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Signed, sealed and delivered - Confirmed drivers for 2013 // Has your favourite name made the entry list for next season?

Published by Christine Blachford

There are only a few spots left for the 2013 season now, and with the current year's racing over and done with, it shouldn't be long before the entry list for the coming season is complete. With big moves in the shape of Lewis Hamilton going to Mercedes and Sergio Pérez taking his place in the McLaren, to the smaller steps of Charles Pic nipping over to Caterham, there's plenty to look forward to in terms of teammate battles in 2013.

TeamDriverDriver
Red Bull RacingSebastian VettelMark Webber
Scuderia FerrariFernando AlonsoFelipe Massa
Vodafone McLaren MercedesJenson ButtonSergio Pérez
Lotus F1 TeamKimi RäikkönenRomain Grosjean
Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 TeamLewis HamiltonNico Rosberg
Sauber F1 TeamNico HülkenbergEsteban Gutiérrez
Sahara Force India F1 TeamPaul di RestaAdrian Sutil
Williams F1 TeamPastor MaldonadoValtteri Bottas
Scuderia Toro RossoJean-Éric VergneDaniel Ricciardo
Caterham F1 TeamCharles PicGiedo van der Garde
Marussia F1 TeamLuiz RaziaMax Chilton

We'll keep this updated as the final seats are filled, and then begin our fevered speculation over who is going to outshine their teammate when the action begins in a few month's time!




  • Oh, I see RG hasnt been confirmed yet ?? ( please Eric, hire Heikki, Kob or Senna instead! )

  • Of the 5 seats:

    Lotus: Likely to be Romain Grosjean (but his recent form may put this back in question)

    Force India: Arguably the only true toss-up left. This is anyone's seat at this point.

    Caterham: Somewhat of a toss-up, but with a narrower list of options - it's likely to be one of Kovalainen, Senna, or van der Garde.

    Marussia: Likely to be Max Chilton. Would be surprised if this ended up with someone else.

    HRT: Likely to be non-existent. But hey, if they're still around next year, it'll probably be thanks to Chinese backers supporting Ma Qing Ha.

  • Oh, I see RG hasnt been confirmed yet ?? ( please Eric, hire Heikki, Kob or Senna instead! )

    I love Kobayashi but if they hire him, that's going to be a very difficult lineup to communicate with!

    I hadn't thought of Senna in the Lotus, that would be interesting. Bit too much of a step up though, maybe.

  • I hadn't thought of Senna in the Lotus, that would be interesting. Bit too much of a step up though, maybe.

    If Eric already let Bruno go last year, what's Bruno done this year to convince Eric to give him another shot?

  • If Eric already let Bruno go last year, what's Bruno done this year to convince Eric to give him another shot?

    Not crashed as much as Grosjean?

  • I honestly think that Grosjean is out of Lotus now. Their line up is a toss up between Jerome, Jaime & Heikki.

    Caterham is between Heikki and Petrov.

    Marussia is going to be Max Chilton.

    HRT are gone.

    Force India is the difficult team. With their 50m cash boost they don't necessarily need a paid driver. My gut says Kamui, but honestly with that team I have no idea.

  • Not crashed as much as Grosjean?

    If that's the only edge Bruno has, I don't think that's enough. And in any case, Senna and Grosjean are alike in having caused Turn 1 crashes at Spa in a black and gold car.

  • Caterham is between Heikki and Petrov.

    Oh yeah, forgot about Petrov. I'd include him as a contender too.

  • If that's the only edge Bruno has, I don't think that's enough. And in any case, Senna and Grosjean are alike in having caused Turn 1 crashes at Spa in a black and gold car.

    Yea, I haven't been following Senna like a hawk, but I know he finished in the points twice as often as Maldonado, which isn't bad when you're having seat time robbed of you almost every race.

    Plus, he didn't get banned.

    That's all the arguments I have for him :)

  • If Eric already let Bruno go last year, what's Bruno done this year to convince Eric to give him another shot?

    His time at Lotus must have passed me by... i wonder why.. #brainfade

  • Oh yeah, forgot about Petrov. I'd include him as a contender too.

    He should go rallying with Bobby Koob.. what a team!

  • If that's the only edge Bruno has, I don't think that's enough. And in any case, Senna and Grosjean are alike in having caused Turn 1 crashes at Spa in a black and gold car.

    Grosjean has to go. Even though he's quick, he crashes way too often. You make your own luck in racing and Grosjean is very unlucky.

    Senna has been very hard done by - basically Williams took his money and stifled him by not running on Fridays. Yet he still scored nearly as many points as Maldonado. If Senna had as much money then I am sure Pastor would be out in a heartbeat...

    On the flipside I will be sad to see Heikki and Kamui go, if it comes down to it. And McLaren have so hired the wrong guy in Perez ... it was rather amusing to see Nico crash into the car he should have been driving next year.

    If even McLaren are picking drivers for their backers over talent, then there is something fundamentally wrong here. There are too many drivers being picked this way and the sport will suffer as a consequence.

  • I find it amusing that with the two new drivers announced so far, one was almost beaten by his team mate in GP2 despite being pre-season favourite for the champinship, and the other has not raced for over a year.

    Money and simulators FTW

  • And McLaren have so hired the wrong guy in Perez ...

    Yep, as I realized while listening to the last Aside with Joe...I'm going to have to cheer for Ferrari next year as they have the most realistic chance to take down Red Bull as it stands.

  • ...and the other has not raced for over a year.

    And that may hurt Bottas in the first half of the season.

    Now, my thoughts (although this could be nonsense - time will, probably, tell):

    Kamui - based on his 2011 & 2012 performances, I wouldn't hire him. Where he was once exciting, he has seemingly plateaued and has been virtually invisible for much of the past two seasons. His career was saved once already - who will do it again?

    Petrov - I think not. The chap has no money left, meaning he may be looked over for either Giedo (loaded, slow and a rather nice chap) or Heikki (not loaded, but OK). If it's those two, expect only a one year deal. With Renault deepening their commercial ties with Caterham, it might be interesting to see if they would attempt to place a driver at Caterham from 2014 onward.

    Grosjean - Good, fast, but what's his spacial awareness like? I'd say a one-year extension with Lotus, possibly monitored on race-by-race performance option.

    Senna - Ahh Bruno I love ya, but for all your consistency, you just need a little more speed. Admittedly, when the FW34 was "on it" during the first third of the season, you didn't capitalise enough and that might be your undoing. Some FP crashes and spins, but not as many offs in races as people make out. I'd say Force India might still be on for him.

    Chilton - signed, sealed and delivered, irrespective of how utterly s*** a driver he is. Without wishing to sound overly negative, this is a complete waste of a seat. Pic has the better deal at Caterham -- and a belly load more talent to go with it as well. By the Charles, how's your little brother Arthur coming along..?

    Other than that:

    Valsecchi - is that a flight to Indianapolis you're booking?

    Razia - GP2 again, eh Luiz?

    Frijns - nice of Nico to keep your Sauber seat warm until 2014. You're a special talent, aren't you, and will go far and Hulk will appreciate the stopover time before his taxi to Maranello arrives.

    Da Costa - Hi Antonio, I guess we'll see you in Friday morning FP1 sessions, where your new job will be to put pressure on Daniel and Jean-Eric, while also side-lining in FR3.5. And while you're at that, don't forget to win.

    Magnussen - Kevin, son of Jan and part of McLaren's YDP. We might see more of you soon and deservedly so. I'll never know how you keep your hair so perfectly aligned.

    Calado and Abt - Lotus are most likely looking in your direction.

    Evans - a driver managed by Horner and Webber and not yet a Red Bull prodigy? Interesting.

    Ellinas - long term potential for Marussia...? Who knows... still time.

    Apologies for the long comment - .....and breathe...

  • Petrov's manager, Oksana Kosachenko, has told russian newspaper that Caterham will need more money from his sponsors. For now they got Russian Helicopters (no matter whether Petrov stays or not, they want F1 exposure) and Sibur. Also there are offers from international companies. She's talking to three teams and says that Petrov "almost without doubt" will stay in F1.

    Here's the link:

    http://www.kommersant.ru/doc/2077029

  • And another interview with her:

    sportsdaily.ru/ar…v-formule-1-53246

  • She's talking to three teams and says that Petrov "almost without doubt" will stay in F1.

    blimey. earlier in the year it sounded like she'd given up entirely.

  • She's talking to three teams and says that Petrov "almost without doubt" will stay in F1.

    Doesn't say anything about it being a race seat though. Who out there is short of a 3rd driver?

  • blimey. earlier in the year it sounded like she'd given up entirely.

    Yup. She cried to the media that no-one in Russia wants to invest in motor racing.

    Then came Russian Helicopters and it seems they have a huge pile of money and are here to stay.

    Doesn't say anything about it being a race seat though. Who out there is short of a 3rd driver?

    Although she didn't say it, it seems like she's talking about racing seat.

  • BTW, I'm sick and tired to hear how Heikki is so much talented than Petrov. Even Ted Kravitz on Brasil's pre-show in 5 seconds after interviewing PET (who qualified higher than KOV) said something like "Caterham's got a chance if KOV would take 12th place". The guy is probably still standing right there and the pundit is dismissing him.

    Let's look at the dry numbers of statistics. Here's a spreadsheet i jotted quickly:

    http://sdrv.ms/V6rbp1

    I took their quali and race positions and calculated average, excluding retirements (since all of them was mechanical, if i remember right).

    The fact is that KOV is qualified 0.8 position higher but finished 0.24 position lower. I.e. he raced 1.04 position worse compared to quali result. And race results are much more appreciated in in my book, cause they decide championship position, not who's faster on one lap.

    Moreover in last races PET out-qualified KOV in 5 out of 7 races.

    Even if we take FIA scoring into account PET would be higher in ranks because of his 11th position against KOV's 13th.

    Also lets take retirements into account:

    -Australia, PET was in front of KOV

    -Monaco, PET was the first victim of Renault's alternator

    -UK, PET did not started, engine failure

    In all those races PET could finish ahead, but had his chances denied.

    Consider also that KOV has been for 2 years longer with Caterham.

    So in my view Heikki did not have a better season than Petrov in any aspect except quali performance, which is completely irrelevant. And Petrov brings money to the team.

    Where am i wrong?

  • Shame there are not more empty seats to make this kind of guessing game even more fun.

    Interesting that no-one has mentioned jules Bianchi for the Force India seat given that they have promoted their last two test drivers to race seats.

  • So in my view Heikki did not have a better season than Petrov in any aspect except quali performance, which is completely irrelevant. And Petrov brings money to the team.

    interesting points. if it were me i'd keep the same line up this year. the car is the fundamental problem, not the drivers and both arguably did better than Pic this year.

    during the final race i tweeted something like "heikki you frickin’ legend", i can't remember what he did but i think he might've been somewhere like 6th and that is the 3rd or 4th time he's been in point scoring positions this season, but sadly failed to capitalise on any of them.

  • Lotus, please sign Heikki!! I want a Finnish 1-2 punch next year!!

  • hmm, do i try and get a Bottas signature on my flag next year? I'm not endeared to him yet.

  • Yeah, i also cheered for him, thinking he would have a good chance to give Caterham 10th place. But this wasn't a real "points zone". It was before pit stop and he would have been pushed out of points anyway. Just like Petrov in Valencia. There was no chance in hell he could be 10th then.

  • Twitter has been rumbling for a couple of days that Max Chilton will be given the second Marussia drive.

  • We can strike Kamui off the list of possibilities: www.kamui-kobayas…pcontents/?p=7716

    "I am not able to secure the seat with competitive F1 team for 2013"

  • We can strike Kamui off the list of possibilities: www.kamui-kobayas…pcontents/?p=7716

    "I am not able to secure the seat with competitive F1 team for 2013"

    none of the available seats are competitive :)

  • none of the available seats are competitive :)

    Exactly. I read into it that FI are sorted, but holding their cards close to their chest.

  • Exactly. I read into it that FI are sorted, but holding their cards close to their chest.

    ahh, no, i mean force india aren't competitive ;)

  • ahh, no, i mean force india aren't competitive ;)

    That has been the case recently, but I'd imagine that Kamui would drive there if given the chance.

  • That has been the case recently, but I'd imagine that Kamui would drive there if given the chance.

    true enough. hard to see where he'd fit as a third driver either :(

  • Chilton added today: www.f1minute.com/…but-marussia-2013

  • Timo Glock removed today :(

  • Timo Glock removed today :(

    Crazy news, really. Poor Timo :(

  • Just one left now.

  • Just one left now.

    bring on Stefan GP's livery!

    ...wait, no

  • Aaaand Sutil.

  • Updated the (hopefully) finished table in a brand new post: sidepodcast.com/p…ntry-list-at-last

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