Has there ever been more experienced drivers looking for a drive at this time of year?
All the recent talk has centred over the line ups of Lotus Renault, Williams and which of the three contracted drivers, Force India will go with.
Today’s announcement that Toro Rosso have released Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari in favour of Red Bull young guns, Daniel Ricciado and Jean-Eric Vernge came as a bit of a shock to most observers. The decision does leave an unprecedented number of drivers looking for a seat next year with the second William berth being the only realistic destination.
Bruno Senna, Vitaly Petrov, Rubens Barrichello, Adrian Sutil (If he loses his Force India seat), Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari are all now hunting to stay in the sports highest echelon in 2012. All will now be queuing up to talk to Sir Frank and Adam Parr over what they can bring to the team.
Barrichello may still get his 20th year in F1 as they continue to prepare their young Finnish protégée, Valtteri Bottas for a race seat in 2013. Sutil and Senna are both still strong candidates given the amount of backing they can bring to the team, also Petrov to a certain extent but I think he is a long shot.
Buemi and Alguersuari’s chances won’t be helped by the fact that no driver, apart from Sebastian Vettel has moved on to greater things after leaving STR. Vitantonio Liuzzi, Scott Speed and Sébastien Bourdais have all fell by the way side after their time there.