I would like to see Maldonado-Massa at Williams (they need the money and experience), Di Resta and Bottas at FI (Di Resta needs the competition, Bottas a better car and team mate to thrash), Hulk at Lotus with Grosjean, and Sutil with Gutierrez at Sauber (some money in and a German/experienced driver, with Sirotkin on FP1s). Maybe unlikely to happen? This seems like a logical outcome to me.
Q: Where else could Maldonado get a seat? Lotus? Without his backing? Which is tied in to Williams for a few more years…. Massa could go there as they still have more budget than Force India, Sauber, Toro Rosso etc. so it’s Lotus or Williams only for Massa (and maybe Maldonado).
If Hulk has passed up Lotus for Force India, he must know something about the competitiveness of the Mercedes engine for next year….. Force India could be the third best team on the grid if that engine has a demonstrable advantage, while Lotus are Renault’s second team.
Chilton to Force India would indicate they need money fast, and hence grabbed his £10m Aon sponsorship off Marussia (who now have a Russian oligarch to write off their 220m debt – do they need sponsorship?). I like the idea of Bianchi and Magnussen together at Marussia though, especially with the bottom two teams being more competitive/on par next year.
- Mercedes: Mercedes / McLaren – Force India / Williams
——- Renault: Red Bull / Lotus – Toro Rosso / Caterham
——————– Ferrari: Ferrari — Sauber — Marussia
Slide these 3 sliders above left and right depending upon engine competitiveness, and I think there are about 7 rough performance levels that will form (Those 4 groups should be close on track to each other from team skills regardless of engine performance).