Is this the 2009 F1 drivers entry list?

Takuma Sato tested for Toro Rosso this year - will he race for them in 2009?

Takuma Sato tested for Toro Rosso this year - will he race for them in 2009?

McLaren, Ferrari, BMW, Williams and Red Bull have their driver line-ups set for 2009.

With a few informed guesses we can probably make a decent guess at what the official 2009 F1 driver line-up will look like. Here’s my thoughts, share yours below:

Scuderia Ferrari

Kimi Raikkonen (has 2009 contract)
Felipe Massa (has 2009 contract)

Ferrari confirmed their driver line-up before the Italian Grand Prix, sticking with the line-up they’ve had since 2006.

BMW Sauber F1 Team

Nick Heidfeld (has 2009 contract)
Robert Kubica (has 2009 contract)

Kubica joined Heidfeld at BMW halfway through 2006, and the pair will remain together for another year in 2009.

Renault F1 Team

Fernando Alonso
Lucas di Grassi

There seems to be no way into Ferrari or BMW for Fernando Alonso for the time being. But with Renault returning to form late in this season, and the prospect of engine equalisation next year nullifying part of their disadvantage, perhaps he doesn’t want to move on after all?

Flavio Briatore’s lukewarm reaction to Nelson Piquet Jnr’s fourth place at Fuji suggests there might be something to rumours GP2 driver and Renault tester Lucas di Grassi will take Piquet’s place.

Williams

Nico Rosberg (has 2009 contract)
Kazuki Nakajima (has 2009 contract)

Williams confirmed their driver line-up earlier this year, with Rosberg entering a fourth season with the team.

Red Bull Racing

Mark Webber (has 2009 contract)
Sebastian Vettel (has 2009 contract)

Sebastian Vettel’s move to Red Bull was announced months ago. David Coulthard is retiring from F1.

Toyota Racing

Jarno Trulli (has 2009 contract)
Timo Glock

Trulli is signed up for 2009 and Glock looks a dead cert although there doesn’t seem to have beena formal announcement yet.

Scuderia Toro Rosso

Takuma Sato
Sebastien Buemi

The hardest line-up to predict, with Vettel leaving and Sebastien Bourdais in doubt. Whether Sato deserves the seat may be a moot point as he appears to have marketing appeal for Red Bull, who want to export more canned caffeinated craziness to Japan.

Presumably someone will do the maths and if the value of that brand recognition exceeds the cost of fixing Sato’s STR4s the switch will be made. Disappointingly, Anthony Davidson seems not to have been given a moment’s thought by anybody.

Sebastien Buemi is a Red Bull tester and impressed in GP2 last season. His absence from the GP2 Asia roster suggests he is not spending another year at that level in 2009.

Honda Racing F1 Team

Jenson Button
Bruno Senna

Honda have been holding out for Fernando Alonso but it appears to have been to no avail. However there are rumours Williams’ Brazilian petrol supplier Petrobras is to switch to the team to coincide with the arrival of Bruno Senna. The GP2 runner-up admitted a few weeks ago he’s been in discussion with the team.

Force India F1 Team

Adrian Sutil
Giancarlo Fisichella

Team boss Vijay Mallya hinted in August that he planned to keep the same driver line-up for 2009. Paul di Resta was recently linked to the team but Mercedes’ Norbert Haug said his driver will either remain in the DTM or switch to GP2 next year.

McLaren-Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton (has 2009 contract)
Heikki Kovalainen (has 2009 contract)

Hamilton signed a five-year deal last season, and Kovalainen got a one-year extension before the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Do you think this is how the 2009 F1 grid will look? Share your thoughts below.

2009 F1 drivers and teams
2009 F1 season
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47 comments on Is this the 2009 F1 drivers entry list?

  1. ninguen said on 16th October 2008, 21:25

    Before singapore toro rosso tried sato and buemi, after the test buemi made a good impression on the team and franz tost told he would be racing for them on 2009. So i think sato made little or no impression and i´m thinking that if bourdais makes no moneky (like singapore) he will be retaining his drive

  2. Rabi – I think Grosjean is Swiss, he just competes under a French licence because motor racing is banned in Switzerland

    I thought he was French, and with the Swiss thing, ermm Buemi.

  3. Filipe said on 16th October 2008, 22:59

    Grosjean is Swiss, but also has French nationality. From what I understand he actually is much more Swiss than French, but his managers decide to make him run as French because it would be better career-wise.

  4. Steven Roy said on 16th October 2008, 23:56

    Grosjean is Swiss, but also has French nationality. From what I understand he actually is much more Swiss than French, but his managers decide to make him run as French because it would be better career-wise.

    I didn’t realise he had such complicated nationality. Sounds like a modern Bernard Gachot who changed nationality so often he ended up with an EU flag on his helmet.

  5. I would like to see Rubens back on the grid next year – I think he is being scapegoated over the dog of a car he has had to drive the last two years with Honda.

    And for consistencies sake, I’d like to see two Seb’s at Torro Rosso for next year. For some reason Sato just doesn’t seem to fit in :)

  6. Smitty said on 17th October 2008, 8:34

    I want Rubens to stay at Honda, but I have a feeling that Bruno Senna may just get that seat, which is great, but not when it’s at Rubens expense…

    And I think the STR line-up will be Boudrais and Buemi, but Sato may just get Buemi’s seat too…

  7. @ Steven Roy

    I didn’t realise he had such complicated nationality. Sounds like a modern Bernard Gachot who changed nationality so often he ended up with an EU flag on his helmet.

    Well, it wasn’t that complicated with Gachot: he was a Belgian, born in Luxembourg, living in France.

    And what to think of Andreas Zuber: he’s Austrian, but races under a licence from the United Arab Emirates.

  8. Fergus Gallas said on 17th October 2008, 11:38

    Keith,

    1 – Rubens has advanced talks with Berger. He needs an experienced driver due to so many changes in F1 specs.

    2 – Piquet is not out of F1. He has a confirmed seat and in my opinion well deserved. What If i’d say Petrobras is going to pave the place for Nelson?

    3 – Bruno Senna is not ready. I don’t understand why people rate him so high. He has never won a title in any category. He is inconstant to say the least. He will take a test seat. Seen somewhere that has been settled by the team and his mother.

    As for the rest of the grid it looks that you got it right, i’m affraid.

    Fergus

  9. PRIDE said on 17th October 2008, 17:47

    I don´t agree with the line up in Toro Rosso, Renault and Honda.

    I think it would be the worst decision to change Bourdais to Sato. For me Sato is a totally mediocre driver, who hardly finished a race last year, and was not fast at all. Bourdais right now is starting to deliver even beating Vettel with this new aero package.
    Sato has already been given more than 3 years of opportunities to prove how good he is. To all of you who have a good knowledge of drivers do you really beleive he deserves a return?

    I think Bourdais is good on demanding Toro Rosso for his confirmation because he is a good driver and for sure much better than the other candidates available. I do beleive he is a candidate for Reanult and Honda too. I even think he has a better opportunity to land in Renault than Di Grassi or Grosjean. If Piquet is changed because of his underperformance because of being a rookie, placing any of the above mentioned would be unwise because I think they will deliver the same. Remember that Kovalainen even having fridays practices did not perform well on the first half of the year. So again placing unexperienced drivers that are not superstars on gp2 will be like starting all over again.

  10. Steven Roy said on 17th October 2008, 20:32

    I think the problem Rubens has is that he is so similar to Jenson. They have similar driving styles and similar performance. Since Rubens is a known quantity that means Button may not be as good as Honda thought he was. So now they have the choice of staying with those two or trying to find a young driver who is the driver they thought Jenson was or to push Jenson to prove he still has that ptential in him.

  11. Re. ‘Sounds like a modern Bernard Gachot’

    What about Nico Rosberg for complicated nationality? He’s a German citizen, the son of a Swedish-born Finn, and he lives in Monaco.

  12. David said on 31st October 2008, 11:24

    i agree with your line up except for toro rosso and honda.i think sebastian bourdais should be kept and buemi made to wait another year and i think that jenson button should be swapped with rubens barrichello.

  13. Scary Mary (Stoke) said on 6th November 2008, 16:40

    I hope Sato does get a drive.. Legend

  14. Nick Brimo said on 9th November 2008, 1:36

    These are my predictions…

    Ferrari: Kimi Raikonen – Felipe Massa

    (no changes)

    McClaren: Lewis Hamilton – Heikki Kovalainen

    (no Changes)

    BMW: Robert Kubica – Nick Heidfeld

    (no changes)

    Renault: Fernando Alonso – Nelson Piquet Jr

    (Lucas Di Grassi is testing for honda now)

    Toyota: Jarno Trulli – Timo Glock

    (no changes)

    Red Bull renault: Mark Webber – Sebastian Vettle

    (vettle from toro rosso)

    Scuderia Toro Rosso: Sebastian Bourdais – Takuma Sato

    (Sebastian bourdais should go another year. takuma sato is testing with the team and sebastian buemi might get a seat in the toro roso)

    Honda: Jensen Button – Rubens Barrichello

    (Jensen wants rubens to stay in honda for 2009, lucas di grassi might get a seat in the honda and same with Bruno Senna. 3 Drivers are fighting for a seat in the honda but i think barrichello will go another year.)

  15. Nick Brimo said on 9th November 2008, 1:47

    Williams Toyota: Nico Rosberg – Kazuki Nakajima
    (no changes)

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