With everything that has changed in the last couple of weeks, I thought I might try my hand at this ‘silly season’ thing…
Red Bull Racing – Renault
1. Sebastian Vettel (DEU)
2. Mark Webber (AUS)
3. Fernando Alonso (ESP)
4. Felipe Massa (BRA) – I think that he will be kept by the Scuderia, despite the fact his performances have not been strong – it would be good to see him make way for a better driver in 2014.
Lotus GP – Renault – I can see them having a strong finish to 2012
5. Kimi Raikkonen (FIN)
6. Romain Grosjean (FRA) – he has a 2-year deal, so I see no reason for him to leave.
Vodafone McLaren – Mercedes
7. Jenson Button (GBR)
8. Sergio Perez (MEX)
Mercedes AMG Petronas
9. Lewis Hamilton (GBR) – part of the contract is to get #1 driver status.
10. Nico Rosberg (DEU)
Sauber – Ferrari – this is where things get interesting…
11. Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) – Kovalainen would move from Caterham to find a new lease of life to his career.
12. Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) – keeps the Telmex money coming in to what is acknowledged to be one of the less-well-funded teams in the sport.
Sahara Force India – Mercedes
14. Nico Hulkenberg (DEU) – after a strong showing in 2012, Hulkenberg gets the #1 seat in the team.
15. Paul di Resta (GBR) – aims to make 2013 his last in Force India, trying to get a way into McLaren. I personally don’t rate him very highly, but I think the whole “he’s-a-British-driver-for-a-Mercedes-powered-team-so-of-course-he-will-get-in-to-McLaren” attitude might go to his head…
Williams F1 Team – Renault
16. Pastor Maldonado (VEN) – carries on bringing money into the team, and begins to be a more consistent points-scorer for the team.
17. Valtteri Bottas (FIN) – Senna is dropped by the team, which is a shame as he is a nice guy, but not the right person for the team. Bottas shows a lot of potential.
Scuderia Toro Rosso – Ferrari
18. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) – given one more year to get his act together before the threat of the boot.
19. Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) – see above.
Caterham – Renault – finally break the points barrier in 2012 and finish ahead of their competitors.
20. Vitaly Petrov (RUS) – continues to bring money, but also matures to bring more consistency to the team.
21. Giedo van der Garde (NED) – enters F1 for his rookie season after showing good potential in Young Driver Tests.
Marussia – Cosworth – Timo Glock decides to call time on F1 and decides to try his hand at Endurance racing.
22. Charles Pic (FRA) – last year’s rookie, now this year’s #1 driver – a daunting prospect, but one that could pay dividends for him as he matures in the sport.
23. Max Chilton (GBR) – surprise promotion after Glock’s departure. I know there are better drivers than him on the market, but as he is in their stable, he would be their first choice.
HRT – Cosworth – floundering around in 2012…can things get better?
24. Pedro de la Rosa (ESP) – continues with his contract.
25. Ma Qing Ha (CHI) – replaces Karthikeyan and impresses the team.
Some of this may prove totally unreliable, but that’s why we call it ‘Silly Season’!