With Felipe Massa’s seat at Ferrari under threat (again), today’s debate and poll is looking into possible replacements. @MissBethAndrews , @DaveMorecambeF1 and myself are putting forward the case for three drivers we’d like to see as Alonso’s next team mate
@DaveMorecambeF1 Who would I like to see as Alonso’s new team mate? Good question and one I find quite easy to answer.Given his experience with Mercedes,and never too far away from the front of the field this year,and last year too,it has to be Nico Rosberg.
Although he retired from the 1st race in Australia this season,his placings have improved,gaining two 5th places in China and Turkey,11th in both Monaco and Canada,and a respectable 7th in Valencia.He is not one to be ignored,and the right car would no doubt further his ability to improve,and Ferrari could give him this.
On another note,him leaving Mercedes would produce an ideal slot for the talented Di Resta,sure to improve if he went to Mercedes.Having said this,would the likes of Alonso accept someone like Rosberg,younger(by 4 yrs) and keener.I personally dont see him as a real threat to Alonso,but more a threat to the other teams.
I cant see Rosberg improving much more this season with the Mercedes car, based on what he has already achieved,but Ferrari must really consider him a viable option for the future replacement of Massa.Give Rosberg a good car and Rosberg will bring in the good results Im sure.
Finally,you will have noticed no mention of Lewis Hamilton in this debate,that is because he really does not know what he really wants out of F1 at this moment in time,but Ferrari and Alonso are not the answer I fear.
@MissBethAndrews When asked who I would pitch as Alonso’s next team mate at Ferrari I had a tough decision ahead of me. Due to Alonso’s no-nonsense attitude towards who is important within his team, he would need one of two drivers – one who was strong and could stand up to him, or one that was easily pliable and enabled him to be number one. Rattling through the drivers, my mind picked out Kamui Kobayashi and he is someone I would like to stick with.
Kobayashi is a driver that I have had copious amounts of respect for since he took over the seat of an injured Timo Glock in the Brazilian and Abu Dhabi grand prix’s of 2009 – later to become a team Sauber driver in 2010. Today he is named as one of the best over-takers on the grid, and that before the DRS came into effect.
I think that if Kobayashi was to go to Ferrari he would provide the power and mind set to push Alonso. He would not accept playing second fiddle but would force Alonso to prove who the better driver was. Kobayashi has time and time again overtaken Alonso and thoroughly enjoyed it, so at least the two of them would know where they stand.
Having met Kobayashi at the FOTA Fan Forum I got a better taste of the driver’s passion. He was listening intently to the engineering session from the platform above and once he had delivered his own section, with Lewis Hamilton, he ran straight back to stick his head in the championship car of Ayrton Senna. Kobayashi is a great asset to Formula One and any team, especially Ferrari, would be lucky to have him. What he lacks in experience he makes up for in pure love for the sport.
@MarshallGP Who would I like to see as Alonso’s next team mate? Fernando may not like it too much but my choice is Vitaly Petrov. Petrov came of age as a Formula 1 driver in last years title deciding Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. He drove a faultless race keeping title chasing Alonso at bay for pretty much all of the race, denying him a possible third world crown.
Without that stellar performance, he could well have found himself without a drive for this year and after he was confirmed to race again this year, many wrote off his chances. He was to silence his critics in spectacular fashion at the opening round in Melbourne, fighting his way up to third in the opening exchanges, then driving with great maturity to stay there.
Since Monaco, there has been reports of Bruno Senna coming in, not to replace Petrov, but his team mate Nick Heidfeld. Quick Nick was expected to show his young team mate the way this year but that hasn’t turned out to be the case. I’ve always been a fan of Heidfeld and this only serves as further proof of the progress Petrov has made this year.
Petrov has quite a flamboyant style as have may of the GP2 graduates, this would go down very well with the tifosi who love drivers who give it their best shot and let it all hang out. Yes he is still prone to the odd off track adventure but to be honest, who does them better than him? I’m sure his ‘flight’ at Sepang will long live in the memory of all F1 fans!
He is evidently as ambitious as he is talented, he’s shrugging off his ‘pay driver’ tag with his strong performances this year (he’s only failed to qualify in the top 10 once!) I for one would love to see what he can do in a top team, I’m sure he’d continue to surprise, entertain and win races.