Formula One: Who Will Fill Sebastien Vettel's Shoes at Toro Rosso?
We are now all aware that rising F1 star Sebastien Vettel is moving on to greater challenges next season. But who will take his seat at Toro Rosso?
Toro Rosso, being a lower-placed team, probably won't sign anybody who is already on the F1 grid at the moment. An exception to this could be Nelson Piquet Jr. as he is failing to get the Renault up to where it should be at present.
With only two points scored so far this season, the pressure is on. If he continues to underperform, he could be saying goodbye to Renault sooner than expected.
Another possible exception is that of Timo Glock. He has struggled to match the performance of his teammate in the Toyota. However, I think it is highly unlikely that Glock will join Toro Rosso.
The final driver on the current grid who could possibly join the sister team of Red Bull is Adrian Sutil. He hasn't scored any points for Force India yet, but he had an exceptional race in Monaco before his dreams were shattered by World Champion Kimi Raikkonen. He could take a small step and move up the grid gradually.
So, with only three possible drivers even in contention to move to Toro Rosso, that leaves the door open to the drivers in the GP2 feeder series.
The current top three drivers are Giorgio Pantano, Bruno Senna and Sebastien Buemi.
The first candidate, Pantano, has been racing in the series since it began in 2005 and has been better placed every season. He finished third in the 2007 standings.
Many think that his time has come, and he has had some very good results in 2008. Excluding retirements, he has finished fourth or above in every race, be it the feature race or the sprint race. With three wins so far, he leads the championship by 13 points.
Bruno Senna, the nephew of the three-time world champion, is also performing well this season. He won in the streets of Monte Carlo and also won at Silverstone. With three podiums, he is second in the championship; however, it might be his name that earns him an F1 seat, just as Piquet's did.
Sebastien Buemi has already driven an F1 car, because he the test driver for Red Bull. This could prove critical, as Toro Rosso are the "sister" team to Red Bull.
He came second in the GP2 Asia series and is currently third in the world championship with one win. Buemi tested the RB3 at Jerez in 2007 and set the third fastest lap of the day.
It is also worth noting the names of Lucas Di Grassi and Roman Grosjean, as they too are performing well in GP2.
Di Grassi is the test driver for Renault. Although he is fourth in the GP2 standings, he has only raced in four events this season, finishing second in three of those.
Grosjean is also a Renault test driver. He won the 2008 Asian Series and won the sprint race in Turkey earlier on in the season.
So who will replace Vettel and possibly Bourdais also? I personally think Senna will get the seat and if Bourdais leaves also, Buemi will fill his boots.
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