The Silly season is still going strong as we head into the Mexican Grand Prix weekend and most notably it’s being driven by the vacant seat at Force India. Nico Hulkenberg’s announcement that he will be plying his skills for Renault in 2017 means his seat is open at Force India and who the team will pick to fill this seat alongside Sergio Perez is anyone’s guess.
It’s not clear if Jolyon Palmer will be out at Renault next year or Kevin Magnussen but wither of those drivers must be thinking about a seat swap for sure as their ride is at risk.
Also in the news is that Sauber driver Marcus Ericsson may be taking a long look at the seat as well or perhaps his teammate Felipe Nasr. Both drivers come with significant backing (financially) and would offer a paying driver benefit to the team.
However, Force India told AUTOSPORT that this isn’t important for them in 2017:
“You are never going to turn away talent that has support with it,” added Fernley.
“But at the end of the day, Nico hasn’t brought money in, so it’s not going to make a difference to us for our plans for next year.
“It’s a clean sheet of paper and Vijay will look at each person on merit.”
Just as Sauber and Williams F1 have suggested, merit is a big key for them but Bob is even more correct in saying that a team won’t turn down good drivers who happen to have cash supporting them too.
The other issue is that Formula 1 seems to be following the cultural interests in hybrid power, sustainability and youth worship and with that, there are many young drivers in the junior ranks who have cash support and are looking to be the next Max Verstappen so shuffling dog-eared drivers around may not be the only option for any team these days.
Who do you think will get the seat and are there drivers out there you feel would be a good fit?
Hat Tip: AUTOSPORT