The ideal 2012 grid

Posted: January 20, 2012 in Drivers, Formula 1, Teams
Tags: , , ,

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.

Opinions?

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Comments
  1. Nice one:) I agree with most of the choices, as well as with the explanations.
    I’d tend to argue (or actually propose) about Rosberg – Sutil pair, as well as I’d choose to go for Massa and Webber as team-mates.
    1. On Sutil – Rosberg – The latter is known to be very technically proficient, with a great contribution to finding car’s balance and right setup, so I don’t think it will be an interesting fight. Rosberg to outperform him by miles.
    2. Id’ put Webber and Massa in the same team, with (presumably) equal cars and watch them fight like crazy, I mean, I’m almost sure it will happen. The reason is simple – both are very passionate about the racing, both have been quite underestimated and outperformed by team mates, thus both will drain the last performance points out of their cars, while at the same time both hate team orders. Or had bitter experience in that regard.

    Great blog, I must say. Are you on Twitter?

    • abu says:

      Thanks for your kind words Kiril 🙂

      No, I am not on twitter. Maybe I will give it a shot at a later time….

      Very interesting idea the one you have about Webber and Massa. I am of the opinion that Massa is a driver that needs a bit of pampering. He’s strong, but not as mentally strong as others. I think he’d do really well if he were given a No1 status. A pairing with Webber would be interesting to watch, but it would be short-lived (Webber’s juice has pretty much ran out).

      However, and mark my words on that, if Massa doesn’t perform in 2012, Mark will end up in red….

  2. ahw3ll says:

    I’m with Mr Kiril in thinking you’ve got a good lineup there. I’m a big fan of mixing up the field (probably explains why I liked the mid-90’s and playing Grand Prix Manager 2 so much, but I digress) and seeing the results of previously comfortable drivers having to deal with new teams and new ways of working.

    I think there are (and always have been) drivers who have deserved a shot at F1, but haven’t been able to break in to the top flight, either due to budgetary reasons, or because seats were being taken by drivers who should probably stand aside. For example, I think a Rosberg/Di Resta lineup is a more exciting prospect than a Schumacher/Rosberg one. Also, rookies are somewhat of an unknown quantity, adding an extra layer of interest to the pre-season… So I guess what I’m saying is, I’d probably parachute in some more rookies such as Wickens and Bortolotti… maybe give Bottas his big chance too!

    Also, twitter is good (though it can take over your life)… all the cool people are on twitter!

    • That’s right, actually, most of the F1 people are seriously on Twitter, and that’s one of the main reasons why I use it. I’m marking the words for Webber in Ferrari from Abu’s post here – https://abulafiaf1.wordpress.com/2012/01/20/the-ideal-2012-grid/#comment-42 – are we looking at the relation of Webber-Alonso having the same manager? Probably yes.

      As for the rookies – frankly, I can’t spot anyone right now, but on the other hand some have performed really good, for example Di Resta (a joy to watch), so yes, they deserve a chance.
      For example, I’m glad that this guy will get the chance – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IN-lIf_62I 🙂

      • abu says:

        Ok, I don’t consider my self to be “F1 people”, but I will give it a go. I will post the twitter account here once I do it…

        Thanks for the youtube link, good stuff… As for Webber, I think it probably has more to do with the respect and friendship he has with Alonso, than their manager. Ferrari don’t care much about managers anyway.

      • ahw3ll says:

        I’m glad somebody else likes the “Oh shut up!” video!

    • abu says:

      Hey dude. E-mail will come this weekend, sorry for the delay.

      On the subject at hand: I disagree with the Rosberg / Di Resta pairing being more exciting than the Schumacher / Rosberg one. I find what Schumacher is doing at the age of 43 nothing sort of astonishing. I don’t think any other driver could have done it; not with the current demands from the drivers in terms of discipline, physical condition and reflexes. I am willing to see this comeback experiment through to the end. Did you see Michael, btw, in this year’s RoC? He completely dominated poor Jenson… 😉

      On the other hand, I completely agree with what you say about rookies. Wickens in particular – give that guy a break!!! I am eagerly looking forward to seeing Bottas in the Friday practice sessions and then racing in 2013. I have a good vibe about the guy.

      Ok, got it. Will do the twitter thing. What’s the roll-eyes smiley around here?

      • ahw3ll says:

        I don’t deny that some of what Schumacher has done this year (including RoC, which I watched on a very temperamental web stream) has been impressive, showing some of the old magic, but I think that – to some extent – his comeback is hurting how people see him. I was watching a race from 1998 earlier (it is a Friday night after all!) and its almost like watching a different driver. The cars and F1 in general have changed so much in that time… What am I trying to say here..?

        The image I have of Michael Schumacher is of a guy, class of the field, always fighting for victories. Fighting with everything he’s got. If his car isn’t the best on the day, he can drive around it and still be at the front. I just don’t see that in him any more. Schumacher doesn’t belong in the fourth-best car, saying “oh well” when things don’t work out. When things go wrong, he should be marching down the pit lane to punch DC in the face like in the good old days!

        Long story short, that’s why I’d prefer to see Rosberg/Di Resta. Not because I don’t think Schumacher has the skill any more, but because it isn’t being put to use.

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