IceG wrote:My views now:
Ricciardo needs to be in a different team, how about at Ferrari with Vettel as the #2 driver. But he is my current most likely candidate.
Verstappen needs discipline, he knows how to win a race but not a championship...yet.
Leclerc and possibly Gasly look like good long-term bets.
Now does seem like a good time to review the potential 2019 Silly Season Driver Merry-Go-Round Extravaganza - which I was thinking of during the race after Channel 4 were desperately trying to get Daniel Ricciardo to spill the beans on what his next move was, and whether this race would change his contrac
I'd wager that Kimi Räikkiönen will retire at the end of this season to... do whatever it is he'll do, probably involving vodka and jetskis (though hopefully not at the same time), thus creating a scramble for the Ferrari seat similar to the hole at Mercedes when Nico Rosberg suddenly upped sticks and left. And Ferrari, despite having effectively a B-team and a C-team, aren't likely to make the promotion from within. Rrrrrmmmnnnn Grrrrrrrrjjjjjnn went to Haas to audition for that other Ferrari seat... and he's fluffed his lines at the worst possible time. Kevin Magnussen would be a better bet, but I get the impression he's at Haas more because he was a convenient reason for them to sack Esteban Gutiérrez than because he was due for the promotion to the top job. And Ferrari aren't known for taking a punt on youngsters, no matter how good they are - I suspect they'll give the First Lap Nutcase the elbow and Charles Leclerc will be at Haas next year to see if he can convince the Ferrari management to take him on next
time there's a seat available.
And, as IceG suggests, Ferrari will be dangling the fishing line in the Red Bull garage. Daniel Ricciardo has to be convinced Red Bull can give him a championship-winning car if he's going to stay... and even if he does sign with them, will it have a Honda engine, and will Max Verstappen be given all the best equipment as befits his Golden Boy status at the team? If Max doesn't shape up soon he'll have made more mistakes in the season than Daniil Kvyat managed... but I don't think there is any chance they'll give him the boot, ever, no matter how badly he screws up - it just seems to be the way there.
Vettel and Ricciardo at Ferrari - it could work, and we all know what happened in the one season they were paired together. The engine's more powerful than the Renault that RB are using now or the Honda they might be using in the near future... then again, Fernando Alonso thought the same would happen for him in 2010 and it didn't, although it should have done.
Talking of Fernando, if he also decides he's had enough of F1, the not-quite-as-prized-as-it-once-was McLaren seat would be available, but I can't think of too many candidates for it unless Mercedes pension off Valtteri Bottas with a gold watch and a "thanks for being a number two like your Finnish counterpart"... which, most likely, means Esteban Ocon is promoted to the second Mercedes to get his first win or two on the board, and a convenient slot opens up in the Pink Panther to see if George Russell is any good at this level... who Mercedes might already be lining up as Lewis Hamilton's eventual successor. And if he is as good as he's reputed to be, what's to stop Mercedes solving Williams' deepening financial problems by paying off their bills, so they can get rid of one of their dead weights and give George Russell a race or six this year just to see if he could help them overhaul Sauber and avoid the wooden spoon?
And then there's all this talk of another Mercedes man, Pascal Wehrlein, taking the seat that Brendon Hartley might be shoved out of in the near future. He'd also be doing a better job than either of the current Williams drivers, could also have a crack at matching Pierre Gasly's heroics from earlier in the year, but it'd have to be the kind of cross-manufacturer deal that saw Carlos Sainz loaned to Renault - which I'd expect to be a permanent move, because if Daniel Ricciardo does leave RB, Pierre Gasly will be promoted as quickly and without question as Daniil Kvyat was in 2014.
A more surprising scenario would be... what if Lewis Hamilton wins his fifth World Championship this year, says "I'm as good as Fangio now, innit", and decides to retire in a blaze of glory, thus opening up another unexpected seat at Mercedes - do they fight Ferrari for Ricciardo's services or go with an Ocon / Bottas combination, do they offer Fernando Alonso one last shot at a third title, do they apologise to Pascal Wehrlein for passing over him last time and give him the drive...