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F1 discussion

Silly Season 2012

This topic contains 79 replies, has 28 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Prisoner Monkeys Prisoner Monkeys 2 years, 11 months ago.

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  • #129673
    Profile photo of Felipe Bomeny
    Felipe Bomeny
    Participant

    Speculation regarding a Mark Webber switch to the Renault works team has virtually kicked off the 2012 silly season discussion- so let the rumors begin! The most important variable for the driver market rests on poor Robert Kubica’s shoulders. Should the Pole prove unfit to race, Eric Boullier is keen to get his paws on Mark Webber- and paddock rumors persist that he is currently trying to lure the Red Bull driver to the Anglo-French squad. If this were to happen, his coveted seat at Red Bull could be filled by a number of candidates: Toro Rosso trio Jaime Alguersuari, Sébastien Buemi, and Daniel Ricciardo (assuming the latter races in 2011), or even fan-favourites Kamui Kobayashi and Timo Glock.

    If Kubica can’t race, a testing role with Pirelli may be on the cards to rehabilitate the Pole for a possible 2013 comeback. On that note, another free agent on the driver market is the current Pirelli tester: ex-Virgin rookie Lucas di Grassi, who is aiming to return to F1 in 2012. I get the impression that had he remained at Virgin, he would’ve been closer to Glock and his famed development driver skills would help elevate the MVR car’s potential.

    Another piece of hot property on the market is Nico Hülkenberg, third driver for the Force India team. Should his countryman Sutil be sacked, Nico would be a strong candidate to replace Adrian Sutil.

    Another factor of the silly season will be the two ‘r’s: rookies and retirements. GP2 has a number of talented drivers who are thirsty for an F1 seat- Grosjean, Bird, Pic, van der Garde, Valsecchi, and Bianchi are just a few. Grosjean has links to Renault, Bird has tested for the Mercedes team before, van der Garde has Williams links via sponsor McGregor, and Bianchi has Ferrari links. If Rubens Barrichello retires from F1, van der Garde will be a good choice to partner Pastor Maldonado- and if he is to be crowned GP2 champion, he will follow Williams’ trend of picking GP2 champs. Trulli has been struggling with power steering issues and looks set to retire. Thankfully, Tony Fernandes’ Lotus squad have a wide selection of young drivers, including his GP2 team’s duo of Bahian driver Luiz Razia and Davide Valsecchi. An interesting twist on this scenario would be Alexander Rossi, who has connections to Fernandes vis the Lotus Junior team- and it would make sense to put Californian Rossi in the Lotus- just in time for the American GP at Austin.

    Toro Rosso will definitely field Daniel Ricciardo, but get used to hearing the name Jean-Eric Vergne: the reigning British F3 champion could very well join STR mid-season in 2012, perhaps earlier if Alguersuari or Buemi replaces a departing Webber at RBR (with the STR driver who didn’t get the RBR seat being sacked). Also, watch out for the Parisian’s FR3.5 teammate and points leader Robert Wickens- he’s Marussia’s reserve and could very well replace d’Ambrosio at MVR.

    #172996
    Profile photo of Felipe Bomeny
    Felipe Bomeny
    Participant

    Personally, this is what I hope happens:

    Webber


    >Renault

    Kobayashi—>Red Bull

    Following a horrid season in GP2, Bianchi is asked to take a seat at Sauber by Ferrari. Sauber say no to this, and Ferrari terminates their engine deal with Sauber. Sauber instead picks up Mercedes engines, and with this agreement in place, Sauber also obtain the services of Paul di Resta to partner Sergio Pérez at the Hinwil-based squad. Then, Sauber would don an awesome black Mercedes livery. *BLACK SAUBER LIVERY* ‘Nuff said.

    #172997
    Profile photo of Kingshark
    Kingshark
    Participant

    Red Bull:

    1) Sebastian Vettel

    2) Sebastien Buemi (Webber decided to retire)

    Mclaren:

    1) Lewis Hamilton

    2) Jenson Button

    Ferrari:

    5) Fernando Alonso

    6) Kamui Kobayashi (Kamui replaces Felipe after a strong season)

    Renault:

    7) Vitaly Petrov

    8) Robert Kubica

    Mercedes:

    9) Nico Rosberg

    10) Sam Bird (Michael decided to call quit)

    Sauber:

    11) Sergio Perez

    12) Giedo Van Der Garde

    Force India:

    13) Paul Di Resta

    14) Nico Hulkenburg (finally gets a perminant seat)

    Williams:

    15) Pastor Maldonado

    16) Felipe Massa (Follows in Rubens’s footsteps, who finally retired)

    Torro Rosso:

    17) Jaime Algesauri

    18) Daniel Ricciardo (Earns a fair chance in 2012)

    Lotus:

    19) Heikki Kovelainen

    20) Adrian Sutil (After diResta creams him)

    Virgin:

    21) Timo Glock

    22) Jerome D’Ambrosio

    Hispania:

    23) Tonio Liuzzi

    24) Bruno Senna

    #172998
    Profile photo of Prisoner Monkeys
    Prisoner Monkeys
    Participant

    Red Bull Racing / Renault

    1 – Sebastian Vettel

    2 – Kamui Kobayashi

    When Mark Webber decides to retire instead of race on in 2012, a collective “Ha!” goes up from Sebastian Vettel’s detractors when Red Bull score the coup of the season by signing Kamui Kobayashi. However, the exact consequences of this remain to be seen, especially after talk that Vettel attempted to veto the signing of Kobayashi because he feels threatened by the young Japanese driver. All involved naturally deny this (thus fuelling further speculation of a rift), but Vettel and Koabayshi show no signs of tension when in public.

    Vodafone McLaren Automotive / Mercedes

    3 – Jenson Button

    4 – Lewis Hamilton

    With Button and Hamilton signed up for 2012, McLaren run an unchanged line-up, despite the insistence of the British press that Hamilton will move on after Button finishes ahead of him in the drivers’ standings. This culminates with Lewis Hamilton punching a tabloid journalist named Gates in a scandal that becomes known as Gategate (because metahumour is funny). He is fined by the FIA and given a suspended sentence by the courts. Somehow, Hamilton’s fans deny that he did anything wrong, despite footage of him breaking the man’s nose.

    Scuderia Ferrari Malboro

    5 – Fernando Alonso

    6 – Robert Kubica

    Robert Kubica’s return to racing is less than successful. Although deemed fit to drive, Renault reveal that they want Vitaly Petrov to lead the team in 2012 and give Kubica a transition year. Kubica, on the other hand, wants to hit the ground running, and leaves the team when Ferrari make him an offer. Felipe Massa is unceremoniously booted out, despite Luca di Montezemolo’s insistence that he is a part of the Ferrari family and his seat is safe less than a day before the team announce Kubica’s signing.

    Lotus Renault Grand Prix

    7 – Vitaly Petrov

    8 – Romain Grosjean

    With Robert Kubica moving on, many of Nick Heidfeld’s fans hope the German driver will stay with Renault for another season. But after being demolished by Vitaly Petrov in 2011, Quick Nick decides to call it quits. GP2 Series champion Romain Grosjean returns to the team, but things have changed since his last stint with them, and this is hardly an advantage.

    Mercedes GP Petronas

    9 – Nico Rosberg

    10 – Paul di Resta

    Michael Schumacher joins the growing list of retirements at the end of 2011, and his natural replacement is Paul di Resta. However, after a second disappointing season in a row, Nico Rosberg is openly unhappy with the state of the team, and threatens to leave at the end of 2012 if things do not improve. Likewise, Mercedes issue an ultimatum: show improvement in 2012, or else.

    Telmex Sauber F1 Team / Ferrari

    11 – Sergio Perez

    12 – Jules Bianchi

    With Kobyashi moving to Red Bull, it is open season on the second Sauber seat. Many expect Esteban Gutierrez to get the nod, but a gentle nudge from Jean Todt sees Jules Bianchi get the call instead despite a messy GP2 season. Because of Bianchi’s connections to Ferrari and Nicolas Todt, this leads to dark rumours that the FIA president is conspiring on behalf of Ferrari, but his reasoning is much more altruistic: the return of the French Grand Prix to the calendar rides on a French driver being in the sport.

    Scuderia Toro Rosso / Ferrari

    14 – Jaime Alguersuari

    15 – Sebastien Buemi

    Despite claims that both Alguersuari and Buemi are on the rocks at Toro Rosso and that one of them will be replaced by Daniel Ricciardo, the 2011 season ends with both drivers being inseparable. Where Buemi is the stronger qualifier, Alguersuari is the better racer, and they are tied on points after Interlagos. Toro Rosso decide to keep both drivers on probation for another year – especially after Ricciardo, filling in for an unwell Buemi, proves to be entirely out of his depth in Formula 1.

    Force India F1 Team / Mercedes

    16 – Adrian Sutil

    17 – Felipe Massa

    Vijay Mallya was fully prepared to drop Adrian Sutil after the 2011 season and pai Nico Hulkenberg with Paul di Resta. However, when di Resta gets the call-up to Mercedes, Mallya thinks better of it and instead keeps Sutil. Hulkenberg is on the verge of a contract, but when rumours circle that the team is in financial trouble, he does himself no favours by once again refusing to find sponsorship. Mallya picks up Felipe Massa when he is dismissed from Ferrari.

    PDVSA Williams F1 / Cosworth

    18 – Pastor Maldonado

    19 – Giedo van der Garde

    Oh, how the mighty have falled. 2011 is a write-off for Williams, their worst season in recorded history. The move to make the team a public company proves to be a horrible mistake, as the share price plummets. Rubens Barrichello decides to retire when the team is forced to retain the unimpressive Maldonado simply to stay afloat.

    Marussia Virgin Racing / Cosworth

    20 – Timo Glock

    21 – Jerome d’Ambrosio

    Despite falling behind the Hispanias in the middle of the season, Virgin managed to place tenth in the cosntructors’ standings after scoring and eleventh place in a race of attrition in India. Rather than replace their second driver for the third time in as many years, Virgin instead opt to retain Jerome d’Ambrosio despite his disappointing performances. With all ties to Nick Wirth severed and Pat Symonds running the show, Virgin are looking to make good on their morale boost from 2011.

    Racing for China / Cosworth

    22 – Ho-Pin Tung

    23 – Vitantonio Liuzzi

    In the wake of two strong Chinese Grands Prix and increasing popularity in China, Hispania Racing finally find a partner who can secure their financial future. However, under Chinese law, the Chinese partner in the business must hold the controlling stake in the business, and so Hispania is renamed after this minor controversy. Narian Karthikeyan is shown the door after he is lapped by his team-mate in four separate races. Ho-Pin Tung is drafted in to replace him, emphasising the Chinese connection.

    Songangol Team Caterham / Cosworth

    24 – Heikki Kovalainen

    25 – Davide Valsecchi

    Despite their continued dominance as the best of the newcomers, Team Lotus have a horror end to the season. Races of attrition cost both their drivers dearly, allowing both Virgin and Hispania to slip by in the constructors’ standings. Jarno Trulli retires, and is replaced by Davide Valsecchi, who had a strong season in GP2. Tony Fernandes changes his team name after a High Court injunction prevents him from marketing the Caterham Seven on its connection to his team – despite the initial ruling that fans should have enough knowledge to distinguish Group Lotus from Team Lotus, Fernandes is selling cars to people who do not have that knowledge, causing confusion.

    #172999
    Profile photo of Felipe Bomeny
    Felipe Bomeny
    Participant

    Infiniti Red Bull:

    1. Vettel

    2. Kobayashi

    With the addition of a Japanese driver to the Red Bull team, RBR picks up re-branded Renault-Infiniti engines. The Kobayashi-Vettel partnership is not that of a direct number-one and number-two role, or a Prost-Senna situation, but instead, it is a Schumacher-Massa relationship, with Vettel teaching the Japanese driver how to succeed. Jean-Eric Vergne is named as the reserve for Red Bull.

    McLaren

    3. Hamilton

    4. Button

    Ferrari

    5. Alonso

    6. Massa *sigh*

    Renault

    7. Petrov

    8. Grosjean

    Kubica is seen to unfit ro race, and instead picks up a Pirelli testing role.

    Mercedes

    9. Rosberg

    10. di Resta

    Schumi finally retires, and they pick up di Resta from Force India.

    Sauber

    11. Pérez

    12. Bianchi

    In a controversial move, Ferrari-powered Sauber pick up Jules Bianchi, who endured a dismal GP2 season to finish 13th in the championship.

    Toro Rosso

    14. Buemi

    15. Ricciardo

    After an HRT evaluation goes well (not terrifc), STR sacks Alguersuari after he only accumaltes two more points compared to Buemi’s ten. GP3 frontrunner Mitch Evans is the test/reserve.

    Force India

    16. Hülkenberg

    17. Bird

    After more lacklustre performances by Sutil, he is dropped in favor of third driver Hülkenberg. Sam Bird (who finished third in the GP2 chsmpionship behind first placed Grosjean and second-placed van der Garde) joins the team with Ajith Kumar as test/reserve.

    Williams

    18. Maldonado

    19. van der Garde

    Williams picks up the services of GP2 runner-up van der Garde to partner Maldonado following Barrichello’s retirement.

    Lotus-Caterham

    20. Kovalainen

    21. Razia

    Before Tony Fernades changes his team’s name to Caterham, he first re-brands his cars’ engines as Caterham to internationally promote the brand. Razia (who has more money than Valsecchi) replaces a retired Trulli. Alexander Rossi joins as the test/reserve and ia given a one-off at the U.S. GP, in place of regular Razia.

    HRT

    22. Valsecchi

    23. Král

    After both impressed at the Abu Dhabi test and the 2011 GP2 championship, HRT fields a double rookie line-up, with their cash inflow coming in the form of Korean test driver Sung-Hak Tom Mun.

    Marussia Virgin

    24. di Grassi

    25. Wickens

    After a strong performance in the World Series by Renault, Wickens replaces d’Ambrosio. A shock retirement from a frustrated Glock leads to the Virgin team drafting in di Grassi.

    Carlin-Mercedes

    26. Alguersuari

    27. Parente

    British squad Carlin join the grid with Toro Rosso refugee Alguersuari and GP2 frontrunner Álvaro Parente, both being BF3 champs with Carlin power. Max Chilton is the reserve, alongside BF3 champ Felipe Nasr.

    Retirements:

    Barrichello


    > IndyCar (influenced by his good friend Tony Kanaan)

    Glock


    > DTM

    Trulli


    > NASCAR

    Kubica


    > Pirelli Testing

    Liuzzi


    > Ferrari Reserve (replaces Sauber-bound Bianchi)

    Sutil


    > DTM

    Heidfeld


    > DTM

    Karthikeyan—> Nobody Cares

    d’Ambrosio—-> Renault reserve

    Schumacher–> DTM

    Webber


    > V8 Supercars (also buys the Arden GP2 team and re-names his GP3 and GP2 teams MW Racing)

    #173000
    Profile photo of V.P.Oliver
    V.P.Oliver
    Member

    1) Infiniti REB BULL => Vettel, Webber (Ricciardo)

    2) Vodafone McLAREN => Button, Hamilton

    3) Scuderia FERRARI Marlboro=> Alonso, Massa

    4) MERCEDES Petronas=> Rosberg, DiResta

    5) Lotus RENAULT => Kubica, Grosjean

    6) Pdvsa WILLIAMS => Maldonado, Glock

    7) Claro SAUBER => Kobayashi, Sergio Perez

    8) Force INDIA => Sutil, Hulkenberg

    9) NART STR-Ferrari => Buemi, Jonathan Summerton (Faenza/IT + Charlotte/US)

    IPIC STR-Ferrari => Buemi, Christian Klien (Liuzi)

    10) Caterham Team LOTUS => Kovalainen, Karun Chandhok (Alexander Rossi)

    11) MARUSSIA Virgin => Petrov, Jerome D’Ambrosio

    12) Tata HRT => Alguersuari, Ricciardo

    #173001
    Profile photo of Fixy
    Fixy
    Participant

    Red Bull

    1. Sebastian Vettel

    2. Mark Webber

    McLaren

    3. Lewis Hamilton

    4. Jenson Button

    Ferrari

    5. Fernando Alonso

    6. Felipe Massa

    Mercedes

    7. Michael Schumacher

    8. Nico Rosberg

    Renault

    9. Vitaly Petrov

    10. Robert Kubica (or Romain Grosjean if Kubica is unwell)

    Sauber

    11. Kamui Kobayashi

    12. Sergio Perez

    Force India

    14. Adrian Sutil

    15. Paul Di Resta

    Toro Rosso

    16. Sebastien Buemi

    17. Jaime Alguersuari

    Williams

    18. Rubens Barrichello

    19. Pastor Maldonado

    Lotus

    20. Heikki Kovalainen

    21. Jarno Trulli

    HRT

    22. Vitantonio Liuzzi

    23. Davide Valsecchi

    Virgin

    24. Jerome D’Ambrosio

    25. Timo Glock

    #173002
    Profile photo of Oscar Becker
    Oscar Becker
    Member

    Red Bull Racing

    1. Sebastian Vettel

    2. Kamui Kobayashi

    3rd driver: J.Alguersuari

    Mark Webber leaves RBR and is replaced by Kamui Kobayashi after a very strong 2011 season. Jaime Alguersuari becomes their 3rd driver after being sacked by Toro Rosso

    Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

    3. Lewis Hamilton

    4. Jenson Button

    3rd driver: G.Paffett

    De la Rosa leaves McLaren and Gary Paffett is 3rd driver once again.

    Scuderia Ferrari

    5. Fernando Alonso

    6. Felipe Massa

    3rd driver: J.Bianchi

    FIA decides that the “Marlboro” in “Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro” reminds about cigarettes and Ferrari are forced to drop it from the name. Massa decides to fullfill his contract with Ferrari due to lack of other options. Bianchi will continue to act as Ferrari’s 3rd driver after a poor season in GP2.

    Renault GP Lotus

    7. Robert Kubica

    8. Vitaly Petrov

    3rd driver: B.Senna

    Kubica is able to drive in 2012. Renault are forced to change their name to make it clear that Lotus are just a sponsor and will use a Gold Leaf-like livery in 2012.

    Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team

    9. Nico Rosberg

    10.Paul di Resta

    3rd driver: S.Bird

    Schumacher finally decides to retire after a poor comeback. He is replaced by Paul di Resta after outpacing Sutil in his rookie season. Sam Bird becomes 3rd driver.

    Sauber F1 Team

    11.Sergio Perez

    12.Timo Glock

    3rd driver: E.Gutierrez

    Timo Glock replaces Kobayashi after two quite miserable seasons at Virgin.

    Force India F1 Team

    14.Adrian Sutil

    15.Nico Hulkenberg

    3rd driver: K.Chandhok

    As Di Resta moves up to Mercedes, Hulkenberg steps up to the seat alongside Sutil.

    Chandhok joins as 3rd driver.

    Scuderia Toro Rosso

    16.Sebastien Buemi

    17.Daniel Ricciardo

    3rd driver: J-E.Vergne

    Ricciardo replaces Alguersuari and Jean-Eric Vergne joins as 3rd driver with hopes to take over Buemi’s seat.

    AT&T Williams

    18.Pastor Maldonado

    19.Giedo van der Garde

    3rd driver: V.Bottas

    Giedo van der Garde replaces Barrichello at Williams after a very good season in GP2.

    Caterham Team Lotus

    20.Heikki Kovalainen

    21.Davide Valsecchi

    3rd driver: L.Razia

    Valsecchi steps up to a race seat after Trulli decided to retire.

    Marussia Virgin Racing

    22.Jerome d’Ambrosio

    23.Robert Wickens

    3rd driver: A.Qualife-Hobbs

    D’Ambrosio retains his seat at Virgin and is joined by Wickens. Qualife-Hobbs becomes 3rd driver.

    HRT F1 Team

    24.Vitantonio Liuzzi

    25.Sakon Yamamoto

    3rd driver: A.Rossi

    HRT are so desperate for money, so they sign Sakon Yamamoto. Alex Rossi joins as 3rd driver.

    Durango Villeneuve Racing

    26.Jacques Villeneuve

    27.Rubens Barrichello

    3rd driver: C.Klien

    Villeneuve is granted the 13th grid slot and forms the oldest team on the grid along with Barrichello. Christian Klien becomes the team’s 3rd driver.

    Nick Heidfeld: Renault -> DTM

    Mark Webber: Red Bull -> Team boss for Arden (Renamed MW Arden) in GP2 and GP3.

    Michael Schumacher: Mercedes -> Retire

    Jarno Trulli: Lotus -> DTM

    Jaime Alguersuari: Toro Rosso -> Red Bull (3rd driver) + Superleague Formula

    Narain Karthikeyan: HRT -> Superleague Formula

    #173003
    Profile photo of Oscar Becker
    Oscar Becker
    Member

    2012 Teams

    Lotus Red Bull Racing

    Lotus McLaren Mercedes

    Scuderia Ferrari Lotus

    Lotus Renault GP

    Mercedes GP Lotus F1 Team

    Team Sauber Lotus

    Lotus Force India F1

    Scuderia Toro Rosso Lotus

    Lotus Williams

    Team Lotus

    Lotus Virgin Racing

    Lotus Hispania Racing

    Tony Fernandes about the new season: Oh… *Bleep*!

    #173004
    Profile photo of LL Jehto
    LL Jehto
    Member

    Fixy, all that just to say you don’t like Karthikeyan?

    #173005
    Profile photo of Fixy
    Fixy
    Participant

    It’s not that I don’t like him, but as he is out of F1 half way through 2011 it’s improbable he’ll be there next year. The others could all stay, I don’t think there will be many changes. And I also have to say Valsecchi, although he tested for HRT in 2010, is now part of Lotus, and there are slim chances he could come to F1 with HRT, but I didn’t know who to put there instead. We’ll have to wait till GP2 ends.

    #173006
    Profile photo of Felipe Bomeny
    Felipe Bomeny
    Participant

    Well, it seems that Rubens will remain at Williams (Autosport), and I find it hard for them to drop Maldy with his PDVSA money. So new look, new management, and new power for 2012, but same drivers.

    Also, with the Thesan management buyout, Hispania might recruit a Spansih driver- like GP2’s Dani Clos or Jaime Alguersuari if he is dropped by Toro Rosso in favor of Daniel Ricciardo.

    The GP2 champion and runner-up look set for drives, but I am interested to see if any Formula Renault 3.5 Series drivers will be picked up by their affiliated teams- like Marussia’s Robert Wickens and Caterham Lotus’ Alexander Rossi.

    If Grosjean does not land the Renault drive because Kubica is rehabilitated, Marussia Virgin looks like an option. I see the them as Renault’s sort of ‘B’ team- they currently have Renault’s d’Ambrosio, and in junior series, their junior teams (DAMS for Renault and Manor for Marussia Virgin) often share drivers (like Rio Haryanto in GP3 and AutoGP).

    #173007
    Profile photo of
    Anonymous

    Infiniti Red Bull Racing // Renault

    1 – Sebastian Vettel

    2 – Lewis Hamilton

    After a terrible end to the season, Hamilton walks out on McLaren, causing swings and roundabouts everywhere. Despite all the reports of Hamilton not going to Red Bull mid-season, he does, and is told he has equal status to Vettel.

    Vodafone Mclaren // Mercedes

    3 – Jenson Button

    4 – Nico Rosberg

    With Hamilton gone, Gary Paffett hopes he gets the promotion that he’s been waiting for for 7 years. But Rosberg had became tired of Mercedes lack of progress, and with a McLaren seat available, he moves on up.

    Marlboro Scuderia Ferrari

    5 – Fernando Alonso

    6 – Mark Webber

    After being unceremoniously kicked out of Red Bull, Webber moves to Ferrari, as they claim Massa’s performances have been under-par, despite a strong end to the 2011 season.

    Lotus Renault GP

    7 – Vitaly Petrov

    8 – Robert Kubica

    Petrov leads Renault to a strong finish in 2011, picking up a few podiums in the process. Quick Nick makes a quick exit as Kubica is deemed fit to return, although Petrov is given the team leader status.

    Mercedes Petronas GP

    9 – Michael Schumacher

    10 – Paul di Resta

    Schumi honours his contract and stays on for another year. A stunning drive at Monza in 2011 saw Schumacher claim a 2nd place finish, and his best performance since his return. With Rosberg gone, Di Resta gets the 2nd Mercedes seat, as he impressed throughout 2011 in the Force India.

    Force India // Mercedes

    11 – Adrian Sutil

    12 – Nico Hulkenberg

    The Hulk finally gets the drive he deserves, after being a spectator in 2011. Sutil stays after a mediocre season.

    Sauber F1 Team // Ferrari

    14 – Felipe Massa

    15 – Kamui Kobayashi

    As Massa is exiled from Ferrari, he slips back down into a Sauber seat. Perez leaves, despite promising signs in 2011. Kobayashi stays at Sauber, despite being linked with the free McLaren seat, and the free Mercedes seat afterwards.

    Toro Rosso // Ferrari

    16 – Sebastian Buemi

    17 – Daniel Ricciardo

    Buemi has a strong end to the season, while Alguesari falters. Ricciardo is promoted from a Hispania seat to Toro Rosso seat.

    PDVSA Williams // Renault

    18 – Rubens Barrichello

    19 – Pastor Maldonado

    Barrichello stays for a 20th season, delcaring it will be his last. Maldonado stays as 2nd driver, to keep Williams afloat. The Renault partnership is Williams’ last hope.

    Lotus Caterham F1 // Renault

    20 – Heikki Kovalainen

    21 – Bruno Senna

    Trulli retires after delievering Lotus there first F1 points, with a 9th place finish in Abu Dhabi. Kovalainen stays on, and is partned alonside Bruno Senna, truly re-aligning the Senna-Lotus connection.

    Marussia Virgin Racing // Mercedes

    22 – Timo Glock

    23 – Sam Bird

    Cosworth pull out of F1 once again, as Virgin announce a Mercedes engine supply. Once again, Glock has a new partner, this time in Sam Bird, as part of the agreement of a Mercedes engine supply.

    Thesan GP // Ferrari

    24 – Jaime Alguesari

    25 – Dani Clos

    A takeover leads to a name change, and a true Spanish racing team. Alguesari joins the newly named Thesan, and Dani Clos rises up form GP2 after winning it. The team have a bright future, and thankfully a new livery.

    Monster Energy Racing // Mercedes

    26 – Ken Block

    27 – Sergio Perez

    To the surprise of everyone, Monster Energy join the grid, with none other than Ken Block as the team leader, after he has a successfully Pirelli test in Mid 2011. Sergio Perez’s career is salvaged as he completes the line up. (Yes this is a joke people ;D )

    #173008
    Profile photo of Fixy
    Fixy
    Participant

    Red Bull Racing – Renault

    1 – Sebastian Vettel

    2 – Felipe Massa

    TD – Jaime Alguersuari

    Webber lets down in 2011, and RBR look for another number two driver. They get Massa thinking he’s better than Webber anyway.

    Alguersuari is demoted to test driver after Coulthard definitively quits F1.

    McLaren – Mercedes

    3 – Lewis Hamilton

    4 – Jenson Button

    TD – Gary Paffett

    The speculation about Hamilton proves false as he enjoys a good end to the season. Button remains despite having a mediocre second half.

    Ferrari

    5 – Fernando Alonso

    6 – Nico Rosberg

    TD – Davide Rigon

    Alonso obtains Ferrari’s only 2011 win, and ends the championship 3rd. Webber hopes to land the second seat but Ferrari hire Rosberg instead.

    Young simulator-driver Rigon becomes the Scuderia’s main test driver, whilst also participating in GP2, and Gené and Fisichella remain as well.

    Mercedes

    7 – Michael Schumacher

    8 – Paul di Resta

    TD – Sam Bird

    After reaching the podium twice, Schumacher remains. Mercedes-backed di Resta joins after Rosberg’s departure.

    Bird is officially announced as third driver.

    Renault

    9 – Vitaly Petrov

    10 – Mark Webber

    TD – Robert Kubica

    Petrov enjoys good races in the second half of 2011 and extends his contract further.

    Keeping Kubica is a risk, therefore by mutual agreement the Polish driver becomes test driver and drives in every practice session. Webber joins having no better chances.

    Sauber – Ferrari

    11 – Kamui Kobayashi

    12 – Sergio Perez

    TD – Esteban Gutierrez

    Kobayashi has to remain as he receives no other offers. Perez impresses but can’t find a better seat. Meanwhile Bianchi is awful in GP2, being beaten by Sauber’s test driver Gutierrez, and loses the Ferrari backing.

    Gutierrez remains as test driver to concentrate on GP2 for 2012, aiming for the title.

    Force India-Mercedes

    14 – Adrian Sutil

    15 – Nico Hulkenberg

    TD – Karun Chandhok

    Sutil remains for the fifth consecutive year, with Hulkenberg promoted to a race seat. Chandhok moves to the Indian team and attracts sponsors.

    Scuderia Toro Rosso – Ferrari

    16 – Sebastien Buemi

    17 – Daniel Ricciardo

    TD – Jean-Eric Vergne

    Alguersuari has a drop-off in the second part of 2011, and Ricciardo’s good performances help him in being promoted from the Red Bull C-team to the Red Bull B-team.

    Vergne becomes officially their third driver after impressing in Formula Renault 3.5.

    Williams – Renault

    18 – Rubens Barrichello

    19 – Pastor Maldonado

    TD – Valtteri Bottas

    Barrichello beats Maldonado, who gets better results but is less consistent. With all the focus on the 2012 car, Barrichello is looking to conclude nicely his career.

    Bottas remains tester.

    Lotus – Renault

    20 – Heikki Kovalainen

    21 – Davide Valsecchi

    TD – Luiz Razia

    Trulli decides to retire despite beating Kovalainen often and earning Lotus’ first points in two occasions.

    Valsecchi is promoted as he beat Razia in GP2.

    HRT – Cosworth

    22 – Vitantonio Liuzzi

    23 – Giedo van der Garde

    TD – Dani Clos

    Liuzzi easily beats the Virgins throughout 2011, and with Ricciardo changing teams the GP2 runner-up is brought in to substitute him for 2012.

    Dani Clos is brought in as test driver as part of the “being more Spanish” campaign.

    Virgin – Cosworth

    24 – Timo Glock

    25 – Romain Grosjean

    TD – Robert Wickens

    Glock remains, D’Ambrosio has problems with finding sponsors and Renault give them another of their young drivers: Grosjean, winner of GP2, depite rumours Paffett could have been there as part of the McLaren agreement.

    #173009
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    Enigma
    Participant

    I went through all the teams and wanted to write my prediction for the 2012 line-up, but I reckon we’ll have very few changes. Pretty much everyone seems happy with their drivers and I can’t see anyone replacing anyone – perhaps even Ricciardo will stay at HRT for 2012! So, I decided to make a slightly different one instead.

    All the 24 drivers decide to protest at the 2011 Indian GP, as one of the corners proves to be extremely dangerous and the FIA does nothing about it. The drivers decide not to race, and after the season the FIA takes away super licenses from all the 24 protestors.

    Despite this, the 12 teams decide to remain in the sport. That’s how the 2012 driver line-up looks like:

    Red Bull

    Jean-Eric Vergne

    Daniel Ricciardo

    McLaren

    Gary Paffett

    Giedo van der Garde

    Ferrari

    Jules Bianchi

    Kevin Korjus

    Mercedes

    Sam Bird

    Alex Brundle

    Renault

    Robert Kubica

    Romain Grosjean

    Sauber

    Esteban Gutierrez

    Pedro de la Rosa

    Toro Rosso

    Mitch Evans

    Alexander Rossi

    Force India

    Nico Hulkenberg

    Brendon Hartley

    Williams

    Valtteri Bottas

    Bertrand Baguette

    Lotus

    Davide Valsecchi

    Karun Chandhok

    Virgin

    Robert Wickens

    Mikhail Aleshin

    Hispania

    Bruno Senna

    Lucas di Grassi

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