Before the turn 3 drama clash between Verstappen and Leclerc, the Dutch begun already to be on the mouth of the entire paddock far before the start of the weekend.
I’m in F1 to finish 4th al the races
said the Red Bull driver ahead of Spielberg event: the Pandora’s box was open, opening to new scenarios like the one of seeing him with the silver suit of Mercedes beside Lewis Hamilton.
I guess there's people who know more than me
said Verstappen to Autosport early the last race weekend.
Let’s go deeper team by team.
Lewis Hamilton could be considering the retirement as well as Vettel after thirteen years of F1 at the end of 2020: but knowing the “Hammer” character of the Briton it should very unrealistic, having the chance of reaching Michael Schumacher record of World Championship titles.
Having the manager and the team principal in the same person may often help rather than being an obstacle (do you remember Jarno Trulli and Flavio Briatore in 2004 at Renault?). Valtteri Bottas may have secured next year’s contact after the good pace shown in the first races of 2019 even if he’s missing some good performances in last rounds
The first quarter of the season was very strong. He just needs to pick up the bag and continue to perform as he did, and this is what we both -him and us - agree on
confirmed to Autosport Wolff.
The Thursday’s announcement of Sebastian Vettel for staying at Maranello even in 2020, stopped all the speculations of projecting him retired after the December last race in Abu Dhabi: from there in 12 months time the matter will represent again; moreover, the German has seen with the friends of Red Bull more often than the usual in the last months… But an old driver of the Circus may return wearing the red suit: Fernando Alonso after having finished the Toyota and IndyCar appointments, is looking for preparing the next campaign. Rumours said that he started to approached Ferrari, but every team that could need a one-year gap driver the bombshell would be served.
If coming to the characteristics of a champion, Leclerc may be considered one of them: he’s currently locked by Ferrari until 2021 as one of future’s assets of the Cavallino. In that year there could be the number 33 in one of the red cars: are they going to ask Charles if he wants Verstappen as teammate, like the established champions?
The rumour came out in Spain: it’s said that a special term put inside Max’s contract allowed him to look around for another team if a victory wasn’t claimed before Budapest. The question now is: after winning the wooden trophy in Austria will Verstappen decide to stay, or won’t he be convinced enough by the Honda powertrain? The Spanish magazine Marca hypnotized that the deal could be linked to the gain of a certain position in the championship within a certain race, probably the 3rd slot in the standings at the Hungarian round. We cannot do nothing apart from waiting and see.
On the other hand, Pierre Gasly has been well beneath the expectations, his performances been
so far. in 3-4 races the sentence could be pronounced by the judge, Hon. Helmut “Golden Eye” Marko. Been at the top of the Red Bull management even higher than Horner and Mateschitz, he’s no more the talented talent scout head after having discovered Vettel, Da Costa, Ricciardo and Verstappen. With external drivers never been considered and with the RB Junior Team out of the options, the replacement of the French could have the name of Alexander Albon: with Kvyat is doing well at his first season but recalling the Russian could be a joke.
Carlos Sainz Jr. is near to be confirmed with the orange cars: even if he didn’t show the pure talent of the “killer” is well known to be a solid point-maker for a middle team as Woking squad has become.
Lando Norris is probably the best revelation of the entire season: the rookie proved to deserve the confirmation and benefiting, same as Bottas, to have Zak Brown as his manager.
For Daniel Ricciardo the Renault’s could probably end as a strategic parking, waiting if 2021 could reserves him better opportunities. However, until this point of the season the results aren’t at the level of the Australian, seen battling for a top ten spot.
Nico Hulkenberg is suffering the Aussie presence but is always showing that his talent should deserve a better car than the one he’s got. However, after the decision of Toto Wolff of not keeping him under consideration for a Mercedes opportunity, Esteban Ocon could join the homeland team: but it’ going to be a Christmas present from the “Silver Arrows” Team principal
If he drives for another team he is released anyway. He is not a Mercedes driver anymore because if you drive for another team you are signing a contract that you will deliver to the best of your abilities for the other team
stated to Autosport Wolff.
Kevin Magnussen has proved to a constant driver throughout an entire season and he has a good feeling with team principal Gunther Steiner: he has nothing to fear about the renewal for 2020.
The fear is going to be relegated to the other side of the garage: Romain Grosjean and his well-known clashes are said to be on the verge of leaving Gene’s team and probably even the F1. The Swiss-French is known to be a passionate chef, and this could be his next job after having driven cars for more than a decade. The first selection should be Perez (and his sponsors). But, again, Hulkenberg could be on the cards of the North Carolina based team.
Daniil Kvyat is taking a good revenge over the Red Bull established, the one that has fired him back in 2016: if he can keep this pace until the end of season the seat will be secured for next year.
Alexander Albon’s career future developments, as said before, are going to be up to Gasly performances: he could step up to the major team, trying to be holding back the pressure of the role.
Lance Stroll is part of the round of investments that father has made in the team though the last year: until Lawrence won’t change business/team, his son won’t move from there.
The other seat may be part of some moves. Sergio Perez is looking for the Haas even if a renewal could please him. A return of Hulkenberg is also possible, but the more interesting change could be the one of Robert Kubica: the Polish is said to have good relationships with the Stroll family, resulting to a better chance for the second season after the maiden return.
A two-year contract kicked off the new adventure of Kimi Raikkonen at Alfa Romeo: only a sudden decision of the Finn of retiring from F1 after having celebrated its 40th birthday could start a new chapter in his life.
Antonio Giovinazzi’s seat is not yet confirmed by the results: after the first point arrived in Austria, a more constant positioning on the top ten (like teammate) could save his ambitions for 2020. Additionally, a more decisive performance is needed due to Nico Hulkenberg desire of joining the Swiss-Italian team: the former Sauber team is his first choice for the next season and he may end to be the perfect candidate.
George Russell due to a double-year agreement, has secured the seat for next season, waiting for what Toto Wolff has in mind for him. For this car he proved to have meet the expectations, beating Kubica in a few occasions.
On the other hand, Kubica’s probable leaving could open the door to Nicholas Latifi, already jumped into the FW for some Free Practice and testing; even if the Williams Group is financially well performing (making hard to see the team death) a fresh breath of liquidity from the Canadian could be well seen after the departure of the conational Stroll.