Customers

Well in India with the dust (or er smog) settling over the Buddh circuit for possibly the penultimate time, Sebastian Vettel looks in pole position to pick up title number 4 on the bounce in the sub-continent. An interesting array of strategies looks like they will play out tomorrow with Q3 featuring half on prime tyres and half on options.

But the real chat in the news and blogs has been about drivers and where they will be going in 2014, I expect that all deals will wait until the businessmen (and women) descend to Abu Dhabi in two weeks. But it goes as follows:

Lotus
They still want Hulkenberg who will go if the finance pulls through, if not the team may opt for Pastor Maldonado and his PDSA millions to prop up the team.

Williams
With Pastor exiting the team it seems likely that Massa will find Grove his home station next year

McLaren
Will wait on Perez to either produce some results or sponsors or promote Magnussen to the race team, which appears to be the long term goal. Magnussen could be planted at Marussia alongside Bianchi for a seasons experience.

CaterhamHeikki Kovalienen will be rewarded for his patience and make a return to the team next year is the word on the street, Im not sure who they will pick to drive the other car possibly Giedo who has really come on form this year.

SauberThey could field Sergy Sirotkin next year who is backed by a lot of Russian money but there are still many options there for the team. If Hulkenberg doesn’t make the switch to Lotus I think he may stay here for another season

This all leaves Force India picking up the pieces, if Maldonado isn’t picked up by anyone he could find a birth here with the teams slightly edgy finances.

Other than that Christian Horner has been banging on about customer cars, which is convenient since they have a sister team ready to pick up a second hand Red Bull design again to run their junior drivers. I’ve posted on this many times but the main issue is the one that has plagued Moto GP in that if one or two top teams go your left with very few types of machines on the grid. Furthermore it also handicaps these small teams and stops anyone repeating the Sauber of last year and coming up with a good solid car and picking up podiums. Running old cars simply creates a two tier formula full time even if that is the case in essence, it would make another company like Red Bull coming in and taking a team to new heights nearly impossible as they wouldn’t have any engineering base to go about making F1 cars.

For example to draw the Moto GP parallel again, if Tech III found an extra 40 million to go racing with they would still be stuck with a second hand Yamaha bike. In F1 that money could be invested to lift the team up a place or two in the constructors delivering more money and so on and so on.

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