PREDICTION: 2020 Grid! Ocon at Mercedes? Grosjean and Hulkenberg to move?

20-08-2019 17:30 | Updated: 30-08-2019 16:43
by Adam Newton
General
PREDICTION: 2020 Grid! Ocon at Mercedes? Grosjean and Hulkenberg to move?

Right then, this could go badly. Predicting anything in F1 is tough, but predicting the whole grid for next year? Will it be Bottas or Ocon at Mercedes? Who will join Verstappen at Red Bull? And how will the midfield line up? Here we go, comment below if you disagree or have any other suggestions!

Mercedes - Lewis Hamilton and Esteban Ocon

Probably one of the most difficult decisions facing any team right now is Mercedes' choice between Valtteri Bottas and Esteban Ocon for their second seat. We've gone for Ocon, simply because we feel Mercedes will want to get the Frenchman in the team as soon as possible, to secure his future with them. It would be slightly harsh on Bottas, but the Finn has only won twice this season, and we feel Mercedes might shake things up.

Ferrari - Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc

Both of these drivers are under contract for next season, so this was a pretty obvious choice. There had been rumours that Vettel might call it quits at the end of this season, but we don't see that happening, and expect the Italians to stick with their line up as they look to bounce back from a pretty underwhelming campaign this year.

Red Bull - Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas

Right, don't shout at me in the comments for this. This is one prediction that clearly might not happen, but there are reasons for it. Bottas has proven that he is a terrific driver, and Red Bull are going to want someone who can support Verstappen, whilst also picking up regular points in the Constructors' Championship. Bottas has shown his worth as a team player at Mercedes, and with Red Bull's junior drivers perhaps not quite ready, Bottas could be the perfect man for the job.

McLaren - Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris

We know this one already, with both drivers already signed for 2020. Sainz has had a superb year at McLaren, whilst rookie Norris has made a great start to his F1 career. Who knows where they could reach in the standings if McLaren give them an even better car next season?

Toro Rosso - Alex Albon and Daniil Kvyat

Alex Albon's promotion to Red Bull is a great opportunity for him to show what he's capable of, but we're not sure if he's ready for the move yet, so we predict him to move back to Toro Rosso to continue his development, alongside Daniil Kvyat. The Russian has had a very good return to F1 this season, but we don't expect Red Bull, and particularly Helmut Marko to take the gamble on him once again already. He's still only 25, so there's plenty of time left in his racing career, and Red Bull don't need to rush anything yet.

Renault - Daniel Ricciardo and Pierre Gasly

Ricciardo is already under contract at Renault for next season, so he'll be staying with the French team, but the future of Nico Hulkenberg is in doubt, with rumours linking him elsewhere (keep reading...). This is why we've gone for Red Bull reject Pierre Gasly. The Frenchman might not want to keep his relationship with Red Bull after his humiliating drop from the team, and it wouldn't be a surprise for Renault to throw him a career lifeline. Renault reserve driver Sergey Sirotkin was also in the frame, but we've gone for Gasly for this one.

Alfa Romeo - Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi

This was a tough one. Raikkonen has his contract secured for next season, but it was touch and go whether we'd stick with Giovinazzi or look for a replacement. Ultimately, we feel that the Italian has just about done enough in his first full season of F1 to survive at Alfa. He might not have the points to show for it, but some of his performances have been impressive, especially when we're comparing him to someone who was a podium regular last season. However, with Mick Schumacher testing for the team this year and looking to build on a solid first F2 season, stranger things have happened in F1, but we reckon Alfa will stick with Giovinazzi.

Racing Point - Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll

This one's basically done isn't it? Recently Perez said that he was close to agreeing another year's deal with the team, and Lance Stroll has had an impressive year, despite his qualifying woes. Oh, and he's the team owner's son. However, it's unfair to say he's only there because of his dad, as shown by his performances in Canada and Germany in particular.

Haas - Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg

Magnussen and Hulkenberg could produce one fiery partnership next season! We're predicting Romain Grosjean to get the boot as he struggles again in 2019, and we feel like Haas could do with a fresh face in the team after three seasons with the same line up. Kevin Magnussen is still the aggressive driver he's always been, and we reckon he could be joined by Hulkenberg, who may be looking for a new challenge after three solid years with Renault.

Williams - George Russell and Nicholas Latifi

Russell may consider himself unlucky if he has to spend another year at Williams given his very impressive debut season with the backmarkers this year. Unfortunately for him, the car has just not been quick enough for him to prove himself yet, and he may have to wait for his big break with a top team. We think he'll be joined by Canadian driver Latifi, who currently sits second in the Formula 2 championship. He's participated in Friday practice this year for Williams, and with Robert Kubica's dream return to F1 not going the way he would have wanted, we can see Latifi getting the nod over him for 2020.

So, what do you think? Any changes you'd make? As always, comment below your predictions for next year, and let us know if we've got anything wrong!

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