2019 Silly Season

VFan17

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#1
With the new trends about Ricciardo and Hartley popping up today, this came into my head. It's quite early, but here's my view on what could happen next season.

The main man is Ricciardo. The way I see it, he has three main options: Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull. If he does stay at Red Bull, I think the only change within the top three would be Kimi retiring (more on that below). As I said before, I highly doubt he'll stay at Red Bull. Ferrari seems likely, but will Vettel accept him? And would Ferrari want two roosters? On the other hand they supposedly had the best car at the start if this year so it's a tempting choice. Moving to Mercedes, I imagine Hamilton will stay, and I think only Ricciardo will replace Bottas if anyone does. Mercedes is an attractive offer, and Hamilton might not be against having Ricciardo alongside him. But if Ricciardo does challenge Hamilton, sparks are going to fly and Mercedes have only just got out of that situation. Why go back into it? Either way, it'll affect next year hugely. As for Ferrari, I think Kimi has had enough and retire after this year even though he's doing well. Baring Ricciardo, I think Perez has a very good chance of moving there. No other free driver catches my eye. Perez would fit well there, he's fast but won't trouble Vettel too much.

Moving away from the big three, McLaren shouldn't see any change from my point of view. Though Norris might go in place of Vandoorne if he wins the F2 championship. Renault is an interesting one with Sainz. I don't think he will move unless Ricciardo goes. But if the Australian does go, then Sainz should get the call. But would Red Bull want the old tensions between Sainz and Verstappen to arise? Problem is, there's no other decent young Red Bull driver. I don't think Hartley will last the season and Gasly hasn't done anything noticeable bar Bahrain. Should Sainz go, who goes to Renault? I think if Ricciardo goes to Mercedes, Ocon may move to Renault. Reason being Ricciardo and Hamilton would probably be locked down for the next three seasons at least. Is Ocon really going to stay at Force India for another two years? By then Russell will be on the scene. So Ocon might grab the chance to drive for a manufacturer which is his best chance to get to the top. Bar that, it's anyone's guess. Aitken may go if he continues to do well in F2. Haas will surely get rid of Grosjean unless he does some comeback of the century. Magnussen has been hot headed and at times dangerous, but he's been quite fast so he would probably be kept. Leclerc would be a no brainer now since he's living up to his potential.

Towards the back, Force India is another team of interest. Perez might go to Ferrari but I think Ricciardo has him covered. Thinking about it now, he could go to Renault but maybe he's continuing to eye that Ferrari seat. Ocon is sey there unless he goes to Renault. Potential drivers for a place there would be Russell and possibly Wehrlein. Bottas may also go if he's replaced by Ricciardo and Perez goes to Ferrari. Toro Rosso are struggling with lack of RB junior drivers. Gasly may stay even if he hasn't dome exceptional. Hartley however I feel is gone. Wehrlein may go but do they really want a Mercedes junior and do Mercedes want to give their driver to Red Bull? Apart from him, the only other driver I can think of is Camera in F2. He has done decent and may be giving a second chance. Sauber will want one Ferrari junior and a experienced driver. I think Giovanazzi will be promoted again and Ericsson might stay for another year. What I would really like to see though is Kimi move there. I know I said he would retire ml but he might go to a smaller team with potential to get to the midfield and build them up like Massa and Williams. Speaking of Williams, not much to say about them but I think the driver with less money will get axed for Kubica.

Here's a combination of what I think and what I hope happens next year:
Mer: HAM/BOT
FER: VET/RIC
RBR: VER/SAI
MCL: ALO/NOR
REN: HUL/AIT
HAAS: MAG/LEC
FI: PER/OCO
STR: GAS/CAM
SAU: RAI/GIO
WIL: SIR or STR (whoever has more money)/KUB

Would love to hear other people's thoughts.
 

bogaaaa

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#2
Good call vfan, l am not sure if FA will stay at macca, maybe RB would grab him if the price was right or reno.(l think FA would almost drive for nothing to get back into a top three team)
I dont think Sai has done enough so far this season to get the assumed RB nod if Ric leaves.
If lec keeps his current form he might get a huge promotion.
 

JohnH

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#3
With the new trends about Ricciardo and Hartley popping up today, this came into my head. It's quite early, but here's my view on what could happen next season.

The main man is Ricciardo. The way I see it, he has three main options: Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull. If he does stay at Red Bull, I think the only change within the top three would be Kimi retiring (more on that below). As I said before, I highly doubt he'll stay at Red Bull. Ferrari seems likely, but will Vettel accept him? And would Ferrari want two roosters? On the other hand they supposedly had the best car at the start if this year so it's a tempting choice. Moving to Mercedes, I imagine Hamilton will stay, and I think only Ricciardo will replace Bottas if anyone does. Mercedes is an attractive offer, and Hamilton might not be against having Ricciardo alongside him. But if Ricciardo does challenge Hamilton, sparks are going to fly and Mercedes have only just got out of that situation. Why go back into it? Either way, it'll affect next year hugely. As for Ferrari, I think Kimi has had enough and retire after this year even though he's doing well. Baring Ricciardo, I think Perez has a very good chance of moving there. No other free driver catches my eye. Perez would fit well there, he's fast but won't trouble Vettel too much.

Moving away from the big three, McLaren shouldn't see any change from my point of view. Though Norris might go in place of Vandoorne if he wins the F2 championship. Renault is an interesting one with Sainz. I don't think he will move unless Ricciardo goes. But if the Australian does go, then Sainz should get the call. But would Red Bull want the old tensions between Sainz and Verstappen to arise? Problem is, there's no other decent young Red Bull driver. I don't think Hartley will last the season and Gasly hasn't done anything noticeable bar Bahrain. Should Sainz go, who goes to Renault? I think if Ricciardo goes to Mercedes, Ocon may move to Renault. Reason being Ricciardo and Hamilton would probably be locked down for the next three seasons at least. Is Ocon really going to stay at Force India for another two years? By then Russell will be on the scene. So Ocon might grab the chance to drive for a manufacturer which is his best chance to get to the top. Bar that, it's anyone's guess. Aitken may go if he continues to do well in F2. Haas will surely get rid of Grosjean unless he does some comeback of the century. Magnussen has been hot headed and at times dangerous, but he's been quite fast so he would probably be kept. Leclerc would be a no brainer now since he's living up to his potential.

Towards the back, Force India is another team of interest. Perez might go to Ferrari but I think Ricciardo has him covered. Thinking about it now, he could go to Renault but maybe he's continuing to eye that Ferrari seat. Ocon is sey there unless he goes to Renault. Potential drivers for a place there would be Russell and possibly Wehrlein. Bottas may also go if he's replaced by Ricciardo and Perez goes to Ferrari. Toro Rosso are struggling with lack of RB junior drivers. Gasly may stay even if he hasn't dome exceptional. Hartley however I feel is gone. Wehrlein may go but do they really want a Mercedes junior and do Mercedes want to give their driver to Red Bull? Apart from him, the only other driver I can think of is Camera in F2. He has done decent and may be giving a second chance. Sauber will want one Ferrari junior and a experienced driver. I think Giovanazzi will be promoted again and Ericsson might stay for another year. What I would really like to see though is Kimi move there. I know I said he would retire ml but he might go to a smaller team with potential to get to the midfield and build them up like Massa and Williams. Speaking of Williams, not much to say about them but I think the driver with less money will get axed for Kubica.

Here's a combination of what I think and what I hope happens next year:
Mer: HAM/BOT
FER: VET/RIC
RBR: VER/SAI
MCL: ALO/NOR
REN: HUL/AIT
HAAS: MAG/LEC
FI: PER/OCO
STR: GAS/CAM
SAU: RAI/GIO
WIL: SIR or STR (whoever has more money)/KUB

Would love to hear other people's thoughts.
I also do not think Ricciardo will stay at RedBull.
I notice that Wolff has changed his position on Ricciardo at least publicly. Last week he said he definitely would be looking at Ricciardo for 2019. Now this may well be a bit of a ploy to give Hamilton a jolt to help him come to the negotiation table or it may be that there is a spot at Merc. Also Ferrari are I believe definitely looking at Ricciardo, but would they be prepared to change the driver standings within the team.?
I have read that there is no veto clause so Vettel would be bound by Marchionnes call.
The outside chance is Renault, they have made it very clear that they are interested in Ricciardo but I can't see them providing a championship car soon. Anyway the silly season is about to kick off so let the games begin. :)
 

GPfacts

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#4
It really is hard to say, but I think Kimi will be the first to move...by mid-summer we should know whether his contract will be renewed or not. Then the fact remains that Leclerc is being groomed for Ferrari, although Scuderia would go against its own tradition to hire him after only one season in F1. On the other hand, if they get Ricciardo then they would have two drivers who can stay for five years and Leclerc's talent might go to waste...and I believe that Ferrari do want him and would not let that happen. Ocon, of course is a Mercedes driver, and if he comes around and beats Pérez convincingly enough, I think he may well replace Bottas. Which would leave Ricciardo no other options but to stay. But if he goes, Gasly may get the promotion, or possibly go to Renault in a swap with Sainz, who would get the RBR seat. As for all the others, I must admit that Vandoorne is not doing as well as I expected and may be vulnerable. In my opinion, Kubica's days as a race driver in F1 are gone. Alonso will stay at McLaren, because no other team would allow him to venture into WEC and IndyCar, which has apparently become important to him. And I would like to see Kvyat get the Haas seat, especially if Grosjean keeps under-performing.
 

VFan17

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#5
@bogaaaa Alonso to Renault is a good shout, didn't think of that. Since he won his first and second championships with them that's a good possibility and I think he would do well with Hulkenburg. Red Bull would be a possible and a Verstappen-Alonso lineup would be OP. Though they historically hlgo with drive they has in their young driver academy so that might be a factor.

@JohnH If Wolf was trying to get Hamilton to speed up it certainly has worked (unfortunately, in my biased opinion). I don't think they would decide this early to sideline Bottas but it's possible. Also despite all the noise coming from Mercedes, they still haven't resigned Hamilton. Maybe he might be leaving next year? Very unlikely but possible. If Vettel doesn't have a veto then he's defiantly being considered by Ferrari and I imagine that might be his dream. Renault would be a step backwards, they will still take another 2 or 3 years to fight for the championship so he's better off with Ferrari or Mercedes.

@GPfacts Yep, Kimi is once again in the center seat. That point about Leclerc potentially being wasted because of a Ricciardo Vettel lineup is actually very possible. Best thing would be to promote him now, I think he could handle it. But Ferrari probably won't want him too early, though they have to be careful, they lost Perez by leaving him in Sauber when he could have been at Ferrari. Ocon might go to Mercedes but he has to do better, he did good last year but cost himself a podium by turning into Kimi. Kvyat to Haas is possible since he's a Ferrari development driver, but if they have any brains, they will try your get Leclerc in.
 

VFan17

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#7
True though I'm not sure if Kimi would have made a difference in 2006 (2005 was a write off). Maybe while he was at Lotus Ferrari missed the opportunity because he was an utter beast back then