BMWSauber84 wrote:The Williams and Sauber situations are a sad state of affairs really. I know the concept junior teams is much derided, but if Sauber were a total Ferrari junior team, then there is no way in hell that Marcus Ericcson would still be clogging up the grid.
Williams are of course multiple time world champions, so them becoming a feeder team is unthinkable. Having two pay drivers is a false economy for a midfield team in my opinion. Every penny that Stroll and Sirovtkin bring in will be more than offset by the decline in constructors championship position.
Perhaps they are already resigned to Renault and Mclaren bumping them down to 7th next year. They might even need to be wary of Haas.
I still don't get why so many are against Ericsson. He may be a pay driver, but he's nothing like as bad as most suggest. Drivers like Sainz and Kvyat have caused more retirements than Ericsson this year. And Ericsson himself has had at least several decent races. Over 2014 and early 2015, I thought he was about the worst on the grid. But since then, I think he's just about good enough to deserve to be in the sport now even without his money. But I agree he is lucky to have had so many chances. But I think in time, he has proven to be good enough. The fact he's got no points really doesn't reflect his performance over the past 2 years. He was clearly better than Nasr last year and other than having more incidents than Wehrlein this year, their pace was often pretty much identical. They were the closest pair on the grid in terms of the average qualifying gap and they have both had good and bad races. Wehrlein had just been fortunate that when he's been good, there have been enough retirements to result in a points finish. Ericsson would likely have managed points in Baku and Mexico if things had gone his way. Same with Mexico last year. He was 11th and only a Manor retired. If there had been several top drivers retire that race, he could have been well into the points.
I don't think Ericsson is a good driver on the whole. But I just don't understand the criticism he gets. Of course there will be better drivers, but he's been with Sauber for so long now that maybe they value his feedback and that could be one reason why they keep him. We just don't know other reasons why they may actually want him. I'm pretty sure money won't be the only reason.
With Williams, I do find it a shame they didn't keep Massa. As I am certain he's be a better driver than any they are considering. At least to begin with. But as some have pointed out to me, I think it is related to the amount of money Massa was wanting from Williams. In one of his interviews as to why he was leaving, it even seemed that you could tell from his wording that he didn't want to leave, but it was something relating to his pay. Can't be certain though. But Stroll really didn't impress this year. But if his money does benefit the team and he stays there for another year, I can easily see him becoming at leased decent. He has had a few stand out performances this year, but mainly very poor.
I still think William's best option now may be Kvyat. He's had a bad couple of years, but things could turn around with a completely new team and he could be back to being reasonably strong like in 2015. It was lucky that he beat Ricciardo in 2015, but he's got to take some credit for that. He's also been in the spot for almost 4 years. Experience will surely be essential for Williams with one of their drivers. Di Resta may also be a reasonable choise as he at least has been with Williams over the last year but then has only races once since 2013 and has had virtually no experience in the hybrid era. Wehrlein also seemed to be a possibility. But he's only had 2 years in F1 and he only looks marginally better than Ericsson. At leased Kvyat was decent in his first year and fairly strong the next. He's still young and I can see his recent drop in form turning around. But It will be a bit sad if Williams go few someone who hasn't even raced in F1 and put them against Stroll who has just been dominated by Massa who they's just kicked out. That will be an extremelly weak combination unless the rookie driver and Stroll turn out to be incredible next year.