Vitaly Petrov, Renault, Istanbul, 2011

Who should get the last two places in F1 for 2012?

Debates and pollsPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

The list of 2012 F1 drivers and teams shows there are just two places left to fill for the season ahead.

So, who should get the last remaining F1 drives for 2012?

Make your pick from the most likely candidates below.

Adrian Sutil

Adrian Sutil, Force India, Interlagos, 2011
Sutil was sixth in his last race for Force India

Sutil had a strong end to 2011. But Force India decided before the end of the year to promote Nico Hulkenberg, which ultimately squeezed Sutil out of the team.

He is the highest-scoring driver of 2011 who does not currently have a seat for this year.

Bruno Senna

Senna had a mixed half-season for Renault with some good qualifying performances but a few errors in races and more than his fair share of technical glitches.

On the whole he acquitted himself despite having little testing time, but wasn’t able to keep his seat as the team brought in Kimi Raikkonen and promoted Romain Grosjean. Rumours have linked him to a place at Williams.

Jaime Alguersuari

Jaime Alguersuari, Toro Rosso, Monza, 2011
Alguersuari greets fans at Monza

There was considerable surprise when Toro Rosso announced they were dropping not one but both of their drivers at the end of last year. Alguersuari may only be 21 but already has two-and-a-half years of F1 under his belt.

Jerome D?óÔéĽÔäóAmbrosio

For the second year in a row Virgin brought a rookie in and dropped him at the end of the year. Like Lucas di Grassi before him, D’Ambrosio is now looking for a seat with another team.

Karun Chandhok

The first ever Indian Grand Prix weekend saw two local drivers in action but neither of them have race seats for 2012 so far. Chandhok only started one race last year and it didn’t go very well – he had several spins and finished two laps behind team mate Heikki Kovalainen.

Narain Karthikeyan

After making a surprise return to F1 at the beginning of 2011, Karthikeyan found himself out of a drive halfway through the season. He made a one-off return in the Indian Grand Prix, but it remains to be seen whether HRT will invite him back again this year.

Nick Heidfeld

Heidfeld has made comeback appearances in the last two seasons – with Sauber in 2010 and Renault last year.

But he dropped halfway through last year after his performance as Robert Kubica’s substitute was found wanting.

Rubens Barrichello

Rubens Barrichello, Williams, Valencia, 2011
Barrichello has started a record 322 races

Will F1’s most experienced driver of all time get a record 20th season in the cockpit? Barrichello had an unspectacular 2011 driving the dismal FW33, but recent management changes at Williams may have boosted his chances of retaining his seat.

Sebastien Buemi

Despite being dropped from the Toro Rosso line-up, Buemi is remaining within the Red Bull fold as a reserve driver, so it’s unlikely he’ll be racing elsewhere in F1 this year.

Vitaly Petrov

Vitaly Petrov, Renault, Interlagos, 2011
Petrov was dropped by Renault with a year left on his contract

All three drivers who raced for Renault in 2011 are without seats at the moment. Of the trio, Petrov scored the most points, but he was the only one to start a full season.

Vitantonio Liuzzi

Liuzzi had a second chance at F1 with Force India, but after being dropped by the team ended up in an HRT last year. There remains a vacant place at the team for next year alongside Pedro de la Rosa.

Other drivers

Luca Filippi was one of the most impressive drivers in GP2 last year, but after six years in the category (he made his debut same year Lewis Hamilton did) it seems there aren’t any F1 teams taking an interest.

Filippi beat Jules Bianchi by a single point and although Ferrari would like to get their development driver some more F1 experience there aren’t many likely opportunities for him. Giedo van der Garde finished fifth in his third year in the category and has had a few F1 tests in the past but nothing in recent years.

Robert Wickens beat Jean-Eric Vergne to the Formula Renault 3.5 championship last year and tested for Virgin and Renault at Abu Dhabi in November.

Since being dropped by Virgin in 2010 Lucas di Grassi has accumulated significant testing mileage for Pirelli. Sakon Yamamoto and Christian Klien also last raced in 2010.

Vote for your choices

Which two drivers should get the last two places in F1 for 2012? Make your selection from the list below and have your say in the comments.

Which two drivers should get the last F1 seats for 2012?

  • Adrian Sutil (55%)
  • Bruno Senna (25%)
  • Jaime Alguersuari (43%)
  • Jerome d'Ambrosio (4%)
  • Karun Chandhok (2%)
  • Narain Karthikeyan (0%)
  • Nick Heidfeld (7%)
  • Rubens Barrichello (24%)
  • Sebastien Buemi (2%)
  • Vitaly Petrov (11%)
  • Vitantonio Liuzzi (1%)
  • Luca Filippi (1%)
  • Jules Bianchi (3%)
  • Giedo van der Garde (0%)
  • Robert Wickens (6%)
  • Lucas di Grassi (0%)
  • Sakon Yamamoto (0%)
  • Christian Klien (1%)

Total Voters: 407

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NB. Robert Kubica does not have a seat for 2012 due to injury.

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More information on the 2012 F1 season.

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Image ?é?® Red Bull/Getty images, Renault/LAT, Williams/LAT

92 comments on “Who should get the last two places in F1 for 2012?”

  1. ADRIAN SUTIL @ Williams, Alguersuarri @HRT. They are the higher scoring drivers. Period.

    1. What about Petrov then?

      1. I think for sure Senna should have a drive, & the other’s, I think are so closley matched in talent, that who ever get’s the final drive fully deserve’s it, But if I had choose I would say Vitaly Petrov.

      2. Petrov to Caterham, is my guess.

        But I think it might end up with Rubens staying at Williams, or Senna, although that one will be for money and his name more than what he has shown so far.

      3. You’re right. But Petrov is a pilot who depends from a lot of things.

      4. Who cares? He is rubbish, flying russian, paid driver, new crash kid… Bruno was better than him.
        I’d like 2 C Sutil next season.

  2. I really feel sorry for Rob Wickens. He’s obviously very talented, he was very sucessful in recent years (2nd in F2 in ’09, 2nd in GP3 in ’10) and he (though narrowly) beat Vergne in a straight fight as team-mates this year.

    I have nothing against Charles Pic, but I think they should have chosen Wickens for this year. I really hope something’s found for Rob in 2012 as F1, unfortunately, looks unlikely.

    1. …beat Vergne to the title in a straight fight as team-mates*… and …I think Marussia should have chosen Wickens*….

    2. FlyingLobster27
      7th January 2012, 13:22

      But unfortunately he won the Formula Renault 3.5 championship, which seems somewhat cursed. Only one single FR3.5 champion (excluding the previous Nissan championship which was way more successful) has gone to F1, and that was Kubica. The others – Aleshin, Baguette, van der Garde, Parente and Danielsson – are nowhere near F1.

      My opinion on the last two slots in F1: Sutil for Williams, and someone who seems deserving for HRT, not some money hauler who scored 10th or lower in GP2 (eh, Jerome?)…

      1. Alx Danielsson

        Then: FR3.5 champion with the hope of an F1 career

        Now: Average in STCC

        What happened to him!?

      2. ‘not some money hauler who scored 10th or lower in GP2 (eh, Jerome?)…”

        and Kobayashi… but look how that turned out for him!

  3. Sutil to Williams
    Alguersuari to HRT

    1. I would want it the other way around :)

  4. barrichello in williams for last season in F1 and sutil or alguersuari in HRT

  5. I voted for Sutil and Wickens. Guys like Barrichello and Heidfeld I’d say are still good enough for Formula One, but maybe it is time for both of them to move on.

    I wouldn’t say Sutil is a star just yet, he has put in some star performances, but he needs to put in those performances more often. But having said that, he is deserving of a seat in Formula One and is one of the strongest drivers in the list of 2012 hopefuls. As well as that, he also has money, so I think Williams would be silly not to employ him.

    I chose Wickens because he is on a very short list of young talents who actually deserve a shot at Formula One. He was very strong in the 3.5 series last year, and proved to me that he’s too good for that series. So I’d say Wickens for Hispania, and if not him them Alguersuari.

    I think D’Ambrosio should also have a seat somewhere possibly in 2013, I think he was strong enough to earn himself another year in the sport.

    Guys like Petrov and Senna have had there chance, and neither did particularly well, so I don’t think either of them deserve a seat.

  6. Dimitris 1395 (@)
    7th January 2012, 13:13

    I feel bad for Alguersuari as he was an excellent driver and he has a lot of talent and I strongly believe he deserved a place in Toro Rosso.

    As for Sutil, he’s an amazing driver with grea skills and I would love to see him in Renault alongside with Raikkonen, or in an equally competing team and it’s sad he hasn’t that chance.

    A question: Maldonado is secure at Williams?

    1. As for Sutil, he’s an amazing driver with grea skills and I would love to see him in Renault alongside with Raikkonen, or in an equally competing team and it’s sad he hasn’t that chance.

      I’m sorry but I just disagree! :P He barely stood out against Fisi who (although very good in a bad car) really should have been pushed into retirement by a rising star, only really beat Liuzzi and straight away was overshadowed by rookie Paul. I think Sutil’s had his chance (or five of them) and blown them. He’s had the rare good moment such as Monaco 08 but in 5 years he really should have done more.

      1. He was over shadowed by rookie paul, until he got a handle on the tyres. (H wasn’t the only one to be thrown off by them.)

        Sutil isn’t spectacular… But I think in a Force India that is only now becoming competitive he’s done quite well.

        1. I agree with @Mike . And @Steph, I wouldn’t say he was overshadowed by rookie Paul. I think Paul did what was expected of him but I don’t remember a time where he ever impressed me. Singapore was okay if I recall correctly, but I better remember his 2011 season for crashing into people.

          1. @damonsmedley Paul had a lot of crashes but he was ridiculously quick at times such as Canada and early in the season immediately outqualified Sutil. Paul was a rookie who adapted to F1 far quicker than a guy who has been in it five years and once Paul gets the experience and stops making mistakes Sutil wouldn’t have had a chance if they were still team mates.

            Sutil was only ever an okay driver. At times he had potential but often he squamndered it and when he graduated into F1 around the same time as Nico and Hamilton who have all made names for themselves (although I’m ambivalent about the former) and fails to really impress against iffy team mates then the writing is on the wall after five years. He should have done more but he never really delivered and half a decade is more than enough times and chances especially when most drivers are lucky if they get a season. There’s a reason why in all this time he’s never been on any of the other team radars…

          2. Speaking of impressing, that’s one thing Adrian hasn’t done. Yes there is some talent there but it’s rarely shown and as many say, he has had his chance.

          3. @Steph, I do think Di Resta did a very solid job to get right on it. Certainly helped by getting some friday drives in the previous year, but also by driving in a very competative championship with skilled and experienced drivers like DTM.

            But given the fact how Sutil performed after he got to grips with the tyres, I would not say he was completely overshadowed. But Sutil does seems to need to have the pressure on him of an ending contract or better performing team mate to give his best, a bit like Heidfeld in that sense.

            I think it would be interesting to see how he faires next to Maldonado at Williams, it might be a good combination.

          4. @BasCB Sutil did do a better job towards the end of the season but I still don’t think that’s much of an achievement to take nearly a full season to try to put a rookie in their place. I never said he was “completely overshadowed” just “overshadowed” and given that Paul’s a rookie and wasted time in DTM which is a world apart from single seaters and open cockpits in a way that’s more than enough for me to say that Paul did the better job, proved he’s a better talent and that Sutil’s had his time.

          5. @Steph I wouldn’t call winning the DTM championship wasted time. Its one of the highest acolades in motorsport. And I’m sure there are many things he learned during his time there that have helped him in F1.

          6. @steph, I disagree with you on DTM there. To me it seems rather, that its a pretty tight championship with quite high a level.
            It might have prepared him for a fight (not being one of the top dogs just like that) and thouth him to takes his picks for on track battles, making him a more mature racer.

            Oh, and I did not say DiResta did not do a great job, just that Sutil did get more points and was the better of them in the second half of the season. But he did need the pressure of being out of a contract to achieve that and took 5-8 races to get up to speed

        2. Gotta agree with Mike as well. He has done a pretty good job in an improving Force India.

          The fact that he finished with more points than any of the Sauber, Toro Rosso and Renault drivers definitely speakes volumes about his abilities and skill.

          I think Sutil definitely deserves a seat and hopefully Senna should also get a drive

          1. @TheLastPope @BasCB I should have been clearer, what i meant is it’s far from the best route to get into F1. Yes, it’s a great series and has tight competition but it isn’t great for the experience needed when racing single seaters and open cockpits especially with the testing ban. GP2 would have been a much better route.

            Also, if Sutil only gets his act together when the pressure is on then what are his team meant to do for the first 3/4s of a season? :P

  7. I immediately chose Sutil, because he’s a talented and experienced driver. He’s one of these drivers who can get the maximum out of a car. You could think of all of his races starting from the Nurburgring 2011…

    For the other driver, it was a tough call for me between d’Ambrosio, Petrov and Wickens. Jerome d’Ambrosio did a strong season with Virgin. Very few mistakes (I can only think of his spin in the pits), consistent results, and he even managed to beat Glock who has a lot of experience. And one year of experience is an advantage you can’t deny. I also think that he has some potential, by looking at his previous results (he was much stronger than Kobayashi, his teammate, in GP2, and he performes really well in the 2010 rookie days). He definitely deserves a second year in F1.

    Petrov hasn’t 1, but 2 years of experience. His first year wasn’t that good (except for a few races), but 2011 was a very good season for him. You’ll never know how well he would have driven against Kubica, but I felt that more than once he extracted the full potential of his car in qualifying. He was also stronger during the races, but wasn’t always very lucky (he had collisions with Michael, big jumps in the air, or he was at the wrong place at the wrong time, like in Monaco and Monza). But, the problem is that he wasn’t always consistent, and sometimes I felt he could have driven better. Anyway, I think he also deserves another year in F1 : I’m sure he will perform better.

    Robert Wickens is a young driver who has really impressed me. He managed to become the F3.5 champion in a year, that looked like it was destined to Vergne. And Wickens has performed well in the rookie days. If Vergne has a driving seat, then Wickens truly deserves one as well!

    Now, which one of these three drivers should have the second seat for me? I’ll go for Jerome : he has a lot of potential, he has experience, but he can improve much more!

    The ideal solution of course, would be to replace some old drivers who won’t improve, and who haven’t anything more to show. I’m thinking about drivers like Trulli or De la Rosa…

  8. Sad that f1 is going back to a pay driver era but sutil and alguersuari are the best of the lot..

  9. Barrichello kept @ Williams, Alguersuari reserve driver for Williams & Sutil @ HRT

    1. Isn’t Bottas already confirmed as Williams’ reserve driver (not that these things cant change – see Sauber in Canada)?

      1. no harm in having two reserve’s thus they can gain further experience while working around Rubens.

        1. Williams have already said that they’ll be using Bottas on many Friday practice sessions, so I really doubt Alguersuari would want to go there and effectively be second reserve driver.

  10. Sutil and Alguersuari are the no-brainers, I hope di Grassi and d’Ambrosio find their way back in though.

    Bianchi needs to calm down before he gets a shot at F1, he was far too wild last year.

  11. -Barrichello at Williams
    -Alguersuari at HRT
    -Sutil test driver for Mercedes (to step up to a full time seat in 2013 when Schumi will probably retire)
    -Senna to return to Renault third driver?

    1. I doudbt Schumi will retire next year. But it might be Sutil’s better option if he can’t get a drive somewhere. The question is, If Ross Brown has an eye on him?

      1. Di Resta will move into the Merc seat when Schumi retires ;-)

        1. Maybe Senna should be trying to get 3rd driver at Force India…they’d actually give him chance to run on Fridays and put together a proper season of getting up to speed before jumping into Paul’s seat in 2013 if Schumi does step down.

          1. A good option.

  12. hmm……..so many drivers yet so few seats. I really want to see more teams along with pre-qualifying back.

    And isnt the picture related to petrov in istanbul instead of interlagos

    1. @Ritvik-Vinodkumar So it is – have changed it, thanks.

  13. I’d like to see Senna and D’Ambrosio again.

    Senna because I like to see him shine, I believe in him. And he impressed in his final race weekends.
    D’Ambrosio because he is from my country and I think he gets underrated by a lot of people.

    1. Same opinion on Senna and van der Garde here.

  14. I voted for Chandok and Yamamoto… Joking, but it looks like somebody did!

    I guess Sutil and Alguersuari are the most logical choices, from a fan’s perspective anyway, but I went for Sutil and Wickens instead. Robert seems like a nice guy, and his results in the recent years have been pretty impressive, so I’d like to know what he can do in F1.

    Of course, I’d also like to see my compatriot Van der Garde in F1, and if he could land a seat at HRT it might not be such a bad gig. If he (or anyone else to land the second HRT seat) can do better than De la Rosa, (who is no champion in my book), he might be in F1 longer than just the one year, like d’Ambrosio.

  15. I think that much more than 2 drivers from that list deserve to race in F1 in 2012. First I believe that 24 cars are not enough and also that a couple of the confirmed drivers should make way for younger folks.

    It wasn’t easy to pick just two guys from the list but, after thinking a bit, I made the same choice as @Dan_the_McLaren_fan , namely, Sutil and d’Ambrosio. I believe that Sutil is simply the best driver without a seat at the moment and that d’Ambrosio hasn’t had enough chances to prove himself yet.

  16. The funny thing is that, until now we have only 2 rookies confirmed: Vergne and Pic. So its very strange to see all these drivers out….

    As a Brazilian, my vote goes to Senna, for him to have a full season.
    For HRT, it really doesnt matter, it could be even Heidfeld =)

  17. I took it down to a shortlist of 4. Rubens, Suitil, Alguersari and Wickens and out of them Suitil and Alguersari were the strongest choices although i would personally rather see Rubens and Wickens take the last two seats

  18. Sutil @ Williams, Alguersauri @ HRT, then hopefully we can get rid of Trulli, Webber, de la Rosa, Maldonado after 2012.

  19. Barrichello at Williams. This one, I hope so much to come true. He deserves it.

    Sutil deserves a seat for sure, honestly, he is far better than many other drivers who do have seats.

    However, both Buemi, and my favorite of the two Alguersuari both deserve a seat, Jaime makes sense for HRT. But both deserve better.

    Petrov has worked hard though. But I’m not sure still.

  20. Considering other circumstances, maldanado is binned from Williams because of the Venezuelan governments sponsorship issues, with Williams line up being Rubens and Sutil, whilst Trulli is replaced by Algersuari and the HRT seat going to either Petrov or preferably giving a new talent like Wickens a chance

  21. I picked Senna or Petrov mostly because I think these have a little experience but potential. Rubens have either had enough time in F1 but had their day or showed nothing or are rookies and would only benefit Williams if they had cash too.

  22. one word: Aaaaaddrrriiiaaannnnn!

  23. Chose Sutil to Williams and Jaime to HRT. But there are many others from the list who deserve to stay in F1: Senna, Petrov, Jerome, Liuzzi, Rubens. The first four of this list should find 3rd driver’s places like Buemi and wait for their chance. Rubens should announce his dignified retirement unless retained by Williams.

    Also Wickens and the unjustly forgotten Klien are way more deserving of a place in F1 than Pic and Maldonado.

    Nick’s time is up unfortunately. He should go to DTM.

    All the others don’t deserve to be in F1 as of now.

  24. Sutil to Williams, Wickens to HRT

  25. i hate the fact that there are drivers in f1 that shouldnt be there such as maldonado and pedro de la rosa. i voted for dambrosio and lucas di grassi just because i thought their true talent wasnt shown in the virgin but i do know alot of drivers are in the same position as they were.

  26. Bruno Senna to Williams

    Adrian Sutil to HRT

    …..and…..

    Jaime Alguersuari to Caterham

  27. Nick Heidfeld is (aside from Rubens) the most experienced driver available. Renault putting the blame on him for their miserable season is simply cynical. He and Petrov regularily scored points while the car was driveable. Senna and Petrov weren’t able to do anything with it in the second half of the season. Williams knows Nick from their BMW days and, as I recall, Frank repeatedly lauded Heidfeld for his technical knowledge. I think he deserves another go in the Williams.

  28. I’ve just finished watching Senna (2010) for the first time. What an awesome, heart-wrenching film. A fantastic piece of filmmaking.

    I watched it today after reading this article and the thought struck me that his family wouldn’t in a million years allow him to drive for Williams after what happened. Of course, I could be wrong.

    1. Okay, I didn’t make it exactly clear when I was talking about the nephew and when the uncle but you get what I meant, I’m sure.

  29. Either Barrichello or Sutil at Williams

    Alguersuari or Petrov at HRT

    Senna wont return to HRT and im unsure about whether Williams will take him on. Best option would be Renault reserve

    d’Ambrosio was decent but wont find another seat. Possible Renault test driver

    All others arent good enough

  30. Let’s hope Press Department fo Williams can take a look at our humble opinions and realize that not always F1 is about paid drivers, if you got some talented drivers, you can catch a juicy sponsors’ contract. I specially feel Alguersuari deserves a chance to grop in a F1 car, not just asw a test driver… he will have his chance sooner or later, remember how Hulkenberg needed that year off and now the wait pays well for him.

    1. I AGREE! :D

  31. sutil??? are you serious?

  32. Sutil for Williams – he can take them back towards the front as he’s a superb driver who has just been unlucky.
    Also want to see Alguesuari but not for HRT. Seems that anyone they hire falls by the way side either mis season or at the end. Un fortunately for Jaime there are no other spaces and if he wants to keep his name in the F1 circus he’s got no choice. Could do another season in GP2, win that and then come back as a stroger driver who is much sought after.

  33. voted for sutil and alg…
    however would like to see adam carroll get the chance he deserves

  34. Petrov and d’Ambrosio for me. Petrov has not shown everything yet I think and d’Ambrosio has not had the chance to show much in his one year. It’s really a shame with the rookies at Virgin and HRT, getting booted after a year.

  35. I think the question of who deserves the available seats and who actually gets them are two completely different things. If we were talking in terms of the most-deserving drivers, I think there would still be half a dozen seats available, and maybe as many as eight (depending on who you talk to). In that case, the seats held by Maldonado, Trulli, de la Rosa and Pic would probably all be up for grabs in addition to the second Williams and HRT seats.

    1. In that case, the seats held by Maldonado, Trulli, de la Rosa and Pic would probably all be up for grabs in addition to the second Williams and HRT seats

      – likely so @prisoner-monkeys

  36. Fernando Cruz
    7th January 2012, 22:29

    Senna really deserves to be in F1 in 2012. He never had the opportunity to do an entire season with a decent car and that would make all the difference. In an entire season he would be in equal terms with other drivers and would surely do much better than he did entering only in the 12th GP.

    Even so he did amazingly well at Spa, beating Alonso in qualifying with a Renault that was no match for the Ferrari. In Monza he was the 4th fastest in the race, just 0,3s. slower than Vettel’ s best lap. In Suzuka he was 9th in Q3 with very little track time in morning free practice. In Interlagos he even managed to beat Vettel’ s time in the first sector of his last lap in Q2. This after beating the likes of Schumacher and di Resta with a Renault that was not really as good as the Mercedes and the Force India.

    Bruno Senna showed his speed and just needs time to improve, particularly his consistency and racecraft. He just needs more experience to become one of the really good F1 racing drivers.

    1. Even so he did amazingly well at Spa, beating Alonso in qualifying with a Renault that was no match for the Ferrari.

      And if the race weekend ended after qualifying, I would agree with you whole-heartedly. Qualifying position means nothing if your race lasts all of two hundred metres before you crash into Jaime Alguersuari.

      Vitaly Petrov is not a highly-rated driver. The sheer fact that Senna couldn’t beat him proves how undeserving Senna is.

      1. Fernando Cruz
        9th January 2012, 17:29

        Senna has to improve his racecraft but in a full season he will have conditions to do much better in races than he did entering only in the 12th GP. Petrov is not a highly-rated driver but that doesn’ t mean he is not quick. The russian beat Heidfeld 8 – 3 in qualifying and improved also in races relatively to his rookie year. Even so, Senna showed he could beat him in equal terms, as he was evenly match with Petrov having a massive disadvantage by entering only in the 12th GP in a time there is no testing during the season.

        Compare Bruno Senna and Damon Hill and you will see that the brazilian showed more talent in junior categories. Hill took 10 years to get to F1 since he started racing in cars. Bruno Senna took just 4 full seasons to get to the Honda test and match Jenson Button on speed. The difference was that in Hill days there was no restrictions on testing while Bruno got to F1 precisely at a time when testing during the season was cancelled and even before a season it became very limited. But Bruno Senna deserved more to be in Brawn in 2009 than Damon Hill deserved to be in Williams in 1993, as he had much better results in junior categories. Hill has 0 race wins in F3000, the GP2 of his time. Bruno Senna won 3 races in GP2 and was second in the championship (2008).

        Senna was just very unlucky in 2009, as he was left without a drive due to Honda retirement. Without that he would have entered F1 at the right time, in 2009, and he would have established himself in F1. He had results to be in F1 without paying anything and he would be a much better driver by now. Even so, he still can succeed in F1 if he gets that Williams drive.

  37. Alright, which one of you monkeys voted for Sakon Yamamoto?

    1. Maybe Sakon himself? He could be a F1Fanatic reader, too!

  38. Lets have a look at Williams first: with Patrick Head out of the picture I´d say the chances of seeing BAR again are slim to none….. so who will take his place? …. in my opinion, there are 2 drivers who have a realistic shot at getting the vaccant seat… Sutil and Petrov, ….. one would say that Sutil would qualify best as he is “the most well-rounded” driver out of those available…..
    BUT actually the chances of seeing Petrov in the FW34 next year are much greater in my opinion…..
    Why? you may ask….. well lets start at the beginning…
    Petrov was under contract to race for Renault(Lotus) in 2012; however, the team terminated his contract one year in advance. The return of Räikkönen had been rumored for quite some time but previously he has been in negotiations with Williams before joining Renault….ALSO… Williams announced that they would be using Renault engines for the 2012 season (and 2013). You opinion of Petrov´s racing skills can be less than shiny but one thing that Petrov undoubtedly brings to a team is money (and A LOTS OF IT)…and Williams is in an avid need of money….. and these are FACTS, people….. so I wouldn´t be very surprised if the announcement came that Petrov would become Maldonado´s team mate for the 2012 season…
    And there is HRT….to be honest I really don´t have a clue about this, mainly because I could imagine that some of these drivers would rather be a test driver for a mid-field team than be a driver for HRT…. but I could imagine that Hispania Racing would fancy the idea of having an all spanish line-up…so Algersuari may have the best chance perhaps…

  39. My votes goes to Bruno Senna & Jaime Alguersuari, the later for HRT where if possible have Senna in Williams,also I think Sutil equally deserve his seat in Williams.

  40. this year will not be a great leap forward for williams this year , a development year is the most they can hope for

    by all accounts the engineers at williams really rate reubens ability to develop a car , so on that basis he should get a final year , hopefully the engineers will do better and there will be a better car for next year to attract a good driver for the future ….with a bit of luck Kubica will be back and could be signed …frankly i don’t see a top team taking a chance on him as things stand

  41. Sutil for me.

  42. Ok Spanish media is reporting that Alguersuari rejected the seat on HRT:

    Meanwhile, it was his partner, Jaime Alguersuari still has options to be third driver in one of the top teams. Your environment has been definitively ruled out the option of HRT, as it is considered a backward step in his career.

    As it focuses on Jaime continue in the F-1 McLaren Mercedes or as a third driver and if that option does not arise to assert his record and his age to still be present in Formula 1.

    My two cents. If Alguersuari just rejected a seat on HRT, I think is a little optimist of him that someone specially on the big teams hired him, even as a third driver.

    1. @celeste, you write

      My two cents. If Alguersuari just rejected a seat on HRT, I think is a little optimist of him that someone specially on the big teams hired him, even as a third driver.

      Actually, I would take it as a sign he has pretty good prospects of landing a 3rd driver role somewhere, why would he turn down a HRT drive otherwise (although the sheer amount of money they ask for might be a factor)

  43. I want to see Barrichello back at Williams. I know Barrichello has been around for a while, he has been in F1 longer than I have been alive! But I still think he is a great driver with potential with a good car, just look at Brawn 2009 he was winning races again. Alguersuari should have stayed at Toro Rosso, I hope he is back in 2013 with a decent team. I don’t think a year with HRT will do him much good. Sutil deserves a seat somewhere too.

  44. For a breath of fresh air, ie actually using talent to decide who gets a race seat, I feel Sutil should replace Rubens at Williams.

    However from Williams’ point of view, with such an engineering reshuffle last year, they could do with continuing Rubens’ contract and use his feedback as a gauge for progress.

    Personally I can’t decide between them!

  45. Hello lads I’m new to this commenting business although I’ve visited this site many times. I love the sport and have been watching since I was 3 and have a huge adoration for the Scuderia. Personally I would like to see Alguersuari at Williams, he had a strong second half with performances at Spa and Korea where he beat Nico Rosberg and he impressed with his abillity to come through the field. But I don’t think he will go to Williams, i tkink they will go for someone who can lead a team and is used to having a less experienced team mate. For me Sutil should go to Williams and Jaime may go to HRT, feel so sorry for Rubens, he could leave the sport without a farewell.

  46. Petrov to Williams. That’s how I see it there. They just lost a major sponsor and must sign another pay driver. Shame that such a great team has to resort to hiring pay drivers.
    I would love to see Sutil get a seat, but who knows.

  47. I think Sutil and Alguesuari deserve a seat, but I see Sutil at Williams and probably Petrov with his money at HRT. Alguesuari doesn’t want to go to HRT.

  48. I’d like to see Rubens end his carreer(?) with a better car of course. I don’t care about the HRT…

  49. i think another good question to ask would be, “who doesn’t deserve their place in F1 in 2012?”

    On this list i would have:

    Massa – He’s just not got it after his accident
    Webber – He doesn’t stand a chance against vettel in the redbull, and its the best chance he’s going to get…. step aside old man.
    Maldonado – Its obvious he’s there just because of the money, and he will never achieve anything in this sport.
    Kobayashi – Over rated IMO, made some wild overtakes that were entertaining, but has also had plenty of crashed and was outpaced by a rookie on many occasions.
    Trulli – Was never really that fast, ok, he was good at quallifying, then held everyone up for lap after lap before getting overtaken by them all…. Give it up, stop making excuses about “power steering”.
    *De La Rosa – I think if in his prime he was given a seat he could have done really well, but 12 (correct?) years as a McLaren reserve have extinguished that flame and going to a back marker will do him no good as a racer. *- But HRT will benefit a lot from his years of experience as a test driver and developer for one of the top marques in F1.

    Agree or disagree, i’m interested to hear what everyone else has to say on the matter.

    1. Well, @mike-e, here goes:

      Massa – I fear you are right, does not look like he will be able to get back up to any heights
      Webber – I think he does a solid job (the DC to Vettels Häkkinen?), lets give him the chance to show it this year.
      Maldonado – The worst part is his temper, his driving is good, but not consistent. Maybe a rather less **** car will make him more worthy
      Kobayashi – a very exiting driver, but he has to improve in qualifying and in consistency to get anywhere nearer to the podium
      Trulli – he really was fast in qualifying, but the edge is off it now, rather see him move on.
      DLRosa – as you say, HRT should get a big boost from his support in building up a team. Seems like a nice place to finish his career with them.

  50. Tough question when I think about it. I voted for the benefit of the team as well as the benefit of the driver.

    Barrichello to remain at Williams. I believe he is a more than competent driver with plenty to offer in terms of skill and experience. Things can’t get much worse for Williams so he should be able to approach next season with a nice degree of optimism, like the rest of them. Also, if the story about him bringing €5mil in sponsorship is true, that will certainly help.

    Petrov to take the vacant seat at HRT. Don’t ask me why but I think he’s just more deserving than anyone else in the list. Of course, Sutil is the better driver, but I really can’t see him wanting to drop down to the back of the grid. Plus, Petrov’s Russian money will help.

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