With all the drivers comings and goings, I began wondering what I’d do, if I was a master of puppets, able to position any driver I wanted in any team. That was an interesting exercise, and these are the results. My, let’s say, ideal 2012 grid; the one that would make me sit up and take notice. The one that would provide the most excitement. I mean, let’s face it, we all know in the majority of intra-team battles who’s going to come up on top. It will be Alonso over Massa, Vettel over Webber, Nico over Michael, and so on, and so forth. But I’d go for something like that:
Red Bull : Alonso + Vettel. The two best drivers in the best car. Fight.
Ferrari : Rosberg + Sutil. Both young, battle-hardened drivers, who have shown speed and have been waiting for a chance with a top team for too long.
McLaren : Button + Kubica (healthy). The Polish driver would be formidable. Button would ensure continuity and he’s a great British driver.
Mercedes: Hamilton + Schumacher. Give Lewis a slightly slower car than the top 3 and watch him drive its wheels off. Schuey would be great for the development of the car.
Lotus Renault : Massa + Grosjean. Give Felipe No1 status in a midfield team and he’ll outperform the car. Grosjean is a GP2 winner and deserves his break.
Force India : Di Resta + Hulkenberg. Exciting pair, I am looking forward to watching them race in 2012, although Nico’s rookie season was a tad underwhelming given his success in junior formulae.
Williams : Senna + Conway. Give Mike a chance; he was faster than Bruno in Formula 3. And I prefer Senna over Maldonado. Ok, bias. Shoot me.
Sauber : Kobayashi + Perez. Yeah, why not. The outcome was inconclusive. I like both drivers, but Perez needs to stamp his authority if he wants to have Ferrari aspirations.
Toro Rosso : Webber + Ricciardo. I am all for Ricciardo getting a shot at it with a midfield team, but it would be better to pair him with a seasoned driver, to maximize his potential and get a better yardstick. Vergne can wait another year.
Caterham : Kovalainen + Buemi. I actually rate Buemi more than I do Alguersuari, and I believe he has a wiser head between his shoulders. He can push Heikki and can help Caterham with their development.
Virgin, HRT : Anybody with money.