Monday, September 28, 2009

2010 Driver Market is still bizarro-land!

Usually by this time of the year, we will more or less know which driver will be racing for which team for the next season. But then this season is no ordinary season as one controversy has led to another. Everything something gets resolved, something bigger pops up and more or less things have been focused on what is happening at the paddock rather than the racing which is happening. We have the possibility of 14 teams taking part in the 2010 season and so we have 28 seats to fill. Although among the 4 new teams, we are not still too sure on how many will actually lands up but USF1 who a few months back was a certainty to start the first race is the least doubtful among the new teams.

We have to assume that we do have 28 seats available but the worst case scenario for F1 will be both Toyota and Renault pulling off while 2 out of the 4 new teams failing to turn up will make the grid once again with only 10 teams. Hope for the sake of F1 and also the drivers that does not happen. Red Bull is the only team on the grid which has confirmed both its driver with Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel leading its championship charge for 2010. The engine market is also very crazy and as many as 4 teams yet to confirm their engine suppliers and 3 out of the 4 is looking for a deal with Mercedes Benz but Mercedes can only supply 2 other team that too their works team McLaren will have to allow them to do it. Red Bull’s Mercedes team was more or less a certainty till news of Mercedes plans of making Brawn their works team threw a spanner in Red Bull’s plans. Also their current supplier Renault after the race fixing scandal is not too sure if they would continue for the 2010 season. Red Bull is in a bad state and worse come scenario they may have to run once again with Ferrari engines which is much better than the Cosworth option available.

Ferrari is in a very good position when it comes to drivers but then it has too many options under its books that it is now becoming a headache to choose their lead pair. If not for Massa’s accident, Alonso and Massa would have started for them for 2010 but now with Massa’s fitness still not a certainty, the team is playing the wait and watch game. Though it is not officially confirmed if Alonso will join the team for the next season, it is more or less certain that Kimi may not drive for the team but the only issue is that Kimi has a very expensive contract with Ferrari. Ferrari also has Fisi in-case there is an emergency but then don’t forget there is always the German Kaiser lurking behind who may yet make a F1 comeback. McLaren is the only other team which has a confirmed driver in Lewis Hamilton and he is sort of bound to the team for the next few years.

It is not the first time that Alonso has held the key to the driver’s market while Rosberg is once again the most wanted driver on the gird while Kubica ever since the BMW pull-out is a hot property while the likes of Button, Barrichello and Heidfeld also available makes the market very interesting. The last time I looked at the driver’s market which was in July, BMW was still in F1 while there was no scandal with the Renault team. Now things have been turned upside down and we also have Lotus returning to F1.

Fernando Alonso: He is very much a hot property and though his deal for Ferrari for 2010 remains an open secret, it is more or less certain and Alonso will most likely race for the Italian team during the next season. Although the Italian team’s pursuit of Vettel for 2011 and his decision to turn them down to race for Red Bull does seem strange but I do assume Alonso will be racing for the Ferrari with Massa who was the only confirmed Ferrari driver for 2010 so far.

Nico Rosberg – Two seasons back, everyone was talking about how Rosberg would go to McLaren and once again this talk is back but the difference now is that Mercedes wants a German driver and Rosberg with both German and Finnish credentials would be a perfect fit plus he is good friends of Hamilton but with rumours of Mercedes interested in making Brawn its works team post 2012 ha strongly linked Rosberg to Brawn which provides both its drivers equal opportunities unlike McLaren which has clearly favoured Hamilton over his partners.

Robert Kubica – He has lot of options but he is looking only for a 1 year contract as he is looking for a Ferrari seat for the 2011 season while he has been a Renault Young Driver, the team is looking for a longer contract than what he is asking for while Williams could be a good place for him but with the Renault & Williams engine deal which can complicate things but Kubica will end up in either Renault or Williams.

Jenson Button – He is most likely to win the 2009 championship and though he took a pay cut to race for the team this season, but an awesome performance this year has made him a hot property once again and though he has rejected Toyota’s deal, he could either stay in Brawn or even more to McLaren. Only money remains an issue but with Mercedes and its long term plan for Brawn, he could very well stay with the team for the next few years.

Rubens Barrichello – The Brazilian is in a very dicey situation as he does not have an option apart from Brawn plus his age is a factor which is working against him, but unless he wins the title, he may not be retained by Brawn while Williams can be a long shot for him. He does have options with the new teams but then I am not too sure if he is motivated enough of running in the back once again.

Nick Heidfeld - He was on his way out of BMW even before they planned to pull off F1 but he has a few options and if he does get lucky he could even land up a drive with McLaren. There was talk of him going to Brawn before the Mercedes talks were there but if Rosberg does go to McLaren, the Heidfeld paring with Button will be solid and he can be a steady side-kick to Button. But he is most likely to end up with Williams and if it does fails, he always has an option with Sauber if their position on the 2010 grid is confirmed.
Kimi Räikkönen – One of the most shocking options on the grid, many though he will retire from F1 and would join the FIAT rallying team but he has said that he wanted to race next year and though he does have a contract with Ferrari he has plenty of top quality options. Brawn, McLaren, Williams and even Renault are all options but don’t be too shocked if Kimi makes a shocking comeback to McLaren.

This is a possible line-up for 2010:

Brawn: Jenson Button/ Nico Rosberg
Red Bull: Sebastian Vettel/ Mark Webber
Ferrari: Fernando Alonso/ Felipe Massa
McLaren: Lewis Hamilton/ Kimi Räikkönen
Williams: Nico Hulkenberg/ Nick Heidfeld
Toyota: Timo Glock/ Heikki Kovalainen
Renault: Romain Grosjean/ Robert Kubica
Toro Rosso: Sebastien Buemi/ Jaime Alguersuari
Force India: Adrian Sutil/Vitantonio Liuzzi
Sauber: Giancarlo Fisichella/ Christian Klien
Campos: Pedro de la Rosa/Vitaly Petrov
Manor: Anthony Davidson/ Lucas Di Grassi
USF1: Jonathan Summerton/ Alexander Wurz
Lotus F1: Bruno Senna/ Jarno Trulli

Sunday, September 27, 2009

2009 Singapore GP Review: Hamilton wins as Button extends his lead!

Lewis Hamilton and McLaren were back on top with a thumping victory thanks to a series of unfortunate incidents to race rivals. Taking nothing away from the drive, Hamilton had a very consistent drive and even scorched rumours of his break up with pop star girlfriend Nicole as she was cheering him on from start to the finish. Though it may be too late for Hamilton to challenge for the title, but the 3rd spot at the constructor’s championship is still wide open and he has a shot at being the best of the rest. Heikki Kovalainen driving a similar car once again struggled and could manage only come 7th.

Jenson Button’s 5th place finish in the race was highly important for him as not only now with just 3 races to go his championship lead is 15, he crucially managed to finish ahead of Rubens Barrichello who has been the better Brawn driver for the last few races. On paper Button looks the favourite to win the championship but in F1 anything can happen and of Rubens managed to win a race while Button fails to score things could become really tense for the team going into the Abu Dhabi GP. Also with Rosberg rumoured to have signed with the team for 2010, whoever wins could potentially land up a race seat with the team for the next season.

Fernando Alonso and Renault has the most torrid week and Alonso drove like a true champion and is surely the driver of the race by bringing in his underperforming Renault on the podium by finishing in 3rd. After what happened last season, Alonso proved that he does not need any fixing to get him on to the podium and Alonso showed that even with a car like Renault, he can give his best and if we are to believe the paddock gossip, he could be racing in red overalls during the next season.

Timo Glock and Toyota must be relived after Glock managed to score a 2nd place finish. The team after a good start early on in the season went thru a horrific mid-season slump and this 2nd place finish was the team’s best finish since the 2008 Hungarian GP. This can also seal Glock’s place if Toyota does manage to compete during the 2010 season. Trulli needs a win in Suzuka if he does manages to retain a spot in the grid for the next season as Glock has surely been the more consistant driver this season.

Sebastian Vettel nursed his car to a 4th place finish and he will be surely cursing his luck during this weekend as during qualifying he was all set for pole position till Barrichello crashed at the end of Q3 and also during the race itself he was catching up Hamilton but a drive through penalty for speeding in the pit-lane took him of the equation and his title chance for 2009 fades away unless he does manage to win the remaining races and hope that Button fails to score at all. Webber’s chance now is out and he has a disastrous race with a brake failure making him spin out with 16 laps to go. Sister team Toro Rosso also retired immediately after Webber’s spin as they share similar braking technology.

Kubica scored the final points available at the race with his BMW team coming in 8th. Though the team is much better off than the 4 newcomers, its position is not confirmed yet while we will know if the Sauber team will be on the grid for the next season in a week’s time. Force India had a very bad weekend as their car is not just suited for this track and adding in more misery is that Sutil took out BMW’s Heidfeld and is being investigated by the stewards.

Ferrari had a race to forget and though the team have decided to focus on the 2010 car, both Kimi and Fisi are not too happy with it and it won’t surprise too many people if the team does have a complete different line-up for the next season. Suzuka is a fast track and it should favour the team by then Force India should also be in the reckoning to score to points as well.

Rosberg had a chance to score his first win and Williams also had a shot of winning a race after 2004, but then Rosberg’s penalty effectively ruined the race for the team and he managed to finish only 11th while Nakajima came in 9th and is yet to score points for the team.

Leaving aside the things which happened outside the track, Singapore once again stole the show while the racing on track was not the best of the year, but the night race dominated everything else and the 2nd Singapore GP was a very successful race. Suzuka will be a very interesting race and a high speed circuit which should bring in Ferrari once again into the reckoning.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Singapore GP Preview: Brawns slugfest on Singapore streets!

The time has come to focus on actual racing as too many times this season, the focus has been on everything else apart from racing but then we go back to Singapore which after just one race suddenly was competing with historical tracks like Monza, Monaco and Spa as people’s favourite race and though being an exclusive night race may give it an edge for sometime but after what happened during last year’s grand prix and what should have been a shining moment in the history of this small nation was turned into a nightmare by 3 individuals and luckily this time around the concerned conspirators would not be anywhere near the track.

Brawn after the Italian GP seem to have a clear edge over its immediate rival Red Bull and though both Webber and Vettel have said they do have a very slim chance at the title both have promised to give their best and would be going for the kill while inside Brawn though the lead is good enough not to worry too much about Red Bull, but Button the championship leader and teammate Barrichello who is trailing by just 14 points should not end up taking out each other and though they have not shown such intense characteristics so far in their career but when your this close to the title anything can happen and it’s up to Ross Brawn to preserve sanity in the team.

Renault went through its worse phase in its Formula 1 history and thought Renault may never be an iconic team like Ferrari or even McLaren, the team has contributed well to the sport as both as a constructor and an engine supplier. Alonso may forever be tarnished for his win last season but forget the crash, it takes a great driver to win the race and Alonso is currently one of the best drivers on the grid and in what could be his last season with Renault and also to clean the slate clean after what happened last season, he will be looking for a win. Grosjean is slow and he has just recovered from a sickness and there is a chance that he may well crash since he is a rookie and he is not used to street circuits, but we all hope this again does not lead to conspiracy theories.

McLaren and Ferrari after a string of solid performances is not looking too strong on the street circuit but don’t count out Kimi and Hamilton especially when the safety car can become involved, you can have a situation where you can see one of them on the podium. Fisichella is getting better every race and it does take some time getting used to the Ferrari but he should put up a decent show while Kovalainen will be racing for a spot as he is more or less out of McLaren for 2010 and he needs a good show to get into any of the decent teams on the grid.

Force India will definitely struggle in this track and the car is just not made out for this circuit. The next circuit after this where they do have a chance of scoring points will be Suzuka but both Sutil and Liuzzi will be giving in their best as with as many as 14 teams next season, there are some good spots opening up especially for Sutil who can look at the Toyota or even a Williams racing seat. BMW has been sold to an unknown consortium and though they will be powered by Ferrari, it is not yet confirmed if they will be starting at the Bahrain GP and their car has too many updates going in that both Heidfeld and Kubica should be in for some points and also enhance their reputation for a race seat for 2010.

Williams after a nightmare of the Italian GP should be back in form and especially Rosberg who did managed to come 2nd during last year’s race should be once again in reckoning for some points while Nakajima needs a miracle to stay in the team for the next season since Williams will not be using Toyota engines for 2010. Toyota at the beginning of the season was looking for a few wins and even challenging Brawn for the title but once again the team has been very inconsistent and don’t be too surprised if you do not see them for the next season.

Toro Rosso of 2009 is nowhere near the same team which won a race in Monza and came 6th in the championship and the team has gone back to the Minardi days as they are once again scrapping at the tail-end of the grid while fellow scrapers Force India seem to have upped their game and now sort of in the mid-field pack and have even at times been faster than the likes of Ferrari, McLaren and Williams.

This year should once again be very exciting and with both Brawns in the reckoning while Red Bull providing an inspired charge, once again there will be bedlam on the streets of Singapore and the only thing which can make it even crazier will be rains.

Singapore GP Predictions: 1. Vettel 2. Alonso 3. Barrichello 4. Button 5. Webber 6. Rosberg 6. Heidfeld 7. Hamilton 8. Kimi

Sunday, September 13, 2009

2009 Italian GP Review: Brawn Dominates Monza and Shuts out Bulls!

The European leg of the F1 season comes to an end with Brawn once again coming 1 and 2 at the Italian GP at Monza. Rubens Barrichello once again seems to be the better Brawn driver and is moving closer to Button as the season comes to an end. With 4 more races to go, it has become a straight shootout between the 2 Brawn drivers and though Button has a significant advantage over Barrichello, he really needs to finish on podium till the last race if he has to have a comfortable victory. The moment he fails to score and Barrichello wins another race, things can become too close to call between them.

Kimi brought the Ferrari for a podium once again and though the car set-up did not favour the high speed Monza track, it was a good effort from Kimi who was once again hounded by a Force India car which followed him throughout the race. Teammate Fisi was impressive with his 9th place finish but imagine had he not left Force India, well he may have got another podium at his home grand prix but then not everyone can claim to drive for Ferrari in F1. Force India proved that their Spa performance was no fluke and Sutil impressed everyone with his 4th place finish while Liuzzi was all set to score points till an electronics failure forced him into retirement but he performed brilliantly after not driven a F1 car in 2 years and this could have well rewarded him with a drive for 2010.

Hamilton and McLaren were the team to beat after qualifying but they were strategically outwitted by Brawn and later with just a lap to go Hamilton threw away a podium finish by hitting the curb too hard which resulted in a spin and crashed him out of the race. Kovalainen had a very quiet and uneventful race which saw him finish 6th but he needs more than this if he has to keep Rosberg, Kubica or even Kimi from taking his seat for the next season.

Red Bull’s chances of fighting it out with Brawn for both the titles seem to have ended with a disastrous Italian GP. While Brawn took 18 points from this race, RBR could take only one point with Vettel finishing 8th. Vettel is also running with his last engine and he will have to take a 10 place grid penalty at the Singapore GP as there is no point running with an underperforming engine while Webber’s title hopes vanished with his retirement early on in the race.

BMW had a very mixed race with Kubica retiring in the middle while Heidfeld came 7th to score valuable points for the team. Given his age, his performance must improve if any of the existing teams would want to take him in for the next season while the team needs to do more than this if they need to find a new buyer very soon as FIA will decide if they will be on the grid for 2010 or they would offer the spot to any of the new teams.

With all the speculations of race-fixing gathering momentum, it was important for Renault to perform on track and though Alonso never looked like he was in for a place on the podium, it was once again a very solid drive from him to finish 5th while rookie Grosjean finished 15th.

It was a race to forget for Toyota, Williams and Toro Rosso as they were way off from the other teams. Toyota needs a podium very soon or else this year could be the last season in F1 for the team while STR just could replicate last year’s magical performance from Vettel for the team.

It was a good Italian GP and though no news of the impending Alonso-Ferrari came out, everyone is set for September 21st hearing on the fate of the Renault race fixing scandal as the driver’s market is directly dependent on the outcome of that proceeding.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Italian GP Preview: Everything to race for!

Once again, another race weekend is bombarded by news for all the wrong reasons and what should have been a season where 2 independent outfits are battling for the championship after years of manufactures dominating F1 is now threatening to disrupt the sport once again. This season has seen a lot of things, starting from McLaren lying scandal to the FIA-FOTA wars and now with Nelson Piquet claiming that he was ordered to crash and Renault infact had fixed the 2008 Singapore GP. This will not only make the manufacturers leave the sport but also not encourage potential sponsors to put their money in a sport which is hit by once scandal after the other.

The Italian GP has always held a special place in the calendar and tit being the home GP of Ferrari, once can see hordes of Tifosi around the circuit. Ferrari have run into some serious form with Kimi winning the Belgian GP and it would be a very special race for Giancarlo Fisichella, who after a stunning performance at Spa where he not only pushed Kimi all the way till the finish but also scored the first points for Force India by coming in 2nd. It has always been a dream for Fisi to race for Ferrari and this could be the best place for him to make his debut and if Fisi wins, this could become folklore and will be remembered as the best Italian GP ever.

McLaren and Hamilton may have had a disappointing weekend in Spa but they have been very quick on the 1st practice and the long straights at Monza will defiantly favour them and with KERS, they should be the team to beat. Don’t be too shocked to see a McLaren win but Heikki Kovalainen needs more than points to continue in the team for the next season as though Rosberg’s name has been touted as a possible replacement, a dramatic comeback for Kimi too could not be ruled out.

Force India are in a very serious position to score points once again and though Sutil can even dream of a podium, any points will do for Liuzzi as he is making a comeback after 2 years and if he manages to score in his home grand prix, he may have a deal for the next season. BMW had a very good race in Spa and they once again seem to have found pace here. The team will do anything to go out with a bang as the stronger the team gets, the easier it becomes in finding a buyer for the team for next season.

The championship contenders seem to be backtracked by the resurgence of Ferrari and McLaren and among the 2, Red Bull seem to be in better shape but with Vettel and Webber eating points off each other, it may be tough for either of them to win the championship while the contractor’s title is within their grasp with only 14 points separating them and Brawn. There has been a rumoured deal that Mercedes would make Brawn its works team after 2012 but for now Button should be focused on winning the title which is surely his if he just manages to pull off another win while Barrichello who has been the better driver among the 2 for the last 5 races will be hoping to gain points at Button’s cost.

Renault has been embroiled in controversy and with Alonso leaving the team at the end of the season, there is a distinct possibility that the team may quit the sport but leaving aside on what is happening outside the track, the team will be hoping for a decent performance and with KERS in the car, don’t be too surprised if Alonso manages to reach the podium while Romain Grosjean may be one of the first to spin out due to the raised curbs.

Rosberg pulled off a miracle by getting some points for Williams in Spa and expecting the same thing from him once again in Monza is unfair from the team as the set up is not suited for fast tracks. If Rosberg does score points here, well he is surely a world championship material if he gets his hands on a good car and with both McLaren and Brawn courting him; it will be interesting to see where he lands up. While Kazuki Nakajima is just be looking for finishing the race as with the Toyota’s deal with Williams off for the next season, he could be out of job for 2010.

Speaking of Toyota, this was the team which was expected to challenge Brawn for the titles but with a few more races to go till the finish of the season, no one will be shocked if the team leaves F1 next season as despite having a good car, the team has faltered due to inconsistent driving and poor strategy. Monza should be a nightmare for the team.

Toro Rosso especially Sebastien Buemi has been good on practice and though repeating what Vettel did last year should be a tall order, any points from him should be good for the team. Hope Monza once again throws a very interesting race like last season and the race should bring back the focus on what actually makes the sport which is intense high quality wheel to wheel racing.

Italian GP Predictions: 1. Fisichella 2. Kimi 3. Vettel 4. Hamilton 5. Alonso 6. Webber 6. Sutil 7. Buemi 8. Heidfeld

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Monza and the Ferrari Seat!

Ferrari is one of the greatest brands which exist today and though some may differ, Ferrari is F1 and F1 needs them more than Ferrari needs the sport. Ferrari has always been a dream drive for any drive in the sport and even when they were going thru a very rough phase in the late 80’s and early 90’s, respected French driver Jean Alesi choose the team over Williams and missed his chance to become a World Champion. Ferrari is the Holy Grail for any driver. Some very famous name like Juan Manuel Fangio, Phil Hill, John Surtees, Mario Andretti, Niki Lauda, Gilles Villeneuve, Carlos Reutemann, Jody Scheckter, René Arnoux, Nigel Mansell, Gerhard Berger, Alain Prost, Jean Alesi, Rubens Barrichello, Kimi Räikkönen, Felipe Massa and ofcourse the most famous and the greastest driver in F1 history Michael Schumacher all drove and many even won Championships for the team.

There are times when the car is real bad and however great the driver is, it will still be off the pace but what Luca Badoer has done is a cardinal sin for the Tifosi and when you have one driver winning and the other driver coming in last, well it is a disgrace and the Tifosi has always seen 2 real quick drivers on the cart and the last few years have seen both the drivers racing each other for the title means that Luca driving for the Ferrari is a mess and if the team does not replace him with someone, well you can be assured that there would be a riot in Monza and the team will be better off with going with only one car. On the bright side, they can save some money rather than have a guy coming in last and way off the pace which the car can produce. Yes Luca will be faster than anyone of us but then he is in F1 which is the pinnacle of motorsport and when driving for a champion team, you have to drive like a champion which he is not anyway close by. Would rather see a 18 year old do this rather than a 38 year test driver who has put in more miles on a Ferrari F1 car than any other driver in history!

Ferrari has well too many options and though some may just be speculation others are realistic enough and surely a majority of the options cannot do any worse than Luca, so for Monza the team should change their driver and well they can either look into the future or give someone a drive for a nostalgic feel or just shock everyone and just do it for a publicity stunt which I feel the team should avoid. So let’s look at some of the options the team has for Monza:

Michael Schumacher is once again on top of everyone’s list and though both Ferrari and the Tifosi would love this to happen, Schumacher’s neck has not recovered fully and I don’t think he wants to get in when he is not fully fit. But Schumacher when half fit and 40 is still better than 15 out of the 20 drivers on track.

Valentino Rossi the legendary Moto GP Champion has achieved everything he can in the sport and though he is well set to win the title once again this year, he has said in the past that driving for Ferrari is also a dream of his and being an Italian would make it easier for him too but then this is a very long shot and it may just not happen.

Giancarlo Fisichella has always dreamt of racing for Ferrari and after a stunning Belgian GP where he scored the first points for the Force India team by coming in 2nd and challenging Kimi for the win till the end, he is the most logical choice as he is in form and after his stint with Ferrari till the end of 2009, he can sign up as their test driver from 2010 onwards but he still has one more year of racing left in him and this all depends on Force India.

Fernando Alonso is the best overall driver on the grid and though he moving to Ferrari for 2010 is the worst kept secret in F1 history, he is a very good choice and if the 2010 move does happen, it is good for both the parties involved and it should be interesting to see Alonso and Kimi battling it out with the same equipment.

Robert Kubica driving for Ferrari is earlier than Alonso coming over as BMW has pulled out of F1 and only last year he was fighting for the championship with Hamitlon and Massa. There are talks of him moving to Renault for the next season, so there could be a 3 way swap possible but he is a very good driver and Ferrari should seriously consider him for the remaining races.

Marc Gene, Ferrari’s other test driver and unlike Luca, he does have recent racing experience as he did win this year’s 24 hours Le Mans and have subbed in the past for Williams. But after Luca’s performance, Ferrari will think twice to put him in a car but he would have been a better choice than Luca and maybe Ferrari did make a huge mistake in putting Luca.

Sébastien Loeb is again an interesting option and he has shown his interest in racing for USF1 team for 2010, it could be a huge thing for him to race without testing for Ferrari at Monza. This would be only a publicity stunt which Ferrari would never do.

David Coulthard, the test driver for Red Bull is a solid man to have in the #2 car as he has been with Williams, McLaren and Red Bull teams. Also he did race in the championship only last season and he knows all the tracks very well.

Jarno Trulli is another Italian driver on the grid and though he has a contract with Toyota for 2009, chances is that he will be out for 2010 and with current experience of the track, he should be a good bet for Ferrari provided Toyota is willing to release him.

Tonio Liuzzi is Force India’s test driver and he has had prior racing experience with Both Red Bull and Toro Rosso He too is an Italian but this is a long shot which Ferrari may not want to try out at Monza.

Jacques Villeneuve is a former World Champion whose father drove for Ferrari but he is too old and has been out of F1 for a longtime now and Ferrari will definitely not take him in unless he is the last driver available.

Sébastien Bourdais is an F1 reject who was axed by the Toro Rosso team. He has used the Ferrari engine but then would you want a driver who was axed by STR?

Nelson Piquet was another option which was floating around but then with the Singapore GP scandal of last year erupting and this news could just see Renault walking out of F1, well Piquet will surely be the most hated man on grid and Ferrari would rather run one car or even give Luca a chance rather than give Piquet a drive.

Nico Hulkenberg is said to be a very talented driver who is Williams test driver and he has Wili Webber as his manager. The same guy who managed Schumacher and Hulkenberg should be a very intresting choice as the team can actually check how good he is and if he is the real deal, then they can actually sign him up for post 2012.

Mirko Bortolotti is said to be the most talented Italian driver and he is only 19 and currently driving in the inaugural FIA’s F2 Champioship. Mirko has tested with Ferrari in the past and in 2008, he set the fastest time ever on the Fiorano Circuit by a F2008 car. He should be a pick with the future in mind.

This may never happen but would definitely garner the most media attention after Schumacher and if somehow Ferrari gets Danica Patrick to race for them not only we will know how good she is in an F1 car but also the kind of press coverage will be mind blowing. With all the bad publicity F1 has had this year, this could be the only thing after Schumacher’s return which could save F1 and also there is also the sight of a sexy girl driving the most beautiful scarlet red car on the track.

If incase Ferrari has to save money, well it is better for them to run only one car rather than run Luca.