bottas, Maldonado, Massa, Bird, di Resta
Marussia:                  Bianchi, Chilton, Petrov, Valsecchi
Caterham:                 Pic, van de Garde, Kovalainen, di Resta
Force India                Sutil, di Resta, Magnussen, Massa, Calado

The premium next year will be on experience (and funding) but also, unless rules are changed to allow for a higher minimum weight, on the smallest and lightest among available drivers.  This might play into Felipe Massa's hands, he has not exactly shined in the last couple of seasons but he certainly has experience and is tiny.  He's in play at Lotus, Sauber, Force India and Williams.

The opposite is true for Niko Hulkenberg,  everyone know he's got the speed but he's also got a good 8 inches in height over most other drivers.    It would be pathetic is someone like him was denied a ride because of weight regulations.   Lotus and Force India are his possibilities

Sergio Perez seemed like a given at Mclaren but this is apparently not so.  He has funding from Carlos Slim's Telmex and perhaps Gillette but he wants a two year deal with the Woking team so he can get a Honda engine in 2015.  Mclaren is only offering a one year deal.

Paul di Resta  is in a bad place after five DNF's in a row.  He has the backing of Mercedes but things are not looking good for the Scot.

Since Hugo Chavez kicked the bucket, money for Pastor Maldonado has not flowed  and if PDVSA does not cough up the dough he might lose his seat at Williams.  Indycar, here he comes!

When Raikkonen hurt his back, Davide Valsecchi, Lotus' reserve driver must have thought his chance had finally come but the perennially underfunded Italian driver still had to sit it out.  Not looking good for him for 2014 either.

Kevin Magnussen along with Felix da Costa are two names from the minor series on every one's list.  Magnussen is a Mclaren test driver but it's possible the British team will sponsor him to a  Force India seat for one season to get his feet wet ahead of the Honda engine Mclaren ride in 2015.

(via Autosprint)


  1. Yeah once you get away from Vettel, Alonso, Raikkonen, and Hamilton the talent on the grid is difficult to gauge. The Perez situation at McLaren is interesting. His performance has been subpar, but McLaren want that TelMex money. And with F1 possibly coming to Mexico next year, that might be the only thing that saves Perez's bacon. I bet they keep him in the team for two more years while Magnussen cuts his teeth at a lesser outfit. My dad and I were at Montreal in '97 and '98 and we were staying at the same hotel as Stewart GP. His old man, Jan Magnussen, was a very friendly amiable guy. Jan had enormous promise, but for some reason, whatever reason, his F1 career didn't pan out :o(

  2. Nice post. Might want to give it a little grammar edit though. :)

  3. i don't really think toro rosso will look at massa.

  4. Maldonado declared that for next year he does not want to be in car that does not have a fighting change like the current status of the Williams, he said he actually preferred not to race to have a year like this one ... I don't know if this is because there is not more money from PDVSA or no one want's him.

    Perez to me was not subpar if you put things in perspective. First year with the woking, with a car that is the worst than the MP4/9..... He was not too far from "Oh my god I can't stop complaining" Button.

    Niko and Massa are the drivers. It would really be a shame if Niko does not get a good ride because his size and Massa I would give him a last chance. Maybe a new team could make him recover his appetite for the win.


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