The first half of the 2019 season is coming to an end, and there are more and more rumors about the possible retirement of the Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel. And even despite the fact that the contract between the German and Ferrari valid until the end of 2020, many people say the driver may leave the championship at the end of this season.
Of course, Vettel himself denies all the rumors about his retirement. However, as we know, there is nothing precise about Formula 1. Therefore, why not dream up who could take Sebastian’s place in Ferrari, and who of the current drivers is more suitable for the Italian team.
Australian Italian in the Italian team
Let's start with Daniel Ricciardo. Rumors about his interest in Ferrari have been going on for years. And it seems that now he had a great chance. After leaving Red Bull, Dan's performance for Renault can’t be called successful. Nevertheless, Ricciardo hasn’t lost his natural talent and can lead a fight. The only thing for this he needs a great and fast car. However, let's imagine Daniel in a Ferrari. Doesn't it seem that he looks not quite organically in this team? Ferrari has always been a very closed team than created, so to speak, an arrogant image. Although, in this season Ferrari changed the course of communications with fans and media. However, the team is constantly changing and it is not clear how long its openness will last. So, it seems that Ricciardo and Ferrari are two different things. Hardly always cheerful and smiling Daniel fit the serious atmosphere of Ferrari. If only he had joined Hamilton in the Mercedes... but that's another story.
And by the way, there is another moment - now Ricciardo has a valid until the end of 2020 year contract with Renault. Although it’s possible, it has a clause that will allow him to change the team because of poor results. But while the possibility of moving to Ferrari at the end of this season (assuming that Vettel will leave the championship) looks unreal for Dan.
The next candidate for Vettel’s place is Max Verstappen. At first, it seems that he is the most suitable option of all. Talent, speed, knowledge, incredible courage. Obviously, this season he became much wiser and more adult, and perfectly copes with a role of the team leader. However, just remember the race in Austria, where he again behaved very recklessly, and rigidly, until the contact fought with Leclerc - one wrong move and there would be a terrible accident. Of course, Gusly isn’t a rival for Verstappen, so that’s why Max easily became the leader of Red Bull this year, as the team expects results only from him, and therefore trusts him more. But what if Max to join Leclerc, his main rival since karting times? It looks like what we saw a year ago in Red Bull between Max and Dan - two time bombs.
As for Verstappen's contract with Red Bull, it’s also valid until the end of 2020, but it has a clause that says that if until a certain moment Max can’t achieve serious results, he can leave the team. At the moment, Max has a victory in Austria, but it’s not clear whether this can be considered as "serious result until a certain moment".
Another Finn in Ferrari
The only driver whose contract expires at the end of this season, and a new one hasn’t yet been signed. At the moment, Valtteri Bottas is in a dangerous situation. He doesn’t yet have a new contract with Mercedes, and there are a lot of rumors that Ocon will be Hamilton’s teammate in 2020; moreover, Valtteri has already lost the fight to Lewis this season.
On the other hand, Finn has every chance to replace Vettel, if he decides to leave the team. In favor of Bottas’ moving to Ferrari there are several reasons. First of all, he's a very humble Finn, as we know Ferrari likes that. Second, the speed of Bottas: at the beginning of this season, we saw how he can overtake even a five-time world champion. Obviously, Mercedes just doesn't allow Valtteri to do that. And third, as a last resort, he could be number two in the team, if Ferrari decides to focus on Leclerc. As it may sound, but Bottas copes with the role of a "wingman".
Hamilton in Ferrari, Vettel in Mercedes
Last week, the former owner of the Formula 1 team, and now expert Eddie Jordan gave his forecast for the two leading teams in the 2020 season. Eddie stated bluntly: "In 2020, Hamilton will move to Ferrari, Vettel and Verstappen will play together for Mercedes".
Many predictions of the Irishman came true in recent years. For example, it was he who first reported on the moving of Lewis Hamilton in Mercedes in 2013, the return of Kimi Raikkonen in Ferrari in 2014 and the return of Fernando Alonso in McLaren in 2015.
However, his forecast for the drivers of Mercedes and Ferrari next season looks very ambiguous, given that Vettel, Hamilton and Max have valid contracts until the end of 2020. Moreover, Sebastian has repeatedly said that he wants to win the championship title with Ferrari, and end his career with this team. As for Lewis, it’s unlikely that he will choose a team with which he won’t be able to fight for the championship. Although, if it still happens, it will be a sign that Lewis has decided to retire and spend last season (or two seasons) in the legendary team, which every driver dreams to perform for.
Third return of the last Ferrari champion
The driver of Alfa Romeo Kimi Raikkonen is considered by Ferrari as a replacement for Sebastian Vettel, reports CircusF1.
The Italian team plans to keep many sponsors, who, allegedly, can leave the team if there isn’t a world champion, and the only option in this situation is Raikkonen, because Lewis has a contract with Mercedes.
Thus, there is a possibility that the world champion of 2007 and the last Ferrari champion Kimi Raikkonen may become the Ferrari driver for the third time in his career.