So the silly season is in full swing. Here is my take on how it looks at the moment and who could be going where!:
Red Bull Racing Renault
#1: Sebastian Vettel
#2: Daniel Ricciardo
#3: Fernando Alonso
#4: Kimi Raikkonen
AMG Mercedes F1
#5: Lewis Hamilton
#6: Nico Rosberg
#7: Romain Grosjean
Possible: Felipe Massa / Nico Hulkenberg / Pastor Maldonado
#9: Jenson Button
Possible: Sergio Perez / Nico Hulkenberg / Kevin Magnusson / Stoffel Vandoorne
Force India Mercedes
Possible: Paul Di Resta / Adrian Sutil / Felipe Massa / Jules Bianchi / James Calado / Sam Bird
Toro Rosso Renault
#14: Jean-Eric Vergne
Possible: Antonio Felix Da Costa / Carlos Sainz Jnr
#16: Sergey Sirotkin
Possible: Nico Hulkenberg / Felipe Massa / Esteban Guitierrez
Possible: Pastor Maldonado / Valterri Bottas / Felipe Massa
Possible: Heikki Kovaleinen / Giedo Van Der Garde / Charles Pic / Felipe Nasr
Possible: Jules Bianchi / Max Chilton / Felipe Nasr
Please note the car numbers a pure speculation as we still have 6 races to go and a lot could happen!
So when the music stops who will be sat where?
Felipe Massa is a race wining driver who brings Brazilian interest and money. Him leaving Ferrari has left a big curve ball into every other teams plans. It now makes sense for Lotus and Force india to be taking a serious interest in him which could even leave Nico Hulkenberg without a drive which would be a real shame.
I would expect the Marussia and Caterham drives to remain TBA until the new year as drives that include sponsorship packages will be invaluable with the increased costs next year.
For this reason alone, If Maldonado's money stops, I can see him being ousted out of Williams but of course if it continues then he is a wanted man. He could easily end up in a Lotus where his ££ will plug a large financial hole in the teams books!
Force India have confirmed that neither of their drivers have contracts for next year. Of course they could continue the status quo but one wonders who is gaining much out of such an arrangement.
The McLaren seat is the most sort after seat, My prediction is that the formality of completing Perez's extension has been delayed for two reasons. 1) to put him under pressure to perform and 2) to put a mexican sponsor grab the cheque book and pen! If the sponsorship does not materialise then it may pay for McLaren to have a look at someone like Hulkenburg who clearly has the speed and the racecraft to push Jenson Button.