F1: 3 sub-plots that could emerge in 2019
What makes a Formula 1 season take the leap from intriguing to riveting? It is the quality of sub-plots to the main storyline that feeds the title fight. Last year it was the absolute madness in the driver transfer market just post the mid-way mark of the 21 races. While a Sebastian Vettel-Charles Leclerc contest is eagerly awaited for its obvious ramifications, it is more of a main event battle.
Of the three sub-plots put forth in this article that might emerge in 2019, the Ocon story has a very strong chance of happening, while the Hulkenberg one has a reasonable chance and the Toro Rosso development might be genuinely a surprise.
But, nothing should be discounted. Let's look at the storylines that have a chance of spicing up the news cycles.
#3 Esteban Ocon replaces Bottas
Everyone in F1 knows that Valtteri Bottas is under extreme pressure to justify his seat at Mercedes. While Ocon was caught out in the aftermath of the Force India-Lawrence Stroll consortium deal, he out-qualified Sergio Pérez as was mandated by Mercedes.
His reputation is intact and Toto Wolff has promised him a competitive seat in 2020. That statement is not of any assurance to Bottas, who by his own admission had the worst season of his career. His weak performances were further highlighted by the superlative drives of Lewis Hamilton in the other Mercedes car.
Whether locked in a tight constructor's battle or not, if Bottas does not step up, Ocon, the reserve driver for Mercedes this year, might be given the go-ahead to replace the Finn. It might be harsh, but it is fair. This possibility may become an eventuality as early as the summer break.