Who will get the six new seats in 2010?

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Danica Patrick has been linked to a drive for USF1 in 2010
Danica Patrick has been linked to a drive for USF1 in 2010

Three new teams on the 2010 F1 entry list means aspiring F1 drivers have a once-in-a-generation chance to grab six new places in Formula 1.

Promising young rookies and more experienced hands who were recently squeezed out are likely to be at the front of the queue. But who has the crucial combination of talent, connections and sponsorship to make the grade?

Here’s ten names that could be on Campos, USF1 or Manor’s shortlists.

Giorgio Pantano

The Italian is the reigning GP2 champion (the first not to gain instant promotion to Formula 1) and already has F1 experience from a brief stint at Jordan in 2004.

Pantano has been keeping himself race-fit with competition in the Renault Megane championship and Superleague Formula.

Read more: Giorgio Pantano beats Bruno Senna to the GP2 title – but will he reach F1?

Bruno Senna

Bruno Senna - the only driver who can rival Patrick in the publicity stakes
Bruno Senna - the only driver who can rival Patrick in the publicity stakes

Runner-up to Pantano last year and packs a surname that should have sponsors salivating. In limbo having decided not to return to GP2 this year and missing out on a seat with Honda in F1 (before it was put up for sale) and the DTM.

Having already lost a lot of career time to his peers (he was banned from karting after his uncle Ayrton was killed) a year on the sidelines is exactly what he didn’t need.

Read more: Bruno Senna (Meet the rookies)

Christian Klien

Had Red Bull been a little more patient with Klien – in particular, not rushing him into F1 in 2004 at the age of 20 – he might have done rather better. Has held down a test role with BMW since, underlining his potential. Worth another shot.

Read more: Christian Klien biography

Vitantonio Liuzzi

Another driver looking for a second chance at F1. Even before the budget cap row blew up he was tipped to end up at Force India in 2010, replacing Giancarlo Fisichella. The arrival of three more teams offers further opportunities for Liuzzi to get back in the game.

He dabbled in A1 Grand Prix earlier this year, taking pole position on his debut at Portimao in Portugal.

Read more: Vitantonio Liuzzi biography

Danica Patrick

Like Bruno Senna, another sponsor’s dream. An obvious choice for USF1, whose Peter Windsor said earlier this week:

We’re getting near to the point where we start looking at drivers and Danica is on our list for sure, because she’s the best-placed American in the leading single-seater championship of the United States. She’s doing a really great job.

Patrick is tipped to leave the Indy Car series at the end of the season, and has been linked to a move to NASCAR. Although Indy Car has more road and street courses on its schedule these days, Patrick has usually been stronger on the ovals, so for her NASCAR might make more sense than F1.

But there’s no question that F1 having a top American driver – who, of course, also happens to be a woman – would do enormous good for its popularity in the States. Therefore, we can assume Bernie Ecclestone is pulling all the strings he can.

Romain Grosjean

Renault test driver and current GP2 championship leader. Still somewhat mercurial – he has dominated some races this year but at Silverstone having grabbed pole position he then went backwards during the race. Tipped to replace Nelson Piquet Jnr.

Read more: Romain Grosjean biography

Nico H???lkenberg

Nico H???lkenberg is the reigning F3 Euroseries champion

Germany is not short of F1 drivers at the moment but it could be about to get another one. Without question the top rookie in GP2 so far this year, H???lkenberg could even get in the mix for the championship this year.

Like Grosjean he has an F3 Euroseries championship under his belt and a link with an active F1 team – Williams. He won the A1 Grand Prix championship for Germany and impressed in his occasional outings in GP2 Asia last winter. A highly promising prospect.

Read more: Nico H???lkenberg (Meet the rookies)

Anthony Davidson

Of the various drivers to have dropped out of F1 in recent seasons, Davidson is probably the one who most deserves a comeback. Impressive and improving at Super Aguri throughout 2007, he was left on the sidelines when the team collapsed in 2008. Drove for Peugeot in the Le Mans 24 Hours.

Read more: Anthony Davidson

Takuma Sato

Davidson’s former team mate has cult appeal among some fans but has had thrtee shots at F1 already – with Jordan, BAR and Super Aguri. Does he really deserve another?

Sato’s popularity in Japan and sponsor-friendliness could make him a target for teams that need a paying driver. It almost landed him Sebastien Bourdais’ seat at Toro Rosso this year – and that place could well be up for grabs again in 2010…

Read more: Takuma Sato

Paul di Resta

Linked to a drive at Force India earlier this year via their new engine supplier Mercedes. Di Resta is racing for the company in the DTM, where he has been since beating Sebastian Vettel to the 2006 F3 Euroseries title. He impressed in an F1 test for McLaren and drove for Manor in F3 in 2005 – perhaps a reunion could be on the cards.

Read more: Any truth in the Paul di Resta rumours?

Who else?

Who do you think should be on the F1 grid next year? Which drivers not on this list deserve a shot at Formula 1? Lucas di Grassi? Vitaly Petrov? Kamui Kobayashi? Have your say below.

Read more

275 comments on “Who will get the six new seats in 2010?”

  1. Patrick said recently that she hasnt been approached by USF1 and has no plans to leave Indy right now, she also part owns her current car (team?.

    1. I’m really happy that she hasn’t been approached by USF1. i would love to see montoya come back & replace kovi at mclaren.that would spice up things. i dunno much about this danica Patrick as i don’t follow nascar, but i sincerely hope she doesn’t make a fool of herself in front of the entire world, as women always tend to do that! I hope Mika hakkinen comes out of retirement,just like niki lauda did in the 80’s, but that doesn’t seem a likely prospect. Poor Bruno, i really pity that guy. He has to carry the expectations of entire of Latin America on his shoulders. I really hope he does well. I know it will be extremely difficult to for him the emulate his late great uncle, who to this day remains the speed god. takuma sato definitely deserves another chance. what about yuji ide!!!!anyone remember him?
      Americans usually make a joke of themselves in front of the world very often. we’ve had some very pathetic drivers in the past, anyone remembers mario’s son who drove along side senna in 93? poor guy, made of joke of himself. i dont think is it appropriate to have female drivers. i just think they cannot handle the speed & the “G-Forces”(no pun intended).Even Andre Agassi is of the opinion that women cannot last a 5-set match. i just don’t think patrick will be able to last 300 kms of say monaco or spa. Motorsports is meant for men & we must keep it manly.

      1. Go take on RMA senior instructor, Sabine Schmitz, on the Nordschleife & see who looks the bigger joke.
        F1 drivers need to be top athletes but that doesn`t exclude women.
        If Patrick is good enough she deserves a chance but initially she`d probably only be there for novelty (money-spinning) value. The same could be said of any of the second & third generation drivers who share a famous surname.
        The real test comes when they have to produce results.
        Even men can`t always do it – look at Bourdais.

      2. I’m really happy that she hasn’t been approached by USF1. i would love to see montoya come back & replace kovi at mclaren.that would spice up things.

        What’s that got to do with Danica not being approached by USF1?

        i dunno much about this danica Patrick as i don’t follow nascar

        There’s no need to be condescending to a top-flight race driver and athlete by calling her ‘this Danica Patrick’. She is probably the most successful active (or possibly even ever) female racing driver. And even if you followed NASCAR, you still wouldn’t find out much about her as she drives for Andretti Green in Indycar.

        what about yuji ide!!!!anyone remember him?

        Yes, I think we remember him. He has less talent than Ricardo Rosset, and that’s saying something. He had, and has, no place in Formula One.

        i dont think is it appropriate to have female drivers. i just think they cannot handle the speed & the “G-Forces”…i just don’t think patrick will be able to last 300 kms of say monaco or spa.

        Would you like to say that to the female astronauts who manage to handle the immence G-forces of a space shuttle lift-off? Danica lasts 300km of the Indycar ovals and road courses just as the men in the series do. She’s won one race so far (and before you say it’s only one race, Jenson Button had only won one race at one point) and is currently 5th in the 2009 championship standings, as well as being the highest-placed American.

        She has as much right to be considered for an F1 drive any other driver, and is probably more talented and experienced than sever other candidates.

        And if USF1 were to use her for marketing in the traditional ‘sex sells’ way, then us men only have ourselves to blame for being taken in by it all anyway.

        Speaking of female drivers, the 2010 Formula One Season wikipedia page seems to suggest that the Campos team have suggested that Sébastien Buemi’s cousin Natacha Gachnang, currently in F2, is in line for a test driver role next year.

        1. Toby Bushby
          29th June 2009, 2:26

          Would you like to say that to the female astronauts who manage to handle the immence G-forces of a space shuttle lift-off?

          Good point. Actually, after testing with Fighter Pilots in the US, they (aka “them”) have determined that females can handle higher G-forces for longer periods than males in general. Something to do with the shorter distance from heart to brain. This could also be applied in any number of instances relating to real life, or so I’ve heard….

      3. I cant believe what you have written there, mp4-19b. You do know it’s 2009, right? It is you that is the complete joke I’m afraid.

      4. I don’t normally reply to people who don’t have real names but I feel sorry for you with your sore knuckles. Get over it.

      5. “i dont think is it appropriate to have female drivers. i just think they cannot handle the speed & the “G-Forces”(no pun intended).Even Andre Agassi is of the opinion that women cannot last a 5-set match. i just don’t think patrick will be able to last 300 kms of say monaco or spa. Motorsports is meant for men & we must keep it manly.”
        This is the kind of archaic, backward thinking that the world doesn’t need anymore! I mean in this day an age – making comments about women like that is just wrong! get a life buddy !
        And for your information – Danica Patrick drives Indy car not Nascar.
        Montoya drives Nascar now because he couldn’t cut it in the F1 world, and was to inconsistant. No chance in hell he’ll be back.
        They also say most men wouldn’t survive childbirth…

      6. Even Andre Agassi?? Wow.

        1. I for one doubt Danica will come to F1, she doesn’t seem to want to try formula one.
          But i would like to see her in a decent car in formula one. As a man, i think she would be good for F1. there have been women in F1 before but not very good ones in bad teams. But Danica has shown she has some talent and if she could get the right drive with the right teams and right management she could do well. maybe even win. And she’s quite easy on the eye.

    2. i hope that these drivers will participate:
      Anthony Davidson
      Nico Hülkenberg
      Bruno Senna

  2. Out of that lot, Christian Klien has to rank as the best. He showed great potential but having to share his seat with Pizzonia prevented him from developing properly. If he was given time to develop it would be him and not Vettel that would be challenging Button.

    Of the rest, I’d like to see Giorgio Pantano and Anthony Davidson get drives.

  3. If I could have two drivers that currently aren’t in F1 as a lineup – Juan Pablo Montoya & Scott Dixon

    1. yea, Montoya should have been in F1 right now… with all the new overtaking promotion rules, it would have been really nice watching his weird driving style(nd of course overtaking)

    2. Dixon is a good driver most of the time but has the odd off and he is a big guy by todays F1 standards

  4. Apparently USF1 have been talking to Patrick. She’s been in the IRL for 5 years and has 1 victory, I just want to see her in F1 so I can laugh at her getting crushed and all the people who are fawning over her.

    1. That raises a question for me:

      If USF1 approached and secured Patrick as a driver, they will be doing so on the basis of her as a marketing tool.

      For her to really remain viable as such, she would have to be at least competing with her team-mate.

      Who else could USF1 credibly secure who was on par or worse than Patrick, when she’s clearly worse than Bourdais, and he’s ranked among the worst current F1 drivers?

      And can USF1 remain viable if both their drivers can’t get the most out of their machines?

      1. when she’s clearly worse than Bourdais

        Why is she “clearly” worse than Bourdais?? they raced in different series. In 2005 when they both ran the Indy500 as Rookies, she absolutely crushed him, she even led the race.

        Danica results in IRL do not reflect how well she is actually doing in the races. How well she would do in F1 is another thing, I’d like to see her at least try.

        1. She absolute crush him is pretty excessive. She was 4th that day, Seb was 6th when he crashed two laps for the end and she was racing for a then top team (her team mate Buddy Race had won there the previously year) while he was racing for a Champ Car team that usually doesn’t use the chassis/engine combo they have to run at Indy. They were the two top rookies that day.

        2. Agreed Dougie. Nobody knows how she’ll do.I’d at least give her a go.

          1. I’d at least give her a go.

            LOL!! Out of a score of 10… I’d give her one… :-D

  5. i want to be a F1 driver!

    1. Marc Gene, is that you?

      1. Sush Meerkat
        25th June 2009, 12:57


      2. NomadIndian
        25th June 2009, 20:58


      3. Ahahah!

  6. Please, not Danica Patrick.

    Her appointment would be for all the wrong reasons – sex, nationality, public profile. On results and demonstrated potential, weighted by the competitiveness and standard of the series she competes in, she shouldn’t even be an outsider.

    Compare her to Bourdais in IRL/Champ:
    Bourdais: 72 starts, 31 wins, 39 podiums, 27 poles
    Patrick: 71 starts, 1 win, 5 podiums, 3 poles

    Could anyone seriously consider her?

    1. I think so. She may not have fared anywher near as well as Bourdais in Indycar, but Bourdais hasn’t exactly been setting the F1 world alight, even with his impressive Stateside CV.

      I think it could be interesting to have a female driver in F1 who could actually qualify and have chances of top-10 positions, unlike the previous six attempts which have ended at worst with complete failure to pre-qualify, and at most with half a point for 6th place in a shortened race, I do believe.

      Who knows, she might even be half-good.

      It would be nice to see Kilen and Davidson back in race seats, they still have much to proove. Not so sure about Sato, he’s had many shots now.

      And I’m sure that if Pantano is really as brilliant as he thinks he is, he would have had a second shot at F1 already.

      Senna is probably a shoe-in for a seat somewhere, he’s bound to worm his way in eventually.

      Hasn’t a certain Jacques Villeneuve been sniffing around as well? It would be cool to see him back, he could certainly bring the experience that one of the new teams would need.

      Therefore, I wouldn’t mind seeing:

      USF1 – Villeneuve & Patrick
      Campos – Senna & De Resta/Pantano (maybe)
      Manor – Davidson & Klien

      1. Villeneuve is Canadian.

        1. USF1 already said they want one young american driver and one experienced driver of no specific nationality.

          My bet is the young american driver will be either Graham Rahal (if he wants it) or Ryan Hunter Reay (with Jonathan Summerton as aan outside possibility). While the other driver will be a current teste driver (Klien, De La Rosa or Gene) or a current driver driver that loses his seat (thinking about it Bourdais at least is a known name for americans).

          1. I wouldn’t put Bourdais in my new team. He has accomplished nothing in F1 to date.

      2. She may not have fared anywher near as well as Bourdais in Indycar, but Bourdais hasn’t exactly been setting the F1 world alight, even with his impressive Stateside CV.

        That’s the point, isn’t it? Nobody is looking at the also-rans in GP2 and suggesting that they have a serious shot here – Patrick is being suggested because she is:
        1. American
        2. Female
        3. Not completely useless

        That doesn’t sound like a reasonable selection criteria for a team at the pinnacle of open-wheeled motorsport.

        1. ‘Not completely useless’ seems to be enough for other teams when choosing their drivers, namely McLaren with Kovy, Williams with Nakajima, Force India with Fisi, Toyota with Trulli.

          Renault misread the memo though, they’re happy to go with ‘completely useless’ Piquet.

          I don’t think she’s far any worse than some of the other midfielders.

          And I know Villeneuve is Canadian, but he has F1 experience, and at least he’s from the same land mass.

          Anything to make sure Scott Speed doesn’t end up back in F1.

          1. *she’d fare any worse

          2. If she gets chosen by USF1, it’ll be just for marketing and not for racing. I’ve not followed IRL very well, but, checking her profile doesn’t really convince me that she deserves a seat in F1.

            She might be a good driver, but not the best even in IRL. F1 had always looked for the best in the past, and should look for the best int he future too. (of course there were/are exceptions like Piquet, who got the chance for wrong reasons)

            We already have enough exceptions, why to have one more? IMHO, chances for her to have a better outing in F1 than what she delivers in IRL currently (strictly in terms of racing) is very less.

          3. Villeneuve was lucky to get a world championship. He does, however, have other valuable talents for a new, back of the grid team. He can drive around following other cars and he can keep out of the way when being lapped.

            Pity because he seems like a nice guy.

    2. Bourdais was in a depleted Champ Car series… Patrick was in the IRL… it’s beyond comparison.

      The only fair comparison is the 2005 Indy500 where they both competed as Rookies, and she completely crushed him both in qualifying and the race, she even led the race.

      As I’ve already, I’m not a big Danica fan (well ok, maybe a little…) but she has done well in the IRL races (final results aside) and I would like to see how she would do in F1… just out of curiosity.

      1. A depleted ChampCar series is still a far better measuring stick of F1 potential than a slightly-less-depleted IRL series that races on 75% ovals.

        And yes, if you want to use your 2005 Indy 500 as an indication of skill level, I agree, Danica is far more qualified to race in the Daytona 500 than Bourdais.

        1. Fair point Kevin, however I wasn’t using it as an indication of skill level. Just as the only fair comparison between her and Bourdais.

          That said the best drivers are in the IRL and, this year, Danica has finished in the top 6 in all but one race including 3rd at Indy and a respectable 4th on the Long Beach Road Course.

          1. If she is in top 6, then that shows there are few better racing talent than her in IRL itself. :)

      2. If USF1 think Danica Patrick is the best driver for them, then go for it.

        I haven’t followed her career closely; however at the Gold Coast Indy last year she was considerably slower than the rest of the field. It was quite noticeable sitting in the grandstand on the 3rd corner, her approach speed, mid corner speed and exit speed would have been I guess 30 or 40km/h slower than the front runners.

        Maybe she wasn’t comfortable in the car or the car wasn’t running right, but it raised a questions in my head over her ability on road courses. Maybe she was just having a bad weekend.

    3. Maybe USF1 can sign up Scott Speed along with Danica Patrick so us Americans can look forward to having both our cars as backmarkers.

      If they hire Danica I will not root for them…she will not be competitive,they will only consider her as advertising,what a joke!

      1. If they hire Danica I will not root for them…she will not be competitive,they will only consider her as advertising,what a joke!

        Complete sexism if ever I heard it!!

        If she can beat Dan Wheldon & Justin Wilson, amongst others, in the IRL (Oval and Road courses) then she is deserving of a place in F1 more than most.

        1. its all a bit harsh to write her off as a marketing tool – she’s clearly holding her own in racing, she doesn’t progress through the ranks to high end racing on marketing alone – you still need to know how to drive.

          she’s getting podiums and racing higher in the grid than most other drivers, so she’s clearly a competent driver, but f1 is a different animal to IRL.

          obviously you can’t dismiss the marketing benefits, but that’s no different to looking at takuma sato as a driver, or alonso for that matter. they both have pulling power with sponsors.

          sure alonso is a bad comparison when it comes to skill, but i’d compare her to sato almost, average driver, sponsor pull can hold their own.

          i’d at least put her in an f1 car for a week, let her get to grips with it all and see if she can throw down some good test times.

          they can worry about championship winning drivers when they have a race winning car.

          1. “they can worry about championship winning drivers when they have a race winning car.”

            without championship winning driver, they can’t build a championship winning car

        2. Yes, she deserves more than most out there. But there are few more who deserve it better than her.

        3. Sexism has nothing to do with it.Danica is an attractive woman who is not that good of a racer,if they hire her it would not be because of her skills. I am looking forward to having an American team to root for and I would like better drivers.I also slagged Scott Speed in my post because I feel the same about him…he is highly marketable yet is not a good F1 driver.If Danica does enter and does well,I will gladly eat my words….but don’t accuse me of being sexist.

      2. Honestly, USF1 is not likely to be competitive anyway. The two “country name” teams are also going to have in common that they can’t keep up.

        1. I still try to understand, why Malya has named it “Force India”, when the real force is not from India… Nothing offensive! I’m an Indian, and I’m not happy with it.

          I like F1, and I’m following it for quiet sometime now (11 years at least, if I remember well… I enjoyed watching Mika/Schumi/Kimi/Alonso/Vettel and many more). I know F1, even before I know who Malya is, he has brought something unnecessary into F1 by branding a team’s name specific to a country (happy that he has not gone that far to make it all Indian team). A different name, with more options to Indian engineers (like me) would have been much convincing to me.

          But, USF1 had gone little further, to have a national team… I hope, when they come in, they would realize they should have opened up their mind and should have built a better team with all good technicians (anywhere from the world). I personally don’t like this point of making teams national, it is not the F1 I want.

          1. I agree with you about making teams national – I’m not really sure I like it, either.

            “I hope, when they come in, they would realize they should have opened up their mind and should have built a better team with all good technicians (anywhere from the world).”

            I don’t think US F1 are close-minded about getting technicians from anywhere in the world. Considering neither Peter Windsor or Ken Anderson are American-born, they’re already international! :) Nonetheless, one of the reasons they cited for basing themselves in North Carolina is because that is the home of NASCAR, and there is a glut of available ex-NASCAR people looking for jobs (the economy has taken its toll on NASCAR). So, they have a lot of American hiring options with motorsports experience. They’ve also said that people like Rubens Barrichello would be considered, as they need the people with F1 experience. I’m sure if someone like Adrian Newey volunteered his services, they would make room for him!

            From what I’ve read about Force India, Vijay Mallya does want to be even more Indian, but it all takes time to build adequate F1 experience within the group. I think both Force India and US F1 will have a similar start – you start with experienced F1 people, no matter where they’re from, and introduce countrymen as talent is needed. Over the course of time, you finally build an experienced team of countrymen. It could take decades.

    4. And who was Bourdais competition? not as strong as Danica’s.

  7. Sebastien Carter
    25th June 2009, 11:27

    Adam Carroll is someone who I’d like to see in F1. He did really well in A1 this year and has done good things in the past as well. One to look out for I think.


    Michael Schumacher anyone?

    1. Montoya driving for USF1 would be entertaining, but unlikely.

    2. Montoya driving from USF1 would be entertaining, but unlikely.

      1. Montoya? I thought they wanted American drivers

    3. Adam Carroll would do just fine, I reckon. Perhaps he could be in the frame at Manor?

      1. Adam Carroll won A1GP – in my eyes a very amateur championship

    4. Micheal Schumacher is too busy with Top Gear these days. :P

      I’d love to see Adam cCarroll in there. Come On Ireland!

  8. Apparently USGPE only is interested on US drivers (Patrick and the Scott Speed return are the strong rumours.

    Campos Meta wants at least one spanish driver (if not two). De la Rosa could be the experienced driver, and Alguersari and Mehri are the best placed for the other seat.

    Today i have read a lot of rumours about the possibility of Manor not wil be included on 2010 Championship, and one of the “big teams” surpringsily out of Mosley’s list could have the place.

    Anyway, with the moves in the other teams I think next season we will have a lot of new drivers “in”, and a lot of 2009 drivers “out” or changing team.

    1. oops Sorry, I forgot Mehri is still too young for F1

    2. USDPE is using the US driver as a way of generating sponsors. Lets face it, and I am from the US, we dont have a relevent series to bring up the drivers for F1. Every kids dream in racing in the US is either Nascar or Indy, neither of which appeal to me. Driving those cars requires less of a driver thatn a F1 car. And all of the recent US driver who came to F1 from an american series(Not necessarily american citizen) Only Villenueve performed well in both and won in both. Montoya has been good in cart but after he came to F1 he was only competitive with Williams,when he went to Mclaren he was so so.
      If USGPE is serious they will find a driver from the current batch that isnt employed by the curent F1 teams or find a driver in 1 of the eurpean series to help the team out. They also will need a driver with expierience to help develope the car. I also dont know that doing it from the US is going to make their lives any easier.
      I hope they do well and can be competitive but they wont with Patrcik or Speed.

      1. Williams 4ever
        25th June 2009, 18:36

        Montoya has been good in cart but after he came to F1 he was only competitive with Williams,when he went to Mclaren he was so so.

        @Martin – I am not sure how you have arrived at that conclusion. Of his 7 F1 wins 4 came spending four seasons with Williams ( which was on downward spiral since 2000 anyways). His 4th win for Williams (incidently last F1 win for Williams) driving dog of a Williams 2004 car in Brazil. And in one year with McLaren he scored 3/7 wins. And given that post his “Mysterious Injury” (coinciding with Childbirth) he was always given second choice on strategy since Team had Kimi is close battle with Alonso.

        I wont include 2006 Season at all since McLaren had closed work on that season in winter 2005 on back of Alonso signing. They turned up every race with some or other issues with their cars, and releasing their drivers(mostly JPM) in wrong time in Q2 ensuring that Qualifiers got tanked as well. Not to mention one race when first touch JPM got of car was in actual qualifiers where he still made it to podium in Imola.

        So to summarize. Lets not make random statement without sufficient data. JPM is proven winner, but for any driver to excel in F1. He needs is a) Right Car b) Confidence that team management is fully behind him.

        In his case during Williams tenure Partial Management in form of Sir Williams backed JPM while Patrick Head was Ralf Backer. And in case of McLaren. Ron’s love for Kimi was well known and way Ron changed colors after signing Alonso I have elaborated above. JPM’s F1 story was wrong place at wrong time. And we should leave it at that. Though given the quality of the majority of current grid, A proven Race-winner like JPM is what is needed, but while FOTA-FIA mess has been resolved, F1 is still essentially by the Europeans, of the Europeans and for the Eurpoean affair, where natural racer like JPM will always be strangled, So I don’t expect any return from him…

        1. Williams 4ever,

          Finally, somebody who actually shares my opinion. This is the exact same thing I’ve been telling people about JPM, but nobody ever listens! JPM was a real racer, and if you think about it, over the last decade or so, there hasn’t been much place for real out and out racers in the sport. I remeber reading an interview with Jackie Stewart a couple years back, he went on to mention that the last real racers in F1 were Villeneuve and Montoya, Eddie Irvine was also mentioned I believe.

          JPM’s was a case of bad management, both personal and team wise. He was unfortunate on track during the early 2000s as the Ferrari juggernaught steam-rolled past everyone. Having said that, he was the only driver who genuinely rattled the Schumi’s cage during the time, don’t believe there are many who hold that accolade, one Mika Hakinnen comes to mind.

          I would love to Juan back in F1. He will still be a force to be reckoned with if he gets a decent seat, but I think a return is highly unlikely. I watched a SPEED-JPM interview a couple months back, where he mentioned that he loves the environment in NASCAR unlike the corporate/business-like approach of F1. He just wants to race, and he can’t be bothered about all the politics that one has to play in the world of F1.

          Although I love Fernando Alonso, JPM will always be my favourite driver of all time.

          1. Williams 4ever
            26th June 2009, 13:24

            Although I love Fernando Alonso, JPM will always be my favourite driver of all time.

            Thanks for the thoughts and this is affection for JPM and FA (in that order) is mutual. JPM is second favorite driver after Prost and first favorite “racer” of all time.
            Unfortunately JPM’s nondiplomatic ways of handling things messed up his F1 career.and especially to succeed in F1 Political prowess is must. I sometime wonder how Vettel is managing his career without any “Professional Manager” and “Father” on his side. Its just Vettel and his lawyer. Vettel making career decisions and Lawyer reviewing the contract . Amazing kid

        2. I wont argue the Williams/Montoya vs Head/Schumacher battle as I dont have that data. I have noticed Head taking strange positions on things over the years but I figure that was just Head being Head.
          I will agree with you that Mclaren somewhat started tanking him after he announced he was leaving and I do blame Ron for that. I saw him perform the same scenario on M Andretti for Mika. But I will stand by what I saw out of Montoya in the years he was in the sport. His car was competitive enough as they (Ralf and Montoya) were winning races but they should have performed better, especially Montoya. I have watched JPM race in all the different series, and I wasnt impressed.

          1. Williams 4ever
            26th June 2009, 13:17

            I will agree with you that Mclaren somewhat started tanking him after he announced he was leaving and I do blame Ron for that.

            @Martin – Again a case of wrong data.
            Let me place the data/events in order for you.

            Ron made a shady back door deal with Alonso in Winter 2005 and from that point onwards shut down the 2006 campaign. Every race in 2006 McLaren team went like bunch of rookies, with some of other technical problems with their car. Can you imagine in Imola JPM had first touch of car (that too T-car) only in Qualifiers and he used fuel burn mode in Q3 to get acclimatised with the car. Kimi had already cut deal with Ferrari and didn’t care rat’s ass about Ron’s dirty games. It was JPM’s career at stake and his resume was getting muddied, so in desperation he went and signed deal with his mentor/friend Chip Ganassi after USGP and Ron showed him door with immediate effect.
            He had given advanced notice of his next move only to Williams end of 2003 after Williams (Head) messed up him race(and maybe WDC championship) in Magny cours weekend.

            In Williams Days while his car setup was copied by Ralf. those weekends where he struggled to setup car He didn’t get Ralf’s setup . Magny was the last straw on camel’s back.

      2. I have no idea why Montoya ever left F1. He was for sure one of THE most entertaining drivers ever.. Really hope he comes back to Mclaren as some one needs to teach Hamilton a thing or 2.

  9. 1. Anthony Davidson (I’d miss his commentary on BBC though)
    2. Montoya
    3. Bruno Senna
    4. Villeneuve
    5. Sato
    6. PDLR

    1. I dont think Montoya is interested in F1 anymore. And pretty sure he’s not interested in small new teams.

      1. I’d love to watch Juan Pablo driving F1 again though

      2. I don’t think Montoya’s interest in F1 matters, I doubt anyone of the teams would trust him enough to employ him.

        1. Williams 4ever
          25th June 2009, 18:53

          I don’t think Montoya’s interest in F1 matters, I doubt anyone of the teams would trust him enough to employ him.

          If thats the case, how do you explain two serious interest by two mid-field teams in JPM in last two years?? STR who was faring better than Parent RBR was openly wooing JPM to join them.

          JPM/Valentino Rossi(even Alonso) had time and again mentioned F1 is all about the car and the Engineers. To win a race and win a championship in F1, its simply not possible till you are in Good Car and Your team management is backing you for wins. So Rossi stayed clear off F1, Alonso is openly flirting with Ferrari.
          Of the three names I mentioned Alonso has been lucky, he demonstrated in Minardi that he has capability to out-perform the car ( and Stoddardt let him do that), Flavio took him as preferred driver in Renault and favoured him sometimes covertly sometimes blatantly in favor of his team mates ( read Trulli who won Renault first race ahead of Alonso, and Fisi who won ahead of alonso in 2005). Now as a double world champion, whenever he shows those Minardi like glimpses where he out performance the car, his past results (in much favorable conditions) still make “Experts” go gaga over his driving skills. If only someone gave the same credit to JPM for Driving 2004 Williams dog cart to victory in Brazil to prove his point that he was better than Ralf when team favored Ralf. And him doing his best to drive the Fragile 2005 McLaren car whenever Kimi was confined to P20 Start thanks to Engine Penalties (of Teams doing)

          1. Yeah, a few midfield teams were interested in JPM last season…and he rebuffed all of them and insisted he’s staying in NASCAR.

            Like it or not, Juan Pablo isn’t coming back to F1 anytime soon.

          2. JPM/Valentino Rossi(even Alonso) had time and again mentioned F1 is all about the car and the Engineers. To win a race and win a championship in F1, its simply not possible till you are in Good Car and Your team management is backing you for wins. So Rossi stayed clear off F1, Alonso is openly flirting with Ferrari.

            I dont agree, M.Schumacher took a uncompetitive car and won with it. His first year at Ferrari the car was horrible but he was 3rd in points with 3 wins.
            Villenueve started winning once he was allowed to set the car up the way he wanted it not the way the team did.
            It does take a good car to win the championship and it does take the team being behind you, but the best car and team cannot make you a winner if you dont have it. When you do have it you can beat better cars than yours because you know how to minimize your weaknesses and exploit the other guys.

          3. Williams 4ever
            26th June 2009, 13:38

            I dont agree, M.Schumacher took a uncompetitive car and won with it. His first year at Ferrari the car was horrible but he was 3rd in points with 3 wins.

            You are missing something again. and something that is most vital. Management backing. Classic case in recent days is STR 2006 , while the team was not giving the drivers competitive car, they didn’t give the drivers enough backing and being honest about “resources” given to them. Franz Tost gave (and even gives) impression as though he is giving the field leading car to the drivers ( then it was Speed and Luizzi) and the drivers were failing it. If your car sucks @least be patient and let driver try his own ideas and show patience with the driver.
            Post 2005 Williams have finally realized that reality and they honestly admit, that bigger factor is that their car sucks and they wouldn’t put it on inexperience/inability of the drivers to find optimum setup.

            Villenueve started winning once he was allowed to set the car up the way he wanted it not the way the team did.

            Now you have given example that contradicts your own logic of driver driving above the car’s capability . This example is of Management showing patience with Driver and giving confidence to Driver that they are behind him. Something what Ferrari did to Schumacher and Renault did to Alonso, while they were having fast but unreliable car in 2004.

  10. What has Danica achieved in IndyCar?

    1. She’s now in her 5th IRL/IndyCar season. So far she has won only 1 race, and had only 3 more podium finishes. Her biggest success was the third place in this year’s Indy 500.

      Her highest finish in the championship was the 6th place last year.
      In this season – she’s currently 5th in the standings.

      This is really not bad, but not outstanding either.

      1. Precisely, as one would expect a team serious in its F1 foray would be interested in fielding a very strong driver that will be capable of reducing any inadequacies their car might possess.

      2. U only say that because she is female. I’ll pick any other male driver in IRL who has been around as long as Danica in Indycar.
        Ed Carpenter: 85 starts, 0 wins, 0 poles
        Vitor Meira: 96 starts, 0 wins, 2 poles
        AJ Foyt 4: 82 starts, 0 wins, 0 poles

        Compare that to Danica with 71 starts, 1 win, 3 poles

        1. Yes, and that’s why Carpenter/Meira/Foyt are not going to F1 either. :]

          Was that an attempt at an argument or sth? Huh?

        2. I wouldnt hire any of them either.

  11. Anthony Davidson drove for Aston Martin at Le Mans.

  12. Regarding USF1, and their likely aim to have two American drivers, is anyone else thinking Marco Andretti? I know he has had difficult times in IRL lately but he tested the Honda & is a marketable name. Also I wouldn’t be shocked to see a Red Bull young driver replacing Bourdais at Torro Rosso next year, Brendon Hartley perhaps.

    Overall Keith, I think your list above is a good one, you’ve listed a lot of (if not all) realistic candidates for the seats. Great article.

    Also I wonder if the new teams arriving will lift some of the pressure off some of the elder statesmen of F1, such as Rubens & Giancarlo, and prove a life-line for their continuing careers?

    1. Yeah Brendon Hartley is a great idea. As a fellow Kiwi I’d love to see him get a drive! :-)

      1. He’s got to be the next Red Bull-backed driver to get a seat with one of their two teams, either him or Wickens.

  13. If i were one of the new owners i’d strongly consider hiring the Stig to drive.

    1. If he/she had a superlicence :)

  14. I see Danica Patrick (mmmm) and Rubens Barrichello at USF1… and Button/Senna at Brawn. Romain Grosjean will be at Renault, and Nico Hulkenberg will either be at Williams (if Rosberg goes to McLaren) or McLaren himself, possibly BMW.

    Pantano has been too long in GP2, he may be champion but he never really set the world alight. Its too late now for F1.

    Klien/Liuzzi have missed the boat, for me you have to show something exceptional in your first year or two in F1, if you haven’t and you don’t get a seat, there won’t be one later either… unless its about money of course. The same goes for Davidson and Sato.

    di Resta is an unknown for me but I think being in DTM may go against him. I don’t recall anyone getting out of DTM to somewhere better, it’s like a big black hole.

    Bourdais will be out at the end of this year, and STR would do well to replace him with Brendon Hartley.

    1. Bigbadderboom
      25th June 2009, 13:48

      I can’t see Brawn letting Rubens go as he has proved extremely valuable during set-up through FP1,2 & 3.
      I think they will continue with the same driver line-up.

      1. I’ve been thinking that with his knowledge of set-up and his driving experience, Rubens might be more valuable to Ross Brawn on the pit wall, if Ross could find another hotshoe for the seat Rubens would vacate.

    2. Christijan Albers went from DTM to F1 (with Minardi) so it’s possible.

    3. Rubens Barrichello certainly won’t go to drive for USF1.
      Peter Windsor has been talking about employing an experienced non-american driver for their first year and in other interviews it sounded like he was eyeing Rubens, but that was back in February and he propably thought that barrichello would be sidelined for 2009 and then be eager to return in 2010. But now Barrichello is racing for a frontrunning team and i don’t think that he would be willing to drive for a likely backmarker next year.
      And Windsor has also dropped the idea of a foreign driver and said that they will have two americans. I think his favourite will be Jonathan Summerton, he’s been talking about him quite a bit.

      1. Petron@s F1
        25th June 2009, 17:10

        Rubens have only one year contract…and might be not signet for 2010 sezon !!!!

        Also good choice is Pedro de la Rosa ;)))

        for publicity Danica is No1


      2. Finally, someone mentions Summerton…thank you!!!

        1. The problem with Di Resta is that he already is a Mercedes driver. Mercedes could easily placed him in a good GP2 ride for three seasons by now and they did nothing. He is good for them where he is and as long as he is under contract I do0n’t think Mercedes will move him. I know british fans want him in F1, but Di Resta is the new Allan McNish. Blame Mercedes, but I doubt he will get a F1 ride anytime soon.

  15. Fernando in a shock move to Campos for some Spanish-on-Spanish action?

    1. Although I think you are kidding and you don’t think it, I have to say that Adrian Campos was kind of Alonso’s manager when he drove in Minardi and made test for renault, and I don’t think that they are going to be togheter again.

      De la Rosa could be the spanish- on-spanish. Maybe is too late for Pedro, after years of testing, and 2009 without touch an F1 car.

      1. Alonso also drove for Campos when he won the Nissan Open Fortuna series, or whatever it was called then (it is now the World Series by Renault).

        Dani Clos is a decent prospect if Campos are looking for a Spanish driver.

    2. Williams 4ever
      26th June 2009, 13:44

      Fernando in a shock move to Campos for some Spanish-on-Spanish action?

      That would be Villenueuve like Suicidal mistake when he trusted his Manager Craig Pollock and Joined BAR. His career went down the hill with that one blunder. F1 Drivers need to be selfish when Career matters. Emotions give lots of Pain. I guess Fernando did one Emotional Harakiri already by driving for team where his favorite Driver drove. That was emotionally sucking experience wasn’t it? With management backed rookie copying setups and getting preference in strategies (after Monaco’08).. and history is recent to be gone over again

  16. As I posted on the Autosport forum this morning, strangely, I could see Jacques Villeneuve end up at USF1. Yes, I know he’s Canadian, but at least he’s a well-known name in the US racing world, plus he’s an IndyCar champion, an F1 WDC, and, even more importantly, an Indy 500 winner. It would be quite a coup should USF1 get him for 2010, perhaps alongside a young American like Jonathan Summerton, who could grow with the team.

    1. Last half season of Jacques on Renault was pathetic, and it was a long time ago. I can believe they are seriously thinking on Jacques.

    2. Summerton was exactly who I was thinking of. He should be higher on the list than Danica for USF1, unless they are simply starving for sponsorship dollars.

  17. Will USF1 hamstring themselves by limiting only to US drivers?

    1. Not if they’ve got any sense… US drivers can only turn in one direction can’t they? ;-)

      Would be great to see a women in the sport though… especially exciting watching the parking in the pit stops. Hehe. Right, I must stop.

    2. I wouldn’t exactly call it hamstringing themselves…it’s just the way they want to do business. If they work better with the guys they pick, that’s what works best in this case.

  18. Klien has driven for Peugeot at Le Mans (and other events) for a couple of years now, Davidson drove for Aston Martin this year.

  19. Surely Marco Andretti would be in the running for USF1?

    Having Jacques and Montoya back would be awesome – they’d show you can overtake in f1!

    1. I don’t rate Marco as a driver myself, he seems a bit Jason Plato in terms of his potential for slapping his car into someone else with alarming frequency. Danica seems like a good bet, in terms of the sponsorship she could potentially bring. For the smaller teams, it is often about that, rather than employing the best driver.

    2. Marco has been mentioned by USF1 in the past, although I don’t think he would do very well. I honestly think he’d be another Nelson Piquet, Jr.

      One person I would recommend for US F1 is A.J. Allmendinger. He was running really well in Champ Car and moved to NASCAR. I haven’t paid much attention to NASCAR in the last year or so, but from what I’ve heard, he struggled at first, but really improved, even in mediocre equipment.

      1. A.J. is a good driver, but I have a friend who is managed by the same group as him, and this guy tells me his wife is a wacky person…surely she’s cause a uproar in the paddock from what I understand.

  20. Sorry, but the problem is that probably we’ll have only 2 another sits next year, because Manor and Usf1 aren’t true f1 teams.. Sadly I don’t think they’ll be on the grid, we are talkin’ about nothin’.They probably cannot afford a f1 without budget cap, unless they wont become junior teams..
    Campos prbably will hire Pantano and a paying driver, like Petrov wich is higly supported from russian sponsors..

    1. The people behind USF1 have been planning a team for three years now and made their announcement about applying for a grid slot long before the budget cap fight started. During the budget fight, Peter Windsor kept saying that no matter what the final position on the budget cap ended up being, they were able to race. And I don’t think teams that can’t afford F1 already have a base set up in the US and are in advanced negotiations for a European satellite base.

    2. That’s a real low blow at those two teams….in particular at USF1, who wer eplanning this thing long, long before any discussion on budget caps came into play. They’ve already got all the financing they need, and like it or not, they’ll be on the grid next season….

      1. Cant wait to see USGP next year.

        It will be cool. Oh yes, it will.

  21. I doubt the Americans are of much value to F1…I remember Michale Andretti, Alex Zanardi, J.P.Montoya…These guys did wonders in CART, but never really seemed to adapt to F1. So when you say an IRL driver…umm Dancia Patrick…I’m pissing my pants laughing!

    Some good results from former F1 drivers that went to Cart…but the reverse hasn’t been true. I guess Montoya did the best. You have to go way back to the stone age to get an american driver that figures out F1…Would that be Mario?

    As far as many of the other drivers you mentioned…I haven’t a clue, but as an semi educated guess…I suspects that they would do better than just about any American.

    Ummmm….I happen to be an American!

    Cheers, Alex Bkk

  22. For the smaller & newer teams it may all be down to which driver can bring the team the most money.

  23. My comment is awaiting moderation? Have I been that naughty?

  24. Unless their results pickup in the second half of the season I don’t think Piquet, Bourdais or Nakajima will be at their current teams next year (although Nakajima will still be at Williams if the Toyota engine deal depends on it), and I wouldn’t be surprised if Force India change one of their drivers. So potentially we could have 10 drivers in F1 who aren’t on the grid this year.

    I would have thought that the new teams would want at least one of their drivers to have some F1 experience so some of the drivers who lose their seat this year may still be able to stay in F1 next year.

    I would say USF1 will be the best of the new teams, but I seriously doubt any of the them will be quick next year and the best any of them could probably hope for is to luck into some points in a few races, (but this will be harder than when the likes of Jordan and Stewart started out in the 1990s due to the increased reliability we have in F1 now).

    Although there will be plenty of takers for the vacancies I wouldn’t be surprised if some drivers may be put off making their debut in F1 with one of the new teams next year as it may damage their reputation and ruin their chance of success in the long term, if they are constantly at the back or retiring.

    1. I agree, although I’d add Fisi to that list. And what about Kimi, or have the Kimi-to-retire rumours had the kibosh put on them?

      It’s entirely possible we may have 5 or 6 new (or recycled faces) on the grid next year.

      Here are the drivers I’d like to see on the grid next year, in order of preference:
      Di Resta

  25. Mussolini's pet cat
    25th June 2009, 13:10

    from a selfish point of view, i hope Anthony Davidson doesn’t get a drive because he’s excellent on R5 Live. Love the practice sessions on the old Red Button.

  26. From a purely jingoistic point of view, I’m hoping for Jacques Villeneuve so I can wave my Canadian flag.

    1. Indeed, he should be on the list. I think there’s a good chance he’ll get a drive with a new team – possibly USF1?

      1. Actually, a Canadian driving for a US team… what am I saying!!!

  27. Hmmmmm, does Bernie still have issues with Danica? Or is it Danica having issues with Bernie? Anyway, I think last year Bernie was asked about her joining F1 and didn’t like it at all…… Perhaps USF1 might not have such an easy time as you imagine.
    I’d like to see PDLR back again. He may be old, but he does know one end of a car from the other. And Anthony Davidson too, of course!

    1. Williams 4ever
      25th June 2009, 21:22

      Hmmmmm, does Bernie still have issues with Danica? Or is it Danica having issues with Bernie?

      Whoa that would be some news. Bernie having issues with Danica. That would make him eligible for Guiness Book of Records place, as Guy who had “Issues” with Way Taller and way shorter women then himself. With amount of his fortune he can have “Issues” with anyone…

      1. If she has issues with Bernie then my opinion of her as a racer just went up a notch.

  28. I’d quite like to see Gary Paffett get a chance. He was fantastic in some of the other series and has never really had a fair shot in f1 ;)

    1. Williams 4ever
      25th June 2009, 21:32

      McLaren took him for a ride didn’t day.. he became innocent victim remaining associated with McLaren-Mercedes. He waited for that call and the phone never rang.. My sympathies

  29. A season with the following would be fantastic
    Villeneuve, Montonya, Schumacher, Alonjo & Hamilton .

  30. Montoya and Villeneuve should defeinetly come back. and cosidering the 3 teams are new, they will need as much experience on the track as possible, so it makes sense to hire one rookie, and one veteran,

    the veterans i would like to see are the two guys above plus Davidson (he deserves a chance). the other 3 should be Senna, Klien and Hulkenber.

    on the other hand, i think fissichella will be on his way out as well as possibly Barrichello, and who knows who else.

    but if there is one driver in the list up there that shouldn’t be, it’s Sato.

  31. Klien is a journeyman, he was only given his F1 seat because he happened to be an Austrian. I can’t believe any team would seriously consider him for an F1 seat after he was outclassed by DC – of all people – for the year-and-a-half he spent at Red Bull.

    I have heard that Liuzzi is contracted to drive for Force India next year. If so Fisichella could drop into a new team as an experienced hand, though he might call it a day altogether.

    1. DC got a point by bumping Klien off the track at Canada. Then scored only a podium not necessarily by good driving. I think Klien held his groud pretty well around DC

    2. I’ve heard the Liuzzi-Force India rumour several times as well. Apparently a deal has been lined up for 2010 already.

      I don’t think Liuzzi is nearly as bad as people seem to remember. As soon as he had a decent driver in the other Toro Rosso pushing him on he upped his game and was a match for Vettel towards the end of 2008.

      So I’d definitely give him another pop at F1, either for Force India or one of the other new teams.

  32. What about Gary Paffett? He has done well in DTM and has plenty of experience as a McLaren test driver. He’s only 27 or 28 and I think he deserves a chance as an F1 driver soon before he becomes classed as permanent test driver.

    1. Even as a test driver he isn’t setting the track on fire.

  33. For the USF1 team I could see Alexander Rossi getting a drive, and for marketability in the US, I think they would go after a NASCAR driver instead of one from the IRL, to get some of those NASCAR fans to at least take a look at F1, the name I keep seeing is Kyle Busch.

    1. Rossi is a bit young yet but give him another year and he’ll be a strong candidate for F1. The guy was head and shoulders abover everyone else in Formula BMW last year.

      1. That’s what I was thinking…he’s probably a bit away from being able to get a super license. As for Kyle Busch, I think he’d want to have some titles in the Sprint Cup series before making any move to F1, but down the road it could happen.

    2. How about Robert Doornbos? Was in F1 and did well, ended up in ChampCar to battle with Bourdais and is now in Indycar.

  34. staatskanzla
    25th June 2009, 14:24

    Anthony Davidson drove for ASTON MARTIN at the 24 Hours, not for PEUGEOT…

  35. HounslowBusGarage
    25th June 2009, 14:31

    I thought I remembered Peter Windsor saying that he wanted drivers from America in its widest sense, not just the US. Canadian and South American drivers, too. Maybe I’m wrong.
    This season we have had just one new driver, so we ought to expect quite a few of the current crop being ‘retired’ in November – maybe Trulli, Fisi, Bourdais, Nakajima, Piquet and possibly more. It could be that almost half the grid will be new to F1 next season.
    But apart from that, I’d like to see De La Resta and Bruno Senna in there next year. PDR because he’s defintely good enough and Senna to see if he’s good enough.

    1. De La Resta

      Man.. I just love that! :)

  36. I would like to see Tiago Monteiro again.

    1. He’s running his own GP2 team at the moment, so I doubt he’d be interested in a return.

  37. Of the US drivers Marco Andretti and Danica Patrick are the obvious choises. However, both are without any significant experience on road courses. Doing the GP2 Asia series this winter would be a good preparation before entering F1 in 2010.

  38. I think USF1 is going to have to have at least one American driver. To call a team USF1 and say that it will showcase American engineering, but then have European drivers would be a bit odd.

    While Danica Patrick may not be the best choice for the team, I would like to see a female driver in F1 soon. Fun Fact: The combined points total from all women ever entered in the FIA Formula 1 World Championship is 0.5. (Lella Lombardi scored 0.5 points in the 1975 Spanish Grand Prix.)

    1. American Engineering doesn’t build humans yet.

  39. Jacques Villeneuve should return. The man is a former World Champion and knows how to drive!!

    Someone hire him for 2010!

  40. Salut Gilles
    25th June 2009, 14:53

    As much as I’d like to think that USF1 might hire a Canadian like Villeneuve (or Robert Wickens… I hear Windsor is a big fan of his), I really doubt it.

    American names will bring big money and exposure to the team. A Canadian driver, though he would be from right next door, would bring neither.

    When you think about it, Danica Patrick would probably best fufill all of USF1’s goals for heightening F1’s profile in America… but it’s unlikely that she’d want to risk falling out of the American limelight by racing in Europe.

    My USF1 bets are AJ Allmendinger and Scott Speed.

    1. Salut Gilles
      25th June 2009, 15:09

      Well, here’s a list of potential USF1 recruits from Peter Windsor.

      Danica Patrick
      Marco Andretti
      Graham Rahal
      Ryan Hunter-Reay
      Jonathan Summerton

      None of my guesses are on that list, of course.

      I seem to remember Windsor saying that USF1 driver’s would be selected through a reality TV competition. Does anyone else remember that?

      1. Oh, well – in that case it’s got to be Helio. He has form!

      2. “Reality” TV? – please no

      3. Graham Rahal is the best of that lot on road courses. He has done well and one his first ever Indy Car race on his first try

  41. Marco has sharp elbows, but any would-be team boss only needs to look at how he was outclassed in A1GP – the talented racers regularly beat him and he was left duking it out with a rag-tag of milk float drivers. And that’s without his recent hissy fit where he whined about how Danica hadn’t pulled over to let him through when they were racing for position.

    All the arguments against Danica going to NASCAR are doubly true as arguments against her going to F1. Her personal brand has everything at the moment except wins, and she won’t get those trolling around in a newbie F1 team or in a NASCAR development deal. The only smart career move for her is to take her sponsorship and her improved results this year and use them to get into Ganassi.

    My tip for the next woman to score points in F1? Ana Beatriz / Bia Figueiredo (depending on which version of her name you want to use). That’s if F1 can prise her away from American racing, of course.

    If I were USGP I’d be looking at trying to get Villeneuve and JR Hildebrand. Though I’m sure I remember reading somewhere they had half an eye on Adam Carroll.

    Hope so, anyway – Carroll was almost a dead cert for a Lola drive if they’d made it in.

    Sato’s unlikely to be in the frame for a drive. Current word is that Formula Dream will pull its IRL sponsorship off Hideki Mutoh and switch it to Sato in a car run by Gil de Ferran.

    I personally think some of the six new places may well get filled by veterans who lose their seats at established teams, while the newcomers go straight into teams like Renault and Williams.

    1. Spot-on in regards to Danica and her “brand”- a drive in either NASCAR or F1 would just expose her for the poor-quality racing driver she is.

      Hildebrand is a good name to consider, but I believe he’s on the books at AGR for the moment. Still, he put in one of the best drivers of the A1GP season for Team USA.

  42. View from America
    Danica needs to do F1. Yes, it would be pretty much marketing. I don’t think she would be very successful and therefore IF she decided to do it it would’nt last more than a season. Two tops. Anyone ever see how ****** off she gets when someone closes the door on her? Can you imagine how many miles she would walk in F1 up and down pit lane bitching at the other drivers for the normally aggressive driving you get in F1?!
    Also, Marco Andretti, as cool as it would be to see the name in F1 again, is not ready. He would struggle I believe. Villeneuve will not be back. Montoya for sure will not be back. Anyone see him lately? He would have difficulty fitting into the car. Anthony Davidson for sure needs a ride. He’s good and deserves another chance. The new teams are going to be small operations, at least initially. They are going to get “small” drivers, entry level people, not big name drivers. The only possible exception, maybe, will be Fisichella who will be dropped by Force India in favor of Liuzzi at years end. He’s experienced and might be able to help develop a car.

  43. maybe Marko Asmer will get a seat?
    I think he is currently BMW-s 4-th backup driver? Not sure though if he has got any chance to drive an F1 car lately. http://www.markoasmer.com/

  44. Andretti. Maybe Hunder-Reay.

    I think Villenueve would definitely come back. He has unfinished biz. But he is too old. Montoya is enjoying his lifestyle and doesn’t care to run around in the back if he’s going to not see his kids at night.

    Marco is a better choice than Patrick. Having a silver and red helmet poking out of a car is going to do more for the team PR wise than having a driver who will strip to her drawers for a lad mag. Marco may not be objectively more talented than Patrick from what we have seen but he has come up through karting and he is openly committed an FI career. And he’s young enough to want to run around the back for 3 years without storming off to NASCAR. Hunter-Reay has his own sponsor (Izod), he has a billboard-scalable face, and he is pretty quick.

    The other U.S. brand names—Dixon, Wheldon, Franchitti—I think they are too set in their Normal Rockwell lives to spend their next 4 years living in empty industrial parks in India, China, and other desolate places Bernie wants to go.

    1. Having a silver and red helmet poking out of a car is going to do more for the team PR wise than having a driver who will strip to her drawers for a lad mag.

      Really!?! :-D

      Seriously though, I do disagree with this statement.

      If they are both running midfield or worse, Marco’s PR will be a lot less than Danica stripping off…

      If they are both winning races and maybe even the championship (unlikely in both cases) then I see Danicas PR being more than Marcos.

      1. Yeah Danica gets her clothes off at every photo shoot

        1. Sorry TommyB, that wasn’t what I meant when I said “Really!?!”.

          It was referring to Marcos stock, grandaddy Mario or not, being stronger than Danicas.

          1. Oh i thought you were excited and just about to go do a google image search :-D

          2. LOL! No, I’ve done plenty of those already since she joined the IRL :-D

    2. Best summary of the American drivers so far…those IZOD commercials are pretty good.

    3. The other U.S. brand names—Dixon, Wheldon, Franchitti—I think they are too set in their Normal Rockwell lives to spend their next 4 years living in empty industrial parks in India, China, and other desolate places Bernie wants to go.

      Scott Dixon is a Kiwi, although moved to race in the States in 1999, where he has twice won the IRL, in 2003 on his first attempt and again in 2008. He won the Indy 500 in 2008 from pole position. He’s tested for BMW and Williams.

      Yep, it would be great to see him get a seat, along with Red Bull and Toro Rosso reserve driver Brendon Hartley, with or without his stupid haircut.

      1. And the other two are Brits, of course…

        You really get the impression from the likes of Justin Wilson and Darren Manning that once a European driver goes to the US they take one look around them and decide they must have been mad wanting to be in F1.

        1. Williams 4ever
          26th June 2009, 13:49

          once a European driver goes to the US they take one look around them and decide they must have been mad wanting to be in F1.

          Add SeBass to that list. Just because certain Italian Managing a French Squad didn’t like him, Bourdais’s just claim to the race seat on back of good start in European series was thwarted and he had to swim across the pond(and now has to put up with unreasonable and fickle minded Tost)

  45. Ukyo Katayama!

    Even good ‘ol Murray Walker thought he was the best driver F1 has ever produced!

  46. I haven’t heard anybody mention this guys name yet but it is likely that USF1 will end up getting Mario Andretti’s grandson, Mark.
    I also wouldn’t be surprised to hear the name Castroneves tossed around a bit.

    1. Not sure Marco deserves a place — he’s trading on his name a bit too much. Also, if we want to see some characters spice up F1, he wouldn’t be one I’d pick — I think the lobotomy operation went wrong…

  47. motorsport is all about adrenaline rush. as far as i know women get a rush of adrenaline when they are appreciated as being sexy or beautiful or something. women and motorsport are poles apart. just for entertainment purpose we could have this danica participate for a few races, just to see her make a fool of herself. all of us know women are dumb.

    1. I’m not a woman, but raised eyebrow!

    2. lol – the old cliché of a man who forgets a woman was 50% responsible for his very existence ;)

      1. Mark Hitchcock
        25th June 2009, 20:28

        You’ve got to be joking…

        1. Mark Hitchcock
          25th June 2009, 20:41


    3. i wonder if this is an example of what alianora defined for me ages ago…can it be i’ve actually encountered a troll?

    4. Now THAT was a sexist comment.(@ mp4-19b)

      1. Now THAT was a sexist comment.(@ mp4-19b)

        LOL!! Agreed!! :-)

    5. I’d like to see you go head to head with Danica for a few races. You know, just for ‘entertainment purposes’.

  48. I’d really like to see Danica racing (in f1) next year. I’d like to see any female, really, granted they could handle the cars. No reason a woman couldn’t race as well as a man, which makes the lack of women in the top tiers of racing shameful, really.

    1. I don’t see why its shameful, the simple fact is they have the same chance to get into f1 as a man, probably greater due to the increased marketting factor due to the lack of other women.

      Its not F1 being sexist, its just that they pick the best drivers around. And proportionally there are so many more men racing than women that chances are the very best racers will be men. Its that simple.

    2. Not so much against a female in F1, but come on people have ever seen Danica drive, she is by far the most over rated driver in history. She is nothing more than a marketing tool used to promote the IRL (idiot racing league) and does not have anywhere near the talent to drive in F1.

  49. sato and pedro de la rosa for me.

  50. what about Marko Asmer (he was a tester with BMW at hone point). Not sure where he’s at now but worth checking – Peter Sauber always had good driver intuition….

  51. Nothing new there, I’ve even seen Mosley dressed in a similar outfit despite he’s not a racing driver :-)

  52. StrFerrari4Ever
    25th June 2009, 16:46

    interesting choices however I feel drivers such as Hulkenberg , Patrick & Senna need another year for more development so they dont just arrive in F1 and be a flop.I’d love to see Tonio Liuzzi back in F1 Davidson is another & I always believed Klien was a driver capable of wins and if he returns to F1 he could show that to everyone and finally good ol’ Taku :D

    1. I’m betting you’ll see Liuzzi replace Fisi at Force India next season.

  53. Danica is used to race longer distances and times in IRL than she would in F1, and the g-force she experiences on ovals isn’t ridiculous. Some of her co-competitors pointed at her size and weight to explain her (relative) success after her first Indy 500. We know it would actually benefit her in F1. It would be fair to actually wait to see what she can do before deciding for or against her on behalf of her sex and . I don’t think for myself she would do a great job, as she doesn’t fare so great on road courses and is better on ovals. But as far as USF1 wanting an american driver who know road courses, she is as good a pick as anybody else.
    The comparison between Bourdais and her in Indy 2005 doesn’t mean anything as she was making the whole year in one of the top IRL team, when Bourdais entered the race with Newman Haas who bought a couple of cars just for this one event.

  54. Anyone who thinks Montoya should return must be forgetting that he is a fat whinger who is perfectly moulded for North American motorsport.

    Is Bertrand Gachot available?

    1. My personal post of the day, here.

  55. Oh, come on guys!

    You know you want Danica on USF1!

    It will be lovely to see them fail and fall.

    1. Now, we know you’re saying that in the hopes of getting me all fired up, right ;)

      I do agree with you on Danica though, she’s be a disaster in F1, regardless of the team.

    2. Why would they care if they failed, when the sponsorship is doing great.

  56. I would say Juan Pablo Montoya and Scott Speed.

    1. Juan Pablo wont come back to F1. He has pretty much already said that.

  57. Markus Winklehock is a good driver… he had one really good race in f1 but was then forgoten about

    He’s deffinatly good enough… and he has a mildly ammusing name

    1. hear hear. i want Markus back too. he’s led a GP! even some drivers on the current grid havent acheived that.

  58. I would love to see a USF1 lineup of:
    Juan Pablo Montoya
    AJ Allmendinger

    1. I second the vote for A.J. Allmendinger – I don’t know if many people around the world are familiar with him.

      JPM has said he’d never go back to F1, but with the economic troubles affecting NASCAR, teams are cutting back and he could end up looking for work.

  59. It looks like my comment was “subject to review”.
    Did I mis-speak?
    If so, I apologize.
    Can you delete the offending word and post?

  60. Helio is the kind of personality F1 needs. He’s not a robot

  61. Pastor Maldonado? anyone?

  62. REALLY PEOPLE! Have you even ever watched that pompous B$#%H Danica drive? I am from the US and have had to listen to the BS about how she is “The best open wheel drive in the world” although that quote comes from CNN an American news station it still boils my blood as I have been an F1 fan my whole life. She is no where near ready to race in F1 lets not forget her ONLY win in IRL was when half of the series was in Long Beach racing the final CART event. You really want to know how good she is ASK THE TWO DIFFERENT PEOPLE SHE RAN OVER IN THE PITS IN THE LAST TWO YEARS!

    1. Not everyone believes what they hear in the news. The only reason she stands out is because she’s a lady, and I Believe there are more capable female drivers out there.
      Would be interesting to watch her drive round Monaco though, she might even stop to sign a few autographs while drive past the water front :-)

    2. hear…hear..Eric!

  63. hey, you white-haired weasel! putting patrick in an f1 car is pretty useless without races in north america. yours and cvc’s behinds were just given a stay of execution, so get with the program!

    who i’d like to see in usf1:
    jpm (not american, but has experience and popularity)

    dario franchitti (same, maybe too old?)

    danica patrick (purely for commercial reasons, although it could backfire if/when she’s terrible)

    1. doh, i forgot marco andretti. as a driver, he has a lot mor credibility than danica.

  64. Franck Montagny, along with Girogio Pantano, is the name which immediately comes to mind when I think of people who should have a decent F1 chance.

  65. A few thoughts from my little corner of the States…..

    – Hiring Danica would bring a good deal of PR,but it would be an on and off-track disaster after the first few races. For one thing, as I’ve always said, take her name off her record and tell me if her results are good enough to consider in F1. The bottom line for me is she’s a poor-quality driver, regardless of her gender.

    Moreover, in my opinion, she’s a prima-donna who is far more interested in promoting her self-described “brand” than winning races and championships. My bet is she’ll be in the IndyCar Series for the rest of her career, as a move to either F1 or NASCAR would expose her for the backmarker that she is.

    – If you want to look at real candidates for USF1, Jonathan Summerton should be at the top of the list. He’s got plenty of experience and some good results in Formula BMW, F3 Euroseries and A1GP. Hunter-Reay also has some skills, and Rahal also is an outstanding road course driver, although I think he’d be another one reluctant to leave the IndyCar Series.

    – Having Marco on the grid would be great, but I doubt he’d make the jump if it wasn’t with a top team, and unless he had some real results in the IndyCar series.

    – One way or another, Senna is going to be on the grid next season..if an existing team doesn’t take him, one of the new outfits will…the PR potential is too great to pass up.

    – I’d like to see Pantano get a shot with Campos. I reckon De la Rosa also has a good shot there.

    1. @ Gman
      Thanks for summing the Danica thing up for us Americans Gman…you are better with words than me.The reason I am passionate about this is that a driver like Danica would only bring embarrassment to the new USF1 team,we would be the laughing stock of the grid for hiring someone with looks over talent.We need better drivers to represent us!Allmendinger would be a much better choice…and Marco too.

      1. Your welcome Wesley…there are very few things that I do well, but writing just happens to be one of them ;)

        Again, my stance has nothing to do with the fact that Danica is female, but rather that she’s a poor-quality racing driver.

  66. Adam Carroll could do very well.

  67. My picks for USF1 are the following:

    1) A.J. Allmendiger: He is an Alonso type aggressive driver who was seriously challenging Bourdais in the Champ Car series before getting lured away by NASCAR.

    2) Graham Rahal: A young driver from a racing family who has proven that he can win on road courses.

    3) Ryan Hunter-Reay

    4) Marco Andretti

    5) Danica Patrick

  68. Frank Montagny, he’s the best.

  69. Mention Danica and get a huge reponse. She is going to sign with Ganassi as a third car to team with Dixon and Dario. That will give her a prime IRL car, a chance to win at Indy, and Ganassi has a Busch/Sprint Cup team that she could drive for part time and evenatially move to NASCAR. F1 is out of the question.

    Graham Rahal
    Marco Andretti

    Big names, but likely the second generation of USF1 drivers. Too Young. Most likely there will be two American drivers who are relative unknowns.

  70. Marcus Winklehock anyone?

    Brilliant Driver… or at least he was better than Hamilton in the rain for that race.

    A joke’s a joke.. but I’d like to see Liuzzi get another crack and to give Hulkenberg a few more learning years before he forms a super all German team with Vettel at Red Bull!

  71. i think Narain Karthikeyan usually dubbed ‘the fastest indian in the world’

    will find a way back in with one of the teams, he has raced for manor f1 in their f3 series earlier.

    he has won 3 a1gp’s , and has a wide experience.

    He is the best known indian racing driver till date, and that will help him more.

    his options are
    toro roso
    manor f1

    and still some more..

    lets c…….

    1. Williams 4ever
      26th June 2009, 0:25

      I have personally known People who have worked with NK and while they swear by his raw pace and technical capabilities. NK is currently out F1 thanks only to one egotistic bloke that runs a F1 team with India in its name. My Heart goes out for Narain. But don’t see that happening unfortunately. NK could have definitely secured better results for FIF1 team than what their current drivers are delivering.

      I wish him best in the LeMans series with his ex-boss Kolles

  72. Narain Karthikeyan

  73. i would like to see a Senna back in F1

  74. Bia…. Bia Figuiredo would be a good choicel. She patient enough, aggressive enough, and always near the front of the pack.

  75. Yeah put danica in the car she will put everything she has into it also she’s got a wicked temper and will give colourful after race interviews when she get’s carved up in the race.

  76. @ ERIC, yes as someone who avidly watches most series i’m glad you mentioned her complete inability to perform a pit stop. I would not feel comfortable being a mechanic waiting for her to perform a pit stop especially as there are so many more people exposed in F1. She would be a great marketing tool for F1 in the US, but F1 is suppose to have the best drivers in the world. Reality is though, that has not been the case for some time, drivers have been kept simply because of their nationality in the past to keep interest in key ‘markets’. Shame, but that’s the reality. Dixon, Franchitti, Castroneves would be better picks, IMHO

  77. I think Windsor & Barrichello have a deal already, nothing you see happening at Brawn or comments from Ross suggests any different. Button is Brawn’s man of the future in public comments but on Rubens you here the blank space. I think Windsor deliberately sets out with “American driver” as a foil for including at least one driver from latin America.
    Kyle Busch has enormous pulling power in the US but it would have to be about performance in testing for both he and Patrick.

    We find that Bourdais hasn’t seemed well matched to his ride so far and that has proved to be hurdle no.1 that new teams must focus more on when hiring F1 rookies. Hopefully their testing window is way open and if they are smart enough they might collude to secure and share a few used cars as testing mules for rookie drivers & team practice during this year.

    I don’t think it likely that we will see another Australian or NZ driver in until Webber retires, if we do it will likely be Hartley arriving early with RBR / TR. If Windsor was running a team where he could slot non American drivers without penalising himself on the marketing side then I think he would consider Dixon and Bristow for testing for his inexperienced slot.

    Di Resta must be a main chance for Manor.

    I hope those that get off on sledging Piquet and Nakajima will accept some of us being equally as gracious when we dole out the humiliation due as their performances improve. All the current F1 drivers are great drivers and none need to be vilified for the exclusive satisfaction of small needy minds.

  78. Prisoner Monkeys
    26th June 2009, 1:56

    I know Campos want to go the route of the Spanish All-Stars in an Aguri-like fashion, but the embattled Japanese team proved that it’s not worth it. They’re supposedly considering Javier Villa, Dani Clos and Roldan Rodriguez, but none of them are higher than 12th in the current GP2 standings. Campos need someone they can work with, someone quick and consistent and who gets better and better, someone who can bring much-needed sponsorship dollars.

    If I were Adrian Campos, there’s only one name I’d be considering: Vitaly Petrov. He’s quick, he’s pretty consistent, and he’s gotten better and better with each passing year. He’s worked with Campos before, driving for them in the 2007 GP2 series and the 2008 GP2 and GP2 Asia series. And with Formula One undergoing a renaissance in Eastern Europe with the rise of Robert Kubica, Petrov could bring serious sponsorship dollars from Russia and countries of the former USSR to a team in need of sponsorship. I can see Campos decked out in a Lukoil livery next year, so Vitaly Petrov is my first pick.

    Keeping in mind the Spanish approach, Campos will probably take either Pedro de la Rosa or Marc Gene, though I believe both are under contract with McLaren and Ferrari respectively as test drivers. Both would be invaluable to a new team; they’re experienced, they know how to set the car up, and they’re someone the team can anchor themselves around. Of the two, Pedro de la Rosa has the most recent racing experience when he replaced Montoya, so I think he’ll be Campos’ other driver.

    It wouldn’t surprise me too much if Manor field two rookies next year. As previously stated, Pastor Maldonado has been the most consistent in GP2, which is a major point in his favor; he’s the only driver to have scored in every race this year. There are rumours in the British tabloids that Richard Branson may take his Virgin brand to Manor next year, and if so, he’d be a major influence. Someone like Maldonado could well be the type he’d be interested in.

    As for Manor’s second driver, they’ll also probably go for somebody they know from their F3 Euroseries or World Series by Renault days. Lucas di Grassi raced for them the year after Lewis Hamilton and actually finished higher in the overall standings than Hamilton did. He’s a little all over the place in GP2, but he’s had two top-three standings in two years and he manages to score a lot. He is closely associated with Renault, but I expect Briatore will take Grosjean next season. The only other otpion Manor might consider is Paul di Resta, but he’s moved sideways in DTM and has been there for a while, so Lucas di Grassi gets my vote.

    US-F1 is harder to choose – which is why I left them until last – because they seem to be intending on taking two American drivers. I think that’s a mistake; American drivers traditionally struggle. A wise investment would be Rubens Barrichello, who I’m afraid I cannot see continuing with Brawn next season. Like de la Rosa for Campos, Barrichello would be invaluable to a new team; there is no other driver who is more experienced or committed than he is. US-F1 would give him a chance to shake off the stigma of being second best, and to lead the team forward.

    I doubt Danica Patrick will line up in 2010. She says she hasn’t been approached and that she isn’t interested. Graham Rahal and Maro Andretti seem to be highly thought-of, but as I don’t follow American motorsports, I can’t decide who I’d tip to race.

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      26th June 2009, 1:58

      Also, I doubt Bourdais, Piquet, Nakajima Fisichella and possibly Kovalainen will be racing next season. The only thing that may save some of them is the teams not wanting rookie drivers to dominate the grid.

  79. Apart from the 6 seats, I’m pretty sure a few more will be available, especially at Renault, Nelsinho has to go. I’m thinking there may be a change in STR as well, Bourdais just cries too much.

    Danica Patrick – Hot on the lips of everyone, I would love to see her in F1. The we can finally put the “is she good enough” debate to rest. USF1 will use her primarily as a media stunt

    Romain Grosjean – Should be replacing Nelson Piquet in Renault

    Nico Hulkenberg – If Rosberg leaves, he should get the nod. If Williams switch to Cosworth next year, they wouldn’t need Nakajima either, so either way look like Nico will get a drive.

    Bruno Senna – May be considered for one of the 6 seats. He brings a lot of money with him, so I would put my money on him.

    Girgio Pantano – Also expecting this guy to get a drive, would be surprised if he doesnt

    Karun Chandhouk – There has been a lot of Buzz in Asia about Karun. We know he’s fast, but he just needs proper guidance. With the Indian GP schedule over the next couple races, he would be worth good sponsorship dollars

    Neel Jani – Suprised no one has mentioned his name, A1 GP champion and was attached to STR before.

    Anthony Davidson – Don’t rate him too much.

    Kamui Kobayashi – Much has been said about this guy. Could well get a seat for Toyota if they feel a change is needed.

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      26th June 2009, 3:40

      Speaking of Bourdais, I think Red Bull will have Brendon Hartley fill in his role to break him in and groom him to ultimately replace Mark Webber, kindof like what they did with Vettel.

  80. There’s no denying the fact that Danica Patrick is an attractive prospect for a new team desperate for rich sponsors, in a sport still desperate to have some impact in the United States.
    There is also the attraction for Patrick herself, to achieve something that has never been done before, and that is to be successful in F1 as a female driver.
    The obvious choice if she does decide to leave the IRL is NASCAR, but there are reasons for her to be cautious. Former IRL champions Dario Franchitti and Sam Hornish Jnr both made the move to stock cars, with mixed results. Franchitti, due to an injury and lack of sponsorship, did not even last a full season. Hornish Jnr has fared better, but has hardly stood out among his rivals.
    Even Montoya has had to endure nearly three years of hard slog to get to his current position, in a sport
    that traditionally does not care too much for open wheel drivers.
    So Patrick must be wary, and may go for safety and stay where she is. As for the others, experience is vital. Takumo Sato is a very good option for a new team, instead of putting in place two rookie drivers. He always had good pace, although often let his emotions behind the wheel get ahead of him.
    I still don’t think we have seen the last of Bruno Senna, but the events surrounding his experiences with the former Honda team must have dented his confidence.
    I agree that Grosjean pretty much has a leg in a Renault cockpit already, as I cannot see Briatore giving Piquet too many more chances. He certainly was ruthless in dispatching Button, Trulli, and Fisichella when it suited him, thats for sure.
    Another established name I am worried about is Bourdais. Christian Klein has time under his belt with Red Bull, so who knows. This could be his last chance.
    My one pick, Takumo Sato for Manor Racing

  81. Kyle Busch.

  82. I think two drivers who deserve a chance to show what theve got are Indy car drivers Scott Dixon and Ryan Briscoe. They fort it out for the championship last year and both drivers were very impresive on the road courses.

    It would also be great to see another Aussie in the field and a Kewi.

  83. I want to see Danica for USF1 and pair with a veteran driver like Scott Speed or Montoya.

    Pedro deserves a race seat so does Klein. How about Tiago Montero?

  84. The sri lankan
    26th June 2009, 9:37

    I would love to see:

    *Giorgio Pantano – Possibly the most seasoned of all hopefuls.
    *Bruno Senna – bringing the Senna name back and hes got talent
    *Takuma Sato – He deserves another shot at f1, hes a experienced, and to at least replace Kazuki for gods sake
    *Vitantonio Liuzzi
    *Nico Hulkenberg – He is ready and better than Kazuki
    *Earl Bamber (better than Brendon Hartley). might be rough but i used to race against both in karting and both of them are Quick as well as being very adaptable.
    *Valentino Rossi (if hes interested)
    *Ant Davidson – he also deseves another shot at F1
    *Danica Patrick – although i think she will struggle in f1 – Pussy sells(its a proven fact)it will do some great publicity for f1 and make guys at the back of the grid look good.

    other than that there are not a hell of a lot of options really for the 6 new seats.

  85. Seems the major discussion here is about Danica Patrick. I’d like to respond to a few things.

    To the knuckle-draggers who think, apparently from their remarks, that women should be kept barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen, I can only express my condolences that your world-view is so narrow.

    And GOSH!, I’m sure glad that no F1 driver has ever run over a crew member in the pits. Or rear-ended another car while the exit light was red. It’s comforting to know that F1 drivers are all perfect. Sorry about the sarcasm, but really–some of the pro-F1 anti-every-other-sort-of-racing posts are just too much. I’m sure Danica Patrick would do no worse in an F1 pit than any other driver.

    Speaking of other drivers, lets do a bit of comparison:

    Patrick first four years and 7 races of 5th season- 71 starts, 3 poles, 1 win, 4 podiums, 37 top ten

    My comparison driver first five years-85 starts, 1 pole, 0 wins, 10 podiums, 38 top ten.

    The comparison driver will still have 4 more starts in first 5 years after Danica finishes this season, and doubtless Danica will add to her statistics.

    In her first 4-plus seasons, she has placed 12th, 9th, 7th, 6th in points, and so far this year she stands 5th. Consistent improvement.

    My comparison driver’s point standings were 8th, 17th, 7th, 9th and 3rd. Third may be impressive, but the first 4 years are more telling, I think.

    Based on this, Danica would appear to have the edge over my comparison driver. And if Danica doesn’t deserve a shot at an F1 seat–IF she wants it–with those stats, then I guess Jenson Button didn’t deserve a seat in F1 either.

    Yes, my “comparison driver” was the stats for Jenson’s first 5 seasons in F1.

    He got his first win the 6th year, with no wins and no podiums for 2007 and 2008, with only 9 championship points between the 2 years.

    And this year…why, this year, he has knocked the socks off everyone.

    Only goes to show, statistics don’t tell the whole story, and can never actually measure a person’s true potential or worth.

    Someone, I forget who, commented earlier that you can’t have a championship car without a championship driver. Tell that to Ross Brawn. Brawn is one sort of genius, the sort who looked at the driver and made a car for him. It worked. Ron Dennis was another sort of genius. He made a driver to fit his car. Hamilton already got his championship, Button will have his in another few weeks.

    My point here is that if you put together the right driver, the right crew, the right car—then you have a more than average chance of winning big. And who is to say that with the right combination that Danica Patrick couldn’t win in F1 ?

    She’s a girl. So what? She’s got a hot temper with a short fuse. Like that has never been seen in F1 before? I think the potential is there for her to have some success. How much seccess depends on who hires her to drive.

    Oh my. I wonder…with Ross Brawn’s genius for building a car to suit a driver…just think-BrawnGP, Button & Patrick. Wouldn’t it be interesting.

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      26th June 2009, 11:03

      She’s a girl. So what? She’s got a hot temper with a short fuse. Like that has never been seen in F1 before? I think the potential is there for her to have some success. How much seccess depends on who hires her to drive.

      I don’t have a problem with a female racing driver. What I have a problem with is a racing driver who beats out other, potentially more-talented racing drivers simply because they’re a more lucrative prospect cmmercially. Look at Patrick’s performance at Surfers’ Paradise last year: she spent most of the weekend in last and when one of the drivers ahead spun and stalled, you could tell she had had enough. Someone with that kind of attitude shouldn’t be in Formula One: the best driver should always get the available drives, and attitude shapes a lot of a driver’s performance.

      1. Prisoner Monkeys, the list is long and distinguished of F1 drivers who meet your criteria above and were therefore “not deserving” of a place.

        I don’t see why the line should be drawn for Danica who obviously has talents where most other drivers don’t. There is always someone better in certain areas, but as a whole package it may be Danica suits the seat she is being considered for.

        1. Prisoner Monkeys
          26th June 2009, 16:11

          Except that she’s hopeless on street circuits. All – or at least most – of her bes results have been on ovals.

          1. She was 5th in Long Beach this year, but one race doesn’t make a champion. I don’t know overall how she has faired on the road courses.

            While in the UK in the feeder series she didn’t seem to be doing too badly on the circuits and was placed well in a lot of races.

      2. I take your point, Prisoner. But in truth, choices for a seat in F1 are always going to be based at least partially on commercial appeal. F1, sadly, has become “big business”, and the corporate sponsorship is always going to be a factor.

        I’m just saying that Danica Patrick deserves the same opportunity to test for a team and EARN a seat as any other untried / unproven driver that has never sat in an F1 car before. Her sex shouldn’t be a factor, one way or the other, in that decision. I re-read my earlier post and see I didn’t relly make that part clear.

        I didn’t see the race from Surfers Paradise, so I’m not at all certain of your reference there, and so cannot comment. But I’m real old-school, and I like a driver with fire in their belly. I liked the hard-driving and hard-living drivers like Moss, Ascari, Fangio. And yes, I saw them drive. I was only a boy, but that was the era that hooked me on Formula 1.

        I like a driver with fire in their belly, and I believe she has that. Although presently
        I don’t think she is getting the needed direction, the proper channeling of it.

        You may be right, though, and her attitude may not be the proper one for success. Time will tell on that.

    2. I also feel your comparison driver is a bit unfair since that is in F1 which is what we’re talking about here.

      Now I’ve never seen Danica race so I can’t comment on that but you can’t expect to see consistent improvement when a man is moving from team to team as in Button’s case. Sry, just a pedant here ;)

      1. I agree with Ed, in that comparing 5 seasons in IRL against 5 seasons in F1 is an unfair comparison. Especially as you then go on to say that in F1 the car/team have a huge part to play in the performance of a driver/car combo. IRL is pretty much a spec series, so cars are fairly closely matched, more so that F1 anyway. The deciding factor in IRL is the team preperation and obviously the driver, and in that Danica is looking fairly competitive. She is even holding her own on the Road Courses, so with a bit more experience I think she’ll do well.

        If you want a fair comparison with Button then you need to look at their journey through the feeder series, particularly in the UK. That though was many years ago. Button unequivocally has earned his right to be in F1, the closest people to make that judgement are his team and they have always been 100% behind him in all seasons. Danica, I believe, has earned the right (as have others) for a shot at F1 also.

        1. Yeah, true, my “comparison driver” wasn’t exactly apples-to-apples.

          But several people had commented that based on her driving record she didn’t deserve a seat in F1.

          I used Jenson’s first 5 seasons to point out that by using that logic Jenson didn’t “deserve” a seat in F1, to point out that “statistics don’t tell the whole story, and can never actually measure a person’s true potential or worth.”

          It wasn’t by any means meant to be an insult to Jenson, who in my opinion is possibly the most under-rated driver in F1. And he deserves every measure of success this season has for him.

          1. Not to take up for Jenson but after his first year, Williams basically sold him to Renault and he was driving a Tank. So his next 2 years in F1 he was with a team that was not 1st tier. His move to Bar Honda did not fair him much better until this year.
            Danica has been in a well funded and competitive situation from the begining. So it isnt a completely fair comparison.

  86. Wyzzard, not sure if you have ever watched an IRL race but being from the US I have watched many. The talent pool in the IRL is VERY poor and the races are dull, nowhere near the talent you will see in a GP2 race, and I have seen them also. It is not just Queen Danica who is over rated but the entire series is over rated. A series full of drivers who did not have the talent to drive in F1.

    1. Certainly some of the IndyCar field is second-tier racing material, but Dixon/Dario/Kanaan/etc.. are surely among the top competitors and could compete for an F1 seat if given the chance.

      1. The trouble with those 3 you have chosen Gman m8 is that Dixon had his chance, Franchitti should have gone to F1 at the same time or the year after Montoya. After all they did tie on points the year montoya won Indycar. He may be considered too old now. But i have always rated Dario, and i like his wife too, done some good movies. I alays wanted to see the challenge between dario and Coulthard to see who keeps the helmet design lol.
        kanaan may be considered too old also.
        If dario was given a chance it would be with one of the other teams i’d guess as USF1 want american drivers yes?

  87. Not Danica please. The minute somebody does something she doesn’t like she will be whinning and in his face. She won by attrition and not skill one time in 3 yrs.
    The new teams need experience at this level as well as youth so Davidson, Sato, Klein and Liuzzi bring experience. Senna and Hulkenburg brings youth and marketability. JPM is not likely to come back but stranger things have been known to happen.
    Dario Franchitti would do well as would Scott Dixon although he is a bit big for F1.
    Of course, there is always Jacques Villenueve out there but Danica? Please. No! We don’t need people who cannot compete when the going gets rough.

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      27th June 2009, 8:35

      Sato? Really?

      Sorry, but I don’t see the love for him. Sure, he put a pass on the reigning world champion in a Super Aguri, but are people forgetting the way he was absolutely useless during his time at BAR?

      1. Sato like Villeneuve demonstated what we all know. A superior driver and a bad car do not add up to success any more than a bad driver in a great car although the latter is likely to achieve more.
        Button is having a great year now Ross has a car under him that is capable but he sure looke terrible in the Honda.

        1. Prisoner Monkeys
          28th June 2009, 2:15

          The driver makes the car just as much as the car makes the driver. Sato might have done good things in a bad Aguri, but he did bad things in a good BAR.

  88. If you are to believe the spanish sport press Campos would offer the seats to Gene and De La Rosa. Personally I would go for DLR and another young driver, the list is long but the best placed are Javi Villa, Roldan Rodriguez and Dani Clos all currently racing on GP2.
    As for the other teams would say that Grosjean, Grasi and Petrov have big chances of getting a seat.
    Also, I expect lot of movements in the current teams. Will be very surprised if Bourdais and Nakajima keep theirs seats.

  89. Prisoner Monkeys
    27th June 2009, 11:11

    but the best placed are Javi Villa, Roldan Rodriguez and Dani Clos all currently racing on GP2

    They’d be mad to take any of those three. None of them are placed very well in the current GP2 standings; there are eleven driverswho are better-positioned than the best of them (Villa in 12th).

    The Home Country All-Stars approach doesn’t work if your drivers aren’t very fast in the lower categories. It doesn’t always work even if they are fast …

  90. Wyzzard, a well written and thought out rationale as to why a team should give due consideration to Danica.

    As an American who has watched her since coming to Open wheel racing here my take is “Anyone BUT Danica.”

    What you describe as fire in the belly turns into overt bitchiness as practiced by the princess. When two male drivers have on track incidents they can revert to the time honored old fashioned fist fight to resolve their immediate differences. Bourdais and Tracy a few years back come to mind. Heck, Tracy and pick a driver can be cited as examples.

    Danica is a well practiced whiner and moaner. her driving for Michael Andretti is karma, as no driver whined more than Michael. On top of limited driving skills, reports have it that she doesn’t have a clue as to how to set up a car or improve it’s handling via feedback to engineers.

    She is eye candy that has promoted herself to sponsors and keeps her seat only by the exposure she generates and the sponsorship she can bring.

    I don’t think we’ll ever see her win on a road/track course. If ever that happens it will be due to circumstances of other driver’s misfortunes. If Windsor and Anderson need sponsorship that badly then there is not much for me to root for in the USGP team, other than gloating when the princess falls on her well turned butt.

  91. Gr8 list, one name that shudn’t be 4gotten is Adam Carroll, helped win Ireland the A1GP Title this year, has won in GP2 and looks a solid young driver. With irish roots perhaps im being biast in wanting him to make the step up, but at worst he should get a testing role at least.

  92. Problem with the suggested Sato/Nakajima swith – Sato is Honda and Nakajima is Toyota…

    I’d love to see Di Resta (I’m pretty sure statistically he is the current professional driver with the best win ratio?)

    I wouldn’t mind seeing Danica Patric purely for the strops she’d throw and to see a woman in F1 and raise it’s profile. As for her running over mechanics – Michael Schumacher (and possibly Kimi?) did that and he wasn’t too bad was he now?

  93. “LOL!! Out of a score of 10… I’d give her one… ”

    AGreed Dougie, however dunno if my mrs would like it. lol

  94. Prisoner Monkeys
    28th June 2009, 2:18

    Instead of Patrick, has anyone considered Katherine Legge? She might be British, but if we’re intent on getting a female racing driver, she might be a better option. She was in Champcar and is now in DTM. She has struggled, but she has far more road course experience than Patrick and doesn’t give up when things go badly the way Patrick did at Surfers’ Paradise last year.

  95. I would like to see Nicolas Kiesa race in F1 again.

    He had 5 races back in 2003 as a rookie and finished all of them.

  96. A top American driver? Danica Patrick is nothing of the sort. She’s an average IndyCar driver, at best. The only benefit that can come to a F1 team from hiring her is her weight advantage, as they’ll be able to move more weight to the front to gain mechanical grip. But if a driver doesn’t have the talent to be in F1 (and Danica surely doesn’t), it doesn’t matter.

  97. Prisoner Monkeys
    29th June 2009, 1:43

    Patrick Dempsey (Rolex Sports Cars) and Frankie Muniz (Formula Atlantic) for US-F1!

    1. You think an Actor and Part Time racer would want to be in F1?

      1. I thought that’s who you were referring to when I read that comment!

  98. I think Adam Carroll from A1GP Ireland, whom won this years A1GP, i believe that he was been look at for this season in F1 so he may be someone the new teams will look at

    thanks Robert

  99. FYI Davidson raced for Aston not Peugeot at Le Mans ;D

  100. The best American open wheel driver is AJ Allmendinger. After struggling with a new team (Rusport) he won three races in a row for Forsythe and something like five of six before being tapped for Nascar by Red Bull.

    The problem is that AJ needs an experienced teammate who can develop the car. That would mean Scott Speed. Obviously Danica is an option for sponsorship reasons, but IMHO Marco Andretti would be a better choice.

    If I could choose it would be AJ and Marco. The smartest move would be AJ and Scott. I expect to see either AJ & Danica or Scott and Danica.


    1. I like A.J. alot and think he would be great…it was stupid of Red Bull to ditch him for Speed in their NASCAR team.

    2. I have nothing against marco, but do you think he would fair better than his dad in F1 or do you think the skill skipped a generation?
      I never have rated Michael Andretti, but his stint in F1 was shameful.

      1. Micheal’s problem in F1 was he thought he could do it from the US and not live in Europe/England. He had to learn all the tracks in a time with limited practice laps and his first 3 or 4 races I dont believe he finished a lap due to crashes. (Some his fault and some not). He also never got a handle on setting up the car until later in the season and by then the damage was done and he was replaced by Mika. When he started to understand the setup of the car and getting it the way he liked it, he made his first potium with a 3rd. I believe he could have done better if he would have tried to become part of the team and the culture and not tried to perform the series by commuting.

        1. Agreed martin. No-one can hope to do well when travelling thousands of miles each week to race and to test etc.
          Mansell did the right thing when he moved to Indycar. He lived in Florida and immersed himself in the team.

          You judge one did 7 F1 races the other won Indy Championship first go.

          If marco does the move to England or wherever his new team are based then it can only be good for his chances to maybe do as well as his Grandpa if not better. he can hardly do worse than his Dad.

  101. Well campos grand prix, manor, team usf1 and now lotus it looks like 28 cars on the grid for 2010 in f1 this is awesome f1 is growing stronger than ever and im glad to see after a split almost happened in June of 2009 i was nervous and worried.

  102. i would love to see sato back in f1, he had us on the edge of our seats with his insane driving!! as for usf1 they clearly need an american driver and i cant see why that cant be danica, i think she would be ok as long as they produce a decent car.

  103. I hope for Rahal and Hunter-reay in USF1.

  104. What are the chances for Narayan Kartikayan ? He is experienced.

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