Formula 1


F1 silly season: What to expect?

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With the Hungarian GP done, the Formula One campaign heads into the mid-season break, with the nine remaining GPs to start back late August.

This opens up the 'silly season' - where the lack of track action is made up for by the creative speculations and combinations about driver movements. 

This season, there is one big opening; the Red Bull seat to be vacated by Mark Webber. Kimi Raikkonen is highly expected to make this switch from Lotus; the 2007 World Champion, being described as the most bankable driver currently.

Also in the mix is Daniel Ricciardo, the driver at Red Bull's junior sister team Torro Rosso. The last time Red Bull promoted a Torro Rosso driver to Red Bull, he became the youngest ever triple World Champion, and so Ricciardo can be all but ruled out.

However, this seat is more dependant on Kimi, than Red Bull.

The Red Bull management and pit have all been appreciating the Iceman for some time now, and the Finn paired with the Champion German could start a new era of utter dominance on track. It is simply, his choice.

If Raikkonen does make the move, then the vacant seat at Lotus would be the next biggest opening, with possible contenders being Nico Hulkenberg and Paul Di Resta.

Lotus had a strong 2012 season and are back to challenging for wins this season, putting them as a big team again.

Nico Hulkenberg, who has decided not to extend his contract with Sauber for another year after their lack of pace, would be eyeing up this seat.

Another driver in contention would be Paul Di Resta. The Brit, along with Hulkenberg, missed out on the McLaren seat last year.

Also, in shadows is the future of the second Lotus seat, with Romain Grosjean's contract expiring after after 2013.

The Frenchman has had a up and down season until now, but was very strong in the last two GPs. If Kimi does move, Lotus would want to hold onto at least one 'old' driver. Expect this to be worked on after the season ends.

Another man who would be having sleepless nights is Felipe Massa. The Ferrari driver has been a pale shadow of his former self, having only finished on the podium once so far this season.

With academy driver Sergio Perez, busy at McLaren, this seat could very well go to Hulkenberg or Di Resta, with the German heavily linked with this move. Though, this one would also be expected to be decided after the season conclusion.

The best silly season rumour, however, is that Fernando Alonso to Red Bull and Raikkonen back to Ferrari. Talk about wild horses.


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