Since it’s pretty much the only F1 related fun we have left when the season will have ended in Brazil, why not start a regular gossip post on the silly season. While the Kimi to Williams rumors still refuse to die down, they have been even added a little juice by suggestions that Kimi’s management has been in touch with Boullier, although I doubt Kimi is that desperate. Sure, Renault is –slightly- higher up the grid than Williams, but with the loss of so many senior staff this year I sincerely doubt the Lotus of 2012 will be higher up the grid than the Team Lotus of 2011.
Of course, a seat might be opening up there with Vitaly’s ballsy remarks about the teams’ epic failure this year, though he has subsequently been gagged and threatened with exile to Siberia if he ever speaks the truth again. Stalin would have been proud of Boullier. Sutil could have sought refuge at Renault if FI dumps him were it not for his gangsta moment in China where Eric Lux ‘fell’ neck first on his glass. Despite Mallya saying he’d speed up the process and make his driver choice for 2012 already, no announcement has been made yet. While the Hulk seems in pole position to grab Sutil’s, money is a bit weird at FI now, with Mallya’s nearly broke Kingfisher airlines and the sale of half the team to Sahara, who knows what the new management thinks of the drivers. Maybe Narain can make a miraculous comeback after his good performance in India – if we ignore his punting off of Trulli lol. That way the team would finally make sense with an Indian driver and Tata money.
Back to Williams, where Kimi definitely looks like the preferred option but his reported demands to get equity in the team are a major stumbling block. After all, Frank’s refusal to give Newey equity resulted in his departure to Mclaren so Frank can be quite stubborn on this point. Maybe having let the greatest designer of the modern era go- though people tend to forget a certain Rory Byrne who mopped the floor with Newey in the early 2000s – he may want to think twice to refuse Raikkonen this deal. Valterri Bottas has been quite impressive in the young driver test for the team, and is an outsider for the seat as well, however the step from GP3 champion straight to F1 is likely to be a bit rash. Better to give him a year in GP2 or WSR to hone his skills.
Maldonado, like Petrov another pay driver whose seat which first looked rock solid but has come under some doubt in the past week since the Chavez money is not squeaky clean it seems –anyone suprized? Venezuelan parliament is launching probes into the whole affair. Apparently, the parliament ,which is largely a rubber stamp deal in the pseudo dictatorship that is Venezuela, has not been informed about the details of the deal with Williams and is now rearing its head, maybe sniffing Chavez’s blood. This may be spurned on by the fact that Chavez may very well be dead in a few months as the continued secrecy around his cancer is suspicious to say the least. I very much doubt that when the money dries up there would still be room in the team for the rapist. If this is true, I am already wetting my pants for a Bottas-Raikkonen line-up of fuckin crazy flying Fins at Williams, no way that can go wrong.
Vergne has been impressive during the young driver test all three days, not putting a foot wrong and posting so;e quick times. Red Bull also have Ricciardo in the wings but with the Aussie who needs a pushstart to his F1 cars hogging the red bull seat for at least another year they’re looking to Toro Rosso. I’d personally prefer Buemi and Alguersuari to be dumped for the young pairing, but they probably deserve better as they have performed well enough….at times. That said the consistency just isn’t there for either. They’re making the choice hard for STR management since they’re so close together but is it worth keeping two guys because they’re equally average? Anyway it’s almost assured one of them will get the axe for Ricciardo to take the seat, and Vergne will surely do some Friday drives or maybe takeover an HRT seat.
In other, less immediate news, Mclaren is reported to be eying a renewed partnership with Honda for 2014, which made me jizz in my pants a bit too as I imagined Kobayashi in a Mclaren. While Macca have their dream team now, in 2014 lots can have changed so it’s not unthinkable. Can you imagine, Williams Renault vs Mclaren Honda 2.0 in 2014. All we need is for Ford to come back and we’re on for another golden age. On that mouthwatering note I should call it quits here as I already soiled myself twice and am now drooling, so stay tuned for silly season insanity and expect these posts to get crazier as f1 withdrawal gets worse.