Formula 1 2013

Which driver would you want to win the WDC?

  • Sebastian Vettel

    Votes: 8 33.3%
  • Fernando Alonso

    Votes: 6 25.0%
  • Kimi Raikkonen

    Votes: 3 12.5%
  • Other

    Votes: 7 29.2%

  • Total voters
    24

DHR-107

Robot from the Future
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Oh yes a track marshall was killed in a freak accident... R.I.P :/

Discuss~
Oh shit... :( Was this why there was a delay to Practice 3 in the morning? They just kept saying they were repairing a barrier after an event in the morning (I believe was a Ferrari GT Cup Meet or something). They never once mentioned that a marshal has been killed over here.

EDIT: Oh man just read he got run over by one of the support cranes D: shit me... that's awful... Guys are there doing that job because they love the sport and love doing it. They don't get paid or anything. Like Alonso said, there is nothing to celebrate about today.

In terms of the race, it was okay, nice bit of running and riding by the drivers some good overtakes some not so good overtakes (Sutil/Maldanado) and a pretty conclusive win from Vettel really. Shame Hamilton lost out to Alonso at the end, but he was never going to hold him off the 8 laps when they got together. Another great race for Di Resta proving time and again he deserves that seat at Force India. I just hope other teams are seeing his talents. Vergne did a stunning job to get up to sixth too. Rest of the points are the usual suspects really... I am so disappointed in Macca though... just a horrible horrible season for them. no points in Canada which is usually one of their better tracks. :(

Raikkonen also levelled Schumachers record of points finishes this race too... I wonder how much longer the point scoring train can go on for. Its an impressive streak.
 
Indeed Raikkonen's streak is impressive, but we have to take into account that the current points system awards points up to the top 10 whereas in Schumi's time it was only up to the top 6/8. And about Maldonado hitting the back of Sutil, does he ever learn his lesson... 'Drive through penalty for car 16" is getting really common for one reason or another.

The season is approaching the halfway mark and the best driver so far IMO is Vettel; despite people rating Alonso, Hamilton and/or Raikkonen higher at times Vettel has not committed any particular driving error unlike Alonso at Sepang nor did he have any particularly bad race unlike Raikkonen and Hamilton at Montreal and Barcelona respectively; his lowest finish is 4th. Any thoughts on this?
 

Joim

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Actually, Webber was faster throughout the race than Vettel, apart from his classic slow start, he matched or bettered him throughout the rest of the race. I am one of the biggest Webber fans, I do acknowledge finger **** is a better driver than him, but Webber is not "completely outclassed" by him. People always seem to forget how well Webber went early on in his career, whilst driving for minnows the entire time, outclassing every single teammate until Vettel came along. I seem to remember him putting a fucking Jaguar on the front row. 2010 was a very close championship iirc, who was the driver leading for most of the season? 2011 was just.... a complete disaster really. He proved himself again last year though, I wouldn't write him off to stick around for a few more years.
Red Bull Team fucked up Webber's career and they literally stole his chance to win a championship by letting Vettel win giving him the most support. I was a big Webber supporter at the time, besides supporting Räikkönnen as I usually do.

Oh btw, Alonso and Webber are getting really friendly (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2--FD1g0W34)... is this their way of taunting Vettel? Granted it may just be friendly banter but really, after what Vettel did to Webber at Sepang and Alonso narrowly losing the WDC to Vettel twice you can't help but wonder if that's the reason they're getting along. For his own sake I hope Webber doesn't go out of his way to jeopardise Red Bull like what Trulli did at Renault in 2004, for Trulli it has basically killed his chances of ever landing a seat with a top team again.
Well, unfortunately Webber's career is ending, so he might as well do something like that :P Also I agree on Alonso's cult following, that halted me from liking him despite his impressive driving for long... Being in Ferrari has helped, though.

Indeed Raikkonen's streak is impressive, but we have to take into account that the current points system awards points up to the top 10 whereas in Schumi's time it was only up to the top 6/8. And about Maldonado hitting the back of Sutil, does he ever learn his lesson... 'Drive through penalty for car 16" is getting really common for one reason or another.

The season is approaching the halfway mark and the best driver so far IMO is Vettel; despite people rating Alonso, Hamilton and/or Raikkonen higher at times Vettel has not committed any particular driving error unlike Alonso at Sepang nor did he have any particularly bad race unlike Raikkonen and Hamilton at Montreal and Barcelona respectively; his lowest finish is 4th. Any thoughts on this?
Vettel is good and he has a lot of luck. Somehow Safety Cars always, always benefit him, I can't recall a single one that hasn't. Vettel made a huge mistake last race, only he had too many seconds ahead for it to be noticeable. Alonso makes as few mistakes as Vettel, only he has a terrible luck. I'd say Räikkönnen's car is what is stopping him, also he's a bit older, but he's competitive and good enough to score in all races. If Vettel just gets out on a single race the championship will get very difficult for him.
 
Red Bull Team fucked up Webber's career and they literally stole his chance to win a championship by letting Vettel win giving him the most support. I was a big Webber supporter at the time, besides supporting Räikkönnen as I usually do.


Vettel is good and he has a lot of luck. Somehow Safety Cars always, always benefit him, I can't recall a single one that hasn't. Vettel made a huge mistake last race, only he had too many seconds ahead for it to be noticeable. Alonso makes as few mistakes as Vettel, only he has a terrible luck. I'd say Räikkönnen's car is what is stopping him, also he's a bit older, but he's competitive and good enough to score in all races. If Vettel just gets out on a single race the championship will get very difficult for him.
Red Bull screwing up Webber's chances? That is not true at all, the fact that Webber was ahead of Vettel in the WDC standings going into the final round means that if anything they are supporting him... of course it was equal treatment but it's certainly not the team's fault that he only qualified 5th whereas Vettel was on pole for that race. Poor tyre management ensured that he (Along with Alonso) spent the race of the race being bogged down by Petrov... and for the following years I shall not even begin to mention how Vettel was clearly the better driver. At Sepang this year the fact that Vettel was told to hold station behind Webber clearly shows that the team does not favour Vettel... of course Vettel disobeyed but that's another story altogether.

Yes, Vettel did run wide at Montreal trying to set the fastest lap of the race but he only took that risk due to the huge gap that he managed to pull out ahead of Alonso and Hamilton... whereas Webber is somewhere in 4th place despite being on equal machinery. On the other hand, Alonso for whatever inexplicable reason ended up hitting Vettel's rear at Sepang and retired 1 lap later... The DRS failure was not his fault but that incident at Sepang is. But to say that Vettel is lucky all the time is not true, Valencia 2012 is a prime example of how his car broke down while in the lead, handing Alonso 1st place... of course, this all boils down to personal opinion but yeah, just correcting some factual inaccuracies.
 

Coronis

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Yeah, Webber would not have lost any time after being hit by van der Garde, would he? Seriously, what the fuck was he doing? Imo, it could've been a RB 1-2. At the very least, Webber would've been part of the Alonso/Hamilton battle.

Thought Sutil's penalty was quite unfair, but, oh well.. Force India have clearly a top 5 car there, clearly faster than the Lotus', at least in Montreal. Will be good to finally see neither of them get screwed in quali or the race sometime soon. Also, ftr, just because you have a massive lead does not give you license to hit the wall. The next time Vettel has a massive lead and is pushing for the fastest lap, I'd love to see him DNF ala Senna at Monaco in 88.
 
Yeah, Webber would not have lost any time after being hit by van der Garde, would he? Seriously, what the fuck was he doing? Imo, it could've been a RB 1-2. At the very least, Webber would've been part of the Alonso/Hamilton battle.

Thought Sutil's penalty was quite unfair, but, oh well.. Force India have clearly a top 5 car there, clearly faster than the Lotus', at least in Montreal. Will be good to finally see neither of them get screwed in quali or the race sometime soon. Also, ftr, just because you have a massive lead does not give you license to hit the wall. The next time Vettel has a massive lead and is pushing for the fastest lap, I'd love to see him DNF ala Senna at Monaco in 88.
Considering that it was Webber who set the fastest lap I don't really think he was that badly affected, at least not to the point where he can lose 10+ seconds (That was the gap between him and Alonso/Hamilton); he didn't even have to change his front wing. Of course you're not supposed to hit the wall, but Vettel didn't, he ran wide... it would have been more prudent to just play it safe but it's in his nature to be hungry for more; part of the reason he can win multiple WDCs. Pardon me for inquiring but to hate a particular driver to the point of wishing misfortune on him is rather unjustified, don't you think? The Ferrari fans were booing Vettel at the podium ceremony in Montreal and that was totally uncalled for; they don't have to support Vettel but some basic respect is expected... it's just disgraceful IMO. I prefer Vettel over Alonso but you don't see me throwing rotten tomatoes at the latter when he gets the better of Vettel in some races.

Sutil's penalty was certainly unjustified IMO, and considering that he was closing in on Di Resta who was on the supersoft tyres he would have been challenging him for 7th place were it not for that penalty... the spin while overtaking Bottas was his own fault, but the penalty and getting hit by Maldonado isn't... I feel that if he hadn't tried overtaking Bottas in the chicane of all places none of the subsequent events would have happened and I'm surprised that he was still in the points after all that drama... I'm starting to believe that Force India can actually keep McLaren behind them for the rest of the season, McLaren's disastrous loss of form in the transition from 2012 to 2013 is starting to be very reminiscent of BMW Sauber's transition from 2008 to 2009... we all kept hoping they could come back and while BMW Sauber did improve in the closing stages of 2009 the damage was already done.
 

Coronis

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Pretty sure he tapped the wall at turn 4 at one point. Personally I wouldn't really feel that confident pushing the car after losing part of my wing. Im pretty certain it did affect Webber's overall pace throughout the rest of the race - of course, none of us can be certain.

Not really wishing misfortune on him really.... just think he needs something to put him little bit in his place.. Does he really need to be pushing so hard that he tags the wall and runs off the track, when he has such a big lead? I mean its not like he was even remotely under pressure throughout the race.
 
Granted it would be more prudent to play it safe in the previous round but I suppose it's just in his nature to try and get everything he possibly can, it's part of the reason he can win multiple WDCs; he is never tired of winning. Speaking of which, he has signed a contract extension with Red Bull until the end of 2015, putting an end to rumours about a move to Ferrari... would Vettel ever drive for Ferrari and if so, when? I'd like to see him move to Ferrari even if it's just for 1 year so as to silence his detractors who claim he only wins because of his car... but as long as Alonso is there I doubt it will ever happen; Alonso will probably go bananas like he did with McLaren back in 2007 due to the challenge Hamilton was giving him.
 

Coronis

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I can't see Vettel ever leaving Red Bull, tbh. He came up from STR, the car has consistently been the best over the past 3 years, why would he leave? Unless Red Bull aren't championship contenders, Vettel will be at Red Bull, imo.
 

DHR-107

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Mercedes have been banned from the Young Drivers' Test following illegal tyre-testing :/ What do you guys feel about the severity of the punishment?
All things considered I don't think they should of been punished. And if they got banned so should Ferrari for testing a 2011 car on the new tyres as well :/ It's an absolute joke that Ferrari don't play by the same rules as everyone else. From what I heard, Mercedes did not know what tyres they were testing, or what the differences between the tyres were. Only Pirelli knew that :/

In other news, a driver was killed at Le Mans over the weekend :( 10 minutes into the race he came off a white line (it was raining) and lost control of his Aston Martin and span off into the armco. His injuries were fatal. Allan Simonson RIP.
 
All things considered I don't think they should of been punished. And if they got banned so should Ferrari for testing a 2011 car on the new tyres as well :/ It's an absolute joke that Ferrari don't play by the same rules as everyone else. From what I heard, Mercedes did not know what tyres they were testing, or what the differences between the tyres were. Only Pirelli knew that :/

In other news, a driver was killed at Le Mans over the weekend :( 10 minutes into the race he came off a white line (it was raining) and lost control of his Aston Martin and span off into the armco. His injuries were fatal. Allan Simonson RIP.
Ferrari was never really known for being sportsmanlike but to be fair it is the 2011 car - a car they will not be using over the course of the season - so IMO it wouldn't be fair to punish them even though I don't support them in particular. I'm not that knowledgeable about the issue but considering that Mercedes did benefit from the test (From scrapping minor points finishes to challenging for wins and podiums) I feel they got off rather lightly, if Lotus narrowly loses 3rd place in the WCC it can and will be attributed to this test.

I'm just glad neither of their drivers are punished, the Rosberg-Hamilton pairing is the most evenly matched among all the teams IMO, with Di Resta-Sutil in 2nd place. If the FIA had done something like revoke some of their points that would have ruined attempts at comparison... I never thought Rosberg would challenge Hamilton this much, he deserves more recognition.

Speaking of Sutil... what do you think about his drive-through penalty at Montreal? I prefer to avoid saying this but are the stewards applying double standards; Raikkonen/Massa also held up the likes of Vettel but I don't see them getting penalized for it... and it's not like Hamilton was all over Sutil's rear wing either, if anything Sutil was helping him against Alonso by allowing him to activate DRS to defend. I distinctly remember Raikkonen crashing into the back of Sutil at Monaco 2008 where the latter was completely blameless but of course, Raikkonen got no penalty whatsoever despite the fact that Sutil was in 4th place and would have given Force India their first points. Gutierrez was rightfully penalized for crashing into him at China this year but why not Raikkonen; because he was the defending WDC holder that year? Such double standards *roll eyes* If you feel otherwise I'm all ears.

I don't watch Le Mans but to whoever's life was tragically cut short, RIP :/ Being in motorsport can be really hazardous despite considerable improvement in safety measures over time.
 

DHR-107

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Wow.... what a few weeks for Formula 1...

So Silverstone we discovered that a bunch of the teams were running their rear tyres in reverse... That probably explains why there were so many tyre failures/problems... Tyres are designed to go round one way with how they are constructed, not in reverse. Might also explain why the tyre life was so awful in some of the races previous.

A great win for Rosberg in Great Britain (Even though it should of been Hamiltons). Nice that Vettel's car broke when he was in the lead, even happier that he got booed when he got out of the car :D Can't beat a partisan British Crowd! :D Kept the title open a little bit and even nicer to see Webber get a podium.

Nurburgring was an interesting race, tyre management was still critical even with the new kevlar "safety tyre" that Pirelli brought. Shame Raikkonen couldn't quite get the gap to Vettel at the end of the race though, Grosjean might of buggered that up a little bit (although he was not slow). McLaren had a much better race than quali/practice suggested they might. Button did a great job to get 6th.
 
Wow.... what a few weeks for Formula 1...

So Silverstone we discovered that a bunch of the teams were running their rear tyres in reverse... That probably explains why there were so many tyre failures/problems... Tyres are designed to go round one way with how they are constructed, not in reverse. Might also explain why the tyre life was so awful in some of the races previous.

A great win for Rosberg in Great Britain (Even though it should of been Hamiltons). Nice that Vettel's car broke when he was in the lead, even happier that he got booed when he got out of the car :D Can't beat a partisan British Crowd! :D Kept the title open a little bit and even nicer to see Webber get a podium.

Nurburgring was an interesting race, tyre management was still critical even with the new kevlar "safety tyre" that Pirelli brought. Shame Raikkonen couldn't quite get the gap to Vettel at the end of the race though, Grosjean might of buggered that up a little bit (although he was not slow). McLaren had a much better race than quali/practice suggested they might. Button did a great job to get 6th.

The crowd back at Silverstone and Montreal... they disappoint me, I expected F1 fans to be more civil than football fans given the highly complicated nature of F1. Of course, the good thing about his retirement means that Vettel won't be running away with the WDC so easily and thus makes it more interesting but nevertheless the fact that the crowd feels the need to figuratively throw rotten tomatoes at him is just uncalled for. But anyways, Vettel seems to be headed for a 4th straight title unless his gearbox or whatever starts going haywire more often. I was rather miffed at Lotus asking Grosjean to move over for Raikkonen, but I suppose since Raikkonen is a WDC contender and did have the pace to challenge Vettel I can't say much about it.

Also, NOOO, two consecutive 3 week breaks D: I really hate it when this happens.

P.S: Btw, I am that Lady Gaga impersonator and the original creator of this thread, my account for whatever reason got closed or something after Smogon crashed; I believe it got hacked >_> On the bright side I can finally have a good reason to create a new account without such a ludicrous username; I wonder why did I ever think it was a good idea in the first place.
 
Can't really see Vettel losing this championship now, neither Lotus or Ferrari have the pace to consistently challenge Vettel. Beating him here and there seems viable but he is so unbelievably consistent. "Anything can happen" but he is pretty much in the dominant car, the other teams just seem behind in either quali or/&therefore the race. Despite his impressive drives this year, four time champion still kinda sounds wrong, but it also sounds inevitable right now. It's a different situation to last year because then Vettel had the better car and could gain even outside of when Alonso had trouble - now if Vettel ran into a few races of trouble, Alonso or Kimi would indeed catch up but chances are Vettel will still be too far away in the rest. I'll still hope as we aren't even halfway, but if it doesn't change much in the next couple of races then I think it's game over.

Webber's now had his usual two or so middle-season races of solid pace, expecting him to drop back again. I know I keep saying it but he's never been as good as Vettel, 2010 performances looked better because Vettel was so unlucky. Would be nice to see Kimi there for a couple of years but can imagine it going to Ricciardo who has been impressive lately (alternatively Hulkenberg would be good imo, but can't really see Red Bull picking him). Going to be interesting with potential slots up for grabs at both Red Bull, Ferrari, and Lotus.

Also zzzz any interview with Hamilton drives me insane, anyone else find this?
 
I fail to see why almost everyone speculates about Ricciardo getting the Red Bull drive but not Vergne. I mean come on, sure he got 7th at China but Vergne managed 6th at Montreal. In addition Vergne could have also scored at Silverstone were it not for exploding tyres and despite that he's still ahead of his teammate in terms of points. Is this because Ricciardo is Australian like Webber? I'd much rather see Raikkonen get the Red Bull seat so as to silence all of Vettel's detractors; apart from that the only way for Vettel to silence them is to drive using the Flintstones' feet-powered automobile and win or something >_> I think Vettel would come out on top against Raikkonen unless the latter starts taking tips from Trulli (During his years at Renault and Toyota of course) because when Vettel's on pole or 2nd on the grid he's nigh-unstoppable, bar mechanical failures. In addition it would give Kubica a chance to return to Lotus in 2014, I would love to see him back on the grid.
 

peng

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I've never posted here before because from what I've seen, Lady Gaga tends to turn the conversation into a Kubica or Sutil circlejerk but lets give this a go!

I was lucky enough to go to silverstone myself last weekend (and I mean very very lucky, me and my brother just happened to end up at a charity auction held by a marussia sponsor the week before and managed to get a hold of 3-day tickets w/ Becketts grandstand + paddock access + a marussia garage tour for barely over £100 rofl). Biggest cheer of the day by far was when Vettel retired but its not surprising at all. You have to bear in mind that most of the people who go to the british GP are either 1) blindly devoted Hamilton fans (probably ~60% of the caps i saw people wearing were Lewis' McLaren or Mercedes ones) or 2) "real" F1 fans who probably dislike Vettel for a range of other reasons. What I'm more surprised at is the complete lack of support for Button and di Resta - there was almost a sense of "if you aren't challenging for the win, we don't give a fuck" from the crowd.

I agree with twash in that I don't see why everyone loves Lewis so much. I'll admit he's grown on me a little since his move to Merc but he still comes across as a whiny shit in every radio message and interview. I got especially pissed off with him this weekend when he called the car a "disaster", showing 0 respect for the guys at the factory (who put in like 10x the hours he does and get nowhere near the same paycheque or glory). Theres a difference between being honest and just slagging off the team when you aren't competitive.

I also think Ricciardo has the edge over Vergne for Webber's seat. Vergne has had the better finishes overall but Ricciardo seems to extract much more from the car in qualifying, which is surely what Red Bull is looking for. Vergne's ability to make up ground on race day isn't that great an asset for a team that deliberately compromises top speed (and therefore ability to overtake / defend on straights vs similarly competitive teams) in order to stick their car on the front row on Saturdays. Ultimately I think Red Bull want someone who can consistently be right up at the front with Vettel as often as possible, and I don't think Vergne has shown his quali pace is good enough to do that. Saying that, I'd still rather see Kimi in the seat over both of them, just so we have a good comparison between Vettel and other drivers on the grid. At the moment I don't think anyone can really comment on where Vettel stands compared to Kimi, Alonso and Hamilton because Red Bull has been so dominant and his current teammate is one of the most inconsistent drivers on the top end of the grid.

I'm still unsure on Hulkenberg. I was a big fan during those last few races in 2012 where he truly shined, but thats because you could compare his results to di Resta and see how much he was getting out of the car. I find it hard to comment on his pace this year purely because I don't know enough about Gutierrez. Is Hulkenerg getting the most out of a truly awful Sauber, or is it Esteban that isn't picking up the slack. I'm not 100% sure if its Hulkenberg's or Gutierrez's results that are truly representative of Sauber's pace this year.
 
Hungarian Grand Prix qualifying has ended... although a Mercedes is on pole again something tells me that they will be destroying their tyres really quickly. If anything I bet either Vettel or Grosjean would win the race. Speaking of which, Grosjean has finally found the pace he had shown in 2012; prior to this it appears that he has sacrificed some of his speed to avoid accidents, sans Monaco. I actually would prefer Grosjean to win this race instead of Vettel for the same reason that even hardcore Ferrari fans would have preferred Fisichella and Force India to win at Spa 2009 instead of Raikkonen.
 
Against my predictions Hamilton actually won, kudos to him it was well-deserved. The main discussion for this race however would be the pair of penalties Grosjean received. The one for overtaking Massa while being off-track is total bullshit IMO, that was pure racing and by penalizing him for it they are discouraging people from taking risks and solely rely on DRS. The fact that Massa himself agrees it was ridiculous should be a testament to how unfair it was. The penalty for making contact with Button was more or less justified on its own, but I distinctly remember Perez doing the same thing to Raikkonen at Monaco but yet he got away scot-free whereas Grosjean got penalized despite the fact that Raikkonen was badly hindered while Button was barely affected. I sense some double standards from the stewards here, shame on them >:( Grosjean should have been challenging Hamilton for the win. What's your take on the issue?
 
was he not penalised for going past masa with that drive through?
thought that was stupid considering he was faster.
 
was he not penalised for going past masa with that drive through?
thought that was stupid considering he was faster.
Precisely >_> It was utterly ridiculous, even more ridiculous than Sutil's penalty for the whole issue on blue flags back at Montreal.
 
Oh my this made me laugh:

With all due respect to Button, I think he complains a little too much; made especially evident with his on-track clashes with Perez and Grosjean. With that being said, he is doing a decent job in dragging that woeful McLaren MP4-28 to the finish in the points, and it seems like they will beat Force India for 5th place after all... in the past 2 races Force India's impressive streak came to an end after those new tyres were introduced... can they actually keep McLaren behind for the rest of the season? Sutil's horrendous luck for 4 races in a row and to a lesser extent, Di Resta's run of Q1 eliminations have made them all the more vulnerable to losing 5th place. As unlikely as it may be, I'm really rooting for Force India to stay ahead of McLaren.
 
Would you guys prefer Ricciardo or Raikkonen to get the Red Bull seat next year? For me it's Raikkonen; if Ricciardo gets the Red Bull seat it will not do any good for Vettel's image and reputation. If Ricciardo can match (or outperform, but that's unlikely), the legions of Vettel haters would go 'Hah so it was all down to the car after all' but if Vettel can comfortably beat Ricciardo, they'd still say "Ricciardo is the #2 driver who never had a chance' >_> Basically, if Vettel cares about his image and reputation he'd better hope that Raikkonen is his teammate and furthermore I'd love to see how he'll fare against a driver who has already made a name for himself; it'll be a golden opportunity for him to improve his credibility because apparently, winning 3 WDCs in a row (In admittedly the best car overall but still) isn't enough to silence his detractors. In addition, I find it very unfair to Vergne; Ricciardo may have the edge in qualifying but Vergne can deliver better in races. How does that equate to Ricciardo getting a seat to a top team while Vergne's F1 future is in jeopardy; he may end up like Buemi and Alguersuari.

What's your personal opinion on this issue?
 
Kimi should get it. Regulations are changing next year, so Red Bull may not have the dominant car like recent and having two top and proven drivers is going to reduce the risk of being on the fringes. With a probable four time champion in Vettel, Red Bull need to worry more about the constructors next year, where Raikkonen's obvious consistency is a huge bonus. Ricciardo has definitely started showing he's a hot talent this year, but considering Kimi is unlikely to be placed on a long term contract and would be a stop gap for a year or two (oldest driver on the grid next year!), I think Red Bull should exercise the option on Ricciardo in a year or two. That said, I wouldn't be surprised to see Raikkonen stay at Lotus. Of course he wants to win, but he's made it pretty clear that he will go on gut instinct and won't go somewhere that he won't enjoy himself at.

People are talking about the Red Bull seat but let's not forget there's a possible spot at Ferrari. After 8 (seriously, wth) seasons with Massa they look as though they might finally drop him. Let's pray they do, anyway... Not like they haven't bailed him out before for no real reason apart from "showing promise again" after a couple of half-decent-not-great results. 8 podiums in four years compared to Fernando's 38? Give me strength.
 
Kimi should get it. Regulations are changing next year, so Red Bull may not have the dominant car like recent and having two top and proven drivers is going to reduce the risk of being on the fringes. With a probable four time champion in Vettel, Red Bull need to worry more about the constructors next year, where Raikkonen's obvious consistency is a huge bonus. Ricciardo has definitely started showing he's a hot talent this year, but considering Kimi is unlikely to be placed on a long term contract and would be a stop gap for a year or two (oldest driver on the grid next year!), I think Red Bull should exercise the option on Ricciardo in a year or two. That said, I wouldn't be surprised to see Raikkonen stay at Lotus. Of course he wants to win, but he's made it pretty clear that he will go on gut instinct and won't go somewhere that he won't enjoy himself at.

People are talking about the Red Bull seat but let's not forget there's a possible spot at Ferrari. After 8 (seriously, wth) seasons with Massa they look as though they might finally drop him. Let's pray they do, anyway... Not like they haven't bailed him out before for no real reason apart from "showing promise again" after a couple of half-decent-not-great results. 8 podiums in four years compared to Fernando's 38? Give me strength.
I would not call Ricciardo a 'hot talent', he may have been above average in qualifying but he tends to fade away in the races; heck even Vergne has more points than him despite being dropped as an option. Reminds me a bit of Trulli during his days in Toyota: Possessing ridiculous qualifying pace only to fall behind during races. Maybe Ricciardo is slightly better than Vergne overall, but the degree of superiority is definitely NOT to the point where he deserves a seat at a top team while his teammate may end up like Buemi and Alguersuari. I suspect that part of the reason he's linked to the seat is because he's Australian like Webber despite Vergne having scored more points; it reminds me of the situation with Raikkonen and Heidfeld in 2002 where Raikkonen got the McLaren seat despite the latter scoring more points with Sauber in 2001, the departing driver (Hakkinen) was also Finnish like Raikkonen... of course, Raikkonen turned out to be a top-class driver but that's another story altogether.

Vettel VS Raikkonen will be very interesting and it's a golden opportunity for him to boost his reputation... but if Ricciardo gets the seat then so be it, as unfair as it it to Vergne. With regards to Massa, hey, at least he managed to outqualify Alonso 3 times this season, whereas Webber has yet to outqualify Vettel and it's not like Webber is doing a bad job either... Massa may never show the form he did in 2008 - Where he actually managed to usurp Raikkonen's position as the #1 driver and was one corner away from winning the WDC - but he can still be a decent #2 driver. It's sad that he was reduced to a mere sop to Alonso but I guess the after his unfortunate accident he was never really the same and with ALONSO of people becoming his new teammate in 2010 (Whom we all know always demands #1 status in a team), his confidence has really taken a major blow. There's still 9 races left to show what he can do so I hope he can show that he can still deliver.
 

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