In the lions den

19 Mar

Well yesterday the F1 season came back with a bang. Lots of new discussions were started and some of the old ones came back, in particularly should Ferrari drop Massa. Here I evaluate the possible contenders.

Picture courtesy of Andrew Scott (http://www.flickr.com/photos/asphotos/)

Nico Hulkenburg:

  • Hit the scenes with a bang in 2010 claiming pole position at Interlagos, but couldn’t raise the funds to race in 2011. Returns this year with Force India and is definitely a man to watch.
  • Positives: he’s very quick, has a style that would suit Ferrari (both on and off the track)
  • Negatives: inexperienced (this is his second season in F1 and between them he had a year off)

Sergio Perez

  • Sergio joined Sauber last year and straight away looked competitive collecting 14 points in a year where both Saubers went backwards during the year. What’s more Sergio is a member of the Ferrari drivers academy.
  • Positives: he’s fast, light on the tyres, a member of the Ferrari drivers academy and you could picture him in the team.
  • Negatives: he too is inexperienced (also his second season) and last year his driving in the wet was pretty awful.

Jules Bianchi

  • This is Jules’ first year in F1 (he’s the Force India reserve) but Jules has turned heads at every category he’s been in and like Perez is a member of the Ferrari drivers academy.
  • Positives: he’s Italian so would be loved by the Tifosi and would silence Ferrari’s critics that they don’t do enough for Italian drivers, he’s quick and he’s in the Ferrari drivers academy.
  • Negatives: even more inexperienced than Nico and Sergio.

Robert Kubica

  • Always been talented and was maybe a future world champion, but we don’t know how the crash has affected him, despite this rumours still circulate that Ferrari are tracking his progress.
  • Positives: He is amazingly quick and takes cars above and beyond their potential and he’s a good mate of Ferrari lead driver Fernando Alonso.
  • Negatives: 2 years ago there were no problems, now though no one knows how he’ll recover from the crash.

Mark Webber

  • Almost a world champion having nearly claimed the title in 2010 and has always been Red Bull’s rock.
  • Positives: Hasn’t got much of a career with Red Bull and so should be easy to get, he’s quick, gets on well with Alonso and he’s a likeable character.
  • Negatives: There will always be people who say he’s too old and he may not have the pace of some of the other guys on this shortlist.

Jenson Button

  • Despite claiming to be happy with McLaren and could be in with winning this year’s championship whenever this debate comes up about replacing Massa his name is always thrown in the mix.
  • Positives: Works the tyres well, experienced, like Webber he’s likeable and could provide good competition for Alonso.
  • Negatives: He still seems happy with McLaren and could be on the verge of his second championship.

Felipe Massa

  • What’s to say Ferrari won’t do what they’ve always done and just stick with Massa?
  • Positives: knows the team and has pace somewhere but no one knows where it is.
  • Negatives: This is his third chance and I can’t see Ferrari giving him a 4th and he is really struggling with the tyres.

Picture courtesy of Andrew Scott (http://www.flickr.com/photos/asphotos/)

 

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