Now that Paffett is ‘free to drive elsewhere’ it seems inevitable that Hamilton will be partnering Alonso next year. McLaren could go with De la Rosa, but I think the temptation, and the media hype, is too much for them. Do you think he’ll match up against Alonso? I think he’ll be terribly out-performed, but will nonetheless put in some impressive drives/qualifying sessions to ensure himself another year or two.
Other than that, despite the huge changes happening next year (Schumacher leaving, Alonso to McLaren, Kimi to Ferrari) – there is not much else left in the driver market. I hope Montiero keeps his drive – maybe Albers should have gone. The two Toyota drivers definitely weren’t worth keeping. Nor were the two Toro Rosso ones – both, as Martin said in Japan, have had far too many accidents. Super Aguri will no doubt keep Sato and swap other Japanese drivers depending on whether they’re banned or not, or maybe they’ll give Davidson a chance? Overall, it’s a hard year for new drivers to get into F1. I would’ve liked to have seen Piquet get a race drive, but he’s playing it sensible with a testing role for Renault.