I’d actually put Magnussen above the rest mentioned by @fastiesty. Magnussen has been looking very solid, scoring pole upon pole, controlling races from the front. Frijns has been erratic in GP2 and late in the FR3.5 2012 season, and might need an attitude adjustment, despite his amazing natural ability. Vandoorne lost the plot after the weekend at Red Bull Ring and hasn’t been able to keep up with Magnussen since. Nasr and da Costa would probably need a couple of seasons in F1 before they are stable and quick, with Da Costa edging Nasr on ability, I think. Calado I’m not that excited about, but I’d take him over Canamassas, Cecetto, or Palmer. Kvyatt and Sainz probably need a longer stay in feeder series (although I’d be looking for another seat for 2015 if I were Vergne), much like Marciello.
That being said, in the next 2/3 years I think we’re going to have a purge of older drivers, much like we had around 2001-2003.
A friend of mine said something funny the other day: “If van der Garde is strengthening his ties to McGregor by marrying the investor’s daughter, maybe Robin Frijns needs to marry his way into the Wolff family.” Tweeting about going karting with friends hasn’t exactly gotten my hopes up about Frijns getting closer to sponsorship deals or a seat.
I’m also a little surprised at the amount of websites that consider Alexander Rossi a serious candidate for a seat at Caterham, citing Van der Garde’s move from the GP2 team to the F1 team this year. Giedo managed 4 podiums and 2 wins, finishing 6th in the standings, scoring all but 6 of Caterham’s GP2 points, ending them in 7th for the constructor’s. Rossi has been on the podium 3 times, nearly 100 points down on van der Garde’s points total with 2 races to go, with Caterham in 9th (a whopping 2 points scored by Canamassas). After a couple of disappointing seasons in GP2, van der Garde impressed in 2012 and that really kickstarted his bid for the F1 seat. Rossi has failed to replicate that performance and isn’t loaded with sponsors (mentioning the potential of the US market, but never naming any names), so I don’t see him making the same move Giedo did.
That being said, in F1, Giedo hasn’t proven his worth, but has been doing better than I expected. I wouldn’t mind him getting another chance, I wouldn’t be heartbroken if he doesn’t find a seat.