With only two first team seats remaining for 2012, there are a barrage of current drivers still left without a drive.November 3, 2016
Jaime Alguersuari, Sebastien Buemi, Vitaly Petrov, Bruno Senna and Adrian Sutil have been left discarded by their teams. Every one of them has been replaced in favour of a rookie driver or someone starting or returning for a first full season in the sport.
There is a general belief that it is the latter in Adrian Sutil, who performed strongest in 2011.
The two seats remaining were held this year by veteran runners Jarno Trulli at HRT and Rubens Barrichello at Williams.
Both of these seasoned professionals have lost form and are widely expected to make way, as we move towards the February deadline for all teams to name their two main and one reserve drivers.
Adrian Sutil has confessed to talks with Williams and consequentially people expect him to be there next season.
For a driver who bulldozed his way to a fantastic ninth in the drivers championship, this is a logical step when his only other alternative is a hefty slide backwards at HRT.
Until today, most would have subsequently put their money on the German landing the position opposite 'pay driver' Pastor Maldonado. The funds acquired from the average at best Maldonado would be countered effectively by utilising the skills and expertise of Sutil. He could be the lead driver to turn their fortunes around.
Yet sadly, Williams, a team who have struggled to find form and pace this season, look like they may call upon a second pay driver for 2012. Today it has emerged that Bruno Senna has been spotted at their base and is possibly in talks for the drive.
Given the choice between Senna and Sutil, a racing neutral wouldn't find it too hard to make the decision.
Whilst this may have appeared harsh, the inability for Senna to perform in the seat meant that little changed in our previous perception of him. He was an average driver at best and was not adhering to his famous uncles claim that he was fast.
Personally, I do find it odd that Senna is seeking a seat at a team where his uncle perished, with a following inquest into the teams involvement in the tragedy.
Sutil on the other hand obliterated both Senna and Vitaly Petrov in the second half of the season. He also edged quite a distance ahead of his rookie team mate Paul Di Resta, who actually managed to sustain his place at Force India instead of Sutil.
Sutil could hold his head up high upon the end of his Force India journey, however, as he added to his credible run of seasons at Vijay Mallya's team and afforded himself a resultant growth in reputation.
It often sounds like you repeat yourself, and I certainly have in other articles, but it would be a travesty if Sutil did not gain a first team drive for 2012, especially when someone of a lesser calibre like Senna could.
The hope now is that Williams will make the correct choice in determining who can actually spearhead a much desired resurgence.
For a team who are so steeped in championship winning history, to have sunk as low as they did in 2011, to then have two uninspiring pay drivers would be a ludicrous outcome.
But for Sutil to not be on the grid for 2012 at all would be an even worse one.
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