By Jem Ruggera
The news of Mark Webber signing with Red Bull for another year fitted a crucial piece into the jigsaw puzzle that is the 2013 driver line-up. For the
Keynes based team, it was the obvious move. This is Webber's sixth
year with the team, he's driving as well as he ever has, and currently sits
second in the drivers standings. Together with Sebastian Vettel, they have
driven to all 30 of Red Bull's wins, and with the RB9 looking increasingly
impressive there is no reason to think they won't add plenty more to the tally.
As far as 2013 is concerned, the most interesting part of the puzzle now lies with Ferrari. Do they keep Felipe Massa? His struggles over the past few years have been well-documented, and he has found it increasingly difficult to match his team-mate. Things just haven't been the same for him since that nasty crash in
Whether that is part of the reason for his struggles is debatable. I think it
is more down to the brilliance of a certain Spaniard on the other side of the
garage. No, not Jorge Lorenzo... Hungary
Coupled to this likely Ferrari vacancy is the still unresolved question of Lewis Hamilton’s future. He completes a five year contract at the end of 2012, a period of time that thus far has netted him 14 wins and a championship – an amount
, one suspects,
finds a little underwhelming. Since 2008, McLaren have struggled to produce a
car worthy of his talent (and let's be honest, there is a considerable amount
of it). Last year was a mess for the Brit, and the back-to-back poles that
kicked off this season sparked talk of his having sorted his 2011 issues and
was in the championship fight from the start. Hamilton
Lewis leaving another shambolic pit stop…probably
Since then, the Hamilton/McLaren campaign has been a mess. The litany of issues that has affected
season has been much written about, as has his commitment issues when talk of
re-signing comes up. It is clear that Hamilton
has been eyeing other options since at least last year (the less said about his
rather strange visit to Red Bull at last years Canadian Grand Prix, the
Red Bull was probably never an option, Christian Horner adamant he was happy with his current line-up.
to partner Alonso at Ferrari seems unlikely to say the least (although 2007 was
a very entertaining year!), while Mercedes and Michael Schumacher seem very
happy together, and keen to keep things going into 2013. Hamilton
, are limited.
McLaren-Mercedes is still the most likely option, because if they can't agree
on a price, where is Hamilton
going to go? Force Hamilton ?
Williams? NASCAR? I suspect though, that we may see nothing like Jenson
Button's 'multi-year deal.' Sebastian Vettel is out of contract at the end of
2013, and rumours continue to dance around the paddock about an option that
Ferrari hold on the German's services. Vettel and Alonso at Ferrari for 2014?
Could they coexist in the same team?
A one or two year deal for
may be more to his liking. He could continue with the relationship that has
been going for well over a decade, but still keep his options open if McLaren
continue to fumble title chances. Hamilton
As for the second seat at Ferrari next year? Step up, Sergio Perez.