Formula 1

The story of the silliest 'silly season' in F1 history

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The August break always heralds the start of what is known in F1 as the 'silly season', the time of year teams and drivers start considering their options for the following year and the time when the world's media speculate which driver will be moving where.

This year has been no different with a number of high profile seats up for grabs and plenty of interesting stories up and down the grid, so has 2013 been the silliest 'silly season' in F1 history?

The big story heading into this summer was who would replace the departing Mark Webber? The man most linked to the seat was Kimi Raikkonen, the Finn is a good friend of the divisive Sebastian Vettel and at the start of the season was at the top of his game.

He continued to lead most people's polls but the Toro Rosso drivers of Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne were also on the list, suddenly after a sighting of Fernando Alonso's manager in the Red Bull motorhome, the Spaniard, who has had a frustrating few months with Ferrari, was cast in as a surprise candidate.

The summer break passed with still no word from Red Bull but speculation increased that in fact Ricciardo would be the man as attention on Raikkonen moved to a spectacular return to Ferrari.

Indeed 24-year-old, Ricciardo would be announced as Webber's replacement switching all the attention to Raikkonen and Ferrari.

The Monza race past and in a rare move for Ferrari no announcement was made but in time for the Singapore GP, despite competition from the likes of Nico Hulkenberg, Paul di Resta and current driver Felipe Massa, Raikkonen was announced as a Ferrari driver to much debate from fans and experts alike.

On that same weekend in Marina Bay rumours erupted Fernando Alonso could return to McLaren, however while they were squashed at least for 2014, the topic is still one of much talk for 2015.

Since Raikkonen's move was confirmed the fate of the man he will replace remains unknown, Felipe Massa's F1 future is a hot topic in this elongated 'silly season' with him linked to Lotus, Sauber and now Williams.

He is joined on the Lotus list by Nico Hulkenberg who has put in a number of stellar performances in recent races.

The German's future has been uncertain for quite some time given the financial troubles at Sauber, he is one of only a handful of drivers without a major sponsor and that is having an effect on where he will be racing next year.

Right now, Lotus looks the most likely option, but with that reliant on a deal between Lotus and potential investors Quantum Racing, nothing is yet certain.

That could open the door for Massa, who has accumulated $6m in backing from Petrobras, but also Pastor Maldonado who in recent weeks has lost patience at Williams.

The Venezuelan has huge backing, reportedly worth $35m from oil giant PDVSA, and if he does indeed leave the Grove based team, Massa will likely head to Williams.

As I mentioned Sauber's finances are playing a major role in their decision for 2014, Sergey Sirotkin was drafted in as a driver for next season following a Russian rescue deal for the team, but the 18-year-old's participation is still not guaranteed while Esteban Gutierrez's future is also in the balance.

Another shock driver move came this week when Toro Rosso announced another young Russian teen - Daniil Kvyat beat Antonio Felix da Costa to Daniel Ricciardo's seat for 2014, reaction has been negative among the fans with Jenson Button also admitting his concerns.

Finally that leaves the two teams at the back, Jules Bianchi is confirmed at Marussia and Charles Pic seemingly safe at Caterham but the future of Max Chilton and Giedo van der Garde are unknown at this point.

Heikki Kovalainen could be drafted back in at the Anglo-Malaysian team while a few names, including McLaren prodigy Kevin Magnussen, are in the frame at Marussia.

Overall then it has been a very, very active 'silly season' that could still have some way to run, and certainly looking back this will be remembered as the silliest such season in quite some time.

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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