22 November 2010

2011 test/reserve drivers

There is naturally less information and speculation about reserve drivers, but for at least two teams it could be an interesting prospect, namely Mercedes (in case Schumacher retires/doesn't like Pirelli tyres) and Toro Rosso (whose drivers are rumoured to have 6 month contracts with performance targets to stay in the sport).

With this in mind, I thought I'd list the drivers in the frame:

Red Bull: Daniel Ricciardo (current reserve, did all the "young driver" tests for the team)
McLaren: Gary Paffett, Oliver Turvey (Paffet, 29, has been in this role for several years)
Ferrari: Jules Bianchi (highly rated and shares a manager with Felipe Massa)
Mercedes: Nico Hulkenberg/Anthony Davidson (rumours that the German could find a job, if no seat is forthcoming, otherwise Davidson might resume the role he first held since the BAR days)
Renault: Jerome D'Ambrosio (if he doesn't get a Virgin drive)
Williams: presumably someone rich (or Dean Stoneman, winner of Formula 2 this year)
Force India: Paul di Resta (if they don't give him a drive, perhaps Liuzzi if he's dropped)
Sauber: Esteban Gutierrez (brings Carlos Slim's money with him, alongside race driver Sergio Perez)
Toro Rosso: Daniel Ricciardo (presumably)
Louts: Money McDollar
Virgin: see Lotus (or Jerome D'Ambrosio)
Hispania: see Virgin (or Christian Klien)

21 November 2010

2011 grid - 21/11/2010 edition

Car numbers tbc, drivers in CAPS confirmed in their teams.

Red Bull: 1 VETTEL, 2 WEBBER
Ferrari: 5 ALONSO, 6 MASSA
Mercedes: 7 SCHUMACHER, 8 ROSBERG (assuming Schumi's odd-number superstition holds)
Renault: 9 KUBICA, 10 Petrov (Rumours also of Sutil, Heidfeld, Glock and Ricciardo)
Williams: 11 BARRICHELLO, 12 Maldonado (tbc but almost certain)
Force India: 14 Sutil 15 Di Resta (Sutil looking elsewhere, Liuzzi, Chandhok and Hulkenberg also linked)
Sauber: 16 KOBAYASHI, 17 PEREZ
Toro Rosso: 18 BUEMI, 19 ALGUERSUARI
Lotus: 20 KOVALEINEN, 21 Trulli (possibly Heidfeld or Hulkenberg)
Hispania: 22 De La Rosa, 23 Senna (no certainties here, possibly Hulkenberg, Maldonado, Ricciardo, Petrov, Yamamoto, Klien, Chandhok or anyone with enough sponsorship)
Virgin: 24 Glock, 25 D'Ambrosio (Di Grassi, Petrov, Hulkenberg or any of the above who still need a drive.

That leaves 9 unconfirmed seats, but only 4 in good cars. 2 of these look likely to go to Di Resta and Maldonado and another (Renault or Force India) to Sutil, leaving the other Renault or Force India seat between Petrov (money), Liuzzi (2011 contract, supposedly), Glock (best unsigned of the new team drivers), Chandhok (Indian) or Hulkenberg (best prospect amongst the group). Your guess, however, is as good as mine.

For the 5 remaining "new team" seats we have all the drivers listed above, the drivers currently in the seats, any number of GP2 graduates with financial backing and the potential for Hispania to pick a Spaniard.