Barrichello, Bourdais and Piquet: will they still be F1 drivers in 2009?

Nelson Piquet Jnr\'s first home Grand Prix could be his last

Nelson Piquet Jnr's first home Grand Prix could be his last

David Coulthard announced in July that this weekend?s Brazilian Grand Prix would be his last F1 start.

But there is uncertainty over the futures of three other drivers on the grid ?ǣ two of whom count the Brazilian GP as their home race.

Will Sunday?s race mark the last F1 appearances for Rubens Barrichello, Sebastien Bourdais and Nelson Piquet Jnr?

Sebastien Bourdais

Toro Rosso are already losing German wunderkind Sebastian Vettel to Red Bull ?ǣ would they really want to risk starting 2009 with an all-new driver line-up by dropping Bourdais as well?

The Frenchman?s form has been unspectacular but in recent races he has gotten closer to Vettel on speed. He was classified in front of Vettel at Fuji before being given an extremely harsh penalty, and his race at Shanghai was ruined at the first corner.

He may not have done enough to given him a cast-iron claim on a seat for 2009, but I don?t think he?s done anything that merits a sacking. Nor do I think that, in Takuma Sato and Sebastien Buemi, Toro Rosso have two especially strong candidates to replace Bourdais with. I hope the Interlagos race isn?t his last.

43% of F1 Fanatic readers voted that Bourdais should keep his F1 seat for 2009.

Nelson Piquet Jnr

At the beginning of 2008 there were rumours Piquet would be swiftly dropped. After a fortunate second place at Hockenheim matters improved for a while but he slumped once more and found himself getting knocked out in Q1 again.

He?s fought back in the dying stages of the season ?ǣ but how much of this is down to improvements in the car, which team mate Fernando Alonso has driven to two wins and a fourth in the last three races?

Renault may find it an easy choice to replace Piquet with Lucas di Grassi for 2009 ?ǣ another Brazilian GP2 runner-up who has already impressed Renault?s test team. Sunday?s race could be Nelson Piquet?s Jnr sole appearance in the event his father won twice.

52% of F1 Fanatic readers voted that Piquet should keep his F1 seat for 2009.

Rubens Barrichello

Rubens Barrichello is not a rookie trying to win a second year ?ǣ he?s F1?s mot experienced driver. But he hasn?t got a contract for 2009, and team mate Jenson Button is believed to be more likely to stay at Honda next year.

There?s a strong chance that Sunday?s race will be Barrichello?s 16th and final home Grand Prix.

Which of these drivers do you think will be racing in F1 for the last time this weekend?

F1 2009 season
2009 F1 drivers and teams

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Rubens Barrichello will start his 266th Grand Prix this weekend

Rubens Barrichello will start his 266th Grand Prix this weekend

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35 comments on Barrichello, Bourdais and Piquet: will they still be F1 drivers in 2009?

  1. Yes but would that equality steward have been needed if Alonso was getting fair treatment?

  2. beneboy said on 30th October 2008, 20:48

    I think that had more to do with Alonso’s paranoia & constant media outbursts every time Lewis did well.

    Don’t want to get into an argument or anything, it’s only F1 after all ;~).

    As a Ferrari fan I watched last years events at McLaren as a bit of an independent observer as I had no emotional attachment to anyone in the team. If anything I like Alonso more than Hamilton too.

    I’ve got to say though that from the outside it looked like Alonso lost the psychological battle & then used every excuse he could think of to explain why Lewis was doing as well & sometimes better than him in the same car. Some of his interviews last year were verging on the hysterical, especially his Spanish ones.

    Why would Ron spend so much money bringing Alonso into the team & then spend so much paying his salary if he didn’t want him to win ?

    McLaren have a history of hiring two very good drivers & then using their rivalry to push the team forward, some drivers thrive on it while others crumble under the pressure.

    Alonso crumbled.

    Sorry amy, I’m ranting again & you ended up with a Saga.
    Don’t take it personally though I do it all the time, getting old & can’t help myself :~)

  3. I think Bourdais deserves his drive without a doubt and he should be allowed to stay. I remember us all talking awhile back about F1 being a place for the best drivers in the world- if that is the case, SB deserves to be here because he earned his way in- he is a decorated champion in another top series, and not someone who was tutored to make it into the sport.

    Sadly, I think it is almost certain that he will be dumped after this weekend- Red Bull seems to be obsessed with getting Buemi into a seat, and there seems to be an overlying principle in F1 that Sato needs to be employed by one of the teams in order for the sport to be in perfect harmony- how many other drivers who are far better get as many chances as he dose? As a result, sadly, Seb will be looking for a different line of work, although I very much hope I am wrong on that one.

    Piquet will get another year- Renault wants that family name to be a success, and he’s still no threat to Alonso. You see, as long as Alonso and Hamilton are employed at their current teams, you will never see a truly elite no. 2 driver at those teams- the goal at those programs is to get the WDC for their leading driver- Ferrari can keep the WCC as far as Ron and Flavio are concerned.

    As for Rubens, I agree that he should not be forced out. However, I think retiring at the end of this season may have been his best move- if he gets left in the dust with the new regulations next seaosn he will be wishing he had retired when he still had the crummy car as an excuse. In any event, I think the only way he would have been forced out is if Honda could get Alonso, and since that dosen’t appear to be the case, Rubens will soldier on for at least one more season.

  4. STR would be crazy to drop Bourdais. He was the quickest driver in the Red Bull stable at Spa, Fuji and Shanghai.

    If I were McLaren I’d pick him up should STR drop him, test him for a year then replace Kovalainen.

  5. Fergus Gallas said on 31st October 2008, 20:29

    Brazillian press headlines today:
    Bruno Senna has offered $14millions for a 2009 seat in Toro Rosso.
    I believe Berger needs this cash.

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