Space for drivers in the real top teams of Formula 1 is limited. Always has been, always will be. Sometimes you need just a bit of luck (see Valtteri Bottas) to make it into one of the race winning teams. Unfortunately this means that some top quality drivers never quite make it to the race winning car they are looking for. This has become quite apparent during the course of this season.
At the end of 2015 the Frenchman was being tipped for big things. His move to Haas seemed a way in to Ferrari in the future, and his performances were being wasted in the bankrupt Lotus team. Now however, after an impressive debut, Haas have discovered how tough Formula 1 is. The Ferrari link isn’t as strong as it was once thought and Grosjean has even been quoted saying that he would be happy to return to the Renault outfit.
Having botched his first attempt at McLaren, Perez was lucky to be able to establish himself once again. He has proved at Force India that he deserves a top drive. However doors to top teams are closing for the near future meaning that by the time that they naturally reopen, Sergio may well be too old. The likes of Ocon and the up and coming Charles Leclerc will be the next hot topics.
This is a slightly trickier one to read as Renault have the resources to become a top flying team again. Whether they can achieve that in the remaining time frame of Hulkenberg’s career is yet to be seen. Like Perez, Hulkenberg has been one of those drivers that has just been stuck in a midfield team for quite some time. If Renault can get their act together then perhaps Hulkenberg can enjoy some success.
Alonso may well not even be in Formula 1 next year if McLaren don’t improve. Sadly I think the time may have passed for Fernando to be in a top car, but we all live in hope that McLaren do make it back to the front sooner rather than later.
Like his teammate Grosjean, Kevin was tipped for great things. Having been unceremoniously dumped by McLaren, Magnussen was lucky to grab another drive. However, his McLaren dumping has left his stock rather low and he has now been relegated to midfield teams.
Kyvat has already had his chance in a high flying top team. Admittedly he was very harshly dumped, but he has not shown any form since that suggests that he is worthy of a seat with a winning team again.
Sainz deserves a top seat. He is an immense talent. However, the top teams seem pretty sealed already for a year or so. With the likes of Pierre Gasly making their way through the ranks, it is again perhaps too late for this driver, despite his undeniable talent.
Do you agree? Are there any other drivers who you think are destined not to make a top team? Post your comment in the section below – we’d love to hear from you.