As we approach the mid-season mark in what is turning out to be an unexpectedly exciting season, numerous questions abound as to which driver will end up where and who will be left stranded when the driver market finally settles down. In this tussle for gaining a seat, the pivotal factor is going to be the lineup at Ferrari, once that is decided, seats at other teams will start falling into place automatically.
Sebastian Vettel’s current contract runs until 2017 and it is likely that the German will stay with the team for several years to come. According to grandprix.com, it has been revealed that Vettel is eying a new contract (worth over 100 million euros) until the end of 2020 season which entails a number one role in the team and a say over who should be his teammate.
Whatever happens, Vettel’s seat is secure with Ferrari. However, the same cannot be said about his teammate Kimi Raikkonen. The Finn’s future is once again up in the air as several other drivers are heartily showcasing their talent in an attempt to entice the Scuderia Ferrari. Thus, no doubt, Kimi’s seat, in the current scenario, is the most competitive seat a driver can hope to secure for the next season.
Kimi has had a resurgence in form this season, with him already recording three podium finishes, the same number he had managed over an entire season last year. But even with these strong results, his form continues to be erratic. Qualifying has remained a major problem for him, where he has consistently lagged behind his teammate.
Furthermore, in races too he hasn’t been that impressive. His error in Monaco and a sub-par performance in Canada have further fuelled speculation regarding his impending exit from the team.
Numerous drivers are thought to be in running for the seat at Ferrari, but with reports confirming that Daniel Ricciardo will stay at Red Bull until 2018, it is almost certain that he isn’t going anywhere else. Earlier due to misgivings with his team during Spain and Monaco, there were rumours linking him with a possible move to Ferrari.
But the situation seems to have been sorted now, as Ricciardo has himself admitted that the best place for him to be next season is to stay put with his current employer. Quite rightly so too, because as of now, there is no other team on the grid which can provide him with the status and competitiveness which Red Bull gives him.
So in the following slides, several candidates will be analysed in order to ascertain the driver most likely to get the drive for Ferrari next season.