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Old 12th June 2012, 10:52   #1
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Lightbulb 2012-13 Silly Season is here !!!

So it’s that time of the year now. When teams spar with each other, nitpicking small violations, carefully watching what the others do with their upgrades and sooner take a call whether to stop working on the current car and start work on the drawing board for the next year’s dream. Dreams do not die first here !

Betwixt this tamasha starts another interesting part of the circus, the SILLY SEASON.


Yes we have the silly season kicked off officially and now rumour mills are moving towards the higher gears. What better forum than TBHP to have the rumours discussed – served hot with spice in this hot summer!!

Disclaimer: All the content and hopefully replies to this thread are all thoughts after sifting thru various F1 related websites . Nor the author or the responders can be held responsible for anything remotely accurate or otherwise


Right, so what do we have on the table, F1 aficionados :
  • Lewis Hamilton – pushed by his big shot management team, gets ready to pole vault the McLaren wall. What are his chances – Merc, RedBull, Ferrari. Lewis keeps telling that he doesn’t want to discuss on his new contract till later (waiting for Schumacher to move out ?). Ron Dennis gives his Ronspeak two days back stating the bleeding obvious that people will look at opportunities available and Lewis will have to take a pay cut. Hmmm…..
  • The Schum loses steam – hangs up his boots for good. Sorry Schum, the powers that be couldn’t host you a season with sensible race parameters.
  • Felipe Massa – Despite a revival, his seat is up for grabs. This state will be there till he wins a race or two for Ferrari and that might not happen.
  • Webbo – Might move to Ferrari to spend probably his last seasons in F1 there, Mark is aging and he knows that retiring out of Ferrari might be a swan song innings.
  • Bruno Senna – hasn’t impressed so far and is probably on the list as well. It is Toto Wolff who calls the shots and not old man FW these days, you see…
  • Narain Karthikeyan – something tells me, he won’t be around next year. The team is becoming too Spanish and he is not testing few Fridays as well. (I hope he stays and I’ll gladly eat my words back!)
  • Di Resta – McLaren might love to have the all British (ok, he is Scottish, but who cares) team again in case Lewis leaves for better pastures.
Drivers who would stay put
  • Alonso – why would he move ?
  • Sebastian – ditto
  • PDLR – ditto again, no one else wants him
  • Grosjean
  • Kimi
  • Glock
  • Pic
  • Jenson – better up your game pal, else you will go the Heiki way
  • Kobayashi
  • Perez – only for 2013, I guess
  • Rosberg
  • Ricciardo
  • Vergne
  • Maldanado
  • Hulkenberg
  • Heiki
  • Petrov
I will now leave it your good offices to give your judgments.
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Old 12th June 2012, 11:15   #2
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Default Re: 2012-13 Silly Season is here !!!

Great thread! There was always a void when these things were to be discussed and thanks for kicking it off

My only prediction for 2013:

Lewis Hamilton - Dont be surprised if he goes to Maranello wearing the red suit. Santander is the big name in F1 now. Santander looks after 3 guys in F1... Alonso, Massa & Hamilton. End of this year, Santander would be gone from Mclaren and they would like to invest on someone british to back their operations in UK. Its a case of Santander going to where Lewis is going or put all their money in Maranello and bring the drivers together.
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Old 12th June 2012, 11:24   #3
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Default Re: 2012-13 Silly Season is here !!!

I hope Alonso sticks with Ferrari and the team supports him with a complete package from the beginning of the season itself. I feel that Massa has had too much of leeway in the team for the kind of performance he delivers.
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Old 12th June 2012, 12:15   #4
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Default Re: 2012-13 Silly Season is here !!!

In top teams:

Alonso is going nowhere. He contracted till the end of 2015 (or was it 2016?). And I will be very surprised to see him at Ferrari after the 2007 he had with Alonso. Massa on the other hand is very likely to be replaced unless he wins a few GPs for them. Ferrari have now fallen behind Lotus Renault in WCC with Massa scoring less points than Bruno Senna!!

Jenson too has a contract till the end of 2013 with Mclaren (AFAIK). He's going nowhere. Hamilton - IMO, only feasible option is Mclaren or Mercedes (he & Nico are good friends). Vettel will not want him in RBR.

Vettel is signed with RBR till don't know when. Webber's seat is available. He gets on with Alonso so Ferrari is a possibility. Alonso will not mind as he would be finding him beatable (thus protecting is no.1 status). For Webber's seat RBR, might bring up one of the junior boys, though not sure how impressive they have proved so far.

Mercedes - Nico is contracted. MS might be on his way out. Options for Mercedes - Hamilton or DiRiesta.

Lotus - Kimi is contracted for next year. Grosjean has put in good performances to deserve the seat for next year.

Sauber - same drivers.

Williams - Maldonado & probably Bottas. Bruno hasn't impressed anybody so far and he is on a one year contract. Plus Bottas is managed by Toto Wolf and he has looked good in testing (if that means anything).

FIF1 - Hulk and ?. If Di Riesta moves, would they want to bring Sutil back? He had some sponsorship $$ with him, which cannot be bad for any team in the 2nd half of the grid.

STR - to be decided by RBR plans.

Caterham - same or not sure if Petrov in on a multi-year contract. But he has sponsorship $$.

Marrusia - Glock and some driver with $$.

HRT - PDLR & hopefully not NK. Personally, I don't want to see NK racing for them. The car is so off the pace and he's not even beating PDLR (which I thought he would). I see this as a waste for precious Indian money.
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Old 12th June 2012, 12:23   #5
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Default Re: 2012-13 Silly Season is here !!!

I dont see any chance of Lewis moving to Ferrari, simply because they already have Fernando. They will not do anything to disturb that. Ferrari have built the team around him and he is doing an exceptional job.

In fact I do not see any combination of Sebastian/Lewis/Fernando in a team together, ever.
This is only a dream team, and a recipe for disaster as we witnessed in McLaren a few years ago.
None of these 3 will ever accept being slower than their team mate. They will just implode on being beaten (like Lewis was on the verge of doing last season)
Button, being world champion is different as he accepts that Lewis is quicker than him on occasion (certainly in qualifying), but he backs himself over a race distance.

Quite frankly, that leaves only Mercedes, to replace Shumi.
I feel Mclaren is a much better bet.
Di Resta looks like he will move if MS quits.

Top drivers will tend to leave things late, to put pressure on the team to put a better offer on the table.
Here, Lewis has the uncertainty over Webber and Massa's 2013 season to hedge on.

The other interesting bit will be Bruno's future. His millions are keeping him at Williams, but he clearly lacks the speed. Lets see how this unfolds.
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Old 12th June 2012, 12:40   #6
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Default Re: 2012-13 Silly Season is here !!!

I have a feeling that Sutil's Shanghai Shenanigans were responsible for his exit from Force India and his inability to find a seat with any other team. His F1 career seems to be over.
Hulk as befits his name is too slow, but Force India has no replacement either for him or di Resta(if he moves)
Maldonado will have his flashes of brilliance and stupidity, which is suiting Williams at the moment.
Kobayashi is unlikely to move, considering that Perez is almost certain to be grabbed by one of the big boys next year.

Massa and Webber are likely to be replaced. Webber will find another team, but for Massa it will be 'adeus.'

McLaren will try their best to retain Lewis, as Jenson's form has fallen off after his win to start the season.
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Old 12th June 2012, 13:43   #7
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Default Re: 2012-13 Silly Season is here !!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronix View Post
Great thread! There was always a void when these things were to be discussed and thanks for kicking it off

My only prediction for 2013:

Lewis Hamilton - Dont be surprised if he goes to Maranello wearing the red suit. Santander is the big name in F1 now. Santander looks after 3 guys in F1... Alonso, Massa & Hamilton. End of this year, Santander would be gone from Mclaren and they would like to invest on someone british to back their operations in UK. Its a case of Santander going to where Lewis is going or put all their money in Maranello and bring the drivers together.
Thanks !
Fernando seems to be courting Lewis...just in case...He probably is warming up to chance of having to beat Lewis in HIS team. Domenicali might say few years down the line "We are not racing against others, we are racing against Lewis" .
Quote:
Originally Posted by asr245 View Post
In top teams:

Alonso is going nowhere. He contracted till the end of 2015 (or was it 2016?). And I will be very surprised to see him at Ferrari after the 2007 he had with Alonso. Massa on the other hand is very likely to be replaced unless he wins a few GPs for them. Ferrari have now fallen behind Lotus Renault in WCC with Massa scoring less points than Bruno Senna!!

Jenson too has a contract till the end of 2013 with Mclaren (AFAIK). He's going nowhere. Hamilton - IMO, only feasible option is Mclaren or Mercedes (he & Nico are good friends). Vettel will not want him in RBR.

Vettel is signed with RBR till don't know when. Webber's seat is available. He gets on with Alonso so Ferrari is a possibility. Alonso will not mind as he would be finding him beatable (thus protecting is no.1 status). For Webber's seat RBR, might bring up one of the junior boys, though not sure how impressive they have proved so far.
Might be a problem for RBR if Webbo moves out, none of the current STR drivers might be able to scale up. They will lose constructor points which Didi Mateschitz or their legendary "consultant" Herr Marko will not like. Vettel, we have seen can be very grumpy if things don't go his way and Horner will not want that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by asr245 View Post
Mercedes - Nico is contracted. MS might be on his way out. Options for Mercedes - Hamilton or DiRiesta.

Lotus - Kimi is contracted for next year. Grosjean has put in good performances to deserve the seat for next year.

Sauber - same drivers.

Williams - Maldonado & probably Bottas. Bruno hasn't impressed anybody so far and he is on a one year contract. Plus Bottas is managed by Toto Wolf and he has looked good in testing (if that means anything).

FIF1 - Hulk and ?. If Di Riesta moves, would they want to bring Sutil back? He had some sponsorship $$ with him, which cannot be bad for any team in the 2nd half of the grid.
Sutil is a closed chapter I think, besides Force India might need more sponsor money btw things are going for VJM.
Quote:
Originally Posted by asr245 View Post
STR - to be decided by RBR plans.

Caterham - same or not sure if Petrov in on a multi-year contract. But he has sponsorship $$.

Marrusia - Glock and some driver with $$.

HRT - PDLR & hopefully not NK. Personally, I don't want to see NK racing for them. The car is so off the pace and he's not even beating PDLR (which I thought he would). I see this as a waste for precious Indian money.
I like this line "waste for precious Indian money" - but where else can he fit ? A marussia probably using the QNET option? I think QNET is a NRI owned company.Oh, I heard the commentator during the Canadian GP that Narain was the 3rd fastest in the speed trap with their new wing. Though all of us don't like to say it, its probably better for him to hang up the boots since the team is not going anywhere.
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Old 14th June 2012, 16:38   #8
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Default Re: 2012-13 Silly Season is here !!!

Today's hot news:

Herr Marko doesn't want Lewis.

Very clearly they don't want two mercurial champions at the same time.
Marko says Hamilton does not fit in with Red Bull plans

And, Whitmarsh says Lewis will stay

McLaren 'fully expect' to retain Hamilton | Planet F1 | Formula One News
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Old 14th June 2012, 16:41   #9
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I wish Sahara Force India has a change of heart and give NK a full season.

That would give him one last chance to proove his abilities.
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Old 14th June 2012, 17:46   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BheemBoy View Post
I wish Sahara Force India has a change of heart and give NK a full season.

That would give him one last chance to proove his abilities.
You mean if Sahara Force India has a change of brain.

No seriously, this is NK's third full season in F1 and he hasnt shown anything spectacular to justify his seat in HRT.

He has never been a 'special' talent right from his junior formulae, its just that he was the first Indian to be competitive.

NK has had no less than 35 race starts and is yet to do anything special in a F1 car. Some of the most talented drivers in F1 got far lesser chances than that to make it big. Immense talents like Romain Grosjean got waylaid after just 4 or 5 races a couple of years back. What makes you think NK is a good investment for anyone ?

Whats more the man is pushing 35 now, which is about the time F1 drivers decide to hang up their boots. I dont see any justification for Karthikeyan to continue racing. He is India's version of one of those overhyped Japanese drivers who paid for their seats, in the 80s and 90s.

I hope he retires for good. Whatever sponsor funding has been wasted on him would have been much better spent on some young talent in India. There are plenty of budding youngsters in our country who could've used a dose of funding to get to a premier racing school or academy in Europe.
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Old 22nd June 2012, 13:51   #11
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Default Re: 2012-13 Silly Season is here !!!

Attention folks,
Here are the updates as of today:
1. Lewis seems to be staying back at his family home (McLaren) for few more seasons.
2. Ferrari say they are interested in Vettel more than Adrian Newey (we haven't talked about technicians and team head honchos shuffling across, apologies ! )
3. Vettel is flattered by Ferrari's interest, but staying put at Red Bull.
4. Which leaves Mark Webber in contention for Massa's seat if he is forced to vacate.

Cheers !

Last edited by polopm : 22nd June 2012 at 13:54. Reason: typo corrections
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Old 24th June 2012, 10:33   #12
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Default Re: 2012-13 Silly Season is here !!!

I would say the line up in the top Teams would take a slight change.

FERRARI - Alonso + Perez

REDBULL - Vettel + ?? ( not sure who )

McLAREN - Hamilton + Jenson

MERCEDES AMG - Roseberg + Schumacher ( wait untill the end of the season, something tells me , Schumi resurgence on the cards )

LOTUS - Kimi + Grosjean
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Old 24th June 2012, 12:17   #13
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Webber had mentioned earlier that the last few years there has been no NEED to be on the driver market. This year too, we see the Red Bulls coming back to their qualifying form and race pace too. So no real reason for his to shift.. yet.

Ferrari will be unlikely to replace Massa with a newbie, Luca M has made that clear.
With Massa finding some form, they could offer him a 1 yr contract before evaluating Perez for 2014.

Someone else who has impressed me is Maldonado. Great skill and he will become more consistent with experience. Clearly blowing away his team mate.
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Old 26th June 2012, 13:34   #14
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Quote:
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Someone else who has impressed me is Maldonado. Great skill and he will become more consistent with experience. Clearly blowing away his team mate.
Yes, blows away everybody on the track including Lewis Hamilton .

As Marko says, the schum holds the trick to next year. He moves out and there will be lot of traction.
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Old 26th June 2012, 13:54   #15
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Yes, blows away everybody on the track including Lewis Hamilton .

As Marko says, the schum holds the trick to next year. He moves out and there will be lot of traction.
Coming to the Hamilton. Did you see how he let Grosjean past towards the first half of the race at the same corner, exactly the same point?

On Pastor, it reminds me of the time Vettel in a Toro Rosso smashed into Webber ruining his race many years ago. And now he's not only blowing Mark away but he's also double world champion!

Rookies will make mistakes and learn from them hopefully
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