Fernando Alonso to Ferrari to kick-start 2010 F1 driver market moves

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Kimi Raikkonen is expected to return to McLaren in 2010
Kimi Raikkonen is expected to return to McLaren in 2010

It seems only a matter of time before we get official word that Fernando Alonso will drive for Ferrari in 2010.

Once that piece of the 2010 F1 driver line-up puzzle is in place, the rest of the picture should be assembled very quickly.

Other key moves expected for 2010 include a surprise return for Kimi Raikkonen to McLaren, Nico Rosberg displacing one of the Brawn drivers, and Robert Kubica signing for Renault. How will the rest of the grid shape up?

Kimi Raikkonen to McLaren

F1 Fanatic understands Raikkonen was one of three names under consderation by McLaren for the seat alongside Lewis Hamilton. That selection has now narrowed to two drivers with Finnish passports.

Heikki Kovalainen, who joined the team in 2008 and had a one-year contract extension for 2009, is still in the running. But his results this year have not compared well with his team mate’s, even taking into consideration the fact they have not always had the same equipment available to them.

Raikkonen is, in some respects, a surprise contender. He left the team somewhat under a cloud after a win-less 2006. He won first time out for Ferrari and claimed the 2007 championship.

However he remains popular with McLaren, who he was championhip runner-up for in 2003 and 2005. The installation of Martin Whitmarsh as team principal in place of Ron Dennis (who is overseeing the company’s road car production including the MP4-12C) is also believed to have attracted Raikkonen.

Nico Rosberg to Brawn

The third name under consideration at McLaren was Rosberg. He is now expected to drive for Brawn in 2010, as Mercedes prepares to invest in the team.

But will he replace Jenson Button or Rubens Barrichello? Either driver could win the championship, but with Button having led it all season long and Barrichello admitting last week he’s unsure about where he’ll be in 2010, suspicion falls on the Brazilian driver losing the seat.

Robert Kubica to Renault

Following Renault’s wrist-slap punishment from the FIA last week and the team’s first podium of the year at Singapore yesterday, the future for the team in F1 now looks brighter.

Presumably Romain Grosjean will be able to keep his newly won seat until the start of next season. But idealy the team needs a more experienced driver to partner him.

Kubica is being widely tipped for the drive. Although the future of the BMW team appears to be secured, details on the teams new investers Qadbak are hard to come by. And Kubica was not impressed the team did not tell him it would be quitting F1 before it made its public announcement.

Kubica got his break in F1 after winning the World Series by Renault in 2005, which earned him a test for the team.

What other moves will happen?

GP2 champion Nico H???lkenberg’s graduation to F1 with Williams is being widely predicted.

Toyota will not know until November whether their team will still be in F1 next year – though Timo Glock’s podium finish at Singaore may help win support for their cause.

However the team has already dropped a substantial hint that Jarno Trulli will not be driving for them after this season.

What other driver moves are you expecting for 2010? Have your say in the comments.

261 comments on “Fernando Alonso to Ferrari to kick-start 2010 F1 driver market moves”

  1. I really hope Kimi returns to Mclaren.

    1. agreed, it’s where he belongs.

      1. Little bit if of Coincidence or irony …Why is that Kimi always has to move out of a team to make way for Fernando ? Nature is always playing a cruel joke on him.

        In fact the last time he moved out of a team to make way for Fernando he won the championship with the new team and the other team was in disaster with Driver Equality Issues.

        FOR SURE (in Kimi’s style) it will be real fun to see Kimi winning the WDC next year in McLaren and Fernando-Massa fighting in Maranello with Equality Problems. Remember Fernando is currently moving to a team where his team mate Massa already has spent 3 years and almost won the WDC and also has the sympathy of the team due to the accident. Kimi will have a huge laugh at Fernando.

        It is not Surprising that Santander is negotiating the whole deal. I mean they have everything to gain. Eventually they will have 3 WDCs and 1 almost WDC representing their logo next year. Nice business deal.

        1. It is not Surprising that Santander is negotiating the whole deal

          Agree on this. B Santander has recently renewed his deal with McLaren. I think that has been a key for moving Kimi.

          I only have a little doubt: Has had B Santander to equalize Kimi fees for 2010, or just, with the renewal of their sponsor agreement, McLaren will take care of the whole fee for Kimi?

          I read somewhere Kimi had 47M$ agreement for 2010?

          F Alonso seems to have agreed something around 30M$ per season.

          Not bad in both cases, there are some days in which I cannot spend such amount…

        2. I had this impression that Schumacher was moved out to make way for Kimi in 2007 too…

          I for one, would welcome Kimi’s return to where he really belongs, and not having control freak Ron in the management structure probably gives him more incentive to return.

          I would also like to see Massa and Alonso arguing in Italian, just like Nurburgring 2007…

        3. Kimi will never win a WDC with Lewis at Mclaren. Given the same equipment, Lewis will always do better over an entire season. However, this could lead Mclaren to be in the fight big time for the constructors title.

    2. i heard that alonso would drive a ferrari at japan, unless the reporter just muddled his words!!

      1. I disagree. I always thought that it was Montoya slated to be shunted out to make way for Alonso – and Ron Dennis’ aim was for a Nando/Kimi pairing. Only Kimi put the kybosh on that by signing with Ferrari once Schuey retired -slash- got pushed aside in favour of Kimi. Hence the inclusion of Hamilton in the 2007 line up, as Montoya was already stateside by then.

        1. But Kimi was rumoured to have signed up as early as 2005….

        2. I also reard that Montoya left McLaren because he knew that Hamilton was coming and that Ron Dennis would arrange the things for him. So: multiple theories…

        3. @PinkPeril

          Well, Ron was so wrong about being able to “handle temperament” of the fiery latino. Montoya by his own admission warned Alonso to not go to McLaren as Hamilton was to be moved in for a drive in ’07. Montoya was not very pleased with his McLaren experience and then another fiery latino made his move to the team who walked out within a year as well. They weren’t the only ones, Mansell and Andretti also left McLaren for some reasons which frighteningly resemble Montoya’s and Alonso’s. Ron’s inept handling of his driver situation.

          Kimi was long frustrated with McLarens blowing their engines left right and center for the last 4 years that he was with them. Luca did the unthinkable and slotted out Schumacher, and Kimi was not the one to decline a generous offer as that, which came with a huge retainer. I heard upwards of £20 million.

          1. Kovalainen crumbled in the face of Hamilton but the Iceman will not.

            The story is that 30 minutes before his career first F1 start Kimi was tight asleep in the motorhouse. Imagine that.

            You cannot fake that. Kimi has no nerves. Let us hope that LH will put the spark and hunger back to him.

            My prediction is that LH will blink first.

          2. Mansell didn’t leave the team, he was sacked. To start with Bernie had forced Mansell on Mclaren.

    3. With all this driver movement, Red Bull are looking rock solid for next year. Bring it on.

      1. It’s going to be great next year, but I’m sure Lewis has more hunger than Kimi. I think Lewis will be un beatable!!

        1. He should be worried about not imploding under the pressure of Kimi’s lack of emotions to mind games. Lewis going down the toilet bowl. This isnt alonso. But in the process mclaren will loose any decent chance of the title because of the one-sided moaning and fighting.

  2. It’ll be a real shame if Barrichello is ousted from Brawn.

    1. I wouuld keep him over Button.

      1. Because you like the color of his eyes or something?

        Button performed a huge amount better than Barrichello. Why would you keep Barrichello?

        1. exactly, Button has more points than Barichello at the moment, therefore he is slightly better.

        2. I doubt that Button has performed a lot better than Barrichello. Look at the last few races. Barrichello was clearly better considering that they both had the same car.

          I would expect Button to be a lot better than Barrichello since he is a lot younger than him, right?

          Its either Button isnt good enough, or Barrichello is too good for his age.

          1. Why would you only look at a few races where Barrichello was marginally better than Button?

            Button is A LOT better than Barrichello. He has 6 wins to his name while Barrichello has only 2. Button is 15 points ahead! That’s a massive lead with the current point scoring system!

          2. younger? that doesnt mean anything, if anything rubens has more experience

      2. Barrichello spent the most time in F1. Its time for him to retire and it’ll be a wise decision to retire on a high ;)

    2. That sounds to me like a decision made from the heart. Use your head aand you will realise that Barrichello is very old, not a choice of the engine suppliers and almost certainly not as fast as Nico Rosberg.

      I love Rubiniho too but the reality is he wasn’t quite quick enough at his peak, never mind in 2009.

      1. I amcomparing him and Button and I would keep him as I believe he is a better supporting driver and is still as quick as some of the young lions.

    3. I agree completely.

    4. I’m with you on that one. Guessing they would have renewed Button’s contract by now if they intended to. He seems to have trouble within his head to get to the end and surely one of the best ways would be for Ross to renew his contract, could the fact that it hasn’t been done be Ross sending a signal loud and clear?

    5. Im in total agreement. I rate Barichello as a better driver than Button. Many would say that the proof is in the pudding, but Rubens is much better at setting up a car than Jenson, and also better at fighting through the field. Jenson seems to drive well enough when the car and conditions are perfect, but otherwise I think Rubens has the upper hand.

      1. I’m puzzled by this surge of Rubens love. He’s made loads of errors this season, as well as accusing his own team of foul play on more than one occaision.

        Yes, he can set up a car and drive fast now and again, but cast your mind back to the start of the season and perhaps you’ll undersand why Button should get the seat.

        1. Yeah and talking about “fighting through the field”. Remember Turkey? Or even Singapore? Also remember how Button has passed many a KERS car (Hamilton and Massa). Barrichello rammed Raikkonen and was lucky to get past without receiving a penalty.

          2 vs 6 wins. Button finished ahead of Barrichello in 9 vs 4 races and Button outqualified Barrichello 7 to 6.

          It’s really mindboggling that Barrichello finally has 2 or 3 races where he outshines Button and all of a sudden people start claiming that he’s so much better than Button.

          Barrichello keeps repeating “You’re only as good as your last race” and indeed with shortsighted “fans” like this that is very very true.

          1. I’m in complete agreement, but as a williams fan I’m hoping they make a straight swap! Barichello still has some driving in him and one thing williams have needed for years now is an experienced head to help with setting up the car. I personally think that Barichello and Hulkenburg would be a perfect combination cause I believe that Hulkernburg is gonna be a huge star one day, and who better to show him the ropes than the most experienced man on the grid?

          2. Mike "the bike" Schumacher
            28th September 2009, 23:11

            How can a guy with 6 wins out of the first 7 races be struggling to win the championship. Barrichello may not always be fastest but he is consistent, on his day he can beat anyone: donnington 93, silverstone 03, china 05. Button constantly stutters, when things are against him he cant handle it, if he doesnt win the championship it will be the biggest wasted oppertunity of all time.

          3. Button was supreme for most of this season.

          4. Mike,

            If anything then Barrichello is consistent in that he is driving inconsistently.

            How manty races did he have where he messed up a least one stint. Then only to start whining how the team messed up his race?

            Even in Singapore he was inconsistent again. Button beat him because of that.

          5. I wasnt trying to insult Button whatsoever, and his performances this year clearly speak for themselves, I am simply saying that I think Rubens is the superior driver. Both he and Button have had their share of bad luck and inconsistency this year, but if we started the season over again, I really feel it could go either way between the two.

        2. Thanks for being the voice of reason!

          I can’t believe that people are doubting the fact that Jenson has had a better season than Rubens. The facts speak for themselves. Jenson 6 wins, Rubens 2. Never in the 16 or so years I have been watching F1 have I heard people saying that a driver who has won 4 more races than his (vastly) more experienced team mate hasn’t had a better season. I’d say that Rubens has been owned…

          If Jenson wins this WDC it will be because he had the best start to the season and then did what he had to do while his main challengers all made far too many mistakes during the course of the season to mount a serious challenge.

          Yes Jenson has had a downturn in form mid season (which had a lot to do with other teams catching up with Brawn as well as a few errors by Jenson) but he seems to have sorted out his probems over the last couple of races.

          1. And when has he come out of his downturn? Rubens does have shotty luck sometimes in F1. Obviously not in life since he is one of the best of all time. Take singapore, he was leading button until he was brought in because webber wrecked. Yeah I thought it was a good idea, but no sc came out and he was passed by button and some other dude. You need to look at the BIG picture not race finishes, that includes testing and car setup which teammates get off of each other. That williams swap wouldn’t be such a bad thing though. Maybe. I won’t say nico is quicker either. Look at all the races where he was shining, his teammate which we all know is crappy, has had decent races as well.

  3. Alonso heading to Ferrari could see him in championship contention again. But how will his relationship be with Massa, who has been with the team for long? Alonso will surely want to have the team leader role, but could sparks fly as in McLaren in 2007?

    1. I truly hope that next year is a terrible year for ferrari and only massa shines. I hope they show preference to alonso and massa still beats him. It would be pure poetry.

      1. I really hope you are right. Im a Ferrari fan and I find it disheartening to see Alonso moving there. He drives very well, and sponsors love him, but I dont feel like he is a good sportsman.

        1. exactly, Alonso just isn’t right for Ferrari. good driver, but too involved with scandals etc.

        2. I think exactly the same.

          BUT, in light of recent events, maybe Ferrari won’t want to be associated with someone like Alonso, who won a race while his team cheated and didn’t say he was sorry or gave away his win, and even thanked the guy who did the cheating.

          1. Alonso didnt do anything wrong. HE drove impeccably and won the race. If he also says sorry , people ll feel he is also guitly which is totally wrong. He is a driver who speaks his heart out and who calls a spade a spade which ICEMAN can never.

        3. Lol, a Ferrari fan talking about good sportsmanshop.

          I gather you hated Schumacher too huh?

          1. I didnt say anything about Schumacher, but he and Alonso do seem to be cut from the same cloth. I like that Ferrari had been distancing themselves from that in the last few years.

        4. My sentiments exactly!

          I am just so dissappointed they chose him over Kimi.

          1. Jota (Spanish :P)
            29th September 2009, 23:57

            Ummm…sure? Please remember this the next year.
            Alonso is going to be way better than Massa. (And Hamilton than Kimi)

            I can´t believe that F1 lovers don´t want to see the best drivers in the best cars.
            Lewis and Fernando are now the best F1 drivers, and I want them in the best cars.
            Also if RB gets the mercedes engine and BGP gets money we could see one of the most xciting championship with Vettel and Rosberg fighting too.(And lot of cars racing…)
            Button is going down each race…next year with Rosberg as team mate…

  4. My guesses:

    Brawn — Button, Rosberg
    Williams — Hulkenberg, Barrichello
    Red Bull — Webber, Vettel (obviously)
    Ferrari — Alonso, Massa
    McLaren — Hamilton, Raikkonen
    Renault (or Prodrive?) — Kubica, Grosjean
    Sauber — Heidfeld, Fisichella
    Toyota — Nakajima, Trulli
    Force India — Liuzzi, Soucek
    Toro Rosso — Algersuari, Buemi
    Manor/Virgin — Davidson, Sutil
    Campos — de la Rosa, Senna
    Lotus — Fauzy, Villeneuve
    USF1 — sign Kyle Busch and Marco Andretti but fold in February with their car not having turned a wheel in anger.

    1. Fisichella is at Ferrari as their reserve/test driver. Heidfield will probably kept on for his loyalty (or having nowhere else to go). Perhaps Klien will join Sauber, or maybe Sauber will gamble on another swiss driver, and cousin to Buemi, Natacha Gachnang. She hasn’t set the world on fire on F2, but it might be worth testing her at least, to see where she’ll be in relation to the rest of the field.

      1. Klien for Sauber, solid driver.

    2. Sauber — Heidfeld, Fisichella

      Fisichella is retiring after this season, mate.

      Campos — de la Rosa, Senna

      Hearing this name again in F1 makes me almost shed a tear.

      Anyway, next season we could have as many as 5 former F1 champions if Villeneuve comes back, which is 25% of this years’ field.
      And perhaps even 6, if Schumi would need to drive for Massa in the initial races, or substitute one of the drivers for any reason.

      McLaren — Hamilton, Raikkonen

      When was the last time one team had two former champions?

      It must’ve been in the mid 80’s with Prost and Lauda, also in McLaren, right?

      How many times before has this happend at all?

      1. Whoops – Prost and Senna in 1989 was the last time that has happend.
        And before that: Prost and Lauda in 1984/85.

      2. Actually, I reckon Luca de Montezemelo would spout the usual crap about Ferrari having both Alonso the 2 times champion and Massa the 30 second champion…

        1. Seeing Ferrari celebrate before realising they had lost it was one of the funniest but also most incredible moments in F1.

          1. It’s just a shame there wasn’t a camera at the aforementioned Luca’s house- apparently he trashed his mega wide screen TV in a fit of Latin rage!

          2. Well we got to see the crazed mechanic who punched his head through a display in the Ferrari garage.

        2. Or maybe Massa the 2008 champion if the gossip on Brazilian TV is right about Ferrari finding a loop hole in the regulations to annul the Singapore race and crown Massa champion…

      3. Fisichella is retiring after this season, mate.

        Really? Didn’t Di Montezemelo say Fisichella was free to race for another team next year as well as fulfilling the Ferrari reserve driver role?

      4. “Fisichella is retiring after this season, mate.”

        Well, that’s not strictly true, Monte has stated that Fisi is free to drive for another team – If he gets an offer.

        1. Damn! I didn’t see your post Chris.

        2. Oh, I didn’t know that.

    3. What is your reasoning behind Nakajima beating Glock to a seat with Toyota? :S

      1. Both at mclaren ;) guess other teams don’t have the ballz to hire two 2 world champions.

        1. ferrari had prost and mansell at the same time just before mansell retired.

          1. But Mansell hadn’t been champion back then, so it doesn’t count.

        2. They might also not have the money…

      2. @adz2193

        Glocks been sacked

      3. Like TommyB said,

        Glocks been sacked, but in addition, Williams is dumping Toyota engines and Naka is backed by Toyota, so it makes sense.

        I just wonder who the second driver would be for Williams!

    4. stupid question but why do you got to pretty much bad mouth usf1? I mean the other 3 new teams have just as much of a chance of not ever doing anything either? why would the u.s. team stand out? I mean yea they arnt goin to spend the money some people will but you got to give them just as much a chance as you do the other new teams. Oh and one more thing they will not sign kyle busch. He seems to be a nascar guy all the way and another thing is he is hated here in the usa. why would they want someone like that in a car thats for the u.s. people pretty much and also he has no experience with open wheel racing? I would hope they would use their heads a little too if they signed marco. I love the andretti’s i have even worked for them for a short time but he just dont have what it takes…. neither did his dad sorry to say. I think they will get a guy like ryan hunter reay. They would also need someone who has drove F1 befor to give them feed back on a car. They never said both drivers would be american. lets all pray its not scott speed

      1. and another thing is he is hated here in the usa. why would they want someone like that in a car thats for the u.s. people pretty much and also he has no experience with open wheel racing?

        If only you were to go by US people not recognizing inexperience or for that matter giving a seat to someone who is hated by many, look no further than 2000 and 2004 elections. The “precedent” is not working in your favor (pun intended).

      2. Actually I am thinking Mark Martin and Danica ..
        Chill out dude I think he’s just joking why so serious..

        1. Good one, but Martin is driving seriously well this season. It’s probably a bit too late for him to make an F1 switch though :(

      3. Two reasons. One, no Indy driver has been good at F1 in a long time. Two, Windsor is damn annoying.

        1. I think the only Indy driver that would step up to F1 is somebody like Scott Dixon. I say this because his racing heritage was not on oval tracks like many of the others in Indy and because he seems to excel on the street and flat circuits the Indy cars go to. I think he’d be a great fit in USF1, even though he isn’t an American. I think he’d be accepted by the US public. Trouble is it will never happen. :(

          (Should also point out that I am a Kiwi so would like to see another NZ’er in F1 – it’s been too long)

        2. who says they are using indy drivers….

      4. I dont believe Micheal Andretti was ever given a fair shot in F1 by Mclaren. His fist 4 races he was taken out in the first lap by others and not his fault. He was having to learn new tracks and then they had the stupid 25 laps practice rule back then. By monza when he was finally coming to terms with the car, he got a podium finish and then Ron sacked him for mika.
        as far a teamates go he and Senna got along well as Senna didnt feel threatened by him.
        Andrettis biggest downfall was trying to race in F1 from the US and not moving to England, that made some feel he wasnt devoted to the sport and he didnt last.
        Will usf1 do well, who knows but I dont give them much hope in the first 2 yrs. but 1 thing is for sure. with the testing ban after the season starts, they could test in the us all the time and no one else would know, so they might could become competitive, all though it would be by btreaking a rule.

    5. Why would USF1 fail, but manor, campos, and fake lotus stand a chance? Illogical given that they have good resources and ample cash.
      Kyle Busch??haha I guess. I think they will sign a non-US born driver and then try to create some sort of US driver campaign.

      My guess is that your guesses are less than 50% correct….

    6. Ya know, I’m really laughing- yes, laughing- at all of you who think USF1 isn’t going to be up and running at Bahrain next season.

      Last time I talked to my source inside the team, which was a few weeks ago, everything was on-target, alhtough the political wrestling had surely not helped. In fact, the source in question wants me to come to the facility in January to see for myself- I’ll be sure to send you a poastcard on that one!

      1. source inside the team? Was it eddie jordan?
        Haha, that would be a cool day out.

      2. Gman, I heard that they were going to do a launch in January with public viewing. Have you heard anything about this? I live in Atlanta so I’m only about 3-4 hours away. keep me posted if you hear anything, it’s too close for me not go check it out!!

      3. Source inside the team? Don’t you mean “nothing”!?

  5. I would really like to see Rubens win the title and have no seat in 2010. Not that I hate Rubens, it’s just interesting.

    1. That would mean no team would have a number 1 car. The cars would start at 2, so the teams would be 2,3….4,5.

      1. No, like in 1994 (When Prost won in 1993 and retired) Jenson would have Number 2 and Rosberg would have Number 0 (zero)

        1. Number Zero? wasn’t that Dick Darstardly’s number in the wacky races? 00 (double zero).

          That number should be reserved for cheats.

        2. Number Zero? wasn’t that Dick Darstardly’s number in the wacky races? 00 (double zero).

          That number should be reserved for cheats.

          1. Damon Hill had the number 0 in 1993 and 1994, and was the victim of Schu’s first attempt at cheating…so it’s not really fair to say it should be reserved for cheats!

      2. Damon Hill had car number 0 after Mansell retired.

        1. Hill also had number 0 in 1994 after Prost left.

        2. Oh yeah, in 1993 as well, forgot about that.

    2. So you would like to see the longest career in the history of F1 brought crashing to a halt, just so you could see a grid without a number 1 car on it… how very very spiteful!

    3. That would also be a great reason to retire. Win the wdc and then sign off a winner.

  6. I reckon Rosberg will only head to Brawn if Barrichello retires which I think he might.

    1. Well, I think he’ll try to stay in order to break the 300 grand prix mark…

  7. Scratch Glock from Toyota as they have just told him that they will not be taking up his 2010 option. As Toyota have told Trulli that they don’t want him either and they have not mentioned any drivers on their shortlist it looks a lot like Toyota are leaving F1 at the end of the year. Come to think of it I don’t recall any drivers mentioning Toyota as a option either?

    1. Toyota did say that they would need a win this season to persuade them to stay in F1. Everybody seems to have forgotten that. Unless Toyota can pull something out of the bag in Japan or Abu Dhabi, I reckon the board will pull the plug.

      I’ve excluded Brazil as I reckon that’ll be a win for Vettel, Webber, Barrichello or Button.

    2. Where did you hear that Glock wouldn’t be offered a new contract Kevin? I’d be inclined to agree that Toyota are on their way out, if it wasn’t for the fact that they’ve already signed the concord agreement.

      Then again, I suppose contracts never really mean too much these daays, they’re just there to be broken…

  8. I too reckon that Toyota are about to leave the sport. They now have no drivers – and while it won’t be the first time they have changed their lineup, it seems to be a silly move!

    Why is everyone saying that USF1 might fold? I was still under the impression that their development was going well!

    1. I remember Bernie said something to that effect, and everyone seems to be running with it. But we should remember that USF1 announced their plans long before any of the other new teams…

      1. Yeah exactly- you want to beleive Bernie on that one anyone? The man lies for a profession…. The one thing I’ll give him credit on is he sent me a personal reply to a letter I wrote to him a few years back, expressing support for the revival of a USGP. So he’ll get my respect for that.

        But that’s about it in my book.

  9. Kevin report that Kimi’s reps ages ago approached him about Toyota but he was less than pleased, could just have been another baseless report. I mean, Kimi would never go there.
    Shame if Barrichello does go especially if it is mainly because they want a German driver. Tbh I wouldn’t keep Button, but Barrichello’s age and results at beginning all count against him.

  10. Here’s my guess:

    1. Jenson Button
    2. Nico Rosberg

    Red Bull–Mercedes
    3. Mark Webber
    4. Sebastian Vettel

    5. Fernando Alonso
    6. Felipe Massa

    7. Lewis Hamilton
    8. Kimi Räikkönen

    9. Timo Glock
    10. Heikki Kovalainen

    11. Rubens Barrichello
    12. Nico Hülkenberg

    14. Robert Kubica
    15. Romain Grosjean

    Force India–Mercedes
    16. Adrian Sutil
    17. Vitantonio Liuzzi

    Toro Rosso–Ferrari
    18. Sébastien Buemi
    19. Jaime Alguersuari

    20. Pedro de la Rosa
    21. Vitaly Petrov

    Virgin–Cosworth (née Manor)
    22. Anthony Davidson
    23. Bruno Senna

    Team US F1–Toyota
    24. Ryan Hunter-Reay
    25. Alex Wurz

    26. Fairuz Fauzy
    27. Christian Klien

    28. Nick Heidfeld
    29. Giancarlo Fisichella

    1. Just a slight adjustment. :)

      5. Lewis Hamilton
      6. Kimi Räikkönen

      7. Fernando Alonso
      8. Felipe Massa

      1. It looks that way doesn’t it with McLaren’s recent performance.

        1. It’s pretty much Kimi vs Lewis in the battle between Ferrari and McLaren….I guess Kovy has a slight advantage over Fisi….

          I personally think its a great little mid-field championship battle (although I think Ferrari would have won it with Massa/Kimi). Lewis made a huge jump after Singapore, but Kimi should be back on form at Suzuka.

      2. Another small adjustment:

        Red Bull–Mercedes
        3. Sebastian Vettel
        4. Mark Webber

    2. Fisi retiring to be a ferrari test driver.
      I doubt he’ll go to sauber now.
      Villnuerve could take that seat.

      1. Qadbak will use Ferrari engines …

  11. Alonso is set to join Kimi, Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost, Gerhard Berger, Stefan Johansson, Niki Lauda, Patrick Tambay, Gilles Villeneuve, Jody Scheckter and Jacky Ickx in driving for both Ferrari and Mclaren in F1.

    However, it looks unlikely that either Raikkonen or Alonso will join Niki Lauda in winning the WDC for both teams.

    1. Unlikely for Alonso to win a title with Mclaren mabye (and that’s an understatement!), but I see no reason why Raikkonen shouldn’t be able to challenge Hamilton for the title if he ends up back at Mclaren next season. I think we’ve seen the Kimi of old since Massa was injured back in July.

      1. It would be great to see Kimi and Lewis head to head with the same equipment, but this relies on Mclaren having a championship winning car, and a fairly dominant one, as I dont see Mclaren allowing their two drivers to fight each other if another team is in the hunt. And in this situation Hamilton will most likely be the one that Mclaren get behind ;).

      2. If Kimi manages to steal all Lewis’s telemetry data, maybe ;0)

    2. Wait till september 2010 . Alonso will wrap up the championship by then

  12. Hamilton and Raikkonen at silver will be something to see. With similar testing restrictions to this year, there will be extra pressure to give them the same parts and it won’t always be possible. Similar issues will crop up at Ferrari, but we know Fred will chuck his toys from the pram if he gets a hint that Massa is getting equal treatment. I’m certain that Alonso has negotiated his status. But whatever is on the paper, we know Massa is pretty quick and will give him as hard a time as Hamilton did.

    The fact that Button is dickering over pay with his current team instead of writing his own check with a top team is sad. Brawn has been caught. And next year, Ferrari, RedBull, McLaren and Renault engineering depth, and their accumulation of terrific drivers, will mean JB will be scrapping for the final point again.

    1. I was just going to mention the disparity this year that Button has performed spectacularly this year, if a little inconsistent, and despite leading the championship still isnt really that highly regarded as a driver. I sort of feel bad for him. He has tried to prove himself but succeeded, rather, at proving his team’s worth.

      1. If Button had been driving a Ferrari or McLaren in the last couple of seasons and putting in consistent performances, his performance at Brawn now would be regarded as good. However the fact he has had troubled cars for most years of his career and also with Barrichello being consistently with him it looks as though its got nothing to do with the driver.

        We don’t hear people shouting from the rooftops that Barrichello is a terrible driver when the fact is he’s behind Button in the same car.

        1. I totally agree with you. I’m simply trying to say that it feels like the Brawn car’s supremacy has somewhat ‘stolen the thunder’ from the excellent performances that both Jenson and Rubens have had this year.

  13. I will be sad to see Kimi in a McLaren again, but i do wanna see him upset Hamilton. I very much doubt Rosberg will get Buttons seat.

  14. @DMW,Similar issues will crop up at Ferrari? what are they? one season where they have not won at least one title and they are in crisis? I waited 21 years for them to win again and that they have more than done. Mclaren are not even as fast as the customer cars over the last 3 races. Hamilton and Kimi will be good and fast but I think Ferrari with who ever will also be.

    1. Similar issues meaning a limited availablity of new parts and two extremely competent drivers. I thought that was clear.

      It is also clear now that Ferrari is not fast with just any driver. Ask Giancarlo Fisichella. Hamilton in silver and Button in yellow-hiighligher is no competion and hasnt been for a while. The mercedes customer cars are not going to be ahead next year, especially once Kofailainen is dislodged from his seat.

      1. If Red Bull get Mercedes power next year I think the championship will go to one of those two drivers. Hopfully Webber.

  15. There will be a Canadian driver in F1 next year, but I doubt it will be Villenueve.

    1. Three cheers for Wickens, I thought he was better than Algersuari. But where did you get the info?

  16. Ferrari had indicated that Fisi would likely be permitted to race for another team in addition to his duties at the Scuderia. Could work if Sauber does indeed wind up with Ferrari engines. I don’t know…somehow I just don’t see it happening. Unless , of course, part of the Ferrari engine deal is that the recipient team has to take him as one of their drivers. That way he could pirate information about the customer teams chassis!

  17. All this sounds good. McLaren will have a very strong duo. I like the fact that Raikkonen is returning to Mac.
    I wish that in the same way, Alonso would end his career either at McLaren or at the Mercedes F1 team in the making. This is a few years into the future.

    Looks like a great 2010 season, and now with the cars more equalised, after all the rules confusion of 2009.

    1. I really don’t mind seeing Raikkonen retire this year and wouldn’t want him to waste McLaren resources for next year. He may be a good driver, but he is so boring to watch! No expression on his face and when he wins a race, his expression is like as if he is going into an execution chamber. Show some spirit, RAI!

      1. It’s because he is what we know as an ICEMAN.

        1. ‘Icecream man’ surely.

          1. thats kind of the point behind raikkonen and why so many people like him.

            man really doesn’t care about you and your camera.

            cares about racing fast and getting drunk.

            I think McLaren could be going for their first WCC in a while next year and win it comfortably.

            Ferrari, hmm lets see whats Massa like when he gets back. I reckon fiery Latina temprement wont mix well with the sulky spaniard. Hope massa blasts past him

            Really want rosberg to do well for some reason. Another addition to the fantastic crop of drivers we’ve got at the moment.

            Button must prove himself next year against a balanced field. Otherwise ill truly right him of as merely a champion of luck.

            heres to a competative 2010

      2. GO TEAM GO, V-I-C-T-O-R-Y WHATS THAT SPELL VICTORY VICTORY GO KIMI. I just gave you his spirit for life, he’s run out now.

  18. My own guesses:

    Brawn: Button/Rosberg
    Red Bull: Vettel/Webber
    McLaren: Hamilton/Raikkonen
    Ferrari: Alonso/Massa
    Williams: Barrichello or Kovalainen/Hulkenberg
    Toyota: Nakajima/Glock
    Renault: Kubica/Grosjean
    Force India: Sutil/Liuzzi
    Toro Rosso: Buemi/Alguesuari
    Campos: de la Rosa/other (maybe Soucek)
    USF1: No Idea
    Manor: No idea

    Senna will get a drive next year, but I don’t know where. Barichello may retire, and Fisichella could wind up at another team. Trulli will probably head to a small team.

    Really though, I hope Rosberg goes to McLaren instead of Raikkonen.

  19. Lets hope you’re all correct about Anthony Dasvidson.
    There’s a guy who needs a good break for a change.

    Seems a pity that Rubens will go after all his fantastic work this season. Talk about life in the old dog yet, he makes most of the new young guns look like pussy cats !

  20. Rubens Barrichello to Williams


    US F1 – Jacques Villeneuve and Alexander Wurz
    Campos – Pedro De La Rosa and Giorgio Pantano
    Manor – Anthony Davidson and Adam Carroll
    Lotus – Christian Klien and ???

    I was really looking forward for Rosberg going to McLaren :(

  21. @ adz2193

    I dont see Mclaren allowing their two drivers to fight each other if another team is in the hunt.

    Seems like you missed the 2007 season, then… ;-)

    1. Haha, point taken. But to be fair, Ferrari were about 15-20 points behind for most of the season in the WDC.

      1. That’s true, indeed. Räikkönen was 18 points behind Hamilton 4 Grands Prix before the finale, with Massa a further 5 points adrift.

  22. My Guess:

    Kubica to Toyota. Alonso to Ferrari. Kimi to Mclaren. Resoberg to Brawn.

    Out From F1: Barrichello, Kovlainenen, Nakajima, Fisichella.

    In F1: Nico Hulkenburg, Bruno Senna, Vitaly Petrov, Pedro de la rosa, Jacques Villenve,

    1. Kubica to Toyota? I don’t think so. He underlines he looks for a longer deal. Toyota is more than uncertain with F1. As a matter of fact, Renault too…

  23. I wonder the car numbers actually. I mean, will McLaren give the number 5/7 to Lewis or Kimi? The same story for Ferrari, too. It sounds like unimportant but I think it could be important for some drivers. We’ll see.

    1. I believe
      Lewis and Massa will get the odd numbers
      Kimi and Alonso the even ones

    2. I hope a British driver gets 22, it’s been lucky for us these last two years!

      1. Cant believe I hadnt noticed that…

  24. I hope Alonso does not go to Ferrari. It would be a mistake for Ferrari because all he will do is cause trouble for Massa and the team.
    I think they should just keep RAI and MAS. The car hasn’t been that great this year.

    1. If Alonso causes trouble to Ferrari then his career in the big teams will over.
      He will end up to Renault once again :lol:

    2. Do you really think that the people at Ferrari think like you? that to have a double world champion is a mistake? Of course it would be different if it was Lewis… no? It’s always the same story…

      1. Ferrari don’t think. If they did that, they wouldn’t let Kimi go when Massa still is a question mark

  25. Alonso at ferrari. It’s inked now for sure and in my opinion Massa will have some problems. Alonso wants to be number one as he wanted to be at McLaren but this time Ferrari will give him that status and poor Massa will be in the position Barrichello/Irvine were when Schumi was the leader in the red car. Ferrari are not used to give equal status hence one have to bow his head and this will be Massa.

    Kimi to McLaren. If they keep harmony in the team they will be the ones to beat. Kimi is a great driver and in my opinion his results at Ferrari were not great before Massa’s accident cause the Scuderia have prefered to help Massa by building the car more to his driving style. Give Kimi a good car and he will be able to beat anyone. Lewis is young and hungry for more success hence it’s everything in the managment hands to bring harmony between the drivers and glory back to McLaren.

    I would like to see Villeneuve back in a cockpit (I have some doubts about this) as he’s character is needed in F1.

    Hopefully we will see 28 drivers on the grid next year and all these rumours that some teams will not be able to make it for the starting grid come March 2010 will not materialise.

    1. I think Villeneuve would be very frustrated once he finds out he’s not as fast as he was on his own head for the last couple of years. He would then squirm and sob and blame the team who would in turn tolerate it for a couple of races and then sack him and hire a GP2 winner that would go faster from his 2nd race onward than JV had gone all season ;)

    2. What character does he have? Ask the teams he has driven for what their opinion of him is.

  26. Jugnu,why would kovalainen be gone out of f1.hes still young and reasonably fast.

  27. I find Lustigson’s predictions on which teams will have which engines interesting, especially Williams being powered by Renault (I’d’ve assumed they’d get Cosworth engines next year).

    1. Button
    2. Rosberg

    Red Bull-Renault
    3. Vettel
    4. Webber

    5. Hamilton
    6. Raikkonen

    7. Alonso
    8. Massa

    9. Kovalainen
    10. Hulkenberg

    11. Kubica
    12. Grosjean

    Torro Rosso-Ferrari
    14. Buemi
    15. Aguersuari

    Force India-Mercedes
    16. Sutil
    17. Liuzzi

    18. Davidson
    19. Petrov

    20. Barrichelo
    21. Senna

    22. Trulli
    23. Klien

    24. Villeneuve
    25. Wurz

    26. Heidfeld
    27. Glock

    1. Last I heard, Horner wants Mercedes engines next year

    2. I like the pairing of barrichello and senna. The once student of master senna now becomes the teacher to the young inexperienced senna.

  28. I’m disappointed in that headline Keith :P surely it should be Kimi out of Ferrari kick starts the driver market, he is the key, without him vacating a seat Alonso would have to wait another year!

    And I am looking forward to seeing Kimi back in silver!

    1. Alonso is the more highly rated driver than Kimi and moreover its Alonso who wantes to leave Renault and that is what triggering the driver buy outs.
      Everyone knows ho Kimi drives when he is abt to leave a team. Like he did in 2006 (leaving mclaren) and now (while leaving ferrari). But this isnt a case with Alonso. He drives his heart out for any team.

      1. Kimi drove his heart out for McLaren the whole time not just 2006. And 08/early 09 was a slump for kimi but from mid 09 he’s been driving well. The Alonso to Ferrari rumours are older than Hamilton’s F1 career so are not a factor in kimi’s performance!

    2. And wiping the floor with the opposition.

  29. I havent believed the Alonso-Ferrari rumors even once so far. Countless times, it seemed baseless and stupid.

    But now that Kimi seems to be finding a seat elsewhere, it somehow seems to be happening.

    This is going to be weird. There is potential for

  30. Did the manufacturer teams not commit until 2012? Can Renault and Toyota really call it a day if they wanted too?

    1. Yeah, did they not? I thought that was the whole point about signing a new Concorde agreement – stability until 2012.
      Do you have any information on that Kieth? Any details on the exact terms? Do the manufactures incur any penalties if they withdraw having signed the new Concorde agreement?

  31. I havent believed the Alonso-Ferrari rumors even once so far. Countless times, it seemed baseless and stupid.

    But now that Kimi seems to be finding a seat elsewhere, it somehow seems to be happening.

    This is going to be weird. There is potential for TWO repeats of Mclaren 2007 in 2010 now. One at Ferrari, one at Mclaren. Why would not one, but two teams do the same mistake again?

    Lewis showed in 2008 that throwing weight behind one driver pays dividends. Kimi showed the same for Ferrari in 2009 since Felipe’s injury.

    However, if the lawyers have somehow proved Kimi to be a Santander driver and not Ferrari driver, then the biggest roadblock of Kimi’s heavy salary is moved away with ease without costing any of the teams (Ferrari & Mclaren) any extra buck.

    It will be weird to cheer for Alonso for next year. True, he is a great driver. He beat Michael fair and square in 2006. And I respect him for that. He is as ruthless as Michael, as controversial as him as well. But is he still as good as he was in 2006?

    This silly season is too convoluted. I still cannot digest the fact that Alonso is joining Ferrari. 2010 will be a curious season indeed.

    1. You mean you cannot digest the “rumor” that Alonso is going to Ferrari…it’s not a fact yet eh?

      I think Kieth’s title for this post was a bit misleading.

  32. Loeb to Toro Rosso? There’s an Italian report about him testing a GP2 on 1 November with a view to racing at Abu Dhabi…and sometimes one Sebastien just isn’t enough.

  33. I think Alonso in a Ferrari(a winning car) is a source of concern for a few people. But the season that Alonso, Lewis, kimi and Massa (hopefully) could give us is to be remembered. Can’t wait.

  34. Paige Michael-Shetley
    28th September 2009, 22:35

    I’ve thought all along that Raikkonen is the guy McLaren wanted all along. Whitmarsh has been sending all kinds of signals through the media all year long that he wants him back: defending him against Coulthard’s attacks, praising his performances in races numerous times, etc., saying that McLaren were going to “wait until Alonso is confirmed at Ferrari” (how else would Whitmarsh have known that Alonso is going there for sure if he wasn’t talking to someone who would be affected by the move?), etc..

    I think Rosberg wanted to go to Brawn, not McLaren, all along. He knows how good Hamilton is: after all, Hamilton beat him when they were teammates in karting. If he wants to be a number one driver and contend for a title down the road, he can’t be beaten by a teammate so early in his career. Button isn’t exactly going to be the easiest challenge, but if the rumors of Mercedes taking a stake in Brawn (if not taking over outright) are true, then he’ll have much more support within the team than he’d have with Hamilton at McLaren, who has been supported and developed by the team.

  35. Paige Michael-Shetley
    28th September 2009, 22:44

    I’ve got to think Ferrari have made a big mistake dumping Raikkonen for Alonso. Raikkonen is quicker, IMO, and is at least as good as an overall driver as Alonso when he’s motivated. Treating Raikkonen as Ferrari has over the term of the relationship- designing and developing a car that suited Massa’s style after he won them a WDC, giving Massa the superior fuel strategy in qualifying for virtually the whole season this year, dumping him after he won them a race and four straight podiums in a car that hasn’t been upgraded since the Nurb- is not the best way to motivate him.

    Alonso is definitely a very good driver, but we’ve seen what happens when he isn’t getting his way. What makes Ferrari think he would act any differently if, say, Massa is beating him next year? If they intend to anoint Alonso the number one driver, what makes them think that Massa- who has shown he can win a championship- or his side of the garage will take the news lying down?

    I think Ferrari may come to regret their decision.

    1. I agree. But Ferrari like a driver who not only wins races, but also moves the fans and the tifosi.
      Kimi on the podium is little more than a robot, not that it takes away anything from him as an excellent driver or endears him any less to fans like me. But even after his podium at Monza this year, in that dud of a car and with the bonus of Hamilton crashing there were no reports anywhere, of the joyous celebration of the tifosi.
      Someone like Alonso would appeal more to Ferrari. After all, their succes and fans from F1 is waht sells their roadcars and in turn keeps the team in business.

  36. The thing is Santander will practically own Scuderia Ferrari next year and Alonso is part of their package. Kimi wasn’t booted out but choose to go with the offer from McL knowing RD is gone. That’s when Santander made their move.

  37. Prisoner Monkeys
    28th September 2009, 23:04

    My picks:

    Brawn – Button / Rosberg
    Red Bull – Vettel / Webber
    McLaren – Raikkonen / Hamilton
    Ferrari – Massa / Alonso
    Williams – Barrichello / Hulkenberg
    Toyota – Glock / Kobayashi
    Renault – Kubica / Grosjean
    Force India – Sutil / Liuzzi
    Toro Rosso – Alguersuari / Buemi
    Campos – de la Rosa / Petrov
    Manor – Trulli / Senna
    USF1 – Wurz / Summerton
    Lotus – Kovalainen / Fauzy
    QADBAK – Heidfeld / di Grassi

    1. Finally, someone said Summerton :)

      Interesting pick with Rubens going to Williams, but you may want to revise the Glock/Toyota deal- apparently they aren’t picking up his option, or are at least looking at other options.

      1. Prisoner Monkeys
        29th September 2009, 7:55

        I’ve heard that if he performs, Toyota may offer it back to him. And I can’t really see him going anywhere else save for one of the new teams. Which would be a shame, because I think that he’s a driver who can wins races, but not championships.

        If Raikkonen doesn’t go to McLaren, I could see Glock ending up there if Norbert Haug still wants a German driver there. He’s quicker than Kovalainen, but won’t callege Hamilton. He’s proven that he can shoulder a team’s hopes and dreams if it goes badly for the other (like Hamilton at the Nurburgring). And unlike Toyota, he seems to know why he’s in Formula One.

        As for Summerton to USF1, I think he’s the best choice because he’s been bred on road courses instead of ovals. And I’m ick of people suggesting Danica Patrick and Sctt Speed – both are absolutely useless.

  38. Excellent! Love a good silly season thread, but bless you Keith, you’ve been sensible, haven’t squeezed and rattled the prezzies under the tree until NOW.

    Whispers suggest Ferrari confirming Alonso this Thursday, thus Renault’s tearful fairwell statement to Nando at the end of the Singapore-fest. That gives McLaren 2 days to steal a march on the Maranello boys by announcing Kimi early.

    These things may seem petty, but the marketing folk will be hot on the phone to wouldbe sponsors the second they have finalised. Timing IS money.

    Brawn have hung both Rubens and Jenson out to dry somewhat. Rather harsh, given the faith they put in the ‘non’ team at the end of last year. The one fact that is widely reported is that Rosberg may have a drive for next year. Whilst understand both drivers can win the championship and they are hedging bets, would be nice to see them, nah… it’s just business.

  39. another great article keith. Hamilton to Ferrari anyone? jokes.

    1. I would say not in a million years, but I felt the same about Alonso to Ferrari in 2008 and here we are.

  40. Honestly, why are so many people listing names like DeLarosa, Villeneuve and Wurz?? Whereas others insist Barrichello will retire, some even claim Kovalainen and Nakajima will retire…
    Why would a team hire hasbeens like Villeneuve, that haven’t driven in F1 for years, when there are many talented guys up for grabs with fresh experience. Yes even Barichello. I read on some F1 site that Jenson’s sudden decline in performance was because Barichello stopped sharing his telemetry data…I think it may have been this very site, anyway, I rate Barichello higher than Button: Great talent wasted playing second fiddle at Ferrari…do people now just find it too hard to accept he’s a good racer?

    Just look at Kimi, I believe his improved performance comes from Ferrari finally backing him and not favoring Massa. Kovalainen is even more neglected at McLaren with Hamilton getting not only the better strategies, but more updated equipment aswell. In my mind, given the chance, Kovalainen can be every bit as fast as Hamilton and Raikkonen…and he has proven it many times in this seasons qualifying sessions. Race days are a whole other thing where McLaren might even intentionally choose a bad strategy, like in Monza. It’s no wonder Rosberg is probably avoiding McLaren. Raikkonen is probably the only guy that has a chance at fair treatment while Hamilton is in the team.

    I too believe Ferrari is making a mistake with Alonso. He’s rumored to be a superior car developer, so if he is, why isn’t Renault among the top teams this season? If Massa is allowed fair treatment then he will wipe the floor with Alonso. Massa has proven to be able to win the championship, and his ability to perform well with a mediocre car… Alonso not only needs the best car on the grid to do well, he also needs to be the team favourite.

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      29th September 2009, 7:48

      why are so many people listing names like DeLarosa, Villeneuve and Wurz??

      Villen euve put his hand up as interested, but de la Rosa and Wurz have frequently been linked to Campos and USF1. As they are new teams, they need experienced drivers more than they need quick drivers to establish themselves within the paddock. After a year or two, they can replace those drivers with newcomers.

      others insist Barrichello will retire, some even claim Kovalainen and Nakajima will retire

      You can’t see Kovalainen and Nakajima not being offered new contracts?

      I read on some F1 site that Jenson’s sudden decline in performance was because Barichello stopped sharing his telemetry data…

      That has nothing to do with it. Barrichello experienced the same downturn in performance as Button did; the problem was with the car – particularly the Silverstone upgrade – not with Button’s ability to set it up.

      McLaren might even intentionally choose a bad strategy

      Why would they? It’s clear Kovalainen is no match for Hamilton, so why would they sabotage themselves and get first and eighth when they could have first and second?

      1. Yeah I have to concur. Im pretty sure that Ross would not be okay with Rubens’ side of the garage withholding valuable telemetry/setup data…

    2. 1. Kovalainen had the best strategy on the grid and the same car as Hamilton at Monza.
      2. Kovalainen had a better strategy and a car the team eventually decided was better at Valencia.
      3.Alonso has been performing very well in a total dog of a car all season, has not made any mistakes and just dragged it to third in Singapore admitadly with a lil bit o’ luck.
      4. I largely agree with the top paragraph.
      Cept the fact the Kazuki has scored no points in a car thats scored 30.5

  41. Little bit if of Coincidence or irony …Why is that Kimi always has to move out of a team to make way for Fernando ? Nature is always palying a crueal joke on him.

    In fact the last time he moved out of a team to make way for Fernando he won the championship with the new team and the other team was in disaster with Driver Equality Issues.

    FOR SURE (in Kimi’s style) it will be a real fun to see if Kimi wins the WDC next year in McLaren and Fernando and Massa would be fighting in the team with Equality Problems. Remember Fernando is currently moving to a team where the team mate Massa already has spent 3 years and almost won the WDC and also has the sympathy of the team due to the accident. Kimi will have a huge laugh at Fernando.

    It is not Suprising either that Santander is negotiating the whole deal. I mean they have everything to gain. They have 3 WDCs and 1 almost WDC represting their logo next year. Nice business deal.

  42. I thought Renault were not allowed to race? Can someone shed some light on the issue please? I am really confused.

    1. They only get banned IF they cheat again

      1. No wonder people are out-raged by this.

  43. I really hope allthe people saying that Anthony Davidson going to Manor are right – he definately deserves another chance in F1, although it will be a shame to loose him from the BBC commentary team!

    What about Paul Di Resta? No one has mentioned him but I think he would be a good signing for one of the new teams.

    And what about Gary Paffett? I thought the McLaren link might have got him a seat at Force India but he seems to have become forgotten about by everyone!

  44. If McLaren have Lewis & Kimi next year they’ll probably win the Constructors championship, but not the WDC – the two drivers will just be taking points off of each other.

  45. Just watched the bbc red button coverage from after the Singapore GP and when they asked Martin Whitmarsh about the possibility of Raikkonen joining the team in 2010 he remained silent, well apart from giving a slight chuckle and legging it off set before any more questions were asked!

    Think that might just be the answer to that question!

  46. Kimi to Mclaren, nothing but grrrrrreat!!! He will show for all that Hamilton is NOT fastest guy on the grid. Mclaren and Kimi has always been better mix than Ferrari and Kimi…..but let´s see how things are going, cause nothing is sure yet…

    1. I really hope Raikkonen goes back to McLaren. That is the reason I became a McLaren fan back in the day. I still am though he hasn’t been there since the end of 2006.

    2. Can hardly wait for it too
      so Lewis can prove to everyone that

      1. You mean the “greatest whiner” don’t you? Daddy will be working over time to get the story right after every race. Mind games wont work on the iceman. He couldn’t care less about the angry tifosi or the wrath of the Ferrari management, Hamilton will be so easy to stamp on with like taking candy from a kid.

        After all in 2007 with all the attention and focus Hamilton got he couldn’t beat Alonso for outright points, it was a tie. Speak volumes about just how overrated and waste of investment Hamilton is, and it took a completely demotivated hekkie to win the title in 2008 not to mention the baggage of inferior strategies and parts delays.

        As I see it both Mclaren and Ferrari will be wasting their time dealing with imminent implosion caused from Hamilton and Alonso within their respective teams. This is all provided any of these two teams have a car decent enough to mount a title challenge, this remains to be seen. Brawn GP has shown how well they go with heavy fuel they are definitely going to be in contention and a safer bet than any other team given the refueling ban.

  47. Remember the name Ricciardo when the driver line-ups are released for next year, and where you heard it first ;)

    1. Interesting, GB2009. Be great to see another Aussie on the grid (or a replacement Aussie when Webber retires). Given that he’s part of the Red Bull junior program, maybe a prospect for RBR if/when Webber’s contract finishes?

  48. Sorry to be the Harbinger of doom but as anyone considered that Massa might not return to F1.

    1. Four Six Tango
      29th September 2009, 3:25

      He is fully recovered! He just needs to get back in shape physically. He was at Granja Viana today karting getting ready for 2010. Domelicalli even said he could come back in 2009 but not likelly

      1. I hope he comes back and I think he will, but just because he recovered doesn’t mean he will be able to come back and race an F1 car. The worry is that the plate inserted in his head will not withstand constant g-loads without causing a lot of pain and major distractions.

        I’m hoping for the best because I want him back in F1!

  49. I will hate if the Brawn’s line up is broken,they have two good drivers who can win WC.Kimi to Mclaren will be nice & like many Fanatic I think he deserve a DWC with Mclaren & MP4-12C.Rubica to Renault sounds good but will Renault will be competitive?Nico to Williams is ok,but who will be in Toyota with Glock?Nick Heidfeld!

  50. Four Six Tango
    29th September 2009, 3:21

    I think Santander made a great deal here! I’m a huge Massa fan and I hate Fernando! But Santander being a spanish bank and having a MASSIVE presence in Brasil this is a great great deal for them!

    1. Santander being a spanish bank and having a MASSIVE presence in Brasil this is a great great deal for them!

      Don’t forget Santander has a BIG presence in UK also.

      McLaren’s Drivers will have Santander Logo on their clouths. (I believe this is the sponsorship agreement they signed with McLaren, not their logo on the cars, just the drivers)

      So, how could they loose? They have bought almost all lottery tickets for next year! (With the permission of Brawn and RBR, of course)

  51. Kimi belongs in a McLaren. I never liked the move to Ferrari, he is not a Ferrari ‘person’. His best moments were in McLaren, even though he did not win the WDC there. His best drives were in a McLaren.

    And best of all … I can now again wear the Kimi-McLaren T-shirt I got after the 2005 season.

    What a season 2010 is going to be. The big teams will return to the front and they will have the 4 best drivers go at it.

    I can’t wait already !

  52. Shame Barrichello will probably leave Brawn, he is good at feeding information on the car and his data and talent will be missed. He should go to Williams or retire (even if he by a miracle wins the WDC).

    Furthermore, how do you think Brawn will perform next year? I remember Alex Wurz mentioning that, despite the team being low-maintenance, the car was very expensive (I don’t remember the exact figure) to develop and would have been dominant even if Honda stayed on. They won’t have that kind of money next year…

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      29th September 2009, 8:08

      The BGP-001 was expensive because Honda had much more time to test out different solutions. They could afford to go through several designs because the car was in development for a year. And the 001 will serve as the basis of the 002. Plus, with the Mercedes buy-in and new sponsors, they’ll have much more money to throw around.

      I also doubt how dominant the car would have been if Honda had stayed on. The Honda engine was pretty under-powered.

    2. Yeah I remember reading that the BGP001 was one of the most expensive cars ever made and run on one of the lowest budgets. Honda did spend as much as McLaren and Ferrari in 08 (if memory serves) and they sure werent spending it on the development of the RA108…

  53. If I am mclaren, I would rather consider Rosberg than Rikkonen simply because he is younger and would have a lot more potential thaN Rikkonen. Mclaren has seen what Rikkonen’s got and I am sure he was a better driver 2 years ago when he was with them.

  54. A few thoughts…

    First, as a McLaren fan, I would rather see either Kubica or Glock alongside Hamilton in 2010. It’s true that I began following the sport after Kimi had left McLaren, but he seems like he’s half-dragging it around the grid these days. Call me crazy, but I really don’t see Kimi working with Lewis very well.

    On that note, apparently McLaren’s traditional preference for Finnish drivers is winning out over the desire by Mercedes to see a German national in the seat opposite Lewis. With Rosberg tipped for Brawn, perhaps the union betwene McLaren and Mercedes isn’t as strong as we think anymore.

    Speaking of Glock, dose Toyota’s move not to retain both drivers signal that the company is planning to pull out? Probably. Glock has done a good job this year, and unless they poached a Rosberg or someone similar, show me a better driver that will be available.

    Senna will certainly line up somewhere on the grid next year, although he has stayed out of the spotlight recently. Given the controversey that has surrounded his fellow young Brazalian, perhaps that’s a smart thing.

    As for USF1, Summerton has to be one of the drivers, esp. if he wins the Atlantic Series Championship in the next few weeks. I expect Wurz to partner him, but perhaps Rubens, Heidfeld, or a host of other experienced guys could also fill the seat. Don’t be suprised to see a host of ther young Americans signed up to a driver development program of some sorts when the team debuts.

  55. I just realized that Raikkonen is the only WDC this millennium who isn’t directly or indirectly associated with a major controversy. That counts for something surely.

    Jenson might join that club this year.

    1. You are forgetting the Button-gate saga where he two timed BAR/Honda by signing a concurrent contract with Williams when the BAR contract was still active.

      Honda had to pay Williams to get him back without getting into court battles.

  56. my picks:



    *Previously known as Scuderia Ferrari they have recently sold their soul in order to obtain sponsorship money from the Spanish Bank….

    Ferrari are making a big mistake with Alonso, one that they will realize when he starts throwing his toys because things aren’t going his way…

    1. Santander* *Previously known as Scuderia Ferrari they have recently sold their soul in order to obtain sponsorship money from the Spanish Bank….

      McLaren= Vodafone-McLaren-Mercedes Team
      Ferrari= Ferrari

      Maybe they have sold their soul, but at least have kept its Name.

      1. uhmm… you might forgot that the red team’s official name is scuderia ferrari marlboro… Still today, the only F1 team to keep a tobacco sponsorship on the car and suits.. Moreover, it’s the TITLE sponsor…
        Seems to me it’s a big soul-sale.. ;)

        1. I’m pretty sure that old man Enzo was once quoted as saying “I don’t smoke, and niether do my cars.”

      2. no money = no racing
        that’s life :)

    2. BUt you could call McLaren “Vodafone” by using that same analogy.

  57. Raikkonen to Mclaren – quite suprised really by that, lots of people have commented that there have been times this year where he doesnt appear to be motivated.

    After seeing the footage of him knocking a small child over as well as the photographer last year, not a particularly pleasant chap either.

    1. Factually wrong, the kid was knocked down when the mom herself was not paying attention, kimi was far ahead when the kid got knocked down, possibly by the negligent mother herself as that part of the drama was out of the camera’s focus.

      It certainly wasn’t kimi as he was fully within the camera frame to make a positive conclusion it was not him. Kimi instead pointed to the mother with his finger ‘why don’t you take care of your child instead of prancing around for an autograph’

      Kimi showed more concern than the mother for goodness sakes.

  58. Whilst I guess it is to be expected, given the re-ignition of the Anti-Alonso sentiment of late, I still can’t fathom how many people actually beleive that Flippy is a driver on par with Alonso.

    Good? Yes. Much improved since his Sauber days? Yes. Great? No. On par with a double world champion? No.

    1. With the same schumacher/massa combo that sidelined kimi at Ferrari, there is no doubting how it cannot work with Alonso as well.

      Think of it as Schumacher and his legion of men settling old scores with Luca for what Luca did to Schumacher and John Todt. Whoever is Luca’s choice will get the pain in that team.

      It wont be long before Alonso is booted out and someone else is brought in. This time Luca the clever business man that he is, wont allow Santander to walk out of Alonso calls it quits. So its pretty much get the money, get the driver of their choice, make some problems, kick the driver out, but still get to keep the money for 5 years.

      Luca is as shrewd as they can get.

      1. Just has been confirmed that Alonso is in Ferrari, he is taking with him a team of engineers from Red bull, Renault and Mclaren, so to me seems that they are preparing for another Schumi situation, which is nevertheless a winning formula… look at Mclaren last year with Kovi (completely the oppossite to alonso to allow Lewis to have a clear path to the title)

  59. why is everyone expecting fireworks between massa and alonso as teammates when the real fireworks could happen over at mclaren considering hamilton has been the #1 driver for them for the last couple of years
    it could well be a repeat of 2007 at mcalren only this time hamilton will be the one feeling the heat from raikonen
    bare in mind ron dennis not there anymore who he could complain to

  60. Alonso has more ‘form’ in terms of fireworks between him and his team-mates – he more or less expects his team-mate to be the #2 driver. Witness the throwing of the toys from the pram when he went to McLaren and found, shock horror, that his team mate was just as fast as he was. Massa and Ferrari will be in for a shock next season.

    As for Hamilton, well it remains to be seen if he can turn into a prima-donna when he has an equally competitive team-mate.

  61. As the picture at the the top of the page shows, McLaren are getting a good deal here — they’re getting back at least 20 more pounds of Raikkonen than they lost in 2006!

    1. LOL!!! He’ll lose those pounds after a haircut and realising that there’s no ice cream and regular Coke in the McLaren hospitality area!!!

  62. Ferrari might gone crazy!!
    Kimi Raikkonen is still the only driver who could race close to lewis hamilton!!
    Fernando Alonso couldn’t do that, and 2007 season showed it clearly.
    Still, for Kimi is not a good decision to come back at Mclaren.. partnering with the best driver in F1.. He’ll be a logical 2nd driver.. he won’t win any championship..

    1. Kimi Raikkonen is still the only driver who could race close to lewis hamilton!!
      Fernando Alonso couldn’t do that, and 2007 season showed it clearly.

      Would you like to qualify that statement? Both finished on 109 points, granted Lewis had more second places, but its hardly defining. In fact you could argue that due to the turmoil Alonso was at a disadvantage.

      I am no fan of Alonso, but my love of the sport and no particular allegiance to any driver enables me to appreciate the skills of the top drivers (Whoever they are) and allows me to be critrical of others (even if they are British). Some people here should give it a try, a balaced opinion is a good thing, you don’t have to be so tribal all the time.

      1. Careful now…it seems the folks in here get pretty sensitive to driver vs. driver debates :)

      2. The problem is that there are a lot of people that started following F1 since 2007, which I think is a good thing but lack on perspective from previous eras. Some were toddlers when Senna died…

    2. You should be more worried about your own peace of mind when Kimi raikkonen shows he is least bothered by the Hamilton camp’s press games and mind games, that’s when desperation will creep in and mclaren will have to step in deliberately to ensure Kimi cannot be ahead of Hamilton.

      Its either that or they have to watch Hamilton sulk and walk away from Mclaren, something mclaren wont be too keen on letting happen.

      Like I said in an earlier post implosions are due at Mclaren and Ferrari because of their driver choice mess.

  63. This just in: Toyota skips 2010 option on Glock contract


  64. Let’s be brutally honest here. Massa doesn’t have half the talent of Raikkonen or Alonso. If Ferrari want to win anything next year, they need a Kimi – Fernando lineup.

    Massa is already damaged goods, as much as the crash was not his fault. He may never be the same again but even if he were, he is not good enough for the Scuderia.

    The issue here is that Ferrari have gone back to their spaghetti culture of the post-Schumacher/Brawn/Todt era. They’re thinking with their hearts, not their brains.

    1. Let’s be brutally honest here. Massa doesn’t have half the talent of Raikkonen or Alonso.

      Maybe so, but in reality, talent is only a small part of getting results. And Massa has shown that he can get results – which is what matters ultimately.

  65. I think Massa has a lot of talent but that Kimi has the most, in fact Kimi is the most naturally talented out there. That said if it was all down to talent Kimi would have slaughted Massa in their time at Ferrari but that hasn’t happened. I think go through the years, there will always be someonme hugely talented so competitors will rely on their other strengths to win, which doesn’t make them less of a driver to me just different. And Bob not good enough? Have you not seen him drive this year and last? Sorry my bias creeping in again :P
    I think Rai-Mas was an unbelievable line up, I’ll be interested to see how both top teams work next season.

  66. And I agree with Bigbadderboom about Fernando, and I appreciate your evaluations it is nice to have some balance when so many of us go fanatical about our favourite drivers. Brings some reason.

  67. Accidental Mick
    29th September 2009, 11:34

    Just an opinion (although not a humble one:) )
    Both Massa and Barichello spent years knowing that they would never be allowed to beat their team mate. If they were truly hungry for the WDC thet wouldn’t have stayed so long.

    I don’t think either has the “killer instinct” that is required for a world champion in any discipline.

    1. Regardless of the fact that Ferrari have been openly favoring massa since 2007 end through to 2008 and in 2009 up until the crash, when given support be it fair or unfair support, massa has shown his desire to win the title. You only need to watch 2008 when Hamilton almost lost it yet again and massa did everything he can, that is win the race. Which he did in Brazil.

      Massa maybe not be kimi or alonso level but given the number 1 status he can wipe kimi or alonso or anyone for that matter. Talent isnt everything, team support plays a huge huge part in any team sport. This is F1 folks not mano-a-mano sport

  68. Dont care what the odds are on hamilton getting his number 1 spot back in 2010 im 90% sure Alonso will win next year since they are now putting their efforts into the 2010 car right now. and dont be surprised further down the line if this goes well for him Alonso could beat schumi’s 7 time record depending how strong vettel gets and how weak Massa gets after that head injury.

  69. A sudden thought – assuming that all 4 new teams will actually participate and that Renault, Toyota and Sauber stay, we will have a grid of 28 cars at the start of the 2010 season.

    Fun though this sounds, is there a rule anywhere that lays down a maximum number of cars that can start a Grand Prix? if so, what is that number? Will we see a return to drivers being unable to qualify for a race?

  70. I think alonso to ferrari is done even before couple of months.

  71. Who is the best driver in F1 at the moment?

    Which car is the best in F1 at the moment?

    How can a discussion ie. Button vs. Barrichello be realistic if the two questions remains unanswered?

    I’m trying to analyse how the interplay between driver (human)and car (technology)results in ‘the best fit’.

  72. My teams

    Brawn Button – Rosberg
    RBR Vettel – Webber
    Mc Laren Hamilton – Raikkonen
    Ferrari Massa – Alonso
    Toyota Kovalainen – Nakajima
    Williams Heidfield – Hulkenberg
    Renault Kubica – Grosjean
    Force India Sutil – Liuzzi
    STR Buemi – Alguersuari
    USF1 Speed – Lopez
    Campos De la Rosa – Senna
    Virgin Davinson – Guerrieri
    Lotus Faurzy – Villeneuve
    Sauber Klien – Petrov

      1. Jose Maria Lopez, Renault tester 2006

  73. Massa was number TWO last year he out drove kimi the champ from the year before! Just because he had a bad rookie start with Sauber everyone thinks he is terrible! What else do you want from him he lost the championship by ONE point he had a perfect season last year! Singapore ruined him in so many ways!

    1. Massa was number 1 in 2008 and 2009, even shumacher admitted to it at the start of this year. Though the team were quick to run a PR flex to correct it.

  74. Great comments so far…BUT has anyone considered that Kimi could walk away from F1 and not go to McLaren?

    He’s been a bit downbeat on the 2007-2009 political machinations, and he said at the beginning of this year that Ferrari would be the last team he drives for in F1. I do find it hard to believe that Kimster would go back to the team he left. There would have to be some seriously special conditions for him to return to the Woking squad.

    I reckon there’s a chance for him to get a hot seat in one of the WRC cars, and he’ll go for the rallying championship. Having read some of Kimi’s remarks in the Finnish media, I think the guy is more motivated to go for a world title in two disciplines, which is pretty unique, rather than another F1 championship.

    I can also see Montezemolo wanting to have a driver that moves the Tifosi a liitle more than Kimi does, hence the moves for Alonso. I don’t agree with it, but Alonso would fit that role nicely.

  75. I think Kimi back to MCL is a mistake. He is fast but at times not very motivaded. More importantly I do not see him confortably playing a number two role (let’s be honest HAM wants to be the number one).

    1. And that is where the problem will come from, Kimi’s indifference to papa ham and junior’s mind games or press war of words. When they see nothing has an effect on kimi thats when it will get to their heads. Like someone pointed out much earlier in this topic, Hamilton will blink first and sweat real bad.

  76. Brawn: Button + Rosberg
    Red Bull : Webber + Vettel
    Mclaren : Hamilton + Kimi
    Ferrari : Alonso + Massa
    Williams : Barrichello + Hulkenburg
    Renault : Kubica + Grojean
    Torro Rosso : Buemi + Alguersuri
    Force India : Luizzi + Sutil
    Manor : Davidson + Senna
    Sauber : Heidfeld + Klien
    Campos : De la rosa + Glock?
    Lotus : Trulli?
    USF1 : No idea
    Toyota will leave

  77. Since everybody else is putting their guesses in I’m going to as well.

    So we know that Vettel, Webber, Massa and Hamilton all have contracts with their current teams for 2010 (assuming Massa recovers fully).

    We are also fairly certain that Alonso will be at Ferrari, Button and Rosberg with Brawn, Raikonnen with McLaren, Kubica and Grosjean with Renault, Liuzzi and Sutil with Force India and Buemi and Alguersauri with Toro Rosso.

    I believe Toyota are not going to be there next year (at least in their current guise) and that Qadbak/Sauber will be.

    I predict that Barrichello will go to Williams as the experienced hand to guide Hulkenberg and Campos will pick up de la Rosa and Senna. I also think Manor will employ di Grassi and that Lotus will use Fauzy. I also believe that Fisichella will drive for a Ferrari engined team, and that Villeneuve will not make it back into the sport as a driver. The others are all a guess, although I think all drivers, including USF1, will be current or former F1 drivers or from GP2.

    1. Button
    2. Rosberg
    Red Bull
    3. Vettel
    4. Webber
    5. Hamilton
    6. Raikonnen
    7. Alonso
    8. Massa
    11. Barrichello
    12. Hulkenberg
    16. Kubica
    17. Grosjean
    Force India
    18. Liuzzi
    19. Sutil
    Toro Rosso
    20. Buemi
    21. Alguersauri
    22. de la Rosa
    23. Senna
    24. Trulli
    25. di Grassi
    Team USF1
    26. Davidson
    27. Petrov
    28. Heidfield
    29. Fauzy
    30. Fisichella
    31. Wurz
    Toyota (if they are sold and FIA gets approval for 14th team)
    32. Kovalainnen
    33. Glock

    If Toyota do not make it to the grid in any way then both Kovalainen and Glock will be picked up by other teams at the expense of young drivers like Senna, Petrov, di Grassi and Fauzy.

  78. I just hope that Alonso and Lewis show top performance next season. That is what is going to give us the most entertainment, granted.

    1. Top scandals at Ferrari and Mclaren is more like it.

      Both of them will create issues, its inevitable. Its in their nature.

  79. names under consderation by McLaren for the seat alongside Lewis Hamilton. That selection has now narrowed to two drivers with Finnish passports

    Well Nico has a Finnish passport due to Finnish father :)

  80. i’m kimi fans, and i’m quite happy seeing kimi came back to mclaren
    because as we all know next year he need a team that produce better strategies because refueling ban, and as we can see lately ferrari seems to be lack of strategies..
    things that i worried is can kimi be friend with ham, since they compete each other
    i guess we will watch a great season next year if all this happend, cheers..

    it’s my opinion, sorry if it’s wrong one

  81. schumi the greatest
    30th September 2009, 15:38

    I Think judging by what ive read on the internet ferrari will favour alonso. Ive read hes bringing a few of his faviourate engineers etc with him so hes obviously making sure he gets everything the way he wants. Massa is quick but will he be as quick after his injury? i suspect not.

    Hamilton v kimi will be good too, i think hamilton will shade it as i think while although kimi has performed well this year hes not the same as he was when he was last at mclaren in my opinion.

  82. The only surprise for me in all this is Nico being touted for Brawn but on reflection I can see how that makes sense. I just hope Williams sees sense and dumps Nakajima though…

  83. I love all the anticipation of the driver line-ups. The only thing that I really care about is that no F1 team picks up JR for 2010. I don’t agree with him coming out of “crash gate” without so much as a verbal reprimand. Hopefully we won’t see him in any major racing series again.

  84. Looking at Kimi’s interview @ Formula1.com it seems that he may move to Rallying with Fiat driving the new Fiat 500 Abarth R3T so it will be a state when we will loose a great driver from Formula 1 just for a bad decision by FERRARI

  85. According to french newspaper “Le Figaro” Kubica has already signed with Renault: http://www.lefigaro.fr/flash-actu/2009/10/05/01011-20091005FILWWW00632-exclusif-f1-renault-a-signe-kubica.php

    They also claim than Grosjean will be fired as they now would like to have a more balanced pair, according to the Figaro potential candidates are HEI, GLO and SUT

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