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?Ambrosio

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.

2012 F1 season

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

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

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  1. 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

  2. Sutil for me.

  3. 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)

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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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