Next new champion?

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    In light of this thread: http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/groups/f1/forum/topic/next-winner

    I got the idea for this thread.

    Who do you think will be the next one? Not about who could be, but who will be?

    Have your say.



    Rosberg, next season.
    Otherwise, I think if Hamilton does leave Mclaren, then they could pick up Hulkenberg, di Resta, Perez or Grosjean and any one of those, I feel, has a championship in them.



    Rosberg, this season.

    You heard it here first.



    Yeah I expected Rosberg to be the frontrunning prediction. I personally don’t think it will be him, but hey – that’s me. I can see him being an occasional race winner, maybe more than 1/year, but I can’t see him becoming champion.

    However from the other non-champions I’m struggling to find one who I rate super high, but will be in a competitive car in the near future. I’ll go with Vergne, Grosjean or Hulkenberg.



    I can definitely see Rosberg becoming a champion in a car that’s slightly faster than everyone else’s. He’s already proven that he can drive up front and win. Now all he needs is the car. Question is, can Mercedes provide him that?

    @raymondu999 – I have no idea to why you’re regarding Hulkenburg so highly. He lost his seat to Maldonado as he couldn’t find any sponsorship money, and now di Resta is comfortably beating him (Paul’s 21 points against Hulk’s 7)



    @kingshark True, but he hasn’t really done any racing in a year. He was dropped because he didn’t have the sponsorship money and he elected not to get sponsorship money because he thought it would be bad for his image. He wanted to prove that he should be in F1 for his talent.
    He’s got a very impressive junior record; won GP2 in his debut year, won A1GP when he was only 19 and has shown the goods in F1. He is more than capable of at least one championship.



    I really don’t think there’s anything bad about having sponsorship money. By definition, Alonso is also a pay driver as he has backing from Santandar.

    Anyway, back on topic; other than Rosberg I can see F1 championship material in Vergne, Perez, and Grosjean. At least two of them will be champions within the near future. Perez I am convinced that he will.



    It might take a few years with the calibre of the current champions; can see Alonso, Vettel winning more.
    But Webber is in with a good shout this year if he can string some solid results together and get the little bit of luck most champions need.
    After that I’d put money on Vergne, he seems the most likely to me to take the #2 RBR seat and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him be #1 there soon after. A WDC in waiting.



    Felipe Massa – 2013 (Ferrari)

    Oh yes….you heard it here first! Come on Felipe Baby!!!!



    Heikki Kovalainen will be the 2014 world champion with Mercedes.



    I agree with @girts in that I think Heikki is now ready to launch a title challenge – but the reason I didn’t put him up is because I think someone else will get their first WDC before he leaves Lotus.

    @kingshark I judged my choices based on driving, so I didn’t put his failure to find sponsors (for whatever reason) against him.

    His 2012 record so far has been somewhat appalling, but it’s a season in which even the top drivers are confused by the tyres – and after a year out, I don’t blame Nico for his results so far. Paul has had an extra year of Pirelli experience, and he has more relevant race experience and has better understood the feel for the Pirellis already. Mark Webber only came good after a year on the Pirellis. Lewis even up to Suzuka 2011 was still chewing Pirellis.

    Hulkenberg has a similarly “high energy” driving style to those two while it seems the “softer” approach of a Button or Vettel driving style works better with the Pirellis – and that’s just about what Paul di Resta has as well. Just take a look at Alonso’s driving – there’s a lot less energy in his steering nowadays – with a smoother and more gradual approach as he’s adapted his technique to suit the Pirellis more




    We also heard it here last, because it will never happen!



    Adrian Sutil at Ferrari. ;)



    Rosberg, Hulkenberg, Di Resta or Perez in my opinion. I really don’t think Heikki will ever be in contention for the championship, so a big no to him winning. He was below average in the McLaren and he didn’t do that much at Caterham. He is a decent F1 driver in my opinion, but by no means a WDC.



    I think it’s important to stay a little bit grounded. Yes, there are lots of drivers in the mid field (and below) who are making good impressions with the occasional flash of good driving. This doesn’t mean that these drivers would be capable of coping with the pressure of driving for a front running team, or that they would be able to consistently deliver that level of achievement when it counts. It’s easy to look good in the mid field, because generally you get praise for your good races, and your weaker ones are ignored. Compare that to the drivers in the top teams, where a poor showing can result in a huge amount of negative press. Look at how the pressure to succeed has all but killed off the career of Felipe Massa, and that’s a man who a few years ago was beating Raikkonen and challenging for a championship.

    It’s not to say that the likes of Hulkenberg and Perez wouldn’t be able to do it, but I think it’s too early to tell for sure. To pick logically, you should really consider the drivers who are already in the top teams, who might be in with a shout of winning the championship this year. Namely, Webber, Rosberg, Grosjean and Massa. The latter of which I think can probably be discounted. Webber does seem to have all the credentials, but it’s hard to see him realistically beating Vettel over the season. That leaves Rosberg and Grosjean. Rosberg being a former race winner, and having a wealth of experience to draw upon, not to mention a good network of people around him to help him deal with the pressure of mounting a challenge. Grosjean has proven in GP2 that he certainly has the speed, and has a reasonably mature approach, but is perhaps still a little bit wet behind the ears for this year to be his year.

    So, what I’m saying is, the most likely new champion is Rosberg. This year. Who knows how the driver line ups will shuffle next year.

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