2009 Formula 1 Drivers Line Up – The July Prediction

Rumours keep flying around (and there will be more) but at the end there are only 20 places on the grid and even less if one aims for race wins … Same as last winter everybody again waits for Alonso’s next move. He however does not really have anywhere to move to. There simply isn’t anywhere to go for most of the drivers. That is unless someone makes a room and starts the big shuffle. At the moment it seems that we may have a period of silence before 2010 driver market storm hits. Here is how I think the not-much-changed line up will look in 2009:


Ferrari
- Kimi Raikkonen
- Felipe Massa

Both drivers are under contract and Kimi will not retire at the end of this season …

McLaren
- Lewis Hamilton
- Heikki Kovalainen

I think Kovalainen will stay. Rosberg rumours are good for gossip columns, but why would they want a driver who wants to win races when they now have a driver who has no problem to step aside, let Hamilton pass and then keeps his mouth shut after the race …

BMW Sauber
- Robert Kubica
- Nick Heidfeld

There is not any better seat available for Kubica at the moment and Heidfeld is not doing too bad now. They will keep them both.

Red Bull
- Mark Webber
- Sebastian Vettel

Well, these two have been confirmed already so not much to speculate about here.

Renault
- Fernando Alonso
- Nelson Piquet

Alonso will have to stick with Renault for at least one more year unless he convinces Kimi to make full time switch to snowmobiles … I do not know why, but I think they will keep Nelsinho for another year.

Toyota
- Jarno Trulli
- Timo Glock

They do not really have a reason to change anything here, both will stay

Williams
- Nico Rosberg
- Kazuki Nakajima

There has been talk about Nakajima going to Toyota, but if no one leaves Toyota, no one can come in. Rosberg would finally like to start winning races but with so high occupancy levels at those race winning garages he may have to work with Sir Frank for at least another year.

Toro Rosso
- Sebastien Bourdais
- Bruno Senna

Bourdais will stay. One reason is (the one Bourdais is not that happy about) some need for continuity and with Vettel gone STR may simply want to keep Bourdais. The other reason may be the hope that Bourdais will do much better when slick tyres return. They will likely bring Bruno Senna in. It is no secret that Berger is out to help Senna to get to F1 and what would be easier than offering him the freshly vacant seat in his own team. Also, the team is up for sale and having Senna name as part of the package can’t do any harm … Oh, and he seems to be a decent driver too.

Honda
- Jenson Button
- Rubens Barrichello

If Button had better option he would probably move on, but he does not. He has to believe that Ross Brawn knows what to do to retunr Honda back to the front end of the grid. Barrichello will get one more season unless Honda decides that some rookie would suit them better. They may talk about Alonso, but after his 2008 Renault experience it is hard to see him moving to a team that barely manages to outpace Force India at the moment.

Force India
- Adrian Sutil
- Vitantionio Liuzzi

Liuzzi may get the seat and at least one of the current race drivers may have to go. I have a feeling that the one will be Fisichella.

Feel free to disagree :-)

Photo: Renault/LAT

16 Comments Post a Comment
  1. KotenokNo Gravatar says:

    Feel sorry for Fisico, he had some talent to do great things sometimes, but not now with such a blame of car… Anyway, Liuzzi isn’t much better :S Let’s see what happen, maybe some important peaple push to make door for Chandahok???

    • F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

      Liuzzi did not really have chance to show how good he is … First they gave him few races to drive with Red Bull alternating him with Klien, later he received proper drive with not so proper Toro Rosso car :-)

      And when he finally started to show something, not doing that bad alongside Vettel, they ditched him and brought Le Seb in …

      • KotenokNo Gravatar says:

        Yeah, not really nice for him… But to say truth, the couple Speed and Liuzzi was terrible to see together. When Vettel joined then just Speed falled away, and Luizzi could show something (little but already important for Mallya to bring him to Force India).

        Anyway, Toro Rosso is growing with great results, which sometimes better the RBR results even. What could do Luzzi in there in spite of Bourdais?

        • F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

          let’s change the question :-)

          what has Bourdais done so far that Liuzzi would not be able to do in Toro Rosso ?

          • KotenokNo Gravatar says:

            But Vettel would still displace him with his results, I believe most of the people thoughts, he will be a great one. I personally think none of them deserve the place, mre prepared drivers are doing good for deserving a seat in F1.

  2. cdNo Gravatar says:

    I agree with most of it, but I’d say Force India remains the same until Chandhok is brought in. Then I’d say Fisi is most likely to stay as a groomer.

    Bourdais is probably a coin flip, but with Vettel moving up his chances got a whole lot better. I think the bigger problem with Toro Rosso is the inability to develop drivers. The team seems far more content criticizing than teaching. I can accept Liuzzi may not have been focused enough, and Speed created his own problems, but Bourdais has some pedigree. The only thing that saved Vettel is he is just that talented, in my opinion.

    • F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

      Bourdais may have some pedigree – F3000 and Champ Cars – but frankly, Champ Cars was not exactly a top competition in its last years of existence … Moreover, when was the last time a driver who came from US openwheel racing to F1 and had some success ? Montoya, and that was long time ago, before him Jacques Villeneuve …

  3. BenNo Gravatar says:

    I agree that Liuzzi was never given a proper chance, but as he is an older driver that I don’ believe would out gun Fisichella. I don’t see him taking Fisi’s spot unless he leaves himself.

    Personally I would bag Bourdais, give Liuzzi another shot at Toro Rosso and keep Fisichella.

    Or if Senna is no better than Bourdais give the Senna spot to Liuzzi and keep Fisichella and Sutil whom I think has done fairly well considering the car they drive.

  4. StewNo Gravatar says:

    I was looking forward to disagreeing with your predictions a little, but from where things stand right now, I have to agree with all of your predictions. There doesn’t seem to be any room for any driver to upgrade their drive just yet.

    I would have liked to see Fisichella one more year, but his services with Force India could only be for one year and his stock isn’t worth too much to other teams. It’s too bad.

  5. [...] with the uncompetitve car and his performances seem to start to reflect his unease. There is not really anywhere else to go for him next year. Unless he forgets about Ferrari and signs longer term deal with another team he is stuck with [...]

  6. ChristineNo Gravatar says:

    Not much change, is there?

    It’s hard to choose between the two Force India guys, and I reckon in the end Sutil could move on somewhere else, while Fisi might stay.

    I wanted Bourdais to be good, but he is being routinely outshone by Vettel. If they decide to give him another chance at Toro Rosso, he’s got to be a class above whoever they bring in as his team mate or else it’s all over.

  7. zblkhwkNo Gravatar says:

    I hope we see more of the Vettel, Kubica, Hamilton young blood next year. All have shown tremendous talent. A couple more like that, and we are in for a lot of years of very exciting racing.

  8. [...] 2009 driver line up prediction is doing well. I expect not much to change and McLaren are the first to agree with me . Martin [...]

  9. [...] prediction for 2009 drivers line up does not expect many changes except some shuffle in Red Bull / Toro Rosso following [...]

  10. [...] in July I posted my prediction for the 2009 drivers line up. At that time I did not predict too many changes. Since then there was no announcement that would [...]

  11. Bahjat TabbaraNo Gravatar says:

    I think that’s a good an analysis as you can get. The real drivers with question marks over them are Fisi (though age) & of course Barachellio. What one thinks should happen & what happens is totally different though. I think Bourdais deserves another chance as he was unlucky on at least four occasions robbing him of 10-15 points. On the other hand I reckon that bringing in B.Senna would be a mistake at this stage, while Fisi should be recalled to Renault to back up Alonso where Piquet Jnr. (in my opinion) should be ‘fed’ to Toro Rosso.

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