Saturday, 18 September 2010

2011 driver market: Renault seat the key

After 2010 gave us the potential of some great driver pairings which have been a fascinating element of the season it looks a fairly stable market for 2011. It will be the midfield where the main changes could be...

Almost certain
Outside chance


Jenson Button
Lewis Hamilton

Both British drivers are under contract until 2012 and the team have been happy with the way both have performed and the partnership seems to have been managed well and been a success.

Mercedes GP

Michael Schumacher
Nico Rosberg

Both drivers have been confirmed by Ross Brawn for 2011 though there has been a recent swirl of rumours saying that Schumacher could walk away from F1. I'll put him as confirmed because that is what Ross said last weekend and he does seem committed to me as well as looking at this project as a long term one. Adrian Sutil has been talking to the team though...

Red Bull

Sebastian Vettel
Mark Webber

Another front runner who have secured their drivers for another season. Some feel that Webber could walk away if he took the title and after some of the tension of this season but i think he will honour his contract for 2011.


Felipe Massa
Fernando Alonso

Massa got a 2 year renewal earlier this season. Robert Kubica has been linked with the seat and is believed to be well admired within Ferrari but whether him and Alonso would be a good pairing for the team remains to be seen.


Rubens Barrichello
Nico Hukenberg

Barrichello is virtually guaranteed a 19th season in the sport and Hulkenberg is close to securing another season so expect a confirmation of both seats soon.


Robert Kubica
Vitaly Petrov
Adrian Sutil
Romain Grosjean
Kimi Raikkonen
Timo Glock
Heikki Kovalainen

Robert Kubica has signed a two year deal with the team but the other Renault seat is the most sought after in F1. Vitaly Petrov is the current occupant and his rookie season has seen flashes of brilliance tempered by unforced errors. Adrian Sutil is a likely candidate to replace him with the German putting in consistent performances at Force India this season. Romain Grosjean endured a nightmare few races for Renault last season but is now driving for their associate team in GP2 and is still considered as a potential talent so could yet make a surprise return. He is also set to test for Pirelli which is a useful thing to have on his CV.

Kimi Raikkonen has enquired about a seat but staying in rallying remains the more likely career option for the 2007 world champion. Timo Glock and Heikki Kovalainen both look set to stay with their current teams. The German turned down an opportunity at Renault last year.

Force India

Adrian Sutil
Vitantonio Liuzzi
Paul di Resta
Karun Chandhok

It could be all change for Force India. The team has outperformed expectations but has hit a blip recently. Adrian Sutil may feel he needs to move to progress whilst Vitantonio Liuzzi's performances have frustrated the team. Paul di Resta has driven some practice sessions on Fridays and seems well placed to get an opportunity with the team. If both current drivers are out in 2011, then Indian Karun Chandhok may get an opportunity to drive for Vijay Mallya's team.

Toro Rosso

Sebastien Buemi
Jaime Alguersuari

Both men get another season to impress and will want to do just that with the likes of Daniel Ricciardo making their way through with Red Bull backing.


Heikki Kovalainen
Jarno Trulli
Vitaly Petrov

Kovalainen seems happy with the team and will probably stay onboard. Trulli has made it clear he is still motivated to continue racing. A Renault deal is expected to be announced soon and rumours have linked Petrov with being part of that but i think Lotus will stick with what they have for 2011.

Hispania Racing

Bruno Senna
Sakon Yamamoto
Christian Klien
Karun Chandhok
Jacques Villeneuve

It is hard to know what will happen with this team, let alone the drivers! All four currently with the team will likely consider the team. It may not seem a competitive option but it could be the only one available for some of them. Jacques Villeneuve missed out on getting an entry for 2011 with Durango but could yet look to buyout Hispania in order to make the grid and he would likely drive one of the cars if he was successful.


Kamui Kobayashi
Nick Heidfeld
Pastor Maldonado
Sergio Perez
Jules Bianchi

Kamui Kobayashi has been confirmed but the other seat remains wide open. Nick Heidfeld has replaced Pedro de la Rosa for the rest of the season so will hope to do enough to keep with the team for 2011. If not, then a number of GP2 drivers, including champion Pastor Maldonado and young hopefuls Sergio Perez and Jules Bianchi could get an opportunity. It would mean a very inexperienced line up for the team, though this has not deterred Peter Sauber in the past. Ferrari link up may see Bianchi get at least a reserve driver role.

Virgin Racing

Timo Glock
Lucas di Grassi
Pastor Maldonado

John Booth recently was confident when he said that he would retain his drivers for next season. di Grassi will be happy enough with that. For Glock he would likely prefer to get a better drive but also seems positive that things will be better for the team in 2011 so the German will most likely stay on.


  1. Don't forget Jermone D'Ambrosio for Virgin Racing possible for 2011. Maybe De La Rosa for Hispania

  2. No Matt it will be Perez in Sauber

  3. Why would Grosjean come back he is rubbish. 2008 Singapore GP please?

  4. McLaren- Hamilton, Button
    Red Bull- Vettel, Webber
    Mercedes- Schumacher, Rosberg
    Ferrari- Alonso, Massa
    Renault: Kubica, Petrov
    Force India: Sutil, Di Resta
    Toro Rosso: Buemi, Alguersuari
    Williams: Barrichello, Hulkenburg
    Lotus: Kovalainen, Trulli
    Sauber: Kobyashi, Heidfeld
    Hispania: Senna, Klien
    Virgin Racing: Glock, Malando

  5. grosjean wasn't driving in f1 in 2008