A contract game that can be won by nobody.

25 Sep

Mclaren seem to be in a very strange situation, one i’m struggling to get my head around. After giving it some thought (And ending up with a headache), i’ve decided that this is a game of contracts and transfers that nobody in the world of F1 can win, because somebody will be left short changed.

At the moment, both Jenson Button and Sergio Perez claim that they’ll be staying at Mclaren next season. However, Mclaren are yet to confirm either of them as a driver, which makes me wonder why? Well, first there was Felipe Massa, now without a drive for next season having been replaced at Ferrari by Kimi Raikkonen, who confirmed he had made contact with Mclaren over a drive (As well a Lotus). That seems a bit strange for a team who are going to keep both their drivers.

Then there was Fernando Alonso, who I personally would love to have seen back at Mclaren (Alongside Jenson of course). As unlikely as it was to happen, it still placed question marks over Mclaren’s reluctance to confirm their drivers, despite several reassurances from Martin Whitmarsh that it would be the case.

Most of the questions marks it seems hang over mad Mexican Sergio Perez, who arguably hasn’t been performing quite as well as would have been hoped, even though the Mclaren this year has been pretty poor. He’s certainly been performing worse than Button, who has managed to get the car in the points in 10 of the 13 races this season, with a current 5 race scoring streak. Perez meanwhile has just 6 points finishes, and has only outdone Button three times this entire season. You can see then why Mclaren would have reservations about keeping him on.

Button, meanwhile, isn’t safe either. Whilst he’s done better than Perez, he is now 33 and unfortunately that means he’s no longer in the bracket of drivers at their peak. It would be possible to see Mclaren replace Button and keep Perez purely because Perez has the potential, and time, to improve. Unlikely, but possible.

Another name being banded around is Nico Hulkenberg. The talented German is reportedly actively looking to leave Sauber, and has been linked with Lotus, Ferrari (Before they signed Kimi), and, you guessed it, Mclaren (If only briefly). It’s going to be interesting to see what will become of Hulkenberg. It’s unlikely to see him stay at Sauber, especially with Sirotkin coming into the sport (Superlicense pending of course). Lotus seems a good choice, but then he has Massa to compete with there. With Massa’s claim that he doesn’t want to move down the grid, it seems unlikely he’ll be going anywhere else than Lotus, which means only one of Hulkenberg and Massa can win, and the likely scenario is that whoever loses will be without a drive.

Another one i’ve thought of is that Hulkenberg and Perez could swap, with Perez returning to his former team, where he was actually half decent. This is even more unlikely than Hulkenberg being without a drive next season, so i’ll leave it there.

(I’m trying my best not to bore everyone to death here. Don’t worry, it’s almost finished)

There is still one person I haven’t mentioned, and that person is Paul Di Resta. He’s made no secret of the fact he wants to move to a bigger team, but options look limited for him going into 2014. Should he move, his best chance would probably be Mclaren, but it’s unlikely that they would risk going for him after what’s happened with Perez. Besides, Di Resta hasn’t been on the greatest form. After an impressive start to the season which saw Di Resta score in 7 of his first 8 races, he has failed to score in his last five, retiring from his last four. There is no doubt that he has talent, and maybe one day he will get his dream move, but for now I don’t think that is going to happen.
(As a side note to that, I see no reason why he shouldn’t stay at Force India for another season, it’s not like they’re a bad team. That, and he’s outdoing Sutil anyway.)

That basically brings this to a close. In all honesty, I think Mclaren will retain both their drivers, and I reckon that once both JB and Checo are confirmed, this rollercoaster ride will start to slow a little. Hulkenberg will be given the Lotus seat, Di Resta will stay at FI, and Massa will either have to swallow his pride and rejoin Sauber or face a season without being a part of F1. Simple.

Then again, isn’t Heikki Kovalainen supposed to be coming back into F1?………

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