Here’s a few ideas on who might go where. I’ve tried to be as realistic as possible, but we don’t get much coverage of the junior series at all down here. It may turn to fiction halfway through.
1 – Felipe Nasr
2 – Rio Haryanto
With Davide Vasecchi off to parts unknown in 2013, the team quickly take Felipe Nasr, pairing him up with the fast (and flush with cash) Rio Haryanto.
3 – James Calado
4 – Patric Neiderhauser
Given the strong relationship between Lotus F1 and Renault, most of Lotus GP’s GP3 drivers find programmes in Formula Renault, leaving the team with a free seat in their GP2 team. They pick up Patric Neiderhauser from Jenzer’s GP3 squad, pairing him with James Calado, who finds some extra sponsorship to keep his seat.
5 – Mitch Evans
6 – Luiz Razia
Razia is unable to secure a Formula 1 drive, and having spent four seasons in GP2, he appears unlikely to do so. Instead, Arden retain him and use him to mentor Mitch Evans directly. Razia is visibly less than thrilled with this arrangement, but it is the best seat he can get, so he keeps his mutterings to himself.
7 – Tio Ellinas
8 – William Buller
Carlin lose Max Chliton to Formula 1 and Rio Haryanto to DAMS. They take the highly-rated Tio Ellinas at Marussia’s behest – not that they’re complaining – and put him alongside their Formula 3 stalwart, William Buller.
9 – Robert Wickens
10 – Adrian Quaife-Hobbs
Fabio Leimer goes to DTM, and does a straight swap with Robert Wickens, who finally gets a shot at GP2 and a future in Formula 1. The underperforming Berthon is replaced by Auto GP champion Adrian Quaife-Hobbs.
11 – Marcus Ericsson
12 – Jolyon Palmer
In the face of several lineup changes for 2013, iSport play it safe by retaining Ericsson and Palmer, even if both were inconsistent and disappointing in 2012.
14 – Rodolfo Gonzalez
15 – Nigel Melker
Despite being useless in 2012, the team decide to keep Gonzalez for his money once Giedo van der Garde leaves the team. In his place, they take fellow Dutchman Nigel Melker, who has an obvious turn of speed, but lacks decent sponsorship, making Gonzalez a necessary evil to subsidise Melker’s seat.
16 – Johnny Cecotto, Jnr.
17 – Tom Dillmann
On the back of their worst season to date, Addax need to perform a miracle to get back to the front. They keep Cecotto (and his money) after he showed some promise in 2012, and take a gamble on Tom Dillmann, who was one of the big surprises when driving for Rapax.
18 – Kevin Ceccon
19 – Facu Regalia
After being forced to watch Ricardo Teixeria trundle around in last place for a season – punishment for some unknown sin – the team decide that enough is enough and that they want to go back to the pointy end of the grid. They snatch Ceccon away from Ocean (wisely, for Ceccon), and pick up Regalia for a little extra money on the side.
20 – Julian Leal
21 – Giovanni Venturini
Like Caterham, Trident keep an underperforming regular to subsidise a talented newcomer – in this case, Julian Leal stays in the team, with GP3′s Giovanni Venturini in the second seat; despite only contesting half a season in 2012, Venturini still finished thirteenth.
Ocean Racing Technology
22 – Nathanael Berthon
23 – Lewis Williamson
Tiago Monterio is less than happy with his team, following Nigel Melker’s comments that they would rather have a coffee break than do some work, and pledges to turn his team around. Lewis Williamson, eager to prove that Red Bull dropped him prematurely, takes one seat, while Nathanael Berthon picks up the other after being cut loose by Racing Engineering, leaving many people asking whether Ocean really have turned a corner, or if it’s the same old song with new lyrics.
Venezuela GP Lazarus
24 – Rene Binder
25 – Simon Trummer
Lazarus initial promise – scoring a point in their very first race – seems to be long since forgotten. Binder’s baptism of fire continues, while Trummer’s sponsors continue to pay for his seat.
26 – Adderly Fong
27 – David Zhu
With Coloni leaving (or kicked out, depending on who you talk to), a replacement team is found in former GP2 Asia team Qi-Meritus Mahara. Despite being absent from GP2 for three years, the team has found new ownership and backing from China, as evidenced by its all-Chinese lineup – Formula 2′s David Zhu and British F3′s Adderly Fong.