Jenson's Understeer wrote:Ferrari and Renault will keep their drivers as is. Kimi will stay at Alfa, most likely still alongside Giovinazzi as I don't see Schumacher finishing high enough in F2 to get his Superlicense next year. Red Bull (and by extension Toro Rosso), who knows? I wouldn't be shocked if they dropped Gasly; I'd also not be shocked if they didn't drop Gasly. Guessing their driver moves is a fool's game. I don't see Gasly getting a great deal closer to Max but then again would Albon (or Kvyat)? And if they did promote one, does Gasly drop back down to Toro Rosso? Does Ticktum get a chance if he's got his Superlicense? Gun to my head I'd say they stick with what they've got and see where things stand this time next year.
That leaves Mercedes plus Haas/Racing Point/McLaren/Williams, a foursome for whom I feel it all hinges on Mercedes. Lewis will still be there, probably looking to equal Schumacher's 7 WDCs. If Bottas keeps driving like he has then it becomes an easier decision for Mercedes to retain him, at which point Ocon becomes available, while if Bottas' form trails off then he could get dropped for Ocon. Either way I think one of them is going to be free from Mercedes at the end of 2019.
From McLaren's point of view I'd argue that Bottas definitely represents an upgrade on Sainz while Ocon most likely does, but right now it's difficult to know if they'd be looking to change drivers since they've had a positive start to the season. Can't see them dropping Norris. There's always the Alonso factor too, but I don't think they've improved enough to entice him back for 2020. Racing Point is interesting since Perez is the better driver but Stroll isn't going to be dropped. I don't think they'd drop Perez for Ocon but if Bottas became available, I'd be curious to see if they were interested and whether they would drop Perez. Haas, if they're smart they'll wait and see what happens elsewhere and then decide. Their line-up would be improved by basically any of those names potentially available: Bottas, Ocon, Perez or Sainz.
Which just leaves Williams, who you would hope would be Russell plus whoever the best driver left is, but will probably be Russell plus whoever the driver with the best combination of talent and money is. I reckon it'll end up being Latifi, FWIW.
I agree with Ferrari and Renault, I don't see Schumacher being ready for 2020 so see Alfa as staying the same as well. At Red Bull it's too early to be writing off Gasly who let's not forget had a good race in Baku and would have qualified well if not for his silly mistake with the weighbridge. For the junior drivers Ticktum's first outing in Japan wasn't great so he may not get a F1 super license, so the STR line up may remain the same?
For Mercedes it depends upon Bottas himself whoever misses out between Bottas and Ocon like you say whoever Mercedes let go should be able to find another seat in F1, I would be looking more at Haas rather than McLaren. I don't understand the idea that perhaps that Sainz is not performing in respect to Norris, I expect this line up to remain the same as I don't see Alonso back in F1 in 2020, McLaren are still not at that level to entice him back.
Racing Point will remain the same, Perez is one of the best midfield drivers and also brings money for the team, in respect to Perez for him the team now has great potential giving the backing it now has and can become the best of the midfield teams so why leave, then we have Stroll who is not really good enough for the seat but his Dad owns the team.
Haas as I've already mentioned would surely take either Bottas and Ocon to replace one of their drivers, I would also like to see an American based driver in one of the cars but that's more what I would like to see than what will probably will happen. Then there is Williams which will be Russell plus a driver with a pot of gold, possibly Latifi who's Father is mega rich and Latifi is presently doing well in F2, he's leading, and looks like he will get the necessary F1 super license points.