Formula 1 teams are busy trying to figure out who will be driving what next season. The key driver of the driver market now that most of the top teams are settled is money, and so it is a question of which driver can bring the most sponsorship or who is the most likely to attract money.
In the F1 midfield these days it is a luxury for a team to be able to choose its drivers based on talent alone, but this must be balanced with the need for the teams to be motivated by their drivers.
The only top drive now left is the second Lotus and this would go to Sauber’s Nico Hülkenberg if Lotus was able to close a deal it has going with an investor, who has promised to bring the team a vast budget. Sadly this money has not shown up, and the team is losing confidence in the deal because it has been told that the money is arriving tomorrow too many times…
There comes a point at which teams must deal with realities rather than dreams, and that is fast-approaching for Lotus. If the money does not arrive the team needs to find cash and the best place to find it is in Venezuela, where the government-owned PDVSA has plenty of cash to support the adventures of national hero Pastor Maldonado.
He wanted a better drive than Williams (and Williams wanted a better driver than Pastor) and so the relationship has ground to a standstill and Williams have grabbed perky Brazilian Felipe Massa, who is on the rebound from Ferrari and looking for a team to show what he can do without Fernando Alonso as his team-mate.