Sutil confirmed that he signed a contract a few months ago. It seems that he will end up staying with Force India.
I’ll be disappointed, but not surprised, if Maldonado does get a seat at Team Enstone. I really hope EJ is wrong, but I fear he might not be. :/
I’d take the former race winner from pole with $30M of sponsorship over the investment firm that’s looking more and more fraudulent by the passing day.
Sutil at Sauber? …makes no sense really unless Medion and Capri-Sun are ponying up more cash.
@rjoconnell I know Maldonado is a race winner and more luck to him It was a great win, in my opinion, but I’m just not a fan. I do accept that having his dollars would be of benefit to the team, but part of me is hoping that this Quantum group are the real deal and that Hulkenberg gets signed. But a large part of me feels very pessimistic about the whole thing.
Sergio Perez at Force India? Haven’t heard that one before, but why not. Sutil at Sauber isn’t the worst idea, he’s not great, but he’s not bad either, (Force India wouldn’t have kept him around so long if he was useless) and he has a lot of set-up experience. They’d probably rather not run two rookies again.
And yeah, Lotus’s situation is looking bad. If Maldonado keeps them alive, hallelujah. Hulkenburg will probably be better off at force India anyway: Lotus can’t have spent a penny on next year’s car, most likely theirs will be a dud.
“Lotus’s situation is looking bad. If Maldonado keeps them alive, hallelujah. Hulkenburg will probably be better off at force India anyway: Lotus can’t have spent a penny on next year’s car, most likely theirs will be a dud.”
I concur with @pelican.
However, Sutil in Sauber? Really? He must really like Indian connections.
Crossing my fingers that this Quantum deal is real and that Hulk gets that lotus seat he has deserved for some time now. What a cracker of a pair would that be? Hulk+ Gro…
Could definitely happen. The only main changes I see are Perez with Sutil (for both teams’ mutual benefit on money/sponsorship), with Telmex being a title sponsor for Sauber (unless they reduce their funding of course), and Ericsson beating Pic to a seat at Caterham (I thought Pic brings a Renault engine subsidy?). Hulk/PM Quantum deal of course.
I’m not going to hope for Hulkenberg to go to Lotus, simply because I don’t know if they will have the car he needs to compete. I’d actually quite like him to stay at Sauber to see how he fares with a car that is built towards his needs. Although I don’t mind where he goes, so long as it’s a competitive car.
I can’t see why anyone has issues with Maldonado in a Lotus. Don’t forget, not too long ago, RoGro and PM were considered the bad boys of F1, but both have come a long way. When he had the car last year, Maldonado was oftentimes brilliant, though inconsistent and rash at the same time.
I bet he’s more experienced now, and with RoGro I envision them to continue Lotus’ good form. Won’t discount another win or two next year too.
But, Magnussen at McLaren is the best news all year. I always was opposed to the signing of Perez (knew his podiums last year were strategy flukes), so yeah he’s to hoping Hamilton returns in 2015!
I’ve been toing and froing with the line-ups such is the unpredictability of this silly season, but I think EJ has got it there (except for one). There will be Mexican backing for both Force India and Sauber (who will also have Medion/Capri-Sun money), while bring in PDVSA as title sponsors. I don’t agree with Ericsson getting the Caterham seat though. I think it will be van der Garde and Kovalainen there.
May I just say what a line-up Force India would have there (possibly one of the most exciting on the grid). That would be a vast improvement on this year’s.
The thing with Maldonado is, yes he had a great 2012 (and 2011 OK as well, on pace with Barrichello), yes he should have been on the podium a good few times on raw pace, but, at the end of this year he has been thrashed by Bottas, a rookie. Hulk has well and truly beaten Gutierrez, a similar rookie, so it looks like the order is being restored to 2009 GP2, when Hulk handily beat Maldonado as a rookie to clinch the GP2 title (they were team mates there).
If this comes to pass then only Mercedes and Marussia will keep this year’s line-up!
According to ESPN F1, the Oracle is probably going to be right about where Perez is ending up.
What is the latest on Sirotkin? Less than a month ago Kaltenborn seemed optimistic he’d be ready for F1 in 2014, but now all is quiet on that front. Should Hulk leave Sutil is a decent choice as a safe pair of hands to tide the team over until 2015 when you imagine they would have to get Sirotkin in the car.
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