Op-Ed: Silly Season, you say? Here’s my line-up for 2011


With the Felipe Massa to Sauber and Robert Kubica to Ferrari rumor putting Silly Season into top gear (I hope, it’s about time!), it got me thinking about next year’s line-up. There’s some possibilities for some interesting pairings.

Here’s what I envision, at least as of this moment. This is only my prognostication on next year’s driver line-ups as of today. I’m 212% sure it will change in the days and weeks ahead, and I’ll be surprised and disappointed if it doesn’t.

McLaren: Boring. Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton again. I can’t decide if this team’s dynamics will be more interesting if neither wins the drivers title or if Lewis claims it.

Red Bull: Boring. Same old, same old. Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel (but Mark’s seat will be the talk come summer break 2011).

Ferrari: Let’s say exciting. We’ll run with the Kubica rumor. Fernando Alonso and Kubica. Lots of card playing and maybe a blow-up for two.

Mercedes: More interesting. There’s an incredibly, unprintably stupid bit of news that Michael Schumacher has been testing motorcycles with his buddies during the break before Singapore. That’s so incredibly stupid, it can only mean one thing: We’re being set up for a phantom “injury” that makes him unable to return next year. So, Nico Rosberg has to fight off Adrian Sutil, who adapts better to the car and is a consistent challenger for podiums and wins.

Renault: I’m going to roll the dice and say: Kimi Raikkonen and Vitaly Petrov. And Kimi maybe puts an end to Vitaly’s career, not by burying him on the track but by drinking him under the table off it. Watch the vodka, young man!

Williams: Boring. Rubens Barrichello and Nico Hulkenberg. Biggest question: Will the Hulk out score the old man and make the team his?

Force India: Two, count ’em, two new faces to the team: Paul di Resta (well, kinda new) and Karun Chandhok. Both keep Force India as a solid middle of the pack team.

Sauber: Hi Felipe, how’s the view from down here? We’ll go with the Ferrari-powered Sauber getting Ferrari’s cast-off driver. And we pair him with Kamui Kobayashi. (I know what you’re thinking. Hang tight.)

Toro Rosso: Some combination of Sebastien Buemi and a new rookie. Let’s say whoever wins GP2.

Lotus: Here’s the conversation:

“Hi Heikki!”

“Hi Nick!”

“So, how bad is this going to be?”

“No, no, not bad. Just not good. But good atmosphere. Way to sail off into the twilight of our careers. Just as Jarno.”

Virgin: I think Timo Glock gets stuck here, unless he can squeeze out that Mercedes spot from Sutil. And, let’s say: Vitantonio Liuzzi. But it could be anyone.

HRT: Bruno Senna keeps his lousy seat, probably just for this one last year. And he’s teamed with José María López, playing the role of Sakon Yamamoto.

Anyone have guesses to add?

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