Inquiring Minds wanna know who'll fill the remaining F1 Seats next year; Uhm, is anybody Home?
While 'lil Sid Viddle was busy shooting off his Roman Candles in Mexico City, the game 'O Thrones; Uhm, Musical Chairs, fondly known as Silly Season was still spinning somewhat wildly with two confirmed drives still available; one each at Force India and Renault, with backmarkers Manor and Sauber's seats potentially available.
My interest in this yearly scuttlebutt began when Jonathan sent me a link awhile ago about Sauber demanding it's driver's next year would need to bring sizeable cheques with them to Hinwil.
As my only Problema with this story was that I was pretty sure, and have read somewheres' on Zed Internetz since, that the Swede Marcus Ericsson's backers are linked to the new team ownership group, so why would he be going elsewhere?
Although you've got to give credit to Ericsson for publicly stating it behooves him to look at whatever the best seat for 2017 available was open for solicitation, eh?
Yet if I was a driver going to Sauber, I'd be doublely certain that Monica "Broom Hilda" Quiltingberg' had signed in triplicate an iron clad contract guaranteeing my services instead of pulling a "Guido duh Dutchman" upon me!
Thus naturally the two hottest seats left then were the "Works" Renault drive and those 'lil Silverstone Minnows that could, a.k.a. Force India, who are currently fighting above their weight by clinging to fourth place in the championship that pays them the most, i.e.; Constructors championship. when Holding P4 ahead of the vaunted Team Willy' by a slim nine points (145-136) with two races remaining.
Yet interestingly, it seems like very little banter's being written 'bout le Reggie lately, other than finally admitting they'd failed at securing the services of Carlos Sainz, Jnr, who'll plug along at Toro Rosso next year with a batch 'O current 2017-spec Renault Power Units bolted to their backsides ironically.
Instead the Paddock fodder seems to have centered upon Force India and what'll VJ Duh Playah' & Co. do in regards to their coveted ride available. As this is somewhat comical, since at least seven current drivers have been linked to the Force India seat, in alphabetical order: Marcus Ericsson, Esteban Gutierrez, Kevin Magnussen, Felipe Nasr, Esteban Ocon, Jolyon Palmer and Pascal Wehrlein.
As the plucky Irishman & Muckraker EJ', nee Eddie Jordan speculated that Ocon would land at Force India, Nasr at Renault and Gutierrez at Sauber...
Obviously, either of the current Manor drivers Wehrlein & Ocon are Mercedes men - both having come from DTM along with being Silver Arrows reserve drivers, and with Force India being a Mercedes PU customer, and always in search of Dinero, obviously a price break on PU's in exchange for one of these two Young Guns would make sense.
Apparently with Ocon getting the nod in order to keep him in house? Since he's French and obviously Renault would like one of their own behind the wheel. And although he finished ahead of somebody named Max Verstappen in the European F3 championship, Wehrlein won the DTM title last year.
One more piece of the puzzle was solved on November 3rd, when Team Willy, aka Williams F1 announced the worst kept secret of Kuhnaidiun teenager Lance Stroll as the retiring Felipe Massa's replacement.
Whilst Haas F1 publicly confirmed they'd offered Kevin Magnussen a drive to replace Gutierrez no less than during the Mexican's home Grand Prix outing; Aye-Yi-Yi!
With Haas's Herr Goonter' (Steiner) saying following Mexico he expected the long drawn-out Silly Season rapture to decidedly be sussed out by Sao Paolo - during the Brazilian GP weekend, which naturally would tie-in nicely with cementing Uncle bernaughty's newest prize, a one Mr. Felipe Nasr, since MR. E wants a Brazilian on the F1 Grid next year...
And those silly Dominoes kept Ah-fallin', first with multiple sources reporting that Kevin Bacon' Magnussen had taken up Haas F1's multi-year offer, which obviously must be true since le Reggie' subsequently announced that Palmer would be retained a further year's duration...
Making me spout to Thyself that Renault's obviously Ah-waitin' Valtteri Bottas release from Team Willy in 2018, albeit may be the Finn will wish to seek refuge at McLaren instead, which has a penchant for Finnish drivers, eh?
As surely Esteban Ocon will indeed graduate to Force India, leaving Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson tied to their current rides, leaving only conjecture over who'll become Pascal Wehrlein's new team-mate at Manor in 2017? With the other Esteban, nee Gutierrez looking likely to be left out when the Merry-go-Round stops spinning.
As I had ZERO idea if I'd be watching' Err listening to this year's Abba Dabba Do season finale when originally poondin' this out, awaitin' Duh TV Schedule Air Times following the Brazilian Soakfest...
Especially since due to whenever it'll be broadcasted Stateside; Hmm, Oh DARK-30? Since I'll be partying in The Other Florence.
Seriously? NO FREAKIN' Grand Prix Replay's, just GP2; WTF!
Alas, just like the Gran Primo Piloto's having gone on vacation, your humble No Fenders scribe Tomaso was away from Ye Confuzer over thee Abu Dhabi weekend and thus, not privy to poundin' out any latest developments occuring on Yas Isle...