It's happening in a week where F1 kind of forgot about the coronavirus. Silly season is here drivers are moving around!
It was all kicked off with Sebastian Vettel's announcement that he was going to be leaving Ferrari, the Schumacher recreation dream, was officially cancelled. But what happens next? Well the standard frenzy of driver movements!
As Vettel left two days later amidst speculation Renault's Daniel Ricciardo announced he was moving to Mclaren. A move which was semi-predictable (although I had him tipped at the Ferrari drive!) A matter of minutes later all our suspicions were confirmed as Carlos Sainz was announced at Ferrari. It is all exciting! Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris at one team? Awesome. Leclerc vs Sainz? Tantalising. Even if F1 has a nightmare in 2020, these move's really set 2021 up to be fantastic!
But again I ask, what happens next? Where will Vettel go? Who gets the other Mercedes drive? What will Renault do to fill the Austrlian shaped hole?
Well strap in for my predictions!
I see there, realistically as a few options for Seb. Although he clearly isn't driving at his best, he is still a 4 x world champion. Remember the dominant days? The man can drive. With Mclaren's locked doors and him falling out with Ferrari; his options are slightly limited, but still open.
Renault could be a contender, they have a big hole and if they want to seriously continue in the sport and promote the brand they need some headlines. What better way than a 4x champion, ex Ferrari driver? Vettel vs Ocon could be a great battle another potential master and apprentice story. But do I think it would happen, not really, I don't think Renault have the performance potential, nor the interest for Sebastian, it is much more likely that they go back to their old friend in Nico Hulkenburg, well that's what I think anyway.
Mercedes has there's no way around it a situation where they may be happy with the current line up (Hamilton and Bottas) but, with a 4 x champion on the market, could the Finns seat be in danger? Well from Seb's point of view I'm sure he would love to go there, to have the fastest car, the most reputable team, a German team at that, and earn back some of his reputation by fighting Lewis Hamilton in the same equipment. Would the team want him, yes of course they'd be silly not to, sure they risk less of a "wingman" relationship between their drivers as Seb wouldn't want to play second fiddle but I can't help but think that Seb is firmly on Toto's radar.
Aston Martin, are entering the grid next year in place of sport pesa racing point, no denying it is a big name, would this tempt Seb? I think it might, the chance to build a team up from the ground works and then watch it flourish in his older years if and when he retires. I think this could be a nice close to his journey through F1. He love's history and the heritage of F1 and I'm sure he's an Aston man too!
Retirement is going to be a plausible thought. He's a father, a family man, maybe this will be enough for him to simply say stop. There's no doubt he's taken a pounding the last few years and the pressure of being a Ferrari driver may have got the better of him. So maybe he's happy to hang up the gloves, retire spend time with his family. I kind of hope he doesn't, he's not too old yet in my opinion, I'd love to see him come back with a bit of a spark.
Only time will tell, but I think I speak for everyone when I say, I just want to see these guys back on track, what if Seb retires and theres no racing in 2020. I want to see him behind the wheel at least one more time.